do you need an amp for an in wall subwoofer - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-26-2009, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I am setting up my first home theater. I started from scratch with 4 bare walls in the basement. I am on a very limited budget. I now have the room framed and am running the electric now.

Here is my question about the sub (and some statements)

1-I am probably going to get the Sony 720 7.1 Amp

2-I am going to use in wall speakers, so

3-is the sub output from this (or any receiver) powered? Can I get one of the subs off ebay and hook it up, or do I need an amp first

4-should I just get a floor standing sub woofer that is powered

space is not an issue, but the floor in the theater is had 3 tiers made of concrete

Any help would be appreciated

Greg
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-27-2009, 05:36 AM
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3. There are very few receivers that have a powered sub output and most of those are cheap HTiB's. Quality receivers have line level sub outputs. There are dozens of amps that are available to power a sub ranging from 150w and going up to multi-thousand watt pro amps.
4. I don't know. How big is your room? What is your budget? How much space are you willing to give up?

-Robert
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-27-2009, 06:18 AM
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You might want to look into an infinite baffle sub. The "subwoofage" per dollar is very good.

http://ibsubwoofers.proboards51.com/

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post #4 of 5 Old 01-27-2009, 06:31 AM
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You may be able to get away without powering it separately. I was reading the description of the Monoprice in-wall sub and it says "Pair these with each of your main speakers for clearer, more well defined audio and wider sound staging. Bi-amp them with a capable amp or receiver to get the ultimate audio experience." That would imply that you can run it full range with your fronts, but would sound way better if it had a separate amplifier.
They specifically say that In-Wall subs are not intended to replace the LFE subwoofer. If that was your intention, then I would not go that route. If you purchase a decent powered sub and set your speakers to SMALL on the receiver, you should be good to go. I am running Phoenix Gold In-Wall speakers for the L-R speakers with an old Polk center channel. I have a Hsu STF-2 for the subwoofer and everything sounds pretty good.
Many people say that in-walls are bad, unless you spend a fortune on them, but I have no complaints. Mine are an outside 6" fully insulated wall (I removed all but about 1-2" of insulation behind the speakers). Maybe coming from more of a car audio background where the frequency response is less than optimal gives me a poor view on how it should sound. One thing I noticed running test CDs through it and listening to music, my speakers produce a very nice phantom center in 2.1 mode. The first couple times, I went to the center channel to make sure it was off.

They are a good way to save money and more importantly space. I would stay away from the in-wall subs unless you plan to combine them with a true powered subwoofer. I have been tempted to add one to the center channel since the midranges are only 4" (I think). In that case it should be beneficial. My fronts are 8", so I opted to run the receiver SMALL and stick with only those without an in-wall sub to drop the bottom end down.
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-27-2009, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Space is not really as issue. The room finished is 17 feet by 22 feet. When I had the concrete poured, they put in stadium seating.

As far as budget - not sure - I am paying for this as I go. So far I have about $600 in framing and $300 in electric. Next is the speaker wire and the cables. I would like to be able to a sub woofer for under $200. Space is not an issue, I just need to know if I need to put an RCA jack in the wall by an outlet.

Thanks for all of your help.

I am pretty sure I am going to go with a floor sub woofer.
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