Finally I assembled my 5.0 home theater system. Now is time for the sub. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Finally I assembled my 5.0 home theater system. Now is time for the sub.

My home theater consists of Pioneer VSX-822-K receiver. Two pairs of Polk Audio Monitor 40 Series II speakers the first for front and the second for surround. One Polk Audio CS1 Series II speaker for center. Sony BDP-S5100 Blu-ray player. This system took me eight months to assemble due to my budget. The last piece of this setup was a pair of monitor 40's that I received a week ago.

I spent about $650 in this system and I feel is worth every penny. I'm no expert but to my ears this system rocks. Both lows and highs sound balanced, clean and beautiful after I adjusted the settings. I noticed that the sound distorts a little at full volume and I wanted to ask if this is due to either the receiver not giving enough power or the speakers taking the maximum they can take, what do you think?

I can leave this system like it is right now because I like how it sounds but I have read too many times in forums about the improvement that adding a sub-woofer bring to a system and I feel it isn't complete even sounding as good as it sounds. I've been browsing for subs for some time now but I feel I will make a better decision with your help. So far I narrowed my options to three subs: 1) Dayton Audio SUB-1500 2) BIC America F12 3) BIC PL-200 Acoustech

Which one of those three will give me the best sound for the money. Which one of those will blend the best with my present system? What about assembling your own sub-woofer? I was thinking about getting a 15" woofer and a plate amplifier from parts-express.com and assemble them in a car sub-woofer enclosure. Will that sound as good as the subs I mentioned?

One last thing. In a hurry I bought 18 gauge speaker cable for the surround speakers but I'm not that satisfied with it. I noticed that the cable is long enough to use it double. What do you think about that? Will that work as a higher gauge cable with no trouble?
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post #2 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 11:59 AM
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How far are your speakers from the receiver? 18 gauge is really thin. I generally use 14ga myself.

How large is the room/listening area? Really need that info to recommend a subwoofer.

How much are you willing to spend on a sub? That's kind of important too.

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post #3 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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How far are your speakers from the receiver? 18 gauge is really thin. I generally use 14ga myself.

How large is the room/listening area? Really need that info to recommend a subwoofer.

How much are you willing to spend on a sub? That's kind of important too.
The speakers are about 20 feet away. The cables are long enough to double them, is that a good idea? If it isn't then I'll get 12 gauge speaker cable from eBay. The listening area is my living room which is 12' wide X 16' long X 8' tall. It's joined with the kitchen which is 12' wide X 9' long X 7' tall. I need to say that I live in a small apartment and these speakers are enough for my situation. I don't need to crank the receiver all the way up to get a desirable sound in terms of how loud the sound is. If I save, I'm willing to spend up to $300 in a sub but if I can get a good sub for less money I'll be very happy.
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post #4 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 12:39 PM
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I would go with either the NXG BAS 500 or BIC PL-200. Alternatively, keep saving some more and get a SVS PB-1000 down the road.

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post #5 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
I would go with either the NXG BAS 500 or BIC PL-200. Alternatively, keep saving some more and get a SVS PB-1000 down the road.
x2
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post #6 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
I would go with either the NXG BAS 500 or BIC PL-200. Alternatively, keep saving some more and get a SVS PB-1000 down the road.
The NXG NX-BAS-500 looks neat and according to a review here it sounds neat also. But the amp lacks some features that the Bic sub has including high level input/output. Also the brand is new comparing to Bic so my choice here is more inclined towards BIC PL-200. The SVS PB-1000 is way out of my budget and is only a 10 inch sub.
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post #7 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by BigLouis1971 View Post
The NXG NX-BAS-500 looks neat and according to a review here it sounds neat also. But the amp lacks some features that the Bic sub has including high level input/output. Also the brand is new comparing to Bic so my choice here is more inclined towards BIC PL-200. The SVS PB-1000 is way out of my budget and is only a 10 inch sub.
You have a receiver which has a sub pre-out, the high-level inputs/outputs are useless to you so don't make that a deciding factor. The BIC is a good sub, but so is the NXG, both shipments have sold out and there are constantly people waiting for them, if that tells you anything.

I realize the SVS is out of your budget, that's why I said wait and save some more. It will play much deeper and beat out the BIC and NXG at <30Hz content. Not to mention it is a more accurate sub and has a better warranty and outstanding customer service. Don't discount the woofer size, it will rock, but if it's too much the other options are fine.

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post #8 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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post #9 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 01:29 PM
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I would stick with the BIC PL-200, it is $280 with the "make an offer" feature at www.acousticsounddesign.com

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post #10 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
I would stick with the BIC PL-200, it is $280 with the "make an offer" feature at www.acousticsounddesign.com
I saw it in both Amazon and Ebay for $259 "buy it now" so maybe I'll get it from Amazon.
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post #11 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 02:06 PM
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BigLouis: Your living room falls just outside the small room size (up to 1500 cu. ft.). Add in the kitchen and you are at approx 2,300 cu. ft. That's not a large volume, but puts it into the medium size room volume.

BIC has been around for a very long time (since the early 70's -- I saw their first speaker systems being delivered to the audio store I frequented at the time). They have always been known for pretty decent sound on a very tight budget. That hasn't changed. However, as Transmaniacon mentioned, the NXG might be a better choice, sound wise. I wouldn't worry that the NXG doesn't have the capability of using speaker wire, unless that is how you intend to hook it up.

The BIC has a much better warranty on the PL-200 (one of the best in the business, and better than BIC's other subs) at 8 years on the driver and 5 years on the amp. NXG has a 2-year warranty on both.

As far as saving for the SVS PB-1000, it's a great suggestion. Besides the SVS and the Reaction Audio BPS 212 (dual-opposing 12-inch drivers), there are not many subwoofers (if any) to choose from at $500. They are both a solid step up from the NXG and BIC and tend to really impress in your room(s) size. The SVS comes with an unconditional 5-year warranty and other perks. Reaction Audio has 5 years on the driver and 2 years on the amp.
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post #12 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
... As far as saving for the SVS PB-1000, it's a great suggestion. Besides the SVS and the Reaction Audio BPS 212 (dual-opposing 12-inch drivers), there are not many subwoofers (if any) to choose from at $500. They are both a solid step up from the NXG and BIC and tend to really impress in your room(s) size. The SVS comes with an unconditional 5-year warranty and other perks. Reaction Audio has 5 years on the driver and 2 years on the amp.
+1 if you can. The SVS and NXG are really quite remarkable for their price point.
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post #13 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 02:40 PM
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IMO you'd be better off at that price point by getting a pair of the Dayton 12" subs.

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post #14 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by BigLouis1971 View Post
The NXG NX-BAS-500 looks neat and according to a review here it sounds neat also. But the amp lacks some features that the Bic sub has including high level input/output.
Amazon still has the NXG

You do not need all that extra stuff from the BIC - also these are the measurements - a lot of sub for the price
http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...bwoofer-page-2

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post #15 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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You are starting to convince me to get the NXG.
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post #16 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 05:13 PM
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I'd recommend saving a little more money and buying a better sub- the SVS PB-1000 would be a great choice. The sub really ties the whole system together and would make a huge difference in the perceived performance of the system for the amount you spent.

The NXG will certainly produce bass, but the SVS is on an entirely different level. There is a reason the SVS tips the scale at 46lbs- quality components. NXG doesn't publish those specs. Buying the PB-1000 is like buying an entry level Mercedes vs a higher end, say Honda. The Mercedes is more finely crafted and carries many elements of their higher end cars at a lower price point.

While the sub would be an expensive purchase, it may be worth saving. The NXG likely won't have as good of a resale if you want to upgrade down the line, so you'd end up spending far more to upgrade when you factor in the cost of the NXG you initially spent too. If you can't wait for the SVS, you are probably best off finding a used one on Craigslist or Ebay for under $100 someone is just getting rid of, and if you find one feel free to PM me for advice if it is a good deal. Good luck!
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post #17 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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The SVS sub will bring this investment to a point I don't want to reach in terms of cost. I initially wasn't willing to get any sub but I started to read other people's opinions and decided to get a cheap sub like the Dayton Audio SUB-1200 which would have cost me about $155 with shipping and taxes. Then I started to read even more and thought that the Bic F-12 priced at about $200 was worth the extra investment over the Dayton. The same happened with the BIC PL-200 Acoustech priced at about $259, the extra investment over the F-12 is worth it. Up to this point the investment will be $259 for a piece of equipment I didn't intent to buy in the first place. Remember that I'm happy with the system's sound as it is right now.

I believe people's word that is worth to add a sub to a system and I'll get it but; an investment of $500 in a sub looks irresponsible due to my limited budget and for now I can't improve it. The advice to get the SVS sub seems to come from rich people with unlimited budget. I'm not rich and a budget of $300 for a sub is enough, that's the highest I'm willing to spend. If you want me to spend $500 you'll have to send me $200 via Paypal lol. The system sounds good enough and loud enough with the knob at about 3/4 the full volume with the speakers it already have and I still have 1/4 more to crank it up. Somebody said that my room is medium sized and I need better speakers. Well I'm the one living here and when I put my system at full volume I believe is too loud and have to lower the volume a little bit.

I live in a small apartment with neighbors and I can't be having music or movies too loud. I'm not buying a sub so my neighbors can listen to it from their apartment. I'm buying a sub to please my own tastes. Remember that my system is loud as it is right now, I just want to add a sub to pick the frequencies that my present speakers are not able to pick.

So I won't be buying no $500 sub. A budget of $300 is enough for me and remember that I didn't intend to buy it in the first place. So please, if you will be helping me to pick a sub please limit your suggestions to subs within my budget. I think that the PL-200 Is a great looking sub in this budget and according to the reviews it also sound great so I'm more inclined to pick that one up. If somebody comes with a better sub for the same price then I'll be buying that one. If you want me to buy the SVS then send me money to my Paypal. Thanks for reading.

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post #18 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 06:47 PM
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If I'm still on the forum down the line, people are going to get sick of me saying this, but I will always recommend buying at least 2 subs, and better yet 3. If I had a $500 budget for example, I'd rather have say three $100 Polk Audio PSW10's for example and a Minidsp with a Unimik-1 and REW, than a single $500 sub. I can guarantee The Polks and Minidsp would outperform the single sub.
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Originally Posted by 89grand View Post
If I'm still on the forum down the line, people are going to get sick of me saying this, but I will always recommend buying at least 2 subs, and better yet 3. If I had a $500 budget for example, I'd rather have say three $100 Polk Audio PSW10's for example and a Minidsp with a Unimik-1 and REW, than a single $500 sub. I can guarantee The Polks and Minidsp would outperform the single sub.
Your advise make a lot of sense. I rather get two cheap subs than one expensive one. I don't think that two Polks are a good idea. I've read too many complaints about it. Port noise and the like. Two Daytons will be better or maybe two cheap NXG NX-PROSUB125 that I just found in Amazon. Take a look at them here. Or two BIC Venturi V1020.
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post #20 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 08:03 PM
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Your advise make a lot of sense. I rather get two cheap subs than one expensive one. I don't think that two Polks are a good idea. I've read too many complaints about it. Port noise and the like. Two Daytons will be better or maybe two cheap NXG NX-PROSUB125 that I just found in Amazon. Take a look at them here. Or two BIC Venturi V1020.
I think most of the complaints are from people that are running them too loud. They are probably running them too loud because their rooms acoustics are a nightmare and their listening position is in a null and they try to over come it with more volume which doesn't work, like mine was before the Minidsp and REW, although I still never noticed port noise. I have 3 of those Polks, one Bic F12 and one Velodyne CT-10. I use one Polk and the Bic in my computer setup, and 2 Polks plus the Velodyne in my main setup.

I'm pretty picky about audio quality, so if those Polks sounded bad, I wouldn't have 3.

Now, that's not to say they are THE subwoofer to own, they aren't, but for $500, I would rather have 3 of them, plus the $200 for the Minidsp and measurement microphone, over a $500 sub alone.
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post #21 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I think most of the complaints are from people that are running them too loud. They are probably running them too loud because their rooms acoustics are a nightmare and their listening position is in a null and they try to over come it with more volume which doesn't work, like mine was before the Minidsp and REW, although I still never noticed port noise. I have 3 of those Polks, one Bic F12 and one Velodyne CT-10. I use one Polk and the Bic in my computer setup, and 2 Polks plus the Velodyne in my main setup.

I'm pretty picky about audio quality, so if those Polks sounded bad, I wouldn't have 3.

Now, that's not to say they are THE subwoofer to own, they aren't, but for $500, I would rather have 3 of them, plus the $200 for the Minidsp and measurement microphone, over a $500 sub alone.
Exactly what problem will the Minidsp solve? Newegg has those Polks at 99.99 + 1.99 shipping and you're starting to make them look attractive. I think that I'll get two of them, one in August, the other in September.
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post #22 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 89grand View Post
If I'm still on the forum down the line, people are going to get sick of me saying this, but I will always recommend buying at least 2 subs, and better yet 3. If I had a $500 budget for example, I'd rather have say three $100 Polk Audio PSW10's for example and a Minidsp with a Unimik-1 and REW, than a single $500 sub. I can guarantee The Polks and Minidsp would outperform the single sub.
Not correct. No amount of those polk subs will extend the frequency range below 30hz or even 35hz.

The $500 SVS extends to 18-19hz.

You would likely get better coverage for more seating positions, but the SVS sub would handily outperform 5 of the polks for a single seating position and not be a one note wonder doing it.
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post #23 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Not correct. No amount of those polk subs will extend the frequency range below 30hz or even 35hz.

The $500 SVS extends to 18-19hz.

You would likely get better coverage for more seating positions, but the SVS sub would handily outperform 5 of the polks for a single seating position and not be a one note wonder doing it.
Do you know of any alternative in that price range that go that low?
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post #24 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 08:30 PM
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Exactly what problem will the Minidsp solve? Newegg has those Polks at 99.99 + 1.99 shipping and you're starting to make them look attractive. I think that I'll get two of them, one in August, the other in September.
With a Minidsp 2x4, and advanced 2 way plugin, which is what I have, plus a measurement microphone, and the free REW software, you can measure your rooms bass response, and REW will calculate the ideal eq, including the frequency, the +/- gain and the Q (the Minidsp has a PEQ so it's much more sophisticated than your normal graphic eq). The Minidsp has 6 bands of PEQ on each of the two input channels, and 6 more on each of the 4 output channels. Your bass will be much more accurate sounding than ever before. In my case, I'm using both inputs, and 3 of the 4 available outputs, so I have 12 band available, but didn't need all 12 bands. You can also add a house curve, which I did, using a low shelf 6db boost at 40hz.

No matter how expensive the sub, its response is still dictated by the rooms acoustics, so without any room correction, a high dollar sub, or better yet subs, are a waste of money in many applications.

Now, 2-3 high dollar subs plus the Minidsp and REW would be even better, but on a budget, I recommend allowing $200 for the Minidsp, plugin and mic, and whatever left on the subs over spending the whole wad on just a sub.

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post #25 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 08:35 PM
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Not correct. No amount of those polk subs will extend the frequency range below 30hz or even 35hz.

The $500 SVS extends to 18-19hz.

You would likely get better coverage for more seating positions, but the SVS sub would handily outperform 5 of the polks for a single seating position and not be a one note wonder doing it.
I didn't say it would. My feeling is too many people get hung up on response down to a frequency that most would never need or use. I have absolutey zero music, out of maybe 5000 songs that need response down to 18hz, and I suspect most don't. Besides, the response of the SVS sub is unknown until it is placed in a given room and measured.

The one note sound, is from people that run them way too loud. They sound fine when used within their limits. Using multiple subs isn't in my case, for getting better bass throughout the room, it even helps the response at the listening position, which is actually the only place I care about. With a single sub, you can only get the best response when the sub is in one specific spot, and that may be right in the middle of the room, but you don't want your sub there. Multiple subs lessen that by a larger degree, making placement much less critical, than any one single sub.

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post #26 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 08:43 PM
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You would likely get better coverage for more seating positions, but the SVS sub would handily outperform 5 of the polks for a single seating position and not be a one note wonder doing it.
I agree - I would not use the Polk subs - I will not even spend $50 for them.
If someone gave me one - I would still give it away.

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post #27 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 89grand View Post
With a Minidsp 2x4, and advanced 2 way plugin, which is what I have, plus a measurement microphone, and the free REW software, you can measure your rooms bass response, and REW will calculate the ideal eq, including the frequency, the +/- gain and the Q (the Minidsp has a PEQ so it's much more sophisticated than your normal graphic eq). The Minidsp has 6 bands of PEQ on each of the two input channels, and 6 more on each of the 4 output channels. Your bass will be much more accurate sounding than ever before. In my case, I'm using both inputs, and 3 of the 4 available outputs, so I have 12 band available, but didn't need all 12 bands. You can also add a house curve, which I did, using a low shelf 6db boost at 40hz.

No matter how expensive the sub, its response is still dictated by the rooms acoustics, so without any room correction, a high dollar sub, or better yet subs, are a waste of money in many applications.

Now, 2-3 high dollar subs plus the Minidsp and REW would be even better, but on a budget, I recommend allowing $200 for the Minidsp, plugin and mic, and whatever left on the subs over spending the whole wad on just a sub.
I read the article. Basically the Minidsp is a sub-woofer equalizer. Is supposed to equalize the frequency response of the sub right? That sounds terrific. Maybe I'll get one later. One question, most subs have a high level input. If I connect my mains there, will the Minidsp equalize them as well?
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post #28 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BigLouis1971 View Post
I read the article. Basically the Minidsp is a sub-woofer equalizer. Is supposed to equalize the frequency response of the sub right? That sounds terrific. Maybe I'll get one later. One question, most subs have a high level input. If I connect my mains there, will the Minidsp equalize them as well?
Unfortunately no. It has to go between a RCA output (in my case the sub outs of my receiver I use as a preamp for 2 channel music), and the subs RCA input.

The Minidsp is a very powerful tool with many uses. A sub eq is just one of the uses.
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post #29 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 89grand View Post
Unfortunately no. It has to go between a RCA output (in my case the sub outs of my receiver I use as a preamp for 2 channel music), and the subs RCA input.

The Minidsp is a very powerful tool with many uses. A sub eq is just one of the uses.
My receiver has only one sub output, what should I do in the case I want to get the Minidsp?
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post #30 of 88 Old 07-14-2014, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Are there other devices like the Minidsp?
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