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post #1 of 30 Old 01-16-2012, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi there!

First post...

I'm indeed very very new to the audio world... and I have a question.

I have a 10 - 15 year old amp and an matching speaker system. I've got everything working except the sub woofer. The amp is the Pioneer VSX-D3S. The instructions (pic1) say that the PIONEER sub woofer should be plugged into this hole ( see pic2 ) - I presume my sub woofer will plug through the same port.

On the sub woofer, JBL Control SB-5, there are two sets of positive and negative holes for wire. I presume this is because there a two speakers inside of it.

Basically I want to connect just one of the speakers to the amp - through the hole (pic2), into the 'jacks' of the sub woofer (pic 3)


What cable do I need? Or would the sub woofer be plugegd in somewhere else?

Thanks very much
LL
LL
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post #2 of 30 Old 01-16-2012, 04:55 PM
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You have a passive subwoofer. That means there is no amplifier in it. So you cannot plug it into the subwoofer output of your AVR. Run the left and right front speaker cables to it, and then cables from the subwoofer to your left and right front speakers.
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post #3 of 30 Old 01-16-2012, 04:56 PM
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It is a passive sub. You can't connect the two the way you are wanting. Either replace the sub with a powered sub (that will have an RCA jack) or you have to wire the sub to the front speaker outputs (1 red/black for left and 1 red/black for right).

B.
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post #4 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 02:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B View Post

It is a passive sub. You can't connect the two the way you are wanting. Either replace the sub with a powered sub (that will have an RCA jack) or you have to wire the sub to the front speaker outputs (1 red/black for left and 1 red/black for right).

B.

hmm... would that make the same sound as it should, linked to the front speakers?
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post #5 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 05:48 AM
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Depending on the crossover settings of your AVR and/or the gain settings on your sub(do passive subs have gain?).

Let's say you set the X-over on your AVR to 100KZ, everything below goes to the sub, everything above goes to your main speakers.

So, therefore your mains will no longer reproduce the low end bass. However, depending on how low your mains go, they may not be able to go as low as your sub, so you may gain some low end.

...But...

Passive subs, tend not to go as low as powered subs.

So, you need to find out what the response range is for both your mains, and your sub. If the sub goes lower, then use it, if not, then just use your mains until you get a sub that can go lower.
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post #6 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underminded999 View Post

Passive subs, tend not to go as low as powered subs.

??

I'm guessing this is some generalization referring to HTIB sub, or ???

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post #7 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 06:43 AM
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Yeah, it's a generalization. When I was looking for a sub, I started out looking at passive subs, for price points, but saw that they rarely went as low as powered subs.

However...this may be due to driver size. Most passive subs, that I looked at, had 6" or 8" drivers. Whereas, the powered subs were 10", 12", and even 15" drivers.

So with that said, it is only from my experience that I found that passive subs did not go as low as powered subs.
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post #8 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 07:27 AM
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post #9 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underminded999 View Post

Yeah, it's a generalization. When I was looking for a sub, I started out looking at passive subs, for price points, but saw that they rarely went as low as powered subs.

However...this may be due to driver size. Most passive subs, that I looked at, had 6" or 8" drivers. Whereas, the powered subs were 10", 12", and even 15" drivers.

So with that said, it is only from my experience that I found that passive subs did not go as low as powered subs.

just so you begin to have some context, take a look at the JTR Captivator and/or CHT passive subs. A whoe different arena . . .
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post #10 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuketown View Post

hmm... would that make the same sound as it should, linked to the front speakers?

The JBL will be using your receiver's powr amps, and splitting the lows into the sub drivers and the highs to your left and right. It will do what it's supposed to do. Your receiver's crossover will have no effect, since it divides between the non-subs and the sub preamp output. So you should set your speakers to "large" or whatever turns off bass management - -ie no crossover.

Depending on how loudly you listen, this could work just fine. You lose some flexibility to set different crossover points, and how well the sub and L&R speakers blend will depend on the L&R speakers' extension into the bass.

Use speaker wire. Connect both right and left, or bass will be out of balance (too low), and your L&R may be audibly mismatched because one is receiving a full range signal and the other a high passed signal (ie less bass sent to the speaker connected ot the sub)
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post #11 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 08:27 AM
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Danke, I'll keep those in mind for when I get my second sub(gotta get that past the vife first though).

Since we are on the passive subs thing, and back to the OP's querie, when a passive sub is hooked up to the AVR, is there any more or less SQ issues vs a powered sub through the RCA out?

It seems to me, that it would all depend on the cross-over setting, but since passive subs are a "pass-through" for higher frequencies for the mains, is there a SQ loss?
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post #12 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underminded999 View Post

Let's say you set the X-over on your AVR to 100KZ, everything below goes to the sub, everything above goes to your main speakers.

With a passive sub, you set your front/main speakers to "large" in the AVR. The LPF in the sub's x-over does what it's intended to do (when using speaker level in/out). The AVR's x-over is meaningless when using a passive sub. Set the AVR to "large" and "no sub" and hope you have enough power.

When using a passive subwoofer, the AVR has no way of knowing how to redirect low frequencies.
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post #13 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

...When using a passive subwoofer, the AVR has no way of knowing how to redirect low frequencies.

So it would not be a good idea to mix a passive and a powered sub in the same set up then?
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post #14 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

With a passive sub, you set your front/main speakers to "large" in the AVR. The LPF in the sub's x-over does what it's intended to do (when using speaker level in/out). The AVR's x-over is meaningless when using a passive sub. Set the AVR to "large" and "no sub" and hope you have enough power.

When using a passive subwoofer, the AVR has no way of knowing how to redirect low frequencies.

Or get a separate amp to drive the sub, and connect it via the sub out from the AVR, in which case it's just like a powered sub only in 2 pieces instead of one (sort of).
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post #15 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underminded999 View Post

Danke, I'll keep those in mind for when I get my second sub(gotta get that past the vife first though).

Since we are on the passive subs thing, and back to the OP's querie, when a passive sub is hooked up to the AVR, is there any more or less SQ issues vs a powered sub through the RCA out?

It seems to me, that it would all depend on the cross-over setting, but since passive subs are a "pass-through" for higher frequencies for the mains, is there a SQ loss?

If you use the AVR's amps to drive the passive sub, you won't be able to balance the active and passive subs to get the correct bass level. If you want "too much" bass, you might be okay.

If you connect just a passive sub to the AVR's amps and set a crossover at 100 Hz, there is no speaker anywhere in the system that will receive any sound below the crossover point (once it rolls off - - crossovers are slopes, not brick walls). All the lows are being routed to that subwoofer output on the AVR that is not connected to anything. That's why people are saying set the mains as large . . .
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post #16 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underminded999 View Post

So it would not be a good idea to mix a passive and a powered sub in the same set up then?

It could be or it couldn't be. For starters, one has to understand how it all works.

Lot's of curve balls being thrown without reading and/or understanding as it pertains to this thread.
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post #17 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underminded999 View Post

Depending on the crossover settings of your AVR and/or the gain settings on your sub(do passive subs have gain?).

Let's say you set the X-over on your AVR to 100KZ, everything below goes to the sub, everything above goes to your main speakers.

So, therefore your mains will no longer reproduce the low end bass. However, depending on how low your mains go, they may not be able to go as low as your sub, so you may gain some low end.

...But...

Passive subs, tend not to go as low as powered subs.

So, you need to find out what the response range is for both your mains, and your sub. If the sub goes lower, then use it, if not, then just use your mains until you get a sub that can go lower.

Thankyou all for your help. I am very grateful.

I've plugged in the sub woofer into the center port. I've also connected my other center speaker to the sub woofer (control SB...)

Basically at the moment all the sound comes through the center speaker. I presume this is because of this X-over setting? Even when I test the subwoofer through my computer, it wont make any sound. How do I change the crossover?

Thanks
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post #18 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 07:56 PM
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what does "center port" mean? Do you have 2 center speakers?

Read the manual for your AVR. It may assume every center channel speaker is small and send the bass either to the sub or, if no sub is implemented, to the left and right channels. Go into the receiver's setup menu and tell it there is no subwoofer. To the receiver subwoofer means sub out preamp channel and you do not have anything connected to that. If the receiver thinks you have a sub it will send the bass into oblivion.

Plug the speaker wires from the left and right channels of the receiver into the JBL. Run additional speaker wires from the JBL to the left and right speakers. See what happens.
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post #19 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

what does "center port" mean? Do you have 2 center speakers?

Read the manual for your AVR. It may assume every center channel speaker is small and send the bass either to the sub or, if no sub is implemented, to the left and right channels. Go into the receiver's setup menu and tell it there is no subwoofer. To the receiver subwoofer means sub out preamp channel and you do not have anything connected to that. If the receiver thinks you have a sub it will send the bass into oblivion.

Plug the speaker wires from the left and right channels of the receiver into the JBL. Run additional speaker wires from the JBL to the left and right speakers. See what happens.

There is one thing I have not been clear about. I am trying to set up a center speaker and subwoofer into my computer. I can get the center speaker working through the center speaker port.

***

I run wires to from the left front speaker channel from my receiver to the sub. I also ran the center speakers wires to the JBLs left satellite speaker channel.

On my computers surround sound volume test, the only way I get sound is through what the computer thinks is the left speaker, which is really the center speaker. Even though I have told it I have a subwoofer, in the sub woofer test there is no sound.
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post #20 of 30 Old 01-17-2012, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

Go into the receiver's setup menu and tell it there is no subwoofer. To the receiver subwoofer means sub out preamp channel and you do not have anything connected to that. If the receiver thinks you have a sub it will send the bass into oblivion.

This is an old amplifier, and quite frankly I doubt I can 'tell it' that there is no sub woofer. I will read the instructions.
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post #21 of 30 Old 01-18-2012, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuketown View Post

This is an old amplifier, and quite frankly I doubt I can 'tell it' that there is no sub woofer. I will read the instructions.

If it's multichannel, doesn't it have a speaker setup where you set sub, surrounds and center to on or off?
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post #22 of 30 Old 01-18-2012, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuketown View Post

There is one thing I have not been clear about. I am trying to set up a center speaker and subwoofer into my computer. I can get the center speaker working through the center speaker port.

***

I run wires to from the left front speaker channel from my receiver to the sub. I also ran the center speakers wires to the JBLs left satellite speaker channel.

On my computers surround sound volume test, the only way I get sound is through what the computer thinks is the left speaker, which is really the center speaker. Even though I have told it I have a subwoofer, in the sub woofer test there is no sound.


I still don't know what a "center speaker port" is. Is this on your computer? on the receiver? How is the computer connected to the receiver? From what output to what input? Are these all powered speakers *plug them into the wall?) You do not want to feed the speaker output from a receiver into the inputs of powered speakers unless you want to destroy the speakers.
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post #23 of 30 Old 01-18-2012, 07:05 AM
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Let's try to rehash the directions. Here's where you start:

Red and black wires from speaker terminals on the back of the receiver/amp (front right).
Red and black wires from receiver/amp to subwoofer's speaker "Right speaker INPUT" (also red and black)
Do the same for the LEFT speaker.

Run a speaker wire from the subwoofer's "right OUTPUT" to the right/front speaker.
Do the same for the LEFT speaker.
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post #24 of 30 Old 01-18-2012, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Let's try to rehash the directions. Here's where you start:

Red and black wires from speaker terminals on the back of the receiver/amp (front right).
Red and black wires from receiver/amp to subwoofer's speaker "Right speaker INPUT" (also red and black)
Do the same for the LEFT speaker.

Run a speaker wire from the subwoofer's "right OUTPUT" to the right/front speaker.
Do the same for the LEFT speaker.

(I only have one speaker to plug into the satellite terminals on the control subwoofer)

Done.

What bascically happens is that only some of the volume comes through the subwoofer - even with very low sounds playing. When testing the subwoofer on my pc, no sound comes through it. How would I make the subwoofer louder in comparison with the satellite speakers?

Thanks
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post #25 of 30 Old 01-18-2012, 02:18 PM
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I'm lost (and perhaps you also) and give up.

Hope you get an answer. Good luck.
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post #26 of 30 Old 01-18-2012, 03:37 PM
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I believe I understand your situation. I would get rid of the sub and purchase a powered sub. I'm sure you can find an inexpensive one if you want to keep the budget low.

This is your best option.

B.
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post #27 of 30 Old 01-18-2012, 05:59 PM
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1. You can't follow the manuals instruction because you have a passive sub woofer. You will not use the LFE input out output. Let the electronics will think you have a 5.0 system.

2. Send all the bass to your mains. Left and Right. And stop using your center.

3. Do you see all the hook ups on the back of the subwoofer? Notice the R and L near the 2 clusers. That is L left and R right. Plug you left speaker output from your AVR into the Left input on your sub. Do the same with the Right.

4. Connect your real Left and Right speakers to the subwoofers correct L/R output.

5. Getting a powered sub or a dedicated amp for you passive sub (subwoofer RCA output to dedicated amp) will fix all of this.


Good Luck!
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post #28 of 30 Old 01-19-2012, 01:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I believe I understand your situation. I would get rid of the sub and purchase a powered sub. I'm sure you can find an inexpensive one if you want to keep the budget low.

This is your best option.

B.

I got it working. I connected the sub to the front speakers terminals on the amp, and hooked up the center speaker to the center terminals.

On my PC I have the front speakers set to +5 Db and the sub at +10 Db
I love my setup.
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post #29 of 30 Old 01-19-2012, 09:30 AM
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So now you have a sub and a center playing?

Are you left and right speakers connected to the sub ?


Also it is better you don't start new threads so people can see what the whole situation is.

Are there any knobs or dials on your subwoofer?

Good Luck!
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post #30 of 30 Old 01-19-2012, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuketown View Post

I got it working. I connected the sub to the front speakers terminals on the amp, and hooked up the center speaker to the center terminals.

On my PC I have the front speakers set to +5 Db and the sub at +10 Db
I love my setup.

How does it matter where the sub is set if there is nothing connected to the output that the sub level controls?
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