AVS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 78 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How To Connect A Subwoofer To A Receiver




Powered Subwoofers and Receiver Pre-Outs


Before hooking up your Subwoofer, you need to identify what connections it has. Let's take a look at the back of your Subwoofer.


You'll be looking for an AC power cord (to ensure it’s a Powered Subwoofer) and RCA jacks labeled either "Line-In, Low Level In or LFE In". There may be more connections on the back, but this is all you'll need for now to properly connect your Subwoofer.


Now to check the back of your receiver. You'll need to find a section of RCA jack outputs labeled "Pre-Out", and one of them should be for "Subwoofer". It may also be labeled "SW Out or LFE Out". If you don't have this output, you won't be able to connect your sub this way. Some receivers refer to the Subwoofer Pre-Out as the “LFE Out”.


Necessary Cables for Subwoofer and Pre-Out Connections

You'll need the following cable(s) to complete your setup:


- "Subwoofer" Cable (an ordinary 75 ohm shielded RCA cable will do)



- RCA Y-Adapter (Optional)




Connecting Your Subwoofer


If you have a Subwoofer Cable (RCA), this is the optimal setup for your sub. Just plug the Subwoofer cable into your receiver's Subwoofer Pre-Out and the other end into the left (white) Low Level In (or LFE in) on your sub. Then make sure the power plug is connected to an outlet (hopefully in a surge protector) and you're finished.


Example of a typical receiver's Pre-Outs. Notice the one labeled SubWoofer.


It's sometimes purple in color, but that's not always the case.


Using A RCA Y-Adapter (Optional)


You'll want to use a Y-Adapter to combine the two (left-white & right-red) RCA jacks on the Subwoofer into one. They are labeled “Left and Right Line-In Inputs”, but for a typical home theater, you only have one cable coming from the receiver to the Subwoofer. If you don't have one or don't want to get one, you don't need the Y-Adapter; just use the left or right input by itself. Some prefer using the Y-Adapters because it makes the auto-on/off switching more efficient on some Subwoofers.


In-Wall Installation


For long in-wall runs, you can use RG-6 coax cable, terminated to standard cable F connectors at the wall plates, then use F-RCA (female) adapters at each wall plate to connect to shorter Subwoofer cables at each end in the room.


Connecting Two Subwoofers


First, run a RCA cable from the Subwoofer Pre-Out on the receiver to one of the Subwoofers. Then you plug the other end of the RCA cable from the receiver into the female end of the RCA Y-Adapter and plug the male end of the Y-Adapter into the Line Level Input on the Subwoofer. With the other branch of the Y-Adapter you would connect it to another RCA cable (as long as needed to reach the other Subwoofer) to the Line Level Input on the second Subwoofer.

One other way would be to connect the male end of a Y-Adapter to the receiver Subwoofer Pre-Out and run separate RCA cables to each Subwoofer.



Non-Powered Subwoofer Connections


If your Subwoofer doesn't plug into a power outlet, it means it isn't Powered. So how do you connect it? One way to go about it is through your front speakers. You'll need some extra speaker wire to do this.


Plugging Speaker Wire Into Your Subwoofer


You'll need some speaker wire to go from your receiver to your Subwoofer and then from your Subwoofer to your front speakers.

Example of High Level / Speaker Line Inputs and Outputs



The first step is running speaker wire from your receiver's front left and right speaker channels to the left and right speaker jacks on your Subwoofer labeled "High Level Input or Speaker Input".


The next step is to run speaker wire from the Subwoofer's left and right speaker jacks labeled "Output." The other end of the wires go to your left and right front speakers. This connection method is often referred to as "Daisy Chaining".



* It’s also important to mind positives and negatives; your speaker wire connects a + and - wire to your components. You can use either end of the wire as positive or negative, just so long as you use the same pattern for both ends of the cable.



Settings On Your Subwoofer

These settings apply when you are using a Powered Subwoofer.


* Set the crossover on the Subwoofer as high as it will go. Out or Off (depending on the sub) since you are using the crossover from the receiver.

* Set the phase to 0 or 180. (Which ever is louder)

* Set the gain (volume) knob somewhere around 9 - 11 o'clock on the dial. (Can be raised or lowered for personal preference/proper calibration)



Speaker Settings On Your AVR

These settings apply when you are using a Powered Subwoofer.


* Set Subwoofer to Yes or On.

* Set all other speaker channels to Small.

* Set the Subwoofer channel level to -5db. (Can be raised or lowered for personal preference/proper calibration)

* Set the crossover to 80 on the receiver. (Can be raised or lowered for personal preference/proper calibration)

These settings apply when you are using a Non-Powered Subwoofer.


* Set Subwoofer to No or Off.

* Set all other speaker channels to Large.

* Set the crossover on the Subwoofer to 80.



To fully take advantage of your Subwoofer, please read more here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1004573


Special Thanks To:

OvalNut

mailiang

Kevin12586

otk

ransac
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,480 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPainMD /forum/post/14214258



* Set subwoofer to yes or on.

* Set all other speaker channels to small.

* Set crossover to 80. (Set the crossover on the Sub to "out or off" (depending on the sub) since we are using the crossover from the receiver.



Special Thanks To:

OvalNut

mailiang

Kevin12586

nice work dr. pain


you might want to add that if you're using the 2nd "daisy chain" speaker wire option, that you should set the subwoofer to none or off and set front left/right to large or you wont get any bass to the passive sub
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by otk /forum/post/14214614


nice work dr. pain


you might want to add that if you're using the 2nd "daisy chain" speaker wire option, that you should set the subwoofer to none or off and set front left/right to large or you wont get any bass to the passive sub

thanks, done
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Hello DrPainMD,


I have enjoyed your contributions to avsforums for some time as a lurker.


I believe in your veracity.



I'm recommended this as a STICKY.



Joe C.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cycloid /forum/post/14257817


Hello DrPainMD,


I have enjoyed your contributions to avsforums for some time as a lurker.


I believe in your veracity.



I'm recommended this as a STICKY.


Joe C.

Thank you for your kind words, I try to help where I can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Hey nice post Dr. PainMD. I have a question. If I have 2 subwoofers, how would I go about hooking them both up? Would the second one have to be hooked up through the front right and left speaker?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,217 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by dye008 /forum/post/14258620


Hey nice post Dr. PainMD. I have a question. If I have 2 subwoofers, how would I go about hooking them both up? Would the second one have to be hooked up through the front right and left speaker?

You would use a Y-cable...


Dr. Pain, do you think it is reasonable to add a section about hooking up two subwoofers? Great job!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhan1000 /forum/post/14258631


You would use a Y-cable...


Dr. Pain, do you think it is reasonable to add a section about hooking up two subwoofers? Great job!

I've wondered this same thing - whats the best way, to use a Y-splitter out of the reciever, or to go out to one sub, and out of that sub's "out" connection and into the next? woud there be any signal lag in this case?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I added a section for connecting 2 subs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,699 Posts
Nice job Doc. Now we need the forum to set this up as a sticky thread.


Regards,


Ian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mailiang /forum/post/14261069


Nice job Doc. Now we need the forum to set this up as a sticky thread.


Regards,


Ian

Thanks, uhm gum is sticky under a shoe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBLsound4645 /forum/post/14281737


You've got subwoofer set-up page of sort on this page which is already a sticky and you what a second sticky of the same thing or is there another kind that I'm not aware of?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=82455


Adding in a sub bass speaker is mandatory with any installation.

link does not work
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPainMD /forum/post/14214258

These settings apply when you are using a Powered Subwoofer.


* Set Subwoofer to Yes or On.

* Set all other speaker channels to Small.

* Set the Subwoofer channel level to -5db. (Can be raised or lowered for personal preference/proper calibration)

* Set the crossover to 80 on the receiver.

These settings apply when you are using a Non-Powered Subwoofer.


* Set Subwoofer to No or Off.

* Set all other speaker channels to Large.

* Set the crossover on the Subwoofer to 80.

DrPainMD- First of all thanks for the guide, this is very helpful to a newcomer like me.



I have a very naive, noobie question that I hope someone can give me the right answer to.


I just purchased a 12" Klipsch powered sub that I will be hooking up to my Pioneer AVR subwoofer output. My front speakers are large Klipsch floor speakers (not bookshelf). My center channel and rear speakers are small Yamaha models. I currently have the front speakers set to large and they handle bass quite well.


According to this guide, I should set all my speakers now to small through my AVR, even the fronts. Given my large front speakers, what is the advantage to doing this - why can't I leave them set to large? Will this subtract from the subwoofer's performance? If I leave them set to large what would be the right (approximate) crossover setting, or it would it just be totally moronic to do this?


The reason I ask is that I just feel like I'm wasting the front speakers if I have them set to small....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by riverdog7 /forum/post/14302933


DrPainMD- First of all thanks for the guide, this is very helpful to a newcomer like me.



I have a very naive, noobie question that I hope someone can give me the right answer to.


I just purchased a 12" Klipsch powered sub that I will be hooking up to my Pioneer AVR subwoofer output. My front speakers are large Klipsch floor speakers (not bookshelf). My center channel and rear speakers are small Yamaha models. I currently have the front speakers set to large and they handle bass quite well.


According to this guide, I should set all my speakers now to small through my AVR, even the fronts. Given my large front speakers, what is the advantage to doing this - why can't I leave them set to large? Will this subtract from the subwoofer's performance? If I leave them set to large what would be the right (approximate) crossover setting, or it would it just be totally moronic to do this?


The reason I ask is that I just feel like I'm wasting the front speakers if I have them set to small....


If your sub is better at bass management than the fronts, wouldn't you want the sub to handle the majority of the bass? You aren't losing anything, your forcing the fronts to focus on the midrange frequencies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,441 Posts

Quote:
You’ve got subwoofer set-up page of sort on this page which is already a sticky and you what a second sticky of the same thing or is there another kind that I’m not aware of?

ironic coming from you.....who posts pages and pages of worthless pictures all advertising your crappy system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by gimmepilotwings /forum/post/14302956


If your sub is better at bass management than the fronts, wouldn't you want the sub to handle the majority of the bass? You aren't losing anything, your forcing the fronts to focus on the midrange frequencies.

Yeah, probably.



This could be more of an AVR question, but if I have the fronts set to large, will the sub not get any signal to output at all (i.e. do the fronts rob the sub of bass)? I guess, in my head, I'm thinking I would want the sub to of course handle the deepest bass, but at a little higher frequencies where my fronts are as good as the sub . . . why not have all 3 working together at the same time? Maybe this isn't even possible, I have no idea honestly.


Probably another stupid statement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by riverdog7 /forum/post/14303067


Yeah, probably.



This could be more of an AVR question, but if I have the fronts set to large, will the sub not get any signal to output at all (i.e. do the fronts rob the sub of bass)? I guess, in my head, I'm thinking I would want the sub to of course handle the deepest bass, but at a little higher frequencies where my fronts are as good as the sub . . . why not have all 3 working together at the same time? Maybe this isn't even possible, I have no idea honestly.


Probably another stupid statement.

No, I guess it all depends on what you have set as the crossover frequency in the AVR or the powered sub. Don't be afraid to set your front's to small. Don't be afraid to play around with the settings to see which you like better.


Do you have any kind of multi EQ (like Audyssey) that you can run? What kind of AVR do you have?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by gimmepilotwings /forum/post/14303702


No, I guess it all depends on what you have set as the crossover frequency in the AVR or the powered sub. Don't be afraid to set your front's to small. Don't be afraid to play around with the settings to see which you like better.


Do you have any kind of multi EQ (like Audyssey) that you can run? What kind of AVR do you have?


Yeah I've been doing quite a bit of reading of some Audioholics articles, and the theme is don't be afraid to experiment.


I have a Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K. It has the MCACC set-up, which when I ran it without the sub set all my speakers, except the center channel to large. I manually set the rears to small . . . the MCACC made a massive improvement over my old Yamaha receiver that I had set up with the same speakers. The only thing missing was the sub.


The VSX-1018 does allow for some manual tweaking, flexible bass management I guess is the term. Based on my readings from the articles, I should just start experimenting with test tones until I find what I like best.


Although, they do recommend setting the crossover point to at least 10Hz above whatever the main tower speakers are designed to handle. I think mine are around 30 . . . I will probably start with a crossover around 60 or so and see if I can get everything to blend together.


I'm also going to try setting the towers to small and setting the crossover higher as well. Sounds like I've just got some playing around to do!


Edit: I also have a DVE Blu-ray which I think has audio set up as well. This stuff can be a bit overwhelming.
 
1 - 20 of 78 Posts
Top