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Connecting a Subwoofer to a Receiver

by August 30, 2004

Q: Hi folks, I'm pretty much a newbie when it comes to home audio so im gonna ask a few dummie questions :-)

I read the article about adjusting the crossover freq...and I'm one of those people that got a receiver with a fixed crossover at 90hz (Yamaha's RX-V800), my main speakers can go as low as 40hz as well so I wanted to pose a few questions that werent in the article, and the FAQ on this forum didn't answer my particular point...

I have my sub connected thru the LFE OUT on my receiver, and wanted to connect my mains through the speaker level out to my sub also, would this be a problem, to connect a sub twice?

Audioholics: Why would you want to connect your speakers through the speaker level outputs of your sub? This would only work if you hooked the subwoofer to the speaker level output of your receiver. Again, why would you want to do this? Doing so would place your main speakers through the HPF of the subwoofer, which would minimize bass output of your mains and potentially cause phasing or imaging problems. In addition, you would no longer have independent subwoofer level control from your receiver and would have to adjust the subwoofer level if the source produces too much or too little bass output.

Q: I heard its a big 'no-no' to make 2 connections from the same source channel?

Audioholics: Yes, you should not connect speaker level and line level inputs to your sub simultaneously to avoid possible damage to your receiver and subwoofer.

Q: Would I also be able to lower the cut-off freq in the mains by this method?

Audioholics: I'm not sure I understand the question. If you set your mains to "Large" and Subwoofer / LFE to "Both" on your Yamaha receiver, your mains will produce full frequencies and your subwoofer will have output below 90Hz for both two and multi-channel applications.

Q: Is it also necessary to set the subwoofer option to "None", if so i understand why you dont have to use the sub level out on the receiver (in the method Audioholics described) but the main level out instead (would it matter if you set the lfe option to "Main" in his method?)

Audioholics: The article we wrote about "No Subwoofer Output in Two Channel" was intended for those who owned receivers that had limited bass management. Many of the older generation of DD/DTS receivers did not allow for subwoofer output in two channel and thus that is why I suggested connecting the subwoofer to the line outputs of the main left and right channels. Your receiver however does not suffer from these limitations and thus I recommend connecting your subwoofer to the SUB OUT of your receiver.

Q: My final question would be... in case I applied the whole method from Audioholics' article: Would it be possible to connect the main speakers thru the speaker level output on the sub instead of the receiver? Even when the sub is connected through level out itself...

Audioholics: Again, I recommend connecting your sub and speakers in the way they were intended while using your Yamaha receiver. The traditional method offers the most flexibility and ease of operation.

  1. Connect the subwoofer to the sub out of your receiver.
  2. Connect your main speakers to the main speaker level outputs of your receiver.
  3. Set the mains to "large" on your receiver.
  4. Set the center channel to "small" on your receiver.
  5. Set the rear channels to "large" or "small" depending on the bass capabilities of your rear speakers.
  6. Set the Bass Out / LFE to "both".
This should guarantee optimal performance for your system and intended applications.
Q: Sorry guys for this barrage of annoying remarks. LOL - thanx in advance .
Audioholics: No problem, that's what we are here for!

Enjoy the music!


About the author:

Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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