Amplifier to subwoofer connection

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Charles Calkins

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Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« on: 17 Jun 2019, 12:14 am »
 
     Hi Guys:
            I watch psaudio's Paul McGowan on you tube. One of his videos suggested hooking up a powered sub to an amplifier. Not sure
             but I think it's hooking up with a coaxial cable. I don't know of any amplifer that has a coaxial out. Anybody know about one?

                                                                  Cheers
                                                                 Charlie

Doublej

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Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #1 on: 17 Jun 2019, 01:16 am »
Can you post a link? I think one uses speaker wire unless it's a REL subwoofer which has a special REL cable.

https://www.psaudio.com/pauls-posts/the-best-way-to-connect-a-sub/

"My favorite method is to tap the output of the loudspeaker power amplifier instead. Some subwoofers have a high-level input that can accept the main power amp’s speaker outputs. (Check to make sure this feature is available before purchasing a subwoofer) In this configuration, the amp’s power is not being used by the subwoofer, just its signal. Internal to the subwoofer are high-value resistors that neck-down the amp’s big output to something usable to the sub’s internal amplifier."

Charles Calkins

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Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #2 on: 17 Jun 2019, 01:33 am »
Can you post a link? I think one uses speaker wire unless it's a REL subwoofer which has a special REL cable.

https://www.psaudio.com/pauls-posts/the-best-way-to-connect-a-sub/

"My favorite method is to tap the output of the loudspeaker power amplifier instead. Some subwoofers have a high-level input that can accept the main power amp’s speaker outputs. (Check to make sure this feature is available before purchasing a subwoofer) In this configuration, the amp’s power is not being used by the subwoofer, just its signal. Internal to the subwoofer are high-value resistors that neck-down the amp’s big output to something usable to the sub’s internal amplifier."

   Doublej:
       
           The only sub I found that might fill the bill is a Monoprice sub. Rca left and right cables from the preamplifier to the sub. Left and right Rca
            cables out from the sub to the amplifier. Otherwise I'm scratching my bald head trying to understand this. I assumed that Paul was talking
             about one cable. But I'm not sure about that.

                                                                 Cheers
                                                               Charlie

       

                                                        Cheers
                                                       Charlie.

srb

Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #3 on: 17 Jun 2019, 01:43 am »
I watch psaudio's Paul McGowan on you tube. One of his videos suggested hooking up a powered sub to an amplifier.  Not sure but I think it's hooking up with a coaxial cable. I don't know of any amplifer that has a coaxial out.  Anybody know about one?

If he's using a coaxial RCA cable, then he's connecting to either Variable Preamp Outputs or Subwoofer Outputs on a preamplifier or integrated amplifier.  In this connection scenario, coaxial-type analog cables are very popular.  If only one cable (and one subwoofer) is being used, then chances are it is a monophonic subwoofer output.

If the subwoofer has high-level speaker inputs, the speaker cables to the subwoofer are connected in parallel with the main speaker amplifier outputs.  Usually these high-level inputs are ≥ 100KΩ, so that load in parallel with main speaker impedance of ~ 2-16Ω has a negligible effect.

There's nothing special about the REL subwoofer high-level cable, other than it is configured with a single SpeakON connector at the REL input and 3 spade terminals (or bananas or pins) at the main amplifier end.

 

sunnydaze

Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #4 on: 17 Jun 2019, 01:29 pm »
Nothing confusing about it at all.

Think about how you connect your main speakers to main amp with speaker cables.

Do the same exact thing with the powered sub.  That is,  connect it to main amp with speaker cables.  So 2 pair of speaker cables at amp end:  one pair to main speakers, other pair to sub.

This is called a "high level" connection.   Of course, the sub must have the binding posts to allow it to be connected this way.  Many do, but not all.

You can also run jumper cables from the main speaker binding posts to the sub high level input / binding posts.  I connect my pair of Gallo CLS-10 subs this way, one at the foot of each speaker.

Paul McGowan at PS Audio believes "high level" is the best way to connect a sub.  So does REL.

Charles Calkins

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Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #5 on: 17 Jun 2019, 03:16 pm »
Nothing confusing about it at all.

Think about how you connect your main speakers to main amp with speaker cables.

Do the same exact thing with the powered sub.  That is,  connect it to main amp with speaker cables.  So 2 pair of speaker cables at amp end:  one pair to main speakers, other pair to sub.

This is called a "high level" connection.   Of course, the sub must have the binding posts to allow it to be connected this way.  Many do, but not all.

You can also run jumper cables from the main speaker binding posts to the sub high level input / binding posts.  I connect my pair of Gallo CLS-10 subs this way, one at the foot of each speaker.

Paul McGowan at PS Audio believes "high level" is the best way to connect a sub.  So does REL.
  sunnydaze:
       
             My home theater receiver has an RCA coaxial cable out jack. I hook it up to a powered sub. Works fine.
             I guess all home theater receivers have this. Don't have to use speaker wires. I'm thinking Paul McGowan
             does it this way  for high end two channel audio except from an amplifier to a powered subwoofer.
             Some powered subs have left and right RCA in from the pre amplifier and then out to the amplifier.
             But like I say I've never seen an amplifier with one RCA out jack to a sub. Maybe I'll hope on a jet plane
             to Denver and have Paul McGowan show me his way. I'll take pictures for sure.

                                                                      Cheers
                                                                   Charlie
     

Doublej

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Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #6 on: 17 Jun 2019, 05:07 pm »
I don't think Paul cares if it is a powered subwoofer. His preferred connection is from the speaker outputs of the amplifier to get the sonic signature of the main amplifier as input into the subwoofer.

srb

Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #7 on: 17 Jun 2019, 05:10 pm »
But like I say I've never seen an amplifier with one RCA out jack to a sub.

PS Audio Sprout100 integrated amplifier
 

Yamaha A-S801 integrated amplifier
 


Charles Calkins

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Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #8 on: 17 Jun 2019, 05:31 pm »
PS Audio Sprout100 integrated amplifier
 

Yamaha A-S801 integrated amplifier
 

           srb:
           
                I guess some integrated amps have this feature. How about a non integrated amp?



                                                           Cheers
                                                           
                                                           Charlie

srb

Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #9 on: 17 Jun 2019, 05:36 pm »
I guess some integrated amps have this feature. How about a non integrated amp?

A subwoofer line-level output (whether single mono or dual stereo jacks) is a feature of a preamplifier or integrated amplifier, not a power amplifier.

If the subwoofer signal is derived from a power amplifier then it would be a high-level signal from the speaker outputs.

MttBsh

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Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #10 on: 17 Jun 2019, 06:38 pm »
On the subject of speaker/amp/sub connections:

I'm in the process of a major remodel, and while the ceiling (and walls) are torn out of my listening room I've bought two high end Klipsch ceiling speakers. Now I will have two single driver speakers (Cain & Cain Abbys), two Fostex T900A supertweeters, 2 ceiling speakers and 2 subs. That's a lot of speakers and I'm not sure of the optimal means of connecting them all.

My standard setup has been to use my preamp outs for the subs, my amp outs to my Cain & Cains, and my supertweeters have been connected to the binding posts of my Cain & Cains. That has worked really well. Now that I'm adding the ceiling speakers, does it make sense to also connect them to the binding posts of my Cain & Cains? That would be 3 connections to my speaker binding posts. Does any one think there's a better way to set this up? Thanks for any suggestions!

Charles Calkins

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Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #11 on: 17 Jun 2019, 10:50 pm »
A subwoofer line-level output (whether single mono or dual stereo jacks) is a feature of a preamplifier or integrated amplifier, not a power amplifier.

If the subwoofer signal is derived from a power amplifier then it would be a high-level signal from the speaker outputs.
    srb:
          From pre amp to sub by RCA cable is the way I'm doing it now. Everything seems to be working okay. This is a patio audio system I just put together.
          Do not want to spend a lot of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ on a patio system. Rather spend $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ on Schnapps !!!

                                                               Cheers
                                                              Charlie

srb

Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #12 on: 17 Jun 2019, 11:06 pm »
From pre amp to sub by RCA cable is the way I'm doing it now. Everything seems to be working okay.

Rather spend $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ on Schnapps !!!

Which is how most people do it.

Many subwoofer amplifiers don't have high-level speaker inputs anyway.  Those that do have high-level speaker inputs often offer it as an option for use with an amplifier that doesn't have line-level pre or subwoofer outputs.

The exception is the REL subwoofer, which recommends the speaker connection over the line connection for their subwoofers.  This was echoed by PS Audio for the same reason as to send the signal to the subwoofer with the same sonic signature as the main amplifier.

I tried both methods with a non-REL subwoofer with standard speaker binding post inputs and couldn't discern a difference and wasn't all that surprised only dealing with a 20Hz-80Hz range.

But if I had an REL subwoofer, I would probably try the comparison again, because ..... who knows?  ;)

BTW, my system always sounds a little smoother and engaging when I pour a glass of my favorite libation.  One of the few tweeks I use.

WGH

Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #13 on: 17 Jun 2019, 11:44 pm »

The exception is the REL subwoofer, which recommends the speaker connection over the line connection for their subwoofers.  This was echoed by PS Audio for the same reason as to send the signal to the subwoofer with the same sonic signature as the main amplifier.

I tried both methods with a non-REL subwoofer with standard speaker binding post inputs and couldn't discern a difference and wasn't all that surprised only dealing with a 20Hz-80Hz range.

But if I had an REL subwoofer, I would probably try the comparison again, because ..... who knows?  ;)

BTW, my system always sounds a little smoother and engaging when I pour a glass of my favorite libation.  One of the few tweeks I use.

I have a REL G2 and use the Neutrik connection, never tried just a line input, it will work but not recommended:

"The high-level, unbalanced, dual-channel (stereo) input is via a Neutrik® Speakon® connector is designed to
accept the stereo (two-channel) signals from the speaker terminals of your receiver, integrated amplifier or
basic amplifier. This has the advantage of ensuring that your subwoofer receives exactly the same signal as
the main speakers, which means that the character of the bass from the main system is carried forward into
the Sub-Bass System.
This is a very important point and together with REL’s Natural RollOff™ circuitry, ensures far superior system
integration of the Sub-Bass System with the main system."

Since the REL is a sub-bass my crossover is set at 28 Hz and blends seamlessly with the Salk HT2-TL which starts rolling off at 34 Hz.

srb - you are welcome to stop by to check out the REL (with libations), it has strong bass to 18Hz, the soundstage on live recordings opens up when you can hear the room.

Charles Calkins

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Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #14 on: 17 Jun 2019, 11:53 pm »

      WGH:
                Did you say LIBATIONS?? Welcome to my club !!! " Through the lips and over the gums look out stomach here it comes !!!!"

                                                            Cheers
                                                          Charlie

Charles Calkins

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Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #15 on: 18 Jun 2019, 03:28 pm »

           Hi Guys:
                I found some cables that have female XLR connectors out to male rca plugs in.
                 Also an Rca two in one out Y cable. My amp has XLR outs. Left and right signal.
                 I think that combo will work going from the amp to the sub. I'm doing this only
                 because I'm curious about the results I should get according to Paul McGowan.
                 Probably no difference but we shall see what the results will be.
                 AAAAAHHHHH !!!!! Audio. !!! It's like opening a very,very,very big can of WORMS.!!!!

                                                      Cheers
                                                    Charlie
       

rollo

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Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #16 on: 18 Jun 2019, 06:12 pm »
Nothing confusing about it at all.

Think about how you connect your main speakers to main amp with speaker cables.

Do the same exact thing with the powered sub.  That is,  connect it to main amp with speaker cables.  So 2 pair of speaker cables at amp end:  one pair to main speakers, other pair to sub.

This is called a "high level" connection.   Of course, the sub must have the binding posts to allow it to be connected this way.  Many do, but not all.

You can also run jumper cables from the main speaker binding posts to the sub high level input / binding posts.  I connect my pair of Gallo CLS-10 subs this way, one at the foot of each speaker.

Paul McGowan at PS Audio believes "high level" is the best way to connect a sub.  So does REL.

   I'm with you on that. I learned the method from Ron Bauman of Mapleshade.


charles

sunnydaze

Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #17 on: 18 Jun 2019, 08:24 pm »
   I'm with you on that. I learned the method from Ron Bauman of Mapleshade.


charles

If you think about it, many large floorstanders with on-board powered woofers do the exact same thing with jumpers.

For example:  I connect my main amp to the main binding posts of my Vaughn Triodes (thereby powering the mid and HF drivers), and then run a short jumper cable from there to the powered sub's high level inputs.  This delivers the signal from the speaker's main binding posts to the sub.  The jumper cable is supplied by Vaughn, so the speaker and sub are designed to be used this way.

The Triode is basically a monitor that covers 80Hz and above, with a built-in powered sub.   If a jumper cable works in this setup, it also works if you separate out the two sections (ie: a pair of speakers and a pair of separate subs).

Also, if I wanted to I could run a 2nd complete set of SC from main amp to sub's high level inputs, but why bother?


Doublej

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Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #18 on: 18 Jun 2019, 10:50 pm »
Why bother?

No reason unless one believes bi-wiring makes a difference in the case of a built in the speaker powered subwoofer.

Charles Calkins

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Re: Amplifier to subwoofer connection
« Reply #19 on: 22 Jun 2019, 01:02 am »

    Hi Guys:
           I got all the cables needed to hook up my amp with XLR out to my sub with one RCA in.
            I just got it up and running awhile ago. WOW !!! What a HUGE !!!! difference this way makes.
            Before I had to hook the sub up to my pre amp. One RCA out on the Pre amp to the one RCA
             in on the sub. Absolutely no comparison. The new way is much,much,much better.
             If you can do like I did try it I know you'll be quite impressed with the results.

                                                               Cheers
                                                             Charlie