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Anyone knowledable about home theater subs/amps?


Springheel
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I recently replaced a ten-year old RCA home theatre in a box with a new Yamaha RX-V385BL receiver.

 

I didn't know anything about the difference between passive and active subwoofers, but have since learned the receiver has only an RCA pre-out connection. My old RTD150 subwoofer is a passive sub.

 

What I've gathered is that I need to either buy a powered sub (which would cost nearly 2/3 of what I spent on the receiver) or get an amp to power it, or try returning the entire receiver and get one that can handle passive subwoofers.

 

After a couple hours of searching online, I can't make heads or tails of what kind of amp I would need, so I can't even begin to judge whether that would be the cheaper way to go.

 

Anyone here knowledgable about that kind of thing?

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No, it only has one pre-out plug for subwoofers, which is apparently pretty common now.

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Yes, looking from its online description, it requires an external amplifier/active subwoofer.

I run an old Denon AVR1906 and like the Yamaha RX-V385BL, if I wanted to run a sub it would have to be active.

  • If the amp has pre/line out connectors for the subwooofer - then you will need an active sub (built in amplification) - these can be found cheap enough.
  • If the received has speaker connector (typically banana posts) - then you only need a passive sub (no amp)

So from the back of my amp (see attached) you can see the pre/line-outs for the sub on the top right and my speaker connectors (red/black) or bottom right.

 

dTIcWHg.jpg

 

I don't run a sub as my front speakers (a pair of Celistion F30's) provide more than enough low frequency response, and the center (F75) and rear speakers (F10) have enough punch too.

Edited by Bikerdude
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If the amp has pre/line out connectors for the subwooofer - then you will need an active sub (built in amplification) - these can be found cheap enough.

 

 

You don't _have_ to use an active sub...you can also use a sub amp. Powered subs start at $150, while you can get mini amps for a third of that or even less. What is insanely difficult is getting straight answers about what kind of mini sub is necessary for powering a passive subwoofer at reasonable levels. I've spent at least three hours reading and watching videos on the subject, and still have no clue whether a 20W mini amp is sufficient to power a 8ohm subwoofer or not. But I've gone ahead and bought one anyway.

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What is insanely difficult is getting straight answers about what kind of mini sub is necessary for powering a passive subwoofer at reasonable levels.

Typically most people just buy an active sub, so can I ask the following -

  • What's the make and model of the sub you went for? -
  • Whats the make and model your front and rear speakers?
  • Whats the size of the room your home theatre is located in?
  • Do you have space constraints on there the sub is going to be located?
  • Do you live in a house or a block of flats? (I live in a flat so ist why I never when for a sub but instead full range floor standing speakers)

Some usefull info -

 

- https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-budget-subwoofer/

 

Some info related to your Yamaha receiver, it has a single RCA for the sub line out, so you will need a y cable for example - https://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021803&p_id=663&seq=1&format=2

Edited by Bikerdude
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Are you sure about spending $150 on a powered amp? There are plenty going for less than $100 on Amazon. I have a Polk Audio sub myself and it's been working great since the late 90s.

 

The cheapest home subwoofer on amazon.ca is $141. The cheapest Polk Audio sub is $249.

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The cheapest Polk Audio sub is $249.

$89 or $118 Canadian - https://www.amazon.com/Polk-10-Inch-Powered-Subwoofer-Single/dp/B0002KVQBA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1529845662&sr=8-2&keywords=polk+audio+subwoofer.

 

I see the same thing in amazon.ca is as you mentioned $249, which is an insance price difference for the same product. What would it cost in total to buy and get it shipped from amazon.com, and what would the warranty agreement be on a US product in Canada.?

Edited by Bikerdude
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