Question Budget active subwoofer with line-level pass through.

Alex P79

Active Member

I am after an active subwoofer for use in my classroom at school and am after advice/recommendations.
The present ‘system‘ consists of a laptop into a Temple Audio Stealth stereo power amp (single stereo RCA input/no volume control) and into a pair of JBL Control 1s. The speakers were spare in the school and I bought the amp myself to use in the room. It sounds very good but, being small speakers, it would benefit from more bass depth.

I have a budget of up to £150 (ideally less as I will not be reimbursed). One option is to use a 3.5 mill or RCA splitter to then feed both the sub and amp via line level (volume controlled by computer) as this will give me a bigger choice of subs. I am just not sure how this would work in practise as I have read some not so good things about impedance and voltage when using a splitter.

I am not sure whether the Temple audio amp, being Class D, will be happy with speaker level inputs to the sub. Therefore the other option is a sub with line level stereo pass through, connecting the computer to the sub, then sub to the amp. I have found the following models that do this - does any have any experience of them and/or know if this method will be any good? I should also mention that space is at a premium (it’s not a big classroom) and, when finished with, I will probably use it at home in the children’s playroom so being compact would be best. These are the front runners:

Or, at a push (currently on offer b-grade for £180 or often used for circa £100) one of these:

Each has its merits. The Edifer looks good on paper for the price, the Fostex should be good and would be unobtrusive when used in the playroom at home but may not be suitable for the classroom? The Wharfedale seems well proven and may well produce the most room filling sound, but it is probably a bit on the large side. The Cambridge ticks many boxes but is above budget when new.

FYI other classrooms, which are larger (normal size) use Logitech type PC sub/sat systems which seem to fill the rooms with plenty of bass but clearly don’t sounds as good as the JBL/temple audio system. The Logitech type subs are similar in size to the little Fostex.

Incidentally, I would love to buy a BK Gemini II (I have two at home and they are great + I like to support British manufacturing) but they don’t have line level pass through and are above budget for this application.

Any advice would be greatly received.



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