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Can subwoofer be wired in standard speaker cable?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by n18lld, May 14, 2007.

  1. n18lld

    n18lld Standard Member

    Feb 18, 2007
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    Title says it all. Have been told not to use same cable as front and rears in surround sound sytem.
  2. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible Distinguished Member

    Dec 2, 2003
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    The Fylde Coast
    Subwoofers can either be active (with their own in-built amplifier) or passive, like a "normal" speaker.

    Active subwoofers need a "phono" type connection to carry a signal from the subwoofer out terminal on the main surround receiver/amplifier. This is just a single wire. It is known as a "low level" connection.

    Active subwoofers can also be used in "normal" stereo sound set up. But as stereo amps do not have any processing to split out the "sub" frequencies, the sub has to filter its frequencies from the speaker output and pass on the higher frequencies to the speakers. This connection uses speaker cable and can carry a fair but of current depending on your receiver power and speaker handling capabilities. This is a "high level" connection.

    Passive subwoofers are like any other speaker in that they need to be driven off an external (to the sub) amplifier. Most modern AV surround receivers only carry amplification for the surround channels and tend to just throw out a sub "signal" rather than power to drive a sub. A passive sub will use speaker cable to drive it.

    Subs produce low frequency outputs which require much more power to produce than higher frequencies. In fact the bass drivers on a two way speaker will draw more current than for the tweeters. More current can mean a thicker speaker cable compared to just driving a set of surround speakers for movies. But if you are into multi channel music as well, you may want to consider not skimping on cables for the rear speakers.

    What do you have? Active or passive sub? What receiver/amp are you using to power your surround sound?
  3. gotnoshades

    gotnoshades Guest

    Hi just wondered if you could help as i have a similar quesion to n18lld's original post. I have the sub that comes with the Tannoy FX1 speakers and the Yamaha DSPAX759SE amp and just wanted to know what is the best way to connect them. I know the sub is active so is it better to connect it using the "low level" connection? If so is it just a normal phono cable that goes into the left input? :confused: All my other cables are Ixos as someone recommended them to me, is there any specific cable you would suggest using for this?
    Sorry for all the questions, i really know very little about cables and connections, especially low and high level ones... Any advice appreciated, cheers. :)

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