• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

How Can I Connect Subwoofers To My 2 Channel Stereo?

Ward Cleaver

Standard Member
I have an Onkyo TX-8511.
It's a very good sounding 2 channel stereo (100 watts per channel), except the bass is somewhat weak at lower volume.
I would like to connect two powered subwoofers to remedy that situation, however my stereo does not have a subwoofer outlet connection.

My question...
Can I connect a powered subwoofer to each channel by simply placing each subwoofer next to my speakers and then running a speaker wire from each subwoofer to each speaker connection?
In other words, can I run a speaker wire from my right speaker to one subwoofer and then run another speaker wire from my left speaker to the other subwoofer?
Thanks.

Regards,
-Ward
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
You need a subwoofer with stereo high level inputs (may also be labelled "speaker in"). Since you didn't identify your sub, we can't tell if you do. You then run speaker cables from amp to sub to speakers.

In general one sub is sufficient even in a stereo setup, as bass is hard to localize and you can get better quality for the same outlay buying one sub rather than two. Of course, if you have unlimited budget...

The hard part is balancing the sub to the speakers. The manual that came with your sub will have setup details.
 

Ward Cleaver

Standard Member
Mark Yudkin said:
You need a subwoofer with stereo high level inputs (may also be labelled "speaker in"). Since you didn't identify your sub, we can't tell if you do.

I don't have a subwoofer yet, I wanted to first make sure that I could connect them to my system.
Now that I know that I can, I shall probably be in the market for a Polk...although I am open for suggestions.

Regards,
-Ward
 

Ward Cleaver

Standard Member
stevelup said:
Yes you can as long as the subwoofers have a 'high level' input - most do.

Mark Yudkin said:
You then run speaker cables from amp to sub to speakers.

So I can't just patch speaker wire from my main speakers to the subwoofers?
I have to run the signal from my Onkyo receiver through the subwoofer, and then to my speaker?
Not sure if I like that idea. Wouldn't something be lost or "muddied" in the translation of the signal through a subwoofer before it goes to my main speakers?

Might a graphic equalizer be a better idea for me, or would the subwoofer give better bass?
I don't want "booming" artificial bass, I just want better and more realistic bass response than what I have...especially at lower volume levels.

I've read several reviews of the Onkyo TX-8511, and while most people rate it well in most areas, the common weak point identified is lack of sufficient bass response.

Regards,
-Ward
 

stevelup

Distinguished Member
Hi

You can wire them as you originally suggested if you wish. Leave all the existing cabling in place and simply add jumper cables from the back of the speaker to the subwoofer.

It won't affect the quality whichever way you do it.

Steve
 

Ward Cleaver

Standard Member
stevelup said:
Hi
You can wire them as you originally suggested if you wish. Leave all the existing cabling in place and simply add jumper cables from the back of the speaker to the subwoofer.
It won't affect the quality whichever way you do it.

Steve

Thanks Steve, I appreciate the info.

Regards,
-Ward
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Sure you can connect it the other way around, or even in parallel - it will sound exactly the same all ways (there's no "through" involved). Your first question was worded "then running a speaker wire from each subwoofer to each speaker", and I simply retained your implied order, since that's also the most common order for reasons of binding posts. What's important is that the sub has a stereo high level input.

An equalizer will not address bass deficiencies in the (unidentified) stereo speakers.
 

Ward Cleaver

Standard Member
Mark Yudkin said:
Your first question was worded "then running a speaker wire from each subwoofer to each speaker" and I simply retained your implied order...

Actually my question was worded...

Ward Cleaver said:
Can I connect a powered subwoofer to each channel by...running a speaker wire from each subwoofer to each speaker connection?
In other words, can I run a speaker wire from my right speaker to one subwoofer and then run another speaker wire from my left speaker to the other subwoofer?

I tried to make the implied order as crystal clear as possible.
Be that as it may, it's been established for me now that I can indeed wire the subwoofers in the manner in which I inquired.




Mark Yudkin said:
An equalizer will not address bass deficiencies in the (unidentified) stereo speakers.

Then I shall stick with my initial plan and get the subwoofers and not the equalizer.

I have a pair of Yamaha speakers, Model NS-A100XT.

Regards,
-Ward
 

eddyad

Established Member
You really only need one subwoofer for a stereo setup, and it can be placed almost anywhere in the general area of the speakers, often tucked away out of sight.
The connection to the amp is easy. My MJ Acoustics Reference 100 can be connected in any one of three ways:
1. From a single dedicated subwoofer out on the amp - one phono lead to the right channel in of the subwoofer
2. Two phono leads from a spare pair of line outs the the subwoofer L and R inputs
3. A Neutrik Speakon lead in parallel to the speaker terminals on the amp to the Neutrik Speakon socket on the subwoofer.

I think this is pretty typical of subwoofer connection options.
 

Ward Cleaver

Standard Member
eddyad said:
You really only need one subwoofer for a stereo setup, and it can be placed almost anywhere in the general area of the speakers...

Thanks for the info. It sounds like two would be overkill then.

Regards,
-Ward
 

Ward Cleaver

Standard Member
Mark Yudkin said:
An equalizer will not address bass deficiencies...

Hmm, I just found a couple of reviews today of my receiver, similar to the following review at "audioreview.com," in which a user said that an equalizer did address the bass deficiencies he was experiencing with the Onkyo TX-8511...

"My first impression of the Onkyo TX-8511 was (that) the bass reproduction was rolled off, even with the bass at full level. The problem wasn’t room acoustics; a similar transparency was produced using a high quality pair of Koss headphones...I found a middle grade Pioneer EQ and it made all the difference, the transparency and dynamics are phenomenal."

Remember, I stated earlier in this thread, a common consensus of reviews of the Onkyo TX-8511 shows that most people rate it well in most areas, but many identify lack of sufficient bass response as a common weak point with the receiver...irregardless of what speakers are being used.
So, it would seem that an equalizer does indeed address bass deficiencies with this receiver.

Regards,
-Ward
 

The latest video from AVForums

SVS Prime Wireless Pro Powered Speakers - Review Coming Soon
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom