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Sub with Phono Cable - Very quiet??

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by BHP, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. BHP

    BHP
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    Hi,

    :lease:

    I don't know if anyone can help me, but here goes:

    I have just bought a Wharfedale DX10 subwoofer, and am trying to connect it to my (several year old) Sony MHC-ZX70DVD 5.1 DVD Hi-Fi system.

    The system only originally came with the 5 main speakers (no sub) and so I bought this to hopefully improve the overall sound.

    I am trying to connect it via the 'Sub Woofer out' RCA on the back of the Hi-Fi to the left RCA in on the sub. It sort of works, however it is incredibly quiet (as in the remaining bass from the main speakers is louder!). Before you ask - I have definitely connected it up right and I have set the Sub as present in the Hi-Fi onscreen menu.

    I have tried it with a high quality phono cable (that is actually supposed to be for Video) and a cheapo dual phono (just one of the channels).

    So my question is could it be the phono cable? Although I know that a high quality cable gives maximum response etc etc but surely a low quality cable should still work (and the video one since they are the same inside?). (Note - I am planning to get a 'proper' sub cable.)

    I am fairly sure the Sub is ok because I tried feeding one of the speaker wire outputs to it (as it has these connectors also) and it definitely worked! So another question - could it be the output from my HiFi is bust or the input to the Sub is?

    I would be very grateful of any suggestions or advice - if this isn't very clear please say and I'll give more info.

    Thanks
     
  2. Tony8377

    Tony8377
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    This may sound like a stupid question but has the sub got a volume (gain) control on it and have you tried turning it up until you can hear it? Also try disconnecting all the speakers so only the sub is active and see what, if anything, comes out. Also the amp may have a relative volume control/speaker adjustment so try increasing the subs volume relative to the other speakers. Cable shouldn't make any difference just as a test.
     
  3. BHP

    BHP
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    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes, I have made sure the sub volume is up, as is the crossover frequency dial. And I have tried increasing the relative volume (from the HiFi) like you suggest - it makes a slight difference but it is still almost inaudible.

    The HiFI has a 'Test Tone' which cycles through all the speakers with a kind of hum - when it gets to the sub it emits a very low rumble, however this is also very quiet (but loud enough to tell it is a signal and not just background noise or hum).

    Any other suggestions?
     
  4. Tony8377

    Tony8377
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    My only remaining idea is that if you only get a very low frequency rumble then perhaps the HiFi only sends frequencies to the sub output that are below the capabilities of the speakers thus allowing easier intergration into your system. This may be supported by the fact that you are getting a full signal from the speaker cables because that way the sub is receiving the full frequency range. If no one else suggests anything else I would just run a second set of speaker cables to the sub. Because the sub signal would be apassive one you can run two sets of cable (one for the speakers one for the sub) from one set of terminals (i think). Try borrowing a mates AV Amp or take your sub round to theirs to see if theirs works.
     
  5. Nimby

    Nimby
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    I had a similar problem when I tried to drive my sub via phono cable from my DVD player's "sub-out" socket. My big SVS sounded very quiet even at full gain. But since I always use high level sub connections in my stereo-only system this wasn't a serious problem for me.

    Recently I bought a cheap 6.1 AV receiver and tried the sub-out socket on that. I was immediately impressed! The sub sounded crisp and powerful and needed very little volume to impress. But I took the receiver back for other reasons. So I'm now back on stereo high level connections again.

    Since you do at least have the option of high level connections. I would suggest that you try living with these until (or rather if) you decide to upgrade elsewhere.

    The suggestion to try your sub on another system is always a good idea. It isolates which component has the problem.

    Nimby
     
  6. BHP

    BHP
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    Thanks - I've arranged to take the Sub and the HiFi to the shop (where I bought the Sub) so we'll see what they come up with (and if they can get it to work).
     
  7. BHP

    BHP
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    For all those interested to know:

    After taking it to the shop the guy cranked the volume right up (with no other speakers connected but the sub) and it worked - quite loud too! So, The result is there is probably nothing wrong with my HiFi (and definately nothing wrong with the Sub), and if I reduce the other speaker volumes and increase the sub output to max (in the HiFi setup), then use the master volume louder it seems to work quite well. Only problem is I can't reduce the main L/R relative volume, but it should be ok.

    I will prob try wiring the main speakers through the sub too to take a bit more bass off them, and hopefully improve the overall sound! Thanks again to those who tried to help me.
     

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