What must I know before buying a subwoofer cable?

Chicago2LA

Novice Member
I'm replacing the cable that leads from my Denon AVR-1612 receiver and my Velodyne subwoofer. The receiver has one RCA Line Out jack and the subwoofer has Left and Right RCA input jacks. I've read that in my situation, I can use a Y connector, but it won't necessarily help the subwoofer's performance and it could hurt it. So I'm find with using one output and one input jack.

My question is about the replacement cable I buy. I'm confused because I see wild swings in cable prices but I'm not sure how much of a difference in their quality I'd realize when connecting a subwoofer. I understand that it's more desirable (to avoid hum) to get a shielded cable, but is there any other criteria I should consider besides the desired length (10') of the cable?

Thanks in advance.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
The left and right inputs are internally connected together using a summing amplifier, so connecting to them both won't make any difference. Some manufacturers suggest that you do, as it can very slightly improve noise performance by terminating both inputs, but cable noise is likely to be higher than this, so the net result is likely to be same!

In terms of cable, you want a very well screened cable with reasonably high capacitance for a sub signal. Capacitance in a cable is generally a bad thing as it reduces high frequencies, but as you don't need or want these running to a sub, it can help to reduce interference and noise pickup.

Don't pay more than £50 for a 10' cable, as you are then moving into esoteric, organic snake oil territory and improvements will become almost impossible to detect.

Pick a double screened cable with low microphony (acoustic energy can be turned into electrical energy with some cables) and ensure it is terminated with good quality plugs. Avoid some of the Chinese rubbish on Amazon, so maybe look for Van Damme or Bluejeans.
 

Chicago2LA

Novice Member
Thanks for your helpful advice. I'm actually looking at a Bluejeans 10' cable on Amazon that runs $40. I appreciate your comment about overpriced rubbish and overpriced snake oil. Well said!
 

mac_monkey

Active Member
The only advice I’d offer is consider if your 10 foot cable run needs to take any sharp (90 degree) angles. Many sub cables are so well screened they become pretty inflexible.
Because I was running mine under skirting boards and around the room I ended up buying a QED ultra compact cable from Amazon.
 

steve sph

Well-known Member
1) Do you have a subwoofer?
2) Do you have a power socket?
3) Do you know how far they are apart?
4) Click on Amazon and buy the cheapest option.
5) Connect 1) and 2) together, turn the power on and enjoy.
 

Broadsword

Well-known Member
1) Do you have a subwoofer?
2) Do you have a power socket?
3) Do you know how far they are apart?
4) Click on Amazon and buy the cheapest option.
5) Connect 1) and 2) together, turn the power on and enjoy.

Except the cheapest options don’t always last that long. My Amazon basics cable just stopped working and had to be replaced. A little bit of quality workmanship and the materials used are worth paying for.
 

steve sph

Well-known Member
Except the cheapest options don’t always last that long. My Amazon basics cable just stopped working and had to be replaced. A little bit of quality workmanship and the materials used are worth paying for.
Yep - you're quite right there.
But a well-made sub cable isn't expensive to produce - anyone spending a king's ransom on something from the likes of Audioquest, QED or Chord is just wasting money in my opinion.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
When it comes to analogue, the cable can and does make a difference sonically. It's not like the digital world where this is almost never the case.

For a sub, dual braided screening will reduce interference and microphony and is worth looking for.

£32 / $40 for a Bluejeans is a good investment in a no nonsense, well made cable.
 

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