Alternative Subwoofer Amplifier?

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By: Mike Sous (Montreal)

I don’t have an amplified subwoofer. However, I have a nice (very nice) 18″ speaker enclosed in a cabinet specially designed for bass frequencies – one of the leftovers from the time I was a musician, a long time ago, when dinosaurs were walking freely across the land.

Now, I have a 7.1 Pioneer (from the Elite series), since I don’t use the “surround back” (amplified) section, can I use it as a subwoofer amp when in multi-channel mode?

Crazy or is it making sense?

Comments for Alternative Subwoofer Amplifier:


Interesting idea!

However, I’m not sure it will work very well using the spare ‘surround back’ outputs.

The LFE output on the rear of a receiver is designed to be connected to a dedicated bass speaker – usually an active subwoofer. This is then fed with the LFE track, or the low frequencies if there is no LFE track.

If there is no subwoofer attached to the receiver, then many models will send these low frequencies to the front left and right speaker outputs instead (for those people with no sub, but full range floorstanding speakers as their front left and right speakers).

The ‘surround back’ speakers, if connected, will just get sent the surround effects. This may have some bass, but not much.

However, this may work…

You could connect the LFE output from your AV receiver into an ordinary amplifier – and then use this to power your bass speaker.

Alternatively, you can buy dedicated subwoofer amplifiers that do the same sort of thing. For example, the Dayton SA70 70W Subwoofer Amplifier at Amazon. If you look around I’m sure there are others.

You just need to make sure the amp you use is powerful enough to drive your bass speaker.

All the best.

Paul (Site Editor)

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About The Author

Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has been a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment. You can find out more here.

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