Using a splitter to feed a subwoofer

July 29, 2019
 by Paul McGowan

5 comments on “Using a splitter to feed a subwoofer”

  1. Paul,

    Here’s what I do:
    I run the music signal from the source all the way to the terminals on the speaker amp and branch off with some 20 gauge wire. From there, I drop the voltage and run it into a DSP. After the DSP, I run a preamp/signal booster to the sub’s amplifier.

    This has worked well for me. I like that the signal passes though the speaker amplifier because any sonic colorations also get applied to the sub’s signal. Also, I don’t like the idea of inserting anything like a y-connector into the wiring near the source. I believe It’s important to keep the low level signal chain as pure as possible.

    That’s my 2 cents. Keep ‘em or give ‘em back.

  2. Paul,

    I'm a newbie at this audio stuff and sometimes I can't picture what you're talking about. I don't really understand hi-level or low-level inputs. If I could, may I suggest that you have equipment and components set up so that you can show us what you are explaining?

    I feel that it would go a long way into helping me and others see what you are telling us.

    Love the videos and will keep watching. I may not be an audiophile of the highest order, but I do learn a lot from you and you make it fun!

    1. Yes, that would be a great next step. It can be complicated. Basically, each subwoofer has to have an input. In a home theater setting this input usually comes from the receiver or surround processor and is typically an RCA output on the back labeled LF output (for Low Frequency). Here, the SSP handles the crossover feeding the sub (subs today all have a built in power amplifier and it is this amplifier you are feeding).

      In 2-channel audio or preamps don't have a separate LF output so we use a full range out from the preamp and the subwoofer has its own crossover (to roll off the high frequencies) before its built in power amp. This would be the low level input.

      Some subwoofers also have a high level input. This is identical to the low level input except it takes a louder signal and parses it down to feed its internal amp. This high level input comes from the output of a power amplifier (but the sub doesn't use any power from the main amp, just its signal).

  3. Here's yet another variation of how to do it. I have a pair of Electrocompaniet Nemo monoblocks and fortunately, in addition to the XLR input, they also have a so-called 'link' connector. This is an XLR output which I use to connect the subs. I'm pretty sure this is a low-level output so I guess it's equivalent to a built-in 'Y' connector.

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