Subwoofer use & hookups

Posted by: RNB

Subwoofer use & hookups - 08/12/12 11:34 AM

Hi all-
I have an Onkyo receiver with a balanced output for a subwoofer...should I be using this or the "line level" inputs to the sub (from the receiver)... besides fewer speaker cables for the line level is there any other technical reason that translates to better sound & performance?
Thank You !
Ron B
Posted by: dakkon

Re: Subwoofer use & hookups - 08/12/12 11:53 AM

No,


If anything you will most likely loose around 6db (i think).. I tried using the Balanced output to my subs (EP-600's), and the volume was greatly reduced... I called axiom about this, it has to do with the level of the signal transmitted on the balanced outputs. The signal on the balanced outputs is not as high as RCA's. So, the sub amp is still "amplifying" what it is receiving; however, what is receiving is much smaller than what it is "designed/expecting" to receive...Depending on the manufacture, they may have circuitry to adjust for this.

I would say try it if you have an XLR cable handy.. Otherwise, just us RCA's... All of my amps are connected with XLR's, but my sub's use RCA's. There was no audible difference between the XLR and the RCA with the sub, at least i couldn't hear any, the volume level was the only difference.

Good luck
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Subwoofer use & hookups - 08/12/12 09:40 PM

Ron, welcome. You don't specifically identify your receiver and sub and the question isn't entirely clear. I'm fairly familiar with Onkyo receivers and I'm not aware of any that have balanced outputs. If it is, a balanced output sends out two voltages(of opposite polarity)rather than one, which results in a 6dB stronger output compared to the single voltage on an unbalanced coaxial cable connection. The balanced input then adds the two voltages after correcting the polarity, but reduces gain by 6dB so that the overall level is the same between inputs. This has an advantage of greater resistance to outside interference, but it isn't really significant in most home environments.

I'm wondering if maybe the terminology hasn't gotten a bit tangled-up here, since you also mention "speaker cables", which have nothing to do with the rest of the question. It would be helpful if you added more details.
Posted by: dakkon

Re: Subwoofer use & hookups - 08/12/12 10:46 PM

I should note, i use Balanced cables with my amps because i get an audible level of interference with RCA cables. I am not exactly sure where it is coming from, as this is the first house i have had this issue. However, with Balanced cables i get no interference, due to their construction and operation as John eluded to.


Also as John noted the lack of Balanced outputs on Oknyo products... I looked at the Onkyo website, the only product that i could find that has Balanced outputs was the PR-SC5508... Which receiver do you have?
Posted by: solarrdadd

Re: Subwoofer use & hookups - 08/12/12 11:21 PM

Originally Posted By: dakkon
I should note, i use Balanced cables with my amps because i get an audible level of interference with RCA cables. I am not exactly sure where it is coming from, as this is the first house i have had this issue. However, with Balanced cables i get no interference, due to their construction and operation as John eluded to.


Also as John noted the lack of Balanced outputs on Oknyo products... I looked at the Onkyo website, the only product that i could find that has Balanced outputs was the PR-SC5508... Which receiver do you have?


dak, from my pre-amp (5507) to my amp (xpa-5) i use XLR to XLR; no problems, no hum or noise at all; love the sound. for my channels 6 & 7 i use XLR from the pre-amp to RCA to the UPA-2, again, no problems, no noise or hum either. from my pre-amp to the sub (X-ref 12) i use XLR to XLR; no trouble, no hum or noise.