View Full Version : My sub woofer isn't...woofing...

09-04-2005, 10:18 AM
A couple of gay boys I know (with entirely too much disposable income for their own good) gave me all of their old home theater stuff about 6 months ago, after they decided they wanted to upgrade.

So here's what I've got:

- Sony Trinitron "Big ass" flat-screen TV that requires (at least) two adults to move, though I am able to slide it around to get to all of the connections in the back.

- Sony DVD player

- Sony Digital Receiver

- My xbox (for which I posted another question earlier (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=333316), before I'd hooked everything up and given it a whirl)

- Bose speakers - two 3 ft tall towers, a 2 ft wide center channel, and two 8 lb surround sound satellites.

- Sub Woofer - Yamaha

When I got everything into the house 6 months ago, I basically just hooked up my cable and xbox to the TV and let everything else stare at me intimidatingly from the corner. That is, until now.

So...all of my speakers are working, except my sub woofer.

It is older than the rest of the equipment, which I suspect is at least part of the problem. This is what it has in the back:

Out to speakers

[Red] [Black][Red]

[B]Input from Amp

[Red][Black] [Black][Red]

Input 2
Left [o]
Right [o]

But my receiver only has a single output channel for a sub-woofer. So when I was at Radio Shack yesterday, the dude sold me an adapter that he said would split the single channel output from my receiver into the two inputs required for my sub-woofer. This is what it says on the package:

Mono-to-Mono Plug Adapter: Accepts two phono plugs: Fits phono jack

I've got it plugged into the "Sub-woofer out" on my reciever, and then have two-channel (Red/White) audio cables hooked to it and the Input 2 plugs on my sub-woofer.

I've got the sub-woofer plugged in, and the power light comes on, but it is otherwise showing no signs of life or functionality.

Any guidance from tech-savvy audiophiles would be greatly appreciated.

09-04-2005, 10:37 AM
:smack: I figured it out. I had to run the speaker wires I originally had going straight from the receiver to the towers, through the sub-woofer, then out to the towers instead. Mr. Radio Shack neglected to pass those instructions along to me.

Sounds great! :) Who wants to come over for some Halo 2 or a LOTR marathon?

09-04-2005, 10:56 AM
Actually, you shouldn't have to do that, and it's likely that the sub isn't receiving all the signal it really should be. You should be able to hook it up with a single rca cord from the sub out jack on the receiver into either of the "Input 2" jacks on the sub. There may be a something in the receiver's setup menu that needs to be set in order to activate the sub out, or to set the crossover frequency.

But if you're happy with it the way it is, that's fine too.

09-04-2005, 11:41 AM
I think I'm ok with the current set-up, as the receiver came without a manual, just a remote. My chances of navigating it correctly are pretty slim.

The only potential issue I see is that I was originally planning on using the additional set of speaker wires to extend the ones I have running to my satellites.

But I can't decide where to put my satellites, so I don't know yet if I'm going to need the extra or not.

Here's my dilemma...

My living room is large, about 20'x40'x14', and the layout of the fireplace and windows pretty much forces the big-ass TV to be wedged into the corner.

I've got my couch set up diagonally, roughly in the middle of the room, in front of the TV. There are no flat surfaces on the satellite speakers, and I don't have any bookshelves to lay them on, so I bought some wall/ceiling mounts yesterday.

The dimensions of the room and having to put the TV in the corner leave me little if any options for proportional placement of my satellites. :(

09-05-2005, 12:39 AM
I decided to try and re-arrange the furniture for a chance at better sound.

The Big Ass TV is now in front of the fireplace (it isn't functional, and is sealed, so I don't really know why I've been trying to keep it visible, aside from the nice mantle, but there are 2 others just like it in other rooms of the house).

This puts the TV in the center of wall. I've got the towers pushed all the way into the corners on either side, and I've raised them so they're at the same level as the center channel (a recommendation I've read in a few places).

This will now allow me to mount the satellites on the door frames at the back of the room. The towers and the satellites will be quite far away from both the TV and my couch. The towers are approximately 6 feet away from the TV on either side, and 10 feet away from the center of my couch. Once I mount the satellites, they'd be 15 feet away from the center of my couch.

Should I try and bring them in closer?

09-06-2005, 10:25 AM
Does this (http://www.audioholics.com/techtips/setup/loudspeakers/hometheaterspeakerlayout.php) help?

When I first set up my theater (in 1995), the idea then was to have the speakers close to the video source so it sounded like the audio was still a part of the video action. To my mind your speakers are too far away from the TV. The article also touches on the rear speakers. I thought the rear speakers shouldn't be pointed at the listener since they are there to give an ambient sound. But, what do I know, I've still got the Dolby Pro Logic system and no subwoofer...

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