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How to add an active sub

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ItsMe

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Friends,

I am having a bare minimum HT - Onkyo HT3300, which I am was fine till now along with my samsung BR bundle. From the moment I experienced an active sub from my neighbor, I understood how malnutritioned the passive sub is . Recently I got a pair of locally assembled 10" subs, but its not showing its true strength when I connected it with my Onkyo directly. I am ready to invest in a small stereo amp to powerup the sub but HT3300 is only supporting passive sub. Is there any way I can add an active sub to this mess? I checked whether I can get subout directly from BR player, but that option is also not there.
Cannot upgrade the receiver or invest more than 5k in this adventure, as my finance manager (aka better half) is against spending more on HT.

In the worst case, I can connect the RF out from my BR player to a stereo amp and to the new subs, but my intention was to use it exclusively as active subs and not as LR channels. Any Einstein out there who can help me?
 

Mayank Shah

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Friends,

I am having a bare minimum HT - Onkyo HT3300, which I am was fine till now along with my samsung BR bundle. From the moment I experienced an active sub from my neighbor, I understood how malnutritioned the passive sub is . Recently I got a pair of locally assembled 10" subs, but its not showing its true strength when I connected it with my Onkyo directly. I am ready to invest in a small stereo amp to powerup the sub but HT3300 is only supporting passive sub. Is there any way I can add an active sub to this mess? I checked whether I can get subout directly from BR player, but that option is also not there.
Cannot upgrade the receiver or invest more than 5k in this adventure, as my finance manager (aka better half) is against spending more on HT.

In the worst case, I can connect the RF out from my BR player to a stereo amp and to the new subs, but my intention was to use it exclusively as active subs and not as LR channels. Any Einstein out there who can help me?

Hi, From what I understand is that you need some kind of amplification for your locally assembled subs, since your Onkyo is not able to drive them.

Could you explain "but HT3300 is only supporting passive sub".

Please check your settings in the HTR. Get the manual out and do a thorough step by step settings check till you are 100% sure that the 3330 is configured correctly to drive the sub properly. (From one source of amplification do not expect double the sound by connecting 2 subs)

You should look for a dedicated sub woofer amplifier as it will give you specific controls for frequency / phase etc - an investment in a "stereo amp" will not do.

Google for sub woofer amps. There are also numerous threads regarding subs on the forum.

Not to discourage you, but I think 5K may not be enough for a decent sub amp. Maybe around 7 to 10 k range you could get a good one.
 

ItsMe

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Thanks for your reply Mayank. I am planning to buy a sub amp, but the issue is source. Since onkyo 3300 is having passive sub, it outputs amplified sound through subout, which cannot be fed to a sub amp. I am looking for ways to get me raw sub out, instead of the amplified one, to feed my active sub.
 

Mayank Shah

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Thanks for your reply Mayank. I am planning to buy a sub amp, but the issue is source. Since onkyo 3300 is having passive sub, it outputs amplified sound through subout, which cannot be fed to a sub amp. I am looking for ways to get me raw sub out, instead of the amplified one, to feed my active sub.

Then in your case you should get an amp which has line level inputs. You can take the input from the 3330 Speaker B out if the 3330 can drive both A & B same time. Impedance may also be an issue.

Is it possible to control the volume level of the sub out from the settings? Also I thought you had passive subs.
 

MaSh

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Which 10" custom subs have you got? If they are custom, then probably you can get them altered to become passive subs. Later on when you upgrade your receiver, you could reconnect the amps in the sub to make them Active.
 

gp_freak

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Simpler to buy a powered sub with line level inputs like this .

If you get a stereo Amp with line level inputs, it is easier to Drive one Sub by Bridging the stereo channels to get more power. At the same time, a stereo amp will not have low pass or phase control built it. Please check whether your receiver has those settings.

If you want to drive both the subs, then its better you get two stereo amps with line level input/output so that you feed the secondary stereo amp with the out put of the primary stereo amp. You can individually set the gain of each sub from the amp to which the sub is connected.

Before going this route, can you please share the specs of your custom sub's specs.
 
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ItsMe

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All, thanks for your inputs. For the time being I have resolved the issue as below.

I procured a locally assembled subwoofer amplifier which takes RCA LF inputs. I connected the RCA outputs from my BR player to this amp, and then the HDMI outputs from BR player to my receiver. I was skeptical on two things, one whether my BR player will simultaneously output signals to both HDMI and RCA, and two whether there will be any phase lag between my receiver and subwoofer amplifier. Anyhow, the outcome was positive and the BR player was able to output signals simultaneously to both receiver (through HDMI) and sub amp (through RCA) and there was no lag. However, the sub amp was not matching my subwoofers/HT room setup as it was too much bass which indeed deteriorated the sound clarity in the room. I then returned my subwoofer amp and brought a regular 100W stereo amp and connected my sub woofers in the same way. It was indeed the best for my setup, and the theater was filled with sweet - tight bass, which enhanced the movie watching experience which my onkyo alone was unable to provide.

Current setup - BR -> Amp -> Speaker for my high/mid range and the passive sub
BR -> Amp -> Subs -> for low frequency

The downside - I need to adjust volume in both receiver and amplifier whenever I watch the movie, and balance it well so that sound from one is not overridden by the other. Even for mute I need to use two remotes :). Also I cannot use those subs when I playback from my media player, xbox or chromecast as all of them are directly connected to my receiver and the subs to my BR player only.

Total cost of experiment Rs - 6300. = Rs 4.5k for two 12" daytona subwoofers+enclosures+ tweeters (not sure why he added a tweeter but its helping to make the bass more tight ) and 1.8k for 100w stereo amp.
The verdict - I know this is not at all complementing a good high end HT system, but I am happy with what I have now. I am able to compensate for the weakness, my onkyo is having and it will help me to enjoy this for next 1+ years until my mind looks for more passionate sound experience.
 

alphacentury100

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You can buy something called "Speaker level to Line level converter". It may be available in Global Ebay for around Rs.1000. But this is not the best choice.

Your system is totally messedup. Now, you dont have a pair of 12" sub box, but a 2way stereo speaker pair. Does it have a crossover? if yes, then what is its crossover frequency.
And the dayton driver that you have. Is that a subwoofer driver or a full range or Midrange driver?
Now, you literally have 2 pairs of front left and right speakers.
 

ItsMe

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Yes sir, I know. But I am getting better results and I am contented as of now :)
Dayton is subwoofer driver. No crossover set, but its giving a mix of bassy/LR output which is pretty well getting mixed with my onkyo 5.1. Please note that my existing 5.1 is taking care of everything and new subwoofers are adding the bassy thump to it
 
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alphacentury100

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And the tweeter in you sub box will be playing the whole frequecy range, as ther is no crossover. So the tweeter will be producing a lot of distortion, which is not advisable.
 

ItsMe

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And the tweeter in you sub box will be playing the whole frequecy range, as ther is no crossover. So the tweeter will be producing a lot of distortion, which is not advisable.

Yes, but one thing I can do to control it is to reduce the treble in my amp and increase the bass alone. Its working to an extend now
 

ItsMe

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Reviving this old thread as I found a solution to add active sub to a passive receiver. I got an active sub which has LR line in option (like PSW110) where you connect your left and right channels directly to filter the bass from it. Then connect the subwoofer out of receiver to either L or R channel of subwoofer which will process the bass directly from it. Problem solved. :)
 
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