Forums Music Sound Equipment Setting up a Sub.

This topic contains 26 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Moonie June 29, 2011 at 2:10 am.

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  • #1051190
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    Moonie
    Participant

    Just been given a Sony XPlod 1200W sub for free, and I know literally nothing about audio stuff. It’s got the red and black connectors that screw on to bare wire, and nothing else, I can’t see anywhere to connect it to power or anything.

    Help?!

    #1241486
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    Spazhazzard
    Participant

    You need to buy an amp with sub output first, specially for 1200W. Buy some decent audio cable as well, should be about £5 per meter.

    I’d suggest going into a dedicated audio shop and asking them about it, they’ll explain everything you need to know and be able to suggest what sort of amp you need.

    #1241494
    Avatar
    Moonie
    Participant

    Reckon I can just use my mixer? it has an out that says sub on it.

    So the sub doesn’t need to plug into the power itself?

    Sorry for the ignorance

    #1241487
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    Spazhazzard
    Participant

    You could do but an amp is good to have otherwise you might just damage your mixer up if its drawing too much power through it. If the sub doesn’t have a power connection attached to it then you don’t need to power it that way.

    #1241495
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    Moonie
    Participant

    Cool, well I better get looking for a cheapish amp then, we used to have a reet nice one but my dad’s got it now.

    #1241496
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    Moonie
    Participant

    Can you recommend anything? Like I say I know fuck all about fuck all, only got the sub at the moment, other than that I just have my desktop PC speakers, so I basically need an amp and something to go with the sub.

    #1241480
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    cheeseweasel
    Participant

    Are you installing it in your car, or as part of your hifi/soundsystem? And what is the mixer you have?

    #1241488
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    Spazhazzard
    Participant

    What I suggest you do is do what I’ve done, buy an auxilliary cable that splits the audio out from your pc to the amp and run your sub off the amp and but a couple of nice satellite speakers.

    #1241497
    Avatar
    Moonie
    Participant

    It’s for in my house, my mixer is a knackered old Executioner 10 (I know I know).

    Spazhazzard can you recommend any particular bits of kit to go with it?

    #1241489
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    Spazhazzard
    Participant

    I’ll have a look around, what’s your budget?

    #1241498
    Avatar
    Moonie
    Participant

    Well I don’t have a set budget, basically it’s not going to be the newest shiniest stuff, if I can get it off eBay I will, but I want at least half decent kit, so if I have to spend a bit then so be it.

    I don’t really know how much any of it does/should cost, so hard to set myself a budget.

    #1241490
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    Spazhazzard
    Participant

    Fair enough, I still suggest you find a local audio shop and have a chat with the people there as well though.

    #1241499
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    Moonie
    Participant

    Will do, I’ll nip in there tomorrow and see what’s what.

    #1241491
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    Spazhazzard
    Participant

    I’m not that accomplished with audio equipment myself so if anyone else has any ideas feel free to weigh in!

    #1241481
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    cheeseweasel
    Participant

    Ah ok, you’re using it in your room…

    By the way, the speaker is in a cabinet isn’t it, it’s not just loose? There’s really not much point using the driver on it’s own – it will sound awful.

    As Spazhazzard says, you’ll need an amp to drive the sub. Connecting it to the outputs of a mixer won’t do anything, as the speaker needs far more power than the mixer’s outputs can supply (which are at ‘line level’, used for sending signal between equipment). Most likely, the output labelled ‘sub’ on your mixer is a line-level output with the higher frequencies filtered off (as you wouldn’t ever want to send these to the sub – google ‘crossover’), suitable for sending to an active sub, or amplifier>sub.

    Treat the ‘1200W’ rating of the sub with a very large pinch of salt – there are lots of good technical reasons why this is probably not a useful indication of how loud it is (manufacturers, especially in car audio, pull all sorts of tricks to make this number as big as possible). There’s an interesting white paper about it on Peavey’s website here.

    If you were building a sound system and risking lots of money + equipment then I’d suggest that you read up on amplifier + speaker power and impedance ratings so you can choose a suitable amplifier, but as it sounds like you’ve just been given a free sub and want to add some quick and dirty bass to your existing computer speakers, I should just find some sort of cheap power amp and give it a go, connecting the ‘sub’ output of your mixer to one of the amplifier’s inputs. Sorry, that’s unprofessional advice to give, but I have a feeling you’re not too arsed about the tech side and just want it to work! Also, being car equipment I don’t really trust the power rating – I wouldn’t want to recommend a 1500W @ 4 ohm power amp and have it blow your speaker up!).

    Tbh if I was you I’d get rid of your computer speakers, sell the sub and buy yourself a hifi amp and second hand speakers off ebay. As whatever happens you’re looking at spending money on an amp. Computer speakers and car sub + amp is starting to get a bit Heath Robinson – you might as well do it properly, get a nice pair of hifi speakers and end up with a system that sounds 100x better.

    As for the suggestion about talking to people in a hifi shop for advice – I’d stay well clear, you might end up leaving £100 down with a paper bag on your head.

    #1241492
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    Spazhazzard
    Participant

    I’m not saying buy what they say, I’m just saying that they might be able to fill in his understanding a bit and be able to make his own informed choices.

    #1241482
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    cheeseweasel
    Participant

    I get what you’re saying, but hifi sellers have a well-earned reputation for being technically clueless salesmen who make a living selling over-priced consumer audio equipment to other half-deaf, middle-aged men who have ‘golden ears’ and can hear the difference made by silver speaker cables and so on…

    On the few times I’ve been into a hifi shop the staff have tried to baffle me with inaccurate technical info. Last time I went to ask about a pair of second hand speakers in Sevenoaks hifi I said ‘are they fully working?’ and the bloke said ‘dunno, you’ll have to buy them to find out!’

    Maybe I do have a chip on my shoulder, but hifi is seen as a bit of a running joke in the pro audio industry.

    #1241500
    Avatar
    Moonie
    Participant

    Basically Cheeseweasel you’ve hit it on the head there, I’ve been given a free sub, now I want an amp and some speakers to go with (My existing desktop ones are shocking), yes it’s in a cabinet and yes I know that 1200w is probably wildly inaccurate.

    I can probably ask about and get an amp and some speakers for waay below what I should pay for them (and no not nicked either), I just need to know the kind of thing I should look for, even a couple of brand names. I’m also concerned about blowing stuff up because I have no idea about wiring it all together :S

    #1241493
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    Spazhazzard
    Participant

    As long as you use different coloured wires and connect red to red and black to black you’ll be fine lol.

    #1241501
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    Moonie
    Participant

    hah ok then brilliant.

    #1241483
    Avatar
    cheeseweasel
    Participant

    @moonie 441735 wrote:

    Basically Cheeseweasel you’ve hit it on the head there, I’ve been given a free sub, now I want an amp and some speakers to go with (My existing desktop ones are shocking), yes it’s in a cabinet and yes I know that 1200w is probably wildly inaccurate.

    I can probably ask about and get an amp and some speakers for waay below what I should pay for them (and no not nicked either), I just need to know the kind of thing I should look for, even a couple of brand names. I’m also concerned about blowing stuff up because I have no idea about wiring it all together :S

    So I’d put the sub to one side for the time being and try find a pair of full-range hifi speakers and an amp. If you still need extra bass you could always add the sub at a later date.

    I’ve bought some great speakers from Ebay in the past – my last ones were a pair of 1980s Mission Freedoms that cost a few hundred quid back in the ’80s but I won for £25 (actually some nobhead blew them up just the other day at a party by playing crappy r’n’b off youtube through them whilst redlining everything – I didn’t see him do it!). There are always tons of good deals on 70’s/80’s/90’s speakers on ebay. As for brands, you can’t go far wrong with Mission, B&W, Kef, Tannoy. There are loads of other good brands too that are more obscure and might have gone out of business years ago. Just find a pair of big chosty speakers on Ebay you like the look of and search for reviews on Google or whatever to see if they’re any good.

    You’re not likely to blow anything up by wiring things wrongly – it’s literally a case of connecting the black and red on each amp channel to the corresponding terminals on the speakers (and even if you get this wrong you can’t do any harm). Not blowing the speakers up is mainly common sense – don’t mix in the red and if the sound is distorted you’ve got something turned up too high (it’s actually easier to damage a speaker by underpowering it with a distorted signal than it is to overpower it – my Missions, whilst rated at 100W RMS, got fried by a 30W amp being ragged by an idiot).

    #1241502
    Avatar
    Moonie
    Participant

    Nice one mate cheers, going to go ebay hunting now and see what I can find.

    #1241477
    Avatar
    General Lighting
    Moderator

    @cheeseweasel 441732 wrote:

    I get what you’re saying, but hifi sellers have a well-earned reputation for being technically clueless salesmen who make a living selling over-priced consumer audio equipment to other half-deaf, middle-aged men who have ‘golden ears’ and can hear the difference made by silver speaker cables and so on…

    On the few times I’ve been into a hifi shop the staff have tried to baffle me with inaccurate technical info. Last time I went to ask about a pair of second hand speakers in Sevenoaks hifi I said ‘are they fully working?’ and the bloke said ‘dunno, you’ll have to buy them to find out!’

    Maybe I do have a chip on my shoulder, but hifi is seen as a bit of a running joke in the pro audio industry.

    I’m wholly amazed these idiots still exist in this day and age. Hopefully the economic depression and the increasing trend of PC’s and other digital devices being the source of music will put the remainder of these muppets out of business.

    #1241478
    Avatar
    General Lighting
    Moderator

    @cheeseweasel 441749 wrote:

    So I’d put the sub to one side for the time being and try find a pair of full-range hifi speakers and an amp. If you still need extra bass you could always add the sub at a later date.

    I’ve bought some great speakers from Ebay in the past – my last ones were a pair of 1980s Mission Freedoms that cost a few hundred quid back in the ’80s but I won for £25 (actually some nobhead blew them up just the other day at a party by playing crappy r’n’b off youtube through them whilst redlining everything – I didn’t see him do it!). There are always tons of good deals on 70’s/80’s/90’s speakers on ebay.

    Celestion isn’t a bad make. I rode past their UK HQ a few weeks ago after following a sketchy detour sign and ending up on a random industrial estate. I don’t think they still make the speakers in the UK any more but I’m fairly sure they still get designed here. Earlier models might well have been made at Suffolk.

    #1241479
    Avatar
    sinner69
    Participant

    They used to make the marshall speaker elements(guitar and bass)….and for a whole loads of other big brands as well both pro and hi-fi

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