Adapt modern powered surround subwoofer to vintage stereo system?

fohat01

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Jul 30, 2017
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This is a theoretical question for now, pondering the feasibility of a project.

I have 2 mid-level but fully functional "vintage" (1970s-1980s) stereo systems with receiver (or preamp/amp/tuner), turntable, and age-appropriate speakers.

I have also recently acquired 2 self-powered subwoofers from modern 5.1-style surround sound systems. These boxes have a dizzying array of inputs and outputs, and are clearly intended to be integrated and controlled from elsewhere, although they do, thankfully, have volume controls.

My basic simple goal would be to utilize them in my stereo systems, only at the bottom end, with low-pass filter and, hopefully, to have as little effect on the rest of the system as possible.

Is this a relatively simple operation, or might there be land mines waiting that I do not foresee?

Thanks for your help!
 

fohat01

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Jul 30, 2017
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Thank you. I think that I can get the signals I need, my underlying dilemma is how to actually make it happen.

My assumption is that I will need to order some parts on ebay from China, wait 3 weeks, and spend a couple of hours with my Dremel and soldering iron to Frankenstein it together.

Should it be as simple as building an internal crossover/filter, adding an input socket to the outside, and ripping out all the existing wiring except the power supply amplification and the signal going to the driver?
 

kanewolf

Splendid
Moderator
I would expect the subs to have a built-in crossover. Most powered subs do. Test them with something simple like the output from the preamp. You should be able to determine if they have a crossover built in.

But you aren't planning on feeding your normal speakers from the subs are you ?
 

kanewolf

Splendid
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MERGED QUESTION
Question from fohat01 : "Adapt modern powered surround subwoofer to vintage stereo system?"



 

fohat01

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Jul 30, 2017
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No, I do not intend to have any sort of output connection from them. I intend to drive the regular speakers from the receiver as usual. And, by the way, none of the subwoofer connections accept "wires" or RCA plugs.

One of them has a plethora of connections, including multiple common 1/8" type as well as DIN and seemingly proprietary connectors, and is clearly intended to drive an entire 5.1 system, which I want to clear out completely.

The other has less hardware but still seems to expect it proprietary partners.

Are the existing crossovers likely to function as low-pass filters, in other words, if I don't connect anything else to them, will the upper signals simply be ignored?
 

kanewolf

Splendid
Moderator
All powered subs that I have had worked like that. But, mine have all been intended as subwoofers for a home theater system. Since you haven't listed what part numbers you have, I can't make any specific comments.
 

fohat01

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Jul 30, 2017
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My stereo is a NAD 1240/2240PE/4225 and the Yamaha subwoofer actually worked after I daisy-chained adapters on the signal I took from "Tape Out"

The far better subwoofer, an H/K595, does not have a volume control, I was mistaken, nor does it have an actual off/on switch. It appears that it expects to be controlled from elsewhere, and all that is what I need to bypass. I have a service manual, I guess I just need to open it up and have at it.
 
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