Amp and Subwoofer in one connected to c/sub

iamaDuck

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Aug 25, 2015
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I have a subwoofer that I believe has a built in amp. (Altec Lansing ACS54) This subwoofer plugs into my computer with the standard green line out jack. If I wanted to use an external amp, could I use the "all-in-one" subwoofer as an amp still by pluggin it into the c/sub port? Or would I be better off splitting the green line out cable into the amp and subwoofer, and then just not pluggin any speakers into the subwoofer? Any feedback is much appreciated (including telling me if this entire idea is even worth it :p) Thanks!
 

Ruggo181

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Apr 17, 2016
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I'm liking your spirit.
Thinking out aloud here, but I think your solution should work. I'm trying to visualise how your soundcard would work this.
So the green Front L/R from the computer using a 3.5mm to stereo cable, to your tube amp.
Then using the front (L/R) from the sub, plugging that into the centre/sub of your soundcard.

Try this, just plug your sub, with no speakers attached into the c/sub (making sure your sound software detects that port being used) and play something, if you get the woofer acting as a speaker then it should work.

Good luck,
 

Ruggo181

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Apr 17, 2016
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Cheers Duck, looking at that system it's a 4.1 setup (no centre channel).
It has 2 input channels, Front (L/R-green) and Surround(L/R-black) (you should be running 2 cables from your PC to the sub, not one).

user manual here
http://www.manualslib.com/manual/365804/Altec-Lansing-Acs54.html

So working with that, your subwoofers acts as an amplifier as well as a crossover (ie frequencies between 250Hz and 18Khz are handed over to the speakers and frequencies between 38Hz and 250Hz play through the sub).

So to answer your question, no you couldn't plug a cable from the soundcard to the c/sub to your sub (well you could, but that channel is designed for your soundcard to only hand over lower frequencies to the sub channel)

So my next question is, what sort of external amp where you thinking of using?
That way myself or others here may come up with a solution ;)

Although thinking out aloud, what are you trying to achieve, that the current system is not achieving?
 

iamaDuck

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Aug 25, 2015
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Thanks for the quick response! I have used these speakers in the past as just a 2.1 channel setup (wiring was too annoying for surround). I was looking at getting a tube amp from mono price, mostly for the novelty factor.
http://www.monoprice.com/mobile/product/details/13194
I figure I could split the line out from my computer into L and R channels to connect to this amp, and then output from the amp to a pair of BostonAudio speakers that I might be able to take from my dad.

This would let me have a stereo setup no problem, but I was mainly wondering if I could use this subwoofer as ONLY a subwoofer. Hence plugging it into the c/sub port. Do you think this setup would work? Or do you have any alternate suggestions?

P.S. It's late where I am, so I'll be going to sleep shortly.
 

Ruggo181

Commendable
Apr 17, 2016
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I'm liking your spirit.
Thinking out aloud here, but I think your solution should work. I'm trying to visualise how your soundcard would work this.
So the green Front L/R from the computer using a 3.5mm to stereo cable, to your tube amp.
Then using the front (L/R) from the sub, plugging that into the centre/sub of your soundcard.

Try this, just plug your sub, with no speakers attached into the c/sub (making sure your sound software detects that port being used) and play something, if you get the woofer acting as a speaker then it should work.

Good luck,
 

iamaDuck

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Aug 25, 2015
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I just got home and was able to test this out.
The subwoofer only runs if the right speaker is plugged in, and I believe this is because it acts as the controller for the whole system. It's unfortunate because the subwoofer even has the bass control right on it, so functionally you shouldn't need the controller plugged in, but I digress. I now have to wonder if the right speaker has to be plugged in, or if any old controller will work... I will try and test this soon, but I'm not sure where I can get one from. :D
 

Ruggo181

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Apr 17, 2016
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Ah of course, because the right speakers has a DIN plug, which means that power/volume as well as an audio signal are used.

So in this instance, if you plug your sub+right speaker into the c/sub and your tube amp+speakers into the green F/R, then you would technically have a 3.1 system,(Front L/R-Centre and sub) lol.
However, if you tell the soundcard software that you only have a 2.1 system then it should pass a signal to your tube amp as Front and the Low Frequency Effects (LFE) to your Sub. (in theory).
 

iamaDuck

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Aug 25, 2015
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Okay - how would I go about doing that? I don't actually have a standalone soundcard, but would this still be possible?

Update: It appears that the subwoofer is not being detected when plugged into the c/sub port. I don't think it will accept input from anything else other than the line out green jack. :(
 

iamaDuck

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Aug 25, 2015
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Wait wait maybe I spoke too soon...
Whoops.
It works in the speaker configuration but not with subwoofer test youtube videos or any other audio source.
Thoughts/ideas?
 

Ruggo181

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Apr 17, 2016
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It will have to be a crossover problem, where in your onboard sound software, there will be a section that deals with how frequencies are handled.
So you do a speaker test and it works fine so we know that the sub is getting a signal, but when you play something the lower frequencies aren't making it to the sub, so you need to look at how windows is passing on the signals.

Can you give me the make/model of your motherboard/onboard sound?

 

iamaDuck

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Aug 25, 2015
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I may have this figured out. Turns out Realtek HD Audio Manager wasn't installed properly, it looks like I might be able to do what I want using this software. My motherboard is the MSI z97s SLI Krait Edition.

Edit: I don't have this figured out. :) :p
 
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