Can I split subwoofer so can be run by 2 different devices?

H

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I have a 5.1 surround sound, the sub woofer is run directly off the main unit via what looks like normal speaker cable & a specific connector to the system. Can I split that cable ( sort of Y splitter maybe ? ) so I can use the sub woofer to be used separately by another unit? Thanx in advance
 

cozmium

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You can't just put a y splitter in it, because if like you say it is being powered from a seperate amplifier (meaning the subwoofer is what is called a 'passive' unit) then if you run two amplifiers you will also send the signal back in to one of the amps and likely damage it. If you were to sever the cable you can run it on something else, but just one amp at a time.
 

H

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Cozmium, Thankyou for the reply......Yes I just want to run 1 amp at a time. Which would be the best connectors to use?
 

cozmium

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I can't really suggest what connectors, since I have no idea about any of your system!

Generally when a subwoofer is not an active/self amplified type, it will have some sort of terminal such as the typical binding posts so you can simply run a cable between it and the amp, though some units can have more specialised conenctors such as neutrik ones etc.

I have a concern here however, that whilst i'm saying all this I really have no idea about what 'specific connector' you were talking about and it could well be that whilst the cable appears to be speaker cable, it might not be. What is the equipment and sub you are using? Maybe I can look it up and see what's going on in more detail.
 

H

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I have a Panasonic 5.1 system SC-BT230. I have a Brenen JB7 with Ruark MR1 speakers. I want to split the cable from the subwoofer so can connect to the MR1's as well as keep connected the Panasonic 5.1 system. But will only run them separate. NEVER at the same time. Basically to save me buying another sub woofer.
 

cozmium

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Ah I see. Electrically what you want to do will work, however there are several issues.

Firstly, the JB7 seems to be quite a small amplifier so if you were to give one of the channels (obviously you can only plug the sub in to one of them and not both) extra load by way of the subwoofer, it might be too much for it to handle. Also even if it could handle the load, it would make the channel you plug it in to notably quieter since the sub and one of the MR1's would be essentially fighting over the power.

Secondly and more significantly, a subwoofer channel is designed to only be for low frequencies, and they tend to sound very bad when you give them higher than what they are designed for. Given that the SC-BT230 also amplifys the sub channel, it would make sense to me that the low frequency filtering is done inside it and not by the subwoofer itself - though this is just a guess. If this is the case, the JB7 will give the sub a full range signal and it will probably sound really bad, and not at all what you were hoping for.

I hate to say it, but I think a seperate sub might be the best way for you. I've looked at the manual and the SC-BT230 doesn't have an aux output, so it's not like you can get a small mono amp and a few wires to hook it up that way either.
 
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