It is possible to use car subwoofers at home with your home stereo receiver. This can be useful if you have some old subs in a box laying in the garage or basement collecting dust. While car subs aren't meant for home use, they can still be paired with a stereo receiver if wired correctly. You cannot simply connect car audio subs to the speaker outputs of your stereo receiver, because it will not only produce poor sound quality, but it could potentially burn out your receiver's internal amplifier.
Things You'll Need
- Two sets of RCA cables
- Low-pass subwoofer crossover
- 12V power converter
- 14-16 gauge speaker wiring
Connect one pair of the RCA cables to the audio outputs on the rear of your stereo receiver. Connect the other end of the RCA cables to the input of the low-pass subwoofer crossover.
Connect the other set of RCA cables from the output of the low-pass subwoofer crossover to any one of the stereo receiver's inputs that will most likely be labeled as "CD", "DVD", "TV", etc. The stereo receiver must be on this setting for the subs to emit sound once the installation is completed.
Run wiring from the 12V power converter to the low-pass subwoofer crossover. To connect the two devices, simply using speaker wiring to connect positive to positive and negative to negative. This power converter will be used to send the necessary 12V power to the crossover. Do not plug the power converter into the wall outlet until the entire installation is completed.
Run speaker wire from the stereo receiver's speaker wire outputs to the subs. To prevent overheating of the stereo receiver's internal amplifier, you must hook up the subs using series wiring. To wire in a series configuration, connect the negative terminal of the amp to the negative terminal of the first sub. Then connect the positive terminal of the first sub to the negative terminal of the second sub. Finally, connect the positive terminal of the second sub to the positive terminal of the stereo receiver. Essentially you are creating a circle of wiring between the stereo receiver and the subs in order to increase the resistance -- measured in Ohms -- and reduce the load put on the stereo receiver's internal amp. This reduces the chances of burning out the internal amp.
Plug in the 12V power converter and turn the stereo receiver to the necessary input setting that you determined in step 2. The subs should now emit sound.
Adjust the low-pass subwoofer crossover's dials (if applicable) to only allow frequencies below 80-120 Hz. You may have to play around with these settings to find the ideal frequency levels for your particular subs.
Tips & Warnings
- Car subs are meant to be used in small spaces (i.e., car trunks), so you may get better performance by placing the sub and box in a closet or under a desk.
- Never do any type of electrical stereo work with any of the components plugged in.
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