How to Connect a Subwoofer to an Integrated Amp That Doesn't Have a Sub Out

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Subwoofer preamp outputs are common on home theater receivers, since a powered subwoofer is an integral part of a surround sound speaker system. Subwoofer preamp outputs are much less common on stereo integrated amplifiers, since a subwoofer isn't a prerequisite for a stereo speaker system. If you have an integrated amplifier without a sub output, but want to use a subwoofer in your system, you still can, if your subwoofer has speaker-level inputs, a common feature on home subwoofers.

Things You'll Need

  • Speaker wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Cut two lengths of speaker wire with your wire cutters. Each length of wire should be long enough to reach from the rear of the stereo amplifier to the rear panel of the subwoofer. Pull apart the leads on each end of each wire, and remove 1/2 inch of insulation from each lead with your wire strippers.

  • Loosen the speaker terminals on the rear of the amplifier by twisting them to the left until a hole appears in the terminal post. There will be two pairs of these, each with one red terminal (+) and one black terminal (-). One pair will be marked "right" and the other "left." Insert the bare ends of one of your speaker wires into the "right" terminals and the other wire into the "left" terminal. Tighten the terminals by turning them to the right.

  • Insert the other ends of these speaker wires into the speaker-level inputs of the subwoofer. There will be two pairs of these, each with one red terminal (+) and one black terminal (-). These will be marked "speaker in," with one pair marked "right" and the other "left." Insert the bare ends of one of your speaker wires into the "right" terminals and the other wire into the "left" terminal. Tighten the terminals by turning them to the right.

  • Cut two lengths of speaker wire with your wire cutters. Each length of wire should be long enough to reach from the rear of the subwoofer to your speakers. Pull apart the leads on each end of each wire, and remove 1/2 inch of insulation from each lead with your wire strippers.

  • Insert one end of each of these speaker wires into the speaker-level outputs of the subwoofer. There will be two pairs of these, each with one red terminal (+) and one black terminal (-). These will be marked "speaker out," with one pair marked "right" and the other "left." Insert the bare ends of one of your speaker wires into the "right" terminals and the other wire into the "left" terminal. Tighten the terminals by turning them to the right.

  • Insert the other ends of these speaker wires into the inputs of the speakers. Each speaker will have one pair of terminals with one red terminal (+) and one black terminal (-). Insert the bare ends of the speaker wires connected to the "right" output of the sub to the speaker on the right side of your listening area and other wire into the left speaker.

References

  • "Practical Home Theater: A Guide to Video and Audio Systems (2010 Edition)"; Mark Fleischmann; 2009
  • Photo Credit hi-fidelity amplifier image by Yorkie Paul from Fotolia.com
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