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Installing new receiver with old speakers?

by tomdickens / August 1, 2009 9:54 AM PDT

My old receiver died, and I now have an Onkyo 307 Dolby 5.1 receiver, but I can't seem to make it work. I have always had a 6 speaker set up (2 front, center, subwoofer, 2 rear) speaker set up that I like. The old receiver set up ran the fronts to the subwoofer, and connected the fronts from there.

The Onkyo set up instructions suggest as the only option a subwoofer out jack connection to the subwoofer. Since my Klipsch has no such connection, I tried hooking up the same way as the old receiver, Now, I have sound only on the center channel. Even setting the receiver to think there is no subwoofer changes nothing.

Any thoughts short of dumping a perfectly good subwoofer for want of a jack connector? Or is this variation in connections not the problem?

Thanks!

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What model sub or a...
by givemeaname / August 1, 2009 10:41 AM PDT

Photo of the back would help.


You could try too sell it and use that money to goto a new sub.

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Model
by tomdickens / August 1, 2009 12:52 PM PDT
In reply to: What model sub or a...

The sub is Klipsch SW8. The back is just 4 speaker wire clips in & four out, plus dials for volume & crossover freq, and an on/off.

Being about 18 years old, I suspect the sale price on e-bay wouldn't cover sales tax on a replacement. Plus I'd have to re-wire the set up, which is inside walls, etc.

Thanks!

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...
by givemeaname / August 2, 2009 3:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Model

I found a photo of that they said was the sw8... on the back top left side was a L/R INs RCAs and the right below that OUTs L/R RCA ports. Is that on yours???? Or did they mix it up with the sw8II. Any way if yours has that, you plug the R or the L 'IN' RCA into the (OUT) sub port on your reciever and change the sub to LFE.
The sub should have came with a short Y RCA cable to split the one RCA line from the reciever to the subs 2 RCAs.

What I do know from reading some reviews, the sub sucks for movies and is only good for music.
Craigslist is 100% free to sell stuff, just take cash only.. No ifs ands or buts, because it is mostliky a scam. And look like you can get $100-125 for it used.

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Back of my subwoof
by tomdickens / August 5, 2009 1:50 AM PDT
In reply to: ...

No, I have no RCA jacks. The only input choice is a pair of speaker wire clips for left, and another pair for right.

It seems a clear inference that wiring the front speakers though the subwoofer is causing them to cut out. Maybe this will sound dumb to more sophisticated folk, but how does the receiver "know" the wires are passing through a subwoofer? The old receiver had no problem with this. The receiver is ending out front speaker signals and (to my thinking) has no feedback to say what happens next beyond knowing if the circuit is complete.

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crossover
by givemeaname / August 5, 2009 4:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Back of my subwoof

I think it is the sub... Something to do with the crossover... I am guessing that you have tried cranking the crossover high???
And have you set the reciever speaker settings to 'large', also if you have a bluray player set the fronts to 'large'. That will make the reciever push all sounds to the speakers, when it set to small it cuts the low-end stuff stuff.. That could be it??? Try this with LFE on the sub set to ON and OFF.

How long had the sub been setting before you hooked it up to the new reciever and >>was it unpluged<<??? Days, Weeks, months???

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Receiver settings
by tomdickens / August 7, 2009 1:15 AM PDT
In reply to: crossover

Thanks again for your help!

I've tried setting the receiver as if there is no subwoofer, thinking it would force sending all front signal to the fronts which matches the wiring. I've tried saying there is a subwoof and fronts are large (which instructions say is presumed when the setting is no subwoof). I've tried crossover on receiver low as it goes so the whole signal is heading to the fronts, and higher just to see what happens. Some very logical ideas, none of which produce a decibel from the fronts or the subwoof.

I replaced the old receiver because the center channel died. I used it in music mode the night before I installed the new Onkyo (on the old unit, music never played through center because that's the way the music setting worked). So the subwoof down time was overnite.

And don't have a bluray. I've tried DVD, Sat/DVR and CD player sources, no difference in sound out.

Sorry if I sound dumb, but I do not know what LFE is and the subwoof has nothing so labeled.

What if I bought a wire to use the subwoof out jack, clipped the other end, and hooked it to the sub? Any idea how many wires I'd have and how they might be hooked to the subwoof?

It would be a tricky bit of rewiring since my wires are buried in a wall, but I could pull them from the sub & hook the fronts directly into the Onkyo.

I'm thinking if you know how to make this work the name I would give you is genius! But I'm afraid the name of this set up is "hopelessly incompatible."

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....
by givemeaname / August 7, 2009 7:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Receiver settings

The cutting a sub cable may work... Try it with a super cheap RCA cable that you do not care about. There will be a inner copper core then on the outside fine copper wires...
Things to have:
Lighter... The copper wiring is too thin to use a wire striper so you have to burn off the plastic and you have to burn off the coating on the copper wire. DO THIS OUT SIDE!!!!!! It will smell.
Electrical tape

If it works get a better thicker cable.

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.
by jostenmeat / August 7, 2009 8:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Receiver settings
No, I have no RCA jacks. The only input choice is a pair of speaker wire clips for left, and another pair for right.

Use both sets. I am assuming that there is another set of FOUR speaker/highlevel outputs. Use these outputs to connect to the speakers.

It seems a clear inference that wiring the front speakers though the subwoofer is causing them to cut out.

Outside of some extremely gross settings on the sub, it appears there is something defective with the unit.

Maybe this will sound dumb to more sophisticated folk, but how does the receiver "know" the wires are passing through a subwoofer?

It doesn't.

The old receiver had no problem with this. The receiver is ending out front speaker signals and (to my thinking) has no feedback to say what happens next beyond knowing if the circuit is complete.

I'm sorry I don't quite understand, and I'm sure that the fault is mine here.


I've tried setting the receiver as if there is no subwoofer, thinking it would force sending all front signal to the fronts which matches the wiring. I've tried saying there is a subwoof and fronts are large (which instructions say is presumed when the setting is no subwoof). I've tried crossover on receiver low as it goes so the whole signal is heading to the fronts, and higher just to see what happens. Some very logical ideas, none of which produce a decibel from the fronts or the subwoof.

If your receiver is even somewhat considered current: 1. Tell receiver there is NO subwoofer. 2. Make sure fronts are set at full range. What now happens is that the LFE (which is a discrete signal) meant ONLY for the subwoofer, is now downmixed into your mains. This signal is tremendously reduced in order to protect both your receiver's amp section, and the speakers themselves. (For most current subs use their own, and often extremely beefy, amplifier). Actually, just the fact that your speakers are set to full range should already do the trick. The subwoofer off in the receiver will get you more bass response during action sequences.

I replaced the old receiver because the center channel died. I used it in music mode the night before I installed the new Onkyo (on the old unit, music never played through center because that's the way the music setting worked). So the subwoof down time was overnite.

It might not hurt to try calling Klipsch.

Sorry if I sound dumb, but I do not know what LFE is and the subwoof has nothing so labeled.

Stands for Low Frequency Effects. In most modern day setups, the sub not only plays the LFE, but also anything re-directed from ALL of the other channels (and how much of those is dependent on the xover points chosen). Not essential for you to understand right now, but I wanted to make the point that LFE is truly a discrete signal.

What if I bought a wire to use the subwoof out jack, clipped the other end, and hooked it to the sub? Any idea how many wires I'd have and how they might be hooked to the subwoof?

I'm sure that's NOT going to work, at least effectively. The high level inputs are expecting amplification of the signal. The sub out is a low level preamp signal. It still needs to be amplified. Your sub is not self amplified, correct? Or is it? In any case, Im quite sure it still needs an amped signal regardless.

I'm thinking if you know how to make this work the name I would give you is genius! But I'm afraid the name of this set up is "hopelessly incompatible."

My guess is "defective". A close up shot of the inputs and knobs of your sub would go a long ways in helping us help you.
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I google the SW8, but didn't come up with too much.
by ahtoi / August 8, 2009 1:10 AM PDT
In reply to: .

If this sub. was made before receiver have descrete sub. output, the sub. could be getting their power and signals from the R/L front speaker output connections and the R/L front speakers gets their power from the crossover filter in the sub. housing. These were the day when we only have stereo receiver.

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yes
by jostenmeat / August 8, 2009 5:43 AM PDT

my entire post was made under that same assuumption.

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The back
by tomdickens / August 9, 2009 10:06 AM PDT
In reply to: yes

It does not appear to be possible to post pictures. If you know how, I'll post.

Thanks for the thought about contacting Klipsch -- I e-mailed them & Onkyo as well. For lack of a picture, that we try again to describe what I see, since it is really very, very simple. On the back of most any audio equipment I've seen there are red and black push clips to connect speakers, one pair for each channel. On the back of the Onkyo, I have a pair for front left in a pair for front right.

The normal wiring on my old receiver was to run the front speaker wires to the back of the Klipsch, where it has the exact same type of connectors labeled "from amplifier." The front speakers are in the system via a second set of the same connectors, i.e., a red and black pair for the left front, and another for the right. These are clearly marked "to speakers."

There are also 2 pairs of RCA jacks, one red one white per pair, similarly marked as being left and right input.

And that's it. The rest of the back is an off switch, a fuse (which is just fine, I checked), a rotating dial for volume, and a similar dial to set the crossover frequency, which I know means what part of the signal stays with with a subwoofer and what is sent on to the fronts.

Yes, I tried telling the Onkyo there is no subwoofer, which does indeed mean the entire signal to the fronts should have been sent out to the sub woofer, divided then by the Klipsch, and the appropriate signal sent on to the fronts.

The Klipsch is a powered subwoofer to answer one of the questions. An Onkyo documentation does reveal that the subwoofer out is a preamp signal. If I could get that to the Klipsch somehow I'm sure the Klipsch could amplify adequately from there.

I am sure this could be a defect issue. It just seems so unlikely the unit worked fine the night before, but went out the very day I took the old receiver off-line. Maybe I'll re-attach the old receiver to see if the Klipsch works, which would prove defect/breakage is not the issue. But where would that leave me? I would know everything works, just not together, which is sort of where I am now (even if partly by assumption).

Thanks again to everyone who posted! If Onkyo or Klipsch can solve this, I'll post the answer.

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So it does have RCA jacks
by givemeaname / August 9, 2009 12:34 PM PDT
In reply to: The back

L/R is for the sub woof out on the reciever... A good sub cable comes with a short 'Y' cable with one being a female end and then it is split to L/R males, those goto the back of the sub. That is how I have my sub hooked up.


You can use Photobucket.com (free) too host a link to photos.... there are others out there but that is who I use.

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okay
by jostenmeat / August 9, 2009 3:31 PM PDT
In reply to: The back

1. Tell receiver sub is ON.

2. Connect sub to receiver sub preamp output using an RCA cable (same things as sub cable, coax, etc). You don't need a Y connector, either L or R is fine, though sometimes L is the default for some. Using both gets you a 3db increase, and you'll recalibrate accordingly. You don't need it though.

3. Set the xover to the absolute maximum (or even defeated if possible). If you were to use both sub's xover and receiver's xover at the same time it's bad (cascading xover's).

4. Set front speakers to small, and have directly connected to receiver outputs. (just to be clear use the A set, not the B zone or anything).

5. Apply 120hz xover to start with.


report back.

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Onkyo tech support to the rescue!!!
by tomdickens / August 12, 2009 1:07 AM PDT
In reply to: okay

I have not had time to buy the wires to try your suggestion, but it sounds like a winner.

Meanwhile, I have to tell you that Onkyo has a brilliant suggestion in response to my asking about this. I quote it in full:

If your subwoofer has connections for your front speakers then you would connect the bear wires from the subwoofer to the front speakers (a) and then connect your front speakers to your subwoofer otherwise the subwoofer is just not compatible with the Onkyo.

Thanks,
Jose

I wrote back for clarification, as I want to be sure Onkyo thinks I should connect the sub to the front speakers twice but connect nothing to the Onkyo. No response so far.

I'm not over-the-top sarcastic -- if I were, I would have made a crack about bear wires.

Thanks for your help.

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