Q I have a Yamaha R-S202 stereo receiver and would like to connect a Polk Audio PSW 10 active sub to the “B” speaker jacks while still powering the existing pair of Polk speakers from the “A” speaker jacks. Will this work, or must I instead connect the speakers to the line out on the sub? Which connection will give me the best result without causing damage or overload to the amp and will the sub’s volume be controlled from the amp’s volume? — Alex Parkes, via email
A There are a couple of issues with connecting the subwoofer in the way you suggested. First, you won’t have any kind of bass management, so this will likely produce bass that is boomy or bloated, especially in the upper bass regions where the speakers and subwoofer are playing the same notes. Second, I checked the owner’s manual of your Yamaha receiver, and it cautions that when connecting Speakers A and B together, you want to use speakers with an impedance of 16 ohms or higher, or the unit may overheat. You didn’t mention your speakers, but they are probably a more typical 6-8 ohms.
Lacking a subwoofer out connection on your receiver, the best connection would be to use the A-speaker output from the receiver to the Speaker In terminals on your subwoofer. Then wire the subwoofer’s Speaker Out terminals to your speakers. This will allow the sub’s volume to be controlled from the receiver, but you’ll still need to set the subwoofer’s volume initially, which can take a bit of experimenting to find the right level. This connection method will also let you use the low-pass filter on the subwoofer to find the best blend with your speakers, with a suggested starting point of 80Hz, and won’t risk overheating.
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