Help Hooking Up Subwoofer

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by stealthy, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    I just received my subwoofer to add to my PA Setup....I want to make sure I hook it up right, as I have never done it before.

    My Setup:
    -Yamaha MG166cx Mixer
    -Crown XLS Power Amp
    -Yamaha SW118v Subwoofer
    -DOD SR835 Crossover

    I use Aux 1 on the board for the monitors, but I'm not sure how to hookup the sub, or the crossover. THanks in advance!
  2. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Why are you using the Aux 1 for mains instead of the Stereo L/R outputs?

    Are you using a snake? Are the amps on-stage, by the speakers?
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I'm almost afraid to ask why you are using Aux#1 for the FOH, so I'll ignore that one...LOL!
    You take whatever line level output from the mixer that you want to feed the sub with, and run that to the x-over. The x-over then feeds the power amp, and that, of course, feeds the speaker...

    Mixer> x-over>power amp>speaker.
    Really rudimentary stuff here.
  4. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I was not afraid to ask... :)
  5. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Hi BJ, we meet again!

    This would be the block diagram for what I know you have. Stick with balanced cables everywhere if possible. Using unbalanced audio cables is just asking for problems.

    The recommended crossover point for those subs is 90Hz. I wouldn't be afraid to see if you like the way they sound with the rest of the system at 100Hz, but not much higher.

    If you're running in mono do something like this.


    Did you decide if you're bridging the amps? or running them in stereo (dual mono)?

    When you know how you're utilizing your amps, you'll know if you need to make more speaker connections or more crossover connections.

    Rock on!
  6. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    I edited my first post, I meant to say I run the MONITORS through Aux 1.

    For the sub, I am running bridged mono 8ohm on my Crown 202. On my Crown 802 I am running the mains on one channel @ 4ohms, and 2 monitors on the other channel @ 4ohms.

    I'm not currently running a snake, my current routing is this:
    Mixer (XLR) -> Amp (XLR) -> Mains
    Mixer (Aux 1 1/4") -> Amp (XLR) -> Monitors

    It looks like I'm going to have to get some new cables, seeing as how the crossover is all 1/4".

    Should I be running the crossover in stereo or mono?

    I know this sounds like a dumb question, but I have never used a sub or a crossover before. Thanks for the help so far!
  7. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    A snake is simply a long pile of cables - but if you use one, you don't put any amplifier outputs along it. Unless you like melting things.

    I very much doubt a single sub is going to be stereo ;) so I would run the gear mono especially since you're also running your speakers in bridged mode.

    FWIW, I've never used a crossover before. I just hang around here soaking up other people's advice and making it sound like my own.
  8. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member


    Here's the thing...

    All your mains are running from one channel of the XLS802, and you're bridging the sub-amp.
    Therefore, you are running your system in mono, which is fine.

    The crossover probably has a switch that might say something like - "Stereo 2-way or Mono 3-way".
    Don't let the terminology fool you. Even though you're running your system in mono, set the crossover switch to STEREO 2-way, because you just want to add ONE crossover point - {which should be around 90Hz for that sub}.
    You will just be using ONE side of the stereo crossover with this set-up. The other side will do nothing unless or until you get geared up for stereo or (God help us all) try tri-amping.

    You may have to study the frequency setting controls too, some cheap crossovers have a x10 switch to multiply the number on the dial by 10. Make sure you're crossingover at 90Hz and not 900Hz. That would sound like crap.

    I've edited last night's graphic a little bit to be more specific to your set-up. I haven't heard you mention an EQ yet in any of your other posts. If you put an EQ inline between the mixer and crossover / amps - you may need to adjust the cable recommendations. Making sure they are the right type and gender. A lot of EQs have XLR and 1/4" TRS ins and outs, which is convenient - you can come in one type and go out the other and still stay balanced.

    That's all the THINGS I can think of that might trip you up. Study the diagram and see if it makes sense. And if you don't have a dual 31-band graphic EQ, that's the next thing you should be saving up for. On that topic, my recommendation would be, don't buy the first EQ you can afford - $100 EQs are usually next to useless in my opinion.
  9. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    Thank you sir. I think I have a good idea of it now. All of my stuff is kept at a local venue, so when I go tonight I will see if I can put the pieces of my puzzle together. I think I will have to end up getting different cables though. I will report back tomorrow with what I determine tonight :)

    As for the Stereo 2-way or Mono 3-way thing, it looks to me like it is just determined by how you hook it up. There is no switch to do so.

    As for the EQ, no, I dont have one yet. You think thats a good next purchase huh? Ive been eying 2 different ones....ART 355 and the DBX 231, both dual 31ch.
  10. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    Looks like I'm going to have to order 4 cables before I can get everything hooked up.
  11. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    Welp, I got it all hooked up. I have the crossover point at the very lowest setting which is 100hz which is alright I suppose. It weird though, thats the lowest I can set it, and theres STILL the x10 button! Why would anyone want to crossover so high?!

    What do you think about the DBX and ART EQ's I mentioned? I plan on running one channel on the mains and the other on the monitors.
  12. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Because a crossover isn't used JUST for cutting sub signals out - it's also used to split signals in the midrange (usually around 2.5K) for woofer/tweeters - true high end setups use separate amp channels for these.
  13. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I can't testify about the ART, but regarding the dbx I'd save up until you can get into dbx's 12 series. I think the improved performance of the 1231 would be worth the wait.

    Maybe someone else has a recommendation on a good dual-31 for under $300. I can't think of any.
  14. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member


    Check with MadMax, he has a used dbx 2231 listed on his equipment for sale list. I don't know if it's up to date, but ask him - he's around here somewhere. There's an email link and list of gear here.
  15. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    Alrighty, Thanks!
  16. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    You might get a Driverack PA for that money, or close to it. That would provide a digital cross-over plus limiters, as well as parametric and graphic EQs... not the same not having physical sliders, but I would be deeply suspicious of any analog EQs at that price point.

    <edit> even this wouldn't be ideal come to think of it, as I don't think you can configure the left and right channels differently. ie: you would only be able to use the driverack for mains, not monitors.
  17. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    I was actually looking into that piece not long ago, but if thats the case (not able to run the monitors), then I think I will have to look past it...
  18. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Of the DriveRack products the PA would be the best suited to your set-ups, if you can find one for $300, go for it. They usually go for $499 new.

    If you enjoy pink noise, you can get the RTA mic and Auto-EQ to get the room flattened within a minute or so.

    The dbx 2231 is a very smooth and very decent EQ with a typical street price of $500 new. It's no Klark or BSS, but it's way above average even in the $500 range.

    I wouldn't have any reservations if MadMax said it was in good shape. He's got a lot of A-list gear and I don't think he'd steer you wrong.

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