Stereo cables as subwoofer cable???

DannyD
DannyD Posts: 133
My friend bought a polk speaker package paired with a denon receiver. The sub it came with is the psw125. The sales guy sold him stereo cables and told him to use of them as the subwoofer cable. I thought it was weird but anyway it works. My question is would an actual subwoofer cable make the sub sound better? how do these cables differ the way they are built?
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Post edited by DannyD on

Comments

  • ernesto.gomez
    ernesto.gomez Posts: 7
    edited December 2008
    Hi Keiko,

    I have the same question and sorry first for my ignorance.

    The sub cables are not like coaxial cables, where 2 signals can be send in one cable, and should not be used as RCA cables.

    For example, if I have a preamplifier with 2 preouts and I connect in one of the preout the subwoofer with two sub cables, does this connection is ok, or it is better to buy RCA cables.
  • John K.
    John K. Posts: 822
    edited January 2009
    Ernesto, there's no such thing as a specific "sub cable", although some sellers label one of their cables that way. The cable that can be used to connect a sub is simply any adequately shielded coaxial cable, as Keiko mentioned, with an RCA plug on each end. Part of your question isn't entirely clear, but if you mean that you're going to connect left and right outputs from your preamp to the two inputs on your sub, then of course you'll need two shielded coaxial cables, and it doesn't matter whether the seller calls them RCA, subwoofer or whatever.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,290
    edited January 2009
    Most "sub cables" are built with Coax type cabling due to long runs and coax type cable shield out noise better.
    I find standard analog single ended RCA type cables to work fine for short runs. I do it all the time when the sub lives right next to the cabinet that the gear is in. But for longer runs I use RG59 or RG6 and it works great.

    Remember sub out is limited bandwidth. It only carries 80hz( or wherever your starting point is)and down.

    Dan
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Hilbert
    Hilbert Posts: 316
    edited January 2009
    I second the Blue Jeans recommendation---saw big sound improvement when I switched to their RCAs to connect my CDP to receiver, and receiver to amp.

    When I went from 2.1 to 5.1 I emailed them to ask how I might order 3 of the RCAs (ordinarily sold in pairs) and they replied that I should order 1 pair and 1 subwoofer cable of the same length. Which I did with good results.

    I also got a (longer) BJC sub cable for my sub (replacing a Monster cable) and the sub's automatic turn-on feature has become much more sensitive---the sub now turns on automatically on quite a few tracks where manual turn on was required with the Monster cable.
  • Face
    Face Posts: 14,340
    edited January 2009
    Hilbert wrote: »
    I also got a (longer) BJC sub cable for my sub (replacing a Monster cable) and the sub's automatic turn-on feature has become much more sensitive---the sub now turns on automatically on quite a few tracks where manual turn on was required with the Monster cable.
    I experienced the same thing going from a Acoustic Research cable to BJC. The AR was so bad, it would never turn the sub on at low volumes, and would allow the sub to shut off all the time.
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  • Jigsawpuzzle
    Jigsawpuzzle Posts: 13
    edited January 2009
    A friend of mine bought a subwoofer and connected it with an ordinary RCA cable. For some reason, maybe the cable had a problem but there was a constant humming till he changed the cable.. Till last week i have been using the normal RCA cable that gave me no problems at all.
  • To the comment on “no such thing as a specific subwoofer cable”: not true any more. I have one in my hand right now.

    My new set up came with a single cable labeled “subwoofer” and color-coded as light purple or lavender to match the correct color-coded output connector on the back of the new computer tower. Neither end of this “subwoofer” cable had RCA connectors, only the standard computer connectors, same as the other computer-back connectors for microphones, speakers etc. (though the cable is no doubt ordinary coax on the inside). Still haven’t figured out how to connect it properly to my old Polk subwoofer, which has only the standard RCA L/R input. Any ideas?
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 19,450
    Maybe try an RCA ended cable. Seems logical to me.
  • GlennDog
    GlennDog Posts: 2,468
    edited August 2020
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  • msg
    msg Posts: 6,682
    edited August 2020
    Palladin wrote: »
    My new set up came with a single cable labeled “subwoofer” and color-coded as light purple or lavender to match the correct color-coded output connector on the back of the new computer tower. Neither end of this “subwoofer” cable had RCA connectors, only the standard computer connectors, same as the other computer-back connectors for microphones, speakers etc. (though the cable is no doubt ordinary coax on the inside). Still haven’t figured out how to connect it properly to my old Polk subwoofer, which has only the standard RCA L/R input. Any ideas?
    By standard computer connnectors, do you mean 3.5mm connectors? Like a phone's headphone jack? Some computer surround sound card interfaces use 5 or more channels like this.

    To connect a sub with RCA port(s) on it with 3.5mm output from a computer's subwoofer jack, you'll need a 3.5mm to RCA conversion cable. I've never tried this with a computer sound card. (I wonder what the output voltage will be from the computer's sound interface? Hopefully it's strong enough for a decent input signal) You might just try a regular 3.5mm to RCA stereo cable and see how it works, otherwise, you'll want a 3.5mm to RCA mono cable. Connectors look similar but mono has one less ring.

    I think those types of sound cards are designed more for computer speakers, at least in terms of ease of cabling.

    Are you trying to connect something like this to a sub?
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  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 46,266
    Palladin wrote: »
    To the comment on “no such thing as a specific subwoofer cable”: not true any more. I have one in my hand right now.

    My new set up came with a single cable labeled “subwoofer” and color-coded as light purple or lavender to match the correct color-coded output connector on the back of the new computer tower. Neither end of this “subwoofer” cable had RCA connectors, only the standard computer connectors, same as the other computer-back connectors for microphones, speakers etc. (though the cable is no doubt ordinary coax on the inside). Still haven’t figured out how to connect it properly to my old Polk subwoofer, which has only the standard RCA L/R input. Any ideas?

    Sounds like it's possibly a proprietary cable, but it could be a standard XLR. Please post a picture.

    Anyway, there has been a very specific subwoofer cable around for a long time. REL uses it and it's not a coax cable.
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