I have Dynaudio Confidence 20 powered by a Nova. The speakers are a bit bass light so I want to add a REL subwoofer. How would I connect the sub to the system?
The Nova has high level (speaker) outputs and low level outputs and the confidence 20s can handle the entire power spectrum. Pick your poison.
Rel recommend that the sub be connected through it’s high-level input either directly to the speaker outs on the amplifier or the binding posts of the speakers themselves. I use the latter option because it is tidier given where my subs are. Whether you connect to an amp or the speakers makes no difference. But you can also connect to the subs low level input into a low level (RCA) out on your Nova. Rel also claim that connecting into the high level input allows the sub to take on some of the character of the main speakers which makes sense to me. Rel also sell a cable that is specifically made for Naims. I cannot imagine that makes any difference.
(probably nails the characteristics needed- although might exist for ‘pre Nova’ kit)
Since the nineties, having owned around ten subwoofers, (a couple for the lionshare of that time!); the consensus was always use the speaker wire method to integrate a sub into a system…
Truly this has shown itself as more musical and better integration, generally speaking,… so I’d certainly encourage at least trialing this (if relatively easy to implement).
For devices with dedicated sub out/‘pre out’ jacks we would easily take the belief that this is ‘the way’. (for 5.1/7.1 etc setups, ‘yes’)
There can be mixed results using pre outs/sub out (dedicated) terminals- the Sunfire Sub that has earned a place in my den setup (ie ‘musical’), doesn’t always lock on, and sometimes goes into a standby or ‘auto off’ cycle,… with the appropriate kick from some music ‘very obviously’ waking it again.
The Naim amplifier is the first front end that hasn’t put that sub to sleep (incorrectly), and I have only heard the sub fire up twice during material…
This seems a ‘better match’ that previous…
Just be aware that every setup can be ‘a little different’; and I would certainly vouch for the old adage that using speaker cabling and wiring the sub in with the main left and right speakers is ‘the best method’ (typically) for musically integrated low blows!
(and may give the option to dial in the crossover point /‘cutoff’ for the mains- depending on the subwoofer used; maybe not relevant to the OP, but ‘food for thunk’ regarding general subwoofer methodology)
Rel subs are really designed to work best through their high level connection, which ideally means connecting them to your loudspeakers
This cable is modified specifically to allow the sub to be connected to the power amp output terminals if you don’t want to connect to the speakers themselves. In those circumstances it can make a difference to the stability and performance of the power amp.
Thanks Chris. I understand that is what Rel implies about how the special Naim-Rel cable works. I’m skeptical because whether you connect the sub to the speaker terminals or to the amp terminals the amp sees almost exactly the same impedance. This is because, in both cases, the sub and speaker are wired in parallel. In any case, the impedance seen by the amplifier is dominated by the impedance of the speaker whatever way you connect the sub. That’s because the input impedance of the high level input to the Rel sub is around 150,000 ohms compared to the nominal 8 ohms of the speaker and this means that adding the sub changes the total impedance seen by the amplifier by less than 0.001%. I would agrue that can have no meaningful impact on the stability or performance of the power amp. I could be wrong about this and perhaps there is something more sophisticated going on but I don’t see it right now. I should add that I own a Rel subwoofer and it is a fantastic piece of kit.
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