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Bass Rig as Surroind Sound Sub ?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by nashman, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. nashman


    Feb 11, 2011
    I was just wondering if it would be possible to connect my bass rig to my surround sound system - to act as a sub. Sub out from surround receiver to input on amp?
  2. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    Is the output from your receiver roughly pre-amp level (to send to a powered sub) or is it speaker-level (to send to a passive sub)? If it's pre-amp level connect it to the effects return or power amp input on your bass amp. If it's speaker-level, connect it directly to your cab, bypassing your bass amp completely. If you are REAL careful with the volume level on your receiver you might avoid immediate destruction of your bass amp/cab if you connect a pre-amp level from your receiver to the instrument input on your bass amp, and you might also avoid immediate destruction of your bass amp/cab if you connect a speaker-level from your receiver to your effects return .

    Under no circumstances should you connect a speaker-level output from your receiver to the instrument input of your bass amp.

    No matter what you do, the respective input and output impedances are probably going to be horribly mismatched.

    The only safe scenario is speaker-level output from receiver directly to your cabinet, bypassing the bass amp completely. Unless, of course, you have a tube receiver, in which case you have to match the speaker impedance to the receiver output. A 4 ohm or 8 ohm bass cabinet should work just fine with any solid state receiver.
  3. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    my dad had my old peavey 215 cab hooked to his home theater. don't know how he had it done but knowing my dad he just took the output of his receiver or whatever a home theater box is called, put a quarter inch plug on it and plugged it in. When the magic smoke didn't come out and sound did, he pronounced it ready to go and started watching movies.
  4. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    Assuming it's a line level signal, and not amplified, you could probably get it to function. If your amp has an 'active' input, use that, or effects return. In terms of phase, which is a subwoofer issue, it'll be hit or miss. As long as it's a line level output, you've got nothing to lose by trying.
  5. nashman


    Feb 11, 2011
    Hi - the sub out from my surround receiver is connected to a powered sub - so it must be pre-amp level. My rig is right beside my tv and surround system - which got me thinking of this set-up.
  6. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    Even if you have a suitable input level to the bass amp, I don't think most musical instrument bass speaker cabinets would make a good subwoofer for a home surround sound system. A subwoofer for a home stereo/entertainment system probably has a much different response curve than most music instrument speaker systems. Some bass guitar amp speaker systems may have a response more appropriate for this application than others. Get yourself a nice Velodyne sub for your entertainment/stereo system.
  7. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    i think not a great idea. it may produce sound and not explode or catch fire, but that doesn't mean it'll sound good. there are powered subs. there are bass amps. two very different products. so many bass rigs really don't do a whole lot of work below about 80 hz with authority--- where subs do most of their work. sure if you have a boutiquey T/S'd to death $1000 cab it would sound pretty good, but would you want to give it a signal it isn't designed for? i'd say just don't. probably won't hurt a thing, but that's still what i think, and IMO, it won't do what you're thinking it will.
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I ran the powered sub out from my receiver to a Carvin 2-10 cab one time. It sounded amazing. Very clear and defined. Not to rumbly. I ended up throwing a piece of cloth over the cab and put a lamp on it. Everyone thought it was a square table. But, again, it was a 100W powered out for the sub. And I simply (as fhm555 suggested) cut the end off of a 1/4" speaker cable and put the stripped ends under the terminals on the receiver.

    So, if you have any way of getting to the speaker wires on the combo, and you have a powered out for the sub, then you should be good to go. Start out at very low volumes and see what it does.

    As for non-powered signal going into the input of a combo, there are probably quite a few reasons not to, or we would ALL be doing it! (I'm imagining mine running into my Mesa Walkabout Scout 15" combo....... KABOOM!) I would have to see schematics of both the receiver and amp to know if it would be OK though.
  9. I doubt it will sound as good as a sub you can build for under $100 (BFM T18 for reference)

  10. nashman


    Feb 11, 2011
    Appreciate all the responses. Glad I asked before I bothered trying it. Sounds like a classic case of using the wrong tool for the job. Thanks to all. ;)
  11. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I wouldn't knock it till I tried it. My dad was mostly deaf from a few decades of flying helicopters and airplanes so one thing you always get when you watch a movie with him is plenty of volume. With my old 215 cab hooked to his system, it shook the place with no farting or rattle and at normal volume it sounded really good as well.
  12. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    You have nothing to lose by trying, save for a 1/4 to rca adapter or 2. I used a bass amp as a sub for a year or two. Was it perfect? No. Was it good enough? At the time yes, and it only cost the price of the said adapters. The other thing to put on the scale is the relative quality of the other equipment. If it's high end, state of the art? The bass amp probably will not cut it. If it's low to mid level consumer gear, it might be good enough. But like I said, you've got nothing to lose by trying.
  13. georgiagoodie

    georgiagoodie It's all fun&games 'til the winged monkeys show up Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    I have been utilizing a bass rig (Peavey Megabass into a Fender Dual Showman (big) cab ((2) JBL 15") (right behind my recliner, facing back toward the wall) for over 15 years (SOUNDS GREAT!). I use the line level sub out from my receiver. I crank the lowest octave slider in the graphic EQ all the way up, next octave slide at 0, everything else all the way down. I set the input pad around 1 (very sensitive on the input pad, some minor tweaking may be needed), and the master around 6. 'Works for me! 'Talking about getting kicked the pants...

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