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Sub Woofer w/ Old School Stereo System ? ............

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by dregsfan, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. dregsfan

    dregsfan Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    I gotta tell ya, I don't give a sh!t about Home Theatre Surround Sound, but the sub-woofer thing ( when set within reason) is maybe a different story.

    So, I'm considering maybe adding a sub-woofer to my very old school home stereo system. Which is a 1977 Kenwood Integrated Amp and a pair of (same year) JBL L-40 2-way Bookshelf Speakers.

    Can this be done (and how), and what do I want to get? I'm talking listenable, moderate ( at the most ) amount of bass. Not this overpowering tear the house down, vibrate cars off the road crap. For some reason Klipsch comes to mind. Tell what ya think.

    Many Thanks.

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Does your amp have preamp outputs? If so you can connect those to a powered sub. The sub should have a crossover built in.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  3. dregsfan

    dregsfan Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    The amp doesn't have pre-amp outs.
    Is it still reasonably do-able?

    Thanks mmbongo.
  4. FingerDub

    FingerDub Inactive

    Jan 8, 2016
    My suggestion is to ditch the whole setup. A decent even 8" powered sub is gonna be at least 2 hundo.

    I'd get a sub/satellite system made for computers. I got one for like $120 with a big sub and 5 satellites and it rocks, and the bass hits hard. I mean, you really only need an AUX input, and just connect it to the headphone out of your TV.
  5. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    HSU Research

    I have one of their lower-end subwoofers. Excellent. Anyway you need a sub that accepts speaker-level inputs and has some kind of basic crossover frequency control.
  6. CatSquare


    Mar 7, 2014
    Get a sub that has speaker-level ins and outs and you're set. My basic 110 Polk sub kicks plenty hard for my tastes.
    staccatogrowl likes this.
  7. dregsfan

    dregsfan Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    Yes. Speaker level input(s). That's what I need.

    I have a sub/satellite system made for computers and that's what has made me excited about the sub aspect.
    Can't ditch the Kenwood/JBL system, it's part of the family, plus it sounds plenty good me.The JBL's were $400 in 1977, they're still great speakers.
    Had the Kenwood all these years and everything still works perfectly. It's never failed in any way. Pretty remarkable.

    Thanks for all the input guys.
  8. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    I have a Definitive Technology Super Cube II that I use with my Magnepan MG-Ic speakers. Wonderful integration and very versatile connection capabilities. I am not sure what the current range of their subwoofers are but worth a look.

    I used to have a pair of L-40s in the early '80s; they were great speakers until UPS got their paws on them while shipping them across the country in 1984. :spit: :banghead: :rollno: :vomit:

    What Kenwood amp do you have? I have a late '70s Model 600T FM tuner.

    Edit: spelling.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
    staccatogrowl and dregsfan like this.
  9. dregsfan

    dregsfan Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    Hi Jeff,

    Very cool to hear you had some L-40's. Though I had to have the woofers re-coned due to aging they are like new. I always go to weird extremes to take care of stuff.
    Sorry yours got screwed up. My Kenwood is a KA-3500 which is really pretty small/low wattage, 40w a channel, and physically smaller than the average Integrated amp - but I really like it. Very simple and does just what's needed. I'm about to list a Pioneer SA-7800 that's in fantastic condition, just because the Kenwwod does the job and I don't need 2 stereo amps.
    I'll check out the Definitive Technologies stuff.

    Thanks for the suggestion.
    Tom Bomb likes this.
  10. murphy


    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    I just hope your neighbours are far away
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  11. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb Hypocognitive Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    My first decent amp, back in 1979, was a KA-350, along with a JH turntable, a Sony TCFX6 cassette deck, a pair of mismatched speakers - one Realistic and one HMV. All but the tape deck was gained through a friendship - cost me next-to-nothing. That's a bloody good li'l amp! Music came alive, like magic, for me, and I never looked back. Wish I still had that rig. Hi-fi Heaven :)
  12. Well if you're not rattling the windows and registering on the nearest earthquake detector, then what's the point? :banghead:
  13. dregsfan

    dregsfan Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    murphy I like your avatar.

    The 70's audio components are all over ebay, and other sites for that matter.
    You know when you flip a switch on that old stuff you hear (and feel) a thud, kinda like closing the door on a old '74 Chevy Nova.
    You don't get that on todays equipment. It's pretty great.
    catcauphonic and Tom Bomb like this.
  14. Subs are great. As a bass player, I like to hear the bottom end of kick drum when listening to music. With that said, I am not sure your 40 watt Kenwood has enough wattage to properly power a passive sub-woofer thru the speaker outputs. The low end sucks up a lot of wattage. Perhaps you could look for a self powered sub and use the receiver's headphone output to the sub's line in.
  15. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb Hypocognitive Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    I've come unstuck a few times in that market. 'No one never sold nothin' weren't no good' :( - I got one good tape deck from two auctions. That'll have to do but was never the intention - and one Thorens TT that subsequently met its maker after just a few months. No joy there either.

    It pays to be cautious with this stuff, i think. I could try again but I have what I need now, just the basics, including a serviceable sub and an early Yammy DSP unit for movies :woot: Nice addition, if you like movies and stuff too.
  16. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    You need a powered subwoofer with speakers output From output stereo to input sub; from output sub to speakers.

    Something like this: Polk Audio PSW108
    dregsfan and Stewie26 like this.
  17. Perfect. I did not know anyone made a back panel like this. This would solve the output problem for old receivers that do not have pre-amp or sub outputs.

  18. dregsfan

    dregsfan Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    That Polk Audio PSW108 looks to be just what I would want. Price is right too.

    Thanks y'all.

    Hey, can line level "tape out" (from the Integrated Amp) be used the same as preamp outs for running to the RCA type inputs on the sub? Anybody know?
    Tom Bomb likes this.
  19. FingerDub

    FingerDub Inactive

    Jan 8, 2016
  20. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Here is the rear panel of the Super Cube SWs from the era of mine (the new ones may be different), showing its connectivity.

    Super Cube Rear Panel 01.jpg

    View attachment 1083066

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