Receiver Questions


Unregistered guest

1. A new receiver.


1. Two stereo speakers and a subwoofer that uses a dual voice coil driver. The subwoofer is not powered.

2. Two receivers. One is stereo with 35 w/channel. The other is a 4 channel surround sound (100 w/channel). Both are pretty old, probably in the 1980's or early 1990's for the surround receiver; the stereo receiver is definitely from the 1980's at the latest. I have used the stereo unit to drive my stereo speakers and send a signal to the surround receiver which powers the subwoofer (no surround speakers are used).

3. CD player, cassette player & a turntable.


1. The digital display (LED's?) on the surround receiver went black and I question that I could get it repaired for less than I originally paid (I think it was $100 as a clearance item).

2. I would like to have a little more "juice" to the stereo speakers though the above is the true motive for the change.


1. I want to play a stereo (not surround sound etc.) which has the two stereo speakers and the passive sub-woofer with a dual voice coil driver.

2. In addition to music CD's and cassette tapes, I want to play vinyl recordings (LP, 45 rpm & 78 rpm).

3. Sometimes I will want to send a line out grade signal to my computer when playing music per the above so I can copy it to my computer and then upgrade the recording quality (especially for the vinyl source recordings). As a side comment I have the program Clean! Plus 4.0 (but have never used it as yet).


1. One unit I am currently looking at is a Pioneer VSX-D514S ($190, Circuit City)) which is a 500 watt 5.1 system using stereo, center and rear speakers. The subwoofer output is at a preamp out level. It has no phono input. Circuit City offers a $40 powered preamp unit (probably fits in the palm of your hand); I was told I could use this on the phono input and send the preamp output to the CD inputs on the receiver.

I was also told that such a preamp unit would be of sufficient quality to produce a fairly clean signal as at the preamp level of amplification, it does not require very sophisticated circuit. Does this seem correct????

2. I would think that when I want to play the system as a stereo and use the subwoofer, I could send the surround speaker signals to the subwoofer. Is this true????

3. When I want to go to the computer, I could use the receiver output to cassette deck signal. Is this true????

4. A long time ago, I was told (or read) that when you have unconnected speaker outputs, you may damage the receiver components if they are not connected to speakers. On the old surround receiver, I had a volume knob for the surround speakers and I always had the volume for this turned all the way down. Is it true that you may damage the receiver this way???? If so, than if the volume is turned all way down, will this avoid the damage????

5. Related to the preceding question, I suppose in today's receivers that you would normally have individual volume controls for each speaker or at least each set of speakers (ie, the stereo set, the surround set and the single center speaker)????

6. Will such a receiver send sound signals to the stereo speakers and the surround speakers when my input is ordinary stereo or even monaural????

In advance, thank you for any help that you can provide.


1. Why did I not previously try to use the surround receiver to drive both the stereo speakers and the subwoofer as I described above; darn.


Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 178
Registered: Jan-05

If you have no interest in surround sound, I would recommend looking into a 2 channel receiver. That way you arent paying for features you will never use, and get more bang for your buck.

Unregistered guest
Same here.

Unregistered guest
Same here.

Unregistered guest
But if even when I have monaural or stereo input, I still have output sent to the rear surround speakers, then I can drive the stereo speakers and the passive subwoofer from the same receiver. This is certainly preferable to having to use a second receiver to drive the subwoofer.

If this is the case, then I am still basically my original set of questions.

Unregistered guest
I'd say do yourself a favor and just buy a decent cheap self-powered subwoofer like a dayton ( or JBL e150/e250 ( which you can use with the 35wpc stereo receiver, if you're OK with its performance. I'm assuming that receiver has a subwoofer preout.

If not then buy a stereo receiver that has a subwoofer preout as well as a new cheap subwoofer. My first recommendation would be an HK3480 ($300 shipped at if you want really good sound quality, if not the Pioneer can't be too bad.

Either way I doubt a passive sub could ever hope to match the peformance of a self-powered one, unless you had it running off of some killer amp.
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