connecting sub (without xlr) + monitors to interface

karminder badhwar

New member
Feb 9, 2019
3
0
1
Norway, Oslo
Hey, new on the forum here, illiterate when it comes to music equipment. and looking for some guidance. Thanks for replies in advance :)


So im builing up my system, and trying to connect a pair of monitors to interface, which i dont have a problem with. But im also trying to add in a subwoofer, and i cant find any reasonble priced studio subs, with xlr in/out or trs for that matter, or anything out, without sacrificing alot of power. So im trying to go the other route, of using a normal HT/Music sub and connect them all up. Heres how it all adds up.

Monitors: M-Audio BX5 D3 (a pair)
Subwoofer: Wharfedale SW12
Interface: M-Audio Fast Track C400 - used (getting it dirt cheap, depending on if he still has it)


Now connecting the monitors to the interface is easy enough, a pair of XLR - TRS cables into hole 1-2 and im good. Then a usb to power it, aswell as give it sound from the pc? or do i do that another way? Connecting the sub is whats confusing me, i originally thought TS-RCA into 3 OR 4 since input of the sub is unbalanced, but will the signal still divide and proper audio go to each place its suposed to? like will i still get proper sound out of the monitors and the lows to the sub? since im not driving 2 main cables into the sub, and out again to monitors like you normally would. The pictures are attached below. 1.PNG4.PNG2.PNG3.PNG
 

David Morison

Freshman
Aug 21, 2012
126
4
18
Aberdeen, Scotland
Only had a quick look at the manual, but note the following things:
1: USB seems to be for power and DAW control only, so you'll need to use the analogue inputs or S/PDIF to get audio into the C400.
2: You can use the second pair of outputs to send signal to your sub as you propose, but this will not prevent the full range signal going to your main monitors - so there will be an overlap in sound as both the monitors and sub try to reproduce the lowest octave or so of the sound. Generally this is considered a bad thing, as they won't necessarily have the same frequency and phase response so the tone and output level may be worse doing this than just using the main monitors on their own. It also doesn't take any of the workload off the main monitors, which would be one of the benefits of using the sub in the first place.

So, you probably want to look for either an interface with a built in crossover allowing you to properly separate the parts of the spectrum going to your monitors & sub, or a sub/monitor combination that has an appropriate crossover built in.
 

karminder badhwar

New member
Feb 9, 2019
3
0
1
Norway, Oslo
Only had a quick look at the manual, but note the following things:
1: USB seems to be for power and DAW control only, so you'll need to use the analogue inputs or S/PDIF to get audio into the C400.
2: You can use the second pair of outputs to send signal to your sub as you propose, but this will not prevent the full range signal going to your main monitors - so there will be an overlap in sound as both the monitors and sub try to reproduce the lowest octave or so of the sound. Generally this is considered a bad thing, as they won't necessarily have the same frequency and phase response so the tone and output level may be worse doing this than just using the main monitors on their own. It also doesn't take any of the workload off the main monitors, which would be one of the benefits of using the sub in the first place.

So, you probably want to look for either an interface with a built in crossover allowing you to properly separate the parts of the spectrum going to your monitors & sub, or a sub/monitor combination that has an appropriate crossover built in.

1. So i cannot use the crossover function on the sub to limit for example, only 80hz and lower, without physically driving audio in/out of the sub into monitors? as in the crossover function is worthless unless i have sound going out of the sub to a pair of speakers?

2. Im confused as to why there is a crossover function at all then on the sub, given it has no outputs what so ever.

3. So i power it through the usb, and then next to the guitar sign (nr2) on the front of the interface, theres nr1. I guess i do a 3.5mm jack from pc to a ts/trs into nr 1 for audio ?

4.when it comes to the interface, im more than happy paying upwards of 150$ but i feel like im paying more for the equipments needed to play sound than im paying for the actual speakers itself in the end. Do you know of any 3+ channel audio interfaces with crossovers? i was looking at these ugly mixer/interface combos, and they are relativly cheap, but few of them are also only 16bit 44.1khz. while this m-audio one is 24bit-96khz. im not doing any professional recording, i just want clean sound. Do i need 24bit?

EDIT: i cant find any, all i see is EQ applied to 1-2 which is the mic/line in, or 2-3, 3-4,5-6 depending on the channels. When i look at mains out, theres only 2 and it has no EQ what so ever. I cant find anything.




2nd EDIT: So the price of the wharfedale sw12 is about 385 usd and there isnt much info on it, but i found a page for some specs, heres the link: https://avrevolution.com.au/wharfedale-sw-12-subwoofer.html

while i did find the same sort of sub (spec wise) this is xlr in and out, proper crossover whatnot. But its 250 rms / 500 peak. 400 usd. You reckon its worth it? heres the link: https://www.rcf.it/products/product-detail/-/journal_content/56_INSTANCE_2MT9qNpeXdu4/20195/291541

im afraid the ayra sub might just not give me enough power? im not sure. which is why i had this as my plan B, but i wanted something with some power.
 
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David Morison

Freshman
Aug 21, 2012
126
4
18
Aberdeen, Scotland
1&2: That crossover is used to adjust just how high the subwoofer can play, so it's not useless; but it's only half of a proper crossover which would also include a high-passed output for your monitors.

The other option you could explore is to find monitors that have a variable high pass adjustment on them to allow them to start playing at the same frequency as the subs stop.

3: yes, audio out from the PC into whichever of the interface's inputs is most suitable.

4:, sorry, can't recommend any specific product - I only suggested looking for something with a proper crossover in case there was something out there you might find for yourself.

Re the RCF - don't get too hung up on power - it's almost meaningless when comparing loudspeakers. Look at the maximum SPL instead - that's what your ears hear, not watts. The RCF claims 113dB whereas the Wharfedale claims 118, so the latter should be louder flat out, however either may be loud enough for you - have a look here: http://www.siue.edu/~gengel/ece476WebStuff/SPL.pdf.
 

karminder badhwar

New member
Feb 9, 2019
3
0
1
Norway, Oslo
1&2: That crossover is used to adjust just how high the subwoofer can play, so it's not useless; but it's only half of a proper crossover which would also include a high-passed output for your monitors.

The other option you could explore is to find monitors that have a variable high pass adjustment on them to allow them to start playing at the same frequency as the subs stop.

3: yes, audio out from the PC into whichever of the interface's inputs is most suitable.

4:, sorry, can't recommend any specific product - I only suggested looking for something with a proper crossover in case there was something out there you might find for yourself.

Re the RCF - don't get too hung up on power - it's almost meaningless when comparing loudspeakers. Look at the maximum SPL instead - that's what your ears hear, not watts. The RCF claims 113dB whereas the Wharfedale claims 118, so the latter should be louder flat out, however either may be loud enough for you - have a look here: http://www.siue.edu/~gengel/ece476WebStuff/SPL.pdf.

Interesting, so watt has nothing to do with the loudness? Or it probably has, given it has to power the element, but its all about SPL? Which is why im finding so many HiFi subs with only 200-300w? Because their SPL level is probably high, aswell as the frequency range?

Which leads me to the sub then. This is what i can compare it with, given that im basically illiterate regarding music equipment. I previously had, or still have a logitech z906 and altough i cant find any SPL description of that sub, i know its an 8'' 160watt unit. And the rcf arya 10 is the only reasonble priced sub with xlr in/out i can put money in. I dont have that much cash to blow, you reckon that i Will notice a pretty good difference between those 2? It has crossover and all the Nice input/output i need, without wasting money on dsp's and crossovers and dacs and whatnot. + its from a safe site, unlike the wharfedale sub which is sketchy. Im Just afraid im overhyping buying a sub for almost 400$ when the entite z906 Costs half that, New. Thats all.




Given i buy the rcf sub. It Will then be,

male-female xlr (out from sub, into monitors)

Male xlr-trs (out from nr 1 and 2 to sub in)

Then fix crossover in sub and im good to go? No complicates dacs or external crossovers blabla?

Can i also use a 1/8 Jack to 1/4 Jack from pc into mic/line input on the back there as a way to input the sound? Instead of using 1/2 on the front?

I see theres a Hole in the middle of the mic female input. I assume you shuv a trs in there or am i wrong?
 
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