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Hooking up a Polk Audio sub to my computer.


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#1 Doug E Fresh

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 04:18 PM

I want to hook up a Polk Audio sub to my computer.

My first idea, and this is probably a long shot, was to hook up the Polk sub to my Logitech system. The reason being it's a bigger sub, and it sounds better.

The issue is that the back of the sub looks something like this.

Posted Image

It has the clip type connectors that you stick bare wire into. The Logitech speakers have 1/8 inch jacks(standard headphone size jacks--maybe they're calling them 3.5mm these days), or some similar size. I'm not really down with cutting the speaker wire to see if this will work, so I'm wondering if anyone has some ideas on a way to get around this? I have a feeling this idea is doomed to fail from the start, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask.

If that won't work, then my next question -- is there a way to get this sub working with my computer? Can I buy a different system, speakers, or anything? Do I just need to buy completely new audio if I want a bigger sub in general?

Thanks for any suggestions.

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#2 Eric - PolkAudio

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 08:40 AM

Hello, it depends on what kind of subwoofer you have with the logitech system. Sometimes the electronics that power the main speakers reside in the subwoofer, so you won't be able to replace it out right. Can you supply a model # of the logitech sub and take a picture of its connection panel?

#3 Doug E Fresh

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 09:33 AM

I guess the sub does power the speakers, since they plug into the back of it? The model is Logitech G51 and this is a picture of the back. Thanks for you help.

Posted Image

#4 Sneakycyber

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 08:15 PM

You could get a spliter to split off the center/sub output from your computer. These will be transmitted in the stereo L/R format on the 1/8 stero connector one of them will be the sub one will be the center IE: the L channel is the sub and the R/ Channel is the center speaker. The Adapter you will need is a 1/8 Stereo Female to stereo RCA then determine wich of the channels is the sub and connect that to your Polk audio sub then connect the other channel to the Logitech system for your center channel. Since the sub is a DVC you will need a RCA spliter and you will also need an RCA female to 1/8 mono adapter to reconnect your center speaker. Wow this even sounds complicated and I just wrote it. Write back if you have questions I will try to explain better.

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#5 Eric - PolkAudio

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 08:42 AM

You could get a spliter to split off the center/sub output from your computer. These will be transmitted in the stereo L/R format on the 1/8 stero connector one of them will be the sub one will be the center IE: the L channel is the sub and the R/ Channel is the center speaker. The Adapter you will need is a 1/8 Stereo Female to stereo RCA then determine wich of the channels is the sub and connect that to your Polk audio sub then connect the other channel to the Logitech system for your center channel. Since the sub is a DVC you will need a RCA spliter and you will also need an RCA female to 1/8 mono adapter to reconnect your center speaker. Wow this even sounds complicated and I just wrote it. Write back if you have questions I will try to explain better.



Yup, this is how I'd hook it up.

#6 Doug E Fresh

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 03:03 PM

Thanks for your reply. This is kind of confusing, but I think I understand up to a point.

OK, at the back of the computer I want to split the sub with a 1/8 in. male to x2 female RCA?
Posted Image

Figure out which is the sub channel, run that to the Polk sub via RCA wire, and split it with a female to male x2 RCA.
Posted Image

And then to get the center hooked back up I have to convert the RCA back to 1/8 in. This is the part that I'm not sure about. Which adapter do I want to get? Because most of the ones I see have two RCA to 1/8 in, and the ones that are single RCA to 1/8 are called mono adapters. Does it matter?

I'm also wondering, if this works will the Logitech sub be off? Because when I yank the orange (center/sub) wire, the sub still plays.

Thanks a lot for your help, I appreciate it.

#7 Sneakycyber

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 09:13 PM

The last adapter should look like this. Depends on what the Logitec sub uses for its input. Are you using a 5.1 sound card set up for 5.1 surround? I guess it doesnt matter if the logitec continues to work as long as you get the polk audio to work yes/no?

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#8 Doug E Fresh

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 01:31 PM

OK, cool. I'm gonna go pick up those connectors today and see what happens. And I guess it doesn't matter if the Logitech sub still plays. I can always just turn it down, or up depending on how bad I wanna piss off my neighbors. Ha! Joking.

I never actually bought a sound card for this computer because someone told me the integrated one I have is good enough. It's just called High Definition Audio Device according to device manager. I hope it's 5.1. I mean, during movies the speakers are definitely independent, I think. Any way I can tell? Also, any idea what this drop menu under the advanced tab is for? It was set to 16-bit CD quality.

Posted Image

Thanks again for your help, I appreciate it.

#9 Sneakycyber

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 08:04 PM

Yep the integrated sound is prety decent. Most newer computers have good sound quality. You have a 7.1 sound card which means you have Front right and left (Green) Center/Sub (orange) R/L rear surround (black) and R/L side surround (gray). If your speakers are a 5.1 setup you want the front plugged into the green, the Sub/center plugged into the orange, and the rear plugged into the black. the gray will be left empty. Make sure the computer knows what type of speakers you have connected (it should know, most systems pop up a communications box when you plug something in). Others have settings in the sound contoll panel to tell it what setup to use. As for the advanced settings I am not sure what those effect. The enhancements, Bass boost will eccentuate lowerfrequencies and it appears has a low pass filter to protect your sub. The virtual surround is for if you only have 2 speakers it will mix the surround chanels with the R/L front channels. Room correction allows you to lengthen or shorten the delay to adjust for the distance between the listener and the speaker. Loudness equalization allows you to adjust or correct the levels of each speaker (or does it automatically).

Chad Mockensturm 

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Certified CompTia Network +, A +


#10 Doug E Fresh

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 09:30 AM

I bought the connectors I need, and when I went to hook them up I realized I packed some other cables needed to do this. I'm in the middle of moving half way across the country and locating anything in this disaster area is near impossible. So unfortunately this project is going to have to wait a couple weeks. When I get to my new place and try this I'll keep you posted on what happened. Thanks a lot for your help, I appreciate it! I hope this works!

#11 Doug E Fresh

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:24 PM

I'm back. In Texas, now.

Trying to hook up my audio, today. Weird thing about this is that when I yank the orange wire from the back of the computer the sub keeps playing. Tried splitting it and got no response from the Polk sub. In fact the only time the Logitechs stop playing is when I pull the green wire. So, I tried splitting that instead and the Polk is now playing.

Not sure why that is. In fact I only ended up using the one 1/8 in. male to x2 female splitter and an 1/8 in. to RCA cable to the Polk. I'm missing a regular audio wire which is why it ended up being hooked up this way. However, something doesn't seem right. When I turn down the left and right in the balance settings menu under speakers properties the center and sub also cut out.

Is the fact that I'm splitting the sub connection from the back of the computer with the 1/8 in. to 1/8 in. the reason for this? I'm going to go pick up an RCA cable and another 1/8 in. to RCA splitter if I need to. The 1/8 to RCA splitter I have looks like this, and it blocks access to the other connectors on the back of the computer. Posted Image
So that's another issue.

Sorry if this post is confusing. This whole fiasco is confusing. Basically, my question: is using an RCA splitter imperative? Because clearly, the phono splitter is not splitting the channels properly.

#12 Doug E Fresh

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 06:06 PM

Found an RCA wire and I ground the splitter down so it fits. Still not working. I don't get it. I pull the orange wire from the back of the Logitech sub, and the sub still plays. I split the sub from the back of the computer via RCA and still no dice.

It seems the only wire that the Logitechs recognize is the green 'front' wire. I can pull out the orange and black and everything still plays. Fronts, rears, center. Any ideas? It seems it may be some kind of configuration problem in my computer sound options?




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