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Old 30th June 2013, 04:37 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Multiple 2.1 Systems Through Single Input

Hi all,

Does anyone know how to configure two separate 2.1 speaker systems such that they play together through a single input, such as an ipod or computer?

My intended setup is this: I would like to have music on the main floor of my house but also in the basement, all playing the same music. I have a Sony MHC-EC909iP Mini Hi-Fi System (includes Left and Right speakers, Subwoofer, and Receiver/audio-in) and also just picked up two old school Zenith analog floor speakers (with standard red and black speaker wire ports on back). I will be purchasing another subwoofer for the Zeniths.

I'm curious if it would be possible to ditch the Sony receiver and run all six other speakers through a powered mixer/amplifier? My knowledge of this stuff is limited at best, so it's likely that I'm confused. If anyone could clear this up for me and provide a possible solution that would be awesome.

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Old 30th June 2013, 05:47 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2007
the subwoofer is used when the main speakers -later defined as satellites- cannot deliver full output at the lowest frequencies.
Since sound waves become omni-directional in that range -and at high frequencies they beam- stereo separation is not needed so the reason for the .1 in the 2.1 in that configuration. For the same reason you can fill the room with many subwoofers as you want to increase the bass range.
Another reason for the 2.1 existence is a practical reason: low freq range needs a large amount of air to be pushed ( and pulled !) so the need of larger diaphgrams ( with longer excursion) and enough powerful amplifiers; you can dedicate, say 20 W for each satellite and 40 W for the subwoofer. And you don't need expensive passive crossovers ( from the engineering side...) but just an electronic filter that cuts all the frequencies above a certain cutout point, generally below 100 Hz.
So if you have the right speakers you won't need any subwoofer.
The right speakers are 3 way as three is the magic number, you know!
For your particular case I would get a basic amplifier, now they're very cheap, in the 100-200 W range which has RCA jack style input connections, and get 4 speakers of the same type, connect them each channel in parallel, and that's it ! I've heard lately also the so called 'tactile trasducers' which are weird but do function- they'll definitively need a subwoofer
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Old 30th June 2013, 05:57 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: San Antonio
Originally Posted by curtains View Post
Does anyone know how to configure two separate 2.1 speaker systems such that they play together through a single input, such as an ipod or computer?
You're not too confused. What you desire is for the two systems to play together from a single output, such as an ipod or computer.
While it's not always the best solution, I think you could get away with a simple stereo Y cable(s).
It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from enquiry. - Thomas Paine
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Old 30th June 2013, 07:46 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Thank you for your replies.

I am looking for very good low-range coverage in the basement, which necessitates a subwoofer as my stereo speakers themselves will be inadequate. Being a poor college student, I unfortunately do not have the means to buy a really nice system. I did have an idea, which is to ditch the Sony receiver and configure the four stereo speakers and the subwoofer in a 4.1 setup and purchase a 4.1 amplifier receiver (do they make those?). That way, I could run the Zenith speakers and the subwoofer in the basement and the Sony speakers upstairs, thus eliminating the need for the second sub. Is this possible? My goal is obviously not to throw together some makeshift surround sound system, but rather to get powerful audio in the basement while still having sufficient sound upstairs.

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