Simple Router (then bass management)


2006-01-03 6:20 pm
Hi guys,

I registered a long time ago but life got in the way of DIYing and didn't get very far. I'm now in need of a box to re-route or bypass a signal.

I have 6 outputs from my sound card. These outputs are usually L, R, C, LFE ("sub"), Ls, Rs. All are balanced line level and go to powered monitors. Subwoofer has L/R inputs and L/R outputs. It has a variable XO, phase invert (or whatever), and volume control. It is intended for L/R to go through the sub for a 2.1 configuration, or the LFE to go to either L or R only in a 5.1 or higher setup.

When using my DAW I'm able to work by treating the 5 speakers as full range and only sending dedicated effects in LFE channel to the sub. But I'm also able to do software bass management to check my work should I want to.

Watching movies my computer will decode to 5.1 but not bass manage (as far as I know). It's actually ok for most viewing and I don't have a big problem with it.

But listening to music in stereo I would like to extend the range using the subwoofer.

Short Term Solution: Simply build a switch to alternate L/R between going straight to speakers for 5.1 use, or into sub for XO and from there to speakers. Note that channel 4, LFE, is not sending anything in the stereo scenario. The build needs to be relatively cheap and simple to build.

Long Term Preference: Bass management for 2 to 5 channels.


1) I did a really quick and ugly drawing of this (attached). The inputs are balanced, so I'm wondering what type of switch I'd need. Ground (pin 1?) goes to chassis I guess, so that leaves two pins. Minus and plus (2 & 3 respectively?). When looking at my schematic it looks like DPDT the way I drew the left channel, so would I simply "multiply" that by two? Four pole dual throw?

As you can see the output goes to respective speaker since the sub has L/R in/out. So for channel 4 (3 not applicable) carrying LFE I'd simply route it into Right (in this example). So what's the best bet here; do I go with as many poles as possible (dual throw) or with multiple switches - for example 3 switches, one for each channel; Left, Right and LFE (4pdt, 4pdt, 2pdt)?

2) My LFE (output 4) would have to be going into one of the sub's two inputs for when the L/R signals are bypassing the sub and sent straight to speakers. Would having this connected at all times be a problem?

3) Has anyone done any bass management around here? I've looked but haven't seen any finished projects.

4) What do I need to keep in consideration - if anything - in order to make a move to bass management easier if I start out with a simple switch only? (like, if switching more channels is easier and/or cheaper with relays, do I benefit from using that from the beginning? etc)

Thanks if you made it this far!

Any help is appreciated,



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