Noob question - RCA troubles

Discussion in 'A/V Interconnects, Cables & Power Conditioning' started by Trev, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Trev Audioholic

    Trev
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    Hey fellas, I know you've gotten this probably a hundred time, at least the first part. I've done some digging in the search, I just can't dig much longer than I have at the moment. Figured I'd outright ask.

    Issue 1: SPDIF RCA cable... Tried one of the cables I had last night running to an old Yamaha receiver (working on parent's system). It takes care of Dolby 5.1 with no trouble, but no DTS. Is this a situation of it's either on... or off? Can RCA cables handle DD5.1 and not DTS? Cable issue / Receiver decoding issue?

    Issue 2: Sub woofer has speaker wire, no RCA output. Receiver only takes RCA. I've read it's one or the other. Can't run speaker wire into a line and vice-versa? Wondering if anyone could confirm that for me? No adapters can pull it off?

    It's a weak old system, but I've been making strides getting the old ones into technology. I'd be thankful for any info.

    Best Regards,

    T.
    Trev,
  2. markw Audioholic Overlord

    markw
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    RCA cables are easily capable of handling both DD and DTS. An old video cable (blue, I think, as if it matters) does it quite well on my system for both. Your problem is with either the receiver or the source unit.

    Hard to say from what you say here, but my take is that you have a passive (non-powered) sub. A passive sub needs a amplifier to power it. Your receiver's sub/LFE output is made to feed a powered sub, not a passive one.

    That "adapter" to which you refer is a power amplifier.
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  3. Trev Audioholic

    Trev
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    Makes perfect sense Markw.

    Nail on the head. Source acknowledges DTS output on it's display. Wager the receiver is having the trouble. I'll have to dig up the model and scope out specific or known troubles with it.

    Thanks again man,
    Trev,
  4. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

    BMXTRIX
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    Maybe worth adding that this is most likely an issue with your A/V receiver not supporting DTS. If the receiver is older, then it won't support things like DTS.

    I'm assuming the receiver is pre-HDMI, which is an indicator of age these days, as any receiver with HDMI connections will likely have DTS support.

    Make sure you are using a decent RCA terminated cable. I have had some issues when I've used the cheapest RCA cables out there - poorly built ones. But, a 'premium' RCA cable from Monoprice always does a good job for me. The video cable (yellow RCA connector) that runs with a red and white RCA cable is also typically good enough for this duty. But, once again, the cheapest ones can have issues.

    Worth correction: Subwoofers have inputs, not outputs generally speaking. Your A/V receiver has a subwoofer output which feeds the subwoofer signal, which the subwoofer then amplifies. Since the subwoofer doesn't have an internal amplifier, you would need to provide an external amplifier... OR... if the receiver supports it, run the left/right audio through the subwoofer connections, then onto the left/right main speakers.

    A cheap subwoofer amplifier can be found here:
    Subwoofer Plate Amplifiers in the Speaker Components Department at Parts Express | 332

    You can put it into a box, or into your wall if you want, but those plate amplifiers are typically installed into the subwoofer box itself.

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