2 subs connected to a 2 channel amp?

To hook up 2 subs to a 2 channel amp, does that mean I need 3 pairs of cables from the left and the right? One pair to the speaker per side and then to each sub?  

That seems like a crap load of cables. 

Has anyone ever done anything like this? 


I would love some instructions, if you know of any. 


Subs I am looking at only have high level in, not out, FYI. 

IF I’m reading you correctly- you have a pair of speakers, and a pair of subs, one sub dedicated to each speaker.

If so, you need a speaker wire to to each speaker, and a speaker wire to each sub. The sub may have two inputs ( two positive, two negative), but you’ll only be using one set of them. There are usually two high level inputs on the back because often only a single sub is used, and it’s a convenient way to get both left and right signals inputted.

If this is the case, reply back and it’s all pretty straightforward to explain.

Thanks.  Sub isn't dedicated to the speaker necessarily. I just have a bigger room and from what I understand, dual subs help even out response and give you the necessary compression. 

Anyway, amp is a Willsenton r300, arriving tomorrow.  Speakers are klipsch la scala and I'd like to add a couple subs to the mix, too.  Just want to make sure wiring up isn't an issue. 

I think James was stating that you’d likely want to have left channel information sent to the sub closest to the left speaker and right channel information sent to the right sub. 

Will you be running a preamp? Streamer direct to amp? Or both? What subs? Depending on answers maybe just a y-connector would be easiest, but it doesn’t sound like you have RCA inputs on the subs.

The subs probably won't be co-located with the speakers, so I was just assuming you want both left and right signal to all subs. Similar to what you'd do with just a single or with a home theater setup would do with 4 or more (although via RCA).

Chain will be Bluesound node streamer --> maybe DAC --> Willsenton R300

Sub frontrunner are HSU ULS15 or Rythmik F15HP.  Subs have RCA in but the amp does not have RCA out.

People can correct me if I’m wrong here, but couldn’t you do a y-connector out from the Node’s subwoofer output with one signal going out to each sub’s LFE in? I know you can select the type of options for the Rythmik sub, and if I remember, the HSU had an LFE input (Left Input would be used only per HSU). You would then use the Node for its variable volume control.

I used to own the ULS-15 and currently own the Rythmik F12G. Both companies are fabulous. I appreciate the Ryhmik’s flexibility in terms of its dampening options (kind of like HSU’s Q-Control), parametric EQ, and variable crossover (HSU 0/180 phase only).

Well that's an interesting idea. Didn't even know it had a sub out until you said something.  :)

So connection to speaker out of the node to the sub, L/R speaker connection as normal out of the integrated amp and then I just need to use the node's volume control.

I will def look into this!!! thanks!

If you want a device to accomplish this check out the dspeaker 8033 sub equalizer.

John - correct on the above if I’m reading it correctly.

Node > sub out > y-connector (male to two female) > separate RCA runs to each subs’ LFE. 

Node > RCA R & L output > Amp R & L input

Master volume through Node’s variable volume control. If the sub’s signal is low (like you’re needing to really push the gain on the subs) you could also play around with another y-connector (female to two males) into R & L inputs of the subs.

Node > sub out >

If I recall correctly using the sub out on the Node you loose 

the ability to bypass the internal Node Dac, therefore no

external Dac can be used.


Maybe an external crossover would solve your problem? As mentioned above the Dspesker 8033 is a great little unit for setting up subwoofers.

Joe Nies

If that amp has no preamp outs your only option is a sub with a high level inputs!


Easiest solution would be to purchase REL subs and use their included speakon cables. They connect directly to the left and right speaker terminals, so each terminal has one speaker and one sub.

Just make sure to read the REL recommendations for hookup, as balanced amplifiers are wired differently.

Yeah, dual subs can often become a connection  issue. That's why I like my Parasound A21+, it has right and left "loop outputs" just for them. It does make a difference vs. make do connections. 

If you use the sub out of the node and use the volume control of the node you would have to you the pre-in on the r300 bypassing the preamp in the r300.

Otherwise, the volume control of the r300 would change the volume of the speakers but not the subs. Also, the subs would only work with the node and not any other source.

Before you buy any subs I would call the Manufacturer and see if the high level input will work with the r300. When I called Hsu Dr. Hsu actually answered the phone. Very happy with my ULS-15's! 

If you purchased a pair of REL subwoofers you wouldn’t have had to deal with this.

I use 2 RELs with the cables joined in banana plugs (the positive joined, and the 2 leftover negative leads into left and right negative terminals) with the main speakers using spades. Subs of course are mono which does not matter...Works great for years with various amps.

@wolf_garcia are you saying that you have 2 subs connected in series across the Right and Left negative speaker terminals? Such that each sub’s negative terminal is connected to the negative speaker terminal and each positive sub terminal is connected to the other, i.e. ‘joined’ by the red wire? 

Or, are you ‘joining’ Left and Right Speaker positive terminals to each other before going out to the positive terminals of each sub? (I.e., a parallel connection)


Trying to figure out how you’re getting three wires to do the work of four.


@larry5729  "If you purchased a pair of REL subwoofers you wouldn’t have had to deal with this."


Is there something special about the REL’s? Wouldn’t any sub with a high level input work? Seems there are a few including HSU, Rythmik, etc

This is a crazy topic as I'll find one discussion seems to say "high level connection is the right way to connect an amp with no sub out" and then the next discussion will say you need high level to line converters, etc.  

I have a Node 3, SMSL DAC, 2 powered speakers and 2 powered subs.  From the DAC I have one coaxial cable to each speaker and sub.  The speakers use the 2 RCA outputs, and the Subs use the 2 XLR outputs.  Works well.  Since the DAC in the Node is bypassed, I assume that the speaker and sub outs on the Node are disabled.  All of the audio controls on the Node are disabled, so I control the volume on the DAC.

Yes...joining the positive REL wires and plugging 'em in the back of my amp. RELs use a 100,000 ohm signal each so the amp has no idea they're connected, and the damping factor of the Pass XA-25 is 500 so that is still in play...more bass control supposedly. Also works fine with my single ended tube amp.