How Screwed Am I?

Disclaimer: I'm a newb but I am aware I didn't make the best equipment choices when I bought this stuff. My only defense is it was five years ago, I was in a hurry, and I didn't spend much cash.

I've got a Sony STR-DE845 receiver and a Bose Acoustimass 6 Series II satellite system (it's got single cubes, not doubles, and a passive "bass module"). Please, any ranting against Bose will be preaching to the choir at this point. I will indeed upgrade my speakers...later.

I want to get some bass out of my system, and the Bose bass module is godawful. So I'm shopping for an inexpensive (<$300) active subwoofer. The problem is that the satellites run through the bass module, and the super-secret Bose crossover is apparently set around 280 Hz, which is way high. Too high to use an active subwoofer or the receiver as the crossover. The receiver will only crossover up to 180 Hz, and active subwoofers around 120 to 180. So not only would I lose 180-280 Hz, but I might damage the satellites. So it looks like I need to keep the Bose bass module just for its crossover utility.

Finally I figured, hey, I'll just leave the Bose system as is and plug the active subwoofer into the receiver's LFE jack. But I couldn't find any stats on what where the LFE crossover is for the receiver. I've seen reports of 70, 80, 100, and 120 Hz for various receivers, so I assume it's somewhere in that range. My plan had been to buy a subwoofer that went pretty high (some go up to 200Hz) to try and better match the satellites, but it looks like no matter what its range the sub would be limited by whatever the LFE output fed it.

It looks like my only option (assuming I can only afford a subwoofer at this point) is to buy an active subwoofer, plug it into the LFE, and deal with the fact that there'll be a big gap of about 180 Hz between the top of the LFE (around 100) and the bottom of the satellites (around 280).

Oh, and I have one more question. Is my LFE output only going to work as the .1 channel when I'm playing a DVD in 5.1? Or will LFE output work for regular stereo inputs as well?

Any constructive comments would be appreciated. Such as, are my assumptions correct? Are my conclusions correct? Does anyone have any alternate proposals on how to solve this? Is my only option one of sucktitude?


- G
We use Bose speakers without the sub lots of times in home theater installations. We just add a powered sub and use the crossover in the receiver. Bose even sells the sats without the sub.
Very screwed! And you will continue to be as long as you listen to Bose speakers ....
i have read that bose have a good resale value. if you are not happy with them i'm thing resale. you can then start over with a pair of full range floor standers. if you are going to run a reciever without seperate amps, i would suggest something that does not take lots of power. find a place that has a pair of klipschhorn and give them a listen, see if you like the horn sound. think about buying used speakers, you will spent half to one third the retail price.
Sell the Bose and add it to the $300. Buy a used set of speakers with the new total. You WILL be happier in the long run.
You have received some good advice above. Even though I previously answered that , yes, what you propose will work, I would also suggest, as some of the previous posters did, that you simply spend your budgeted dollars a a pair of different speakers.

If you want to stay at a budget level, the Athena line of speakers is considered to be an excellent soounding speaker for the $. They are very efficient so they don't require a lot of power, and from what I've read, they are good enough that they could be used in the future when you upgrade.

Athena makes a highly regarded floor standing speaker that list for $499 and gets great reviews. These are often sold at AudioAdvisor for $359-399 and sometime include shipping. They also sell this line at Best Buy, but I've never seen them priced as low as AudioAdvisor. Oh, and AudioAdvisor has a no-risk 30 day return policy.

Anyway, its a journey! Take your time and decide what is most important to you. Do some homework and it will pay huge dividends.....