can one hook up a subwoofer to an old onkyo tx-905 and if so how?
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Yes you can, depending on the sub itself.
Most subwoofers have 2 options for connecting to a receiver. You can use the pre amp sub output (LFE) channel if the receiver has one (this will usually be a single rca port, labeled SUB) which will connect to a matching input on the sub itself.
If the receiver does not have this, you can use the speaker level inputs. Meaning you'd connect speaker wires from the receiver, where they'd normally go directly to the speakers, and instead hook them into the subwoofer. The subwoofer then will have another set of wires that will go to the regular speakers. This lets the sub pick up the regular speaker signal and amplify the bass.
Either method will work, if you have a choice though, it's easier to use the single rca output.
This model does not have the single rca port labeled SUB
can all subwoofers be used the with the second choice?
Not all subwoofers have the speaker level inputs available.
You'll know if yours does, as you'll see them, usually spring clip type connections, similar to what is on the back of the onkyo.
If you let me know the make/model of your sub, I'll confirm compatibility for you.
Are you familiar wthe the model? I have Canton Speakers (old).I have not bought a sub yet not knowing if it would work
With the onkyo receiver? Yes.
The receiver will work, as long as you can get a sub with the speaker level inputs.
Most powered subwoofers have this option.
Here is an example of one I'd recommend for a typical setup: Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Monitor Series Powered Subwoofer (Single, Black) (click for link)
It has the speaker level inputs available, and would work with your Onkyo/Canton system.
Great, I am sorry if I sound ignorant, I was just going to ask this thanks!
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