Experiences w/ Subwoofer + HK-3480? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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03-25-2005, 09:13 AM
Hi all,

I have a pair of Athena AS-F2 floorstanding speakers and a Velodyne VA-1012XII subwoofer. I'm thinking of purchasing a stereo receiver with a subwoofer output. The one receiver that seems to fit the bill is the HK-3480.

However, I've been concerned by the fact that the HK-3480 doesn't seem to have any cross-over adjustment.

Do you guys think that'll be a problem?


03-27-2005, 11:27 AM
Keep in mind this is a stereo receiver. Not HT. You wont see things like crossover adjustments on these receivers. Your lucky they included a sub out which is odd. Most people use the pre-outs and adjust the crossover on the sub where the other speakers roll off. In fact I prefer using the left right inputs on the sub and use a splitter from the sub out the on the HK. You tend to get boost in output so you dont have to turn up the sub as much.

03-28-2005, 04:05 PM
I purchased the HK3480 specifically because of the sub-out. There is no cross-over on this receiver, but that doesn't seem to matter much. The lower frequencies that your speakers cannot reproduce will be reproduced by the sub. This is because the sub-outs are actually full range-outs, according to HK tech support. So whatever cannot be heard through the L/R speaker outs will be heard through the sub-out.

That said, the best sounding setup I was able to get was by connecting my speakers to the sub and the sub to the speaker terminals of the receiver. This makes the sub the cross-over filter. It allowed me to fine-tune the speakers to blend perfectly with the sub.

I should also mention that the receiver is extremely powerful. It's rated at 120W, but that's HK's typical conservative rating. If you have just two speakers connected and no sub, you can easily blow your Athena towers at high volumes. While the receiver is not a surround receiver and only has four speaker channels, it makes an extremely capable unit. IMO, it's one of the most under-appreciated amplifiers out there at such a bargain price. And if you have really inefficient speakers (not the Athenas) or you really want to blow the roof off your house, the receiver has pre-amp outs. With surround being so popular now, you can pick up a 2-channel 300W+ amp for a pittance and build a system that will rival dance clubs. In short, this is an amazing receiver for the price; nothing comes close.

03-28-2005, 07:29 PM
For anyone interested, I received this letter from HK today:

Good afternoon and thank you for your inquiry. The subwoofer crossover frequency of the HK3480 receiver goes from 20Hz-150Hz, and is not adjustable. If you have a subwoofer connected to the receiver, you will have a full range signal going to the speakers, while the subwoofer receives all signals below 150Hz.


03-30-2005, 01:57 PM
150Hz is still too high for blending the speakers well with the sub. I don't know of any subs that will allow you to filter the RCA input, which is what you should do because the higher frequencies (80-150Hz) will make the bass directional. Of course, you could do this with a bass manager. Outlaw Audio's ICBM ($250), installed between your receiver and the sub, would be able to do this, but that's an expensive solution.

That said, the option of using the sub as the filter and connecting your speakers to it directly would be much more economical, provided you use relatively inexpensive speaker wire. For my setup, this was a definite improvement in sound over using the receiver's sub-out.