What is your budget? I am sure many folks here would suggest some other items that will perform better than Bose for your money.
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Hi Pepolk, i'm not familar with your actual system but it sounds like you connect the passive subs to your front left and right speakers. For 5.1 your processor should give you the option of setting the front speakers to large or small. Set the front speakers to large. As for the center and rear speakers the small setting should sound best. You be the judge what appeals best for you. Again i state that i'm not familiar with your system but there seems to be a standard for 5.1 systems and see no reason why your system will be any different. All LFE (low freq effects) should be directed to your front speakers when your front speakers are set to "large" and thus also to your subwoofers. Do you have a manual? What does the manual read? Try it, if you have any problems you can email me and i will try to help. This is a very good site for people interested in this hobby. There are members on this site that have been into this hobby for many years and are very knowledgable and will be glad to help you.
I do not know if you have already purchased the system. In my opinion you would be better off with a HSU Reserach VTF-2 self powered subwoofer($500 list), and a set of Gallo micros ($300/pair, 4-inch spheres). This would be a superior system with very small speakers. You can do better but it would be bigger, and possibly more$
Hi Pepolk, I also am not familiar with which specific system you have, but I would doubt that passive subs in general will give you the low end you are looking for - unless you are driving them with large high current amps- from your question I think you are not, and especially if it is one of the Bose type subs. It won't be ideal (clean and fast) for music bass/ percussion and will be fat and muddy for explosions/dinosaurs walking, etc. In general the bose stuff is very fat and boomy down low. Bose does a great job marketing, and many people are very happy with their stuff. If you are happy, then you are right in your system. On the other hand, if you have not yet purchased the system, and I am not sure if you are talking about the Acoustimass stuff or one of the Bose complete HT systems including the processor and all, I would highly recommend looking at some other options. For pure sound production you can do a lot better for the money. If the aesthetics are of paramount importance, there are still several good options. I don't want to go too deeply into it here, but if you want , feel free to email me and I'll give you a few of my thoughts. If you already own the Bose stuff, then enjoy it. Most audiophiles poo poo Bose, and please try to look aside from the Bose bashing that will probably follow in this thread. I personally think you can do alot better with a little looking. That said, I owned a pair of 901s back in college and loved them for that time in my life. So I guess back to your question, I doubt you will get good bass from them . In additon, if they are passive, in a 5.1 system, you will need as seperate power supply (amp) for them as most sub "outs" are not amplified by the receiver and certainly not by a preamp/processor. Another concern is that the sub may not take a dedicated amp "in". Look at the back and see what type of connection it has. Hope this was helpful, and feel free to email me. Happy listening.
I hate to be negative, but I absolutely agree with Justy's thread response about Bose. Please do yourself a favor, and compare their stuff to ANY other competing Home Theater equipment manufacturer. You will be shocked to how substandard the sound is on the Bose stuff.(If you are not concerned about sound quality though, then Bose is an intelligent choice. They have good looking units and cool looking speakers, and you can tell people that you have a Bose system, and actually get respect most of the time). Bose IS the benchmark company,when it comes to marketing and name recognition. They are THE ONLY audio manufacturer that make 300 to 600 percent margin on their offerings (we are talking about really, really cheap parts and components, as compared to their competition). They do NOT serve their customers, when it comes to giving them the most bang for the buck, instead they give their customers the most bang in the butt! Again, sorry to slam your particular purchace decision. Please do not take this personally. Both Justy and I are just trying to help people understand what this Bose company is all about. Consider this, Bose could sell the equipment that you purchaced for 25 percent of what you payed, and still make a profit! It just aint very good stuff at the price they are asking.
I'm with justy and ehider on this one. Bose is just hi and low sound and the low sound is muddy, boxy. You can do better at any price. And if you like the tiny speakers, their are other companies that make great sm speakers. I recently listened to the Bose sylus ???(retail $3,000) at the tweeter store, against a very inexpensive system they had setup in the same room. The bose really did suck, Sorry. But simple to use...