Where are the passive subs?

I can't seem to find a passive sub. They all have those Class D amps in them. I don't want to pay for an amp I don't need.
Also, these powered amps appear to have speaker terminals. Does that mean even if I go with a sub that has an amp, I can bypass the amp using the speaker terminals, or is that some form of input to the amp?

Any ideas?
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A currently produced high quality passive sub I am aware of is the Daedalus BOW.  However it is definitely not inexpensive, and it has presumably been designed with the expectation that it would be used with Daedalus speakers.

-- Al
The last passives I heard of were the HSU's of the 90's.
OK, so I'm not insane. This seems like a gap to me. It's been a LONG time since I have considered a sub, so had to catch up. I don't need one, per se, but it would be fun. Well, unless they pick the amp for me, make it Class D, and stick it in the box!

Does that mean even if I go with a sub that has an amp, I can bypass the amp using the speaker terminals, or is that some form of input to the amp? 

the terminals are high level inputs which you connect to your stereo amp.
It doesnt bypass the sub amp. but you could always change the sub amp or convert to passive.

I dont know how much EQ if any is applied to these active subs. If the response is equalised then you cant remove the class d amp and connect a different amp and expect the same response.
If your main focus is music, check out the 15" Tannoy Sub 15i. It's not great for home theater, but for music it's one of the best I've heard, and not too expensive.
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I build a subwoofer system called The Swarm that consists of four small passive subs and a separate amplifier that drives all four.  On occasion I have sold the subs without the amp, but I don't sell the subs in ones and twos - only four at a time.   

Imo there are two significant advantages to not having amps inside the subs.  First, in this day and age of lead-free solder, electronic components like subwoofer amps are significantly more susceptible to failure if they are subjected to vibrations.  Second, if the amp does fail, it's much easier to repair or replace an outboard amp than to repair or replace an amp that's built into a sub.

Parts Express sells subwoofer boxes that you can install a driver in and end up with a pretty darn good sealed-box passive subwoofer. 


Anthony Gallo offers passive sub woofers intended to be used with their line of separate reference amplifier/crossover/EQ. I would recommend those. They are also bridgeable which is nice for versatility if you choose to go with a single sub.

Another manufacturer that offered separate sub amps and passive sub woofers is NHT. Not up to par with the Anthony Gallo offerings, but decent you can have some fun with them.

Dayton has both component sub amps built into a case that can reside on your rack with your other separates. They also have a few different plate amplifiers, with and without an EQ.

If your going to employ a plate with or without EQ personally I would spend more and get one from Hypex, one of the leading manufacturers of class D systems.

In the past I employed a 2ch A/B Bryston 4B with mini DSP and had pleasant results.

As mentioned some of the ready made to order subs kits that are out there can be a good way to go, with and without electronics. There are some well made sturdily braced cabinets offered with and without sub woofers or plate. Do it yourself sound group is one place I would recommend getting them. You basically just have to assemble your box they take some of the guess work out. But you will have to find a suitable sub woofer driver to match with the pre cut cabinet perimeters for optimum results. So some homework is involved there. Or if you feel more adventurous some sheets of your choice material and a table saw can be rewarding.
The Audiokinesis room with the Swarm Subwoofer system at RMAF 2015 sounded fabulous. I heard many high end speaker systems during the weekend and the Audiokinesis room was in my top 5.  If you normalized for cost they were, IMO, the number one or two best speaker system at the show.


Thank you very much, Fernando!