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Question Are these bookshelf speakers compatible with my unusual subwoofer?

SamT97

Active member
Mar 3, 2021
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Hey all,

I currently have a Logitech Z533 subwoofer + satellite speakers unit, but I have been thinking about upgrading the left and right satellite speakers that came with it to a better quality pair. Each speaker has a cable that connects to a left/right channel input as shown in the attached photos.

I've been trying to find out about how speaker set-ups work in general as I'm not yet very well-informed on the subject, but from what I've found out it seems most subwoofer units have a cable themselves which connects to a seperate audio reciever/amplifier, which the satellite speakers are also connected to. Now, I am really leaning towards the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 bookshelf speakers pair, but as they are passive I think I would need to buy an audio receiver with bass management as well and connect both my sub and the speakers to it (but I'm not sure if that's right!)

Now, as my subwoofer has inputs for left/right speakers, I'm not sure if there's a way to connect it to a receiver, and for the life of me I cannot find anything about this kind of setup online. But my question is basically: is there a way to make these two products work together? And if so, will it require another investment, i.e an audio receiver or amp, etc? I really do love this subwoofer so it would be great if I could put it to use in a better setup. Thanks!
 

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Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
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Hey all,

I currently have a Logitech Z533 subwoofer + satellite speakers unit, but I have been thinking about upgrading the left and right satellite speakers that came with it to a better quality pair. Each speaker has a cable that connects to a left/right channel input as shown in the attached photos.

I've been trying to find out about how speaker set-ups work in general as I'm not yet very well-informed on the subject, but from what I've found out it seems most subwoofer units have a cable themselves which connects to a seperate audio reciever/amplifier, which the satellite speakers are also connected to. Now, I am really leaning towards the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 bookshelf speakers pair, but as they are passive I think I would need to buy an audio receiver with bass management as well and connect both my sub and the speakers to it (but I'm not sure if that's right!)

Now, as my subwoofer has inputs for left/right speakers, I'm not sure if there's a way to connect it to a receiver, and for the life of me I cannot find anything about this kind of setup online. But my question is basically: is there a way to make these two products work together? And if so, will it require another investment, i.e an audio receiver or amp, etc? I really do love this subwoofer so it would be great if I could put it to use in a better setup. Thanks!
Hi Sam
Looks to me like your satellite speakers are passives (you could open them up to confirm there are no internal amps).
This means that all amplification is contained in the one (sub) box and you're free to connect passive speakers of your choice in place of what you've got.

However, you wouldn't realise the full potential of something like the Wharfedales if you did.
 

SamT97

Active member
Mar 3, 2021
6
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Hi Sam
Looks to me like your satellite speakers are passives (you could open them up to confirm there are no internal amps).
This means that all amplification is contained in the one (sub) box and you're free to connect passive speakers of your choice in place of what you've got.

However, you wouldn't realise the full potential of something like the Wharfedales if you did.
Thanks for your reply Gray, its reassuring that it is possible to connect the wharfedales to my sub!

If I did connect the Wharfedales to this sub, why would they not realise their full potential? Wouldn't the sub remove the need for the wharfedales to emit lower frequency bass lines, thus freeing up more frequency space for the mids and highs? Or is it because they need to be connected to some kind of control unit to realise their full potential? Apologies if its a stupid question, I'm not yet very knowledgeable on hi-fi and audio!
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
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If I did connect the Wharfedales to this sub, why would they not realise their full potential?
Purely because, with all due respect to Logitech, the amp currently feeding your L & R speakers, would not be as good as the type of standalone stereo amp the Wharfedales would normally get (to ensure they reach their potential).

Having said that, you are likely to hear an improvement over what you have now - and better speakers would be OK for any future amplification upgrades.

And you're right about how a conventional subwoofer connects. When an amp has a dedicated SW out socket, a filtered signal comes out of that socket - so only the lowest frequencies get sent to the SW.

Your box takes in all frequencies and deals with them internally.
Though it wouldn't be normal practice to use your type of SW with a standalone amp, it could be done (most people wouldn't - again in the interests of quality matching).
 

SamT97

Active member
Mar 3, 2021
6
2
25
Purely because, with all due respect to Logitech, the amp currently feeding your L & R speakers, would not be as good as the type of standalone stereo amp the Wharfedales would normally get (to ensure they reach their potential).

Having said that, you are likely to hear an improvement over what you have now - and better speakers would be OK for any future amplification upgrades.

And you're right about how a conventional subwoofer connects. When an amp has a dedicated SW out socket, a filtered signal comes out of that socket - so only the lowest frequencies get sent to the SW.

Your box takes in all frequencies and deals with them internally.
Though it wouldn't be normal practice to use your type of SW with a standalone amp, it could be done (most people wouldn't - again in the interests of quality matching).
So perhaps a good option would be to replace the stock satellite logitech speakers with the wharfedales for now, and then research a good amp/receiver to connect the sub and wharfedale to when I have the budget for it...

How would I connect the subwoofer to a standalone amp though? The sub didn't come with any other cable, just the ones directly attached to the satellite speakers that you plug into the sub. Is it just a simple RCA cable I would need?
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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As much as I love DIY what you're trying to achieve here is bound to give you disappointment. First bit of DIY you will need to do is to terminate speaker cables with RCA connectors as this is how your sub connects to satellites.

It's impossible to tell what amplification is built into the sub. All I can find is that satellites get 15W per channel. Assuming but we don't know what load they represent. However you look at it driving any speakers with insufficient amplification will at best disappoint at worse cause something to break.

My advice would be if you have the room and you really want to upgrade be prepared to ditch your current setup. Wharfedale 9.1 are really decent at the price but you'd need to buy an amplifier. This straight away will double your spend.

Alternatives would involved higher quality powered/active speakers to replace your setup or decent headphones, while you still use your setup for casual listening.
 
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Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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So perhaps a good option would be to replace the stock satellite logitech speakers with the wharfedales for now, and then research a good amp/receiver to connect the sub and wharfedale to when I have the budget for it...

How would I connect the subwoofer to a standalone amp though? The sub didn't come with any other cable, just the ones directly attached to the satellite speakers that you plug into the sub. Is it just a simple RCA cable I would need?
If you've read through Insiders post above Sam, you'll see that it's a case of good cop, bad cop :)
I'll credit you with enough intelligence to read between the lines when I said 'with all due respect to Logitech'.
But perhaps I need to be a bit more bad cop to prevent you being over optimistic about achieving any real benefit without spending substantially more than just the cost of the Wharfedales.
You might be trying to get a decent performance out of what is, after all, a £90 unit that includes amps and speakers.
I think even Insider would accept that the Wharfedales would sound better than your current little speakers, but he's right about the potential for damage. By hi-fi standards, the Logitech has a weedy output - because that's all it needs to suit its current purpose.
But if you were to connect the Wharfedales, there's a risk you'd turn the volume high enough to distort (because the Logitech would go into distortion earlier than a decent hi-fi amp would). This type of distortion can easily damage speakers.

So the bottom line is that what you want to do could be done, but it really shouldn't.
Likewise, connecting your subwoofer to a superior system would only compromise the sound of that system.
If you chose the right system though, a sub wouldn't be necessary.
 
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SamT97

Active member
Mar 3, 2021
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Thanks for your replies guys.

So we can safely rule out that these won't work by plugging the wharfedales into the sub, fair enough they won't get enough power to make it worth it. What about plugging the sub into an amp that the speakers are also connected to? Surely this would bypass that risk of not sending enough power to the speakers whilst giving me the option of keeping the sub?

The reason I am desperate to keep that sub is because I'm a serious fan of low frequencies.... I listen to DnB, bass house, dub and old-school dubstep so to have that option of heavy, loud bass is something I've grown to really love with this sub, especially for group listening sesh's! Hence my curiosity at how some already brilliant standalone speakers such as Wharfedales might work in tandem with that sub.

Might that work? And would I need an amp with bass management in order to achieve this?
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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What about plugging the sub into an amp that the speakers are also connected to?
Might that work? And would I need an amp with bass management in order to achieve this?
The amp could have 'bass management' (SW output), but it wouldn't need to have (as your sub has its own bass management within).
So you could use a 'Preamp Out' from any amp driving the Wharfedales.
You'd first need to preset your sub's own volume level.
From then on your sub would track the amp's volume (and so vary with the Wharfedales).
 
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SamT97

Active member
Mar 3, 2021
6
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Sounds like this might be my best option then!

I'll be spending some time looking for a suitable amp, and then I'll update this thread with whether or not it worked once I have it all set up.

Thanks for your help all 😁
 
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amormusic

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Feb 24, 2016
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With the greatest respect I think you are going about this all wrong. Understood that you love bass and bass heavy music and that's the draw for hanging onto the logitech.

However, a decent amp and speakers will absolutely spank the logitech for sound. You can/will get bass and you'll probably be surprised at just how much better it is.

What would your max budget be if you were to purchase an amp and speakers?

There are many knowledgable folk on here that can point you to what to buy (which can be done for every budget).
 
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Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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With the greatest respect I think you are going about this all wrong.
If you've read through the thread, I'll think you'll see that he has been told this.
So it's not as if he doesn't know - but he wants to use his current sub - and he's got his heart set on the Wharfedales too.
It would be nice if he takes your advice......don't bet on it, I think his mind's made up for now.
 

SamT97

Active member
Mar 3, 2021
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It would be nice if he takes your advice......don't bet on it, I think his mind's made up for now.
Ultimately, all I want is the best listening experience for music tailored towards the lower frequencies. I'm not an expert here, so if someone who knows more than I do were to suggest something better than what I was thinking, of course I'd be up for trying that. The reason I wanted to hold onto the sub was because of my budget and its capacity for recreating low frequencies, but if those wharfedale or another suggested set were able to do that alone, then sure I wouldn't need the sub anymore.

As for budget, I'd say I'm at around £200 atm (which probably really means £300 in a month lol). I'm aware this is tight, hence my initial feeling that it may be more worth it, in my case, to find speakers that complement my preexisting sub. I don't know if anyone here has experience with it, but the sub is genuinely brilliant... the quality of the low-freq sound it produces is stunning, especially considering how much I paid for the unit. It's just the satellite speakers that are a bit weak with the mids and highs. This way I wouldn't need to fork out for speakers that already cover those same frequencies as what I'm already happy with. But I appreciate there could be better ways to achieve what I'm after; I'm just not yet knowledgeable enough about this to know what those ways are myself.

Basically, if there was no need for the sub, then obviously I wouldn't keep it lol. I just thought I might have to, given my circumstances.
 
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amormusic

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Feb 24, 2016
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For less than 300 quid I'd go Arcam A65 with B&W 601 speakers and some cheap stands off of gumtree etc - filled with sand.

Cable it up with 'pure' brand OFC interconects and some high strand (lots of wires and thick) OFC speaker cable.

Get a phono to 3.5mm cable of pure OFC to plug into amp and your phone and Bob's your uncle.

Would absolutely spank the Logitech (ps - I've owned one before which I used for TV duties).

I suggest you start a new thread and ask for opinions and direction.
 
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