How to Connect a Sub Amp for a DJ

Written by adam hilton
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How to Connect a Sub Amp for a DJ
DJ mixers do not always have dedicated subwoofer outputs. (DJ Mixer image by pavel Chernobrivets from

If there's one thing most disc jockeys can use more of, it's bass. Integrating a subwoofer into your DJ set-up can give your bass a significant boost, but how to connect it into your mixer might be less than obvious. Making that connection from your existing set-up to the subwoofer amplifier only takes a couple of cables and a short amount of time.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 2 Y cable splitters with appropriate connectors
  • 2 cables with appropriate connectors

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  1. 1

    Check the output connectors for the master output section of your mixer. These are typically XLR, 1/4-inch or RCA. Acquire two Y cable splitters that each have one male end of the appropriate connector to two female ends of the same connector.

  2. 2

    Check the input connectors for your sub amp. These typically are XLR, balanced 1/4-inch, unbalanced 1/4-inch, and occasionally RCA. Acquire two cables that connect from the output of your Y cable splitter to the inputs on your sub amp.

  3. 3

    Unplug any cables that go to the main speaker amp or powered speakers from the master outputs of the mixer. Connect the Y cable splitters into the master output. Plug the cables to the main speaker amp or powered speakers into one output of each of the two Y cable splitters. Connect the cables to the sub amp into the other outputs of each of the Y cable splitters.

  4. 4

    Bridge the sub amp per the instructions in its manual. This usually is as simple as flipping a switch on the back of the amp. This ensures that both channels of the stereo signal from the mixer's master output reach each subwoofer you attach to the amp.

Tips and warnings

  • Mixers sometimes have a dedicated output for sub that sends a mono mix to a single line-level output. If this is the case, connect a cable from the sub output on the mixer to either input on the sub amp and bridge the amp.
  • Use balanced connections between the mixer and amp whenever possible. Balanced connections are XLR and 1/4-inch tip-ring-sleeve; unbalanced connections are 1/4-inch tip-sleeve and RCA. Using balanced connections prevents ground hum and RF interference entering the audio signal.
  • If you connect more than one subwoofer with the sub amp bridged, make sure that the impedance load does not drop below the limit specified by the amp. For example, if the amp has a minimum four-ohm load in bridge mode, you can connect two eight-ohm speakers (which drops the load to four ohms), but not two four-ohm speakers (which drops the load to two ohms).

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