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Assuming you have all 5 speakers and a powered subwoofer it's very simple. There is an RCA plug labeled "Subwoofer Out" that goes to your powered subwoofer. The speakers are labeled as well Left/Rigt Front and rear along with center. Make sure you hook them all up Positive and negative exactly the same or it won't sound right. Phase issues are the number one cause of bad sound and, besides, why spend money on a good ONkyo if you don't intend to do it right? Hope this helps
Get a RCA cable and connect from your amp where it said Sub Woofer in the Pre Out box in the back of the amplifier top left hand side and take it to the "Sub In" located in the back of your Sub woofer bottom right hand (White round connector).
The 1/4 inch should be a TRS (balanced connector) You should find pin 1 of the XLR to the sleeve of the TRS. Pin 2 of the XLR can connect to either the tip or the ring of the TRS and pin 3 of the XLR to the other TRS tip or ring. The line should be an audio interconnect line, balanced. If that doesn't work get back to me as there may be another problem. Make sure all interconnected equipment is powered from the same receptacle or power conditioner !!! Remember these subwoofers are WAY down in frequency so unless you have stuff down in the 50Hz or less range it won't do much. That is LOW...
most of the input terminals are on the front part of the equipment. xlr (three holes) or trs (one hole - just for ur understanding :-D ) can be used. at the back near the power input terminal u will see a left/right channel output, an xlr and a trs output terminal connect that to ur power amp ar any other equipment ur using. do not use both output terminals at the same time - xlr only or trs only at ne time. for driving other equipments at the same time use the monitor ouput (front) and the sub-outputs(back).
It sounds like you're doing everything right. Did you define the sub to the Onkyo (Subwoofer = Yes, page 22)?
Let's prove the sub works. Set its volume about half-way, cutoff= 170Hz. Temporarily connect an RCA cable from its Line Input to one of the Tape Out connectors on the Onkyo and play some FM through it. If it's alive you'll hear the low end of the music.
Don't buy into the hype that there are different pedigrees of RCA (or speaker) cables that will make an audible difference. Save your money.
You CANNOT have a stereo set of RCA jacks "wyed" into a single XLR mono input.
The RCA output drivers will "fight" each other. Some things will appear to work, but give poor performance.
You could make a rudimentary passive mixer by putting a series resistor say 1K ohms from each of the RCA's to a common UNBALANCED input of a subwoofer.
The XLR is balanced so that would not really work unless you also have an unbalanced input on the subwoofer.
The right way to do this is to get a cheap two input mixer that has EQ with it and mix your two mains before sending to the subwoofer. You want a little mixer that also has balanced outputs (XLR or TRS) to send to the subwoofer.
UNLESS the subwoofer has EQ in it, you really need to have an EQ in the little mixer so that you don't send high's to the subwoofer... They don't like highs and the sound will suffer.
XLR? not true. gold plated, balanced trs cables have a better sound and actually compliments the bx8's technology. that said, you can get cable that is trs-balanced on one end and rca's on the other. then just get a "Y" right-left rca into a stereo 1.5 cable. easy and cheap. but using xlr's for output? NO. save those for your input MIDI instruments and controllers.