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Re: Bose 901 hook up
Assuming you really want to have a working surround system you will need a separate stereo amplifier for the 901's to accomodate the need for the Active EQ. There is no way to separate your receiver's front L&R channel preamplifiers from their amplifiers.
I run a Carver AV-406 (5-channel amp) for my 901's in Front, 2 Subwoofers and the Rear Surround channel, with the Active EQ between the receiver and the 901's amp channels. My receiver controls everything and just drives the Center and Surrounds. You would probably just get a nice 2-channel amplier for the 901's. However, the TX-SR606 doesn't provide power for a Subwoofer, should you decide to get one, so you would need another amplifier channel for that, too. Therefore, you might look around for a powerful 3- or 4-channel amplifier so you could drive the Sub, too.
Modest amps would work but at very loud volumes may go into clipping, which is bad for any speaker. I'm using only 100W for mine and it has plenty of steam for the 901's.
For connection I would run a pair of RCA cables from the Front L&R Audio Line OUT to the Active EQ's Line IN; then the EQ';s Line OUT to a separate amp's Line IN. Attach the 901's to the new amp, run through the receiver's setup procedures for volume, etc and you're done.
Not what you might want to hear but 901's have special requirements. I've had mine for 25 years and have no regrets.
A seperate subwoofer channel on the amp could be used. Just run a single RCA channel from Sub OUT to one available channel IN on the amp and attach the subwoofer to it. Two would work, also. That's what I do. You could use a 1-2 RCA splitter to feed two avaailable channels on a 4-channel amp. The iterations are many. Have fun.
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Qualifier: I have 901's in a 7.1 setup and have written many posts on Fixya regarding how to do it right.
NEVER USE MAXIMUM VOLUME FOR ANY PURPOSE UNLESS THE RISK OF ACCIDENTAL SPEAKER DESTRUCTION IS A ACCEPTABLE.
ONLY now it does that? "VERY WEAK" as in attentuated somewhat or is it signal leakage, effectively silence? How is the EQ wired in? Check its own Tape Monitor button.
If you DO NOT have a separate amplifier for the 901's the EQ will affect EVERY speaker and we know that is NOT desired.
If the EQ is in a Tape Loop of a modern AVR and you activate the loop two things will happen: 1) the 901's will sound better and the rest of the speakers will be at risk from excessive amplitude at the extremes; 2) any digital source will be disabled.
If your system is equipped with a tape monitor loop, you can switch the EQ out of the circuit by disengaging the tape monitor switch. If the EQ is connected to the pre-out / main-in jumper, you would have to defeat the EQ before you hook up a conventional speaker. I don't believe the EQ has a defeat switch - you'd have to rig a bypass.
Once defeated, if you have a system equipped with a Speaker A / Speaker B selector, the smaller speakers could hook up to the second system. If that's not possible, speaker switches are available for reasonable money. It is very important, though, that the 901 EQ i defeated when using conventional loudspeakers.
You want them to be your Main Front speakers, right? The news is not good. There will be some limitations because you can't extract 'processed' L-R from this receiver. The following will give you good stereo and Front L-R from the 901's but it won't allow central volume control or send them any of the DSP effects you may select. Sorry. If it had a Front L-R Pre-Out you'd be good to go for all functions and listening modes. You'll need a separate stereo amplifier WITH ITS OWN VOLUME CONTROL for the 901's to accommodate the need for the Active EQ. Modest amps would work but at very loud volumes may go into clipping, which is bad for any speaker. I'm using only 100W for mine and it has plenty of steam for the 901's. With this receiver we have to cheat to get the Front L-R signal out to the 901's (but it's unprocessed and at a steady volume level)... For connection I would run a pair of RCA cables from the VCR/DVR Audio Out L-R OUT jacks (*) to the Active EQ's Line IN; then the EQ's Line OUT to a separate amp's Line IN. Attach the 901's to the new amp. * You'll lose the ability to use these jacks for anything else, but few of us use them anyway. DO NOT select this function for monitoring or you lose all audio in the Onkyo.
The Bose EQ connects to the tape out and tape in on the amplifier or reciever. If you were using these for a tape deck, you will then have to connect the tape deck to the tape in and out on the Bose EQ.
I wrote most of this for a different receiver, but if you account for minor differences to your receiver this will work just fine.
There's good news and bad news. The bad news you need a separate amp because a multichannel receiver with Bose 901's attached as recommended for a standard stereo receiver will only sound right in STEREO on stereo analog material. The other speakers around the room are not designed to receive its Active Equalization and if you engage your Tape Monitor you will NOT BE ABLE TO HEAR DIGITAL sources at all. Tape Monitor is for analog stereo material only and on modern AV receivers it disables any digital inputs so you really can't use the Tape Monitor circuit or attached devices for modern digital sources. However, you can still employ the various DSP options to spread 2-channel analog source material around the room. I do.
The good news. I have a setup similar to what you want to do and it works great! I see on the SR875 there are Pre Audio OUTS. This is easy.
A separate stereo amp for the 901's was my solution. I run a Carver AV-406 (5-channel amp) for my 901's in Front, 2 Subwoofers and the Rear Surround channel, with the Active EQ between the receiver Front L&R Outputs and the 901's amp channels. My receiver controls everything and just drives the Center and Surround speakers.
You could get by with just a stereo amp for the 901's. A Carver M-200 is a good efficient amplifier that would have you cooking just fine (2x100W). Run it with the Active EQ between the receiver Front L&R Pre-Outputs ** and the 901's amp channels.
** Front Pre Out >>> Bose EQ Amplifer IN, then Bose EQ Amplier OUT >>> new amplifier IN.
Attach the 901's to the new amp, set its volume to Max and run through your receiver's speaker level setup.
The speakers will not sound right. You dont have two tape monitors on this receiver? You can simply use the tape otput to the EQ input, and then the Tape monitor input to the EQ output leads. Good Luck