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Since it does not have a dedicated subwoofer pre-out, you would have to use the "TAPE" outputs. If your powered sub (I'm assuming your using a powered sub) has only one input, you could either just use the left tape out of the receiver, or use an rca splitter to convert the left and right to a single jack. (I'm not a fan of that method, though).
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.
Greg- Powered subs are better than non-powered subs (also known as passive subs), anyway I see the TX-8511 has no sub pre-out on the back panel, so you need to decide what sub you will use and run from the receivers left and right speakers output into a subwoofers speaker in from speakers then back out to speakers, look at the back of a subwoofer and you will see like 4 sets of speaker hookups 2 in and 2 out, what this does is takes the low end or bass and drops the signal to the subwoofer then takes the mids and highs out to your left and right speakers, unless your regular left and right stereo speakers have large woofers a sub is the way to go.
Well the next step would be to make sure that all the settings are set to subwoofer yes, and set your crossover as well. The amp usually has a crossover which tells the microprocessor which frequencys to send to the sub.
The problem was that some subwoofers (inluding my velodyne model) cannot process the LFE signals through the line level inputs on its amps, so the other way to run your subwoofer is to run the front left and right speaker outputs from your receiver to the speaker-level inputs on your sub, and then plug your front and left speakers into the soeaker level outputs on the sub. you have to set the onkyo receiver to "Subwoofer: No". that way the LFE signals are sent through the front speaker channels and you will get the same BASS output as if using the line-level input. O So yes it does require a bit more speaker cable, but it works fine now.
Onkyo offers access to manuals at their web site. HERE is a link to the receiver line.
Personally, I'd connect the speakers to main left/right. The subwoofer to subwoofer out. The Go VIdeo unit to VCR/Video 1, the cable box to Video 2 and the video output to the Sony TV composite input. No need to connect the TV audio out to the receiver since the audio feed comes from the cable box.