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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 only way to hook a powered subwoofer up to a VSX-D903S is if your subwoofer is equipped with amplified/speaker level terminals on the back, in addition to the line-level input. If you only have a line-level input, do not attempt to hook it up to this receiver.
If you're lucky, and have speaker-level inputs on your powered subwoofer, you would use the amplified terminals (connect to B-channel on the receiver). DO NOT connect anything to the line-level connection.
Alternatively, you could build two unpowered subwoofers, then set the receiver's Impedance switch to LOW, then connect one enclosure to each of the "B-channel" outputs. Connect your regular left and right speakers to their corresponding "A-channel" outputs. [Impedance range: 4 Ohm minimum, 16 Ohm Maximum]
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.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Never connect speaker outputs to anything that looks different, like RCA connections. Can you say crispy critter?
Your receiver sounds like it won't send specific Subwoofer of Low Frequency Effects information to the Sub so we're cheating by adding a sub. If you named the model of each we may have a better shot at naming the output you need to use.
I'm curious. How did you have the old passive sub working?
Basically what you may have to do is feed (probable) full range audio to the Sub using an RCA splitter to combine the L and R outputs found, oh, at any Tape Output that you're not using. The Sub will only reproduce what it can. The presence of higher frequencies won't bother it. If it has its own volume control you'll be able to balance its volume with the rest of your speakers.
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.
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.