Question about wiring my Bose sound system to a Pioneer Receiver.?

I have a room wired with 5 Bose speakers, all the speaker wires come up behind a TV

There are 2 smaller speakers in front

There are two larger speakers on the back wall

There is a subwoofer next to the TV

The receiver has 6 terminals two for the front. two for the rear. And a center

My system was prewired with the front speakers being wired into the subwoofer and the subwoofer has outs that I wired into the two front speaker terminals on the receiver

But when I wired the rear speakers into the receiver they did not play, so what I did was I twisted the copper of the front and rear speakers together and plugged them all into the subwoofer

So basically I have 4 speakers running into the sub, and I have two outs coming out of the sub running into the receiver and wired into the terminals labeled front L & R

It actually sounds good, but I'm worried that I have done something wrong

Could you guys offer your opinion as to whether I did this correctly or not?


There are 10 terminals total on the back of the receiver.

4 total for the front speakers

4 total for the rear

And 2 total for the center.

And there is a subwoofer output, but it’s for a ‘jack’ and my sub doesn’t have that kind of hookup.

On the back of the sub there are four slots total. Two output slots and two input slots.

Currently from the two output slots I have a set of wires going to the ‘front’ terminals on the receiver.

The input slots on the sub I have all 4 of the speakers going in. The front and back left are wired together and stuck in one slot and the same for the other side.

I also should add that this sub has no external power supply. It’s just a box about a foot high and 8 inches wide with a open ‘slat’ at the top.

Update 2:


You are exactly right, it is an Acoustimass 3 Series III. I actually went home at lunch and looked at it.

I called Bose and they said that I should not wire it the way i've described , that it will overheat the Acoustimass, cause distortion, and blow my speakers.

They said the same thing you did. Which is to wire the rear speakers directly into the receiver (Pioneer VSX-517).

I think the reason they wouln't play last night is because I had to splice in about 5 extra feet of speaker wire for each speaker to reach the receiver and all I had was some 24 guage wire when it requires 18 or I am going to pick up some good wire tonight and try it again.

Does everyone agree that this is the best course of action??

Update 3:

Here's a close up of the rear of my receiver:

Update 4:
Update 5:

Well now I have the thing wired up "correctly" the two rear speakers are wired into the receiver directly (into the surround terminals) Only problem is it doesn't sound near as good like this!! :(

It really sounded great the other way....I can't figure out how to set this receiver to play through all the speakers and ignore the fact they're supposed to only be surround speakers...

So now I have a correctly wired correction that sounds crappy :(

Update 6:

I figured it's called X-Stereo!!! Plays all the speakers as if they were the fronts.....had to call Pioneer but I got it figured out!!! Yee haw!!!

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is a great question. Very creative solution, by the way, but you are wiring it up wrong. This is understandable as Bose speakers are a little different and are a common cause for confusion.

    I am going to guess the Bose Subwoofer has the wire connections to drive only the front two speakers, hence your neat trick of combining the back speaker wires into them? I guess this as I have a Bose speaker system, and that is how mine is.

    First we will clear up some terminology: What you are referring to as a sub, is actually a Bose Accoustimass module, and not a sub at all. The difference is that a modern sub as commonly referred to will have its own built in amplifier, which is why your receiver drives it with the RCA jack, and not speaker wire terminals.

    So, your original wiring was correct: Take the front left and right out terminals from the receiver and connect to the Accoustimass module, and then wire that on to the front left and right cubes. Wire your rear speakers to the receivers "surround" left and right out. Be careful here, as it sounds from your description like you have a 7.1 receiver, which means it will have "surround back" speaker outputs as well. You should not use these, and there is a setting in the receiver to turn them off.

    What is missing in this layout is a center channel front speaker, and a sub. Both are optional, and you can get by without them, but they will improve your over all sound a lot, so drop hints for christmas and birthday.

    So why were your back speakers not playing? Most likely is that you were playing a CD or a regular TV channel, where there are no surround channels delivered. Digital sound from a DVD palyer, sattelite or cable box, needs to be supplied to your receiver, and your receiver will need to be set into an auto mode to detect this and play it. You can also force stereo sound to play from all the speakers with settings on the receiver. My denon receiver calls this "all speaker stereo" and then there are also the effects, like hall, jazz, rock arena etc.

    Hope this helps.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • 3 years ago

    Bose Acoustimass 3 Series Iii Subwoofer

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • Susan
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Be aware that this will be an expensive changeover. I can not find a harness available for this vehicle yet. The GM radios control all of the chime features in your car, and the onstar is integrated through the radio as well. For almost the entire 2000 + year model GM vehicles, it costs an extra $100-$150 for aftermarket integration harnesses and modules just to replace the radio. Factory radios are becoming more entwined with the vehicle computers and wiring, and becoming more difficult and more expensive to replace.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    How many inputs and outputs are there on the sub? I'm pretty sure you need to run the speaker out puts from your receiver to the sub for all channels, then from your sub to your speakers.

    As far as the rear not playing when you hooked them to the receiver, if you had it in "stereo" mode, they wouldn't have played. You would have to switch to a multi-channel surround format, such as DolbyProLogic2, which takes stereo signals and coverts them to surround.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    • Log in to reply to the answers
Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.