(SOLVED) Denon Receiver and Subwoofer Not Working

Norvan Martin
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Denon receivers are quite popular and are often installed in at least 5.1 surround systems with a subwoofer. If you have a system with a Denon receiver and a subwoofer with both not working, we will help you to fix this issue.

Your receiver and sub can be having issues for many reasons. This can range from a blown fuse—one of the most common causes—to overall defectiveness. The following are some common causes of Denon sub and receiver failure as well as the associated fixes.

As mentioned above, your subwoofer can stop working for many reasons. In this section, we’ll explore those reasons and why they crop up in the first place.

Hopefully, you’ll find one that applies to your sub.

Blown Fuse/Short Circuit

Issue: As mentioned before, this is a pretty common problem. A short circuit is especially common in subwoofers that have been unused for a long time. Typical causes of a blown receiver fuse are shortcuts within the subwoofer, irregular power surges, usage at low voltages, and playing at excessive volumes.

Fix: As mentioned, some Denon receivers have a fuse built in. Quickly check the fuse that is normally located behind the back panel of the receiver.

You need to inspect the fise for visible damage i.e if it is broken or blown. If it is indeed damaged, replace it with a new fuse of the same rating. Please ensure that you refer to the user manual. You can also contact Denon’s customer support for guidance.

Standby Mode

Issue: Most Denon subwoofers have a Standby Mode, which is a low power or resting phase for when they are not in use. This helps to conserve energy while reducing wear on the components.

Fix: Denon subs have a standby mode which lets the sub sit in a low-power mode when not in use. If the subwoofer is in standby mode, you need to wake it up.

This conserves power and reduces component wear. To wake it up, play some music and turn up the volume until you can hear the sound from your sub. With sufficient signal, your subwoofer will wake up and start pumping.

Insufficient Power

Issue: Like amplifiers, subwoofers need a lot of power to produce rumbling low notes. If anything interrupts that power supply, your subwoofer might stop working to protect its components. 

Fix: You need to power cycle your subwoofer and receiver. To do this, turn off both the receiver and the subwoofer and then unplug them from the power source. Next, wait for about 30 seconds and then plug them back in. 

Damaged Socket or Power Cable 

Issue: A damaged socket will not supply enough power to your sub, or it might not supply power at all. Examine your sub’s connections and switches thoroughly to locate faults. If the connections are functioning correctly, the socket is probably damaged.

Likewise, examine the power cord for cuts and other damages. Plug in your sub and turn on the volume to check if the power cable is damaged. Also, overly loose or tight connections can lead to insufficient power supply.

Fix: You need to properly inspect all the speaker wires and cables. First, ensure that all the cables are properly plugged in and secured.

You need to ensure that the cables are not damaged or frayed. For the speaker wires, ensure that they are correctly connected to the receiver and the subwoofer. Ensure that they are not loose or disconnected wires. 

You can always try different speaker wires and cables as well.

Defective Subwoofer

Issue: Your Denon subwoofer might become defective with prolonged use or non-usage. 

Fix: The services of a qualified technician are usually needed to fix the defects. You might also consider getting another sub.

Incorrect Receiver or Subwoofer settings

Issue: Your AV settings direct how the different components of your home stereo work together. Therefore, some configurations can prevent your subwoofer from working if they are not properly set up. 

Fix: You need to ensure that the subwoofer and receiver are properly configured by checking its settings.

Subwoofer Settings – Quickly access the sub’s and receiver’s setup menu and navigate to the settings. For the subwoofer, make sure it is set to “On” or “Enabled” and that the phase, crossover frequency, the low/high pass filters, and volume levels are properly adjusted.

Additionally, in your speaker setup menu, set the speaker options to small and the crossover settings to 80Hz. If the options are set to large, the bass management triggers signals that stop the sub from working. The small option channels the low-frequency waves to your subwoofer.

Also, you need to lower the subwoofer output if it’s set too high. To do this on your Denon subwoofer, choose “option” on your remote and move to receiver options. Turn on the Subwoofer Output Option and adjust the channel from -12dB to +12dB.

Receiver Settings – For the receiver, ensure that the speaker configuration (2.1, 5.1, etc), the channel levels, audio formats (e.g Dolby Digital, DTS), and room correction are set properly.

Since your AVR directs signals to your subwoofer, you must ensure it works properly. Check for the Low-Frequency Effects (LFE) settings on your AVR and choose the right option for your sub. To set your sub-mode to LFE+Main, follow these steps:

  • Open settings on your receiver
  • Select subwoofer mode 
  • Select LFE+Main
  • To test your sub, play music with strong bass. Holly Cole’s Train Song is one of our favorites.

Check Everywhere for Faults

Finally, search for loose connections, faulty sockets, and frayed or cut wires. If you find any faults with the connections, find a proper replacement. Check every connection on your sub for looseness or tightness and adjust the fit accordingly. Find proper replacements for frayed or cut cables, faulty sockets, and blown fuses.

Take a test drive on your sub after getting the replacements to ensure everything is working perfectly. Play a bass-heavy song like Olive’s Falling to ensure your sub works perfectly.

Check Audyssey Setup and Subwoofer Calibration

For Denon subwoofers, you must ensure that the subwoofer is correctly calibrated during the Audyssey setup. If it’s not properly calibrated, it might not function as expected during playback.

Denon receiver and subwoofer


Now that you know more about the potential reasons why your receiver and subwoofer may not work correctly and how to address each problem Once you know what’s wrong with your Denon subwoofer or receiver, you should resolve the problem as soon as possible to prevent further damage. 

Hopefully, you have discovered what’s wrong with your Denon subwoofer or receiver and applied a suitable fix. If you still can’t find the culprit, you can always contact Denon technical support to help you out.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin