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Any users of the Outlaw ICBM?


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32 replies to this topic

#1 of 33 Marty M

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Posted August 26 2003 - 01:59 AM

I just received a windfall of $400 and am trying to figure out what to purchase with the money. I am considering the ICBM from Outlaw. What has been your experience with this product? Did it really make a difference with SACDs?

If you have any other ideas for my $400, I am interested in hearing them.
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#2 of 33 Brian L

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Posted August 26 2003 - 02:11 AM

If your SACD/DVD-A player has incorrect bass management (most do), and you have a sub/sat system, or a system with all large speakers and no sub (both combinations cover pretty much everyone), it will be the best $250 you ever spent.

I use one with my Pioneer 45A, and until I got it, I was never happy with the bass in my system. Now I get a sh*t eatin' grin everytime I cue up a disc.

BGL

#3 of 33 Chuck Watwood

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Posted August 26 2003 - 02:28 AM

I bought one to use with my Panny RP-91. Its great. Individual crossovers for each channel, set it from 40hz up to 120hz or bypass each channel individually. You can also boost the LFE channel level. It is a sweet item and can be easily sold if you buy a better player/or receiver with bass management. A nice investment in my opinion. I heard that Outlaw was shipping with a free set of Cables also.
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#4 of 33 Brian L

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Posted August 26 2003 - 02:40 AM

Quote:
You can also boost the LFE channel level.


Just to pick a nit, you can boost the combined sub channel, which includes any redirected bass AND the LFE. If you had a system with all large speakers and a sub, then yes, the sub volume would in fact be just the LFE channel. But if you had that, you would not really need an ICBM, right?

There is also a LFE attenuation knob, which can come in handy in cases where the bass is duplicated between the mains and the .1 channel (I have only one disc I know of that seems to do this; Telarc's A Tribute to Weather Report DVD-A).

But again, the ICBM is a very nice piece of kit, to be sure.

BGL

#5 of 33 Walt N

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Posted August 26 2003 - 03:10 AM

I have all floorstanding speakers and a very large center channel speaker, all of which will play down into the 30's albeit rolled off at that point. My player has built in bass management too, yet I've still found the ICBM to be indispensable for DVD-A and SACD. Had I known the difference it would make I would not have waited as long as I did to get one, as it's not subtle.

I'd go further with the recommendation and say that unless your speakers are six feet tall and say VMPS, Dunlavy, etc. on them and your room and configuration can support disparate and often competing sources of deep bass from them, you're likely to find the ICBM to be an improved way of handling bass. That is assuming you have a sub that will play loud, flat, and clean.

Outlaw has a 30 day trial period and the ICBM would be cheap to ship back if you don't like it, so it's certainly worth trying out.

#6 of 33 Doug_B

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Posted August 26 2003 - 05:42 AM

I use the ICBM between my controller and amps and am very happy with the results. DVD-A, SACD, and redbook CD all get beass-managed with it (as all of these sources do not get digitized in my controller). If you're looking for something else to spend that last ~$150, how about an equalizer for your sub, such as a Behringer Feedback Destroyer. I think the BFD was an even better purchase for me than the ICBM.

Doug

#7 of 33 Joe Road

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Posted September 19 2003 - 03:33 PM

I just got mine in the mail and hooked it up today. I have a question. I callibrated all the speakers according to their frequency responces. I was just wondering where I should keep the LFE Mix dial set to? The manual says to keep it at 0db, but there is no label for 0. It just says -10db and LFE CAL. Should I leave it strait up or to the right at LFE CAL?

#8 of 33 John Kotches

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Posted September 19 2003 - 04:36 PM

Yes.

LFE Cal is 0dB.

Regards,
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#9 of 33 Joe Road

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Posted September 19 2003 - 04:46 PM

Thanks John!,
I read the manual, and I am still confused about the L/R Recombine switch. I have Klipsch RF-3 speakers as my fronts. They have a 37hz-20khz response, so I set the front switch to 60. I also have the Klipsch KSW12 subwoofer. Should I have the L/R Recombine switch on or off?

#10 of 33 Chuck Kent

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Posted September 20 2003 - 01:45 AM

I've had an ICBM since they first came out. Wonderful piece of gear! Like Doug, I have mine between my pre/pro (Denon 3803 receiver) and my external 5 channel amp. Using it this way gives me consistent BM for all sources. I just set everything that has speaker size adjustments (the Denon and my SACD/DVD-A player) to Large with a sub.

I also STRONGLY agree with Doug concerning the sub eq. My system made a big sonic improvement the day I tamed my bass peaks...

#11 of 33 Brian L

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Posted September 20 2003 - 02:11 AM

Quote:
Should I have the L/R Recombine switch on or off?


The recombine switch will allow you to run your mains full range, plus any bass below the crossover setting for each channel will also go to the sub.

In essence, this will give you double bass. You might give it a try, but if your mains are not truly able to produce low bass, you are likely better to leave it off.

BGL

#12 of 33 Julian Reville

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Posted September 20 2003 - 03:30 AM

Why, oh why, can't Outlaw make a version that also functions as a 5.1 input switch, with 2 sets of 5.1 inputs?

Please, please, please....

#13 of 33 Grant B

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Posted September 20 2003 - 07:11 AM

Quote:
Why, oh why, can't Outlaw make a version that also functions as a 5.1 input switch, with 2 sets of 5.1 inputs?

I asked them that very question; they said it was cost prohibitive?!?!
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#14 of 33 Tom Grooms

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Posted September 21 2003 - 06:08 AM

In my experience, the ICBM did more harm than good in the system I tried integrating it into. I found the ICBM to suck the life out of the presentation as if you were looking through a dirty pair of sunglasses. IMO, "In this case" he was better off letting the pre/pro do a DSD-to-PCM conversion or running without BM than trying to adapt a sub $300 analog variable multichannel crossover. It's very easy to screw up the sound when you starting putting additional parts in a analog signal path. YMMV

$0.02

#15 of 33 Brian L

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Posted September 21 2003 - 06:47 AM

Tom, while I would not doubt your experiences with the ICBM, I would say that they are atypical.

Even John Kotches (WSR reviewer) reviewed it quite favorably. And at the other end of the reviewing spectrum S&V magazine reviewed it favorably.

But, if you are already getting correct bass management, then I would agree that there is no point in adding to the signal path.

As there are so few universal or SACD players that do have correct bass management, that I would wager that for most users that lack all full range speakers, an ICBM should help tremendously.

Whatever the case, it does have a 30 day in home trial period, so if it doesn't work out, it can go back.

BGL

#16 of 33 Chuck Kent

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Posted September 21 2003 - 06:56 AM

I agree with you Brian. Reviews of the ICBM have been universally good. It's not perfect (more than 1 input and level controls are the most mentioned shortcomings) but every review I ever read on it has been summed up saying that the presentation was better with the ICBM than without it. In my own system, I have found the ICBM to be quite transparent. I would not want to give it up...

#17 of 33 Joe Road

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Posted September 22 2003 - 07:54 PM

Is the line on the Subwoofer level knob 0db? What is the best place for that switch to be set at? Sorry, I am still kinda new to all this stuff.

#18 of 33 Chuck Kent

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Posted September 22 2003 - 10:40 PM

Joe: My understanding is that the mark is the unity gain spot. At that point, you have room to adjust up or down on a temporary basis, rather than reach behind the sub to do it...

#19 of 33 Joe Road

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Posted September 23 2003 - 04:20 PM

Quote:
Joe: My understanding is that the mark is the unity gain spot. At that point, you have room to adjust up or down on a temporary basis, rather than reach behind the sub to do it...

So is it usually best to leave the knob at the line?

#20 of 33 Doug_B

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Posted September 24 2003 - 12:56 AM

Quote:
So is it usually best to leave the knob at the line?

Personal preference, IMO.

Doug


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