950 beta testers, confirm my bass mgmnt setup

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BruceD, Apr 20, 2002.

  1. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    My mains are spec'd with a -3dB of 31Hz -- Dynaudio Contour 2.8 towers.
    So, if I want to use the triple xovers for DD, DTS, DPL-II with digital input to the 950 prepro and have the mains set as small and a sub plugged into the sub out I'm just fine.
    But, if I want to use analog passthru with a CDP or a CD transport+DAC for PCM playback, I only have two options;
    1) Find a way to physically turn off the power to my sub (I can't because it doesn't have a power switch).
    or
    2) Go into the 950 setup menu and adjust the sub-trim down to zero. This means I must also remember to adjust it back up to the correct level when I want to watch any digital input to the 950.
    Actually a third option is to go into the setup menu and set the main speakers to Large, but again I then have to remember to set them back to small when I want to watch a movie.
    None of these methods is really acceptable for a prepro that is touted to have "audiophile-like" transparent 2-channel preamp characteristics.
    I am really disappointed that Outlaw didn't even provide a toggle command on the remote to disable sub output in analog pass-thru mode.
    This may actually eliminate the 950 from my acquisition list.
    Anybody got any suggestions on how to solve this dilema?
     
  2. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    Bruce,

    "1) Find a way to physically turn off the power to my sub (I can't because it doesn't have a power switch)."

    I was going to suggest a power strip for your subwoofer that can be triggered by input source (brand name of such a power strip escapes me at the moment), but the two triggers on the 950 will not allow for that (if I read the manual correctly). The first trigger is active when the main zone is on, the second trigger when the second zone is on.

    "2) Go into the 950 setup menu and adjust the sub-trim down to zero. This means I must also remember to adjust it back up to the correct level when I want to watch any digital input to the 950."

    Are the sound levels global for all modes on the 950 or can you set them separately for stereo, DD, DTS, etc.?

    Michael
     
  3. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Or you can wire a wall socket to a light switch like I did [​IMG]
    I wired 4 sockets to light switches and turn on what I want when I want it. TV, Receiver, CD player and Subwoofer. Sometime I watch TV with no HI-FI on, just checking the weather with the TV alone. Sometimes I watch movies and don't need my CD player on (no remote on off for the CD player) and sometimes I listen to music without the subwoofer so I leave it off. Its a lot of work, but simple in the end. Might be an option for you.
     
  4. Brandon B

    Brandon B Second Unit

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    Can you use just the L&R mains of the 6 channel analog input on the back and flip the toggle to remove the 80 Hz analog XO?

    OK if you don't have SACD or DVDA at this point. Otherwise, again a kluge solution.

    BB
     
  5. Chris Barker

    Chris Barker Auditioning

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    I've been engaged in a long running discussion on the so called direct/stereo/bypass mode that seems to always send output via the sub output over on the Outlaw forum. I have asked repeatedly for an Outlaw representative to thoroughly explain how and more importantly why this works this way(e.g. effectively double bass output - to large mains and at same time to sub). This is the first major flaw I have found in the 950 that really makes me question my impending purchase. I see no reason why this feature was included and even more importantly why no way was provided to disable it without disturbing other HT modes, etc. In over 100 postings on this topic, not one person has been able to explain a circumstance where the 950's effective double bass output is useful, accurate, or needed?

    I am still mostly a audio purist at heart and stereo makes up 90% of my listening. I had hoped that 950 would be a good citizen giving the luxury of direct/bypass/stereo and also giving me the flexibility surround sound for movies. Since when does stereo/direct/bypass mean stereo plus some mucked up fixed 80hz signal doubling. Stereo is stereo and nothing else or more!

    I am still hopeful I can make peace with the 950 but it looks like I will essential turn off all the 950's much touted bass management triple crossover features. I have a very flexible subwoofer (REL Strata III) so I am luckier than most. Before I learned of the 950 "bass mistake", I had intended to hook up the 950 by using both 950's LFE low level output and the REL recommended parallel high level connection I currently use. The high level hookup is currently optimized for music. Since REL gives one the flexibility to independently optimize the low level LFE hookup I had hoped to use this to optimize for HT use. Now because of the "950 bass mistake" it looks like I will just shut down the 950's bass management altogether by setting sub to none and front speakers to large.

    Very discouraging.

    -CB
     
  6. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Chris,
    As a previous enthusiastic supporter of the 950, I may have come to the same conclusion as you.
    If I can't enjoy my 2-channel music without pollution (double bass) from the 950, then maybe this isn't the prepro for me.
    This is very distressing, because I really want to take advantage of the triple xovers, but having to find a way to circumvent the intentional double-bass design of this prepro just to listen to 2-channel music, seems a bit ridiculous to me.
    Hopefully Outlaw will get the message and provide a remote control on/off toggle command for the sub in "analog bypass" mode for 2-channel music.
     
  7. Chris Barker

    Chris Barker Auditioning

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    Bruce,
    I'm happy to have an friend here on this topic. A lot of responses I have gotten are along the lines "what's the big deal" or "just press x, y and z buttons everytime you listen to a cd". I had hoped that in the year 2002 HT and Music systems could coexist. The only product I had found previously that seemed to embrace my view was the Bryston SP1. My main issue with the SP1 was that it appeared to me a little expensive (4 grand). I seek value in products and I'm sure the SP1 is a great product but I'm just not sure it's 4 grand worth.
    You may want to investigate another product that I am just starting to learn about. It's the McCormack MAP-1 preamp that has several mutli channel inputs but maintains the integrity of the signal. Not much detail but you can read a little about it at:
    McCormack Homepage
    I happen to live just across the Potmac river from them in suburban Maryland. McCormack is now part of Conrad Johnson located in Fairfax, Virginia. My current amplifier is a pre Conrad Johnson McCormack 2 channel amp. If the MAP-1 availablity is fairly soon and the price is maybe 2 grand or less I may just go this route.
    I expect I will be getting ship notice on my combined 950/755 this week. I may end up keeping the 755 and shipping the 950 back within 30 days if the MAP-1 pans out.
    -CB
     
  8. Chris Barker

    Chris Barker Auditioning

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    For those interested, I have found a little more info on the MAP-1:
    Infused with new energy, funds, and direction following its acquisition by conrad-johnson, McCormack Audio will extend founder Steve McCormack's high-value audiophile solid-state designs to surround processing with its upcoming MAP-1 Music Analog Processor ($2,395, no firm release date as yet). Described by McCormack's new parent company co-founder Bill Conrad as a "music lover's system that makes a passable theater system," the MAP-1 keeps all inputs in the analog domain, enhancing each of its three two-channel inputs with a defeatable Hafler-type matrix ambience recovery surround mode. Two sets of 5.1 inputs support both SACD and DVD-Audio players, though the unit performs no bass management or time alignment-the intent is to use MAP-1 in conjunction with player-based capabilities.
    CES 2002
    This is about what I was going to spend on the 950/755. I already have an extra amp I can press into service and my dvd player has on board dolby digital so I'm pretty well set. The only issue is I haven't seen whether the MAP-1 is remote controlled. I would think that its 99% probable it is remote controlled but I'll have to check this.
    -CB
     
  9. John Cain

    John Cain Second Unit

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    Well personally I am thrilled the bypass mode works this way.

    I have a separate power amplifier for my Sub, as I know many folks do, so IF I do not want the sub I'll simply switch off its amp, or not turn it on at all.

    -- John
     
  10. Chris Barker

    Chris Barker Auditioning

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    Well that's great John. You should enjoy your 950!

    I've decided to cancel my 950/755 order first thing Monday. That should help alot of people since I am pretty sure my order would have shipped next week.

    My priorities have always been on maximum fidelity and do no harm to the signal. I probably should blame myself for getting seduced into thinking that the 950 could be a tremendous two channel preamp and a great surround preamp. I'm sure the 950 is a great product and represents a breakthrough in pricing. It's just not skewed towards the purist audio angle I come from. I should have known better but I had hoped by this time Home Theater processors could co-mingle in audio only systems.

    I have experience in the Mccormick/Conrad Johnson products and am now pretty convinced that the new MAP-1 is the product I wanted all along.

    I think that it really comes down to where you come from. Most people here are quite rightly Home Theater first audio second people. This is afterall the "Home Theater Forum". I am, in contrast, in the Audio first Home Theater second camp. I don't know that either angle is correct of incorrect. It's just a difference in where you place your emphasis.

    -CB
     
  11. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I don't view the "double bass" feature of the Outlaw and Rotel as a "mistake". The reason why is that they chose maximum flexibility over any kind of restriction. You *can* turn your sub off. You *can* go to the menu config and tell the pre/pro you don't have a sub. You *can* turn down the level of the sub in the pre/pro.

    But I do agree, that me, myself, and I would never use that feature. I think what they should have done, was to make it "user selectable": that when you switched from 2 channel crossover digital mode to 2 channel analog bypass mode, that it has a field in the software to either keep the sub on or turn it off automatically when you switch back and forth.

    For example, there are a lot of receivers out there that simply do not have the choice of saying that the mains are "large" but that you also have a sub in your system.
     
  12. John Cain

    John Cain Second Unit

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    Hi Chris,

    I think you are correct that most users of the 950 will be HT folks, more interested in it as a HT 5.1/7.1 pre/pro than as a dedicated music only preamp.

    Since you are primarily interested in a preamp, I believe you are correct that you will do better to select an audiophile quality preamp.

    For the rest of us that will be 50/50 or 60/40 the 950 appears to be a terrific product at a very reasonable price point.

    -- John
     
  13. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    John Cain,
    I really don't think it matters which side you come from (music or HT) automatically producing double-bass and not letting the user specify on/off is just plain wrong.
    I've never seen a 2-channel preamp do this, so why should I expect it from a 2-channel preamp pass thru on a prepro?
    Yes, I'm upset it doesn't fit my needs, because this is such a simple function to get right, and both Outlaw and Rotel got it wrong. Correction Rotel may actually allow you to set and save the sub output trim to "min" (zero?) for analog-bypass mode.
    So tell me how could you ever do an accurate instantaneous comparison between the DACs in the prepro and a separate transport+DAC driving the analog-bypass path? It's impossible since you will get double bass with analog-bypass.
     
  14. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Michael,

     
  15. Mal P

    Mal P Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi BruceD,

    I completely agree with you. My Vtf-2 is always on (even the internal auto stand-by circuit has been disabled - thank goodness) and the idea of having to wire up an external power-switch just to turn it off so I can listen to music as was intended is plain wrong. Why, oh why, the Outlaws didn't have a button on the remote that said "mute subwoofer" I don't know.

    However, I can learn to live with it, as long as the analog signal fed to it via my CD player is untampered. I probably would hook up an external power switch or something. I'm a little worried about having all the video circuitry etc within the unit, maybe a proper two channel pre-amp is the way to go. Of course, what would be ideal is if the two-channel DACs within the unit were upto the quality of even say a Rotel 971 CD player. That would save a lot of hassle!

    My Sony ES receiver is handy for this, as it has a "Soundfield on/off" button which disables bass management completely when it's turned off.

    Cheers,

    Mal
     
  16. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I agree that having the sub output in stereo bypass and not allowing you to shut it off easily is wrong. I am fortunate, however to have my setup with a wall switch for my subwoofer. Its right within arms reach from my listening area and it works great for me. If wiring a wall switch for your subwoofer is not possible, then I could see the 950 "double bass" being a problem. If that is the only problem you have, however, I would hesitate to cancel. I agree its wrong, but there are lots of easy ways to accomodate an on-off switch for your subwoofer.
     
  17. John Cain

    John Cain Second Unit

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    Good point Bruce.

    I suppose a switch would be nice, but if given the choice of no sub, or the ability to have a sub signal when I choose to switdch the sub on, I'll take the latter.

    -- John
     
  18. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    I guess one recouse is to find a way to shut off the sub-out bass, but then I can't easily do a proper comparison between digital and analog outputs.

    I guess my other recourse is to only use digital input on the 950 and not worry about it.

    I will at least try it out for 30 days for myself, but I am still really disappointed.

    Maybe I can find a way to disable (cut) that specific circuit trace in analog bypass mode.
     
  19. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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  20. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Actually the worst thing about the 950 is it's global settings.If that weren't the case,it could make this piece a lot more flexible.However the analog pass through should have been just like that:pass through!
     

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