Considering the purchase of an ICBM

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Hoak, May 29, 2002.

  1. Jeff Hoak

    Jeff Hoak Stunt Coordinator

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    I’m not sure if this belongs here or in speakers or in tweaks… Mods, please feel free to move as needed.

    I'm giving serious thought to adding an ICBM to my system. I'm in the early stages of acquiring DVD-A's and loving the sound with a few minor exceptions.

    I currently have: Pioneer Elite VSX-39TX, JBL S38's (mains), JBL S-Center, JBL HTI8 (in wall surrounds), JBL S120PII sub, and a Panasonic RP91.

    The speakers reside in a largish entertainment center along with all of the other electronics. Don't bother to try to get me to take them out of the cabinet or acquire something other than in-wall surrounds. The decorator has spoken... I lost... end of story... There in lies the problem....

    In spite of multiple layers of isolation (VibraPods) under the main & center speakers and all of the "mechanical" devices in the cabinet I'm still having issues with deep bass at high volumes (85+ db). The only answer so far has been to set the speakers to "small" in the receiver (the DVD is set to large) and let it try to re-route the bass to the sub. Let's just say that I'm not happy with the results.

    The available crossover frequencies are 80, 100 & 150 Hz. The receiver doesn’t appear to allow for setting different crossover frequencies to different speakers. I really believe that the mains could stand to be set to 60 Hz (or so) so long as I could set the center (seems to be my problem child) to 100 (or higher) and not be trying to pump so much bass to the surrounds (they just can't handle it).

    So... Tell me... Does it sound like I'm a good candidate for an ICBM?

    Of course any and all feedback is appreciated.

    THANX!
     
  2. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    Jeff;

    Absolutely! I have the RP91 as well as the ICBM and I could not imagine listening to DVD-A without it.

    The RP91 allows you to set your speakers to LARGE or SMALL as well as adjust the output levels of each speaker. However, these controls only work for movies and not DVD-A. In fact, the RP91 has no bass management features at all from DVD-A. That means the the S38s are receiving full-range signals (20 Hz to 20 Khz) even though they probably can't reach below 40 Hz with any real impact.

    Purchasing an ICBM would not only eliminate this problem, but it will also give you the tweakablity options you so desire in setting your own crossover settings. That's a major plus in my book.

    Buy the ICBM. You'll be very happy with the purchase.
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Not so fast J-Fo..... [​IMG]
    If you're looking for a complete bass management solution for your entire system
    Jeff, does your (very nice!) receiver have a pre-out / post-in loop? It does not look like it from the manual on www.pioneerelectronics.com . The ICBM will be of very limited usefulness to you. It will only work for the 5.1 ins. If you decide to use the DD and DTS decoders in your DVD player you're stuck with 5.1 only, no additional EX or anything like that.
    The best way to use the ICBM is between a preamp and a power amp. Even this is not ideal because it does not properly bass match for time alignment (the "delay" setting in your DD/DPL setup). It's complicated but there should be information about this at Outlaw's site.
    I run my ICBM on all five channels between preamp and power-amp. In my preamp I've got the rears set to small and the crossover point is 80Hz. This corrects any time alignment problems for anything but DVD-Audio.
    I think the ICBM will be minimally useful to you unless you decide to upgrade to an external multichannel amp. Then it will allow you to tailor the bass output to your speakers in ways that will really open up your whole soundfield.
    If you're looking for a solution for DVD-A and/or SACD it's the best solution out there right now. Go for it.
     
  4. Jeff Hoak

    Jeff Hoak Stunt Coordinator

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    At the present time 5.1 is the only option at my house.

    I assume that you gathered that the decorator (the SO) is pretty much in charge of speaker placement. That's our compromise... She deals with how things look and I deal with how things sound. Another set of speakers placed on the sides are simply out of the question (I'm working on it though).

    The receiver does not have the pre-out/main-in loop that would allow the ICBM to process everything. That's OK though as we rarely watch movies at anywhere near the volume that I like the music. The receiver's internal DD/DTS processor seems to do a very fine job with movies. To my ears even better than the RP91. All of that was to say that DVD-A is indeed my primary application for the ICBM and I'm content (at the moment) with digital processing of the receiver for movies.

    It's funny that you mention an outboard multi-channel amp. That too is on my "being considered" list. The Outlaw 755 or the ATI 1505 are looking pretty good. I wish I could get someone to "lend" me a nice 5-channel amp for a couple of weeks so that I could determine once-and-for-all whether adding an amp would make enough difference to justify the cost... But that's another subject for another time...

    THANX for the input guys... A couple of more "go for it's" and I'll be ready to pull the trigger. Now I just have to figure out how I'm going to explain ANOTHER $500...
     
  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Have you A/Bed your RP91 with your receiver for stereo PCM material? If the 91 is close, you can use the ICBM for stereo PCM as well as DVD-A music.
     
  6. Jeff Hoak

    Jeff Hoak Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not really sure what you asking. I don't know that I have any "PCM" material. Are DVD-A's PCM? Or is the reference to plain vanilla CD's?

    Sorry to sound like a dummy but I'm not familiar the expresion (beyond knowing what the definition is).

    I guess the actual answer is not really, I haven't A/B'd anything other than comparing a couple my original CD's to the same DVD-A's.

    CD's sound good on my system, but the DVD-A'a are definately a step up... a BIG step up!

    Now if I can only find all of my favorite music on DVD-A and the funds to purchase it I'll be in GREAT shape.

    There are things in my collection that I've bought 4 times. (1) LP, (2) cassette, (3) CD, (4)DVD-A... What's next?
     
  7. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    PCM is the format of standard CDs and some DVDs, as well as all DVD-A, which is much higher resolution that CDs and most DVD-Video discs. If CDs sound just as good through the stereo input on the 5.1 analog input as they do using the digital connection to the Pioneer then you can use the ICBM for the bass management on regular stereo music as well as DVD-A 5.1 stuff. That could make it much more useful for you if you enjoy music.
     
  8. Jeff Hoak

    Jeff Hoak Stunt Coordinator

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    Got it...

    What I didn't list along with the other equipment is my Pioneer PD-F1009 (301 disc CD player feeding the receiver with an optical & analog connections) which houses about half of my CD collection. This player is the primary source of CD music in my house. I don't think I've ever listened to a CD using the RP91... wait that's not true... I did try a MP3 disc that I had made just to see how it worked. Cool but I wasn't at all pleased with the sound quality.

    Anyway... I doubt very much that I'll be using the RP91 for any music other than the DVD-A's. Maybe... but I doubt it.

    Either way it's pretty moot at this point. I placed the order for the ICBM a couple of hours ago.

    I really hope that I'll be as pleased with the results as everyone says I'll be.

    THANX again for the input.
     

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