Outlaw's ICBM component arrives!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chuck Kent, Oct 11, 2001.

  1. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Just received my Outlaw Audio ICBM here at work.
    I'll be installing it tonight and will post my thoughts soon afterward.
     
  2. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    After working with missiles for many years.....your subjest is a little chilling in the light of the past month
    FYI
    ICBM = Inter Continental Ballistic Missile
     
  3. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    Let us know what you think.
    Are you using this strictly for DVD-A? Are you watching DVD movies using the analog outputs and PCM decoding of your DVD player?
    ------------------
    Every man is my superior, in that I may learn from him.
    MyHTSetup
     
  4. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Grant: Sorry. I didn't mean anything by it. (I guess I assumed that since the Outlaw ICBM has been discussed so much lately that I didn't really think about the subject line being taken any other way...)
     
  5. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    To avoid any possible backlash (although I personally think this would be a remote possibility) I've slightly edited the heading, Chuck.
    Another question: Is the manual for this ICBM available on-line (I seem to recall that someone mentioned this, somewhere, but I can find the reference.)
    Thanks.
    ------------------
    RAF
    [Demented Video Dude since 1997]
    [Computer Maven since 1956]
    ["PITA" since 1942]
    My HT (latest update 02/05/01)
     
  6. John H

    John H Second Unit

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  7. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Robert.
    The manual is at http://pdf.outlawaudio.com/outlaw/docs/icbm_manual.pdf
    It's 16 pages and is pretty well written. The hookup possiblities are clearly outlined.
    Lou: I'm still playing the waiting game for either DVD-A or SACD. IMO, it's still early and there aren't enough titles out yet for me to jump.
    My hookup will use the ICBM between a Denon 3802 (used as a 5.1 pre-amp) and a Carver 705x 5 channel amp. I will use the ICBM for ALL bass management. I have Vandersteen 2 CE mains, an M&K subwoofer, an Atlantic Tech center and Cambridge Soundworks rears. (I know it may not appear to be a good synergistic matchup, but I think they do pretty well.) Nevertheless, since all of these speakers are "sized" different, I knew early on that the ICBM stood a good chance of making a real improvement to my sound (over the Denon's one-size-fits-all 80, 100, 120 Hz crossover.)
    I guess I'll know soon enough...
     
  8. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    John and Chuck,
    Thanks for the link. That's exactly what I was looking for.
    I downloaded the manual and will have an ICBM in my hands tomorrow.
    'nuff said.
    ------------------
    RAF
    [Demented Video Dude since 1997]
    [Computer Maven since 1956]
    ["PITA" since 1942]
    My HT (latest update 02/05/01)
     
  9. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Ok...here are some initial thoughts.
    The unit seems to be made well. The RCA jacks are the case mounted style, not just soldered to the main circuit board (like so many other RCA jacks on almost everything out there today.) Fit and finish of the case looks good and the selector switches have a solid feel to them. The unit is powered by a wall wart power supply and is standard 17.25" component width.
    Hookup went smoothly and there is plenty of room for the connecting cables. (The "death grip" RCA cables from Monster and others will have a much harder time of tearing up the ICBM's RCA inputs.) The unit does not have a separate power switch so it will need to be on a system switched outlet or left on all of the time. (In my case, I tried powering it on and off while hooked up to my always on M&K sub. Unfortunately, the ICBM puts out a power "thump" into the sub. Therefore, my ICBM will always be on.) Also, the green power light is fairly bright. My ICBM is not in front by my TV, so it's not a big deal for me. But it could be for many others.
    System setup, crossover choice and sub tweaking always takes me forever (and, it doesn't help that my smallish room has a fairly sizable 40 Hz (or so) hump. 6 to 8 db!) As I mentioned above, I have a varied speaker combination. Large mains, medium(ish) center and small surrounds. So, I jumped in using my Radio Shack spl meter, AVIA DVD setup disc and my Stereophile Test CD #1 (for bass test tones on my mains/sub.) After running several sweeps from the AVIA disc, I have initially set my mains at 100 Hz, center at 100 Hz and surrounds at 120 Hz. While this seems to be quite high, frequency sweeps have proven that my center doesn't go much below 90 Hz with any authority. Likewise my surrounds begin to drop off fairly quickly from 110 Hz or so. So, with little surprise, the center and surround settings were pretty much where I thought they would be. But what was surprising to me (and I'm sure to all of you) is that to get that 40 Hz hump under control, I had to set the highpass crossover so high on the mains. I thought that with a solid low end of 30 Hz, the Vandersteens would be totally wasted if not set at 40 or 60 Hz. But there is enough bass room gain below 100 Hz that setting the crossover higher seems to be working out very well. At least at this initial start...
    I'm well aware that if I could move my sub and or main speakers, I could make a big change on the in-room bass response. But the room is just too small to allow any major speaker real estate changes.
    Due to the fact that I spent so much time on tweaking, I haven't had much of a chance to listen to very much yet. But preliminary listening (along with the tests) makes it very clear that the unit is very transparent. The speaker inputs and outputs are set with unity gain, while the sub has 2 adjustments for volume (the input is marked as LFE Mix and the output is marked as Subwoofer Level.) And, it does indeed do a great job of rerouting the bass from each speaker grouping. U-571 and Hannibal in DTS sound very dynamic. And, the strong bass on the 2 films comes through loud and clear.
    I intend to spend more time this weekend tinkering with lowering the mains crossover point. And, of course, listening to as many movies as possible...
    ------------------
     
  10. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    Thanks for the review Chuck. You discovery about your mains surprises me!
    I have Paradigm Reference 20s as my mains and their rated down to ~55 hz. I am expecting to set them at 80 hz. Now I don't know.
    My RP91 has a fixed crossover at 100 hz which if your findings hold true will have me putting the ICBM crossover at the same setting. Kind of disturbing.
    ------------------
    Every man is my superior, in that I may learn from him.
    MyHTSetup
     
  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Chuck your discovery makes me SUPER PSYCHED about the possibilities of the ICBM in my living room. [​IMG] I can try all different crossover points and pick exactly what works best. This piece is really amazing. I only wish it did 6.1 switching between multiple sources. Didn't they think that people with BOTH DVD-A AND SACD players would need switching capabilities? [​IMG]
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    Philip Hamm
    AIM: PhilBiker
     
  12. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Lou & Philip: I think I'm safe in saying that no one can be more surprised than me at the high 100 Hz setting for my mains. After running all of the sweeps, it's pretty clear that the 40Hz bump is a thing with my listening room. I don't believe there is any reason to think that anyone else's setup would be the same.
    I'm from the camp that fuller range mains sound better for music. While that's debatable (and subjective), the bottom line is that the Vanderstenn's can play fairly low and I want to cross them over lower than 100 Hz. I've got 2 ways to approach "fixing" this. Fix the room (by moving me, the sub &/or the speakers) or use some kind of equalization. Since my room just isn't large enough to accomodate moving things more than a few inches, eq looks like the path I'll need to pursue.
    I have a couple of old graphic equalizers lying around that I'll try first. The problem is that they are kind of limited on what they can accomplish. A parametric is what I need but I'm not going to spend the bucks until I do a little testing with the graphic versions first.
    I'll let you know...
     
  13. Will

    Will Guest

    I've heard when the -3dB point is X hz (say 50 Hz),
    some dB's may be dropped, up to about 2xX Hz (100 Hz).
    That's just a rule of thumb and your mileage may vary.
    The drop wouldn't be as high as 3dB up to 100 Hz,
    but it probably would be more than 0 dB. The dB drop
    is a curved slope, NOT a step.
    [Edited last by Will on October 12, 2001 at 12:25 PM]
     
  14. Kieran Coghlan

    Kieran Coghlan Second Unit

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    Chuck,
    Why are you trying to fix a room boost at 40Hz with crossover settings? Or, did I read your post incorrectly? Changing the crossover placement shouldn't fix a specific boost point. It may tame it a bit, but at the expense of all other bass as well. What you need to do is one of two things (as far as I can tell) 1) do as you said and re-arrange the room/speakers, or 2) Apply some equalization to your source, and supress a narrow band around 40Hz only.
    By moving the crossover ever higher and higher, all you're doing is taking more bass out of the system. IOW, you're supressing the bass output of the mains, and leaving the sub to do it all. This in effect brings the overall amount of bass in your room down, rather than JUST the 40 Hz point.
    Or, did I just totally misunderstand your predicament? [​IMG]
    ------------------
    -Kieran
    My HT Page
     
  15. John Geelan

    John Geelan Screenwriter

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    My ICBM arrived via FedEx this afternoon. Comes in a very secure white box with special fitting foam padding.
    I began re-arranging all of my cables to insert the ICBM into the system. Since I have a large furniture Home Entertainment unit it is always a pain in the neck to get to the rear of my audio/video equipment.
    Once that was accomplished I used my receivers (Denon 3300) test tones to see if I had hooked everything up correctly.
    Then I inserted the new Metallica DVDA "The Black Album" onto the Panny RP91 and off we went. The bass is now restored by the ICBM. Without it the bass was anemic in DVDA mode (bass was good using the 5.1 soundtrack though previously on my old Toshiba 2109). It is also nice to be able to adjust the crossovers on all of my speakers. I use small speakers all around (Pinnacle PN 6+ and a Cambridge Soundworks Plus center channel speaker) and 2 Velodyne subs (CT120 and 810x).
    The ICBM seems to be very well made and looks great.
    It fits into my system very easily.
    I will of course spend the next few weeks getting to know the ICBM better by listening to more music.
    I give it a thumbs up!
    JohnG
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  16. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Add my name to the growing list of fans of this product.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I've hooked up my Outlaw ICBM and am a very happy DVD-Audio sub-human right now. (I kept everything simple: 80 Hz crossovers into my M&K 150's and left all other settings on the subs - 16-46PC and M&K THX 350 - as they were before.) The ICBM truly does its appointed task quite elegantly. I haven't had a chance to try out a lot of the other possible ICBM settings, and if I find something better, I'll let you know.
    Well made, plenty of flexibility, etc. etc. Low frequency energy has magically re-appeared in my DVD-Audios and I'm impressed. Philip Glass' KOYAANISQATSI DVD-A is awesome.
    ------------------
    RAF
    [Demented Video Dude since 1997]
    [Computer Maven since 1956]
    ["PITA" since 1942]
    My HT (latest update 02/05/01)
     
  17. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    Thanks for the reviews guys!
    I too am planning to use it for all my bass mgmt.
    Will use my Yamaha 2095 as the pre-amp and powering it with my EAD PM500.
    Guess I'll have to get some DVD-A discs.
    What I really want to use it for is DVD movies.
    I'm using the decoder from the RP91 and using the PCM mode for DD & DTS. To me it sounds better than the digital stream.
    Anyone else try this?
    ------------------
    Every man is my superior, in that I may learn from him.
    MyHTSetup
     
  18. Will

    Will Guest

    I understand at least twelve interconnects (six ins
    plus six outs) are needed for the ICBM. Which brand
    of interconnect are people using and what's the cost?
     
  19. Stan T

    Stan T Stunt Coordinator

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    I was wondering if the ICBM would help me with my DVD-audio setup. I can't seem to get the amount of bass that I would like with my DVD-audio discs. When I play my CDs through my receiver I can adjust the bass to my liking & they sound great. I like a lot of bass in my music. However I can't adjust the bass though the multi channel analog in.
    I have large front towers with 300W subs in each speaker. I run the center & surrounds as small when I run digital. I don't run a seperate sub since my mains have the 300W subs in each of them.
    If I use the ICBM and use the setting (large mains with no sub & the surrounds as small) will I be able to get alot of bass out of the mains like I do when I listen to CDs through the digital in on my receiver?
    Thanks for your reponse. Since I can't find one to demo I'm hoping that an ICBM owner could answer this question for me. I don't want to spend money on something if it isn't going to give me the results that I am looking for.
     
  20. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Kieran: Yeah, you've pretty well described everything. I know that this kind of experimentation is not the answer, but I wanted to try to do something.
    I have since tried an old graphic eq I had lying around. It proves to me that I will be able to get this problem under control once I get the right tool. But, I have also learned that a graphic eq is not the correct tool. What does look like the right tool is a Behringer Feedback Destroyer.
    So, more to follow down the road...
    Will: Outlaw offers some of their own. A 3 pair .5 meter set for $70 and a 3 pair 1.5 meter set for $110. I chose to use Radio Shack. (I'm not golden eared...)
    Stan: If I'm understanding everything correctly, the ICBM can accomodate your setup via the 5.1 analog inputs. But, one important thing to note is that the ICBM has no tone controls. All it will do is redirect bass. So if you want to crank up the bass, you'd need to turn up the subs.
    ------------------
    [Edited last by Chuck Kent on October 14, 2001 at 12:02 AM]
     

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