Using an Outlaw 950 with an ICBM

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Corkery, Jul 3, 2002.

  1. John Corkery

    John Corkery Stunt Coordinator

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    I know it's been said many times that the 950 and the ICBM aren't very compatible because the 950 routes LFE + summed bass from every channel to the subwoofer, but I think I've figured out a way to get them to work together. Now, I don't own a 950, so please correct me if my logic is flawed here.

    Basically, if you've got the ICBM connected between the 950 and your amps, it seems like you should be able to route the main/center/surround channels from your DVD player through the 950 and then on to the ICBM, but leave the 950 out of the loop with the LFE channel. In other words, go directly from the DVD player to the ICBM with the LFE. On the 950, set all speakers to "large," turn off the manual high-pass filter switch, and set the subwoofer to "none." This way, the 950 will always send full range main/center/surround signals to the ICBM which will perform all bass management duties. The 950's subwoofer output wouldn't be used, so the bass doubling issues would be avoided entirely.

    This seems like it should work. Can anyone foresee any problems with this setup? Of course, speaker delay settings may be a concern for some people, but that has always been a somewhat "controversial" issue with the ICBM.

    I own a Rotel RSP-1066 and an ICBM, and I may set up my system the way I've described above, since the 1066 also seems to have a few quirks of its own regarding bass management...
     
  2. John Corkery

    John Corkery Stunt Coordinator

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    No comments, anybody?

    Does the setup I described above seem like a valid solution? Or am I overlooking some potential problems?
     
  3. Sankar

    Sankar Second Unit

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    There are two issues that seem to crop up in my mind:
    a) if your dvd player does not have a DD/DTS decoder (but you are using the decoder in the 950), you cannot follow the above solution
    or
    b) if you have multiple digital inputs. Lets say that you have a dvd player AND a hdtv decoder (which for now we'll assume has a DD decoder) ... you need some way to do the switching also.
    Correct me if I am completely off base here [​IMG]
     
  4. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    I agree, with the digital out from the DVD to the 950 you don't get the option of "splitting" out the LFE.

    To attempt what you propose would require a player capable of outputing digital S/PDIF (DD and DTS) and 5.1 analog at the same time (don't know of any that do).

    The decoding of the digital S/PDIF signal is done in the 950 and then sent time aligned to the amplifiers. I can't imagine the .1 analog out from the player would be time aligned with the S/PDIF signal decoded by the 950.

    I just don't see how your idea would work.
     
  5. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    John,
    I actually was using my ICBM like you described for a while but eventually removed it from the system. Like you, I was not concerned with any time alignment problems. In my listening tests, real world experience showed (at least for me) that any theoretical problems did not result in actual listening issues.
    My original idea was to use the ICBM between the pre/pro and the amps to provide bass management since I have both an SACD and a DVD-A player. However, my SACD player is 2 channel only and I discovered, during the beta testing process that in all analog bypass modes the LFE is still sent to the woofers so I did not have to concern myself with bass management. So now my DVD-A player (RP-91) uses the 5.1 analog inputs and my 2 channel SACD player (Sony 9000ES) uses the analog inputs for that source (in bypass mode). Works like a charm.
    Besides, I'm a believer in the "less is more" theory of interconnections and by removing the ICBM in the fashion I had inserted it I was removing 12 wires from the mix.
    And to anticipate another question - what do I do when I finally get a multi-channel SACD player? At this point my thoughts would be to get a player such as the Pioneer that does both SACD multi and DVD-A so that a single set of 5.1 analog inputs is sufficient. And, since I'm not in any rush for multichannel SACD (I love the 2 channel version and DVD-A satisfies my multichannel audio Jones for now) I imagine there is a remote possibility that some digital output might eventually reach us - but I'm not holding my breath on this. We have a better chance of players with bass management built in to them.
    The only thing I "miss" by removing the ICBM? It had dual SW outputs and now that I'm back to a single SW output on my 950 I'm using a y-connector for that to connect to my two sub woofers. Anyone know of a source for a quality Y-connector? The Ratshack ones I'm using are borderline.
     
  6. Wayne_T

    Wayne_T Stunt Coordinator

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    RAF,
    Do I understand your post correctly, that you are no longer using the ICBM? Please send me a message if you are interested in parting with it.
    Thanks,
    Wayne
     
  7. John Corkery

    John Corkery Stunt Coordinator

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  8. John Corkery

    John Corkery Stunt Coordinator

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  9. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    John,

    OK, so if you are using DD/DTS decoding from the DVD player to 5.1 analog outputs why even have the 950 processor at all?

    Why not just use a Sony TAP9000es, as a 5.1 bypass preamp with volume control with your ICBM?

    You have me interested in what the differences in sound are between the setups you have. What do you hear as differences between the different setups?

    1) 950 as DD/DTS/PCM decoder/DAC without ICBM
    2) 950 as DD/DTS/PCM decoder/DAC with ICBM
    3) DVD player as DD/DTS/PCM decoder/DAC without ICBM
    4) DVD player as DD/DTS/PCM decoder/DAC with ICBM

    And where are the xovers set on the ICBM?
     
  10. John Corkery

    John Corkery Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't own a 950; I have a Rotel RSP-1066 which, I mentioned above, also seems to have some bass management quirks with its 6.1 analog inputs. I'm not interested in a strictly analog preamp because I like the flexibility and features that the 1066 provides. I like the way PLII and Neo:6 sound on a lot of 2-channel sources. I have an HDTV STB and I feed the unit's optical output into my pre/pro. Also, I mentioned that I'd "probably" use the 6.1 analog inputs most of the time. That means I haven't completely made up my mind yet, but with DVD-Audio, there's no other option, so I know I'll be using them for at least that. Regardless, it's nice to have a choice with digital 5.1 sources.

    My original post was mainly prompted by the fact that people have stated that the 950 and ICBM were incompatible because of the LFE + summed bass always being channeled to the subwoofer output. What I described in my original post is a solution I thought of trying with my 1066 and thought it might also be a viable solution for those who'd like to use an ICBM with their 950, which would provide much more flexible bass management options for analog 5.1 sources--DVD-Audio being the most likely candidate. With DVD-Audio, full range main/center/surround signals would be sent to the ICBM through the 950 while the LFE channel would go directly from the DVD player to the ICBM, bypassing the 950 and the summed bass that it adds to the signal. With digital sources, the LFE information would be diverted to the main speaker outputs and the ICBM would send LFE + summed bass to the subwoofer. The only big problem I can see with this arrangement is when somebody wants to use the 950's DAC and send full range signals to the main/center/surround speakers while just the LFE signal is sent to the subwoofer. The 950 by itself would allow you to do this with digital 5.1 sources, but not analog... The 950 + ICBM setup I described would allow you to do this with analog 5.1 sources, but not digital. However, you do gain equally flexible bass management options with both digital and analog 5.1 sources.

    ...Or am I missing something?
     
  11. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    I don't know how all processors handle the combination of re-directed bass + LFE bass sent to the main speakers when there is no sub defined.

    IIRC, LFE is typically boosted by 10dB in the decoding process because it is encoded at a -10dB level. How this is handled when LFE is re-directed to the main speakers is not standardized. It has been observed that some processors don't restore the 10dB boost when passing LFE to the main speakers.

    This could potentially reduce the actual bass input to the ICBM, making it less than it should be.

    How the 1066, the 950, or DVD players with DD/DTS decoders handles this situation, I don't know.
     
  12. John Corkery

    John Corkery Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmmm. Well, I guess I'd be able to figure out if the 1066 is handling the redirected LFE properly pretty easily by comparing the digital feed (with redirected LFE) to the analog one (with LFE passed through directly from the DVD player). Thanks for pointing that out.
     
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Well, this is how I do it with my Sherwood AV-P9080.

    First I set the -rear- speakers to "small" (80 Hz crossover) on the Sherwood prepro, and set the main/left/center on "large".

    Then I set the ICBM between the pre-outs and the main-ins on the power-amp. I set the rears at 80 and the fronts and center where I want.

    This way I have time alignment taken care of for DPL, DD, and DTS (perhaps) within the receiver, and I can use the ICBM to customize the front soundfield. Then when DVD-A multichannel kicks in I'm good to go with bass management all around.

    Seems to work great for me. I don't know how the 950 would react in a similar situation.
     

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