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Cambridge 540R cutting out with Elac speakers

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by leo9, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. leo9

    leo9
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    Hi,

    Have just bought Cambridge Azur 540R and Elac XL Set II speaker package with active subwoofer:

    http://www.elac.com/en/products/cinema/show.php?c=cinema2sets

    Elac speaker impedance is qouted at 4-8 ohms, nominal 6. Elac told me their speakers are OK for 100w per channel, and should be connected to no less than 50 W. 540R is 100 W per channel.

    First connected centre and 2 fronts from 540R using high quality cable and then wired them back (According to Elac manual) to 540R. Had to use smaller, cheaper cable as physically impossible to jam in thick cables twice into tiny holes at speaker connections. Sound from the 3 fronts and woofer was amazing, even at high music volume.

    Then connected 2 rears using same method but 540R kept cutting out at moderate volumes and cooling fan started kicking in. Figuring I was about to blow up the system, I ignored the manual I bypassed the Elac for the 2 rears and connected them directly to the 540R. Result - no cutting out but I am not convinced this is set up up correctly and volume from rears seems poor. Surely all speakers should go through Elac system?

    Have not messed about any more as it took me about 8 hours to get the thing wired up in the first place. Anyone out there know the correct way of setting this up?
     
  2. Kazman

    Kazman
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    So you have two runs of cable connecting each speaker?

    First thing I would do is just use a single run of cable to each speaker, no need to have two runs if there are no bi-wire terminals on the speakers themselves.

    Try that first, and then see what happens. Also make sure you have no shorts, VERY important. A short occurs when the strands of bare wire from one connection terminal is touching the other, ie, the red connector (positive) has strands loose that are touching strands on the black connector (negative).
     
  3. leo9

    leo9
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    Kazman,

    Thanks for the reply. All speakers only have one set of wires going to each. But according to the Elac manual: "the amplifier outputs left/right are connected to with the input jacks of the subwoofer. The satellites are connected with the amplifier in parallel". Also mentions satellites are equipped with a "high-pass filter", whatever that means.

    The Elac manual diagram shows the positive and negative input terminals of the subwoofer (labelled "Speaker In) connected via speaker wire to the amplifier terminals. It then shows the same amplifier terminals connected via a second set of speaker wires going to each satellite. Since I was daft enough to buy heavy "high quality" speaker wires it was almost impossible to neatly fit both sets of wires into the same tiny holes in the 540R amp terminals (have since heard about banana connections which may help this but note sure if they are available for heavier cable). Guess jamming one large gauge wire and one smaller guage into each tiny amp terminal might have caused a short as you suggest.

    So, for the 2 fronts and centre I have 2 wires into each terminal on the amp, one going to the sub's "Speaker In" terminals and one to each speaker. Except for the 2 rears, where I've given up, I have bypassed the sub completely and gone straight from the amp to the speakers.

    As you've probably guessed I'm new to this but don't see why I have to connect each speaker from the amp to each sub terminal and then from there to the speakers. Guess it's because it' and active sub and contains some clever electronics. Elac and Cambridge manuals don't exactly help much either.

    The system itself if fantastic for a 3 x 3 m room - just want to get the best out of it and make sure I don't destroy it in the meantime...
     
  4. Kazman

    Kazman
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    ok, connecting it up that was is mainly for stereo music setups.

    You should really be using a sub phono cable to connect from the 540R to the active Elac sub. You should have some hi/lo phono connectors on the back of the Elac sub, this should be the only connection from the amp to the sub.

    For 90% of users this is fine, the rears do not need to be wired through the sub at all, these should be a direct connection to the amp.

    The fronts only need to be wired through the sub in certain circumstances/preferences. If I were you, I'd connect all the speakers directly to the amp and the sub via a phono cable.

    Let me know if this helps, if not, we can go a bit deeper :).
     
  5. leo9

    leo9
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    Kazman,

    Most important thing for me is listening to music. Actually, I listen to it in surround mode rather than Prologic II as it sounds far better. Home cinema is secondary at present, but will become more important later.

    I have a sub phono cable connecting the amp and the sub. Not sure what you mean by hi/lo connectors. Connectors at the rear of Elac sub have a small plastic button at the front that pops out - I presume this is for accepting banana plugs or some other connector because my attempts to insert plain speaker wire into them securely failed. Also, near the back of each Elac connector are two small holes that you screw down to secure the cable - have used one of these to insert the speaker cable. Maybe these are for some other purpose.

    Would prefer to wire all speakers directly to the amp as this would save a lot of faffing about and wires all over the place but surely this would mean I bought what the reviews say is a good active sub for no reason. (i.e. seems it would be acting purely as a sub and not using any internal circuitry for the other speakers).

    So I'll try wiring directly amp to speakers as you recommend but would like to know what, if anything, I would lose by doing so. If you've lost patience by now that's fine - you've helped a lot already!



     
  6. Kazman

    Kazman
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    An active sub means it is powered by its own amplifier, while a passive sub means it needs to be powered by an external amplifier, shouldn't effect the way you wire it up.

    In my opinion, you will get best performance connecting the speakers to the amp directly, and allowing your amp to manage the bass to the subwoofer. For an AV amp, it is not as important to have the speakers wired through the subwoofer. If you feel it sounds better to use the sub in that way, then only wire the fronts to the sub, and the rears directly to the amp. For movies though, the sub needs to be connected to the sub pre out on the amp.
     
  7. leo9

    leo9
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    Kazman,

    Right, just about got it. Think I'll switch all speakers to connect directly from amp. Sub already connected to pre-out from the amp so at least that's OK. Thanks for your help!
     
  8. Kazman

    Kazman
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    Not a problem mate :) If you still need any help, just let us know :)
     

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