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Integrating sub with Alpha 10 / living room

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by lmccauley, Mar 5, 2002.

  1. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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    I am considering getting a subwoofer to add to my current system that comprises small centre & surrounds and floorstanding main L&R speakers. I don't want to do this in half measures (ideally I would like to never have to replace it), and I don't want to spend a lot of money, so I am considering auditioning the Paradigm Servo15.

    I have a few questions that basically boil down to:
    a) how best to connect it up to my Arcam Alpha 10 and
    b) how to make a great, black box acceptable to my better half :eek:.

    Connecting to Alpha 10
    1) I have looked through the Alpha 10 manual, and there is an addendum that reads: "When a subwoofer is selected as being present, all bass signals below approximately 80Hz are sent to the subwoofer, and no other speakers receive these low bass signals, except in Analogue Stereo mode. In this mode only, to enable front left and right speakers to deliver a full bandwidth signal for high quality stereo sources, bass is always delivered to both the front left & right speakers as well as the subwoofer output". Now, I want to use the analogue stereo outputs from my DVD player for MP3 music as well as PCM CD. The addendum reads to me that I would get the signal <80Hz sent to both my main left & right speakers and the subwoofer. Anybody have any suggestions how to get round this?

    2) One thing that occurs to me is that the Servo15 comes with the X30 crossover box. I could tell the Alpha 10 that I have "Large" main L&R speakers but no sub, take the pre-outs from the Alpha 10 and feed them into the X30, take the outputs from that and feed them into the PWR AMP IN sockets on the Alpha 10. The manual says that in order to do this an internal selector switch must be changed and to contact my dealer or Arcam for details. Anybody know what is involved before I ring up my dealer - is it a simple thing that I could do myself? Does this approach sound feasible?

    Domestic Bliss
    ------------------
    3) OK, onto matters domestic. Now, this may be a really dumb question (I can see you nodding already Nic), but can you place a throw over the Servo15 to transform it from big black box to interesting decoration - possibly even casual table if you didn't know? Or would the material in front of the driver get blown about and look very silly?

    4) If it was OK, would it be possible to put a standard lamp on top without it disintegrating when I next watch The Matrix?

    Cheers,
    Liam
     
  2. Reiner

    Reiner
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    a) how best to connect it up to my Arcam Alpha 10 and

    Line level (RCA/phono): Subwoofer out from DAVE to line in at the sub.

    b) how to make a great, black box acceptable to my better half

    Now that I can't help you with ... unless you buy a non-black sub? ;)


    The addendum reads to me that I would get the signal <80Hz sent to both my main left & right speakers and the subwoofer. Anybody have any suggestions how to get round this?

    Switch off the Sub! Sounds stupid, I know ... which makes me actually wonder, if an analog input is selected, why is the DAVE involved?


    The rest is too specific to the equipment, perhaps post a new question directed to John Dawson of Arcam or contact them directly / via your dealer.
     
  3. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Right, here as requested!

    Connecting to Alpha 10
    I can’t comment on the operation of the Arcam 10 DAVE, so here goes. :D It seems very unusual that the processor would want to send bass to both sub and L/R. This is a potential recipe for disaster. Bass from the sub and L/R can either fight against each other and cancel out or fight together and producing too much bass. I can understand with straight stereo input (PCM / MP3 etc) that bass goes to L/R and not then .1 channel. With an ‘AV’ link then the .1 of 5.1 would come into play with the L/R being suitably filtered below 80hz. The sub can easily be turn off as Richard has said.

    Your option 2 is feasible and I think it is just an internal jumper that links the pre and power internally. Changing its position breaks the internal link but allows an external one. An easy DIY job. The X30 is a surprisingly sophisticated and transparent device however if you need to use it, though with modern AV devices it isn’t really necessary.

    Domestic Bliss
    Important stuff. Well contrary to popular belief even I have to compromise when it comes to her in doors. :D Temporarily anyway. With a new AV room in the forth coming house move, it is ALL MINE. :D

    I have never thrown a throw over the sub but I have several plants and flowers on it at all times. This certainly tones down the big black box syndrome somewhat. In early experiments, I certainly moved things around shelves (honest) but in regular use, the flowers have stayed in place so far. To be frank I was scared about what a pair of these can do with stories of cracking concrete foundations (true) at parties in the USA. Don’t forget that there are few subs that can go louder or lower. As the bass comes from a front mounted, forward facing driver in a sealed box, then a throw over the sides, rear and top shouldn’t be a major hindrance to quality sub and probably worth a try. Easily tried.

    The sub in my house gets used as an occasional table and glasses of wine, popcorn and table lamps are all regular users of the subs. This has been the price to pay for domestic bliss. I have also found it very useful to put the twins in front of each to keep them amused with the gentle vibration. It is very effective and much better value than a vibrating chair. This was the reason I needed two subs :D

    Even with the most energetic films (DTS ES The Haunting), the positioning of items on the sub isn’t really a problem. Don’t forget this sub is designed for the extreme. The listener bottles out well before a single sub reaches anything like it maximum capability. Frankly I have no idea what it can do as I have bottled out long before, and this is with one sub let alone two. I think that this is one of the reasons that the Servo15 has been sucessful for people here (other than the great price) is that this bably just ticks over and is never strressed. Like driving a V8/V12 on UK roads.



    I don’t see this being a problem at all.
     
  4. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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    Thanks for the comprehensive replies. Knew I could rely on you :cool:.

    Unless I've mis-understood, the Alpha 10 "feature" of sending bass to both the main speakers and the subwoofer outputs does seem a little... eccentric.

    I'm reassured by your comments of being able to put items on top of the Servo15 without them spontaneously exploding. That gives me a lot more leeway for positioning it - i.e. it isn't forced into a corner, it could be an occasional table.

    Cheers,
    Liam
     

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