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MJ Reference 200, heard one on Monday....and.....

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Kazman, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. Kazman

    Kazman
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    It is VERY impressive.

    Probably on par with the Quad L subwoofer, very well built too.

    This is definitely another to add to the shortlist when looking for a sub, anyone else heard one yet?
     
  2. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Well yeah buddy but even though I liked it, that slight bias of mine meant I wasn't going to start a thread on it :laugh:.

    Seriously though, it is a very nice sub indeed if (IMO) slightly pricey for what it is.
     
  3. MrJubbly

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    I bought one (in maple) just before Christmas from Creative Audio. Rang them on the Wednesday and it arrived on Christmas eve. Unfortunately not had the chance yet to get it set up :(. Hope to do so though in the next couple of days.

    Jubbly
     
  4. mugsy

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    I've had one since the beginning of December - very impressed with it indeed. Will post a couple of pics shortly if anyone is interested...
     
  5. drummerjohn

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    How much?
     
  6. mugsy

    mugsy
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    The RRP is £650 for all finishes - check the MJ Acoustics page for pictures of the finishes. I got mine for £600 from AV Sales. Sevenoaks have it listed as £600 for the black finish - not sure if this means they are charging a premium for the wood finishes. It comes with a high level neutrik connector, low level phono's, spikes and the remote control/eye.

    A couple of pics then...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The 120 on the LED display is showing the high level crossover (not being used at the moment) and the LFE is showing the low level input is set to LFE bypass (amp is controlling the cross-over).

    The performance really is superb - it's replaced a Velo CHT-10 and not only goes lower but has far greater speed and accurracy. This is of course superb for music (a known MJ strength) but I was also surprised at the effect this has on films. The bass starts and stops with great precision meaning you get a real wallop when it's called for in a film.
     
  7. MrJubbly

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    Mugsy,

    Are you using your suv for both Hi-fi and HC. If so, out of interest, how are you using yours connectivity wise? I'm currently debating whether to connect the hi level input to my centre channel or to my main stereo pair, so am interested to hear what other people are doing.

    Regards,

    Jubbly
     
  8. mugsy

    mugsy
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    Hi Jubbly,

    I'm only using the LFE input at the moment and letting the amp (Denon 3805) handle all the bass management.

    It sounds superb although I would like to try connecting the high level neutrik cable in parallel with the front L/R at some point. The only problem is I have Anthony Gallo A'Diva's which are only rated at 50W when being sent a full range signal. It probably won't be a problem if I'm testing in the short term but If like what I hear I'm a bit concerned about the long-term effects of sending full range signals to the A'Divas.
     
  9. phurst

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    Bought an MJ Reference 200 last week and seriously impressed for both music and movies. Light Oak finish.

    Rang MJ acoustics and they were extremely helpful on setup.

    So............

    For music, connect the High Level input to the left and right speaker outputs from your amp.

    For movies, connect the sub output from your amp to the sub-LFE input on the base and also, if you have one, connect the centre pre-out from the amp to either the left or right low level input on the sub.

    All connections can be made simultaneously.

    I'm still tinkering with the Frequency & Gain settings.

    Happy listening
     
  10. MrJubbly

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    Phurst,

    This is interesting. I think I have been getting confused and have been taking the LFE input as a 'low level' connection. Thus I have been thinking that I have only had the option of beefing up either my stereo pair or my centre. Not both. From what you're saying though I can have my cake and eat it :D

    My Amp (Denon 3802) does have a centre pre-out. If I am to use this, and this may sound like a silly question, but what sort of cable are you using?

    Cheers,

    Jubbly
     
  11. mugsy

    mugsy
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    Jubbly,

    Can you tell me what speakers you are using?

    At 1st it's probably best to connect the sub-woofer pre-out of the amp to the LFE IN on the sub. You'll need a single phono-phono sub cable eg here. Depending on the speaker size/cross-over settings on the amp (we'll come to this when I know what speakers you have) it will then re-direct certain bass frequencies to the sub.

    Once you have everything configured in this manner you could try connecting the front left/right or centre via the high-level neutrik connector.

    I've not had any experience with using the left/right 'LO' connections as MJ Acoustics advised to phurst so I can't comment on that I'm afraid.
     
  12. phurst

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    Jubbly,

    I have a Denon 2802 Amp and have connected the Centre pre-out to the Left Lo-input on the sub using an old Ixos phono - phono cable I have had for a couple of years.

    You cannot set the frequency or gain for this input separately as it uses the same settings as the Hi Level input. Also advised to set the centre speaker to 'Large' on the Amp.

    I have B&W 602S2 main speakers with B&W VM1 centre & rear and have set the crossover frequency on the Denon amp to 80Hz. As said before I'm still trying to get the frequency & gain of the sub right.
     
  13. MrJubbly

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    Mugsy,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I've just upgraded to KEF Q7's, and will be using them with a Denon 3802 Amp.

    I'm happy with setting up the both the LFE and High Level connections. My dilema is/was, do I use the high level connection to add more depth to the front mains (for music) or to the centre for films. From what Phurst says I can do both.

    In terms of connecting the centre via the pre-out on the amp I'm guessing that you use a phono-to-phono as per the sub? I'm hoping Phurst can confirm.

    Regards,

    Jubbly
     
  14. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Assuming that you have your centre speaker set as small in the amp's bass management all of the bass will be directed to the subwoofer anyway.
     
  15. mugsy

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    Jubbly,

    I would set the fronts to 'large' in the 3802's set-up menu and connect the sub to your amp using the high-level neutrik connector as follows (taken from MJ website)...

    RED to left + (positive) - front speakers
    YELLOW to right + (positive) - front speakers
    BLACK to ONE of the - (negatives) - front speakers, NOT BOTH.

    The neutrik cable is connected at the amp end in parallel with your front speakers.

    Set the 'high' cross-over on the sub to 50hz to start with and the gain to 50 as well. The phase should be set to 90. Start playing some bass heavy music at the volume you usually would (enable pure-direct on the amp and ensure you are only outputting in stereo to the front L/R) Now slowly increase the gain until you can feel/hear the lower bass starting to fill in. It's now a case of playing with the cross-over/gain until you find a setting you are happy with.

    I would also connect a single phono cable form the sub-woofer out on the amp to the LFE input on the sub. You haven't mentioned what your centre/surround speakers are but you can either try setting them as 'small' in the 3802's set-up menu and set the cross-over between 60hz and 80hz or set them to large and ensure the 'LFE + MAINS' is on in the amps setup menu. Set the 'low' cross-over on the sub to LFE and the gain to 50 again. Play a scene from a film with plenty of bass and increase the gain until you are happy with the sound.

    This is by no means the definitive setup for your system but is a good place to start and you can then tweak away until you are happy with the sound.

    Hope this helps and that I haven't waffled too much!

    Mugsy
     
  16. MrJubbly

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    No but you can save up to four settings, so couldn't you have one setting with gain/freq set for lo level (i.e for the centre channel for HC usage) and another setting for the high level for use when listening to music?

    That's what I thought until I started reading MJ's User Manual and web site. They talk a lot about directing the centre channel to either a dedicate sub (of course they would), or to the lo/hi level inputs on the Reference 200 in addition to the LFE connection. For example they say the following:

    "With respect to movies, connecting both the high & low level inputs simultaneously, starts to benefit when there is little or no LFE signal being sent to the sub from a dedicated sub out on an AV amp. Having the high level cable connected from the main or centre (recommended) speaker outs on an amp or wired off the back of the speakers, adds a full range signal into the high level input of your sub."

    "You won't believe the enhanced overall cinema experience until you add a centre channel sub....try it."

    To me, what they are saying is that not all low frequency sound gets sent to the LFE out, and as such it gets 'lost'. Adding a dedicated connection to the sub recaptures this 'lost' bass. Is this a load of twaddle, or is there an element of truth on what they say?

    Mugsy,

    Thank you for the info. I've got a Q9C centre and Q compacts for the rears. None of it is set up yet though. Just trying to get things straight in my head first (which could take a long time ;) )

    Regards to you all,

    Jubbly
     
  17. Nimby

    Nimby
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    Hi

    Congratulations on your purchases. This sounds like a nice sub.

    Is there any chance someone with one can run a frequency response test with <snapbug> falling test tones and a Radioshack SPL meter?

    Don't go and break anything. Anywhere around 70-75dB average level is fine. That shouldn't stress the sub when the frequency drops below 30Hz.

    I'm looking for more candidates for a stereo-only list of quality subs for music. The more the merrier! Though I'm sure everyone else will be interested in its performance too. :)

    Thanks
    Nimby
     
  18. mugsy

    mugsy
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    Jubbly,

    I would make both the high level and low level connections as per my previous post. Set the front L/R to large and the centre and rear speakers to small on the 3802. Set the cross-over to 80hz and the LFE setting to 'LFE' or 'sub only' in the amps setup menu.

    With this configuration, the fronts will be sent a full range signal with the sub filling in from where you set the high level cross-over on the sub. The amp will perform bass management and re-direct all bass below 80hz sent to the centre and rear speakers. You will not loose out on any bass information.

    No offence to MJ Acoustics but they are probably trying to get you to buy more subs! :rolleyes:

    Nimby

    I would love to test the frequency response of the Ref 200 but unfortunately do not have an SPL meter :(

    The recent Home Cinema Choice review stated there was noticeable output down to 15hz although there is no mention of how this 'test' was conducted so we can't read into it too much.
     
  19. MrJubbly

    MrJubbly
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    :confused: I have to admit you got me there Nimby. I've just purchased an SPL meter to set my system up properly (I've always done it by ear 'till now). I've not got as far as working out how to do frequency repsonse tests yet though, so if you tell me what I need to do then I'll give it a bash when I'm setting up. I assume I need something to generate said frequencies? Would this be the <snapbug> you refer to? If so what is it, where can I get it, and how much does it cost?

    Cheers,

    Jubbly
     
  20. phurst

    phurst
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    Mugsy,

    Totally agree with your recommendations for settings and the logic behind them. The question I have is why are MJ acoustics recommending setting my centre channel to large and then connecting my centre pre-out to the left input on the sub? They're not selling any more subs this way.

    I must admit that your way sounds more sensible as the MJ way means that I'll lose fequencies between where my centre channel rolls off (~55Hz) and where the sub kicks in (40Hz) on the Hi filter but it also means that frequencies between 55Hz & 80Hz will come from the sub and not the centre channel. Is that a bad thing?

    Can you advise? Should I disconnect my centre pre-out and reset my centre speaker to small? Also, should my surrounds be set to small or large as wouldn't it be better to get the full range from the surrounds rather than just frequencies >80Hz? Centre & surrounds are B&W VM1 (silver).

    Nimby,

    :confused: what is a 'snapbug' test and what does it do? I also have a radioshack analogue sound level meter.

    Thanks
     
  21. Ian J

    Ian J
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    If you have already set it up this way you are ideally placed to try it both ways and report back your findings to us.

    Having said that, your VM1 speakers only go down to 75Hz officially so by setting them as large in the amp's bass management you are just sending them bass frequencies that they cannot handle anyway so I cannot see any reason for setting them as large and diverting the bass to the sub seeing as that was where it was going anyway. :confused:
     
  22. Nimby

    Nimby
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    Don't panic! :D

    It looks daunting. But it's far easier to do the test than to read the instructions:

    The idea is that you download short test tones onto your computer from the BFD (snapbug) set-up site. These tones will sit in your music folder ready to play like tracks on an album. You can use this to your advantage and play the tones autromatically like a long, boring music CD. Some people burn a CD with the tones to have it handy. Choose your own poison. There is no right way. But each method offers advantages and disadvantages.

    Set the SPL meter to C-Slow and the 70dB range. Then place your meter at head-height where you normally sit when listening to music or watching films.

    Either rest the meter on the back of your armchair or perhaps use a tripod. Placing the meter elsewhere will still record the sub's output of course. But not have much to do with your listening position which is what really matters.

    Play the short test tones through the subwoofer one at a time. A phono to phono cable can be run straight from your computer's sound card (line level speaker out) to the sub's low level input socket.

    Those using high level subwoofer connections will need a phono lead to the back of your stereo amp from your computer. A bit more fiddly but the same applies. Leave the volume alone once you have the meter showing 70dB on you first tone (or whatever starting sound level in dB you choose)

    You read the sound level in dB off the SPL meter of course. You can click between ranges of sound level on the meter if the needle goes off-scale or the digital version indicates a change in dB range while testing.

    One set you must not change the volume (or gain) on the subwoofer once you start. Or you have to go right back to the beginning.

    The idea is to read the sub's acoustic output on the meter when the sub is fed the same level of input signal but at different frequencies.

    Run downwards from (say) 150Hz in 1, 2 or 5 Hz steps. The closer the steps the more accurate your curve but the longer it takes. You might think testing is fun. But a partner or near neighbours might not! :mad:

    Scribble the dB figure from the SPL meter against the frequency of the tone legibly onto a bit of paper. Keep doing this until the meter no longer records any output from the subwoofer as the tones get very low.

    DO NOT TURN UP THE VOLUME ON THE SUB TO MAKE VERY LOW TONES AUDIBLE!!

    Remember to leave the gain (volume control) competely alone once you start a test run of tones. Very deep tones below 20Hz are inaudible to most people ayway. Trying to make them audible by turning up the gain might seriously damage your subwoofer!

    You should now have a frequency response curve for your subwoofer. But it's in the form of an inscruitable column of figures.

    You can do a test run with and without your main speakers if you have the patience. But the speakers will need to be calibrated properly for level with the sub first or the results will be meaningless.

    You can now plot your dB figures manually onto graph paper and scan the paper version into your computer as an image (if you have a scanner). Or use Excell to do it for you straight onto your computer.

    Then all you have to do is post the graph on the forum and we all talk it to death. :devil:

    http://www.snapbug.ws/bfd.htm

    Nimby
     
  23. phurst

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    Nimby,

    Am i right in assuming that if you start the test at 150Hz you'd need to set the sub's crossover to be higher than this?
     
  24. MrJubbly

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    Phusrt,

    In theory I think that by setting your center to large it will receive the full frequency range, which of course it will not be able to fully deliver (Ian J says your centre will only go as low as 75Hz). However the same signal will also be sent over the centre pre-out connected to your sub, thus producing the required low frequencies.

    As I say, this is the theory. I'd be interested to know though how it work is paractice.

    Regards,

    Jubbly
     
  25. Nimby

    Nimby
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    My suggestion of 150Hz was just a nominal starting frequency for testing the subwoofer alone. We are usually rather more interested in a sub's ability at the other end of its range. (Below 30Hz)

    If the speakers are to be run at the same time as the sub. To judge the overall frequency response at the listening position. Then the speakers must be calibrated for level with the sub and the crossover point set before a combined frequency response test (main speakers + sub) is possible.

    Nimby
     
  26. Falp

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    Can you put for instance 65 Hz or other in the Hi-level button and still use low level for movies?
     
  27. Ian J

    Ian J
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    What Home Cinema have tested this model as part of the group test of subwoofers in the current edition. It came out top beating the REL Stampede and Velodyne CHT-12R into second and third places respectively
     
  28. mugsy

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    Yes indeed - there are separate cross-over and gain controls for the high and low level inputs. Both can be connected and be receiving signals at the same time.

    The cross-over can be set in 1hz increments from 20hz to 120hz (plus an LFE bypass for the low level input) and the gain can be set in 1db increments from -99db (very quiet) to 0db (very very loud!)
     
  29. Falp

    Falp
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    I know that, I had a Ref 100 in my house working in Hi-Level...

    But for intanse, can I have an AV Receiver with all speakers set to small at 80Hz, for movies >>> Low-level
    For music the Pure Direct sets the speakers to large and 60 or 65Hz Hi-level working and no low level signal.
    Does this work without any need to adjust the sub?
    The REL Quake I know it can work this way...

    The questions is, in a MJ Ref Sub the Xover button affects only the Hi level or both?

    Thanx once more... :)
     
  30. mugsy

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    Yep, as I mentioned before the Ref 200 has 2 cross-overs. One for the high-level input and one for the low-level.

    Hope this helps :thumbsup:
     

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