I have several questions regarding the ICBM, but first let me describe my setup and my objectives. At present, I donít yet own either an ICBM or a good subwoofer. Iím hoping you guys can help me determine whether the ICBM can function as I hope it will if used in a somewhat unconventional speaker/subwoofer configuration that Iím considering buying.
My current system consists of the following:
Panasonic RP91 DVD-A player (built-in DD & DTS decoders)
Arcam AVR200 receiver
Arcam 2-channel amp
floor-standing speakers here
bookshelf-sized surrounds and centre here
an old, poor-quality subwoofer
I unfortunately have a square-shaped 13í X 13í listening room, which presents a dilemma when only one subwoofer is available. Corner-placement = severely unbalanced bass from left to right. Middle-wall placement = sloppy, inefficient bass output and magnetic interference with a television. In researching possibilities for a 2-subwoofer solution, I came across the Vandersteen 2Wq model, which looks very promising for music, and should be adequate for movies as well in a small room like mine. Here are two links: Product Info
This subwoofer purposefully has no RCA inputs, only speaker wire inputs. Details on connectivity can be obtained using the links above, but simply put, each sub would share the same signal as either the (L) or (R) front speakers... there are no other possibilities. For all intents and purposes, my system would now consist of two truly
full-range (L) and (R) front speakers capable of deep bass. Buying these things would constitute an awfully big investment for me, and I doubt Iíd be willing to do so unless the ICBM is capable of performing full, uncompromised bass management via the front channels, without connecting a subwoofer to the subwoofer outputs. There's no rush, so anyone who wants to take a crack at this can take their time.
assume that the LEFT/RIGHT RECOMBINE switch = ONA.
First off, I need to know if the .1 channel will be reproduced properly when distributed to the main speakers. Consider the following scenario: Suppose you have 3 identical subwoofers, each of which is set to precisely the same volume. Now connect one subwoofer to the ICBMís subwoofer output, and the other two subwoofers to the ICBMís (L) and (R) front outputs. Now connect something with deep bass into the ICBMís LFE input, but nothing else. If you were to toggle between
a) RECOMBINE OFF
b) RECOMBINE ON (with the solo subwoofer deactivated)
would the perceived volume of the LFE channel be the same for both configurations? For my proposed setup to work, they would need to be within a few decibels of each other.B.
Will the LFE MIX knob still work, so that the .1 channel can be fine-tuned independently of the rest? (I could still adjust the volume from within the Panasonicís menu, so this is a matter of convenience, and not a deal-killer if it doesnít work... but it would be nice if it did)C.
What happens to the deep bass from the centre channel? Is it halved and sent to the front speakers? (Pretend that in the same example above, you simply plugged the source into the centre channel input and the solo subwoofer into the centre channel output, instead of using the subwoofer input/output.)D.
What happens to the deep bass from the surround channels? Will the ICBM correctly distribute the deep bass from the (L) and (R) surround channels to the corresponding (L) and (R) front speakers, or will it simply half the signal for each surround channel, sending it to both front speakers equally?E.
Use of the MONO/STEREO switch in a setup like the one Iím considering isnít documented in the manual. Is the ICBM capable of preserving the stereo image for the surround channels? Would there be any unexpected side-effects to using this switch?F.
The front LEFT/RIGHT crossover control wonít have any effect on the sound from any of the speakers, will it?G.
Will the SUBWOOFER LEVEL control have any effect on the strength of the subwoofer signal being routed to the front speakers?
The LOWPASS SPECIAL/NORMAL switch isnít fully documented. In a standard single-subwoofer setup, does this switch change the slope of the crossover on the subwoofer only, or does it also contour the slope of any speakers being crossed-over? In a setup like mine which has no subwoofer, will this switch still affect the subwoofer signal (which is being distributed to the front speakers), or does it only pertain to the signal being sent to the RCA-style subwoofer output jacks?
If any of you can shed some light on these uncertainties, it would go a long way towards helping me decide whether using these 2 Vandersteen subs is a viable option or not. This is a bit of a brain teaser, and if Iíve missed anything, feel free to point it out. Thanks in advance.