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Integrating BF212 with Masterpiece ESL

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FruitloopSR

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Just starting to rebuild system. Looking for insight on the best ways to integrate with my 13A, Was reading the post of line level vs speaker level. I am looking for a preamp, I was shown a couple with bass management/crossover. I was leaning tube front end. I started a post 13a owners if you want to see where it all started.
I have Coda Tm Monos V2 amps, PS Audio Directstream Dac/Transport. Also a table which will be tube for that. If you have this combo of spks. any help would be good as to preamps or the way you connect them. LL or spk.
Thanks,Mike
 

ttocs

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I too am interested in what's involved to best integrate subs with the 13A. The bass is very good with my system but I'd love to get some lower bass going.

From what I've read I think my direction will be best served by using the Speaker Level Input. I think the way it's supposed to work is the Bass Control would be set to -10dB (which controls the freq under 75Hz), then use the ARC software version for that bass setting (they have one version for +10 and a different version for -10), run the ARC program, then . . . . ? That's as far as I've gotten. I'm getting close to running ARC again after having moved things around, but I don't have ML subs so my system is going to need more guess work than yours. I'm pretty sure that the BF212 using ARC would get matched up really well with the 13A, but I don't know if the mains and subs are run in separate sessions then combined? Or is there a cable which connects the 13A's and the BF212's together and ARC takes command of all of them (which would be great)?

One thing I read, don't remember where at the moment but it was info from ML, said that the initial sub crossover setting should be 70% of the lowest freq the mains woofer can produce if using the speaker level connection method. So one question is - Is the lowest frequency on the 13A now 75Hz if using the Bass Control setting of -10dB? Which would mean that the sub would initially be set to approximately 53Hz.

I'm hoping to be able to play with this next week along with searching for some how-to videos.
 

sleepysurf

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I've been struggling with this as well. The problem is, running ARC by itself, for one of the Masterpiece models (Renaissance, Expressions, etc), is great for optimizing their bass output for that particular room and listening position. Subsequently running ARC for the BalancedForce sub(s) likewise optimizes it's bass output for that room and listening position. Unfortunately, the main speakers and sub(s), together, interact with one another (and the room), possibly exacerbating bass peaks and/or nulls.

As I posted elsewhere (http://www.martinloganowners.com/fo...e-Level-vs-Speaker-Level-connection-to-sub(s)) , I recently ran my 13A's with the woofer settings dialed back (initially -10 dB, then a little less), and my two BF210's using the matching MLF filter to create a "true crossover." With sub phase at 0 degrees, the combination measured quite well at my primary listening position (using XTZ Room Analyzer), but, in listening tests, lacked clarity and impact in the lowest octave (as confirmed by my local audiophile club members). They ultimately agreed that the 13A's sounded better running full-range with the subs completely turned off, despite then having a large bass null from ~55-60 Hz.
As JonFo suggested in that other thread, what *I* really need is a "mid-bass module" just to fill in the null, without cancelling or otherwise interfering with the 13A's lowest bass output.

Your situation may be completely different, depending upon room geometry and listening position. Although ML BF subs are great, having the ability to download a "matching" MLF filter is no panacea for optimally dialing them in to match the mains. I'm guessing the Anthem STR Preamp might be one solution (integrating ARC for mains PLUS subs), or using MiniDSP, etc.

However, the 13A's (cardioid, I presume) woofer implementation is *SO* good, it's probably better to run them full-range, and try different sub locations (if possible), and manually adjust the subs Low Pass cutoff, Phase, and Volume by ear. That being the case, any good quality sub (JL Audio, REL, etc.) could work. Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with Sumiko subs.
 
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ttocs

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I agree that the woofers with ARC in the Masterpiece speakers are very good! My friends keep assuming that the subwoofers are engaged but I prove to them that they are turned OFF.

I'm just spitballing here, but, what if you run PBK ARC on the subs first, then run ARC on the 13A's with the subs active? This would get the subs as good as they can be by themselves, then ARC will adjust the woofers in the 13A's to get the bass as good as it can be WHILE the subs are part of the equation. There still would probably be some fiddling (very technical term) but maybe it would get things closer?

For me, that would mean setting the subwoofers' crossovers at minimum (30Hz) because I really like the bass the 13A makes and want as much as possible to run them at Full, then adjusting the subwoofers' level by ear, then running ARC.
 

sleepysurf

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...what if you run PBK ARC on the subs first, then run ARC on the 13A's with the subs active? This would get the subs as good as they can be by themselves, then ARC will adjust the woofers in the 13A's to get the bass as good as it can be WHILE the subs are part of the equation...
Hmmm, interesting! Are you suggesting to temporarily connect the BF subs to the Expressions, via speaker level connections, while simultaneously running ARC (via the USB mini cable) for the Expressions?

I don't know if that's advisable. Would the computer generated waveform signal even get to the Expression speaker terminals, to also feed the BF subs? Even if it did, couldn't that interject timing/phase issues into the measurement and the DSP correction curve?

Conversely, if this could be done, I'd rather ARC the Expressions first, then ARC the subs while simultaneously feeding signal to the Expression woofers.

Perhaps Peter Soderberg, or somebody else from ML will chime in on this!
 
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FruitloopSR

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I have not put everything together yet, Waiting for the pre to come in. Was really considering the Anthem str but,went with the coda Maybe i should look into the pbk or something else. All this info will be invaluable when i get i going.
Mike
 

sleepysurf

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Hmmm, interesting! Are you suggesting to temporarily connect the BF subs to the Expressions, via speaker level connections, while simultaneously running ARC (via the USB mini cable) for the Expressions?

I don't know if that's advisable. Would the computer generated waveform signal even get to the Expression speaker terminals, to also feed the BF subs? Even if it did, couldn't that interject timing/phase issues into the measurement and the DSP correction curve?

Conversely, if this could be done, I'd rather ARC the Expressions first, then ARC the subs while simultaneously feeding signal to the Expression woofers.

Perhaps Peter Soderberg, or somebody else from ML will chime in on this!
I reached out to ML support yesterday, and Peter was kind enough to call me to discuss further. He assured me it was safe to try it, but not certain if it would actually work.

Unfortunately, it doesn't. When running ARC on either the Expressions, or BalancedForce Subs, the generated test signal is NOT passed through from the speaker terminals to the other, so it's impossible to measure them in unison, and then apply the ARC room correction to one (or the other).

I'm sure that's by design, with some circuitry activated (or bypassed) as soon as the USB cable is plugged in. Perhaps it's a feature the ML/Anthem engineers can implement in the future.

I'll be at the Florida Audio Expo this coming weekend, and will follow up with the ML team there.
 

ttocs

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Yeah, I tried the same thing last night, same result.

Have fun at the show!
 

Peter Soderberg

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and I gave it more thought and yes, I was wrong in my guess.
Enjoy FL. Dennis and Corey will be there. Turning out to be a pretty good show.
 

sleepysurf

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Voila! I think I found the solution (at least for me)! ARC Genesis Pro will allow me to turn my sub(s) into "Mid-Bass Drivers" as JonFo suggested (just to fill the mid-bass null at my primary listening position), by manually adjusting the Low-Frequency Extension to minimize the lowest octave interference with the Expressions bass output. I didn't have time to actually upload the new DSP curves to the sub (or subs) yet, but will do so early next week. Now, it's off the the Florida Audio Expo this weekend! Perhaps I'll run into some of you there!
 

FruitloopSR

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Any comment on brand of cables to use for amp to sub Does it matter Right now I have JPS Labs SC-3 Should you keep same brand for sub?
Thanks, Mike
 

sleepysurf

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My understanding is that sub cables are less critical for signal transmission, so I have no desire to spend $$$ on exotic sub cables. I'm currently feeding high-level input from my amp (vs. low-level from pre) to my subs, using Blue Jeans Cables Twelve White speaker cables with locking banana plugs. Prior to that, I used Blue Jeans Cables LC-1 (RCA) interconnects.

BTW, there's a great discussion on A'gon regarding phase, timing, and room mode issues, when trying to integrate sub(s) into a two channel setup... https://forum.audiogon.com/discussi...ming-optimization-when-incorporating-sub-woof

Unfortunately, I haven't had time to further tweak MY sub setup, but hope to do so next month.
 

FruitloopSR

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Thanks for the Info Will look into that and the BJ Cables Read some good things about them
How was the expo? Maybe i get there next yr. if they have it
 

khenegar

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Be careful with long runs of blue jean cables I had rf interference with mine and had to send them back, I’ve had good luck making my own for the subs 30’ long with regular coax cable I used good rca connectors
 

GW1800

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Voila! I think I found the solution (at least for me)! ARC Genesis Pro will allow me to turn my sub(s) into "Mid-Bass Drivers" as JonFo suggested (just to fill the mid-bass null at my primary listening position), by manually adjusting the Low-Frequency Extension to minimize the lowest octave interference with the Expressions bass output. I didn't have time to actually upload the new DSP curves to the sub (or subs) yet, but will do so early next week. Now, it's off the the Florida Audio Expo this weekend! Perhaps I'll run into some of you there!
I think you are on to something here and ML needs to come up with a option for people that have the newer generation of ESL's and subs. You may have a solution but I think ML needs to add this to the ARC setup for those who are not nearly adapt at all this like yourself. You were going to discuss this at a Florida show what did you find out?

I have found that the bass in the newer units have certainly improved however to add a sub or two certainly is a plus. Not all will agree but until you hear a sub(s) with them its hard to comment they do not. I have heard both and choose subs.

Also when you do two subs with ARC the same graphic on the left is there for both. When I called in they said it will work properly for two subs its just that the graphic is not moving. I never really felt comfortable with that way of handling it. You would think with all the effort put into the newer ARC software and that its going to be here for many years ML would want to clean it up a bit. To correct the graphic and have some option to better use ARC for two ESL's and two ARC subs. After all they do sell both products and many do combine you would think it obvious to have such an ARC option!
 

sleepysurf

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I've been away on vacation, so haven't been able to try the customized ARC for my subs yet.

I (briefly) discussed my situation with the ML reps at the Florida Audio Expo, who thought my solution would work, albeit via manual trial and error with the settings. They understood my frustration re ARC's inability to simultaneously correct main speakers and sub(s), and agreed with my assumption that only the Anthem STR Pre (or Integrated) might have that capability. However, as ML reps (not totally familiar with the Anthem features), they couldn't guarantee it really works that way.

My perception is that ARC functionality, as developed by Anthem, is (more or less) just "licensed" for use with ML speakers and subs, and not intended for the rare situation where "lunatic fringe audiophiles" like us want to force it to do more complex tasks. It would be great, but I'd be very surprised if ML's next-gen reference speakers/subs ever get that fully integrated functionality.

If my attempts to customize ARC curves for my subs doesn't work, I'll see if my local Anthem dealer will let me "test drive" an STR Pre.
 

ttocs

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Have you guys found a good way to integrate subs yet?

I've been working on subwoofers in my system, testing this and that, and finally got around to integrating a pair of subs for each 13A connected using the speaker level inputs.

ML suggests using inverted phase to adjust the sub to the speaker. Invert the speaker wires on the speaker, keep the sub wired in-phase, run a test tone at whatever I choose to integrate at, adjust the phase on each sub until it's the quietest. Then correct the speaker wiring and tweak as needed.

I did this yesterday on the Left speaker and got a good result, at least as far as measurements show. I'll do the Right speaker tonight then do a listen.

It ended up that the 13A Bass Control was set to -8dB, and the Mid Bass switch set to +2dB. Then I used REW to aid in setting the gain level of both subs. The subs are ML Dynamo 1100X. They are stacked with the top one on its side with a rubber membrane tool drawer liner between them, so it looks as if it's a twin driver sub like the Rel 212/SX, except that each driver has its own controls - and yes, they are different. I'll post more details in the Finding Subwoofer thread soon.
 

GW1800

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Guys I got a file from Mr. Vojiko that may help. Was concerned what frequency to set for the adjustment. On my CLX it was easy as they only go to 56Hz but the I was reading an article in TAS about how to set the correct phase for a speaker. I also have a pair of 13’s and needed a file to adjust too. He made a custom file and sent it to me which worked fine. I was hopeful that ML would of published it for general use.
 

ttocs

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Guys I got a file from Mr. Vojiko that may help. Was concerned what frequency to set for the adjustment. On my CLX it was easy as they only go to 56Hz but the I was reading an article in TAS about how to set the correct phase for a speaker. I also have a pair of 13’s and needed a file to adjust too. He made a custom file and sent it to me which worked fine. I was hopeful that ML would of published it for general use.
Isn't the freq adjustment going to be different based upon environment, speakers, subs, room? I "chose" a frequency I wanted to use based on previous measurements and knowing I wanted to be above a room problem frequency.
 
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