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November 30, 2010

Where do I set the crossover control on my subwoofer’s back panel?

Filed under: AV question — Tags: , — Alan @ 2:39 pm

Q. Where do I set the crossover control on my subwoofer’s back panel?

A. If you are using a Dolby Digital/dts A/V surround receiver with its own Subwoofer Output jack, and a single coaxial cable to your sub, then the subwoofer’s internal crossover becomes unnecessary and you should turn the control to its highest setting (150 Hz) to effectively remove it from the circuit. Some brands of subwoofers may have a “Bypass” switch, which does the same thing. By doing this, you are avoiding “cascading crossovers,” or using two crossovers in a row, which may cause losses or gaps in the bass response. The A/V receiver performs all the “bass management” and routes the appropriate frequencies to your subwoofer from the Sub Output jack, so the sub crossover becomes redundant.

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November 28, 2010

Maximum RMS power of M80s?

Filed under: AV question — Tags: , — Alan @ 7:48 am

Q. I am planning on adding a pair of M80s to my system. What is the maximum RMS power that they will handle? The web site states that the minimum and maximum amplifier power for the M80 is 10 watts and 400 watts, respectively. Am I to assume that the 400 watts would be max RMS? Thanks for your time. — John

A. The loosely agreed-upon standard for measuring the power handling of a loudspeaker is five hours of modified pink noise without damage to the speaker.

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November 27, 2010

Question of the Month: Lossless Conversion

Q. Is there a way by which the MP3 format can be converted to a lossless format in the true sense? What is the best method of converting analogue signals to a digital format without compromising fidelity? —B.P.B.

A. Thanks for your interesting email questions.

The answer is no, an MP3 file by definition has already thrown away a great deal of data that cannot be recovered.

To convert analogue signals to a digital format without losing data or compromising fidelity, you have to use a WAV or AIFF file format. Either of these will preserve the PCM data stream and introduce no compression or losses, but the files will be large–about ten times the size of a lossy MP3 file.

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November 24, 2010

The Smart Audio-Video Shopper’s Guide to Black Friday Sales

Filed under: Audio Knowledge — Tags: , , , — Alan @ 2:13 pm

With Thanksgiving and turkey in the offing, Black Friday sales are sure to follow, and the current wobbly economy is certain to make audio-video consumers searching for real electronics bargains even more sharp-eyed than usual. While genuine mark-downs and bargains are out there, here are some caveats on shopping wisely for audio-video gear, whether it’s a big flat-screen TV to replace that obsolete “picture-tube” TV or a home theater multi-channel surround sound system.

LCD or Plasma?
Sales volume and off-shore manufacturing have reduced the prices of flat-screen LCD and plasma TVs to a fraction of what they cost five years ago. Now is an excellent time to shop for a nice, thin flat-screen set, as further dramatic price reductions are unlikely. Which type to get?

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