JL Audio Fathom f212 User Manual

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f212

Owner’s Manual

IMPORTANT SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS

WARNING: TO REDUCE THE RISK OF FIRE OR ELECTRIC SHOCK, DO NOT EXPOSE THIS PRODUCT TO RAIN OR MOISTURE.

CAUTION

RISK OF ELECTRIC SHOCK

DO NOT OPEN

CAUTION: TO REDUCE THE RISK OF ELECTRIC SHOCK, DO NOT REMOVE AMP PANEL OR SPEAKER. NO USER SERVICEABLE PARTS INSIDE. REFER SERVICING TO QUALIFIED PERSONNEL.

1)Read the Instructions — All safety and operating instructions should be read before the subwoofer is operated.

2)Retain the Instructions — The safety and operating instructions should be retained for future reference.

3)Heed Warnings — All warnings on the subwoofer and in the operating instructions should be followed.

4)Follow Instructions — All operating and use instructions should be followed.

5)Water and Moisture — The subwoofer should NOT be used near water – for example, near a bathtub, washbowl, sink, laundry tub, in a wet basement, near a swimming pool, etc.

6)Ventilation — The subwoofer should be situated so that its location or position does not interfere with its proper ventilation. For example, the subwoofer should not be situated on a bed, sofa, rug, or similar surface that may block airflow over the heatsink fins. If placing the subwoofer in a“built-in”installation, ensure that airflow to the heat sink at the rear of the subwoofer is not impeded. Do not cover the subwoofer heatsink with tablecloths, curtains, etc.

9)Heat and Flames — The subwoofer should be situated away from heat sources such as radiators, heat registers, stoves, fireplaces, or other devices which produce heat. Do not place candles on top of or near the subwoofer.

10)Power sources — The subwoofer should only be connected to a power supply of the type described in the operating instructions or as marked on the subwoofer.

11)Power Cord Protection Power-supplycords should be routed so that they are not likely to be walked on or pinched by items placed upon or against them, paying particular attention to cords at plugs, convenience receptacles, and the point where they exit the subwoofer.

The lightning flash with arrowhead symbol, within an equilateral triangle, is intended to alert the user to the presence of uninsulated “dangerous voltage” within the product’s enclosure that may be of sufficient magnitude to constitute a risk of electric shock to persons.

The exclamation point within an equilateral triangle is intended to alert the user to the presence of important operating and maintenance instructions in the literature accompanying the product.

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12)Cleaning — The subwoofer should be cleaned only as recommended in the operating instructions.

13)Nonuse Periods — The power cord of the subwoofer should be unplugged from the outlet when the subwoofer is left unused for long periods of time.

14)Lightning and Power Surges — We recommend that you disconnect the subwoofer from the electrical outlet during electrical storms and/or recurring power interruptions to prevent damage due to power surges.

15)Object or Liquid Entry — Care should be taken so that objects do not fall into and liquids are not spilled onto the subwoofer enclosure. Do not expose the subwoofer to dripping or splashing from liquids. Do not place objects filled with liquids on top of, or near the subwoofer. For example: flower vases, beverages,liquid-fueledlamps, etc.

16)Damage Requiring Service — The subwoofer should be serviced by qualified service personnel when:

a.the power-supplycord or plug has been damaged

b.objects have fallen or liquid has been spilled into the subwoofer

c.the subwoofer has been exposed to rain

d.the subwoofer does not appear to operate normally or exhibits a marked change in performance

e.the subwoofer has been dropped or the cabinet has been damaged

f.the subwoofer driver’s cone and/or suspension has been physically damaged

17)Servicing — The user should not attempt to service the subwoofer beyond what is described in the operating instructions. All other servicing should be referred to qualified service personnel.

18)Overloading — Do not overload wall outlets, extension cords, or outlet strips as this can result in a risk of fire or electric shock.

19)Grounding — This subwoofer is supplied with athree-prong,grounded power cord. Precautions should be taken so that the grounding means of the subwoofer are not defeated. Defeating the grounding prong on the subwoofer power cord could increase the risk of electric shock and could result in permanent damage to the subwoofer’s electronics.

THIS SUBWOOFER IS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING VERY HIGH SOUND WARNING PRESSURE LEVELS. PLEASE EXERCISE RESTRAINT IN ITS OPERATION TO

PROTECT YOUR HEARING FROM PERMANENT DAMAGE.

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FCC COMPLIANCE STATEMENT

NOTE: This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits of Part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or television reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by one or more of the following measures:

-Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.

-Increase the separation between the equipment and receiver.

-Connect the equipment into an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the receiver is connected.

-Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Important Safety Instructions: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-3

Introduction:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Product Overview:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Placing your Fathom in Your Listening Room: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-10Unpacking your Fathom: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Front Control Panel Layout:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Rear Control and Connector Panel Layout: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Front Panel Controls in Detail: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-17Connecting yourFathom(s): . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18-25Recommended SetupProcedure: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26-30Frequently Asked Questions: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Cleaning Your Fathom:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Troubleshooting: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Limited Warranty / Service Information: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Specifications:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

INTRODUCTION

Congratulations on your purchase of a JL Audio Fathom powered subwoofer system. This product has been critically engineered to deliver exceptional performance in your home theater or audio system for many years to come.

As a company, we are intensely committed to core research into high-performanceloudspeaker and amplifier technologies. JL Audio’s longexcursion subwoofer driver designs are widely considered as reference standards for linear behavior and high output. We have also focused our efforts to create powerful amplifier andsignal-processingtechnologies specifically aimed at delivering exceptionallow-frequencyperformance. YourFathom combines these core disciplines within a compact, beautifully crafted package to deliver an unparalleled listening experience.

JL AUDIO TECHNOLOGIES INCLUDED IN FATHOM SUBWOOFERS

DMA-OptimizedMotor System

DMA is JL Audio’s proprietary Dynamic Motor Analysis system aimed at improving dynamic motor behavior. As a result of DMA optimization, loudspeaker motors remain linear in force over an extreme range of excursion and also maintain a highly stable fi xed magnetic field over a wide power range. This leads to vastly reduced distortion and faithfully reproduced transients... or put simply: tight, clean, articulate bass.

OverRoll™ Surround

(U.S. Patent #5,687,247 and #5,949,898)

The OverRoll™ surround spans over the driver’s mounting flange, utilizing

available diameter wasted in conventional speakers. This allows the use of the wider roll necessary to control high-excursionswithout sacrificing precious cone area.

W-Cone™(U.S. Patent #6,496,590)

The W-Cone™is aunit-bodycone assembly that delivers astonishing cone stiffness with minimal mass.

Floating-Cone™Attach Method (U.S. Patent #6,501,844)

This assembly technique ensures proper surround geometry in the assembled speaker for better excursion control and dynamic voice coil alignment.

Plateau-ReinforcedSpider Attachment (U.S. Patent #6,118,884)

This high-integritysuspension attachment relieves stress from the spider material athigh-excursionsfor enhanced reliability.

Elevated Frame Cooling Technology (U.S. Patent #6,219,431 and #6,229,902)

Delivers cool air, through slots directly above the top-plate,to the voice coil of the speaker. This enhances power handling and sound quality by minimizing dynamic parameter shifts and power compression.

Radially Cross-DrilledPole Piece (U.S. Patent #6,243,479)

This innovative venting system greatly enhances thermal dissipation and power handling by directing air flow onto the voice coil former, working in conjunction with the Elevated Frame technology.

High-DampingFeedback Circuit (U.S. Patent #6,441,685)

This proprietary, discrete control circuit design allows our Class D switching amplifiers to maintain an excellent damping factor for improved transient behavior and fidelity.

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We sincerely thank you for your purchase and invite you to read this manual thoroughly in order to achieve the highest level of performance with your Fathom subwoofer system. Enjoy.

PRODUCT OVERVIEW

JL Audio Fathom subwoofers combine astate-of-the-art

JL Audio subwoofer driver and electronics/amplifier package within a highly optimized enclosure to deliver an exceptional listening experience in your home theater or home audio system.

The subwoofer driver in your Fathom subwoofer system is capable of outstanding linear excursion without distress or audible distortion. Thisreference-qualitydriver enables yourFathom to reproduce powerful lowfrequency events with stunning impact and unprecedented accuracy. Derived from JL Audio’s legendary W7 design platform, theFathom f212 drivers offerpeak-to-peakexcursion capabilities well in excess of 3 inches (76 mm), to comfortably handle the dynamics of the most demanding program material.

To get the most from this long excursion driver platform, prodigious amounts of controlled power are needed. Our electronics engineering team conducted

an intense analysis of typical program material and its dynamic demands in order to balance current draw and actual output power requirements relative to the system’s impedance characteristics. After careful study, a pair of precisely engineered switching amplifiers employing patented feedback technology were created. The advanced amplifier design in the F212 is capable of unclipped output voltages equivalent to 3000 watts of RMS power when referenced to the nominal loudspeaker impedance, allowing us to take full advantage of each driver’s full excursion envelope.

The beautiful cabinet enclosing the workings of your Fathom is also the result of careful engineering. To contain the pressures created by the Fathom driver, we utilized solid, CNC-cut,MDF material with extensive internal bracing features and advanced assembly techniques.

Your listening room is the other enclosure that affects the way your bass will sound. All rooms create a specific sonic signature, which must be effectively managed to achieve well-balancedlow frequency performance. To aid in this process, the Fathom includes an extensive set of signal processing tools aimed at optimizing your Fathom’s performance within your listening space. These features include JL Audio’s exclusive Automatic Room Optimization system.

As you can see from this brief introduction, there is a lot of technology in this compact subwoofer. The contents of this manual will explain the features, guide you through the setup and tuning of your Fathom subwoofer and help you achieve your ultimate low-frequencylistening experience.

If you require assistance, we urge you to contact your authorized

JL Audio retailer for expert setup advice and service.

IMPORTANT! IT IS A VERY GOOD IDEA TO READ THE NEXT SECTION IMPORTANT BEFORE UNPACKING YOUR FATHOM. UNPACKING THE SUBWOOFER NEAR

ITS FINAL LOCATION IS RECOMMENDED.

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PLACING YOUR FATHOM IN YOUR LISTENING ROOM:

Your listening room or theater is an integral part of your sound reproduction system. The physical dimensions of the room and its furnishings, materials, doors and windows play an important role in defining how your system sounds.

When you place a sound source in an enclosed rectangular space, “standing waves” are created, resulting from the relationship between the sound’s wavelength and your room’s dimensions. In other words, standing waves result from sound energy that is trapped in the room as it bounces back and forth between opposing walls. Standing waves in the room create acoustic peaks and dips where the sound is either louder or softer, based solely on your physical position in the room. Energy also “builds up” at the room’s boundaries, creating exaggerated bass response at certain frequencies. These fundamental room resonances are called room “modes.”

The moral of this mode story is to try and avoid seating positions in standing wave peak or dip regions. It is highly recommended that you place your listening chairs in areas where modal peaks and dips are moderate and do not reinforce one another. The two most obvious areas to avoid are those near the exact center of the room and those close to any of the room’s walls.

Just as your listening seat can be in a peak or dip region, so can your subwoofer. When placed in a room corner, a subwoofer maximally excites the room’s mode structure, creating the strongest output with the fewest dips. When the subwoofer is pulled away from a corner or wall, the room modes are excited less, which can alter the sound at your listening seat.

Be sure to experiment with both your listening seat position and subwoofer position to find the best solution. Careful experimentation usually leads to a superior sounding system. Use our setup suggestions (illustrated on the opposing page and the following pages) to get you started.

If you cannot avoid placing your sofa against the back wall or your subwoofer in a less than optimal position, all is not lost. Your Fathom’s Automatic Room Optimization (A.R.O.) System can dramatically improve these less-than-idealsituations.

We recommend that you begin by placing your Fathom in the front of the room, near the front left or right speaker. Placing it directly in the front corner of the room will produce the maximum number of peaks and the minimum number of dips in the bass response. This can be advantageous because the Fathom’s A.R.O. system can correct the primary peak very effectively, whereas dips in response cannot be corrected via equalization. Dips in response can only be minimized via careful subwoofer and listener placement.

Placing the Fathom near solid walls will reinforce bass response and pulling it away from solid walls will decrease bass. Increasing the distance between the subwoofer and the walls may help to smooth upper bass response in some rooms.

We recommend that you avoid placing the Fathom near windows to prevent rattling and sound transmission to the outside world.

If you are planning to install your Fathom inside a cabinet, please refer to the guidelines on page 8.

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Recommended Subwoofer Placement Options for One Fathom

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SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR BUILT-ININSTALLATIONS

Fathom subwoofers are designed to be “built-in”friendly. All typically needed controls are located on the front panel above the woofer. A Fathom can be easily integrated into custom cabinetry by following a few simple guidelines.

1)Allow 4 inches (10 cm) of clear space behind the Fathom’s amp panel for adequate cooling and connector clearance.

2)On all other sides (except the bottom), allow at least 2 inches (5 cm) clearance for adequate ventilation.

3)While the Fathom generally runs only warm during spirited operation, we do recommend that adequate heat vents are included in any custom cabinet which encloses theFathom. Pairs of 3 inch (7.5 cm) diameter vents over the full cabinet height (8 vents total, see diagram) will allow cool air to circulate over the amp panel of your Fathom f212 subwoofer system keeping it cool and happy.

4)Your Fathom f212 subwoofer is capable of moving substantial quantities of air. If the front of the f212 is covered by a custom grille, the grille must have AT LEAST 170 square inches (1100 sq. cm.) of vent area. This grill area is equal to the woofer cone area for the f212 and will ensure that the Fathom’s output is not choked by the custom cabinet.

Rear-viewof cabinet install:

 

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Using Two Fathoms

Recommended Subwoofer Placement Options for Two Fathoms

When using two Fathoms, try placement near the front corners of the room, at diagonally-oppositecorners of the room, or at the center points of opposing walls as shown at right.

Experimentation with subwoofer and listener placement is recommended to achieve the best results – the benefits can be substantial.

High-resolutionmeasurements and professional system calibration are recommended for the best possible results & system performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Recommended Subwoofer Placement Options for Three Fathoms

Recommended Subwoofer Placement Options for Four Fathoms

Using Three or Four Fathoms

Research indicates that the smoothest bass response for a large listening area can be achieved using four subwoofers, placing one at

the midpoint of each of the four walls (although using two or three subwoofers can be almost as good).

Experimentation with subwoofer and listener placement is recommended to achieve the best results – the benefits can be substantial.

High-resolutionmeasurements and professional system calibration are recommended for the best possible results & system performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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