JL Audio IWS-SYS-1 User Manual

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IWS-SYS-1

IWS-SYS-2

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 amplifier should be situated so that its location or position does not interfere with its proper ventilation. For example,

the subwoofer amplifier should not be situated on a bed, sofa, rug, or similar surface that may block airflow over the heatsink fins. If placing the

subwoofer amplifier in a “built-in”installation, ensure that airflow to the heat sinks are not impeded. Do not cover the amplifier heatsink with tablecloths, curtains, etc.

9) Heat and Flames — The subwoofer and amplifier 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 or amplifier.

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 product.

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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| FathomIWS

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

13)Nonuse Periods — The power cord of the subwoofer amp 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 amp 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 or amplifier. 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.

| FathomIWS

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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 IWS in Your Listening Room:. .

. . . . . . . . . . 6-10

Front Control Panel Layout:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. 11

Rear Control and Connector Panel Layout: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Front Panel Controls in Detail:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12-15Connecting your FathomIWS(s):. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16-23Recommended SetupProcedure: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24-28Frequently Asked Questions:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Troubleshooting:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Limited Warranty / Service Information:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Specifications:.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

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 long excursion 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. Your Fathom combines these core disciplines within a compact, beautifully crafted package to deliver an unparalleled listening experience.

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 IWS subwoofer system. Enjoy.

JL AUDIO TECHNOLOGIES INCLUDED IN Fathom IWS 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 fixed magnetic field over a wide power range. This leads to vastly reduced distortion and faithfully reproduced transients... or put simply: tight, clean, articulate bass.

Concentric Tube Suspension

(U.S. Patent #5,734,132 & #6,095,280)

The suspension technology of the Fathom IWS driver permits high linear excursions within a very shallow frame design.

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.

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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PRODUCT OVERVIEW

JL Audio Fathom IWS subwoofers combine a state-of-the-art

JL Audio subwoofer driver and electronics/amplifier package with 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. This reference-qualitydriver enables your Fathom to reproduce powerful low frequency events with stunning impact and unprecedented accuracy.

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. These advanced designs are capable of unclipped output voltages equivalent to 1000 watts (System 1) and 2000 watts (System 2) 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 CNC-cut,cabinet-gradebaltic birch plywood 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 in-wallsubwoofer. 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 ultimatelow-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 BEFORE IMPORTANT UNPACKING YOUR FATHOM IWS. UNPACKING THE SUBWOOFER NEAR ITS

FINAL LOCATION IS RECOMMENDED.

| FathomIWS

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PLACING YOUR Fathom IWS Cabinets 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 IWS’s Automatic Room Optimization (A.R.O.) System can dramatically improve these less-than-idealsituations.

We recommend that you begin by placing your Fathom IWS enclosure in the front of the room, near the front left or right speaker, but not directly in the corner of the room. Because the IWS enclosures are built into the walls, you cannot move them later if the corner-loaded bass turns out to be too strong. Please refer to the following illustrations for further placement ideas.

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

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

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Recommended Subwoofer Placement Options for One Fathom IWS Enclosure

MORE INTENSE

SMOOTHER

SMOOTHER

AVOID

 

 

CORNER

 

 

PLACEMENT

 

 

RECOMMENDED

SUBWOOFER

PLACEMENT

ZONES

(For Single Subwoofer)

COMPROMISED SEATING POSITIONS (Results in weaker, uneven bass performance)

BEST SEATING POSITIONS (Most accurate bass performance)

COMPROMISED SEATING POSITIONS

(More intense, but less accurate bass performance)

WORST

SEAT

MORE INTENSE

AVOID

CORNER

PLACEMENT

CENTERLINE OF ROOM

APPROX. 1/3 OF TOTAL ROOM LENGTH AWAY FROM BACK WALL

CLOSE TO BACK WALL OF ROOM

| FathomIWS

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SPECIAL AMPLIFIER CONSIDERATIONS FOR RACK MOUNTING

OR CUSTOM CABINET INSTALLATIONS

Fathom IWS amplifiers are designed to be “built-in”friendly. All typically needed controls are located on the front panel. A Fathom IWS amp can be easily integrated into an equipment rack or custom cabinetry by following a few simple guidelines.

1)Allow adequate clear space around the Fathom IWS amp’s side-mountedheatsinks for adequate cooling. Also allow space behind the amp for connector clearance.

2)The Fathom IWS amp ships ready to be mounted in a standard

equipment rack.

Rack Ears

3)The Fathom IWS amplifier also includes table-tophardware. Special frontpanel end covers that replace the rack ears and rubber feet are included with the IWS amp. To use the amp on a table top, simply remove the hex screws that attach the rack ears and then install the covers. The rubber feet screw into threaded holes in the bottom of the amplifier case.

4)While the Fathom IWS amp generally runs only warm during spirited operation, we do recommend that adequate heat vents are included in any custom cabinet which encloses the Fathom IWS amp. A pair of 3 inch (7.5 cm) diameter

vents near the bottom of the cabinet and near the top of the cabinet, will allow cool air to circulate over the heatsinks of your Fathom IWS amp keeping it cool and happy.

End Covers

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Using Two Fathom IWS Enclosures

 

Recommended Subwoofer Placement Options for Two Fathom IWS boxes

 

 

 

When using two Fathom IWS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

boxes, try placement along the front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wall near the front left and right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

speakers, or at the center points of

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

opposing walls as shown at right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experimentation with 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

| FathomIWS

Page 9

Recommended Subwoofer Placement Options for Three Fathom IWSs

1

2

 

3

1

2

 

3

Recommended Subwoofer Placement Options for Four Fathom IWSs

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

3

4

 

2

 

1

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using Three or Four Fathom IWS boxes

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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Front Control Panel

The labeled Figure below depicts the front control panel of a Fathom IWS subwoofer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A.R.O.

 

Level Mode

 

Lights

 

 

 

LP freq. (Hz) phase (deg.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

page 12-13

 

page 13

 

page 14

page 14

page 15

 

 

 

Power

 

Input Mode

Master Level

 

 

LP Filter

e.l.f. trim (dB)

Polarity

 

 

 

page 12

 

page 13

 

page 14

 

 

page 14

 

page 15

 

 

 

page 15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rear Controls and Connectors

The labeled Figure below depicts the rear panel of a Fathom IWS subwoofer.

Unbalanced

Input Mode

Subwoofer

IEC-StyleAC

Inputs

Switch

Output(s)

Connector

page 17

page 20

 

page 19

Isolated/Grounded

Switch page 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balanced

 

 

 

Output to

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inputs

 

 

Slave Connector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

page 16

 

 

 

page 19

 

 

 

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Page 11

FRONT PANEL CONTROLS IN DETAIL

Power Switch

The “Power” switch determines the operational readiness of the Fathom IWS system and should be the only switch used to turn the Fathom IWS amp on and off. Do not use a power strip switch, switched outlet or any other external switch as these may result in undesirable and potentially damaging transient pops. Do not unplug the Fathom IWS’s AC power cord while the unit is turned on.

The power switch has three positions:

“On”: The Fathom IWS amp is fully powered at all times. Front panel lights are on unless they have been turned off via the “Lights” switch.

“Off ”: The Fathom IWS’s power amplifier is powered down. In this state, a negligible current draw will exist for operating the main power relays. All front panel lights are off .

“Auto”: The Fathom IWS amp will power up when an audio signal is present at any of its inputs and will power down the internal amplifier if no signal has been detected at its inputs for thirty (30) minutes. When dormant, the Fathom IWS will draw a very small amount of current (< 10 watts) to power itssignal-sensingcircuitry.

Front panel lights will turn off when the Fathom IWS powers down and light when the Fathom IWS powers up (unless they have been turned off via the “Lights” switch).

In the unlikely event that the Auto feature is not sensitive enough for a particular system, use a Y-cableadaptor to split the incoming signal into both RCA or XLR inputs on the Fathom IWS. This will increase the input sensitivity by 6 dB. Please be aware that if the Auto sensitivity is too high or if there is significant noise on the input cable, the Fathom IWS may not turn off as desired. If this happens, remove theY-cableadaptor or look for the noise source in the upstream components.

Automatic Room Optimization (A.R.O.)

A powerful feature of the JL Audio Fathom IWS subwoofers is their innovative Automatic Room Optimization (A.R.O.) technology. This one-touchsystem serves to eliminate the largest acoustic response peaks in your home theater at the main listening seat, greatly improving thein-roomlow-frequencyresponse. Calibration of the A.R.O. system is fully automated. Please consult the next section of this manual for details on how to use the A.R.O. system.

Using the included JL Audio calibration microphone, the A.R.O. calibration procedure takes less than three minutes. In brief, you will connect the included microphone to the “Calibration Mic.” input, press the Calibrate button, and then hold the microphone at ear height in your main listening seat during the test. A noise sequence will be played through the Fathom IWS subwoofer, and the room response will be automatically measured, analyzed and equalized to eliminate the single largest acoustic room response peak at your listening seat. For detailed instructions on the A.R.O. setup procedure, refer to pages 29-30.

Calibration Mic. Input

This input is for connecting the supplied JL Audio calibration microphone to the Fathom IWS subwoofer. Connect one end of the supplied cable to the microphone and the other end to this jack prior to using the A.R.O. system. The A.R.O. system is specifically calibrated to this microphone and its connection scheme is specific to the supplied microphone. The calibration sequence will not operate when a different microphone is connected or if no microphone is connected.

IMPORTANT

PROCESSOR (BALANCED OUTPUTS)

RECEIVER / PROCESSOR (UNBALANCED OUTPUTS)

PRE OUT

FRONT L REAR CENTER

OUTPUTS

OR

FRONT R REAR

FATHOM REAR CONTROLS (MASTER)

Page 12

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Demo Button

The Demo button triggers a 20 second long tone sequence that briefly demonstrates the sound of the Fathom IWS subwoofer. The Demo function is useful for showcasing the output capability of the Fathom IWS and to verify that the Fathom IWS (or multiple Fathom IWSs) are operational during system troubleshooting.

The Demo button is also used (in combination) to clear (return to flat) the A.R.O. equalizer settings. To clear the A.R.O.’s settings & turn off the Calibrate light, press and hold the Demo button and then press the Defeat button. Please note that you must perform this button sequence quickly. If you hold the Demo button for more than 2 seconds without touching the Defeat button, the Demo tones will start. Should this happen, simply wait for the Demo sequence to end and try again.

Defeat Button

If “Demo” or “Calibrate” is pressed while the defeat function is active, “Defeat” is automatically canceled. No other front panel controls will alter the A.R.O. Defeat state. The Fathom IWS’s Defeat setting is stored in non-volatilememory and will not change even if power is disconnected.

The Defeat button is also used (in combination) to clear (return to flat) the A.R.O. equalizer settings. To clear the A.R.O.’s settings & turn off the Calibrate light, press and hold the Demo button and then press the Defeat button. Please note that you must perform this button sequence quickly. If you hold the Demo button for more than 2 seconds without touching the Defeat button, the Demo tones will start. Should this happen, simply wait for the Demo sequence to end and try again.

Calibrate Button

During the ARO test sequence the Calibrate button’s green LED will blink quickly to alert the user to two special conditions:

1.“JL Audio Microphone NOT Connected”: If you forget to connect the mic before trying to start a Calibration you will get this alert. Press the Calibrate button once to cancel the alert, connect the A.R.O. microphone, and try again.

2.“Inappropriate Sound Level for A.R.O. Calibration”: Since the A.R.O.

sequence is completely automatic, this alert likely indicates a problem with the microphone. Press the Calibrate button once to cancel the alert. Ensure that the JL Audio microphone is properly connected and try again. For further help, please refer to Troubleshooting on page 33.

Input Mode Indicators

The Input Mode indicator LEDs show the input mode, either “Master” or “Slave”, selected by the switch on the Fathom IWS’s back panel (unless the “Lights” switch is set to “off”). For further details, see page 20.

Level Mode

The two-positionLevel Mode switch allows you to select between the following modes:

“Reference” - In this mode, the Master Level control knob has no effect on the Fathom IWS’s output level. Use this setting if you will primarily be controlling the subwoofer level via your receiver or preamplifier/processor. For those of us with small children or overenthusiastic teenagers, this mode of operation will prevent direct manipulation of the Master Level.

“Variable” - In this mode, the Master Level control knob determines the output level of the Fathom IWS subwoofer. This mode is also useful when level matching the Fathom IWS subwoofer to a pair of stereo speakers in atwo-channelsystem.

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Page 13

Master Level Knob

The Master Level Knob is used to control the output level of the Fathom IWS when the Variable Level mode is selected on the front control panel.

When rotated fully counter clockwise, the Fathom IWS’s output will be fully muted. When at the “0” or straight up position, the Variable gain level matches the Reference level setting. When turned fully clockwise, the Fathom IWS’s output level is 15 dB higher than the Reference setting.

Lights

The “Lights” selector switch allows the user to select one of three indicator light modes.

“Off” turns off all of the front panel LED’s at all times.

“Dim” sets all of the front panel LEDs to a low brightness level when the Fathom IWS is turned on.

“On” sets all of the front panel LEDs to full brightness level when the Fathom IWS is turned on.

IMPORTANT: WHEN TROUBLESHOOTING OR CALIBRATING THE A.R.O.

IMPORTANT

FEATURE, MAKE SURE THAT THE “LIGHTS” SWITCH IS SET TO “DIM” or “ON.”

 

 

 

LP Filter

The Low Pass (LP) Filter selector switch determines the operating mode of the Fathom IWS’s built-inlow pass filter.

“Off” defeats the low pass filter, completely removing this circuit from the signal path.

“12 dB” sets the roll off slope of the low pass filter to a 12 dB per octave slope (Butterworth alignment).

“24 dB” sets the roll off slope of the low pass filter to a 24 dB per octave slope(Linkwitz-Rileyalignment).

The 24 dB setting more aggressively attenuates high frequencies above the LP Frequency setting (see below). If you are using the Fathom IWS’s built-inlow pass filter, experiment with the LP Filter slope setting to achieve the best transition to your satellite speakers. If you prefer to use the filters and bass management features in your receiver or preamplifier, defeat the

on-boardfilter by selecting the “Off” position.

If the Fathom IWS enclosure is placed close to the listening position, it may be very easy to localize the sub’s output. Experiment with the low pass filter to make the subwoofer less easy to localize.

LP Freq

The Low Pass (LP) Frequency selector knob allows the user to choose the roll-offfrequency of the Fathom IWS’s internal low pass filter. The frequency is variable between 30 Hz (fullcounter-clockwise)to 130 Hz (full clockwise). This knob does not affect the input signal in any way if the LP Filter switch is set to “Off”. 80 Hz is a commonly used filter frequency and usually serves as a good starting point for adjustments.

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E.L.F. Trim

The Extreme Low Frequency (“e.l.f. trim”) knob allows the user to apply a certain amount of signal equalization at 23 Hertz (extremely low bass). At full counterclockwise rotation, the signal at 23 Hz is cut by 12 dB. At “0” the equalizer is set flat for zero contribution to the signal. At full clockwise rotation, the signal at 28 Hz is boosted by 3 dB.

The E.L.F. Trim feature is useful for tailoring the Fathom IWS’s very low frequency output for your particular room. Adding some boost can make certain material more exciting. Using the cut function can help to compensate for room or boundary gain in the low frequencies. Room boundaries and the room’s finite

(limited) size naturally cause very low frequencies to be boosted relative to other parts of the signal. As such, using the E.L.F. Trim feature to cut the lowest frequencies can help to tame “bloat” or unnatural sounding low bass in small to medium sized rooms (and can also reduce unwanted vibrations in the room or throughout the house).

The E.L.F. function affects frequencies 2 to 3 times higher than the 23 Hz specification. This frequency tapering effect may reduce the overall output of the subwoofer and require the user to increase the Main Level control after adjusting the

E.L.F. Trim.

Polarity

The Polarity switch allows the user to select between normal (0 deg) and reversed (180 deg) signal polarity. The Polarity switch will primarily affect the small frequency range around the crossover point between your subwoofer and satellite speakers.

Unlike the Phase control, which effectively adds time delay, the Polarity switch produces an instantaneous reversal of the signal’s amplitude peaks. For example, if at a given reference point a sine wave has an amplitude peak, by flipping the phase switch you instantly convert that peak into a trough or amplitude dip. Because the effect of the Polarity switch is immediate, it compliments the operation of the Phase control and cannot be replaced by it.

When placing your Fathom IWS in the room, experiment with the Polarity switch before adjusting the “Phase” control. Either position of the Polarity switch may provide a smoother transition between your Fathom IWS subwoofer and the satellite speakers. Use source material with good mid and upper bass content for evaluation.

Phase

 

 

The Phase control knob allows the user to adjust the “timing” of the subwoofer

 

 

output relative to the main speakers. The Phase control will primarily affect the small

 

 

frequency range around the crossover point between your subwoofer and satellite

 

 

speakers. The Phase control’s labels are referenced to 80 Hz since this is the most

 

 

common crossover point between satellite speakers and a subwoofer. Phase settings

 

 

between 0 degrees (full counter-clockwiserotation) and 270 degrees (full clockwise

 

 

 

 

 

 

rotation) are possible.

 

 

 

Speaker, subwoofer, and listening seat positions vary greatly in home theater

 

 

installations. Since physical positioning of speakers relative to the room boundaries

 

 

and each other greatly affects the perceived quality of sound output, sometimes it is

 

 

helpful to delay the subwoofer output. This is exactly what occurs when you turn the

 

 

Phase control beyond 0 degrees.

 

 

 

Once your Fathom IWS has been placed in your listening room to give you the

 

 

smoothest overall sound and after you have determined the optimum “Polarity”

 

 

 

 

switch position (see preceding section), experiment with the position of the Phase

 

 

control. Using familiar source material with good mid and upper bass content, adjust

 

 

the Phase control and listen for better defined mid-bassand a smoother transition

 

 

between the subwoofer and satellite speaker systems. If no single setting sounds

| FathomIWS

better than another, leave the Phase control at 0 degrees.

Page 15

 

CONNECTING YOUR Fathom IWS

Balanced Inputs

If your home-theaterreceiver or preamplifier/processor provides balanced outputs, the Fathom IWS amp’s balanced inputs are the preferred connection. Balanced connections are used extensively in professional studios and sound reinforcement applications for a number of very good reasons. Besides ensuring proper grounding between components, balanced signal transmission is designed to cancel induced cable noise from the surrounding environment (particularly important with long cable runs). The bottom line is that your system will be far less likely to exhibit humming or other extraneous noises if you use balanced connections.

The Fathom IWS subwoofers feature individual left and right balanced input connections with XLR “combo” jacks. These special jacks accept either a three-pinmale XLR connector or a“tip-ring-sleeve”(TRS)1/4-inch(6.3 mm) connector for compatibility with a wide range of equipment.

For systems with a mono subwoofer or “LFE” channel connection, only the jack labeled “Left or Mono” will be used. This applies to most modern multichannel receivers and preamplifier/processors. Separate left and right input jacks are provided for systems without a dedicated mono subwoofer connection. This typically applies to two-channelaudio equipment.

Appropriate balanced cables are available from your JL Audio dealer and are not included with the Fathom IWS.

Technical Notes:

Do not use the balanced inputs with unbalanced signals via adaptors. The unbalanced inputs of the Fathom IWS are optically isolated and preferable in situations where only an unbalanced signal source is available. Balanced input impedance is 10 kohms.

Input connectors are configured according to Audio Engineering Society recommendations for balanced signal cables as follows:

XLR Connection

Pin 1: Shield

Pin 2: Positive

Pin 3: Negative

TRS connection:

Tip: Positive

Ring: Negative

Sleeve: Shield

IMPORTANT: IF YOUR RECEIVER OR PREAMPLIFIER/PROCESSOR DOES NOT HAVE XLR OR1/4-INCHTRS BALANCED OUTPUTS, PLEASE REFER TO THE “UNBALANCED INPUTS” SECTION ON PAGE 17 FOR INPUT CONNECTION INFORMATION. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CONNECT UNBALANCED OUTPUTS TO THE Fathom IWS’S BALANCED INPUTS VIA ADAPTORS.

The Left and Right inputs on the Fathom IWS are internally summed to a single mono channel. Since the Fathom IWS is inherently a “mono” or single channel device, you can use the Left and Right inputs for the master Fathom IWS and then distribute the summed mono signal to additional slave Fathom IWSs in the system.

IMPORTANT

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Unbalanced Inputs

The Fathom IWS subwoofer amp features individual left and right unbalanced RCA-typeinput connectors. These are the most commonly used connectors

for home audio applications and must be used if your receiver or preamplifier/ processor does not provide balanced outputs. While unbalanced connections are not as noise-immuneas a balanced connection, Fathom IWS subwoofers employ optical isolation on the unbalanced inputs to minimize the possibility of noise in your system.

For systems with a mono subwoofer or “LFE” channel connection, only the RCA-typejack labeled “Left or Mono” will be used. This applies to most

modern multi-channelreceivers and preamplifier / processors. Separate left and rightRCA-typeinput jacks are provided for systems without a dedicated mono subwoofer connection. This typically applies totwo-channelaudio equipment.

Technical Notes:

When balanced outputs are not available on the signal source, you must use the RCA-type unbalanced inputs. Fathom IWSs feature optical isolation circuitry on the unbalanced inputs to minimize the likelihood of ground loop induced noise. Unbalanced input impedance is 10 kohms.

Connections are industry-standardfor unbalanced signal cables as follows:

RCA-typeconnection:

Tip: Positive

Sleeve: Negative

IMPORTANT: IF NOISE EXISTS AFTER CONNECTION, Fathom IWS AMPS

ALLOW FOR GROUNDING OR ISOLATION OF THE UNBALANCED INPUTS. IMPORTANT PLEASE REFER TO THE “INPUT MODE SWITCHES” SECTION ON PAGE 20 OF

THIS MANUAL FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON MINIMIZING NOISE.

| FathomIWS

Page 17

Input Mode Switches:

Two switches are located on the rear panel to control unbalanced signal grounding and master/slave operation.

“Grounded / Isolated” Switch

The “Grounded / Isolated” Input Mode switch affects only the unbalanced RCA inputs and is designed to facilitate a quiet,hum-freeconnection to your audio or home theater system. This feature is included to deal with the signal grounding issues often encountered in home theater systems when several components from different manufacturers are interconnected.

The Fathom IWS ships with this switch in the “Isolated” mode. If, with all system components connected and turned on (but no source material playing), you hear a continuous low-frequencyhum through your Fathom IWS, flip this switch to the “Grounded” position and evaluate the difference in the noise level. Use whichever switch position provides the least hum or noise.

IMPORTANT: PLEASE NOTE

THAT CHANGING ANY COMPONENT IN THE OPTIMIZED SYSTEM (RECEIVER, AMPLIFIER, DVD PLAYER, CABLE OR SATELLITE BOX, ETC.) COULD ALTER THE SIGNAL GROUNDING SCHEME AND CAUSE HUM TO APPEAR IN YOUR PREVIOUSLY QUIET SYSTEM. IF YOU ADD OR CHANGE AN UPSTREAM COMPONENT IN YOUR HOME THEATER SYSTEM, YOU MAY NEED TO REVISIT THIS INPUT MODE SETTING ON THE Fathom IWS SUBWOOFER FOR OPTIMUM NOISE PERFORMANCE. CABLE & SATELLITE BOXES ARE PARTICULARLY TROUBLESOME IN THIS WAY.

Master / Slave Switch

The Fathom IWSs are designed to easily accommodate the implementation of multiple subwoofers in your home theater system through a Master/Slave connection chain. This method allows you to utilize the signal processing features of one Fathom IWS to centrally control multiple Fathom IWSs in the room. Master/Slave functionality also makes it possible for the A.R.O. system to optimize the response of a multiple subwoofer installation.

The Fathom IWS ships with this switch in the “Master” position. If you are using a single Fathom IWS you will use the “Master” position and you need not concern yourself with this section any further.

If your installation incorporates two or more Fathom IWS amplifiers, you will designate one Fathom IWS as the “Master” and all others in the system as “Slave” via the “Master/Slave” switch on the rear amplifier panel of each Fathom IWS.

LED’s on the front panel of the Fathom IWS are provided to indicate whether the “Master” or “Slave” mode is selected for a given subwoofer.

From the Fathom IWS operating in “Master” mode, the “Output to Slave” signal carries any signal processing selected on the Master Fathom IWS (including the Master Level setting and A.R.O. processing) to further Fathom IWSs operating in “Slave” mode. “Slave” subwoofer signal processing and level controls will be inoperable. In this mode, the user does not have to worry about level, crossover, and other settings for the slave subwoofers.

Technical Notes:

Selecting the “Slave” position defeats all user-definablesignal processing andthe master level control. Because of this, there are some special situations in which you may want to operate a single Fathom IWS in “Slave” mode. If you are utilizing outboard signal processing and level-matching controls, activating the “Slave” mode will prevent anyone from affecting system parameters with the manual controls on the Fathom IWS.

IMPORTANT

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IMPORTANT: PLEASE REFER TO THE “SYSTEM CONNECTION DIAGRAMS” IMPORTANT ON PAGES26-29FOR MORE INFORMATION ON USING THE INPUT / OUTPUT

CONNECTIONS.

“Output to Slave” Connector

If you are operating more than one Fathom IWS subwoofer in one home theater system, you will designate one Fathom IWS as the Master (see page 20), and then feed signal from it to the remaining “Slave” Fathom IWSs via this balanced XLR output. The “Output to Slave” cable can be connected to the “Left or Mono” balanced XLR input on the next Fathom IWS. When a Fathom IWS is in “Slave” Mode, its “Output to Slave” connection can be used to pass signal to further Fathom IWSs operating in “Slave” mode.

The “Output to Slave” connector is designed to be used as follows:

1)From the “Master” Fathom IWS’s “Output to Slave” connector to the first

“Slave” Fathom IWS’s “Left or Mono” XLR balanced input.

2)From the first “Slave” Fathom IWS’s “Output to Slave” connector to the second “Slave” Fathom IWS’s “Left or Mono” XLR balanced input.

3)From the second “Slave” Fathom IWS’s “Output to Slave” connector to the third “Slave” Fathom IWS’s “Left or Mono” XLR balanced input. Etc, etc. (up to ten Fathom IWSs may be connected in this configuration). Appropriate balanced cables with XLR terminations are available from your JL Audio dealer and are not included with the Fathom IWS.

Technical Notes:

The “Output to Slave” signal carries any signal processing selected on the Master Fathom IWS (including the Master Level setting and A.R.O. processing) to further Fathom IWSs operating in “Slave” mode.

From Fathom IWSs operating in “Slave” mode, the “Output to Slave” signal is an exact, buffered replica of the balanced input signal, making this method of signal distribution preferable to using

Y-adaptersor splitters.

Use only shielded, connection cables with high quality

XLR connectors for Master/Slave connection. Never use unbalanced cables with adaptors.

IEC-StyleAC Connector

The IEC-styleAC cord receptacle receives theheavy-gauge,6 ft. (1.8 m) long, power cord included with your Fathom IWS subwoofer. Your Fathom IWS should only be powered from a 120 V AC, 60 Hz outlet. Do not use any AC power cord other than the one supplied with the Fathom IWS.

The Fathom IWS subwoofer is a very powerful device and can draw a lot of current. If too many components are connected with a Fathom IWS subwoofer to one electrical outlet, you risk tripping a household circuit breaker during very demanding program material. If this happens, split the Fathom IWS and other components between two AC electrical circuits. If possible, for maximum performance, dedicate an AC circuit to each Fathom IWS.

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Page 19

PROCESSOR (BALANCED OUTPUTS)

RECEIVER / PROCESSOR (UNBALANCED OUTPUTS)

PRE OUT

FRONT L REAR CENTER

OUTPUTS

OR

FRONT R REAR

FATHOM REAR CONTROLS (MASTER)

WARNING! TURN OFF THE Fathom IWS AND ALL OTHER EQUIPMENT IN THE SYSTEM BEFORE MAKING OR CHANGING ANY CONNECTIONS!

SYSTEM CONNECTION DIAGRAM 1: One Fathom IWS to

Home Theater Receiver or

Home Theater Preamp/Processor

Most home theater receivers and preamp/processors provide a single (mono) subwoofer output. When connecting a mono subwoofer output

to your Fathom IWS, you will only use the Fathom IWS’s “Left or Mono” input.

Two connection types are available for connecting the Fathom IWS to your home theater system: balanced (XLR or 1/4-inchTRS connector) and unbalanced(RCA-typeconnector). Balanced connections provide superior noise rejection and ensure proper grounding between components. If your receiver or processor has balanced outputs, we highly recommend that you use them.

In the connection diagram at left, balanced connections are shown as solid lines, unbalanced connections are shown dotted. You will only use one of these input connection methods (not both).

WARNING

Page 20

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