Niles Audio SI-245 User Manual

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I N S T A L L A T I O N & O P E R A T I O N G U I D E

Systems Integration Amplifier

®

B L E N D I N GH I G HF I D E L I T Y A N DA R C H I T E C T U R E

CONGRATULATIONS!

Thank you for purchasing the Niles SI-245,one of the most flexible and convenient amplifiers ever offered. Like all Niles products, theSI-245is built to the highest standards of quality control and reliability. With proper installation and operation, you'll enjoy years oftrouble-freeuse.

Niles manufactures the industry's most complete line of custom installation components and accessories for audio/video systems. For a free full line catalog write:

Niles, Catalog Request, P.O. Box 160818, Miami, Florida 33116-0818

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

INTRODUCTION

2

 

 

 

 

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

3

 

 

 

 

INSTALLATION CONSIDERATIONS

5

 

 

 

 

FRONT AND REAR PANEL DETAILS

9

 

 

 

 

INSTALLATION

11

 

 

 

 

OPERATION

15

 

 

 

 

TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE

16

 

 

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS

18

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

INTRODUCTION

The SI-245is a member of theaward-winningNiles Systems Integration Amplifier family. It is designed for use in home theaters and whole house audio systems, and is especially suited for use as a “zone” amplifier. Niles specifically designs Systems Integration Amplifiers to solve the problems installers face when integrating different brands and models of equipment into various acoustic environments in home theater, stereo, and background music applications. TheSI-245brings extremelyhigh-currentpower to a custom installed A/V System in a remarkably convenient way.

SI-245

Systems Integration Amplifier

INTRODUCTION

2

BENEFITS AND FEATURES

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

Real World Power

The SI-245delivers 45 watts per channel at 8 Ohms and 70 watts per channel at 4 Ohms. You’ll get tremendous bass and dynamics from every pair of speakers powered by anSI-245.

Transparent Sound

The audio circuitry of the SI-245is constructed using the finest parts available; including 1% metal film resistors, high quality capacitors, and oversized heat sinks. All this attention to technical detail creates a sound that is clear and uncolored with phenomenal imaging.

Freedom From Crosstalk

Each channel of the SI-245is powered via its own independent power supply. This increases the isolation between the two channels, and minimizes cross talk guaranteeing you absolute silence as the backdrop to your music.

Current For Reactive Loads

The high current design of the SI-245assures that even unusual and reactive loads are handled with aplomb (a massive toroidal transformer with two separate windings, one for each of the independent power supplies, provides more than ample current to your system).

Freedom from Fan Noise

The oversized heat sinks inside the SI-245allow the amplifier to stay cool even when operating into low impedanceloads—withoutthe noise offan-cooledamplifiers.

Independent Level Controls

Each channel has its own independent level control enabling you to precisely match the SI-245to the rest of your system. The level controls also enable you to limit the volume, preventing abuse of the system.

Lifetime Connections

The SI-245features stereo inputs, cascade stereo outputs, andfive-waybinding posts which are all gold plated to ensure perfect connections without corrosion for years to come.

3

Turn-OnModes

The SI-245features threeturn-onmodes: 1. Music Sense 2. External Voltage Trigger 3. ManualTurn-Onvia the front panel switch. You can configure theSI-245to interface with any kind of system and have the unit automatically turn on.

Automatic Protection

The SI-245is equipped with sophisticated protection circuits. In the unlikely event that a problem occurs, the amplifier shuts itself off. When conditions return to normal, regular operation resumes.

Status Display for Troubleshooting

LED's on the front panel indicate Power, Active Status, and a Protection Warning. With a glance at the front panel, a troubleshooter is quickly provided with key information!

Control Output

A 12 volt DC output is provided whenever the amplifier is on, allowing you to operate voltage-triggereddevices like motorized screens and curtains.

Designed and Engineered in the USA

Limited two year parts and labor Warranty.

BENEFITS AND FEATURES

4

CONSIDERATIONS INSTALLATION

INSTALLATION CONSIDERATIONS

Placement

Place the SI-245on a flat level surface like a table or shelf. It should be placed upright so that its weight rests on the four attached feet. Placing the weight of the amplifier on the rear or front panel for even an instant may result in damage to the amplifier's connectors and controls.

The SI-245,like anyhi-ficomponent, will last much longer if it is given adequate ventilation for proper cooling. When installing theSI-245in a cabinet, be sure that the rear of the cabinet is open to fresh air to provide proper cooling (seeFigure 1). If the cabinet’s design will not accommodate an open rear, install two small “boxer fans” to provide continuous air flow into and out of the cabinet (seeFigure 2). Place theSI-245so that there is at least 5" of free air space above the chassis. If the amplifier is located on a carpeted surface, place a board under the amplifier's feet. Do not block the ventilation holes on the top and bottom of theSI-245.

The SI-245is equipped with an internal transformer, which generates a powerful magnetic field which could induce hum in a turntable (particularly a turntable equipped with a moving coil cartridge). Do not place a turntable directly above or directly adjacent to theSI-245.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Make sure that there is a minimum of 5” of free air space above the amplifier for proper ventilation.

If the cabinet rear is not open to fresh air, install two small “boxer fans” to provide continuous air flow into and out of the cabinet.

Allow a minimum of 2” of depth behind unit to accommodate cables and connectors.

5

Turn-OnModes

The SI-245draws more current than a preamplifier’s switched AC outlet can safely supply. Also, your preamplifier may "thump" at dangerous volumes if the amplifier is already on when the preamp turns on. It is usually best to turn the amplifier on only when it is needed. TheTurn-OnMode selector switch gives you three options for turning theSI-245on and off.

Constant - The autoturn-oncircuitry is off. The front panel master power switch operates the amplifier. In is "On", out is "Off".

Audio Sense - The master switch on the front panel must be in the "On" position. The amplifier is off when there is no audio signal present at either the left or the right input, but the sensing circuitry is on. Theturn-onsensing circuitry looks for a tiny amount of audio signal present at any of the audio inputs. If it detects a signal, the amplifier is turned on. Once the audio signal stops, the sensing circuit waits three minutes, then turns the amplifier off.

3-30Volt AC/DCOpto-IsolatedVoltage Trigger- The master switch on the front panel must be in the "On" position. The amplifier is off when there is no 3-30V AC or DC voltage detected at the trigger input. Once the sensing circuitry detects a voltage and a linelevel audio signal is detected at the input, the amplifier is turned on. Once the voltage stops, the sensing circuit instantly turns the amplifier off. Voltage triggers can be supplied by Niles automated switchers, some video projectors, some surround sound processors, or something as simple as a 16 volt AC wall adapter (Niles XF00008) plugged into the switched outlet of your stereo receiver. DO NOT USE A DC WALL ADAPTER. The long discharge time of the DC adapter’s filter capacitor will delay the turn-off of the amplifier.

If you are using a wall adapter or external power supply to provide the trigger, it doesn't have to be very large (a minimum current capability of 2.5 milliamps for a 3 volt trigger increasing up to a minimum of 38 milliamps for a 30 volt trigger).

CONSIDERATIONS INSTALLATION

6

CONSIDERATIONS INSTALLATION

Multiple Speaker Loads

The SI-245is stable into very low impedance loads. This means you can safely operate three pairs of 8 ohm speakers (a 2.67 ohm load) directly connected to theSI-245.Note that theSI-245does not have on/off speaker switching built in. When the amplifier is on, so are all of the speakers.

Niles makes a number of different speaker selection and impedance matching systems. Speaker selection systems allow each pair of speakers to be turned on and off from your equipment location (or even via remote control). That way, you know that the speakers in the bedroom are off so you can avoid waking a sleeping spouse! These speaker selectors provide an easy way to terminate all of the wires for more than three pairs. Testing and troubleshooting a new system is much easier with the individual room labels and on/off switches of a Niles speaker selection system. Additionally, Niles speaker selection systems offer impedance matching features which will allow you to connect up to ten pairs of speakers to your SI-245amplifier.

Niles SI-245

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Niles HDL-6Speaker Selection System

 

 

AMPLIFIER

 

 

SPEAKER 6

 

 

SPEAKER 5

 

 

SPEAKER 4

 

 

SPEAKER 3

 

 

SPEAKER 2

 

 

SPEAKER 1

 

 

L+

L-

R-

R+

L+

L-

R-

R+

L+

L-

R-

R+

L+

L-

R-

R+

L+

L-

R-

R+

L+

L-

R-

R+

L+

L-

R-

R+

NILES

ON OFF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONSTANT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Niles Audio

PROTECTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporation, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miami, Florida USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaker selection systems allow each pair of speakers to be turned on and off from your equipment location.

7

Cable and Wire

It will be easier to reconfigure or troubleshoot your system in the future if you label the cables and wires for their destination or source, rather than which terminal of the SI-245they are connected to.

The SI-245connects to your preamp source via shielded line level audio cables with RCA phono plugs. Use high quality cables with your Niles amplifier for the lowest possible noise and best overall performance. Your Niles dealer can recommend the proper cable.

The SI-245connects to your speakers using 2 conductor speaker wire. For most applications, we recommend you use 16 or 18 gauge wire. For wiring runs longer than 80 feet, we recommend 14 gauge wire. The binding posts of theSI-245will accommodate up to 12 gauge wire. Larger sizes can be accommodated by attaching banana plugs to the wire. Note that the binding posts accept dual banana or single banana connectors.

TECH TIP

Wire size is expressed by its AWG (American Wire Gauge) number. The lower the number, the larger the wire, i.e. twelve AWG is physically larger than fourteen AWG.

CONSIDERATIONS INSTALLATION

8

DETAILS PANEL REAR AND FRONT

Red “Power” LED confirms the amplifier is connected to a live AC power outlet. (and that the master power switch is on).

Front panel “Master Power” switch turns off the entire amplifier, including the Turn-Oncircuitry.

Main Inputs enable you to route a stereo line level source to the SI-245.

"Turn-OnMode" switch

Green “Active” LED lights when the amplifier circuitry has been turned on by the Turn-Oncircuits.

The red “Protect” LED indicates the amp has shut down because there is a fault in a speaker, the wiring, or with the SI-245itself.

Cascade Outputs of the Main Input enable you to daisy chain multiple amplifiers.

3.5mm Mini Plug socket for voltage input.

3.5mm Mini Plug socket for 12v DC Control output.

9

DETAILS PANEL REAR AND FRONT

Level Adjustment screws enable you to preset the maximum system volume (or match levels with another amplifier).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Binding posts for speaker

 

 

 

IEC receptacle for AC

 

 

connections.

 

 

 

power cord.

10

INSTALLATION

INSTALLATION

9

Setting The Turn-OnMode Switch

13

Cascade Audio Outputs

9

Control Output

14

AC Power plug

10

Speaker Wire Connections

17

Rail Fuse Holders

13

Line Level Audio Inputs

 

 

Setting the Turn-OnMode Switch

The SI-245has threeturn-onmodes. Select the mode you wish to use by sliding the mode switch. See Installation Considerations on page 6 for more information about each of theturn-onmodes.

Slide the switch with your fingernail or a 1/8” slotted screwdriver blade.

Control Output

This terminal provides a 12v DC signal suitable for triggering Niles automated switchers, some motorized screens, some electric curtain controls, etc. The trigger voltage is present only when the amplifier is active or "on". When the amplifier turns "off", the 12 volt signal is off.

Using the 3.5 mm jack.

STEP

DESCRIPTION

1. Check the requirements of the

The control output has a maximum

device you want to control.

current capability of 12vDC 150 mA.

2. Connect the 3.5mm Jack to the

Niles makes an accessory cable

control output maintaining proper

plug FG00724.

polarity (tip = +)

 

 

 

11

Speaker Wire Connections

CAUTION! All speaker wire connections must be made with the amplifier Off.

Bare Wire

Unscrew the red or black plastic knob, insert the bare wire end into the opening, and then tighten the knob until the wire is securely clamped.

Banana Plugs

There are many types of banana plugs, some crimp, some solder. The Niles gold banana plug has a quick-con-nect binding post for the bare wire on the body of the plug. A banana plug is simply inserted into the jack at the end of the amplifier’s binding post. Dual banana plugs will fit theSI-245binding posts.

INSTALLATION

STEP

DESCRIPTION

1. Label all wires.

If you label the wires for their destination,

 

rather than which terminal of the SI-245they

 

are connected to, it will be easier to recon-

 

figure your system in the future.

2. Connect one stripped wire end or

A. Split the speaker wire insulation so that

banana plug to the black terminal

at least two inches of each conductor are

and one to the red terminal.

separated.

 

B. Strip one half inch of insulation from the

 

end of each conductor of the speaker wire

CAUTIONAvoid even a single strand

C. Attach banana plugs or twist the strands of

of wire touching the chassis or another

wire together and insert them into the appro-

connector.

priate binding post.

 

 

 

12

INSTALLATION

Line Level Audio Input

CAUTION! THE AMPLIFIER MUST BE OFF WHENEVER YOU MAKE CHANGES TO THE INPUT CONNECTIONS.

STEP

DESCRIPTION

1. Label all of the interconnecting

Use audio patch cables with RCA phono

cables for the sources they connect to.

plugs attached to the ends.

2. Connect the sources by inserting the

Connect outputs from your sources to

RCA plugs into the amplifier’s jacks.

inputs on the amplifier. Never connect a

 

source or preamplifier’s input (e.g., record

 

inputs) to the inputs of your SI-245.

 

 

Cascade Audio Outputs

The "Cascade Audio Outputs" enable you to connect another amplifier to your preamplifier output. The connectors aregold-platedRCA phono jacks. Connect them to another amplifier’s inputs with a standard audio patch cable. The outputs are not buffered; if you wish todaisy-chainmore than 5 Niles amplifiers you will need a NilesADA-6buffered distribution amplifier. A singleADA-6will allow you todaisy-chain5 amplifiers from each of its six outputs, allowing 30SI-245power amplifiers to be fed from the same master preamplifier. If your preamp has a vacuum tube output stage, you must use a NilesADA-6to drive more than a singleSI-245.

13

AC Power Plug

STEP

DESCRIPTION

Plug the female IEC socket of the sup-

Just like a computer or printer, the SI-245

plied AC cord into the IEC receptacle

has an AC cord which unplugs either at the

on the rear of the amplifier.

amp or at the wall for your convenience.

 

 

Plug the 2 prong plug into a correctly

If you use a grounded power strip, surge

grounded 120V 60 Hz wall outlet.

suppressor or extension cord, verify that

 

proper ground is maintained.

 

 

CAUTION! Typically the

The SI-245draws a maximum of approxi-

preamp/receiver’s switched outlet is

mately 200 watts from an AC wall outlet.

not rated for a power amplifier.

Use the auto turn on circuit instead.

 

 

INSTALLATION

14

OPERATION

OPERATION

Power Switch

The front panel switch is a master or "vacation" power switch. No matter which turn-onmode you have selected, the master power switch will turn off all cir-cuitry—includingthe sensing circuitry. If you will not be using the amplifier for an extended period of time, turn the master power switch "Off" (push button switch out). When you would like to return to normal operation, turn the switch "On" (push button switch in).

Power LED

The power LED indicates that the AC cord is plugged into a working AC power receptacle and that the power switch is in the "On" position.

Active LED

The rear panel turn-onmode switch determines when and how the amplifier will turn on. The "Active" LED indicates that the amplifier is operating.

Protection LED

The front panel protection LED indicates that the amplifier has been shut down because of either a fault in the wiring or a speaker, or with the SI-245itself.

Level Adjustment Screws

The front panel level adjustment screws allow you to adjust the level of the SI-245relative to other amplifiers in your system. Use a 1/8” slotted screwdriver to adjust the screws. If theSI-245is the only amplifier in your system, leave the screws at their factory default position (turned fully clockwise).

Cleaning and Maintenance

The internal parts of the SI-245are electronic and require no maintenance. Once a year it is appropriate to twist the RCA connectors on each input to remove corrosion and improve conductivity.

You can clean the amplifier with soft cloth or a paper towel dampened with water or a mild detergent. Do not use any spray-type,abrasive cleaners on the amplifier.

15

TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE

When there is a problem consult this guide first. If the problem persists, or you have additional questions, call your local Niles dealer or Niles Technical Support at 1-800-289-4434.The most common problems relate to hook up. Call from your telephone extension nearest the system.

SYMPTOM

POSSIBLE CAUSES AND TEST PROCEDURE

No sound on one channel

Short circuit or loose wire at the speaker or amplifi-

 

er terminals. Check that the connections are secure

 

and that there are no loose strands of wire crossing

 

from the positive to the negative terminals at the

 

back of the amplifier and /or the speaker.

 

Short circuit or a break in the speaker wire. Dis-

 

connect the speaker wire at both ends, separate the

 

2 conductors at both ends and test with a meter for

 

a short circuit. If there is no short, connect the two

 

conductors at one end and test with a meter for

 

continuity.

 

Speaker is not working. Connect the speaker to a

 

channel that plays another speaker.

 

Audio cable to input is bad. Connect another cable

 

that is known to be good.

 

 

No sound on both channels

Audio cable to the main inputs is bad. Connect

 

another cable that is known to be good.

 

 

Hum from the speakers

Hum may be caused by a ground loop between

 

two of the other components in the system. To test

 

for another ground loop, try reversing the AC plugs

 

of each of the components in the system.

 

 

GUIDE TROUBLESHOOTING

16

GUIDE TROUBLESHOOTING

TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE (continued)

SYMPTOM

POSSIBLE CAUSES AND TEST PROCEDURE

Hum from the speakers

Check for faulty cables, faulty source material, an

 

ungrounded phono system or a defective component.

 

 

Amp will not turn on

AC power cord must be plugged into a working outlet.

 

Master power switch must be on.

 

 

Bass sound is weak and

The loudspeakers are wired out of phase. Reverse

the stereo image is

the connections at the back of one speaker.

"phasey" or "blurry"

 

sounding in one room

 

 

 

17

SPECIFICATIONS

Design Principle

Linear voltage/current amplification.

Continuous Average Power Output

45 watts per channel RMS at 8 ohms.

70 watts per channel RMS at 4 ohms.

Input Impedance

22K ohms

Input Sensitivity

.77V for 8Ω rated output

Overall Voltage Gain

28 dB

Frequency Response

Bandwidth Limited from 10 Hz to 100 kHz

Total Harmonic Distortion

8 Ohms

.05% THD from 20 Hz to 20 kHz @ full rated power

4 Ohms

.06% THD from 20 Hz to 20 kHz @ full rated power

Overall Dimensions

17” wide 2-5/16”high (including feet)13-1/8”deep

Weight

15 lbs

SPECIFICATIONS

18

Niles Audio Corporation

www.nilesaudio.com

12331 S.W. 130 Street

Miami, Florida 33186

Tel: (305) 238-4373

Fax: (305) 238-0185

©1998 Niles Audio Corporation. Because Niles strives to continuously improve its products, Niles reserves the right to change product specifications without notice. Niles and the Niles logo are registered trademarks of Niles Audio Corporation. Systems Integration Amplifier and BusMatrix are trademarks of Niles Audio Corporation. Printed in the USA 12/98 DS00241A