User manual Infinity INFINITY BETA SW-12

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SW-12 (120V) OM  
1/15/04 4:20 PM Page 8  
Infinity’s Bass Optimization System is a simple-to-use, yet  
sophisticated, low-frequency calibration system.The subwoofer  
contains a parametric equalizer that you can adjust following the  
directions below. By following these instructions, you can improve  
the sound of your system.  
To solve a problem, it helps to first identify whether you have  
one and, if so, what it is. First, play a variety of music and  
films with energetic bass sounds, like bass guitar, kick drum,  
keyboards, etc.A kick drum should produce a tight“thump,” not a  
flabby“boom”. Bass melody or harmony lines should have notes  
that are about equally loud. If some notes disappear, or stand out  
because they are consistently too loud, there is a problem.  
Disappearing notes have to be handled by moving the listening  
position, or the loudspeakers, to slightly different locations.  
Often, but sadly not always, this will be enough. Excesses in  
bass tend to be most annoying, and energetic resonances that  
cause“boomy”or“lumpy”bass can be truly aggravating over a  
period of time. Infinity’s Bass Optimization System can fix this.  
The Bass Optimization System Goal  
It is a fact of audio that what we hear at low frequencies is  
determined as much or more by the listening room than by the  
loudspeaker itself. Placement of the loudspeakers and listeners  
and the acoustical characteristics of the room surfaces are all  
important determinants of bass quantity and quality. In most  
practical situations, there is little that can be done about this,  
except for patient trial-and-error repositioning of the loud-  
speakers and listeners. Usually, the practical constraints of  
a living space and the impracticality of massive acoustical  
treatment mean that equalization is the only practical solution.  
So, the first step is to exercise your music collection, and listen  
for low-frequency problems that crop up in several different  
recordings. Something that only happens in one recording is  
likely to be a problem in the recording – it happens! If you  
identify something that is consistently wrong, select a record  
that shows it very clearly, and put your CD/DVD player into a  
repeat mode (A-B repeat is especially helpful, because you can  
isolate a short musical passage).  
Professional sound engineers routinely employ sophisticated  
measurement systems and equalizers to optimize speakers to the  
installation.This was never practical for the home audiophile.  
This is why the Bass Optimization System was created. It  
enables you to identify the dominant low-frequency response  
characteristic of your room. Once you know the problem, the Bass  
Optimization System provides the tools needed to optimize the  
low-frequency characteristics of the speakers to the room they  
are in, exactly as the professional sound engineers do it.  
Set the Bass Optimization System Bandwidth Adjustment Control  
to a middle position (10 clicks from a fully clockwise  
position) and set the Level Adjustment £for a –6dB (8 clicks  
from a fully clockwise position).Then, while the music is playing,  
sit in your favorite chair and have somebody else slowly adjust  
the Center-Frequency control from fully clockwise to fully  
counterclockwise.At a certain frequency, you should hear the  
problem lessen and the overall bass performance improve.When  
you are satisfied that you have found the best frequency, have  
your assistant vary the Level £slowly up and down until you  
have maximized the improvement. If you have really keen ears,  
you can also have the Bandwidth Adjustment control ¢adjusted  
Before beginning the bass tests, please check the following:  
Make sure all three Bass Optimization System controls on the  
subwoofer are turned fully clockwise.  
Make sure the loudness contour (if any) on your receiver/  
processor/preamp is turned off.  
Set the receiver’s/processor’s tone controls (Bass and Treble)  
to their center or flat positions.  
Bypass all surround and effects features of your receiver/  
processor/preamp or set to Stereo Bypass.  
If you are using a multichannel surround processor or  
receiver, make sure all bass-management features are properly  
set.The Audio channels should all be set to“Small”or“High-  
Pass” and the subwoofer set to“On.”  
for maximum benefit.  
While the Bass Optimization System allows the listener to fine-  
tune the bass response to sound best in a particular room, some  
listeners don’t have the skill or desire to adjust their system by  
ear. In order to facilitate quicker and more accurate results,  
Infinity has developed an optional test and measurement kit that  
allows the user to perform a series of measurements and aids  
him/her in properly setting the Bass Optimization System  
controls.With the addition of this kit, the Bass Optimization  
System becomes truly room-adaptive.The kit consists of the  
following: a test CD, a sound-level meter that is specifically  
calibrated for low frequencies, and something we call a“Q-Finder,”  
a device to help find the width of the measured curve and,  
finally, a measurement template. It works as follows.The listener  
Set the Bass Optimization System Selector ¡to“On.”  
For best results, it is recommended that all major furnishings  
are in place and that all doors and windows in the listening area  
are in their normal positions.That is, if you normally listen to  
music with all doors closed, then this is how they should be  
during this procedure.  

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