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Why the ICBM?

Most of today's DVD-Audio players, and some of today's multi-channel SACD players, do not have bass management when you're playing DVD-Audio or SACD discs. (The players themselves may contain bass management menus, but this built in circuitry is probably effective only when you're listening to Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks.)

As a result, when you're listening to DVD-Audio or SACD discs, all of the speakers get a full-range signal, (with deep bass being sent to all speakers), and the separate ".1" bass track goes only to the subwoofer. Thus, the main speakers in the system may get more bass than they can handle. And in systems without a subwoofer, most of the bass will be thrown away, because it cannot be routed to the other speakers.

The ICBM can fix these problems entirely. Connect it between your DVD-Audio or SACD player and your receiver or preamp/processor, and the ICBM will put all the bass in the right place. If you have small satellite speakers and a subwoofer, it will keep the bass out of the small speakers and send it all to the subwoofer. If you have large tower speakers and no subwoofer, the ICBM will route the ".1" bass from the subwoofer track over to the tower speakers.

Even if your DVD-Audio or SACD player does have bass management, it will be much less versatile than the ICBM's circuitry, and thus won't let you fine-tune your system, as the ICBM will.

The ICBM works not only with 5.1-channel systems, but also with 6.1-channel systems like Lucasfilm THX Surround EX and DTS ES-Matrix and ES-Discrete. We have included an extra channel of bass management to accommodate these systems. That extra channel also lets the ICBM work with the 6.0 channel systems now being championed by Chesky Records. These systems repurpose two of the channels in DVD-Audio or multi-channel SACD, using the center channel as a left front/side "height" channel, and the LFE channel as a right front/side "height" channel.

The ICBM-1 Features and Functions:

The ICBM-1 is a precision, audiophile grade bass management device developed primarily for use with multi-channel DVD-Audio and SACD players. In order to preserve the quality of the analog signal, the ICBM employs state of the art, low-noise, dual op-amps, metal-film resistors and film capacitors. To enable you to precisely match the crossover points of your specific speaker complement, the ICBM allows you separate crossover points for the front left/right, center, and right surround, left surround and subwoofer channels. These crossover choices are 40 Hz, 60 Hz, 80 Hz, 100 Hz and 120 Hz.

In addition to performing this mandatory function for DVD-Audio or SACD, the ICBM may also substitute for a pre-amp's own bass management circuitry. Bass management is the process of redirecting bass signals to the appropriate place in your system. Whether you have small satellite, bookshelf, or tower speakers your system is not running to its full potential without proper bass management. Small bookshelves and satellite speakers are not designed to play back low bass signals. Redirection of this low frequency energy to a dedicated subwoofer will not only prevent your speakers from being damaged but also allows the signal to be reproduced. Many bookshelf speakers begin to stop producing output between 60 and 100 Hz. Without bass management, signals below these frequencies are lost.

Many enthusiasts with tower speakers run them full bandwidth. While this is certainly safe in most cases, it is not ideal. Most tower speakers are incapable of reproducing a flat frequency response down to 20 cycles, and often times begin to roll off around 40 Hz. In addition to the loss of low bass information, your speakers (and amplifier) are being asked to run at full steam. Freeing up your speakers from these lowest bass signals enables them to reproduce higher frequencies with greater accuracy, and depth, improving overall sound quality and user enjoyment.

The ICBM-1 sets a new standard for bass management flexibility far exceeding the capabilities of today's most advanced pre-amp processors. The ICBM-1 offers separate, user selectable crossover points, sub level control, independent LFE trim control, adjustable slope control, and bass recombine all while remaining acoustically transparent. If that weren't enough, the ICBM is the only bass management device we are aware of that may optionally be configured to drive stereo subwoofers with "hard left" and "hard right" derived bass signals. This is accomplished by summing the bass from the left, left surround and half of the center channel bass signals for the left subwoofer, and the right, right surround and the other half of the center channel bass signals for the right subwoofer.