* Although, we have just indicated (by choosing the NONE setting in the subwoofer set up menu) that there is no subwoofer in the system, we actually will use
• Step 4: Using a special Magnepan-mastered test DVD disk supplied with the CC5 center channel speaker, you will compare the sound of the left channel (left MMC2 plus left DWM), the right channel (right MMC2 plus right DWM), and the center channel (CC% plus both the left and right DWM) as they play pink noise (which will produce a distinctive, “whooshing” sound). Your goal is then to carefully adjust the level settings for the center channel so that its overall sonic signature and output levels closely match what you’re hearing from the front left/right MMC2/DWM pairs.
⇒ Here’s what actually going on. When the left channel plays pink noise, you’ll hear the left MMC2 and the associated left DWM woofer module together produce a certain distinctive sonic signature, and the same is true when the right channel plays. For obvious reasons, the left and right MMC2/DWM pairs should sound essentially identical to one another.
⇒ When the center channel plays, you will hear the CC5 as supported by both the left and right DWM’s as it works to reproduce the very same pink noise signals you’ve just heard played in the left and right channels.
⇒ Important: One key point to bear in mind is that lower frequencies from the center channel are, with the help of your AVR or A/V controller, being redirected over the to left and right channels for bass support, which means that lower frequency material from the center channel will wind up being handled by the left and right DWM modules.
⇒ Your objective is to adjust the level setting for the CC5 (which, remember, is supported by both the left and right DWM modules) so that pink noise from the center channel sounds almost exactly like pink noise does when played through the left and right channels. The closer the match you can achieve, the better.
⇒ Hint: If pink noise as played through the center channel sounds too light and airy (because there is too much midrange and treble content relative to the output from the DWM woofers), try turning the CC5 level settings down. Alternatively, if pink noise through the center sounds too dark (because there is too much bass content relative to the output from the CC5), try turning the CC5 levels up.
⇒ Using the supplied Magnepan center channel setup disk, keep making trial and error adjustments until you’re satisfied that you’ve achieved a best-case match between the front three channels.
• Step 5: Installing a supplementary subwoofer for very low-frequency bass support. Run a pair of interconnect-cables from the front left and right-channel preamp outputs of your AVR or A/V controller to the left/right line-level inputs of your powered subwoofer.
Important note: Through this approach, you will send full-range input signals to the sub. Importantly, those full-range input signals already incorporate combined low frequency information from all of the system’s channels (that is, from the front left/right, center, and surround left/right channels). Then, we will use the subwoofer’s own crossover control to filter out all but the very lowest bass frequencies, which are the only frequencies we want the sub to reproduce.
⇒ Set the crossover control on the subwoofer at about 40 Hz (though it’s OK to experiment with slightly higher or lower crossover frequencies if you wish).
⇒ Starting with the sub’s volume control turned all the way down, listen to music with low bass content (pipe organs, concert bass drums, etc.) while very slowly turning the subwoofer levels up.
⇒ Your objective is to dial-in the subwoofer to add just a subtle and appropriate touch of very low frequency reinforcement (40 Hz and below) to flesh out the extreme bottom end of the system’s sound.
⇒ Hint: the subwoofer’s contributions should affect very low frequencies only (frequencies felt almost more than they are heard), and should be extremely subtle—so that not even a critical listener could say for sure whether a subwoofer is being used or not. If you reach a point where the sub’s contribution becomes obvious, you’ve gone too far. Back off the subwoofer’s volume level and try again.
⇒ Hint: the outcome we’re seeking is for very low bass reinforcement to appear only when it is needed, and even then to do so without ever overtly drawing attention to the subwoofer.