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Questions About The Outlaw ICBM

(Last updated 2010)_The Outlaw ICBM is now discontinued

Q. Just what exactly is the ICBM?

A. The ICBM is Outlaw's Integrated Control Bass Manager, designed to provide comprehensive bass management for multi-channel consumer and professional audio applications.

Q. Why do I need an ICBM?

A. The motivation for developing the ICBM came from a discussion among the Outlaws about the need to provide a means of using DVD-Audio or SACD players with surround processors or audio/video receivers that include "six channel direct" inputs. By way of background, both of the high-resolution audio formats are currently restricted to analog outputs due to issues relating to copy control and content protection between the consumer electronics industry and the music labels. Until a secure means of transporting digital signals between the players and receivers is developed and agreed by all concerned it looks as though we'll be stuck with analog connections from these sources. That would be fine, but the problem is that very few of the current DVD-A or SACD players have bass management on their analog outputs for the high resolution signals, and very few processors or receivers offer any sort of bass management on their multi-channel, analog-direct inputs. It's one of those classic finger-pointing exercises where each side looks to the other for the answer they do not supply. Thus, if you have small, bass-impaired front, center and surround satellite speakers and a subwoofer, there is no way to direct the low frequency signals to the proper speaker, and at a crossover point that matches the components in your system. Enter the ICBM: It is a high-precision analog bass management system specifically designed to provide the bass redirection needed for use in home theater systems and recording studio applications. You may select a different crossover point for each speaker position, and there are a number of other comprehensive bass management options available. With the ICBM, you are now able to precisely tailor the sound of your total system with the flexibility not previously possible.

Q. How do I install an ICBM?

A. Depending on your system requirements and the specific components you are using, the ICBM is typically installed in one of two ways:

In most cases the ICBM is installed between the analog outputs of a DVD-A or SACD player and the multichannel "direct" inputs on a processor or A/V Receiver. This provides bass management for the audio player only, while the digital bass management in the processor or receiver takes care of all other sources.
Some listeners will have complex systems that work best with more comprehensive bass management that most processors or receivers provide. In those cases, the ICBM is installed between the preamp outputs of the processor or receiver and the inputs on a separate audio power amplifier. In cases where a receiver provides both "preamp out" and "main amp in" jacks for ALL channels, the ICBM is inserted between those connections. Note, however, that while many current receivers feature preamp outputs, only a few models at the high end offer a full complement of amplifier input jacks. Please check to make certain that your receiver is compatible with this type of installation when you do not use an external power amplifier with a receiver. Note that when using this type of installation, the processor or receiver's bass management settings should all be configured for "large" so that a full range signal is passed though to the ICBM.

Q. Can you provide any other technical information on the ICBM and how to use and install it?

A. Bass management is a complex subject, and to address it in full requires a comprehensive document. Rather than do that here, we strongly recommend that anyone interested in the ICBM download the owner's manual from the ICBM section of our website. The manual was written by a well-known audio expert and contains both comprehensive installation instructions and a tutorial on bass management concepts. We strongly suggest that you download the manual and read it before ordering an ICBM.

Q. What was the ICBM's price?

A. The price for an ICBM was $249.

Q. Can I audition the ICBM?

A. Yes, the ICBM is covered by our standard 30-day Satisfaction Guarantee, but please keep in mind that if you order it with interconnect cables, the cables are not returnable. If you wish to return the ICBM we will accept the return, but you will be billed for the standard pricing on the interconnect cables.

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