Home Theater
maestro m9
Home Theater Surround Sound Preamplifier
User Experience Manual
Making Good Sound Great™
22410 70th Avenue West • Seattle, WA 98043 USA
Phone 425-775-8461 • Fax 425-778-3166
©2017. All Rights Reserved
Important Safety Instructions
Important Safety
Read these instructions. 2.
Keep these instructions.
Heed all warnings.
Follow all instructions.
Do not use this apparatus near water.
Clean only with a dry cloth.
Do not block any ventilation openings. Install in
accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Do not install near any heat sources such as radiators,
heat registers, stoves, or other apparatus (including
amplifiers) that produce heat.
Protect the power cord from being walked on or pinched
particularly at plugs, convenience receptacles, and the
point where they exit from the apparatus.
Caution: to reduce the risk of electric shock, do not remove
the top cover. There are no user-serviceable parts inside. Refer
servicing to qualified personnel.
Only use attachments/accessories specified by the
Unplug this apparatus during lightning storms or when
unused for long periods of time.
This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the
limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to part 15 of the FCC
Refer all servicing to qualified service personnel. Servicing
is required when the apparatus has been damaged in any
way, such as power-supply cord or plug is damaged, liquid
has been spilled or objects have fallen into the apparatus,
the apparatus has been exposed to rain or moisture, does
not operate normally, or has been dropped.
This apparatus shall not be exposed to dripping or
splashing, and no object filled with liquids, such as vases
or glasses, shall be placed on the apparatus.
The remote control is powered by two AAA batteries.
Only use new, identical batteries.
Ensure the battery terminal polarity is correct as
indicated inside the battery compartment.
Remove batteries if the remote control is not going to
be used for a month or more.
Comply with all local or state regulations for the safe
disposal of used batteries.
Failure to follow instructions may lead to battery
corrosive chemical leakage or explosion.
Do not let your pet dog use the remote as a chew toy.
Tie the remote to a large gold-painted brick to prevent
accidental loss.
The lightning flash with arrowhead symbol within
an equilateral triangle is intended to alert the
user to the presence of uninsulated “dangerous
voltage” within the product’s enclosure, that may
be of sufficient magnitude to constitute a risk of electric
shock to persons.
The exclamation point within an equilateral
triangle is intended to alert the user of
the presence of important operating and
maintenance (servicing) instructions in the
literature accompanying the appliance.
These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection
against harmful interference in a residential installation.
This equipment generates, uses, and can radiate radio
frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance
with the instructions, may cause harmful interference to
radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that
interference will not occur in a particular installation.
If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or
television reception, which can be determined by turning the
equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct
the interference by one or more of the following measures:
• Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.
• Increase the separation between the equipment and the
• Connect the equipment into an outlet on a circuit different
from that to which the receiver is connected.
• Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician
for help.
CAUTION: Changes or modifications to this device not
expressly approved by AudioControl Inc. could void the user’s
authority to operate the equipment under FCC rules.
Recycling notice: If the time comes and this
apparatus has fulfilled its destiny, do not throw it
out into the trash. It has to be carefully recycled
for the good of mankind, by a facility specially
equipped for the safe recycling of electronic
apparatii. Please contact your local or state
recycling leaders for assistance in locating a suitable nearby
recycling facility. Or, contact us and we might be able to repair
it for you.
AudioControl® is a registered
trademark of AudioControl Inc.
Dolby Volume
Manufactured under license from Dolby Laboratories. Dolby and the double-D symbol are
trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.
Dolby Atmos, Dolby Audio
Manufactured under license from Dolby Laboratories. Dolby, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Audio and
the double-D symbol are trademarks of Dolby
DTS-HD Master Audio™
For DTS patents, see http://patents.dts.com.
Manufactured under license from DTS Licensing
Limited. DTS, the Symbol, & DTS together in
combination with the Symbol are trademarks of
DTS, Inc. DTS and DTS-HD Master Audio are
registered trademarks of DTS, Inc © DTS, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
For DTS patents, see http://patents.dts.com.
Manufactured under license from DTS Licensing Limited. DTS, DTS-HD, the Symbol, &
DTS and the Symbol together are registered
trademarks of DTS, Inc. © DTS, Inc. All Rights
For DTS patents, see http://patents.dts.com.
Manufactured under license from DTS Licensing
Limited. DTS the Symbol, DTS in combination
with the symbol, DTS:X and the DTS:X logo
are registered trademarks or trademarks of DTS,
Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.
© DTS, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
aacPlus is a trademark of Coding Technologies. See www.codingtechnologies.com for more
HDMI, the HDMI logo and High-Definition
Multimedia Interface are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC..
This product is protected by certain intellectual
property rights of NEMS and BridgeCo. Use or distribution of such technology outside of this product
is prohibited without a license from NEMS and
BridgeCo or an authorized subsidiary.
Layer-3 audio decoding technology licensed from
Fraunhofer IIS and Thomson multimedia.
FLAC Decoder Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002,
2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Josh Coalson
Redistribution and use in source and binary forms,
with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
- Redistributions of source code must retain the
above copyright notice, this list of conditions and
the following disclaimer.
- Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the
above copyright notice, this list of conditions and
the following disclaimer in the documentation and/
or other materials provided with the distribution.
- Neither the name of the Xiph.org Foundation
nor the names of its contributors may be used to
endorse or promote products derived from this
software without specific prior written permission.
Here’s to my mum, for all the nice cups of tea.
All third-party trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners,
and are hereby acknowledged.
Table of Contents
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Key Features and Highlights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
A Guided Tour of the Maestro M9
Front Panel Features. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Rear Panel Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Typical Connections. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Remote Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Set-Up and Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Unit Placement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Speaker Considerations and Placement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Height Speakers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Power Wiring. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
Audio Connections. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Video Connections. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Navigating The Set-Up Menus
Initial Display Configurations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Input Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
General Setup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Speaker Types. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Speaker Distance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Speaker Levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Video Inputs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
HDMI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Surround Modes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Zone Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Network Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Playing Audio Files Via Network Audio and USB Sources . . . . . . . 32
Automation Integration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Dirac . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Troubleshooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Warranty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Specifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Appendix 1: Feet Removal Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Greetings from the rainforest
On behalf of everyone at AudioControl we want to congratulate you on
your selection of the Maestro M9 Home Theater Surround Sound Preamplifier. Whether this is your first venture into home theater or you are a long
time seasoned audio veteran, you will truly enjoy the performance of our
amazing sounding preamplifier.
While there are many components involved in creating a truly awesome
home theater from room design, speaker placement, and ultimately system
calibration, selecting the proper products is always very critical. For that
reason AudioControl created the Maestro M9 to provide maximum enjoyment and flexibility which all contribute to a truly awesome home theater
AudioControl’s passion for high quality, meticulous attention to detail and
professional sound heritage shows itself in the dozens of awards we have
won for our designs, products and service. This manual is designed to help
you get the most from your Maestro M9 Home Theater Surround Sound
Preamplifier. Even though you’re dying to plug it in and start pushing buttons, please read through this user guide and learn about the Maestro M9.
Any component that does as much as the Maestro M9, deserves all the
explanation it can get. Given the complicated nature of the Maestro M9, we
also recommend you visit our website for updates to this manual. Continued
technology changes/improvements will require more information.
(www.audiocontrol.com - click “Home Theater”)
Enjoy the experience.
Your Friends At AudioControl
Key Features and Highlights
Key Features of the Maestro M9
While the AudioControl Maestro M9 is equipped with a large number of
features and functions that were designed to maximize your theater experience, we want to draw your attention to a few that deserve extra attention.
These will be the features you will want to mention to your friends, family
and coworkers to impress them when they ask you about the home theater
components you have auditioned.
UltraHD 4k Scaling and Pass Thru
Your Maestro M9 is equipped to deliver stunning UHD resolution –
3840x2160 – 4 times the pixel density of a 1080p signal from any source.
Just set the resolution to 4k in the Video Settings menu and connect to a
4k UltraHD display, then sit back and enjoy!
HDMI Inputs and Outputs
The Maestro M9 is equipped with individual analog and digital audio
inputs, and a large number of HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) inputs. The new generation HDMI inputs will allow the Maestro M9
to interface with Blu-Ray players, satellite and cable decoding boxes plus
traditional DVD players that have HDMI connectors. HDMI is an uncompressed all-digital interface standard used on many home theater products.
This format can be used for sending audio, video, and control signals over
short distances.
The dual HDMI outputs are assignable to allow for priority switching via
the display device. Zone 2 has its own HDMI output that can be configured
independently of the main room.
Height Outputs
The Maestro M9 is equipped with Height 1 and Height 2 preamplifier
outputs for use with ceiling-mounted or ceiling reflection speakers, offering
a complete “dome of sound” around the listener during playback of Dolby
Atmos or DTS:X encoded source material. The Height outputs can also be
activated when Dolby Atmos and DTS:X encoding is not available, by using Dolby Surround or DTS Neural:X.
Dolby™ Volume
A constant annoyance for home theater users has been the significant
differences in volume levels as you switch between channels or sources on
your televisions and in your home entertainment systems. Variances in volume levels in DVD and Blu-ray Disc™, digital music files, compact discs,
and broadcast entertainment programming each compound the problem,
forcing you to reach for the remote controls to adjust. Dolby Volume lets
Key Features and Highlights
you select a preferred listening level and enjoy all of your entertainment
sources at the same volume level. For complete information on Dolby Volume,
go to www.dolby.com/us/en/consumer/technology/hometheater/dolby-volume.html
Multiple Surround Sound Formats
The Maestro M9 supports the latest surround codecs of Dolby True HD,
Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS:X, DTS-HD Master Audio, along
with traditional formats of Dolby Digital 5.0 and DTS High Resolution. A
powerful 32-bit DSP processor enables the Maestro M9 to decode all current discrete surround digital formats available for 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1. In addition, your Maestro M9 has the capabilities to process two channel signals
using Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X to provide multi-channel output.
Dirac Loudspeaker Setup and Room Equalization
The Maestro M9 comes with an external USB sound card and microphone. These are used with an external computer on the same network, to
measure the sound output of the system, and automatically calculate the
speaker settings and also apply the optimized EQ settings to the Maestro
Audio Return Channel
Connect the HDMI 1 output to an HDMI 1.4 display device’s ARC (Audio Return Channel) enabled input, to receive the audio signals from the
sources connected directly to the display. In the list of available inputs,
choose the one called “Display” to select the ARC source.
Multi-Zone Operations
Since we know your audio and experiences may extend beyond one room,
the Maestro M9 is equipped with preamplifier outputs for a secondary zone.
This means you could be enjoying your home theater in one room and
another member of the family could be listening to their favorite CD in
another room. The second zone is also equipped with an HDMI output so
you can expand your video options even more.
Inputs For Networked Audio and USB Sources
The Maestro M9 is designed to operate with most of today’s traditional
source units, like CD and DVD players. Additionally it can receive audio signals over a computer network via its Ethernet input or from a USB
source. You will want to contact a professional audio integrator for more
information on properly using these functions.
Key Features and Highlights
Extensive Automation Integration
An automation system is what really pulls most high-end home theaters
together. It puts the full power of the system at your fingertips. While
the Maestro M9 will operate with a number of IR remote controls, it
is equipped with a rear panel RS-232 port and an extensive command
library to control all aspects of the Maestro M9. Using this port requires
a fair amount of programming and automation skills which are typically
best done by professional custom installations companies. Check out the
AudioControl dealer locator on our web site for more info: www.audiocontrol.com
Award-Winning Quality
The Maestro M9, like all AudioControl Perfection Theater components,
is backed with a comprehensive five-year parts and labor warranty. This
comes from a company that has been designing and manufacturing performance audio components in the USA since 1977.
We Want to Hear From You
Before you get too entrenched in the features of your Maestro M9, we
encourage you to take a moment and visit the AudioControl web site at
www.audiocontrolregistration.com and register your new Maestro M9. It
allows us to keep a record of your purchase of the Maestro M9. Needless to
say when you are in the pleasure business like we are, we love to hear from
our customers, so feel free to include some comments. You will also want
to keep your own record of the serial number and put your sales receipt or
invoice in a safe place. This is very important in the unlikely event that
the Maestro M9 needs to be serviced or for proof of ownership if somebody
takes a fancy to your theater system in the middle of the night. Insurance
companies have no imagination when it comes to components like the
Maestro M9 being part of the theater system. This concludes the “gentle
reminder” section of this manual.
Guided Tour of the Maestro M9
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Front Panel Features
1. MENU - Press this button to access the
Set-Up Menu functions on the on-screen
display (OSD).
2. INPUT (+ and – ) - These allow you to select a source for playback, or to scroll through
the OSD when using the menus.
3. SELECT - Used in conjunction with the Setup Menu function, this button allows you to
enter selections you have made.
4. INFO - Select the information that appears
on the display of the unit; it is also used in
navigating the OSD.
3.5 mm stereo output jack is used for connecting a nice pair of headphones.
6. AUX INPUT - This handy 3.5 mm input accepts line-level stereo analog signals from an
external source such as an MP3 player. The
AUX input can then be selected with the
remote control.
7. DISPLAY - This cool blue display allows you
to see the basic functions of your Maestro
M9. It is important that you have an external
display device connected to one of the rear
video connectors for complete viewing of all
OSD menus during set-up.
8. MUTE - Need to listen to the Mrs., but still
keep an eye on the big game on TV? Just
press the Mute button to turn off the sound.
Press it again and the audio will return to an
in-depth analysis of the last play.
9. MODE - Select between stereo and the
available surround modes. This button is also
used for navigating through the OSD.
10. DIRECT - When using stereo analog inputs,
this button defeats all digital signal processing
and directs the analog input from the selected
source to the front speakers. Use this when
you want to do some serious-quality stereo
11. DISPLAY - Press to change the display
12. ZONE - Select between the Main Zone and
Zone 2.
13. VOLUME - This nicely polished knob lets
you adjust the volume in the selected zone. It
adjusts the line-level outputs, and the headphone output.
14. POWER/STANDBY LED - This glows
a splendid blue when the unit is on, and
dashing red when it is in standby.
Guided Tour of the Maestro M9
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Rear Panel Features
General Note: The shaded areas on the rear panel
represent output connections, such as analog
audio outputs (balanced and unbalanced),
HDMI outputs, and 12V trigger outputs.
1. MAIN POWER SWITCH - The only time
to turn OFF the Maestro M9 with this switch
is when the system will not be used for some
time, or if there is the possibility of thunder
and lighting, high winds, or frequent power
outages. Normally this switch is left on.
When this switch is turned off, there is no
power to the unit, and it cannot be turned on
with the remote or any other method.
is designed to operate with either 110-120V
or 220-240V line voltages.
WARNING: Before the unit is turned on,
make sure that this switch is set to your local
AC power voltage.
power flows in here.
Caution: Do not block any of the ventilation
slots. There should always be plenty of good
ventilation to cool the unit.
4 analog stereo input RCA pairs, each labeled
with the name of a typical source unit. Connect these to the line-level analog outputs of
your source units.
5. ANALOG AUDIO BD and CD INPUTS The BD and CD inputs each have a balanced
XLR input pair, and an unbalanced RCA
input pair. Connect these to the line-level
balanced or unbalanced analog outputs of
your source units. Balanced connections offer
improved rejection of noise and interference.
4 coaxial and 2 optical digital audio inputs,
each labeled with the name of a typical
source unit. Connect these to the digital
outputs of your source units.
7. ETHERNET CONNECTION Your Maestro M9 can be connected and controlled through a computer network via this
CAT5 Ethernet connection. The OSD on
screen display allows you to set up the unit’s
network parameters.
Guided Tour of the Maestro M9
8. USB CONNECTION Your Maestro M9 has the ability to accept
and play audio files from a USB drive. The
USB connection can also be used to update
the unit’s firmware from a downloaded file
saved on a USB drive.
9. FM CONNECTION - This antenna input
should be connected to the supplied FM antenna. For improved reception, you may want
to consider a roof-mounted external antenna.
10. RS232 CONTROL PORT - Use this connection to control your Maestro M9 with an
automation system.
two outputs provide a +12 Volt trigger signal
to control the turn-on of power amplifiers,
source units, video projector, screens and
curtains in the home theater. (The external
equipment should have corresponding 12
Volt trigger inputs for this to work.) The Z-1
12V output is active whenever the Maestro
M9 is turned on; the Z2 12V output is active
whenever Zone 2 is on.
12. IR (INFRARED) INPUTS -These jacks enable the use of external IR sensors for installations where it is not desirable (or practical)
to use the front panel IR sensor. Z1 is used to
connect to an external IR sensor in the main
room, and Z2 can connect to an external IR
sensor in Zone 2.
13. HDMI INPUTS - These inputs allow the
Maestro M9 to accept digital audio and
video signals from source units equipped with
HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) outputs. Make sure your HDMI cables
are properly inserted into these connectors
and that there no sharp “pulls” on the cable
that may prevent your connectors from making a complete connection.
14. HDMI OUTPUT - The three HDMI outputs
connect to the HDMI inputs of your TV displays for zone2, your main home theater, and
an alternate display. Zone 2 output enables
viewing and listening to a source independently of the main home theater system.
15. UNBALANCED AUDIO OUTPUTS These line-level unbalanced RCA outputs
for left, center, right, surrounds, and surround
backs, can feed external power amplifier to
power the speakers in your system. The sub
1 and sub 2 outputs connect to the line-level
inputs of powered subwoofers. Alternatively,
you can use the XLR balanced outputs if your
power amplifiers have XLR balanced inputs.
ZONE 2 AUDIO OUTPUTS - These linelevel L/R outputs can feed an external stereo
power amplifier to power speakers in Zone 2.
line-level RCA outputs can feed external
power amplifier(s) to power Dolby Atmos
and DTS:X speakers to enhance your home
theater experience.
line-level balanced XLR outputs for left, center, right, surrounds, surround backs, and subwoofer can feed external power amplifier(s)
to power the speakers in your system. The
subwoofer output connects to the line-level
input of a powered subwoofer.
Balanced connections offer better rejection
of noise and interference, and are a better
choice if your power amplifiers have balanced
The surround back balanced outputs can be
used to feed external power amplifier(s) to
power zone 2 speakers, surround back speakers, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X speakers, or to
biamp the front speakers. The OSD on screen
display allows you to select which speakers
are being used.
For example, if you do not have surround
back speakers, then you can use these balanced outputs to feed the inputs of external
power amplifiers to power your zone 2 and
height speakers, or to biamp the front speakers instead.
Typical Connections to the Maestro M9
Using a Savoy G3 Power Amplifier (balanced connections)
In this example, balanced XLR connections are made to the balanced inputs of an
AudioControl SAVOY G3 7-channel Power Amplifier and a powered subwoofer, to
unleash vast quantities of audio pleasantness in your system.
If your main power amplifier does not have balanced inputs, you can use the Maestro
M9’s unbalanced RCA outputs for front, center, surround, surround back, and subs.
Typical Connections to the Maestro M9
Using a Savoy G3 Power Amplifier (unbalanced connections)
In this example, a second SAVOY G3 is used to power two pairs of Height speakers and
a pair of Zone 2 speakers. The unbalanced outputs of the Maestro M9 connect to the
unbalanced inputs of the SAVOY G3, and a second powered subwoofer.
Alternatively, if you do not need so many channels, you could use the AudioControl
Pantages G3 5-channel Power Amplifier.
Height Height
Control of Your Maestro M9
Remote Control
The remote control is an eight device “universal” IR remote controller
with back-lit buttons. You can set up the remote for full control of your
AudioControl Maestro M9 plus various AV sources and displays via the
extensive library of device codes found on our web site. The remote is also
a “learning remote” which means that you can capture the codes of your
existing remotes if you find that the library does not contain the codes for
your device.
Because the remote can control your Maestro M9 as well as many other
AV sources and displays, many of the buttons have more than one function, depending on which device/source or mode you are using the remote
in. We will ease into the complexities of the remote’s multi-function modes
after a quick description of the basic features below.
Please note: Device code library, instructions on programming the remote
and more control and automation documents are available on our website
at: http://www.audiocontrol.com/support/
Control of Your Maestro M9
Remote Features:
Multifunction Remote - It can control up to 8 source devices! It automatically configures to the mode of control of the source selected by the source
Multifunction Remote
Learning - The remote can be configured to control each of your source
devices by pressing the number “1” button and one of the 8 source buttons
at the same time, and then entering the 3-number control code for your
source, such as the CD player, or VCR.
LED indicator - This top red LED will blink when a key is pressed. It will
also blink multiple times when a device code is input for programming or
signal the beginning and end of a programmed sequence.
Back-lit Keys - The keys are back-lit to make it easy for you control your
devices in a dimly lit room.
LED Indicator
Low Voltage Indicator - The red LED will flash 5 times after a normal key
press to tell you that new batteries are needed.
Other useful items:
Time Out - After entering into the programming state of the remote, 30
seconds after the last button is pressed, the remote returns to normal operation.
Stuck Key Timeout - If the remote has slipped into the cushions of your
couch and a button is pushed in for more than 30 seconds, the remote will
stop sending IR information to conserve the battery. It will resume normal
operation after the button has been released.
General Functions:
The Device or Source keys allow you to switch between your various inputs
on the Maestro M9. After pressing the device key, the remote actually
changes it’s configuration - it now is the source’s remote control. So if
you have programmed the STB with the learned codes from an Apple TV
remote – after pressing the AV button, the remote buttons will automatically configure to the Apple remote key-map as programmed. The volume
control remains locked to the Maestro M9 “AMP” mode however. This is
so that anytime you press these keys, you are controlling the Volume or
Mute state of the Maestro M9 regardless of the device you are controller
(BluRay or your Cable box for instance).
Control of Your Maestro M9
Buttons/Functions in the Amp Device Mode:
Pressing the AMP button puts the remote into the correct mode for controlling the functions of the Maestro M9. This allows you to access the
menus, adjust bass/treble, turn Room EQ on or off, cycle through decode
modes etc...
Please note: Not all buttons have a function in AMP mode.
Single press - toggles your Maestro M9 on, or back to standby.
Access the main system menu
for your Maestro M9.
Press and hold - Forces both
Zones to Standby.
Turns Dolby Volume on or off.
These number keys are used to
enter numeric values.
Cycle through the info
displayed on the front panel
display, when on Tuner, NET or
USB inputs.
Adjust the synchronization of
the video and audio. Use the
left and right arrow buttons to
make the adjustment.
In USB or NET radio, use these
as track controls: select next
track, previous track, stop, play,
Brings up the DTS:X dialog
control adjustment
Allows for navigation on any
menu in the Maestro M9. This
includes navigating audio files
when using the USB input, and
the NET input.
Turns the Dirac Live EQ on
or off.
Temporary subwoofer trim. Use
the left and right arrows to adjust the subwoofer volume. The
settings are not remembered
when the unit is turned off.
Returns to the top level (home)
menu when using the network
Turns Mute on or off.
Cycle through the available
surround modes.
Adjusts the front panel display
Returns remote to Maestro M9
(AMP) control mode.
Stereo Direct mode toggle button. This turns off any processing on your analog input source
so that there is a direct path
from the input to the amp.
Control of Your Maestro M9
Increase volume
Decrease volume
These affect the unit volume
only, no matter which mode the
remote is in
Red and Green are used with
NET radio to add or delete a
favorite station. These buttons
have different functions when
the remote is not in AMP
Select TUNER input and
changes remote to control the
tuner interface.
Select AUX input.
Select Network/Ethernet
source and changes remote to
network control.
Select USB input source
and changes remote to USB
Select the AV Input and
changes remote to AV control.
Select Satellite input and
changes remote to satellite
receiver control.
Select PVR (personal video
hard disk recorder) and changes remote to PVR control.
Select Game input changes
remote to game control.
Select BluRay input and
changes remote to BluRay/
DVD control.
Select CD input changes
remote to CD control.
Select STB (Set Top Box –
cable box usually) as input and
change remote to STB control
Select VCR input and changes
remote to VCR control
Set-Up and Configuration
Set-up and Configuration
Unit Placement
The Maestro M9 can be placed almost anywhere in your audio equipment
stack. It is good practice to ensure that the equipment location is properly
ventilated and to make certain not to block the ventilation slots on this
or any other component. We recommend placing it so there is at least one
foot of free space above, to the sides, and to the rear. Avoid placing the
Maestro M9 directly over large power amplifiers or any other component
that generates a lot of heat. Unless they are made by AudioControl, some
amplifiers can get pretty hot and have big power transformers that can
induce hum into other audio components like the Maestro M9.
Front LCR (Left, Center, Right) Speakers
To present the most realistic sound stage, all three of the front speakers must be tonally balanced. Ideally, these speakers should be identical
models. This ensures that the sound doesn’t change as it pans across the
screen. Place the speakers at the seated ear level. Whenever possible,
the three front speakers should also be placed at the same horizontal
level for best imaging.
Side Surround Speakers
The surround speakers provide the reverberant, or ambient, sound effects
in a multi-channel theater audio system. These speakers should be placed
on the sidewalls approximately 36” above the seated ear height of the listeners. If you are using surround speakers, which have a dipole sound pattern, they should be mounted in-line with the main seating position. If the
surrounds are direct radiator, they should be just behind the main listening
Rear (Back) Surround Speakers
Some software provides extra channels that are used in 7.1 mode systems
to provide extra depth in the sound field. Place these speakers approximately 36” above the seated ear height of the listeners. Additionally, they
should be mounted close together on the rear wall of the theater facing the
The subwoofer is a large speaker that provides the bottom end “kick” in
the system. Depending on the size of your listening space, you may require
more than one subwoofer to get the bass volume levels that you desire.
Make certain you remember to include the size of all spaces that are open
to the theater in determining how many subwoofers you need.
Set-Up and Configuration
Height Speakers
Height 1 L
Height 2 L
Height 1 L
Height 1 R
Height 2 R
Height 1 R
The Maestro M9 allows up to four extra speakers to be used for Dolby
Atmos or DTS:X systems. One or two pairs of speakers (known as Height 1
and Height 2) can be used to create a soundfield above the listening position, allowing you to be surrounded in an amazing “dome of sound.”
Dedicated speakers for this application can be mounted in the ceiling, or pointed at the ceiling to give a reflected field. We recommend
that you research information directly from Dolby Laboratories
and DTS about these wonderful systems. The Height 1 and Height
2 line-level outputs are used to feed external amplifiers to power
your passive speakers. If you are not using the surround back balanced
outputs, these can be used to feed a power amplifier powering the Height 1
If you are using just one pair of speakers, connect them as Height 1, and
locate them approximately half way between the listening position
and the display, either ceiling-installed, or reflecting off the ceiling.
If you are using Height 1 and Height 2 speakers, then the Height
1 pair would be located a little forward of the display screen, and
Height 2 pair would be just in front of your listening position.
This is just an overview, so do your research carefully and talk with
your dealer.
Connection Tips
Even if you’re an electronics veteran, this part may seem repetitive, but
some things can never be repeated too many times.
•Turn off all components before making or undoing any connections.
•When making connections, make sure that “left goes to left” and “right
goes to right.” The obvious and time-honored way to assure this is to assign
RED plugs to Right and WHITE/GREY/BLACK plugs to the left. Yellow is
usually used for video cables or digital audio connections.
•Wherever possible, keep power cords away from signal cables (i.e., inputs
from disk players, VCRs, etc.) to prevent induced hum. Bundle all power
cords down one side of your equipment cabinet and all the signal cables
down the other.
•Use high quality interconnect cables. We’re not going to get into the debate about whether $100 per meter interconnects improve the sound and
picture quality of your system. We do know from experience however that
really, REALLY cheap connections can cause problems.
•Don’t stand in a bucket of water when working with electricity. This not
a good day to wash the dog, or have a water balloon fight.
Set-Up and Configuration
Power Wiring
Like many of today’s intelligent home electronics, the Maestro M9 should
be plugged into an unswitched AC outlet so that it always has power. This
allows the RS-232 and remote control features to work even when the
Maestro M9 is in standby. We always recommend the use of a high quality
surge protection device to keep all of your electronics safe from the evils of
spikes on power systems.
Audio Connections
The Maestro M9 has 6 line-level analog audio stereo input RCA pairs,
labeled STB, AV, GAME, BD, PVR, and CD. The input circuits are all
identical, so you can connect any line-level analog audio source to any of
these inputs. The CD and BD connections also have balanced XLR inputs.
Use these if your source components have balanced outputs.
There are 4 coaxial digital audio inputs, labeled SAT, BD, PVR, and CD,
and 2 optical digital audio inputs, labeled STB and AV.
There are seven HDMI inputs, each capable of receiving digital audio and
video from your sources. But some sources may not offer quality (or any)
digital audio through the HDMI connection. In these cases, you can also
connect the digital audio in addition to HDMI. This will provide the digital
audio signal necessary for high-quality digital surround sound.
Don’t worry if your satellite receiver has a coaxial digital output and the
Maestro M9 SAT input is optical. Refer to the input configuration section
on page 22 for more information regarding assigning a digital input to the
optical or coaxial connection.
Video Connections
The Maestro M9 is equipped with seven discrete HDMI inputs labeled
STB/MHL, GAME, AV, SAT, BD, VCR, and PVR. There are two
assignable HDMI outputs and one Zone 2 HDMI output that is
independent of the main room HDMI outputs. All the HDMI outputs are
assignable to various display devices, the signals on both will be the same.
Main Output - Connect this to the primary display device located in your
main theater - such as a projector or other primary display device.
Alt Output - Connect this to your secondary display device.
Zone 2 - Connect this to your display and system used in the second zone.
Set-Up and Configuration
ARC (Audio Return Channel)
Connect the main HDMI output to an HDMI 1.4 display device ARC-enabled input to receive the audio signals from the sources connected directly
to the display. The ARC source selection on your Maestro M9 is labeled
Display. From the Display Input Menu in the Maestro M9, set CEC Control
to On for your chosen output and enable the ARC Control to receive the
audio from the display. (Note: the DISPLAY button on the front panel and
DISP on the remote control are for the Maestro M9 display brightness and
not the DISPLAY input selection.)
IR (Infra-red) Remote Control Connections
The Maestro M9 has two rear-panel Infrared (IR) inputs to allow for maximum control flexibility with standard IR remote controls. This allows you
to place an external infrared receiver where it can “see” the signal from the
remote control when the main equipment may be hidden. The IR connections are designed for “modulated” signals and wired for stereo or mono
3.5 mm jacks with “Tip” being the modulated signal and “Sleeve” being
Zone 1 IR - This is ideal to use when the front panel of the Maestro M9 is
hidden away in some dark closet or equipment rack. To prevent the possibility of receiving multiple commands, when you connect an IR receiver to
this Z1 IR input, it will disable the front panel IR receiver.
Zone 2 IR - Allows for control of source and volume functions of Zone 2.
12V Trigger Connections
The Maestro M9 has two rear-panel 12 Volt trigger outputs that can be
used to remotely trigger such things as external power amplifier turn-on,
projector power on, and screen automation. Each external device must have
12 Volt triggering capability for this to work. The jacks are designed for
3.5 mm mono connectors with “Tip” being the 12 Volt trigger output and
“Sleeve” being ground. Each jack is capable of outputting a 12 Volt, 70 mA
switching signal. This not to be used for any other purpose such as jump
starting the old car on a frosty morning.
Navigating the Set-Up Menus
Setup Menus
This section of the manual discusses how to navigate the set-up menus of
your Maestro M9 home theater preamplifier. As you have probably determined by now, if you have the read the rest of this manual, the Maestro M9
is an incredibly flexible and sophisticated processor that you can literally
“personalize” for use with your performance theater system. While the
set-up menus incorporate a number of default settings that we determined
will work well with many theater systems, you will want to take the time to
go through each of these set-up screens and make the appropriate adjustments to the settings. Once you have made the changes, you will not have
to change these again unless you make equipment or usage settings to your
To get started and view these set-up menus it is very important that you
connect one of the HDMI outputs of your Maestro M9 to your video display device (i.e. projector, flat panel, TV). This is absolutely necessary to
see the set-up menus.
Initial Display Configurations
Scroll Bars - These indicate the position of the displayed screen within longer
menus. There are more options and information to see.
Menu Panel - The left-hand panel
lists the setup screens available for
adjustment. The selected menu is
highlighted with a dark blue band.
Help Screen - The lower
right-hand panel gives a
short help text for the feature being adjusted.
Adjustment Panel - The upper right-hand panel
lists the parameters you can change as a user. The
selected line is highlighted. Lines that cannot be
selected are greyed-out.
Navigating the Set-Up Menus
Navigating the Set-Up Menus is a very simple process that can be done
using the appropriate front panel controls on your Maestro M9 or by using
the remote control.
1. Press the Menu button once to enter the Setup Menus. The word
“Menu” will appear on the display of your Maestro M9 and the actual
menu will appear on your display device.
2.Use the Input selection button “Input ∧” and “Input ∨” to navigate
among the menus and use the “< Info” and “Mode >” buttons to select the
appropriate menu screen.
3.Press the “SELECT” button or “OK” to select the menu options.
4.Press the Menu button anytime to exit the Menu screens, and any setting
changes will be saved automatically.
Navigating the Set-Up Menus
Input Configuration
Each input on your Maestro M9 has individual audio and video settings
that can be adjusted specifically for its use.
INPUT - Identifies the currently selected source whose settings are displayed below.
NAME - Specific name/label for this input that will show on display device and OSD. The name can be changed, and this is very useful when
more than one source unit do similar functions (for example, two Satellite
receivers could be named SAT1 and SAT2).
LIP SYNC - Many video processors and line multipliers cause a slight delay between the sound and the video picture. Highly compressed video signals such as MPEG encoded satellite receivers and some DVD’s also suffer
from this problem. The Lip Sync setting delays the audio a small amount to
allow the video image to catch up.
MODE - Sets the initial audio decode mode for stereo sources on this input. Last Mode recalls the last used mode for stereo sources.
EXT. MODE - Sets the initial audio decode mode for multi-channel digital
sources on this input.
BASS and TREBLE - Changes the bass and treble response for all speakers when using this input. Very useful when you have a source unit that
has reduced frequency response due to the format (i.e. older VCR’s)
ROOM EQ - The Dirac system in the Maestro M9 measures the major
frequency resonances that occur due to room acoustics and speaker locations and creates specific equalization filters to offset this. The Room EQ
menu allows you to select whether to engage the Room Equalization filter
for each source. Options are “Not Calculated”, “Project Name” or “OFF”
with the default being “Off”. Project name is the name of the project file
from the Dirac application.
INPUT TRIM - Selects the maximum analog signal for this input before
clipping. This setting should match the audio output of your source units
with the available settings being 1, 2, and 4 Volts RMS and the default being 2 Volts. Source units with low output levels can benefit from being set
to higher output settings such as 1 or 2V.
DOLBY VOLUME - Selects whether Dolby Volume is engaged for this
input with the options being “On” or “Off” (the default). Dolby Volume
corrects for volume inconsistencies and improves audio frequency response
at lower levels. This feature is not available when using the Multi-channel
audio or “Direct” modes. For more information go to www.dolby.com
Navigating the Set-Up Menus
DOLBY LEVELLER - The setting options are “0” (minimum) to “10”
(maximum) with the default being “2”. This Dolby Volume feature allows matching of quiet and loud sources of source unit inputs regardless of
recording levels of content being played by a particular source unit.
DV CALIB OFFSET - Dolby Volume provides a Calibration Offset parameter that compensates for speaker efficiencies and listening positions. If
you set the Speaker Levels on the Maestro M9 properly using an SPL meter
(like the AudioControl SA-4100i) then you can leave this setting at 0.
STEREO MODE - If you are using an external subwoofer, and are listening to stereo (two channel) sources, either digital or analog, you can select
to configure how the subwoofer receives it’s bass information. Note: The
“Stereo Mode” option is not available when using an analog source and you
have selected the “Stereo Direct” mode.
As Speaker Types - Your normal speaker configuration (as selected in
the “Spkr Types” menu) determines your subwoofer output.
Left/Right - Full frequency audio will be sent to your front left and
right speakers with no information going to the subwoofer.
Left/Right+Sub - Full frequency audio will be sent to your front left
and right speakers plus bass information is directed to your subwoofer
effectively duplicating the lower frequencies
Sat+Sub - Full frequency audio signals are sent to your front left and
right speakers with the bass information being directed to only your
subwoofer. Your front speakers will only reproduce the upper frequencies.
SUB STEREO - If you have selected the “Left/Right+Sub” or “Sat+Sub”
setting in the “Stereo Mode” menu, then this setting adjusts the level of
the subwoofer when you are using a two-channel source.
AUDIO SOURCE - Allows you to select how the Maestro M9 receives
audio signals for this source. Settings options are “HDMI”, “Digital”, or
Navigating the Setup Menus
General Setup
These menu screens display general information and system controls. (Information Only)
Source Input: Displays the currently active audio source input.
Incoming Format: Displays format of digital audio stream if present,
Incoming Sample Rate: Displays incoming sample rate of digital audio
stream, if present.
Incoming Bitrate: Displays bit rate of digital audio stream, if present.
Dialnorm: When a Dolby Digital audio stream is connected to this input
this is the Dialogue Normalization setting requested.
Video Input: The audio and video inputs on the Maestro M9 generally
follow the source selected. This setting allows you to temporarily override
and change the video settings so you can utilize a different video source.
Setting resets itself when source is change.
Incoming Resolution: Displays the incoming video resolution.
Audio Compression: Compressing the dynamic bandwidth of the audio
can be a good thing, especially for those late night action-movie festivals.
Compression increases the volume of quiet sections and reduces the volume of the louder sounds. These 3 options for this setting only apply to
some Dolby Digital or DTS soundtracks. As part of the general set up,
this setting applies to all inputs with digital audio streams that support this
function and is recalled each time the unit is powered up.
Off: Audio compression is not applied (default)
Medium: For loud segments of the audio stream, compression is applied to reduce the level. Dolby True HD content will be compressed
High: Maximum compression is applied with this setting. The differences
High: between quiet passages and loud portions of the audio track are
High: minimized
Balance: Adjusts the left/right balance of the front outputs.
Dolby Center Spread
These setting apply to Dolby Surround mode decoding of two-channel
sources. The “spread” determines how strongly the Dolby Surround decoder creates the center channel image. Normally this signal is fed only
to the center channel speaker output, but if there is no center speaker, a
phantom center channel is created using the front left and right channels.
The adjustment varies the spread of the center image.
Digital Output Frequency - Sets the sampling frequency of the audio
Analogue-to-Digital converter.
Navigating the Setup Menus
Maximum Volume - Limits the highest volume that will play in the main
zone. This is useful if you have speakers, amplifiers, or neighbors, with limited power handling abilities.
Max On Volume - This is the highest volume that the unit will play when
it is first switched on. This prevents the unit from being turned on at shock
volume levels from the last time you were watching a good movie.
Display On Time - This sets the amount of time the display is lit after a
command has been initiated.
CEC Control (Output 1 only) - Enables the HDMI CEC control for
HDMI output 1 only. CEC set to enabled is required if ARC is desired in
the system configuration. Options are: Off, or Output 1
ARC Control (Output 1 only)- Enables the HDMI Audio Return Channel. When enabled and the display is properly configured, Audio will be
returned to the Maestro M9 via the Display input. ARC Control depends
on the CEC Control to be enabled as well.
HDMI Audio to TV - Enables the HDMI audio from the unit to be sent
to the TV for listening through the TV speakers.
Control - The front panel and IR control are always active. This control
setting defines the 3rd option for controlling your unit. You may select
between RS-232 or IP control if you have an automated control system.
Default setting is IP.
Power On - This setting defines the state of your Maestro M9 once the
Mains Power switch has been turned off or if there was a power outage
where power turns off and then back on again. You have 3 options in this
Last State - where the unit returns to the last On or Standby state before power was lost or the Main power switch was turned to off
Standby - where the unit comes up to Standby once power has returned
On - where the unit turns on completely once power has been restored
Standby Mode - This setting defines the standby mode.
Low Power - The unit’s power consumption in standby is at minimum.
IP and HDMI ON - Allows IP control and HDMI bypass during standby (but more power consumption in standby).
Language - The OSD menu language can be selected from English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Russian, and Chinese.
Navigating the Setup Menus
Speaker Types
This series of menus allows you to select the types of speakers that you will
be using in your system. Please note that if you set all speakers to small
then you must indicate in the menus below that a subwoofer is present in
the system.
“Large” speaker is one that is capable of reproducing a full range (2020 kHz) audio signal. Use this setting when not using a subwoofer.
“Small” speaker is one that is not designed to reproduce deep bass
frequencies and is generally used with a subwoofer (i.e. Satellite
speakers typically can’t play below 80 Hz).
“Height 1, 2” selects the speaker types used for Dolby Atmos and
“None” If you do not have a speaker connected to an output (i.e. No
Subwoofer or Back Speakers) then set that speaker size to “None”.
“Subwoofer” Selects whether a subwoofer is present in your system.
Crossover Frequency - This controls the frequency at which bass is redirected from speaker channels set to “Small” and sent to the Subwoofer
outputs. This frequency is adjustable from 40 Hz to 150 Hz.
Dolby Speaker Crossover - If the Height speakers are set to small, this is
the frequency below which the bass information is redirected to the subwoofer.
Using Channels 6 + 7 for - If your main speaker system has no Surround
Back speakers, you can use these unused balanced outputs to feed power
amplifiers for Height 1 speakers, Zone 2 speakers, or to biamp the front left
and right speakers.
Speaker Distances
The Speaker Distance settings help the sound from each speaker
arrive at the listening seat at the same time. This provides a
much more believable and immersive sound environment. Accurately measure the distance from the center of each speaker to
the seated ear position of the main listening seat. Write each of
these distances down (select Imperial or Metric) and enter them
into the Maestro M9 using this menu. Speakers not present (as
you entered in the Speaker Types menu) will be greyed out. If
the Dirac application has been used, the speaker distances can
still be entered and edited in this menu.
Navigating the Setup Menus
Speaker Levels
It is critical to properly match the levels from each speaker to achieve a
correct sound stage. The realism is totally lost if the footprints of a person walking across the screen change in volume as they move from left to
center to right. We strongly recommend using a test analyzer such as our
SA-4100i for this calibration. The levels are nearly impossible to judge by
ear alone. Though not as accurate as using the SA-4100i, you can use a
sound level meter for this adjustment.
With the internal test noise generator of the Maestro M9, adjust each
speaker for a sound pressure level (SPL) of 75 dB using a “slow” response
time on the SPL meter, placed at the main listening position at ear height.
Video Inputs
If desired, you can assign a video source to each of the normal “audio only”
inputs. The default for each of these settings is “None.” This is a great
way to listen to the ball game over the Internet Radio and watch it over
your normal video display device, though timing might be a little off.
HDMI Settings
The Maestro M9 is not only a great sounding home theater processor but
it is also a very powerful video processor. To that extent it has a number
of video settings that need to be selected carefully to optimize your video
HDMI 1 OSD : This selects the pop-up text messages to be On or
When On, any adjustments made on the unit will be shown on your
display screen, as well as on the unit’s front panel display.
When Off, any adjustments will only be shown in the unit’s front
panel display. This leaves your screen clear from interruption. However, the main setup screen will always be shown.
HDMI Output 1080p: Selects the output resolution for the HDMI
outputs when it is receiving a 1080p input. Select from bypass, or
upscale to 4k2k.
Lipsync (Information Only): When this feature is supported by the
display device, this setting displays how much lip sync is applied to
HDMI Outputs.
Navigating the Set-Up Menus
Surround Modes
For more detailed
information on the
various Dolby and DTS
surround formats you
can visit www.dolby.com
or www.dts.com.
This screen allows you to select the specific decode and downmix options
that will be available to the listener in Stereo and Multi-channel applications. The options for each format are “Yes” or “No” and are accessible by
touching the “Mode” button on the front panel of your Maestro M9.
Stereo sources: The following formats are available when using media
that contains either digital or analog stereo signals (Dolby 2.0, digital PCM
stereo, DTS 2.0 etc.)
Dolby Surround
DTS Neural:X
5/7ch Stereo
Multi-channel sources: The following formats are available for any multichannel digital sources such as any Dolby or DTS multi-channel digital
Stereo Downmix
Dolby Surround
DTS Neural:X
Zone Settings
This menu allows you select the audio and video control and volume settings for Zone 2.
Zone 2 Input - Selects the analog audio and video to be used for
Zone 2.
Zone 2 Status - Selects if Zone 2 is in Standby or On.
Zone 2 Volume - Displays current volume level in Zone 2.
Zone 2 Maximum Volume - Selects the maximum volume setting
for Zone 2.
Zone 2 Fixed Volume - Allows the Zone 2 volume to be fixed at the
current volume level. Then the volume can be controlled with an
external amplifier.
Zone 2 Max On Volume - Selects the maximum volume level for
Zone 2 when the Maestro M9 is powered on or comes out of stand-by
Navigating the Set-Up Menus
Network Settings
Your Maestro M9 has the ability of playing Internet radio stations as well as
music stored on a network storage device like a PC or USB flash drive.
The Dirac room correction system requires the Maestro M9 to be connected to your network.
Typically the computer network may use DHCP to automatically make the
necessary network settings although the Maestro M9 can also be configured manually when using a static IP address.
USE DHCP Use this setting if your network uses DHCP for assigning an IP address.
IP Address - When not using DHCP, use this setting to assign a
unique IP address to your Maestro M9.
Subnet Mask - When not using DHCP, use this setting to assign the
subnet mask to your Maestro M9.
Gateway - When not using DHCP, use this setting to enter the IP address of the router connected to your Maestro M9.
Primary DNS - When not using DHCP, use this setting to enter the
Primary DNS IP address of your Internet service provider.
Alternate DNS - When not using DHCP, use this setting to enter the
Secondary DNS IP address of your Internet service provider.
MAC Address (Information Only) - Displays the unique network
card address of your Maestro M9.
Playing Audio Files via Network Audio or USB
Playing Audio Files via Network Audio or USB
The network audio client on the Maestro M9 is capable of supporting the
following file formats:
- MP3
- WMA (Windows Media Audio)
- FLAC (Free Lossless Audio CODEC)
- MPEG-4 AAC (iTunes with DRM10 support)
Network devices must also be running a universal plug and play (uPnP)
service such as Windows Media Player. This feature is standard with Windows 7 or it can be downloaded free of charge from www.microsoft.com.
While each device may operate differently, here are some basic commands
to follow:
1) With the Maestro M9 in “Standby”, make all of the Ethernet network
and/or USB connections and then take the unit out of “Standby”.
2) Using the front panel source selection controls, select Network Audio
“NET” as a source. A “Home Page” page will appear on your display device
and show all available storage devices.
3) Navigate through these using the arrow keys on the front panel of your
Maestro M9 or using the remote control. Folders displaying a musical note
symbol ( e) have playable files in them.
4) Select the file/track you wish to play and press OK on the remote.
Pressing the remote’s Pause button will pause the track. Pressing the stop
button will stop playback.
Playing Audio Files via Network Audio or USB
Internet Radio Stations
Once you have established an Internet connection for your Maestro M9,
you can manually enter the URL of any Internet radio station. You can
use the vTuner service to easily browse through Internet radio stations. You
will want to go to www.audiocontrolradio.com to set up this service for use in
your system.
Review the “Network” set-up menu of your Maestro M9 and locate the
unique MAC (Media Access Controller) address of your unit, as it will be
required to setup up your service. Once activated you can visit various stations and podcasts and then set up groups of favorite stations. These will
show up as favorites on your display device when you next connect to the
Automation Integration
Maestro M9 Automation Integration
Automation Integration
Part of the joy of a great home theater is that you don’t have a tray of
remote controls staring at you whenever you want to watch a movie. Hidden away behind the scenes is a workhorse that takes care of the mundane
tasks of turning on all the components, lowering the curtains, dimming
the lights, popping the corn, etc. This faithful servant can take the form of
a simple learning remote control, or a system as capable as a whole house
automation system with touch screens. There are a wide variety of theater
controllers available.
There are 2 methods of controlling the Maestro M9, other than through
the IR remote and the Front Panel. You may choose either RS-232 or IP
control via the General Settings menu. Both methods use the same command structure format as defined in the automation documentation found
on our website. The Maestro M9 command set also takes advantage of the
extensive discrete IR command library with the IR simulation command.
This adds a great deal of flexibility to system design, general functionality
and personal customization. It is possible to use both hand held remotes
and control panels in the same installation depending on your needs.
IP Control
Obtain the IP address from the Maestro M9’s Network menu. Setting the
IP address of the unit to static is good practice. When setting to a static
address, always include the DNS and subnet info otherwise your Internet
Radio will not likely work. Communication occurs on port 50,000 in the
automation system. You will need to confirm that control is set to IP – this
is set at the bottom of the General Settings menu.
Please Note:
Automation documentation, modules and other
control docs are available
from the product pages
on our website:
Automation Integration
RS-232 Serial Control
You must set the external RS-232 control system serial port of your control
system to match the data communication speed and format of the Maestro
M9. If these settings are incorrect, the Maestro M9 will not respond to the
Maestro M9 communication parameters:
Baud Rate:
Start Bit:
Data Bits:
Stop Bit:
Flow Control:
Cable Wiring
The cable wiring to connect the Maestro M9 to your control system will
depend on the RS-232 output connection on the controller. Make certain
that you wire the Transmit Data output on the serial controller to the
Receive Data on the Maestro M9 and vice versa on the Receive Data line
on the controller system. Connect the signal grounds on the control system
and the Maestro M9 together. The RS-232 connection on the Maestro M9
is a DB-9 Male connector, labeled Control and is wired as follows:
Pin 2 Receive Data (RXD)
Pin 3 Transmit Date (TXD)
Pin 5 Ground
To connect the Maestro M9 to a standard PC serial com port; wire the
cable in a ‘null modem’ arrangement using the appropriate serial cable.
Automation Integration
Command Structure - Issuing
The RS-232 serial control structure of the Maestro M9 is a string of hexadecimal values with a minimum of six bytes. When issuing a command,
the structure of the string is as follows: Start Transmission, Zone Number,
Command Code, Data Length, Data and End Transmission. We will use an
abbreviated form for easy reference in the following format:
ParameterCommand Description
Begins transmission to Maestro M9
Zone Number 0x01
Zone 1
Zone 2
Command Code See code list The code of the
Data Length 0x01, 0x02 etc… Number of data parameters to follow
See code index
The parameters for the command
End transmission
As an example:
To change the Maestro M9 video source (only video, not audio) in Zone 1
to SAT:
0x21 0x01 0x0A 0x01 0x01 0x0D
To change the source (both audio and video), the command is the 0x08 –
IR simulation command. See page 36 for more info.
Automation Integration
Command Structure - Receiving
Command processing begins when the first 0x0D (carriage return) is received. The Maestro M9 will respond, either by making the change specified with a status update answer code or by replying with an error answer
code, within 3 seconds. More commands, however, may be sent before the
Maestro M9 responds to the first command. When a command is received,
the Maestro M9 echoes the command back in the following format:
0x21Begins transmission to Maestro M9
Zone Number 0x01Zone 1
0x02Zone 2
Command Code See code list The code of
the command
Answer Code 0x00 0x82 0x83 0x84
0x85 0x86 Data Length 0x01, 0x02 etc…
No problems – status updated
Incorrect Zone
Incorrect Command
Incorrect Parameter
Invalid Command in current state
Data length is
Number of data units to follow
See code list
The parameters for the
response, limited to 255
0x0D End transmission
As an example:
Answer code for source change in Zone 1 to DVD: 0x21 0x01 0x0A 0x00
0x01 0x00 0x0D
Automation Integration
Simulating the RC-5 IR command via RS-232
A key feature in the Maestro M9 is the ability to simulate RC5 format IR
commands via serial commands. The IR simulation command will contain
7 bytes as there will be 2 <Data> bytes for the RC-5 command. The
actual command <CC> is 0x08 with the 2 <Data> bytes being the IR
command values. The 2 data bytes are the system code then the command
code, both these codes are in decimal format. Depending on your software
or remote control device, a conversion of these codes to the appropriate
format may be needed.
Changes in state from different inputs
While the Maestro M9 is controlled by a serial command, its state may
be changed by other inputs such as the front panel or through IR. Such
changes in state will yield a response with an answer code from the Maestro
M9. In order to determine the command code, you may use the response
to get the code for the desired function if you can’t find the listing for it in
the table below.
Serial and IR Code Tables
Please head on over to our web site, www.audiocontrol.com , to get the serial/IP protocol doc. You can find a complete listing of the automation protocol – commands, cheats, rich detail that makes most eyes glaze over – at
the product pages. You can also find control modules/drivers/profiles on the
products pages as well. Alternatively, if you can’t sleep, and are unfamiliar
with hex, read the doc – it’ll put you right to sleep.
Dirac speaker setup system
The Maestro M9 has an automatic speaker setup system called Dirac, from Dirac Research. The supplied external USB sound card and microphone are used with your computer on the same network, to measure the sound output of the system. Dirac automatically calculates the speaker settings of all the speakers in the system, and will also apply
the optimized EQ settings to the main room.
From the measurements, Dirac computes the speaker type, distance, and level, and identifies any problems that can be corrected or reduced by room EQ settings.
The procedure for running all this wonderful technology, is as follows:
1. Download the Dirac software application from our website: www.audiocontrol.com
and save it on the computer (PC or Mac) that you will be using for this system.
2. Make sure that your Maestro M9 is correctly connected to a network.
3. Locate the computer in your main home theater room, and connect it to the same
network as the Maestro M9. It should also have internet access while running the
test. For a PC, “Network Discovery” should be on.
4. Connect the supplied USB sound card to a spare USB port on your computer.
5. Connect the supplied microphone to the USB sound card’s microphone input port.
6. Position the microphone so it is close to the normal/usual position of your head
when you are sitting in your home theater. You can use a camera tripod to position
it (there is a threaded screw hole underneath for this purpose). The microphone
can be pointing straight upwards, and in a position where it has a direct line of
sight view of all speakers.
7. Start by setting your subwoofer’s output level controls to approximately match the
front speakers.
8. Run the Dirac application on your computer. It will find your Maestro M9 on the
network. A calibration test tone will run through all speakers in your system a
number of times as the different speaker wotsits are calculated. If some speakers
are not used, there will be a silence when these are reached.
9. Check the software application for the progress and information. The software will
“ping” its home planet Dirac during this process, to initiate the waiting invasion
fleet, and so internet access is required.
The room EQ is not automatically applied to the source inputs; you can enable this using the Input Configuration display menu of the unit. Listen to the different sources and
source material, and judge if the room EQ settings give an improvement.
During the measurements, try your best to create as quiet an environment as possible.
This is not the time for little Timmy’s circus animal birthday party.
While EQ settings can be beneficial, there is no substitute for getting things right in the
first place, with regard to speaker placement, speaker type, and room treatments to avoid
reflections etc.
Troubleshooting Common Problems
There are no lights on the Maestro M9
ü Pressing any button or the Standby button on the front panel should wake
the Maestro M9.
ü Verify that the power cord is plugged into a live AC outlet.
ü Verify that the rear panel Power switch on the Maestro M9 is “On”.
The main front panel display is blank
ü Press the Display button. This button controls the display brightness and
also allows you to turn the display off entirely.
The main zone changes while selecting sources from Zone 2
ü Change the Zone 1 Control option in the Zone 2 Configuration Menu to
No video/picture
ü Verify your video display or projector is turned on and set to the correct
input for the Maestro M9. Press the Menu button on the Maestro M9 and look for
the Main Menu to show on the video display.
ü Verify the correct input on the video display is selected for the output of the
ü Verify the Video Input assignment configurations. Make certain that the
correct video input is assigned to the source you are playing.
No Video on Zone 2
ü Verify the HDMI input from the source is connected.
There is no On-Screen Display (OSD)
ü Verify the OSD is turned on in the Maestro M9 configuration settings.
ü Verify that the correct input is selected on the video display or projector.
The audio doesn’t match the video
ü The Video and Audio input can be selected independently in the
Main Menu. Verify they are set the same.
ü Verify the correct Video Input and Digital Audio input assignments
are configured for the Source input button.
The sound is poor or distorted
ü Verify the speaker settings configuration matches your speakers. If
a speaker is set to Large and it cannot reproduce full range bass, you will
hear distortion.
ü If the trouble is only on some channels: Verify the audio RCA cables
to the power amplifiers are working and seated properly.
ü If the trouble is in all channels: Verify the Input Trim setting in the
Advanced Configurations is not set too low.
Cannot select Dolby Digital or DTS decoding mode
ü The Maestro M9 can only decode formats encoded onto the source.
Normally these are marked on the packaging or liner notes of the material.
ü Verify that the correct format is selected in the Start menu of the
ü Verify that the digital input from the source is properly connected to
the Maestro M9.
ü Verify that the digital output of the source is enabled. Some DVD
players have a setup menu that can only be accessed if there is no disk in
the player.
Hum on analog inputs
ü Verify that all the two channel analog audio cables are connected
ü If the hum only occurs on one source, try a different set of connecting cables.
ü If the hum occurs on a source with an external connection such as an
antenna or cable TV, try disconnecting that input. If the hum disappears,
put a ground isolator on that connection.
ü It does not know the words.
No audio on Zone 2
ü Zone 2 is muted when unit is first turned on.
ü make sure you are using a source with analog outputs
No Zone 2 audio when playing a DTS encoded video
ü Most DVD players cannot output a stereo analog version of the soundtrack while playing a DTS encoded disk. If you want to watch the
movie in the second zone, select the Dolby Digital soundtrack on the disk.
Unable to adjust the Bass and Treble controls
ü The Bass and Treble tone controls are defeated.
My stick keeps coming back
ü It’s a boomerang.
…and now a word from the legal department...
People are scared of warranties. Lots of fine print. Months of waiting around. Well,
fear no more. This warranty is designed to make you rave about us to your friends. It’s a
warranty that looks out for you and helps you resist the temptation to have your friend,
who’s “good with electronics”, try to repair your AudioControl product. So go ahead,
read this warranty, then take a few days to enjoy your new Maestro M9 home theater
system before logging onto the our web site at www.audiocontrol.com to register your
Our warranty has conditional conditions! “Conditional” doesn’t mean anything ominous. The Federal Trade Commission tells all manufacturers to use the term to indicate
that certain conditions have to be met before they’ll honor the warranty. If you meet all
of these conditions, we will warrant all materials and workmanship on the Maestro M9
for five (5) years from the date you bought it, and we will fix or replace it, at our option,
during that time. Here are the conditional conditions:
1. You need to register your purchases of the Maestro M9 with us by going to the
AudioControl product registration page at www.audiocontrol.com/product-registration.
2. You must keep your sales receipt for proof of purchase showing when and from
whom the unit was bought. We’re not the only ones who require this, so it’s a
good habit to get into with any major purchase.
3. The Maestro M9 must have originally been purchased from an authorized
AudioControl dealer. You do not have to be the original owner, but you do need a
copy of the original sales receipt or invoice.
4. You cannot let anybody who isn’t: (A) the AudioControl factory; (B) somebody
authorized in writing by AudioControl to service the Maestro M9. If anyone
other than (A) or (B) messes with the Maestro M9, that voids your warranty.
5. The warranty is also void if the serial number is altered or removed, or if the
Maestro M9 has been used improperly. Now that sounds like a big loophole, but
here is all we mean by it:
Unwarranted abuse is: (A) physical damage (don’t use the Maestro M9 to level your
projection TV); (B) improper connections (120 volts into the RCA jacks can fry the
poor thing); (C) sadistic things. This is the best product we know how to build, but if
you strap it to the front bumper of your Range Rover, something will break.
Assuming you conform to 1 through 5 (and it really isn’t all that hard to do) we get the
option of fixing your original unit or replacing it with a new one.
This is the only warranty given by AudioControl. This warranty gives you
specific legal rights, and you may also have rights that vary from state to
state. Promises of how well the unit will work are not implied by this warranty. Other than what we’ve said we’ll do in this warranty, we have no
obligation, express or implied. We make no warranty of merchantability or
fitness for any particular purpose. Also neither we nor anyone else who has
been involved in the development or manufacture of the unit will have any
liability of any incidental, consequential, special or punitive damages, including but not limited to any lost profits or damage to other parts of your
system by hooking up to the unit (whether the claim is one for breach of
warranty, negligence of other tort, or any other kind of claim). Some states
do not allow limitations of consequential damages. Failure to register your
product negates any service claims. The warranty included with the unit
shall supersede this plain-text version if there is any inconsistency between
the two.
Please contact AudioControl, either by e-mail or phone. We will verify if
there is anything wrong in the system that you can correct yourself, or if it
needs to be sent back to our factory for repair. Please include the following
items when returning the unit:
1.A copy of your proof of purchase. No originals please. We cannot guarantee returning them to you.
2.Supply a really detailed description of the problem.
3.A return street address (no PO Boxes, please), and a daytime phone
number in case our technicians have a question about the problem.
4.Package the unit in the original packaging if you still have it, and use
great care and plenty of good packing materials to protect the unit and prevent it from moving about inside the box. Do not use loose materials like
packing peanuts or real peanuts.
You are responsible for the freight charges to us, but we’ll pay the return
freight back as long as the unit is under warranty. We match whatever
shipping method you use to send it to us, so if you return the unit overnight
freight, we send it back overnight. We recommend United Parcel Service
(UPS) for most shipments.
Repair service is available at:
Attn: Service Department
22410 70th Avenue West,
Mountlake Terrace,
WA 98043 USA
Phone 425-775-8461
FAX 425-778-3166
email: sound.great@audiocontrol.com
Maestro M9 Home Theater Preamplifier Specifications
Analog Audio Inputs (Unbalanced) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Stereo Pairs
Analog Audio Inputs (balanced). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Stereo Pairs
Nominal Audio Input sensitivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1V-4V
Input Impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 kOhm
Signal to Noise Ratio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 dB
Digital Audio Inputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Video inputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 HDMI
Total Harmonic Distortion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -100 dB
Frequency Response . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Preamp Audio Outputs (Balanced) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Main Channels, 1 Subwoofer
Preamp Audio Outputs (Unbalanced) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 7 Main Channels, 2 Subwoofer, 4 Height,
2 Zone 2
Main Video Outputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dual (2) HDMI, Zone 2
Second Zone Output . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . 1 HDMI, Stereo analog audio
12 Volt Trigger Outputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Main Zone, Zone 2
RS-232 Serial control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 DB-9
IR Receiver Inputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Main Zone, Zone 2
IP Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iOS App
Power Consumption (Stand By) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Less than .5 Watts
Power Consumption (typical usage) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Watts
Dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17”W x 16.5”D x 7”H
Weight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 lbs
All specifications are subject to change.
Appendix 1: Feet Removal Procedure
Note: If this was your real appendix, please consult your health care professional as it should not look like this.
The feet of the unit can be removed to create a cleaner look when fitting
the unit into a rack.
You must make sure that the ventilation slots in the bottom panel are not
covered and that cooling air flow is not restricted.
Tools Required
• A medium-sized flat-bladed screwdriver, 1/4" wide or narrower.
• Needle-nosed pliers
The Procedure
1. Make sure that the power cord and all other cords are disconnected
from the unit.
2. Carefully place the unit upside-down on a flat surface, such as the
kitchen table with a clean and dry towel on it.
3. Remove the adhesive non-slip grips from the bottom of each foot.
4. Identify the four locking tabs securing the foot to the chassis. The
photo of a removed foot shows the details of the locking tabs.
5. Use the small flat-bladed screwdriver to gently pry the four locking
tabs outward to release the foot from the chassis. Use the needlenose pliers to pull upward at the same time, with (to get all technical
for a moment) a bit of a jiggle-joggle motion.
6. Repeat for all 4 feet. Place all the feet in your sock drawer in case
you wish to reinstall them in the future.
Making Good Sound Great™
22410 70th Avenue West • Seattle, WA 98043 USA
Phone 425-775-8461 • Fax 425-778-3166
P/N 913-141-0 Rev D
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