Audio Control | EPICENTER | Specifications | Audio Control EPICENTER Specifications

Bass Maximizer, Patent #4,698,842
Owners Enjoyment Manual
ongratulations on your acquisition of the finest bass restoration processor
known to the autosound world. Whether this is your first AudioControl
product, or you are already a firm believer, you will definitely enjoy The
Epicenter Concert Series.
Now before we get too far along here, we need to give you a simplistic
explanation of bass and its multitude of applications. Regardless of your age
or musical preference, the addition of low frequency bass to your autosound
system is truly an enjoyable experience. Whether you listen to the kettle drums
of Beethoven’s fifth symphony or you prefer the tones of rap music, bass will
truly enhance the performance of your system. Of course, some people enjoy
more bass than others, and for that reason The Epicenter comes with a dash
mountable control knob which allows you to increase or decrease the level of
the bass restoration effect. No matter what your choice of music, you will
absolutely love The Epicenter.
Now before you start salivating too much just thinking about what The
Epicenter can add to your system, take a few minutes to sit back, have a latté,
decaffeinated if necessary, and read through this manual. It contains lots of
useful facts and information (and besides, we spent a lot of time writing it)!!
Features Of The Epicenter Concert Series
Here are some of the nifty features that are enclosed in your magical box:
• Patented Bass Maximizertm
• Dash mount control
• Bass restoration lighted display
• Parametric bass control
• PFM Subsonic Filter
• Balanced inputs
• Bass Output Control
What all this means is more bass. . . louder bass with speaker protection.
22410 70th Avenue West • Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
Phone 425-775-8461 • Fax 425-778-3166 •
Patented Bass Maximizertm
The Epicenter contains a bass maximization circuit that accurately
recreates and injects low frequency information back into the signal path.
What that means in everyday terms is that The Epicenter will give more bass
impact to your best compact discs or even your old tapes. US Patent
Para-Bass tm
What’s the use of having good bass if you can’t control it? The Epicenter
has a unique equalization circuit that contours the restored bass to your speaker
Dash Mount Control
The Epicenter is designed to be mounted anywhere in the vehicle, with the
exception of the front bumper or radiator. It comes with a dash mountable
control that allows you to enjoy the effects of The Epicenter without having to
leave the drivers seat. The dash mount control also has a dual color LED
indicator that can be rainforest green or sunshine amber. This LED will grow
brighter as you add more bass or dimmer when you decrease it.
Bass Maximizer Indicator
Not only does The Epicenter Concert Series provide magic to your ears, but
it also gives you some visual enjoyment as well. On the chassis of The Epicenter is a backlighted logo that flashes when the bass maximization circuit is
activated. Special effects in your trunk!
PFM Subsonic Filter
This unique feature is legendary with many AudioControl fanatics for its
ability to fine tune the bass response of any system. Why waste power on nasty
subsonic information when your Programmable Frequency Match (PFM) filter
can help you clean things up?
Bass Output Control
The Epicenter circuitry has the ability to produce large amounts of deep,
mind shattering bass without damaging your speakers. The Bass Output
Control circuit allows The Epicenter to maximize the bass output of any
autosound audio system while restraining destructive bursts. Yeh!!
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Five Year Warranty
The most important feature of all. Every
AudioControl product is selflessly designed and
manufactured by the occupants of our
rainforest factory. We take every effort to
ensure that you will have many years of enjoyment out
of The Epicenter. To further ensure the performance of your new
toy, we highly recommend that you allow your authorized AudioControl
dealer to perform the installation. Not only do they have all the right knowledge and tools, but in the unlikely chance The Epicenter should fail, we will
back it with a limited five year parts and labor warranty. Should you choose to
install it yourself, we will still give you a one year parts and labor warranty. To
activate your warranty, you need to FILL OUT AND SEND IN YOUR WARRANTY CARD!
We also recommend that you save your invoice or sales slip as proof of
installation and ownership. Not only is it necessary for warranty purposes, but
should your Epicenter turn up missing some day while you are out watching the
submarine races, you will find insurance companies very unforgiving.
We interrupt your reading of this manual to provide the
impatient people with “Quick Install” information and guidelines:
The AudioControl Epicenter was designed to produce bass
like you have never heard before. With that said it is important
to take the following precautions during its use.
1. If you have an equalizer in your system, turn down
the bass frequencies and use The Epicenter. The results
could be, shall we say. . . interesting.
2. You will want to reduce any bass tone control,
loudness control, or other secondary bass controls prior to
turning on The Epicenter. Once your system is up and running, you may then
opt to use them again, although we doubt it!
3. Good bass response requires an appropriate choice of speakers and
amplification. Since the bass frequencies always require more power and cone
area than higher frequencies...BE PREPARED. Small speakers and lack of
power will be detrimental to your system.
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Quick Install Information
The Epicenter Concert Series needs to be installed in the signal path
between a source and an external amplifier(s). Although it can be installed
after an equalizer, it must be installed BEFORE A CROSSOVER.
Once this is done, you just need to hook up power, ground, trigger, run the
wire to the dash remote and tada!!! Instant bass. If you need to know more,
then read on. Heck if you don’t think you need to know more, you should still
read on, because you can never know too much.
Figure 1: Quick Install
Factory Settings
Para-Bass Frequency
Para-Bass Bandwidth
Bass Output Control
Input Circuit
Ground Isolation
Choice of beverage
PFM subsonic filter
Page #
Range from 30Hz-250Hz
2.5, 7.5, or 10 volts
200 ohm or Ground
25Hz, 30Hz, 35Hz, 40Hz, 45Hz
Optional PFM modules are sold
Note: These configurations can be changed by moving jumpers, turning knobs
or changing modules.
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5 volts
The Outside
Ê Inputs: The inputs of The Epicenter use a balanced input circuit to
help minimize induced noise. They are also designed to handle very high
signal voltages up to 15 volts!!
Ë Outputs: These RCA connectors should be connected to the next
component after The Epicenter, such as a crossover, equalizer, or amplifier.
Just remember, The Epicenter should go inline before a crossover!!
Ì Dash Control Input: This allows you to connect The Epicenter to the
remote “Dash Control” knob. You can mount the knob anywhere you want,
although somewhere in the front of the vehicle is preferable.
Í Power Connector: This nifty little connector allows you to connect the
Power, Ground, and Remote Turn-On signals to The Epicenter. Just connect
all the wires to their appropriate locations in the bright sunlight and then plug
it into The Epicenter mounted in the dark cavern of your trunk.
Î Para-Bass Controls: These 2 knobs control the Para-Bass functions of
The Epicenter. The “Sweep” knob allows you to pick the center frequency that
you want The Epicenter bass restoration circuit to maximize. The “Wide” knob
adjusts how wide of a frequency range The Epicenter will effect. Very cool!!
Ï Power: When you have connected all of your wires correctly you should
congratulate yourself when this light comes on. No light??? Check your wires.
Ð Display: Lights on. Lights off. That’s what happens to this display
when The Epicenter circuit is activated. Even if bass has numbed your ears,
you can still enjoy The Epicenter.
Figure 2: Outside View of The Epicenter
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Figure 3: Inside view of The Epicenter
The Inside
Ñ Input Grounding: For most systems you can leave this jumper set in
the BALANCED position. In some systems, the source unit may look for a
ground through the RCA connectors. In that event, you should go ahead and
change the jumpers to the UNBALANCED position.
Ò Ground Isolation Jumpers: Occasionally alternator whine may
appear in a system because the source unit and amplifier may use different
grounding. To help in this situation, we have provided alternative grounding
connections. Make sure your system is turned OFF before you move these
Ó Bass Output Control Jumpers: Not all systems are designed the
same, Some systems are designed strictly for SPL (sound pressure level) while
others are a little more tame. The Bass Maximizer circuit can either increase
or decrease the signal voltage of the bass restoration circuit. Depending upon
your system, you may opt to change these jumpers to a higher or lower setting
to maximize your bass output and protect your speakers. In most systems the
factory setting will suit you fine. We recommend you try the factory setting
11. PFM Subsonic Filter: The Epicenter Concert Series utilizes a PFM
(Programmable Frequency Match) filter which will help with speaker control
and amplifier power management. To change the PFM frequency, you need to
remove the top of the chassis and change the modules. Your local AudioControl dealer generally carries an assortment of these replacement modules. This
is discussed in detail on page 10.
page 6
Bass Maximization Technology
You may ask yourself, “Why would I need to restore bass?” The truth is
that during the recording process, low frequency information can be “mixed”
down or filtered out. It’s not that recording engineers are out to get you; in fact
they are looking out for your best interests and are concerned that many speaker
systems cannot handle “truly” low bass information.
The patented circuit inside The Epicenter is designed to reproduce the low
frequency information by looking at the upper frequency ranges and detecting
musical harmonics. These harmonics then allow The Epicenter to drop down a
few octaves and reproduce the “missing” bass notes.
The bottom line is that The Epicenter technology gives you deep, body
shuddering, heart stopping bass. Can you handle it??
Figure 4: How The Epicenter Works
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Up to this point everything you have read has served to educate you on the
operations of The Epicenter. We are sure that you are chomping at the bit to
install The Epicenter so we recommend you read the following sections very
Placement & Mounting The Epicenter
Placement: The Epicenter needs to be installed in the signal path as close
to your source unit as possible, but definitely BEFORE any crossover circuit.
Although the Epicenter is close to the source unit’s signal, the chassis is
usually mounted in the rear of the vehicle as close to the amplifiers as possible.
Mounting: Once you have selected a permanent mounting location,
position the unit and mark the appropriate mounting holes with a felt-tip pen or
scratch awl. Before doing anything else, make sure you are not about to drill a
hole in a gas tank or pierce any existing wiring. Nothing ruins your day more
than an expensive repair bill. Drill a small pilot hole and secure the chassis of
The Epicenter with self tapping screws.
Electrical Connections
WARNING: Failure to disconnect the negative terminal of your battery
prior to the installation of The Epicenter Concert Series can result in a
warm tingly feeling.
Remote In: Connect a 22 to 18 gauge wire from the head-unit’s remote
turn-on to the “Remote In” connector on The Epicenter.
Positive(+12V) Connection: Insert an 18 gauge or larger wire into the
connector labeled “Power” on the nifty connector of your Epicenter. Connect it
to a good constant source of 12 volts (we suggest the battery), fused at 1 amp.
Ground Connection: Use the same gauge wire as you did for the “+12v ”
connector and run it from the “Ground” connector on The Epicenter to the
negative terminal of the battery, a ground bus, or a verified ground location.
The factory head unit ground is not a good ground!
When the electrical connections are complete, you may reconnect the
negative terminal to your battery.
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Dash Control Installation
Placement And Mounting
The dash control may be mounted under the dash using its own bracket or
through a custom hole in the dash. It should be within reach of the driver and
in a spot where the LED is plainly visible.
Dash Bracket Installation
The dash control mounts with two screws which attach to the underside of
the dashboard. Slide under the dash and place the dash control in its mounting
position, mark the two mounting holes, drill pilot holes, and secure with
two screws.
Custom Installation
For that custom, finished look, the dash
control can be flush mounted directly
on the dash board (or anywhere else).
We have provided an extra label to help
make this happen. Referencing
Figure 5, disassemble The
Epicenter dash control from
the mounting bracket. Start
Figure 5: Picture of
by pushing the LED from its
dash mount remote
holder followed by removing the circuit board and rotary control from the bracket. Drill a 9/32" hole in
the dashboard for the control along with a 1/8" hole for the lock tab and a 13/
64" hole for the LED holder. Reassemble the dash control components on the
dashboard and apply the new label over the openings.
Dual-Color Dash Control LED
The LED on your dash control is rainforest green and should brighten or
dim when you turn the knob either clockwise or counter clockwise. Should you
wish to change the color to amber, remove the plug connected to the LED and
turn it 180 degrees and plug it back in.
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Adjusting the Para-Bass Controls
The bass response in a system is affected by four factors; (1) the acoustics
of the vehicle, (2) the location of the speakers, (3) the music on the tape, CD, or
source unit, and (4) speakers and speaker enclosures. Because of the variations
in the recording process, we developed The Epicenter to help restore any low
frequencies lost during the recording process, however, the acoustics of various
environments are different. With this in mind our coffee-laden engineers
developed the unique Para-BASStm system.
The “Sweep” control allows you to select a center frequency (the frequency
most affected) between 27 and 63 Hz. The “Width” control then allows you to
control the shape of the filter centered around the “sweep” frequency.
Setting The Bass Output Control
The Epicenter is the most powerful bass component in the history of
autosound. Able to leap tall buildings with a single bound and all that kind of
stuff. With that in mind we have equipped The Epicenter with several different
Bass Output selections. If you should need to change the settings, please use
the chart below for guidance. A word of advice: listen to the factory setting
before changing your Bass Output settings.
Recommended Settings
2.5 Volt
5 Volt
7.5 Volt
10 Volt
Amplifier Input Voltage
3 volts or less
5 volts or less
7.5 volts or less
Oh My Gosh!!!!!!!
Minimum Speaker Size
PFM Subsonic Filter
Many car audio systems truly push the limits of their subwoofer...without
really knowing it. Tuned enclosures affect the roll-off of many speakers, yet
lots of source material forces the speakers to play lower than expected. The net
result is wasted amplifier power and damaged speakers. The AudioControl
PFM (Programmable Frequency Match or Pure F#@&% Magic) filter is a
programmable subsonic filter. It allows you to only let the speaker play as low
as it should be playing. Because every system is different, we allow you to
change the PFM roll-off frequency to whatever you choose.
On most systems, the factory installed module (33Hz) is fine. If you know
the tuning frequency of your speaker enclosure (porting frequency or 3dB down
point), you might try setting your PFM module to that frequency. If you want
to protect your speaker system even more, you might even try a higher frequency. Oftern a higher frequency actually sounds louder and cleaner.
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No Power
If the LED on your dash remote is not on, check the “Power” light on the
chassis of The Epicenter. If the “Power” light is on, you will want to check to
make sure that the cable connecting the remote to the chassis is not pinched or
disconnected. If the “Power” light is off check to make sure that the power
wire and remote turn on wires are connected or a fuse has not blown.
No Restoration
When your system is playing and yet you don’t hear any difference in the
sound, try turning the knob clockwise. If you still don’t hear any affect, then
you need to make sure that you have The Epicenter in the right part of the
signal chain. It must be installed BEFORE any crossovers in the system.
Note: If you are using a source unit with a built in crossover or processor,
you must run a full range output to The Epicenter’s inputs.
Sounds Distorted
Should your system sound distorted or your speakers are moving way too
much, you should decrease the amount of bass restoration by turning the dash
control knob counter-clockwise. You should also raise the PFM frequency or
lower the setting on your Bass Output control.
Still Distorted
Adjust the Para Bass controls by turning the sweep control clockwise to
raise the center frequency. If you still have distortion, you should power down
The Epicenter, remove the cover and change the Bass Output setting to a lower
position (i.e. 2.5 volts).
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The EQL Concert Seriestm
is our award winning dual
bandwidth, trunk mount
equalizer. Thirteen full octave
and 1/2-octave spaced bands
help tame even the most wicked
acoustical environment, your
car. Need a crossover and an
equalizer? The EQX Concert
Seriestm is just the ticket.
The 3XStm is a 4 channel,
2 way crossover with breathtakingly steep 24dB per octave
slopes. If performance is
important to you, then you will appreciate the 3XS.
If more signal voltage is necessary in your system, don’t feel alone. many
customers have added Overdrivetm line drivers and felt like they had new
amplifiers in their systems.
Do you want to make your home
audio system sound just as good as
your car audio system? Good news!!
AudioControl makes a complete line
of signal processors that do the same
amazing things for your home audio
or theatre system. Now that you have
fallen in love with The Epicenter,
guess what, you can get the same
magic in your home by using the
AudioControl Phase Coupled
Activator Series IIItm. It’s awesome!!
And now a word from the legal department...
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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 The Epicenter Concert Series before sending in the warranty card
and comments.
“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
the conditions, we will warrant all materials and workmanship on The Epicenter for one year from the date you bought it (five years if it is installed by an
authorized United States AudioControl dealer). We will fix or replace it, at our
option, during that time.
Here are the conditional conditions:
1. You have to fill out the warranty card and send it to us within 15 days
after purchasing The Epicenter.
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 be in with any major purchase.
3. The Epicenter 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 slip.
4. You cannot let anybody who isn’t: (A) the AudioControl factory; (B)
somebody authorized in writing by AudioControl to service The Epicenter
Concert Series. If anyone other than (A) or (B) messes with The Epicenter
Concert Series, that voids your warranty.
5. The warranty is also void if the serial number is altered or removed, or
if The Epicenter Concert Series 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 Epicenter
Concert Series for a car jack); (B) improper connections (120 volts into the
power jack can fry the poor thing); (C) sadistic things. This is the best mobile
product we know how to build, but if you mount it to the front bumper of your
car, something will go wrong.
6. If an authorized United States AudioControl dealer installs The
Epicenter, the warranty is five years otherwise the warranty is one year.
Assuming you conform to 1 through 6, and it really isn’t all that hard to
do, we get the option of fixing your old unit or replacing it with a new one.
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This is the only warranty given by AudioControl. This warranty gives you
specific legal rights that vary from state to state. Promises of how well The
Epicenter will perform are not implied by this warranty. Other than what we
have covered in this warranty, we have no obligation, express or implied. Also,
we will not be obligated for direct or indirect consequential damage to your
system caused by hooking up The Epicenter.
Failure to send in a properly completed warranty card negates any service
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All specifications are measured at 14.4 VDC (standard automotive voltage). As technology advances, AudioControl reserves the right to continuously
change our specifications, like our weather.
Maximum input level .............................................................................. 15 Vrms
Maximum output level ....................................................................... 13.5 Vpeak
Frequency response ............................................................ 10Hz-100kHz;+/-1dB
Total harmonic distortion ..........................................................................0.003%
Signal to Noise ratio ................................................................................. - 130dB
Balanced input noise rejection .................................................................. > 60dB
Input Impedance ................................................................................... 10 Kohms
Output Impedance ................................................................................ 150 Ohms
Power supply ..................................................................... High headroom PWM
Power draw ................................................................................................ 150mA
Recommended fuse rating .......................................................................... 1 Amp
Size .................................................................................. 8" W x 5.5" D x 1.2" H
Weight ......................................................................................................... 1.7lbs
Country of origin ........................................................................................ U.S.A.
©1998, AudioControl, a division of Electronic Engineering and Manufacturing, Inc. All rights reserved.
AudioControl, Making Good Stereo Sound Better, Performance Match,
Phase Coupled Activator Series III, 3XS, Overdrive, EQL, EQX, and The
Epicenter Concert Series are all trademarks of Electronic Engineering and
Manufacturing, Inc.
This literature was conceived, designed, and written on a bleak, windy,
dreary rain-drenched day at our home in the Pacific Northwest Rainforest. The
wheat beer was cold and so was the weather.
page 15
making good stereo sound better®
22410 70th Avenue West
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
Phone 425-775-8461 • Fax 425-778-3166
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