642SB_manual
High Performance C.O.R.E. Technology
THX Select Certified Powered Subwoofer
Instruction Manual
Model 642 SB
Safety Precautions
Model 642 SB Powered Subwoofer
Safety Precautions
CAUTION: To reduce the risk of electric shock, do not remove the
cover (or back). No user serviceable parts inside. Refer to qualified personnel.
WARNING: To reduce the risk of fire or electric shock, do not expose
this appliance to rain or moisture. This device generates a fair amount of
heat. Make sure nothing blocks the ventilation openings on the top and
bottom of the unit.
The lightning flash with arrowhead, 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 electrical shock to persons.
The exclamation point within an equilateral triangle is
intended to alert the user to the presence of important
operating maintenance (servicing) instructions in the
literature accompanying the appliance.
Table of Contents
3
3
4
5
6
6
6
6
Model 642 SB
What's THX?
Subwoofer Rear Panel
Features
Connecting Your Subwoofer
Subwoofer Line Out to Low Level In
Using the Low Level Output
Power Connection
7
8
9
9
Low Level Connections with One Subout/LFE Output
Low Level Connections with Two Subout/LFE Outputs
Placement and Operation
System Setup
9
9
10
10
10
10
Subwoofer Tuning Without an SPL Meter or Test Tones
How Much is Enough?
Dual Subwoofer Placement
Using the Subwoofer LowPass Control
The Phase Invert Control
A Word About Bass, Center Channel Modes
and System Set Up
10 Care of Your Subwoofer
11 Subwoofer Troubleshooting Guide
11 Model 642 SB Specifications
For Future Reference
Record your speaker and amplifier serial numbers and date of
purchase here:
Model Number
Serial Number
Date of Purchase
The serial number is found on the back panel.
Copyright © 2003 Atlantic Technology International.
Specifications are those in effect at the time of printing. Atlantic Technology reserves the
right to change specifications or designs at any time without notice. THX and THX Ultra 2
are registered trademarks of Lucasfilm, Ltd. Dolby Digital, AC-3, Dolby Stereo and Dolby
Pro Logic are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation.
Instruction Manual
Model 642 SB
High Performance C.O.R.E. Technology
THX Select Certified Powered Subwoofer
Congratulations on your purchase of an Atlantic Technology 642 SB
powered subwoofer. A well designed subwoofer, properly integrated
into your system, will enhance your listening pleasure dramatically by
providing the bass foundation upon which most music and special
effects are built.
The 642 SB is capable of delivering very high output levels and wide
dynamic range. When properly placed, it will provide smooth in-room
bass response down to approximately 25Hz, with a peak SPL of over
105dB (2000 cubic foot space).
The proprietary high-efficiency amplifier is conservatively rated at 300
watts RMS. This amplifier, coupled with the massive 12” long-throw
woofer in a sealed enclosure, generates accurate deep bass with a minimum of distortion.
Your Atlantic Technology powered subwoofer will smoothly integrate
with virtually all brands of loudspeakers on the market. From the rocksolid amplifier to the easily accessible controls, this is one of the most
versatile high performance subwoofers you can buy.
What’s THX?
THX is a series of demanding performance standards and specific technologies developed by Lucasfilm Ltd. (of Star Wars fame). Equipment
that meets the rigorous THX standards will deliver performance in your
home that matches as closely as possible what the director/artist/engineer
heard and saw during the final mixing of the source material. Please note
that THX is not a separate surround sound decoding format. THX-certified equipment enhances every viewing and listening experience, regardless of the surround format used.
THX Select standards are based upon a room size of 2000 cubic feet (L x
W x H). This does not mean these components must be used in a rooms
this size. The room sizes simply provide a frame of reference, as they indicate that these systems must deliver a minimum level of performance in
this specified room size. Your 642 SB is THX Select certified. For more
information, visit the THX website at www.thx.com.
Model 642 SB
Subwoofer Rear Panel
Model 642 SB Powered Subwoofer
Subwoofer Rear Panel
Figure 1
6
LOWPASS STANDBY
1
PHASE
NORMAL
OFF
NORMAL
BYPASS
ON
INVERT
LOWPASS
80
INPUT
OUTPUT
120
R
AUTO
40
2
L/MONO
140
7
3
4
5
ON
OFF
8
AC INPUT
50-60Hz 300W MAX
WARNING: TO REDUCE THE RISK OF FIRE OR ELECTRIC SHOCK
DO NOT EXPOSE THIS APPLIANCE TO RAIN OR MOISTURE.
9
AVIS: RISQUE DE CHOC ELECTRIQUE-NE PAS OUVRIR
DOUBLE INSULATION - WHEN SERVICING USE ONLY IDENTICAL REPLACEMENT PARTS
FOR 110-120VAC, USE 3A L 250V FUSE
FOR 220-240VAC, USE 2A T 250V FUSE
2001310
CONFORMS TO
UL STD.6500
CERTIFIED TO
CAN/CSA STD.E60065
110-120V
220-240V
10
DESIGNED BY ATLANTIC TECHNOLOGY IN USA,
MANUFACTURED TO SPECIFICATION IN CHINA
1
LowPass Switch
When in the NORMAL position, adjustment of the crossover can
be made by the LowPass Control. If being fed a pre-filtered or THX
signal, place the switch at the BYPASS position. (pages 5 and 9)
2
3
Phase Switch
9
Product Serial Number
Write this number in the space provided on page 2 for future
reference.
Low Level Output
The outputs allow daisy chaining of multiple subwoofers, or as a
return path back to the processor. (pages 5 and 6)
8
An adjustable (40Hz to 140Hz) @ 18dB per octave low-pass crossover. (pages 5 and 9)
5
7
When in ON position, the amplifier will always be on. When in the
OFF position, the amplifier will be off. When in the AUTO position,
the amplifier will be in Automatic Standby Mode. (pages 5 and 9)
LowPass Control
Low Level Input
Use the input to connect to the subwoofer or LFE line out from
your processor/receiver. (pages 5 and 6)
Standby Switch
This switch allows precise acoustic matching with satellite speaker
systems whose output may be phase reversed. (pages 5 and 10)
4
6
On/Off Switch
Use this switch to turn the amplifier completely on or off.
AC Input
Use the included power cord to connect your amplifier to a wall
outlet. (pages 5 and 6)
10
110/220V Switch
Voltage switch for use in different countries. This switch will be set
when you receive the unit. Change this setting only when you are
sure your application requires it. For US, the switch should be set
to the 110-120V position.
Features
Instruction Manual
Features
Note: If you are using a surround Processor/Receiver that includes
its own filtered subwoofer output (or a THX Certified Processor/
Receiver), we strongly recommend that you set the 642 SB crossover control to the Bypass position.
Your Atlantic Technology powered subwoofer has been engineered using
the latest technology and finest components available. It features:
A long-throw 12” composite cone driver with a vented 9-pound
motor structure and 2” high temperature, 4-layer voice coil.

This powerful driver has a very stiff cone that acts like a piston
throughout its operating range. Its massive magnetic motor assembly and high temperature component parts deliver exceptional performance and reliability.
Two low level inputs, two low level outputs

The outputs allow daisy chaining of multiple subwoofers, or as a
return path back to the processor.
A Phase Invert switch (Normal/Invert)

This switch allows precise acoustic matching with satellite speaker
systems whose output may be phase reversed. This switch also allows
you to compensate for unusual room acoustics that occur when the
woofer is physically separated from the main speakers. Be sure to try
the Phase switch in both positions when you set up the 642 SB. Even if
you’ve simply changed the built-in crossover settings it’s a good idea to
try the Phase switch in both positions, since the crossover control and
the Phase switch acoustically interact with each other. Pay particular
attention to the transition of bass from the woofer to the satellites, listening for smooth and well defined bass throughout the range.
Sealed enclosure design for low distortion and deep bass output

Sealed enclosure woofer designs are inherently low in distortion, and
deliver deep smooth bass response with a gradual and predictable
roll-off below resonance. As with all Atlantic Technology subwoofers,
we have paid close attention to providing accurate musical bass reproduction along with terrific special effects.
A high-efficiency 300 watt amplifier

This 642 SB utilizes the latest in amplifier technology . The output
stage is capable of very high current delivery with maximum efficiency for exceptional driver control and cool operation. As a custom
designed amplifier it has been precision matched and equalized to our
12” driver. Together they deliver powerful, controlled bass with great
articulation and authority.
A convenient front panel mounted Level Control
Automatic standby operation, LED indicator


Automatic standby features signal sensing turn-on with 7-10 minute
turn-off delay. There’s a front panel multi-color LED status indicator that lets you know when the unit is on or in standby. Automatic
Standby can be defeated by placing the rear mounted switch in the
ON position.
A useful in room working frequency range of 20Hz to 150Hz

Many subwoofers offer specifications that look great on paper, but in
real world use deliver less than promised. Atlantic Technology subwoofers are over-designed to ensure that they will deliver their rated
performance in your room, when properly placed and adjusted.
An AC cord power input socket.

Your subwoofer comes supplied with a heavy-duty detachable power
cord.
An adjustable (40Hz to 140Hz) @ 18dB per octave LowPass crossover

The steep upper end roll-off slope of 18dB per octave allows for much
better bass integration with the satellite speakers while making the
woofer less localizable.
Designed and built to meet all current UL/CSA and European
safety requirements

R
Connecting
Your Subwoofer
L/MONO
Model 642 SB Powered Subwoofer
Connecting Your Subwoofer
Use the low-level (RCA jack) subwoofer line out of your surround sound
receiver/processor. Simply connect your subwoofer with a high quality
shielded cable as shown in the diagram on page 7. Please consult your
processor/receiver manual for further information.
Figure 2
AC Connection from rear of 642 SB
Warning: To prevent risk of electrical shock or damage to your
equipment, always unplug all component AC cords before proceeding with speaker and component connections! The last step in
wiring your system should be plugging in the AC cords!
Subwoofer Line Out to Low Level In
Run an RCA cable from your receiver’s Sub Out jack to the L/Mono input
jack on the back of the 642 SB (Figure 3). If your receiver/processor has
stereo subwoofer
outputs, connect these to both the L/Mono and R jacks
AC INPUT
50-60Hz 300W MAX
on the back
of the 642 SB (Figure 4).
Using the Low Level Output
110-120V
220-240V
If desired,
you can run
a low level signal through the 642 SB and out to
another unit. This way you can add an additional subwoofer with minimal additional wiring. The signal that comes out of the output jacks is
identical
to the input signal.
ON
OFF
Power Connection
Connect the power cord to an AC
outlet only after making all other
connections to the subwoofer. This
will avoid any chance of accidentally activating the subwoofer while
wiring. Atlantic Technology does not
FOR 110-120VAC, USE 3A L 250V FUSE
recommend plugging the subwoofer
FOR 220-240VAC, USE 2A T 250V FUSE
into the switched outlet of an amplifier, preamplifier, or receiver. The power demands of the subwoofer amplifier may exceed the power rating of the switched outlet and may damage
the equipment.
The 642 SB is totally automatic in its operation. The automatic on/off
circuitry will only activate the subwoofer in the presence of an audio
signal from your system. After 7-10 minutes with no signal detected
from the rest of the system, the amplifier will shut itself off and go back
into standby mode. When the sub is in operating mode, the power LED
located under the front grille will glow green. The LED will glow yellow
in the Standby mode and power consumption in this mode is negligible.
Standby operation can be completely bypassed by placing the switch on
the 642 SB amplifier to the ON position.
Low Level Connections
Instruction Manual
Low Level Connections with One Subout/LFE Output
Figure 3
Sub Out/LFE
INPUT
OUTPUT
R
L/MONO
Low Level Connections
Model 642 SB Powered Subwoofer
Low Level Connections with Two Subout/LFE Outputs
Figure 4
Sub Out/LFE
Sub Out/LFE
INPUT
OUTPUT
R
L/MONO
Placement and Operation
Instruction Manual
Placement and Operation
Generally speaking, the best location for your new subwoofer is the front
of the room, in or close to a corner (Figure 5). Every room has its own
unique sound characteristics, and flexibility in the exact placement of
the subwoofer is always desirable. The closer the subwoofer is placed to
a wall and especially a corner, the more and deeper the bass response
you will hear. However, in some rooms, corner placement can produce a
“one note” boomy effect. Under such circumstances the subwoofer may
work better away from the corner. Experiment to find the best position
in your room.
difficulty achieving the correct subwoofer volume this way or should
your Processor/Receiver not have a subwoofer level control, you can use
the 642 SB’s front mounted level control to make this adjustment. If you
decide not to use an SPL meter try to set all the speaker levels the same
using the Test Tones. Of course, this will be much more difficult without
the meter, especially for the subwoofer.
Figure 6
Front Panel Variable Level Control located behind the removable grille
Helpful Hint: A particularly useful experiment is to place the
subwoofer right at the prime listening position (move your couch
or chair out of the way and put the sub in its place). Then play
something with good bass content (preferably music), and walk
around the room, listening to the subwoofer’s response. When
you locate an area that has an ample amount of well defined bass,
you’ve found a good potential place to locate the sub.
Recess and indicator for
level adjustment
THX/Fixed Position
Figure 5
Typical arrangement for a single subwoofer in a home theater.
1. Start here
Indicator LED
2. Move to
corner for
more bass
3. Move away
from wall for
less bass
System Set Up
When setting up a complete home theater we strongly recommend that
you use a Sound Pressure Level meter. Radio Shack® has a good one
that is very affordably priced (approximately $40-50). To use this meter,
turn on your system, put the Processor/Receiver in the Test Mode and
set its main volume control to 0dB. Sit in the prime listening position, set
the SPL meter to the 70dB scale, Slow Response, and C Weighting. Now,
holding the meter pointed up and in front of you, let the system cycle its
test tone from speaker to speaker and set every speaker to 75dB using
the individual level settings in the Processor/Receiver. As tempting as
it may be to set the subwoofer and/or surround speakers higher than
75dB, listen again after calibration and see if you can acclimate to these
levels. Try watching several different movies and keep in mind that the
goal is to have a system that sounds like you’re actually “in the movie.”
When using the latest discrete digital electronics which include internal
level controls for all channels, we recommend setting the subwoofer’s
front mounted Level Control to its THX/Fixed position and using the
Processor/Receiver’s built-in subwoofer level control. Should you have
Subwoofer Tuning Without an SPL Meter or Test Tones
Start your listening with the subwoofer Lo-pass control set at 80Hz or
in the THX/Bypass position if you’re using a THX Certified processor
or unit with a built-in crossover. Set the phase switch to normal, and the
front panel variable level control (Figure 6) to the THX/Fixed position.
Play some music that you know has good bass content, and turn the
level control up until you just start to hear the subwoofer working. Now,
from your normal listening position, determine whether the subwoofer
is playing loudly enough and filling in the bass frequencies of the music
evenly. If adjustment is necessary, start by changing the setting in the
processor or on of the front panel level control, if your processor lacks a
subwoofer level adjustment.
If the bass seems too ponderous, boomy, or heavy, no matter how you
set the level, try moving the subwoofer away from the wall/corner. If
the bass seems too thin, try moving the subwoofer closer to the wall/
corner. Small differences in positioning can make big differences in bass
response. When you find a position that seems to work well, try switching the phase switch between its two settings, listening particularly to the
transition from the subwoofer to the satellites.
How Much is Enough?
Sometimes people prefer more bass impact for movies. Using the movie
setting for music can result in overpowering and unnatural bass reproduction. You may wish to determine both a video level and an audio
level if you find yourself falling into this camp. Remember however, the
most common error people make when setting up their system is to play
the subwoofer (and surrounds) too loudly. Of course, the Home Theater
Police will not arrest you for this act. But should you desire the most
accurate overall reproduction, a well balanced sound from bass to highest treble is the best way to get it. Have fun. Experiment. Enjoy.
10
Care of Your Subwoofer
Model 642 SB Powered Subwoofer
Dual Subwoofer Placement
The Phase Invert Control
When two subwoofers are used, you may wish to place them asymmetriLOWPASS STANDBY
cally; that is, in slightly different positions in the room (Figure 7). This
OFF
will reduce common mode room resonances that occurNORMAL
with symmetrically positioned subwoofers. You can also try placing the subwoofers in
the same corner, if you wish. Experiments have shown this to be a viable
means of producing smooth bass response in many rooms.
BYPASS
ON
AUTO
Figure 7
Asymmetrical arrangement for 2 subwoofers in a home theater, for example, one
closer to a corner than the other
Place subwoofers
assymmetrically in room
for smoother bass
A subwoofer operating out of phase with the rest of the
LOWPASS
INPUT
system won’t provide optimum low frequency perforNORMAL
mance. Also, the 80
correct subwoofer
phase can enhance
120
room acoustics. Since there is so much variation in the
industry regarding phase, a switch that will reverse the
INVERT
phase of the subwoofer is provided on the amplifier
panel. Listen to a monaural musical source with strong
bass content. (For example, you can40use the mono switch
140 on an FM tuner
or preamp, or use a Y-connector on the outputs of one of your source
components to get a mono signal.)
PHASE
OUT
Experiment with the position of the phase switch to get the smoothest
bass. It should be obvious which is the correct setting. In particular, there
will be a more integrated transition between the satellites and the subwoofer when they are properly phased.
A Word About Bass, Center Channel Modes and System Set Up
Using the Subwoofer LowPass Control
When used with the complete System 4200,
INPUT
OUTPUT
the 642 SB Low-pass
control
should be set at
around 80Hz unless you are using a proces80
120
sor with its own built-in crossover. The goal
is to optimize the performance of Rthe system
by ensuring that the subwoofer and satellites
produce a cohesive and well integrated sound
L/MONO
“picture.” The low-frequency response
of the
40
140
System 4200 satellites has been optimized to
work with approximately an 80Hz crossover point.
LOWPASS
Higher crossover frequencies pass more bass but can sound boomy
and may be more easily localized to the subwoofer. Higher crossover
frequencies may be suitable, however, when using very small satellites
that have no real low frequency performance. Settings lower than 80Hz
should be employed if you are using larger speakers that have extended
bass response. This way, the subwoofer will only reproduce the very lowest bass frequencies that are in the range where the large main speakers
begin to roll off.
Many surround processors and receivers feature a “Wide” and “Normal”
mode for the center channel speaker. Atlantic Technology recommends
that the center channel be operated in the “Normal” mode when using
a powered subwoofer. The center channel speaker will sound more
dynamic and the intelligibility of the system will generally be improved
when in the “Normal” mode.
With discrete digital “5.1, 6.1, or 7.1” channel systems (Dolby Digital, DTS,
etc.) many controllers provide a Bass Management option, which lets you
set the front and rear speakers in a limited bandwidth (Small) or full
range (Large) mode. When using a subwoofer with Atlantic Technology
speakers we recommend setting such a controller to the Small position
for all the speakers in the system.
Care of Your Subwoofer
The 642 SB is constructed from 3/4” Medium Density Fiberboard. MDF
is a non-resonant material ideal for speaker system enclosures. To clean
the cabinet you may use a soft cloth either dry or slightly dampened with
clean water. Be careful not to wet the cabinet or allow any water to enter
the cabinet seams. Avoid placing your speakers in direct sunlight or near
a source of heat that may, over time, damage the finish.
ON
IMPORTANT: Save Your Boxes! If you can do so, save the carton,
packing pieces and plastic bags that came with your subwoofer.
WARNING: TO REDUCE THE RISK OF FIRE OR ELECTRIC SHOCK
They THIS
willAPPLIANCE
be useful
you move or have to ship your subDO NOT EXPOSE
TO RAINin
OR case
MOISTURE.
It’s generally undesirable to have the main speakers and the subwoofer
woofer for any reason. In any case, save all packing materials until
overlap too much. Larger speakers means a lower Low-pass crossover
you are certain that the system has suffered no damage in shipfrequency, smaller speakers means a higher Low-pass crossover frement. If you find such damage, either visible or internal, contact
AVIS: RISQUE DE CHOC ELECTRIQUE-NE PAS OUVRIR
quency. Consult the manufacturer’s specified low frequency response
dealerUSE
immediately
for the proper
return procedure.
DOUBLE INSULATION -your
WHEN SERVICING
ONLY IDENTICAL REPLACEMENT
PARTS
for your main speakers to determine the appropriate Low-pass setting
on your subwoofer. In the end, however, a little time spent experimenting
will generally result in dramatically better bass response.
2001310
FOR 11
FOR 22
CONFORMS TO
UL STD.6500
CERTIFIED TO
CAN/CSA STD.E60065
110
Subwoofer Troubleshooting Guide
Instruction Manual
11
Subwoofer Troubleshooting Guide
Once your subwoofer is set up, you should have many years of maintenance free enjoyment from your system. However, if you should encounter a
problem, refer to the following guide to help you find the solution. If a problem persists, you should contact your local authorized Atlantic Technology dealer.
Problem
Possible Cause
Possible Solution
No bass output
AC power cord unplugged or plugged into a non-working outlet.
Plug into a working outlet.
Input cables not securely connected or defective.
Check all connections, then try another
input cable.
Audible buzz or hum Input cable not securely connected or defective.
Check all connections, then try another
input cable.
Ground loop through antenna or cable TV system input.
Model 642 SB Specifications
Type/Features
Powered subwoofer, sealed enclosure
High efficiency tracking amplifier
2-inch, four layer vented aluminum voice coil, vented motor
Continuous 40–140Hz crossover, 18dB/octave low pass output
Variable low level stereo inputs and low level outputs
Absolute phase invert switch
Auto signal sensing on/off/bypass
Bass Driver
12” long-throw composite cone
Output Power
300W RMS
Distortion (amplifier)
<0.5%
Frequency Response
25Hz – 300Hz ±3 dB
Low Level (line)
20kΩ
Peak Output
105dB SPL into 2000 cubic Feet
Dimensions (WxHxD)
including side panels
19.00 x 21.00 x 18.50in; 483 x 534 x 470mm
Weight
65lbs/29.5kg
Power Requirements
110V AC 50/60Hz; 240V AC 50/60Hz
Specifications are those in effect at the time of printing. Atlantic Technology reserves the right to change specifications or designs at any time
without notice. THX is a registered trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. Dolby
Digital, Dolby Stereo, and Dolby Pro Logic are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation. DTS is a registered trademark of Digital
Theater Systems, Inc.
Test by disconnecting antenna and/or cable
system input leads. If hum goes away, install
isolation balun(s) at that point.
343 Vanderbilt Avenue Norwood, MA 02062 (781) 762-6300 www.atlantictechnology.com
015-0642
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