D`Artagnan5.1 Theater Amplifier
Theater Amplifier
Owner’s Manual
Installation Guide
You now own the Soundstream D’Artagnan5.1 amplifier, the product of an
uncompromising design and engineering philosophy. Your Soundstream
D’Artagnan5.1 amplifier will outperform any other amplifier in the world.
To maximize the performance of your system, we recommend that you
thoroughly acquaint yourself with its capabilities and features. Please retain this
manual and your sales receipt for future reference.
Soundstream amplifiers are the result of American innovation and the highest
quality control standards. When properly installed, they will provide you with
many years of listening pleasure. Should your amplifier ever need service or
replacement due to theft, please record the following information which will help
protect your investment.
Model and Serial #
Dealer's Name
Date of Purchase
Installation Shop
Installation Date
Prolonged listening at extremely high levels may result in hearing
loss.Even though your new Soundstream Dartagnan 5.1 amplifier
sounds better than anything you've ever heard, exercise caution to
prevent hearing damage.
Table of Contents
Design Features
p 4 -5
Amplifier Diagram
Crossover and Phase Adjustments
Hawkins Bass Control™ Theory and Use
p 9 -10
Installation: Wiring and BIO Port
p 11-12
Installation: Mounting
p 13
Installation: Level Setting
p 14
Protection Circuitry and Troubleshooting
p 15
Service and Specifications
p 16
SLA/SH™(Speaker Load Adapting/ Subwoofer Hyper-Efficient) This new dual
function technology currently operates in two different ways in different models.
In full bandwidth applications the power supply adapts itself to the impedance
of the connected speaker load by continuously varying the internal supply
voltage, assuring maximum power output.
This design improves efficiency and allows for a greater level of installation
flexibility. In subwoofer applications the power supply tracks the incoming
audio signal and increases of decreases its own voltage level to mirror the
input. This design results in enormous low impedance , low frequency stability
and maximum efficiency, since no power is wasted maintaining an
unnecessarily high voltage level in the power supply.
BIO™Port(Bridging In and Out) Enables two identical mono amplifiers
channels to be fused together into a single subwoofer load with double the
output power.
STACT™ (STabilized Apex Current Topology) Reduces power supply stress
by 50%. Typical designs degrade the stereo image due to phase reversal of
even-order harmonic distortion that occurs between the inverted channels. In
the STACT design, inversion is done at the power amplifier drive stage. Since
the fully symmetrical power amplifier produces no even-harmonic distortion
itself and all preamplifier circuitry is run completely in-phase, no even harmonic
distortion phase reversal occurs.
Trident™ Protection Topology provides three types of protection:
1. Output protection against short circuits or improper loads.
2. Ground fault detection: Shuts down the amplifier when a significant voltage
(>5 Volts) fluctuation occurs between electrical (turn-on lead)and battery
3. Thermal Protection: Puts the amplifier into thermal rollback or shuts the
amplifier down in extreme thermal conditions.
Hawkins Bass Control - Fully adjustable subwoofer equalization circuit
providing frequency and boost(“Q”)adjustment for optimum subwoofer
performance. A frequency tracking subsonic filter protects woofers from
potentially harmful low frequency information and maximizes output in a usable
Harmonic Bass Alignment™ The 2nd and 3rd order harmonic peaks are
critically aligned to fundamental peaks at low frequencies. This produces
tighter, more accurate bass reproduction.
Drive Delay II™ Amplifier section powers up 2 to 3 seconds after the power
supply eliminating turn-on and off pops. The turn off process is reversed:
Amplifier section turns off first, followed by the power supply.
Dynamically Optimized power Grid™ Power grid is evenly distributed
between primary and secondary power supplies, providing greater dynamics
and improved RF filtering.
Chassisink™ All transistors are ideally located and sandwiched between the
circuit board and the heatsink to provide cool efficient amplifier operation.
Differentially Balanced RCA Input eliminates ground loop related noise in
the audio.
Continuously Variable Crossover Network : 12dB/Octave highpass
crossover variable from 50 to 200 Hz and 24dB/Octave lowpass crossover
variable from 40 to 160 Hz.
Flexible Input Level Control allows 300 mV to 5 V input sensitivity.
Symmetrical Discrete Balanced Class A Drive Boards auto-adjust for linear
performance while driving low impedance loads.
Front View
Top View
1. Bio Port/Line Out - RCA input and output connections for bridging two
identical amplifiers. In BIO mode connect between the master amplifier’s BIO
OUT to the slave amplifier’s BIO IN. This will bridge the amplifiers and bypass
the preamplifier controls on the slave amplifier. In line output mode signal
from CH1&2 is passed through on these RCAs.
2. RCA Inputs - Center and Sub channel RCA inputs.
3. RCA Inputs - Rear Right and Left channel RCA inputs.
4. RCA Inputs - Front Right and Left channel RCA inputs.
5. Input Levels - Input level control variable from 300mV to 5V.
6. High Pass Filter Control Adjustment- Frequency adjustment control for the
High Pass Filter for satellite CH1&2.
7. High Pass Filter Control Adjustment- Frequency adjustment control for the
High Pass Filter for satellite CH3&4.
8. High Pass Filter Control Adjustment- Frequency adjustment control for the
High Pass Filter for center CH5.
9. Low Pass Filter Control Adjustment- Frequency adjustment control for the
Low Pass Filter for sub CH6.
10. Subsonic/Hawkins Bass Control Adjustment - Frequency adjustment
control for the Hawkins Bass Control filter or the Sub Sonic filter.
11. Hawkins Bass Control “Boost” Adjustment - Varies from 0 to + 9 dB of
boost when the Hawkins Bass Control circuit is engaged.
12. Speaker connection Terminal - Speaker connections for center and sub
13. Speaker connection Terminal - Speaker connections for satellite CH3&4.
14. Speaker connection Terminal - Speaker connections for satellite CH1&2.
15. FUSES - Subwoofer channel power supply fuses. Warning: Replace only with
the same value fuses!
16. REMOTE - Remote turn - on input from the head unit. Accepts +12V.
17. GND - Main ground connection. Bolt to a clean chassis point in the vehicle.
18. +12V - Connected to a fuse or circuit breaker, then to the battery’s positive
19. FUSES - Satellite channels power supply fuses. Warring: Replace only with
the same value fuses!
20. BIO/LINE OUT Switch - Switches RCA function from BIO Port to pass
through of CH1&2 to feed additional amplifiers.
21. Input Select CH6 - Switches RCA input signal between CH6 or CH1-4.
22. Input Select CH5 - Switches RCA input signal between CH5 or CH1-2.
23. Input Select CH3&4 - Switches RCA input signal between CH1&2 or CH3&4.
24. HP XOVER - Switches HP crossover on or off for CH5.
25. HP XOVER - Switches HP crossover on or off for CH3&4.
26. HP XOVER - Switches HP crossover on or off for CH1&2.
27. Phase Selector - Select between 0 or 180 of output on subwoofer channel.
28.Subsonic / Hawkins Bass Control Switch - Selectable subwoofer
enhancement circuit. Select “SUB SONIC” to engage the Sub Sonic filter with
no boost. Use the knob indicated by callout #10 to set the frequency: 13-30Hz.
Select “Hawkins Bass Control” to engage the Sub Sonic filter with available
boost and the knob indicated by callout #10 to set the frequency: 30 to 70Hz.
29. Power LED - Indicates amplifier power.
The D’Artagnan5.1 amplifiers incorporate an on-board staggered electronic
cross-over. No external electronic crossover is necessary. The low pass portion
of the crossover can be set independently of the rest of the system.
In many car audio installations, there is a tendency for a ”midbass boom.” Because of their interior dimensions, most cars will resonate or ring at these
midbass frequencies. If we design the system so there is reduced output in this
region, the final response is very smooth and natural sounding. The
D’Artagnan5.1 has an always on low pass crossover that is independently
variable from 40 to 160 Hz at 24 dB/Octave.
For initial crossover setup, try setting the low pass filter to approximately 60 Hz,
and the high pass filter on the
rest of the system to
approximately 100 Hz.
Change the crossover points
to accommodate a good
mixture of frequency
response, power handling,
and personal preference.
Phase Switch
In many car audio systems placement of the subwoofers can cause them to be
out of phase with the rest of the system. This may cause poor subwoofer
performance due to varying arrival times. To eliminate this the D’Artagnan5.1
incorporates a 0 to 180 phase switch. By playing low frequency music and
experimenting with the subwoofer phasing better sound quality and bass imaging
may be obtained.
Hawkins Bass Control - Theory and Use
Hawkins Bass Control(parametric)is a unique
subwoofer control circuit included with the Soundstream
D’Artagnan5.1 amplifier. It is capable of removing
subsonic energy in program material while boosting
subwoofer frequencies. The circuit consists of two
controls. One adjusts the frequency of operation and the
other adjusts the range of boost. With both controls
adjusted fully counter-clockwise, no boost is applied and
the amplifier is flat in response down to 20 Hz.
The frequency control (Hz) adjusts the
starting point of the subsonic filter. On the
Rubicon D’Artagnan5.1 the high pass filter
has two frequency ranges. When the bass
control switch is set to “SUB SONIC”, the
high pass filter frequency can be adjusted
from 13 Hz up to a maximum of 30Hz. In
this setting, no boost “Q” control is
available. This control is useful for setting
the lowest frequency that your subwoofer
will see (see figure 1). When the bass
control switch is set to “HAWKINS BASS
CONTROL”, the high pass filter frequency
can be adjusted from 30 Hz to a maximum
of 70Hz. In this setting, there is an available
boost control of 0 to +9dB.
The Boost control adjusts the amount of level
applied at the set frequency.
This is adjustable from flat (0dB) to +9dB. (See
figure 2)
When the Boost is set to 0, Hawkins acts as a
sub-sonic filter only. (See figure 3) The simple
act of removing potentially harmful low
frequencies can improve system output by as
much as 3dB.(see figure 4)
Subwoofer drivers in general have excellent
power handling characteristics over their
operational bandwidth. This bandwidth is
determined by many factors, including driver
design, and enclosure type. It is possible to
overdrive any subwoofer driver by sending
powerful signals outside of its operational
bandwidth. These potentially damaging signals
can be removed by adding a subsonic filter. Figure 5 shows the effectiveness of
the Hawkins Bass Control on woofer excursion in a vented enclosure. The woofer
travels 7.5 mm at 10 Hz. With Hawkins Bass Control properly adjusted, this
excursion can be reduced to less than 1 mm. This is of great benefit to lowering
woofer distortion and increasing output.
An easy method of optimizing your existing subwoofer enclosure with Hawkins’
“Hz” control is as follows:
1. Adjust frequency and boost control to full CCW position.
2. Set the bass control switch to “HAWKINS BASS CONTROL”.
3. While listening to music with strong bass content at a moderate level, slowly
adjust frequency control clockwise. Listen for a reduction of bass response. Now,
rotate frequency control slightly backwards. This serves the purpose of removing
the “subsonic” bass energy.
With Soundstream’s Hawkins Bass Control, the boost and frequency control can
provide virtually any combination of boost and
cut to suit your designs.
So, Hawkins Bass Control can provide the
“tailoring” needed for any type of “assisted”
design and any woofer in any type of
To ensure maximum output from your D’Artagnan5.1 amplifier, use high quality,
low-loss power and ground cables and connections. The D’Artagnan5.1
amplifiers will accept up to 4 gauge power and ground cables. Determine from
the chart below the minimum gauge power and ground wire for your application.
up to 20´
up to 10´
4 or 8 gauge
4 gauge only
Like all audio components, the D’Artagnan5.1 amplifier must be fused near the
battery. A fuse or circuit breaker must be located within 18” of the battery. This
will prevent a fire in the event of a shorted cable. See the chart below to
determine the correct fuse value.
The D’Artagnan5.1 amplifiers are fused with an automotive-type or Maxi-fuse. In
the event of a blown power supply fuse(s), replace with the correct value fuse
found in the chart below. Never replace the fuse with a higher value than what
is supplied. This may result in amplifier damage and will void the warranty!
D’Artagnan5.1 Amplifier Fuse Values
Amplifier Fuse
(4) 30 amp automotive
Battery Fuse / Circuit Breaker
150 amp
Connect the “Remote” line to the turn-on lead from the source unit. When
+12Volts received, the amplifier will turn on.
Use a high quality cable that will be easy to install and has minimal signal loss
to guarantee optimum performance.
The D’Artagnan5.1 amplifiers will accept up to 8 gauge speaker cable. Use a
high quality, flexible, multi-strand cable for best performance and longevity.
The D’Artagnan5.1 is an amplifier designed specifically for car theater
applications. Its dual power supplies are capable of tremendous dynamic output
on all six of its channels. All of these channels are discrete channels with minimal
shared circuitry; because of this the satellite channels are not bridgeable. Also,
as with any state of the art theater system, the use of an outboard surround
sound signal processor is required. It is also important to note that the driver of
the vehicle should not participate in any distracting activities, such as watching a
movie, while operating a moving vehicle.
The subwoofer channel of the D’Artagnan5.1 amplifier has the ablity to be
bridged to another identical amplifier for double the output by using the BIO Port.
When this feature is used, the master amplifier’s level and crossover switches
affect both amplifiers (the slave amplifier’s controls are totally bypassed). By
switching the phase switch to 180 on the slave amplifier and connecting a RCA
cable from the BIO OUT on the master amplifier to the BIO IN on the slave
amplifier both amplifiers are synchronized. Then connect a positive speaker cable
to the slave amplifier’s positive terminal. Finally connect the speaker wires to a
single load no less than 2 ohms. This will supply twice the power of a single
The D’Artagnan5.1 amplifiers employ highly efficient circuitry,a customengineered heat sink, and a unique Chassisink construction to maintain lower
operating temperatures. Additional cooling may be required if the amplifier is
located in a tightly confined area or when driving especially low impedance loads
at extremely high levels.
When mounting the amplifier, it should be securely mounted to either a panel in
the vehicle or an amp board or rack that is securely mounted to the vehicle. The
mounting location should be either in the passenger compartment or in the trunk
of the vehicle, away from moisture, stray or moving objects, and major electrical
components. To provide adequate ventilation, mount the amplifier so that there
are at least two inches of freely circulating air above and to the sides of it.
a. Using the amplifier as a template, mark the holes on the mounting surface.
b. Remove the amplifier and drill the holes for the mounting screws.
c. Secure the amplifier to the mounting surface using the supplied hardware.
a. Run and connect the audio signal and remote turn-on cables from to the
amplifier form the source unit.
b. Carefully run the positive cable from the amplifier to the fuse or circuit breaker
within 18” of the battery.
c. Connect the fuse or circuit breaker lead to the battery. Leave the circuit
breaker off or the fuse out until everything is bolted down.
d. Secure the ground cable to a solid chassis ground on the vehicle. It may be
necessary to sand paint down to raw metal for a good connection.
e. Double check each and every connection!
f. Re-connect the fuse or circuit breaker.
Power up the system, there may be a 2-3 second delay from the time the source
unit is turned on to the time that the amplifier turns on, which is normal. Once the
amplifier LED is on and the source unit is playing, you should have sound coming
from the speakers.
The input level is adjusted by means of the input level control located on the
control panel of the amplifier. This is a unique dual-stage circuit that adjusts both
level and gain. This topology maintains better S/N Ratio even when using
sources with minimal output.
In the ideal situation, all components in the audio system reach maximum
undistorted output at the same time. If you send a distorted signal to an amplifier,
it is simply going or crossover begins to distort before you have maximum output
from the amplifier. By setting all components to reach clipping at the same time,
you can maximize the output of your system. For the D’Artagnan5.1 amplifiers,
follow these steps for setting the input levels:
1. Turn the amplifier’s input level to minimum position (counter-clockwise).
2. Set the source unit volume to approximately 3/4 of full volume.
3. While playing dynamic source material, slowly increase the amplifier’s input
level until a near maximum undistorted level is heard in the system.
Your D’Artagnan5.1 amplifier is protected against both overheating and short
circuits by means of main power fuses and the following circuits:
Speaker Output Protection
Ground Fault Differential
Smart Power Supply Thermal Rollback & Thermal Protection Circuit
No Sound and power LED is not
1. No power or ground at the
2. No remote turn-on signal
3. Blown fuse near the battery
No Sound , power LED is lit
1. No signal input
2. The AIRBASS/Accessory
switch is in the “IN” position.
Move it to the “OUT” position.
Repeatedly blow amp fuse;
frequent activation of Smart
Power Supply Circuit
1. Speaker or leads may be
2. Verify adequate amp
Distorted output
Output signal level is too high and
the amplifier output is clipping.
Reduce the level either at the
source or at the input level
Your Soundstream D’Artagnan5.1 amplifier is protected by a limited warranty.
Please read the enclosed warranty card for details. As with all Soundstream
products, a Return Authorization (available from Soundstream) is required for
service of this amplifier.
Satelite Channels
4 Ω Stereo
(12.6 Vdc)
2 Ω Stereo
(14.4 Vdc)
Rated Output
65W x 5
100W x 5
500 Watts
Subwoofer Channel
4 Ω Mono
(4 Ω BIO Bridged)
(12.6 Vdc)
200W x 1
(800W x 1)
Signal to Noise
Frequency Response
Input Sensitivity
Input Impedance
2 Ω Mono
(2 Ω BIO Bridged)
(14.4 Vdc)
1 Ω Mono
(1 Ω BIO Bridged)
(14.4 Vdc)
Rated Output
500W x 1
500 Watts
400W x 1
(1000W x 1)
20Hz to 20kHz 0.5 dB
300 mV t o 5.0 Volts
10k Ohms
Crossover Specifications00
Low Pass:
High Pass:
40Hz - 160Hz at 24dB/Octave
50Hz - 200Hz at 12dB/Octave
Hawkins Bass control
Sub Sonic Filter: No boost, High Pass filter from 13 to 30 Hz.
Hawkins Bass control : 0 to +9 dB Boost; Boost and Sub Sonic filter,
variable from 30 to 70 Hz.
Dimensions (W x D x H)
D’Artagnan5.1: 19.0¨ x 9.8¨ x 2.25¨
1550 Maple Avenue., Montebello, CA90640 U.S.A.
Phone 323-722-3333 fax. 323-722-1122
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