Powered Subwoofer
Owner’s Manual
McIntosh Laboratory, Inc. 2 Chambers Street Binghamton, New York 13903-2699 Phone: 607-723-3512 FAX: 607-724-0549
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 electric shock to persons.
1. Read these instructions.
2. Keep these instructions.
3. Heed all warnings.
4. Follow all instructions.
5. Do not use this apparatus near water.
6. Clean only with a dry cloth.
7. Do not block any ventilation openings. Install in
accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
8. Do not install near any heat sources such as
radiators, heat registers, stoves, or other
apparatus (including amplifiers) that produce
9. Do not defeat the safety purpose of the polarized
or grounding-type plug. A polarized plug has two
blades with one wider than the other. A grounding
type plug has two blades and a third grounding
prong. The wide blade or the third prong are
provided for your safety. If the provided plug
does not fit into your outlet, consult an electrician
for replacement of the obsolete outlet.
10. Protect the power cord from being walked on or
pinched particularly at plugs, convenience
receptacles, and the point where they exit from
the apparatus.
11. Only use attachments/accessories specified by the
The exclamation point within an equilateral triangle is intended to alert the
user to the presence of important
operating and maintenance (servicing) instructions in the literature accompanying the appliance.
To prevent the risk of electric shock, do not remove cover or
back. No user-serviceable parts inside.
12. Use only with the cart, stand, tripod, bracket, or
table specified by the manufacturer,
or sold with the apparatus. When a
cart is used, use caution when moving
the cart/apparatus combination to
avoid injury from tip-over.
13. Unplug this apparatus during lightning storms or
when unused for long periods of time.
14. 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.
15. Do not expose this equipment to dripping or
splashing and ensure that no objects filled with
liquids, such as vases, are placed on the
16. To completely disconnect this equipment from
the a.c. mains, disconnect the power supply cord
plug from the a.c. receptacle.
17. The mains plug of the power supply cord shall
remain readily operable.
18. This apparatus is capable of producing high
sound pressure levels. Continued exposure to
high sound pressure levels can cause permanent
hearing impairment or loss. User caution is
advised and ear protection is recommended when
playing at high volumes.
19. Do not operate this apparatus without the front
panel grille attached to the cabinet.
Thank You
Table of Contents
Your decision to own this McIntosh XLS112 Powered
Subwoofer ranks you at the very top among discriminating
music listeners. You now have “The Best.” The McIntosh
dedication to “Quality,” is assurance that you will receive
many years of musical enjoyment from this unit.
Please take a short time to read the information in this
manual. We want you to be as familiar as possible with all
the features and functions of your new McIntosh.
Safety Instructions ............................................................ 2
Thank You and Please Take a Moment ............................. 3
Technical Assistance and Customer Service .................... 3
Table of Contents .............................................................. 3
Important Information ...................................................... 4
Connector Information ..................................................... 4
Introduction ...................................................................... 4
Performance Features ....................................................... 5
Dimensions ....................................................................... 6
Installation ........................................................................ 8
Rear Panel Connections .................................................... 9
How to Connect .............................................................. 10
How to Operate ............................................................... 12
Specifications ................................................................. 14
Packing Instruction ......................................................... 15
Please Take A Moment
The serial number, purchase date and McIntosh Dealer
name are important to you for possible insurance claim or
future service. The spaces below have been provided for
you to record that information:
Serial Number:
Purchase Date:
Dealer Name:
Technical Assistance
If at any time you have questions about your McIntosh
product, contact your McIntosh Dealer who is familiar with
your McIntosh equipment and any other brands that may
be part of your system. If you or your Dealer wish additional help concerning a suspected problem, you can receive technical assistance for all McIntosh products at:
McIntosh Laboratory, Inc.
2 Chambers Street
Binghamton, New York 13903
Phone: 607-723-1545
Fax: 607-772-3308
Customer Service
If it is determined that your McIntosh product is in need of
repair, you can return it to your Dealer. You can also return
it to the McIntosh Laboratory Service Department. For assistance on factory repair return procedure, contact the
McIntosh Service Department at:
McIntosh Laboratory, Inc.
2 Chambers Street
Binghamton, New York 13903
Phone: 607-723-3515
Fax: 607-723-1917
Copyright 2004 © by McIntosh Laboratory, Inc.
Important Information
1. The following Connecting Cable is available from the
McIntosh Parts Department:
Power Control Cable Part No. 170-202
Six foot, 2 conductor shielded, with two 1/8 inch stereo
mini phone plugs.
2. For additional connection information, refer to the owner’s
manual(s) for any component(s) connected to the XLS112.
3. In the event that the XLS112 over heats, due to improper
ventilation and/or high ambient temperature, the protection
circuit will activate placing it in the Standby Mode. The Rear
Panel Status LED Indicator will illuminate Red and the audio
will be muted. When the XLS112 has returned to a safe
operating temperature, normal operation will resume.
4. The XLS112’s Power Control Input will function within a 5 to
20 DC Voltage range.
5. To avoid damage, do not connect the speaker level output
terminals from any receiver, amplifier or integrated amplifier
to the inputs of the XLS112 Powered Subwoofer.
The McIntosh XLS112 Powered Subwoofer is designed for
Home Theater and Music Reproduction. It has a 12 inch
LD/HP1 woofer, a 400 watt amplifier and built-in high and
low pass filters.
The XLS112 Powered Subwoofer’s performance is
equivalent to the quality of McIntosh’s legendary line of
Amplifiers, Preamplifiers, Signal Processors, Signal
Sources and Loudspeakers, without imparting distortion or
coloration of its own. It also complements the capabilities
and the remarkably low distortion of McIntosh Power Amplifiers.
Many of today’s Loudspeakers are designed only for
Home Theater applications. Not so with the XLS112. It is
also designed for the accurate reproduction of the low frequencies contained in music. Motion picture sound effects,
explosions, and vehicle crashes require a wide dynamic
range and high sound levels. These sounds are such that a
speaker system having moderate distortion would reproduce them with little audible difference. This is not true
with the reproduction of music. Music is by nature and
definition harmonious. To reproduce it accurately, all forms
of distortion, both harmonic and intermodulation, must be
kept to a minimum. This has been the result of the design
of the new McIntosh XLS112 Powered Subwoofer. Each
component in the device has been carefully designed for
durability, efficiency, and above all, low distortion. The
McIntosh XLS112 Powered Subwoofer will reproduce music accurately and function as an excellent Home Theater
Powered Subwoofer.
Connector Information
XLR Connectors
Below is the Pin configuration for the XLR Balanced Input
and Output Connectors on the XLS112. Refer to the diagram for connection:
Pin 2
PIN 1: Shield/Ground
Pin 1
PIN 2: + Signal
PIN 3: - Signal
Power Control Connector
The XLS112 Power Control Input/Output Jacks provide
Power On/Off Signals when connected to
other McIntosh Components. A 1/8 inch
stereo mini phone plug is used for connecN/C
tion to the Power Control Input/Output on
the XLS112.
LD/HP Pat. No. 5,151,943
Important Information, Connector Information, Introduction and Performance Features
Performance Features
• Patented LD/HP Technology
• Signal Sensing Circuitry
The McIntosh Loudspeaker Element features the patented
LD/HP motor structure. This design, when compared to
conventional Loudspeaker Elements, reduces distortion
significantly. It also increases power handling and
In addition to the McIntosh Remote Power Control feature,
the XLS112 utilizes signal-sensing circuitry. This signalsensing circuitry is beneficial when the XLS112 is to be
located at a great distance from the pre-amp and running an
additional Power Control Cable for remote turn-on is not
• Large Woofer with Integral Heat Sink
Massive dual magnets with thick front and back plates provide an incredible heat sink for the voice coil. The voice
coil itself is wound on a 3" diameter aluminum bobbin to
further aid in the dissipation of heat. The ability to dissipate heat greatly improves the driver’s capacity to perform
at high power levels and not suffer from power compression.
• Rigid Woofer Framework
A black powder coated, die cast aluminum basket is used
as the framework for the driver. Such framework is necessary to keep the driver’s moving components aligned during the long excursions a subwoofer can produce.
• Shielded Magnetic Field
The XLS112 may be used in Home Theater Installations
near a television receiver or monitor without causing the
television image to degrade. McIntosh has designed special
shielding around the magnetic structure of the XLS112’s
Loudspeaker Element to prevent interference.
• High Power and Low Distortion
The XLS112’s 400 Watt Amplifier has very Low Total Harmonic Distortion (THD). This 0.07% THD rating combined with the low distortion of the McIntosh LD/HP
Driver provides exceptionally smooth and clean low frequency response.
• Power Guard
The patented McIntosh Power Guard circuit prevents the
XLS112’s Amplifier from being over driven into clipping,
with its harsh distorted sound that can also damage your
valuable Loudspeaker.
• Remote Power Control
The turn-on method uses a standard McIntosh Power Control jack to receive a turn-on signal from a McIntosh Control Center. The alternate turn-on method for the XLS112
utilizes signal-sensing circuitry.
Phase Switch
The Phase Switch can be set to 00 or 1800 to avoid phase
• Balanced and Unbalanced Inputs/Outputs
Balanced connections guard against induced noise and allow long cable runs without compromising sound quality.
• Variable Low Pass Filter
The variable Low Pass Filter selects the low frequencies
sent to the XLS112’s Power Amplifier when used with a
full range source signal. This filter can be switch out of the
signal path in Home Theater Systems.
• Sentry Monitor and Thermal Protection
McIntosh Sentry Monitor power output stage protection
circuits ensure the XLS112 will have a long and trouble
free operating life. Built-in Thermal Protection Circuits
guard against overheating.
• Heavy Duty Power Supply
The XLS112 incorporates a regulated Power Supply, special R-Core Power Transformer and extra large filter capacitors. All together these design features ensure stable
noise free operation even though the power line varies.
• Gold Plated Input Connectors
The XLS112 Input Connectors are gold plated for superior
corrosion resistance and high electrical conductivity.
• Special Enclosure
The XLS112 Enclosure is a combination of thick extruded
aluminum metal sides and rear panel with a textured black
powder coated finish. The front, top and bottom of the enclosure is made from thick MDF covered with a thermal
vacuum formed durable surface also in a textured black
The following dimensions can assist in determining the
best location for your XLS112 Powered Subwoofer. There
is additional information on page 8 pertaining to installing
the XLS112.
Note: The XLS112 is supplied with optional adjustable feet,
four Tiptoes and four Glides. If they are used with the
XLS112 please allow for the added height.
Front View of
XLS112 with
Grille Removed
Rear View of
Top View of XLS112
Side View of XLS112
Bottom View of XLS112
Locating the XLS112
Always provide adequate ventilation for the XLS112 Powered Subwoofer. Cool operation ensures the longest possible life for any electronic instrument. An installation
should provide at least 2 inches spacing on all sides of the
XLS112, so airflow is not obstructed.
The optimal method for selecting speaker locations includes the use of a real time spectrum analyzer (RTA) operated by an experienced system installer. An uncompromising installation would take into consideration the floor,
wall and ceiling coverings, the type and placement of furniture and can even include the architectural design of the
room and its construction materials. Frequencies 80Hz and
below reproduced by the XLS112 Powered Subwoofer are
non-directional and will sound best located toward the
front of the room and away from corners. It is not necessary to aim the front of the XLS112 directly at the listener.
Refer to figure 2.
Figure 2
Optional Feet
Two sets of optional feet (four Tiptoes and four Glides) are
supplied with the XLS112 Powered
Subwoofer. To prevent crushing carpet
use the Tiptoe spikes; to protect noncarpeted flooring use the chrome
Glides. Both the Glides and Tiptoes
have a threaded shaft and locking nut
that screw into the tapped holes in the
bottom of the XLS112. The feet can be
independently adjusted to compensate
for uneven flooring.
Rear Panel Connections
LOW PASS Filter selects
the low frequencies sent
to the XLS112’s Power
STATUS LED Indicator illuminates RED when the
XLS112 is in the Standby Mode, GRN (Green)
when Power is ON and ORN (Orange) during the
time the Power Guard Circuit has activated
PHASE reversing
switch to help avoid
phase cancellation
LEVEL Control
allows adjustment of
acoustic output to
balance with the
other Loudspeakers
INPUTS L (Left) and R
(Right) Unbalanced Jacks or
MONO (Monaural) Balanced
Connector accepts signal
from the output of a A/V
Control Center or Audio Control Center
OUTPUTS L (Left) and R
(Right) Unbalanced Jacks or
MONO (Monaural) Balanced
Connector provides signal to
the next Powered Subwoofer
or Power Amplifier
receives turn on/off signals from a McIntosh
component and the
sends the turn on/off signal to the next McIntosh
POWER Switch Turns
AC power Standby/On
and Off
Main Fuse holder, refer
to information on the
back panel of your
XLS112 to determine
the correct fuse size
and rating
Connect the XLS112 power
cord to a live AC outlet. Refer
to information on the back
panel to determine the correct
How to Connect
The McIntosh XLS112 Powered Subwoofer may be turned
On or Off by two different methods. The preferred method
is to utilize the Power Control Signal from a McIntosh A/V
Control Center or Audio Control Center. If the Power Control Signal is not available, the XLS112 has built-in signalsensing circuitry which will automatically turn-on the Powered Subwoofer.
1. Connect a power control cable from the McIntosh A/V
Control Center or Audio Control Center Power Control
Out Jack to the McIntosh XLS112 POWER CONTROL
IN Jack.
2. Connect a power control cable from the McIntosh
XLS112 POWER CONTROL OUT Jack to the McIntosh Power Amplifier Control In Jack.
McIntosh A/V Control Center
Notes: 1. If two or more McIntosh XLS112 Powered
Subwoofers are being used in the same system,
connect the POWER CONTROL OUT from the
first XLS112 to the next XLS112 POWER
CONTROL IN Jack and then onto the McIntosh
Power Amplifier.
2. The XLS112’s Power Control Input will
function with 5 to 20 Volts DC applied.
3. Connect a Balanced Audio Cable from the McIntosh
A/V Control Center or Audio Control Center
Subwoofer Out to the McIntosh XLS112 MONO
Notes: 1. If two or more McIntosh XLS112 Powered
Subwoofers are being used in the same system,
connect a second Audio Cable from the first
XLS112 MONO OUTPUT(S) to the next
2. The unbalanced L (Left) or R (Right)
INPUT(S) jack may be connected instead of the
Balanced Input jack.
3. If the input signal is insufficient for proper
system balance, connect an unbalanced cable
from the McIntosh A/V Control Center or
Surround Decoder Subwoofer Out to a “Y”
adapter and connect the “Y” adapter outputs
to both the L (Left) and R (Right) INPUT
Jacks. This will increase the input gain of the
XLS112 by 6dB.
4. Attach to the Front Panel the supplied Loudspeaker
5. Connect the XLS112 power cord to an active AC outlet.
McIntosh Seven Channel Power Amplifier
How to Connect
How to Operate
How to Operate
Level Control
Start with the LEVEL CONTROL in the center position
and perform the system level calibration on the A/V Control Center or Surround Decoder for
the subwoofer level. If the subwoofer
level can not be set, adjust the
provide adequate range during caliFigure 3
bration. Refer to figure 3.
Note: If the Control is set to maximun and additonal output is
needed refer to note 3.2 on page 10.
Low Pass
This control determines from what frequency and below
the XLS112 will reproduce sound when the imformation is
present in the audio signal.
When the XLS112 is used with
a discrete Sub Out from a Home
Theater Control Center, the
LOW PASS Control should be
Figure 4
set to OUT, as the signal should
contain only low frequency information. Refer to figure 4.
The PHASE Switch sets the acoustic output phase of the
XLS112 to either 0 or 180 degrees relative to its input. This
switch is to help avoid phase cancellation (characterized by
a loss of bass information) between the
XLS112 and any other low frequency
producing speaker in the system. CareFigure 5
ful listening with this circuit switched
to 0 and then listening with it switched
to 180 will help you determine if this effect will be beneficial to the system. Set the switch for the desired bass output. Refer to figure 5.
When the POWER SWITCH is set to the OFF position, the
XLS112 can not be turned on by a
Remote Power Conrol input or audio input signal sensing. Refer to
figure 6.
Figure 6
Remote Power Control
The XLS112’s Power Control Circuitry uses the turn-on
signal from a McIntosh Control Center or Preamplifier to
switch On and Off. When a Power Control Cable is connected between the Control Center or Preamplifier and the
XLS112, the audio signal-sensing circuit is disabled and
the XLS112 will automatically turn-on when the Control
Center or Preamplifier is on. The XLS112 also has a Power
Control OUTput jack for triggering additional subwoofers
or other McIntosh component(s).
When there is no Power Control Cable connected to the
XLS112, the audio signal-sensing circuitry is active and
automatically switches power On and Off. This occurs
when a music signal is detected at the Line INput(s). A
time delay of thirty minutes is incorporated in the circuit to
prevent the XLS112 from turning off during a music or
movie passage where there is little low frequency activity.
Status Indicator
The STATUS Indicator is a tri-color LED and illuminates a different color depending upon the current operating condition of
the XLS112. When the LED is illuminated Red the XLS112 is in
the Standby Mode. The LED will change to Green in color when
the XLS112 is switched on either by a Power Control Signal
or the Audio Signal Sensing Circuit has detected a low freFigure 7
quency audio signal present at
the Input jack(s). During peaks in the audio signal the LED may
change from Green to Orange in color to indicate the built-in
Power Guard Circuit has momentarily activated. Refer to figure
Driver Complement
12 inch LD/HP Woofer
Frequency Response
35Hz to 200Hz (±3dB)
Maximum Sound Pressure Level
Power Output
400 Watts Sine Wave Continuous Power
Total Harmonic Distortion (Power Ampfier)
Maximum Total Harmonic Distortion at any power level
from 250 milliwatts to rated power output is 0.07%
Input Sensitivity
0.4V for Rated Output
A-Weighted Signal To Noise Ratio
115dB Below Rated Output
Input Impedance
20,000 ohms
Maximum Input Signal
Low Pass Filter
40 - 120Hz (Variable Control on the Rear Panel)
Level Control
Variable Level Control on the Rear Panel
Power Control In
5 - 20 VDC Trigger
Power Requirements
100 Volts, 50/60Hz at 4.8 amps
110 Volts, 50/60Hz at 4.0 amps
120 Volts, 50/60Hz at 4.0 amps
220 Volts, 50/60Hz at 2.2 amps
230 Volts, 50/60Hz at 2.0 amps
240 Volts, 50/60Hz at 2.0 amps
Overall Dimensions
Width is 15-1/8 inches (38.42cm)
Height is 15-1/2 inches (39.37cm)
Depth is 15 inches (38.10cm)
87 lb. (39.50kg) net, 98 lb (44.5kg) in shipping carton
Packing Instructions
Packing Instructions
In the event it is necessary to repack the equipment for
shipment, the equipment must be packed exactly as shown
below. Use banding straps to make sure box is held together securely.
Use the original shipping carton and parts only if they
are in good serviceable condition. If a shipping carton or
any of the interior part(s) are needed, please call or write
Customer Service Department of McIntosh Laboratory.
Please see the Part List for the correct part numbers.
Part Number
Shipping carton Top
Shipping carton Bottom
Foam cap
McIntosh Laboratory, Inc.
2 Chambers Street
Binghamton, NY 13903
The continuous improvement of its products is
the policy of McIntosh Laboratory Incorporated
who reserve the right to improve design without
Printed in the U.S.A.
McIntosh Part No. 04092800