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Platinum Mark IV and the Loudspeaker Control Unit

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sea

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M-400t CUBE

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Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:47 pm

Location: NC Piedmont

Post Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:44 am

Platinum Mark IV and the Loudspeaker Control Unit

Excuse my ignorance. I am new to the ribbon club. My recently attained Platinums have the adjustment Potentiometers on the rear plates. This allows you to adjust the Q bass and a couple of ribbon parameters. I understand that the ECU adds a Gundry notch (whatever that is) and a SH circuit that is supposed to be designed for open baffle type speakers. I guess my question is some of this reduntant to the adjustment potentiometers? I would love to hear from some of you that are using an ECU especially with Mark IV's.
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wrstps

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TFM-6cb

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Location: Taylor, Michigan

Post Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:37 am

Re: Platinum Mark IV and the Loudspeaker Control Unit

I think you are correct about the reduntancy issue, however you could always look at a C9 for the SH option. You won't be disappointed. I have the control piece and very seldom use anything other than the SH.
Ray
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Robert R

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TFM-45

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Post Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:19 am

Re: Platinum Mark IV and the Loudspeaker Control Unit

sea,

First get the name right - it's ECS-U, for Electronic Control System, Universal. Earliest models had an ECS specific to that model; it was included with the purchase of the speakers. Bob finally concluded that for marketing reasons he needed to go with passive crossovers, though the final version, the MkIVs which you have, had those three user-adjustable capabilities. The ECS-U was available as an extra ($300 extra!) for those who wanted more control flexibility, plus a milder version of SH, balanced for those ribbon speakers, as you noted. It has five functions in all.

A couple of the controls are redundant, but certainly handier. The two outer knobs/pots - the high-frequency trim (the "sparkle" control) and the bass Q - are pretty much equal to the corresponding controls on the backs of the speakers, though the bass Q allows bass cut without power-wasting passive resistance (that's a 100 watt pot in the speakers). Q refers to the slope of the response curve, higher Q being sharper. You might think of it as a bass control that can reduce boominess but doesn't cut the lowest notes as much as usual bass controls. I leave the pots on my speakers all the way up, and use the ECS to adjust the bass.

The Gundry dip is a fairly broad (low Q) notch in response that's centered around 3300 Hz, where a certain Mr. Gundry discovered that the ear is particularly sensitive. There is a certain set level of Gundry dip built into the crossovers of the Mk IVs. But some recordings are so rich in frequencies in that range as to be almost unbearable, especially in an acoustically over-bright room. A few dB of extra cut makes them less forward and more listenable to many people - you have the choice.

The sub-bass button boosts just the lowest frequencies, for recordings where, for lack a few dB, they become weak, seemingly lost. Again, this feature's need is a matter of the playback material's quality, your room, and your taste.

The Sonic Holography is something you can experiment with at great length. The compromise is between clarity of a soloist in the center and overall size of the stereo image. To get it working right, speaker placement is key - they need to be a lot closer together than is usual for stereo, away from reflecting walls, and quite accurately equidistant from the listener. Here again the ultimate usefulness might well depend on the recording and your own taste or mood at the moment.

Robert R
"You know what folks? I'm happy."
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sea

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M-400t CUBE

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Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:47 pm

Location: NC Piedmont

Post Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:38 am

Re: Platinum Mark IV and the Loudspeaker Control Unit

RobertR, as always you are a wealth of knowledge! Thank you for taking the tine to explain. Ed

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