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  1. #1
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    Default Harbinger V2218S subwoofer warning or, "Assumption is the mother of ****umption..."

    Hey doods!

    I had an interesting experience last night that I thought I would share.

    One of my clients has purchased 3 Harbinger V2218S subs. They're active subs that cost like $400/each...amazingly cheap and actually sound decent for 400 bucks.

    Worth noting, the band owns the entire P.A. and they set it up. I just show up and mix. That said...

    It's not uncommon for them set up something incorrectly. So, in the interest of due diligence, in addition to line checks, I check all the speaker connections. So I'm checking the subs, and I notice that the subs sound "funny." My first instinct was to check phase, which was all correct...hmmmm... So, using the volume knobs in the built-in processors, I started isolating the subs. #1 sub in the chain sounded fine. Second sub had like half the gain and bottom rolled out. Third sub's gain was half-again. Bad cable? Bad settings? So I check the settings. Sure enough, all the subs are set to "Crossover" @ 120Hz. Hmmm.... So I changed out the XLR jumper cables for known-to-be-working cables (I always bring a bag of assorted cables just in case). Same result. Hmmm... So I move the primary feeder cable from the bottom sub to the middle sub (the subs were stacked vertically). The middle sub came to life! Okay...so then I move the feeder cable to the top sub. The top sub comes to life. So I jumper from the top to middle sub. Middle sub now has half the gain and has lost all bottom.

    To summarize: All subs sound fine as the primary sub, all subsequent subs lose gain and bottom end. Maddening.

    It's show time, so I just turn them all up and go.

    After the gig, the first thing I do is Google the manual. To my shock and horror, it seems these POS subs are DESIGNED to operate this way on purpose! If you check the manual...

    http://harbingerproaudio.com/wp-cont...ers-Manual.pdf

    ....page 6, you'll see in typical Chinenglish fashion, instructions regarding the "Link/Crossover" switch are vague. It seems that the "parallel XLR jacks" aren't parallel at all. It seems the user is given a CHOICE of EITHER internal processing OR linking (parallel). If you link, you don't get processing. If you process, you don't get parallel. If one wishes to LINK the subs, you have to put them in "Link mode," which turns off the crossover. In crossover mode, the parallel (output) port is HIGH-PASSED. Yes, you read that right, HIGH-PASSED. Idiotic!! THIS is why the subsequent subs in the chain sounded like crap.

    I can only assume that I'll now have to handle the subwoofer processing through the digital console...which is fine. But what a weird way for an active subwoofer to handle internal processing.

    I told the guys that, from now on, when they buy new gear, they either have to RTFM, or at least BRING a manual to the gig so *I* can read it. At least the subs aren't broken and I learned that I can no longer take it for granted that parallel port are indeed, parallel. Maddening. Lesson learned.
    DF

    http://soundaddy.com

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Harbinger V2218S subwoofer warning or, "Assumption is the mother of ****umption..

    Sounds like the "parallel" output is actually meant for tops (full range above sub crossover point). Maybe it's as simple as the output port labeling was translated wrong?
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Harbinger V2218S subwoofer warning or, "Assumption is the mother of ****umption..

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnie Frank View Post
    Hey doods!

    I had an interesting experience last night that I thought I would share.

    One of my clients has purchased 3 Harbinger V2218S subs. They're active subs that cost like $400/each...amazingly cheap and actually sound decent for 400 bucks.

    Worth noting, the band owns the entire P.A. and they set it up. I just show up and mix. That said...

    It's not uncommon for them set up something incorrectly. So, in the interest of due diligence, in addition to line checks, I check all the speaker connections. So I'm checking the subs, and I notice that the subs sound "funny." My first instinct was to check phase, which was all correct...hmmmm... So, using the volume knobs in the built-in processors, I started isolating the subs. #1 sub in the chain sounded fine. Second sub had like half the gain and bottom rolled out. Third sub's gain was half-again. Bad cable? Bad settings? So I check the settings. Sure enough, all the subs are set to "Crossover" @ 120Hz. Hmmm.... So I changed out the XLR jumper cables for known-to-be-working cables (I always bring a bag of assorted cables just in case). Same result. Hmmm... So I move the primary feeder cable from the bottom sub to the middle sub (the subs were stacked vertically). The middle sub came to life! Okay...so then I move the feeder cable to the top sub. The top sub comes to life. So I jumper from the top to middle sub. Middle sub now has half the gain and has lost all bottom.

    To summarize: All subs sound fine as the primary sub, all subsequent subs lose gain and bottom end. Maddening.

    It's show time, so I just turn them all up and go.

    After the gig, the first thing I do is Google the manual. To my shock and horror, it seems these POS subs are DESIGNED to operate this way on purpose! If you check the manual...

    http://harbingerproaudio.com/wp-cont...ers-Manual.pdf

    ....page 6, you'll see in typical Chinenglish fashion, instructions regarding the "Link/Crossover" switch are vague. It seems that the "parallel XLR jacks" aren't parallel at all. It seems the user is given a CHOICE of EITHER internal processing OR linking (parallel). If you link, you don't get processing. If you process, you don't get parallel. If one wishes to LINK the subs, you have to put them in "Link mode," which turns off the crossover. In crossover mode, the parallel (output) port is HIGH-PASSED. Yes, you read that right, HIGH-PASSED. Idiotic!! THIS is why the subsequent subs in the chain sounded like crap.

    I can only assume that I'll now have to handle the subwoofer processing through the digital console...which is fine. But what a weird way for an active subwoofer to handle internal processing.

    I told the guys that, from now on, when they buy new gear, they either have to RTFM, or at least BRING a manual to the gig so *I* can read it. At least the subs aren't broken and I learned that I can no longer take it for granted that parallel port are indeed, parallel. Maddening. Lesson learned.
    As suggested by Dave L, they are designed that way on purpose. Its intended to provide a feed to the tops. Single cable to the SUB with a built-in x-over and the feed to the top from the output of the X-over high-passed for the tops.

    This is in fact a very common setup.

    From the website features: Selectable full-range link or high-pass XLR outputs

    Its unclear from the manual if the x-over is always engaged for the sub, but my guess is that it is. So to chain multiple subs, you'd set the switch to link and connect up as many subs as you wish. If you want to then send the x-over high-pass to to your powered tops, you'd set the last sub in the chain to cross-over and continue from there.
    Last edited by cgrafx; 06-04-2018 at 03:08 AM.
    ---------------------------------------
    Philip G.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Harbinger V2218S subwoofer warning or, "Assumption is the mother of ****umption..

    Checked the manual,

    What I saw at first is that you should connect your top speakers first....
    and just after that you take a line from the top L or R and set the sub in LINK mode,
    from where you can add more subs. If you put it to crossover more, on outputs you'll
    get a highpassed signal with a cut at 90 or 120Hz.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Harbinger V2218S subwoofer warning or, "Assumption is the mother of ****umption..

    This is standard on many self powered subs. In the analog days they were probably separate XLR outputs (for thru or high pass) but now that they have DSP built into the sub, they save $0.05 and put only a single loop thru XLR on them and it's up to the operator to use it properly.

    Definitely just a RTFM moment.

    And now that I've looked at the manual, it's a pretty simple unit with no real DSP at all. I suspect if you switch it to Link you still get a low pass to the sub. You just don't get a high pass on the XLR. It should be pretty obvious if you just listen and try it both ways with a single sub. If the low pass doesn't work in Link mode then you could always just built a little 3 way XLR Y cable and split the signal to all three subs that way.
    Richard B. Ingraham
    RBI Computers and Audio
    http://www.rbicompaudio.20m.com
    SAC System Details and other goodies at: http://www.rbicompaudio.20m.com/SAC.html
    Email Based User List: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/sac_users/

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Harbinger V2218S subwoofer warning or, "Assumption is the mother of ****umption..

    Quote Originally Posted by RBIngraham View Post

    This is standard on many self powered subs.
    Which brand of sub-woofer high-passes the top speaker, but doesn't low-pass itself? Not QSC offerings. Not JBL, as far as I know. In "Link" mode, the manual simply states, "When set to 'Link,' you can connect other subwoofers in series." I guess we're to assume that turning OFF the crossover continues to low-pass the sub??????? Pretty unintuitive.


    Quote Originally Posted by RBIngraham View Post

    In the analog days they were probably separate XLR outputs (for thru or high pass) but now that they have DSP built into the sub, they save $0.05 and put only a single loop thru XLR on them and it's up to the operator to use it properly.

    Definitely just a RTFM moment.
    Except the manual doesn't say of the sub itself is low-passed or not in either mode. Are we to ASSUME it is??? Who knows???? I've yet to see an active subwoofer that processes the TOP speaker, but NOT the sub itself. And the manual makes no mention of a low-pass. So I disagree with you. The manual is literally of no help.



    Quote Originally Posted by RBIngraham View Post

    And now that I've looked at the manual, it's a pretty simple unit with no real DSP at all. I suspect if you switch it to Link you still get a low pass to the sub.
    Suspect? Exactly my point. So much for "RTFM."



    Quote Originally Posted by RBIngraham View Post

    You just don't get a high pass on the XLR. It should be pretty obvious if you just listen and try it both ways with a single sub.
    Agreed. I just never occurred to me that "Crossover" means "High-pass the XLR output." Every brand of active sub I've seen, the XLR is parallel regardless of settings, and the switches on the sub back plate have always been FOR the sub, NOT for the top speaker. But I admit I don't have a lot of experience with powered subs. JBL and QSC (and now Harbinger) have been the only active subs I've worked with.



    Quote Originally Posted by RBIngraham View Post

    If the low pass doesn't work in Link mode then you could always just built a little 3 way XLR Y cable and split the signal to all three subs that way.
    That's exactly what I said at the gig. But, fortunately, seems we don't have to do that. Just use "Link" mode and low-pass at the console courtesy built-in Butterworth.

    I didn't have the manual at the gig (obviously, not my subs, and they were brand new), but I did check the manual on-line when I got home. Unclear is if the "Link" setting turns OFF internal DSP to the SUB or not. Unintuitive is the "Crossover/Link" button that leaves one with the ILLUSION that the switch is used to turn the sub's internal DSP on and off (like all other active subs). The manual gives us no clue.

    I guess my point is the manual is no help, and the switches on the back are unintuitive. That said...

    At the NEXT gig (June 23), I ran them all in "Link" mode with DSP handled at the console. THAT worked. I think the subs are full range in "Link" mode. I would test for that, but it's not my system. Maybe next gig if I get a minute I'll check it out. But, again, the manual doesn't say either way.
    Last edited by Donnie Frank; 06-25-2018 at 09:48 AM.
    DF

    http://soundaddy.com

    Intel DG965OT Motherboard (11/17/08) - Intel P4 LGA-775 651 (Cedar Mill) 3.4GHz CPU
    2.0GB 800Mhz RAM - 40GB Intel X25-V SSD - 500GB SATA "Spinner"

    RME HDSP 9652 (x2 - 1 spare) - Behringer ADA8000 (x5 - 2 spares)
    CM MotorMix (x3 - Host system) - Behringer BCF-2000 (Remote system)


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Harbinger V2218S subwoofer warning or, "Assumption is the mother of ****umption..

    Quote Originally Posted by operationwhat View Post

    Checked the manual,

    What I saw at first is that you should connect your top speakers first....
    The top speakers (K12.2) have their own built-in processing. Plus I ALWAYS run the subwoofers on their own matrix. So I don't connect the mains to the subs ever.




    Quote Originally Posted by operationwhat View Post

    and just after that you take a line from the top L or R and set the sub in LINK mode,
    from where you can add more subs. If you put it to crossover more, on outputs you'll
    get a highpassed signal with a cut at 90 or 120Hz.
    It's pretty clear now that the crossover switch sets up a high-pass for the top speakers. What is unclear is if the "Link" setting still low-passes the subs. Last gig 2 days ago I ran the subs in "Link" mode and handled the DSP at the console. So I'm not sure if "Link" low-passes the subs or not. And the manual is no clue. Because the system isn't mine (therefore not at my house), I'll have to wait until next gig to experiment.
    Last edited by Donnie Frank; 06-25-2018 at 09:45 AM.
    DF

    http://soundaddy.com

    Intel DG965OT Motherboard (11/17/08) - Intel P4 LGA-775 651 (Cedar Mill) 3.4GHz CPU
    2.0GB 800Mhz RAM - 40GB Intel X25-V SSD - 500GB SATA "Spinner"

    RME HDSP 9652 (x2 - 1 spare) - Behringer ADA8000 (x5 - 2 spares)
    CM MotorMix (x3 - Host system) - Behringer BCF-2000 (Remote system)


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Harbinger V2218S subwoofer warning or, "Assumption is the mother of ****umption..

    Quote Originally Posted by cgrafx View Post

    As suggested by Dave L, they are designed that way on purpose.
    I guess. Pretty unintuitive, if you ask me.




    Quote Originally Posted by cgrafx View Post

    Its intended to provide a feed to the tops. Single cable to the SUB with a built-in x-over and the feed to the top from the output of the X-over high-passed for the tops.
    Apparently. I can only assume these were built for the karaoke/DJ market. I never run my top cabs directly out of the subs. I always run subs on their own matrix.





    Quote Originally Posted by cgrafx View Post

    This is in fact a very common setup.
    On which brands? AFAIK, QSC and JBL don't have a "Link" switch. And the "crossover" switches are used to set up the low-pass IN the SUB, not set a high-pass on the XLR output jack. Then again, I have limited experience with powered subs and own none.





    Quote Originally Posted by cgrafx View Post

    From the website features: Selectable full-range link or high-pass XLR outputs
    So the switch has no effect on the sub itself??? Who knows? I guess I'll experiment next gig.




    Quote Originally Posted by cgrafx View Post

    Its unclear from the manual if the x-over is always engaged for the sub,
    Yep, "unclear" is my point exactly.




    Quote Originally Posted by cgrafx View Post

    ...but my guess is that it is. So to chain multiple subs, you'd set the switch to link and connect up as many subs as you wish. If you want to then send the x-over high-pass to to your powered tops, you'd set the last sub in the chain to cross-over and continue from there.
    Yep...except I've never connected my high cabinets directly to my sub...ever. As I stated earlier, I always run the subs on their own matrix.
    DF

    http://soundaddy.com

    Intel DG965OT Motherboard (11/17/08) - Intel P4 LGA-775 651 (Cedar Mill) 3.4GHz CPU
    2.0GB 800Mhz RAM - 40GB Intel X25-V SSD - 500GB SATA "Spinner"

    RME HDSP 9652 (x2 - 1 spare) - Behringer ADA8000 (x5 - 2 spares)
    CM MotorMix (x3 - Host system) - Behringer BCF-2000 (Remote system)


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Harbinger V2218S subwoofer warning or, "Assumption is the mother of ****umption..

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    Sounds like the "parallel" output is actually meant for tops (full range above sub crossover point). Maybe it's as simple as the output port labeling was translated wrong?
    It's definitely a case of "poor labeling" and "poor documentation." Turns out the crossover/link switch is to set high-pass on the XLR output jack. Your guess is as good as mine as to whether or not the switch has any effect on the internal low-pass. And the manual is no map. I guess I'll experiment next gig, as I don't own the subs. One of my clients does.
    Last edited by Donnie Frank; 06-25-2018 at 09:43 AM.
    DF

    http://soundaddy.com

    Intel DG965OT Motherboard (11/17/08) - Intel P4 LGA-775 651 (Cedar Mill) 3.4GHz CPU
    2.0GB 800Mhz RAM - 40GB Intel X25-V SSD - 500GB SATA "Spinner"

    RME HDSP 9652 (x2 - 1 spare) - Behringer ADA8000 (x5 - 2 spares)
    CM MotorMix (x3 - Host system) - Behringer BCF-2000 (Remote system)


  10. #10

    Default Re: Harbinger V2218S subwoofer warning or, "Assumption is the mother of ****umption..

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnie Frank View Post
    It's definitely a case of "poor labeling" and "poor documentation." Turns out the crossover/link switch is to set high-pass on the XLR output jack. Your guess is as good as mine as to whether or not the switch has any effect on the internal low-pass. And the manual is no map. I guess I'll experiment next gig, as I don't own the subs. One of my clients does.
    Good luck figuring it out. My QSC system keeps it simple: all the daisy-chain ins and outs are full-spectrum (KW181 sub and K12 tops), so I don't have to think. I can just throw a switch on my K12's if I want to high-pass their sound when a sub is running.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

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