Info for Legacy Steradian/First Step users

I thought I'd post this for general information for those of you who utilize the room bass equalization unit with their Legacy speakers.

I recently purchased a preamp for my system as I had previously been using my surround sound processor as a preamp. I connected the preamp to the balanced inputs of the Steradian and connected the SSP to the single ended inputs for HT use. I then connected my CD player to the preamp. Well I experienced terrible distortion and limited volume when I played music through the preamp. I naturally assumed that something was wrong with my new tubed preamp. After changing out a rectifier tube that the manufacturer thought might be bad, no improvement was made. Trying to figure out what was wrong, at one point I disconnected the SSP from the Steradian and found that the sound was now as it should be. Connecting the SSP back into it once again lead to thin and distorted sound with limited volume capability.

So evidently one should not connect more than one input to a Steradian at a time. I had planned to use the SSP and the preamp separately so as not to use the tubes when not necessary, but now I realize I cannot. Fortunately, the preamp has a Home Theater bypass circuit but does require the unit, thus the tubes, to be powered on.

This is my observation. The owners manual doesn't say anything about having two inputs in use, but I have not contacted Legacy about it since I am able to use my HT bypass on the new preamp. It may be my unit only, but I doubt it so if any other users have experience, please share with us.
The balanced inputs into my Steridian didn't work well at all. I have been using the RCA's instead and haven't had any problems.
I have learned quite a bit about the Whisper Processor that I have posted in Fplanner2000's old thread from when he had his balanced input issue. Feel free to email me and I’ll help in any way I can…if I can.

First off, anything that has more than one input must have some sort of switch to know which input is to be outputted [did I say that right?]. For example, just because your amplifier has both single-ended AND balanced inputs doesn't mean you can hook two different sources up to these two inputs and expect to hear what you want...even when one source is turned off...which is what I think you were surprised by.

With the Whisper Processor, it is the same thing. It is not a switch, but a part of the Whisper System. It is also tuned specifically to the Whispers in spite of Legacy providing similar products separately. Back to the WP - only one set of inputs should be used. Internally, it is a single ended unit, so it really doesn't matter which input you choose. Actually your problem may have been because it is internally single ended, and your system didn’t like the balanced to single-ended conversion done inside while both inputs where connected simultaneously.

I need a glass of wine!

I am sorry if I am not being too clear…it is clear in my head…I think.

Now the outputs are a different story. You can use all the outputs at the same time [Fixed and Variable single-ended and the Variable balanced].

BTW – I am no electronics expert, just an obsessive schlep who has looked into the WP a whole lot. Actually, our systems have a lot in common. My room is similar sized [33x18-23x9]; I also use the HTS 7.1, and have two LF Xtremes supporting my Whispers.

Best of Luck,