Legacy Whisper owners - Steridian problem

Whisper owners - Has anyone come up with a Steridian Replacement??

I'm having several problems using balanced mode of Steridian. Single ended is OK, but balanced yields a hum and also a slight veil on the sound, plus a loss of immediacy. Talking to Legacy hasn't solved the problem. Debugged the system and it is absolutely the box. Tried putting Cardas converters (to single-ended) on the pre-amp end of my balanced cables and plugging into the single-ended output of the pre, into the balanced inputs and out of the balanced outputs of the Steridian, into the balanced inputs of my amp. This works, as the Cardas plugs tie together pins 1 and 3. Its obviously not true balanced, and I hate to think this is my ultimate solution.

Has anyone come up with a workaround for the Steridian? The WHispers really sound better with the equalization in my system, especially on the bass end, and I really don't want to do without it. In particular, I thought I remembered reading somewhere on this forum a while back where someone had come up with a workaround that provided both better equalization and less distortion, adapting a different equalizer and/or algorithm, etc.

Please note - NOT trying to "solve" a ground loop system problem here - looking for a Whisper Steridian replacement/modification. I also have a Legacy Focus equalizer which is not bad, but still emits some ground noise and isn't as good as the Steridian for the Whispers. Thanks for your time -
Not sure exactly what the Steridian does, but how about the Rives PARC, or the Pass Labs XVR1 Crossover?
Fsarc - Thanks for the info-- I'm not familiar with either of those pieces, but will check them out. The Steridian is designed by Legacy to equalize/accentuate bass, mid bass, upper bass and lower mids in the Whisper speakers. It is designed specifically for the Whispers, which is why the other Legacy equalizer I have for my Focus speakers doesn't work that well on the Whispers.

Any additional info is appreciated. I reconnected the Steridian and am now also getting some hum WITH the Cardas adapters, for the first time. This is driving me nucking futs!!
I'd say you got a piece of defective equipment. It might be time to move up the chain-of-command at Legacy & talk to someone who can get something done. I don't think they'd be too big on losing you as a customer.
I agree with Beavis. Hard to imagine Legacy wouldn't send you the piece and possibly take your defective unit in with a core charge/credit.
I can give you some information about the processor. The hum part is only as guess though.

Many electronics seem to reset if they are turned off and unplugged for a least 1minute. I would try this first. If the hum still exists, I would make sure the interconnect is not to close to any thing else, especially a power cord or speaker cable. Did you use the adapters with the same IC? I suggest removing the IC and try a different one. If you have none available, go to Best Buy or somewhere similar and buy a cheap pair of RCA single ended cables and see if the hum goes away. It is possible there is a lose or bad connection in your cable or the balanced connections of your equipment. If the hum still exists after all this, then you’ll know for sure it is in the processor.

Now for the part I’m sure about, the slight veil on the sound, plus a loss of immediacy. I have experimented around and talked to the guys at Coda who were the people that made the amps for Legacy. They use a pair of Whispers to demo their amps. The processor is needed for bottom end control but will reduce the transparency of the mid and hi frequencies. The Steridian processor is a necessary evil of the Whisper. A suggestion from Coda was to try using the tape loops from your preamp to the Steridian. It seems there is a slight voltage difference and this may be a possible effect of transparency loss. I tried this but detected no difference. But, I use a surround receiver as my preamp. A preamp may produce a better result than I had.

The proven method that I currently use is to biamp the Whispers. I have the bottom end power amp connected through the Steridian processor so I have full control of the bass. I use another power amp that is not connected to the processor for the mid and hi frequencies. I use the best sounding amp for this top end. I have only 1 pair of RCA preouts, so I use a Y connection to do this. The result is a very detailed reproduction of whatever I listen to. I’ll admit, biamping will add to cost and space, but I demand the finest details that the Whisper is capable of.

There are some very nice amps that pop up for sale on Audiogon from time to time. I use the Coda’s because this is what Bill Dudleston, the Whisper designer, prefers. I have a Continuum Ultra amp that is very liquid, transparent and powerful. They also have a Stage series that was called Powerbloc in Legacy catalogs. These are very high quality lost cost amps.

FYI… I do not know who made the Steridian processor. I wish I knew. I suggest calling Legacy and ask for Bill Dudleston’s phone number in Springfield, Illinois. I know in early 2005 he still was involved with the company. He could tell you who built the Steridian processor if it needs repair. I would like to know, so if you call him, please let me know also. Maybe there is a mod that would help the transparency of this processor. The amps and preamps that Legacy use to sell were built by Coda. The speaker cable is Kimber 8TC.

Feel free to email me if you wish……
Check on a device called the Kosmos by Peavey. Go to the peavey.com site. It will solve the Whispers and steradian problem. You can go to a local music store and maybe borrow one to try it out.
You should look at a Tact 2.2x and then you could eq and biamp it with two DAC cards or two digital amps. This would give you the ultimate flexiblity, plus you could correct for room problems at the same time. You can set the crossover points with the Tact and this should replace the Steridian.
I have a Legacy LF Extreme subwoofer, and it has an adjustment called "blend." This controls the gain/level (+/-) on the frequency region centered around 60Hz.

Is this what the Steradian does...or something similar?
I appreciate the responses so far.

Obviously Legacy is first up - I'll probably need to talk to Bill D. to get anything meaningful done. They ought to be able to fix their product so that it doesn't interfere with the rest of my system or degrade the sound, in ANY mode. The Whispers were not inexpensive.

Rives, Pass, Tact and Kosmos all seem to be realistic possibilities, but only as a last resort. At the level of my components, this SHOULD be fixable!! I'm going to do some more troubleshooting tomorrow am, just to confirm my Steridian issue.

Dbld - the Steridian adjusts the gain according to several algororithms particular to the Whisper speakers, according to Legacy.

Thanks again and still open to other suggestions...


!!!!!!! NEWSFLASH !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Got some $50 2 meter SE ICs and connected from theMcCormack SE amp plugs into Steridian. Also ran true SE from VAC preamp into the Steridian.

GUESS WOT???? HUM IS GONE!! Also doesn't sound veiled, but its hard to tell without decent ICs.

SOOOOOooooooo, unless I start hearing a hum from THIS setup, I'm tempted to leave sleuthing alone for a while. Especially since both Kevin H. and Steve M. say I'll get the exact same performance out of their equipment in balanced or SE, and I KNOW the Steridian veils the sound in true balanced, which thankfully I won't be running. Is there a problem with the Steridian in balanced mode? Pretty obviously. Do I care at this point? Pretty obviously not, but I might if I start running into problems in true SE mode.

I'm afraid if I don't stop messing with this, I'll put the Steridian through a wall. I will NOT move it out of my system unless/until it starts screwing up again. In fact, I'm a little leary of touching ANYTHING at this point - time to just enjoy the music!!

Thanks you ALL very much for your help and assistance.

Harve, so your problem was because of your ICs?

I am still curious as to why there is an issue with running balanced into the Steridian and passing it out via balanced to your amp. Where does the problem (veiling and/or hum) originate, and is there anyone out there who can fix or mod this piece to optimize the performance?

I don't even own Whispers yet, but I'd really like to.
Dbld- The problem was because the balanced inputs and outputs of the Steridian were not functioning properly in my system.

Single-ended, as I have just discovered, works really well with no hum OR veiling!! I say really well because right now I am running a stock 16 gauge power cord to my power conditioner from the wall (instead of my Elrod Statement), Au24 ics from my VAC to the Steridian, and $50. Monster cable 2meter SE ics's from the Steridian into McCormack amp in SE (instead of Nirvana S-X ics). It sounds really good, better than in Balanced mode with the high-end Ic's and PC, which really surprises me. I guess when you've got good components, you'll get pretty good sound even with $50. interconnects! Obviously when I put the Statement back in and put SE Nirvanas back in, the system will just get that much better. Can hardly wait!!

The takeaway from this problem I guess is that if you are having veiling-type problems using your Steridian with Whispers in Balanced mode, try using SE mode. It definitely is working for me (so far)!

Thanks again everyone for your suggestions.
I thought I would post this update in case someone looks for help and finds this thread in the future.

I too had a "buzz" from the mid-range drivers of my Whispers when I inputted via single-ended and outputted from the balanced outputs of the Whisper Processor [My current amp does not have single ended inputs, and everything in my system has balanced connections, but I still tried the single-ended into the Whisper Processor].

All my A/V gear is on several dedicated circuits all grounded at the same point. Nevertheless, a ground loop is always a possibility somehow when you use multiple electrical circuits. :-( When I use all balanced connections, the system is dead quiet. So there appeared to be a problem slightly different from Fplanner2000’s because his was with the balanced only operation and mine with the single ended operation.

After a lot of time searching – of all things - I have discovered that my buzz [if/when I use the single-ended inputs and the balanced outputs] is due to a ground loop created by my cable connection [cable TV]! I disconnected the cable [which I use for HD viewing on my projector] and no more buzz. Now I can input single ended OR balanced to my Whisper Processor [WP] and output balanced or single ended with no appreciable noise.

My point here is that my WP is just fine. My problem was outside the Whisper system. To fix this I grounded my cable where it comes into the house to the same point all of the rest of my A/V circuits are grounded. Like I said, now my system is dead quiet with any input to the WP

Furthermore, I’d like to clarify that the WP is a different piece from the Steridian [even Stereophile got this wrong…I think]. As well as contouring the low end damping/response, the WP is also said to enhance the low frequency channel separation in a way that is particularly suited for the Whisper speaker. This is likely why everyone likes to keep the WP in the system.

Also, to clarify, if you input to the WP via the balanced inputs, the fixed single-ended outputs are rendered inoperative. But if you input via the single-ended inputs, all outputs will work, including the balanced. I learned all this after a lot of research, I am reasonably sure it is all correct.

And lastly, above I mention the “blend” on the LF Xtreme subwoofer. It is not centered at 60 Hz, it is centered somewhere below that. It seems to be a simple single band EQ, but it is still quite effective and handy. I have two LF Xtremes and although they seem to be a little different from each other [different vintages] I am able to use their adjustments very effectively to get a flat response in my room in this sub-bass region [to within about +/- 1 or 2 db]. I discovered this after buying a Velodyne SMS-1 bass EQ system which I quickly sold since I found I didn’t really need it thanks to the on-board controls of the LF Xtremes. Nevertheless, the SMS-1 helped me adjust the subs to blend in seamlessly to the Whispers once I got the subs’ phase, level, and EQ settings right using the SMS-1’s external mic and test tone sweeps.