Common Questions for the S400
1. How much power do I need?
In general, we recommend S400 owners to consider amps that are capable of delivering a solid 50wpc (into 8 ohms) or higher.
Please note: We cannot, with absolute certainty, tell you how much power you will need to safely fuel the S400’s to your taste. The answer will hinge on the room that you plan on putting them along with your general listening habits. For example:
If you intend on using the S400’s in a small room and/or listen at low to moderate volumes, then you can get away with as little as 20wpc. On the flip side, if you have a large, open space to fill and/or like to crank the music, then you will need an amp that’s capable of delivering 150wpc or more.
2. Will the S400 work well with tube amplifiers?
It depends on your listening habits. If you listen at soft volumes or plan on using the S400’s in an intimate space, then you can get away with as little as 15wpc. In our experience, the S400’s play best with tube amps that are capable of outputting 30wpc or more.
3. What amplifiers brands do we recommend?
This is really a question we can’t answer, as it’s a very personal preference of what sound signature you like. Our speakers are tuned to be pretty neutral sounding, meaning that if you like some coloration, may that be to the warm of brighter side, you can mix and match with brands. All our speakers works well with everything we tested, they are not skeptical on amp matching. However, you will be rewarded when using a good quality one!
4. How long does it take to break them in?
100 hours will get you most of the way there.
Why is this important? Well the S400 uses very large rubber surrounds on both the main woofer and the passive radiator. The rubber is pretty stiff out of the box and needs “massage” to soften up and thereby be easier to drive to simplify it. This will give a better bass performance and makes the integration to the tweeter better as well. You can expect an pretty dramatic change in sound throughout the hours you put in to them.
What is the best way to break-in my speakers?
Use them! Listen to your music. Enjoy your movies. Catch up on your audio books. Run pink or brown noise through them if that’s your thing. The consistent variable will be play time. Keep those woofers movin’.
5. I need to place them close to a wall, will they work?
The S400’s perform best when you give them room to breathe. Ideally 2-3 ft (0.6-1m) away from any major piece of furniture or wall boundary.
If you must place them against a wall, there are a few things you can do to control the bass output if you notice that the bass gets to overwhelming and it masked the rest of the frequency band. You can use an EQ, a DSP (room correction) to tone down the room gain / room modes. It’s simply the side effect of having a speaker that has output in the low frequencies.
You might think that the S400 needs a lot of space due to the rear facing passive radiator, but the passive radiator only generates very low frequencies, these are completely omnidirectional, so it basically do not care about this. Unlike a ported design that needs air to “breath”.
6. What stands should i use?
There are tons of great options out there. What we find important is the stability, height and weight. Most quality stands can be filled with dry sand, this helps a lot with resonances which is important for the S400. As for height we recommend 25-30 inches (65-75 cm), This would be perfect. But shorter stands would still work just fine as well.