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SonaFlex Technical Tips

The SonaFlex SF-16M Tech Manual SF-16M Tech Manual [View] (6.20 MiB) contains all the information you need to get started, but there are advanced features that are best explained in video, graphics, or Q&A format, as provided in the links below.

Speaker Connections

Ethernet and Serial Control Systems

IR Control

PC Utility

Firmware Updates

Sound Scenes and Overrides

Mono and Stereo setup

EQ and other DSP filters and Settings

FlexPort Setup

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I connect Ethernet to one SF-16M, and then use Serial to connect other units?
No. If you are unsing Ethernet to control multiple SF-16M units do not use†the†serial loop to connect them. This method does not work well because serial feedback is not transmitted over Ethernet†back†to the control device.

Q: Does the SonaFlex have any green energy features?

Yes, the SonaFlex has an audio-sense feature that powers down when no audio signals are present. The amp is divided into two "banks" of outputs; if no signals are detected for either bank or both banks, it goes into standby mode to save power.
A2: You can use an external device to trigger standby mode using trigger terminals on the SF-16M rear panel. That feature must be turned on in software.

Q: What is "Loudness"?
A: Your ear perceives the "loudness" of a sound differently depending on pitch. High pitches and low pitches do not sound as loud as midrange pitches, when played at low volume. The human ear's response to different frequencies is described by "Fletcher-Munson curves," first researched in 1933. "Loudness" compensates for the low and high pitch ranges which sound softer than the midrange. Another way to say it is that Loudness simulates the sound of loud music when you are listening at lower volume.

Q: What does the SonaFlex "Loudness" filter do?
In the SonaFlex, Loudness is a DSP preset that applies +5 dB gain to bass and treble. Essentially, it applies low shelf and high shelf filters to an output (Frequencies are 200Hz Low shelf, 3000Hz High shelf).

Q: Control4 systems do not allow mono end points. Do I have to use SonaFlex outputs in stereo pairs?

A: No, but if you designate C4 endpoint 1 as mono SonaFlex output 1, make sure C4 endpoint 2 is mono SonaFlex output 2. If you want output 1 to be a stereo output, remember to designate output 1 and 2 as a stereo pair (see SF-16M Utility). Endpoint 2 would then be SonaFlex outputs 3 and 4, etc. (More information about using the Control4 Driver.)

Q. What's the difference between Low Pass and Low Shelf filter?
A1. Low pass and high pass filters are used with a 2.1 setup (subwoofer and satellite speakers), completely removing the upper or lower frequencies from the signal.
A2. Low shelf and high shelf filters are really just bass and treble controls, boosting or trimming the upper or lower frequencies. One thing bass and treble donít let you do is specify the frequency as well as the dB gain or trim.

Q. What's the difference between an Override and a Scene Preset?
1. An override temporarily switches one or more outputs to a single input.
2. A sound scene preset permanently switches multiple outputs to multiple inputs. (A sound scene can't be cancelled or released like an override, returning to the previous system state.)

Q. How can you trigger an Override or Sound Scene Preset?
A1. You can trigger either one by sending a serial command, a telnet command, (Ethernet) or using one of the contact closures on the rear panel.
A2. A FlexPort override can be triggered by the override button on the FlexPort transmitter. You can't trigger a sound scene using an override.

Q: Can you use the 7-Band EQ at the same time as a Low Pass Filter?
A: Not quite. You could use a 6-band EQ with a Low Pass filter, because there are seven possible filters available. You can use some of them for parametric EQ, and others for other types of filters.

Q: Does the SF-16M have the same number of inputs and outputs as the ADX-1616?
A: No, the ADX-1616 has twice as many channels, but it is a strictly stereo device, whereas the SF-16M is mono by default. If you use the SF-16M in stereo mode, it is essentially an 8x8 device.

Q: Can I use a stereo source with mono SonaFlex outputs?
A: Yes, the SF-16M digitally sums the left and right input signals for mono outputs. This method is far superior to simply combining the left and right signals electrically (essentially like using a Y cable) which can distort the signal. Of course, stereo outputs still receive the original left and right channels.

Q: Control4 systems do not allow mono end points. How do I use SonaFlex outputs in stereo pairs?
A: SonaFlex outputs are mono by default, but you can use the front panel menu or the SF-16M utility to pair up the outputs for stereo behavior. Then in Composer, you simply use the odd numbered outputs to designate stereo endpoint 1 to SF-16M output 1, and stereo endpoint 2 to SF-16M output 3, etc.

Q: Control4 systems do not allow mono end points. Do I have to use SonaFlex outputs in stereo pairs?
A: No, but if you designate C4 endpoint 1 as mono SonaFlex output 1, make sure C4 endpoint 2 is mono SonaFlex output 2. If you want output 1 to be a stereo output, remember to designate output 1 and 2 as a stereo pair (see SF-16M Utility). Endpoint 2 would then be SonaFlex outputs 3 and 4, etc.

Q: Can I raise and lower volume levels for multiple outputs simultaneously?
A: Yes, there are two devices that can do this via Ethernet or serial connection. You can use a PC to send a group volume command, or you can program an automation controller to send that command. You must first set up at least one group of outputs using the PC utility.

Q: Is the SonaFlex compatible with Control4?
A: Yes, in fact it now has SDDP for seamless integration with Control4 systems. We have had a two-way driver for Control4 available since 2011.

Q: What is SDDP?
A: SDDP allows the SF-16M to "talk" to a Control4 system on the same Ethernet network. The Control4 system can then automatically download and install the correct driver.

Q: Can I control SonaFlex volume, bass, treble, and balance using Control4?
A: Yes, these controls have been added with version 1.4 of the SF-16M Control4 driver.

Q: Does SDDP work if you have two or more SF-16M amps on one network?
A: Yes, since they identify themselves using their MAC address, each one is unique, and can be programmed through Control4 software individually.

Q: Can I use SDDP if my Control4 system connects to the SonaFlex via serial?
A: Only if both units are also connected to an Ethernet network, at least for initial setup.

Q: How do I set up an override?
A: Overrides can only be set up using the PC Utility. Download the utility to your PC and connect it to the SF-16M via serial or Ethernet. You can also use a USB drive with the PC Utility. Learn more: www.audioauthority.com/sonaflex_tips.

Q: I exported my configuration to a USB drive from the PC Utility, why won't it load in the SF-16M?
A: Make sure the configuration file is on the root level of the USB drive, not in a folder. Make sure the USB drive is formatted FAT 32, and is compatible (try a different drive).

Q: I am having trouble exporting from the PC Utility to the SF-16M. What is causing it to fail?
A: While using Ethernet, disconnect the serial cable during programming, and vice-versa. Only use one connection at a time. Disable other Ethernet devices that may be talking to the SF-16M while you are exporting from the PC Utility. The SF-16M allows only two telnet sessions at a time.

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