Active crossover for main speakers - Page 2 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #11 of 17 Old 07-29-10, 10:39 AM
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Nebraskans are eminently practical. :smoke1:
Nebraskans are eminently practical, etc.
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post #12 of 17 Old 07-30-10, 06:26 AM
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Consider this

http://www.rane.com/pdf/pi14dat.pdf :dancer:

"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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post #13 of 17 Old 07-30-10, 09:31 AM
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That needs its own thread. It is hilarious. Did you notice the fine details like the smiley face XLR connectors and the warning statement:

WARNING - TO PREVENT
THE POSSIBILITY OF
BEING VAPORIZED, DO
NOT ATTEMPT TO OPERATE
THIS UNIT IN THE
PRESENCE OF AUDIOPHILES.

Even the references are funny:

3. T. Pennington, and D. Bohn, ďAdaptive This and That for Stereophonic Sweeping From Here to There: presented at the 163rd
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post #14 of 17 Old 07-30-10, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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If you're going to go with an active setup you should skip the commercial side of things altogether. The most difficult and crucial aspect in designing a loudspeaker is the crossover. It makes very little sense to pay $ for a commercial loudspeaker and then ask them to leave out the XO - leaving you with a very nice looking enclosure (probably) and some very cheap drivers. You'd be much better off going the full DIY route if you want to tackle such a project. Pick up some nice drivers, a Behringer DCX2496, and some amps and go to town. Hooking up the Pro Audio gear to consumer level electronics isn't difficult either - yes they do take XLR or 1/4" TRS connections but one can easily build/buy an RCA to XLR (or RCA to 1/4 TRS) cable. Also some of the high end Onkyo/Integra preamps have XLR outputs.

Honestly though I don't get the impression that you have a firm grasp on what you'd be getting yourself into. You seem to be under the impression that creating an XO is as simple as choosing a slope and a frequency... and being able to tweak those will result in a better sounding speaker than what the MFG chose... If only it were that easy. Before you buy any gear do some reading - something like the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook - just to get an idea of what you're in for
Skipping consumer level speakers altogether assumes that you don't already own speakers. And to me, the one of the best/least expensive ways to get first hand knowledge of the real differences between a passive and an active network is to use have both in hand. I suppose I could ask the internets for their others' experience on this but I prefer to have first hand knowledge.

I've been down this DIY road before and intend to go there again. This is really the motivation for this question. I had a Focal MTM kit with a custom built network. (I did not personally design or build the network. The vendor put that together for me.) To me, the inherit flaw of this approach (using a DIY kit without an active crossover) is that though drivers and cabinet are equal to or better than what I could purchase on the consumer side of things, you will likely not have not heard the speaker until after the purchase. Once the speakers are up and running, regardless of how "good" the drivers are, you still have a reasonably good chance of not having an appreciation for how the speakers sound. Without an active crossover and dedicated amps, what options do you have to tweak the way the speakers sound?

I realize that for mainstream companies, it does not make any sense to offer active crossovers as a separate component. But I am asking this question on a niche product vendor's forum. It strikes me as odd that I cannot find one consumer level active crossover network that is sold by even a niche vendor.

Thanks for the suggestion regarding the the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook. It's been over 15 years since I lost my second copy of it so I should probably pick up another.
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post #15 of 17 Old 07-30-10, 12:10 PM
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Skipping consumer level speakers altogether assumes that you don't already own speakers. And to me, the one of the best/least expensive ways to get first hand knowledge of the real differences between a passive and an active network is to use have both in hand. I suppose I could ask the internets for their others' experience on this but I prefer to have first hand knowledge.

I've been down this DIY road before and intend to go there again. This is really the motivation for this question. I had a Focal MTM kit with a custom built network. (I did not personally design or build the network. The vendor put that together for me.) To me, the inherit flaw of this approach (using a DIY kit without an active crossover) is that though drivers and cabinet are equal to or better than what I could purchase on the consumer side of things, you will likely not have not heard the speaker until after the purchase. Once the speakers are up and running, regardless of how "good" the drivers are, you still have a reasonably good chance of not having an appreciation for how the speakers sound. Without an active crossover and dedicated amps, what options do you have to tweak the way the speakers sound?

I realize that for mainstream companies, it does not make any sense to offer active crossovers as a separate component. But I am asking this question on a niche product vendor's forum. It strikes me as odd that I cannot find one consumer level active crossover network that is sold by even a niche vendor.

Thanks for the suggestion regarding the the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook. It's been over 15 years since I lost my second copy of it so I should probably pick up another.
Converting a speaker you already have to active bi-amp does make sense for the reasons you stated - also you could convert only one and compare them against eachother. I was referring more to your comment that even high end speakers do not offer an active version.

Setting something like this up is not that difficult from a hardware perspective. It can get expensive to buy all of the components but once you have them you'll likely get years of use out of them. The Behringer DCX2496 is a very capable active crossover - it's got 3 inputs and 6 outputs. Although intimidating to look at it's actually quite intuitive to use (that's what I'm currently using). Like I said in the last post you'll need some RCA to XLR cables - you can buy these or just make them (wire the ground of the XLR to the negative of the RCA). The DCX will do pretty much anything you can imagine for an XO. From the DCX you'll probably be going back to RCA which is why I prefer to build my own cables - buy 6 RCA cables and 6 XLR cables and make yourself 6 RCA -> XLR male and 6 RCA -> XLR female. Alternatively you could keep with the PA gear and buy some PA amps to push your speakers (which is what I'm running right now although I've got some X-amps I'm going to try out in their place).

It sounds like you're pretty serious about giving it a try - I say go for it, as long as you have an appreciation for what you're getting yourself into . Keep an eye on eBay and you should be able to pick up a DCX for around $200 shipped - maybe even as low as $175 if you're lucky (there's one on there right now for $215 shipped). The resale value on them is good since they're so versatile. If you find it's not for you just sell off the DCX, you're probably out $35 bucks or less.
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post #16 of 17 Old 07-30-10, 12:46 PM
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Not advocating this, but the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook can be found online
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post #17 of 17 Old 07-30-10, 07:11 PM
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These are reportedly of good quality:
http://www.marchandelec.com/xovers.html

I like the idea of active speakers! Not sure I could afford what I would want at this point though.
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