PARADIGM AND MARTIN LOGAN. THEIR DIRTY LITTLE SECRET. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 02:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a pair of DSP3400 subs. I could never get response below 24hz. This could not be..... These subs employ huge 14 inch woofers stuffed in enormous enclosures. I tried some 16 and 18 hz test tones to see if placement or phase may be a problem. The cones do not move at any frequency below 22hz??????????????????. I did some research. All paradigm DSP series subs have employed software that is non defeat-able. The amp simply does not pass any frequency below ~20 hz to the driver. Ridiculous. This is a dirty trick to avoid warranty claims by preventing woofer over excursion. This creates an unnatural and awkward roll off. Paradigm says there is no way to disable or modify this. $2000 in the hole for subs that lack extension and I have no recourse. My Velodyne equipped with a JL 10W0 has better extension.

I set out to find new subs. The ML Dynamo 1500 with the down firing option looked to be very tasty. Then I learned that Martin Logan has done the same thing with the Dynamo series. I asked ML tech support why they would limit the Dynamo 1500, a sealed design, to 20hz? Their audio engineer's response was " No recorded material goes below 20hz, why would you want it to play that low?" I was additionally informed that most companies are doing this to prevent woofer damage. I would love to know who else is doing this so I can avoid them. Martin Logan, you make great ES panels, but you are obviously not a sub company.

Any sub with a non-defeat-able subharmonic filter should be shunned and boycotted.
I am shocked that two great companies would secretly implement such a performance robbing feature. implementation of subharmonic filters should be advertised. Better yet, give me a button to turn it OFF.

Paradigm and ML no longer have the right to use the term SUB on their woofers. To me, they shall be known as "Plain Woofers.


"

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post #2 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 03:10 AM
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Did you ask Paradigm what the extension was before you bought them?
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post #3 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 04:04 AM
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Wow, that is a ridiculous rant. Looks like you are going to have to build your own sub, since there aren't many you can buy that doesn't have some kind of low frequency limiter. This isn't exactly a dirty secret, it's industry wide standard practice and a sensible one too. You are precisely the kind of customer that necessitated that design decision.
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post #4 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 05:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Wow, that is a ridiculous rant. Looks like you are going to have to build your own sub, since there aren't many you can buy that doesn't have some kind of low frequency limiter. This isn't exactly a dirty secret, it's industry wide standard practice and a sensible one too. You are precisely the kind of customer that necessitated that design decision.

Not a rant, just true information. Is any part of this false?

If something has a subsonic filter I think its reasonable to advertise it. Specs usually indicate when the speaker hits f3 and is down 3db. indicating a natural roll off. Just slapping frequency response on the box without clarification is misleading.

If its an industry wide practice maybe you would care to list who else is doing this?????. It may help people avoid buying inferior product! Would you not agree that a 15"(Dynamo1500) driver in a sealed enclosure really does not need a subsonic filter? The acoustic suspension would prevent over excursion of the driver. Its ridiculous. The product would soar to a new height and be competitive with items such as the HSU ULS 15. And it would have the option of down firing which would be fantastic. In the case of the Paradigms, look at the driver? You don't think that thing can handle a little extension below 20hz? The surround is huge even on the 10" model. The amp specs appear to be up to the task.

Paradigm and Logan are typically great companies. Using this sub filter just makes no sense in a product at this price point and supposed capability. Wrong audience. BAD DESIGN DECISION. I expect more from such companies. How about a little honesty to go along with that performance killer?

Did you see that little JL singing to 16hz? Not even a whimper. I guess JL HSU SVS and Velodyne haven't signed on to the warranty claim prevention trickery.

BTW, I haven't blown a speaker in over 30 years.

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post #5 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 05:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MemX View Post

Did you ask Paradigm what the extension was before you bought them?
According to specs on website response was good to 20hz. Natural roll off at 20 was the assumption. Its usually the norm. Asked dealer. They were unaware of use of subsonic filters. I guess the sub12/15 don't have the limit. Would have been nice to know up front and I would have bought one of those maybe.

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post #6 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 06:04 AM
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alot of brick and mortar subs roll off at 30hz, this is nothing new.
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post #7 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tritiumglo View Post

Not a rant, just true information. Is any part of this false?

If something has a subsonic filter I think its reasonable to advertise it. Specs usually indicate when the speaker hits f3 and is down 3db. indicating a natural roll off. Just slapping frequency response on the box without clarification is misleading.

If its an industry wide practice maybe you would care to list who else is doing this?????. It may help people avoid buying inferior product! Would you not agree that a 15"(Dynamo1500) driver in a sealed enclosure really does not need a subsonic filter? The acoustic suspension would prevent over excursion of the driver. Its ridiculous. The product would soar to a new height and be competitive with items such as the HSU ULS 15. And it would have the option of down firing which would be fantastic. In the case of the Paradigms, look at the driver? You don't think that thing can handle a little extension below 20hz? The surround is huge even on the 10" model. The amp specs appear to be up to the task.

Paradigm and Logan are typically great companies. Using this sub filter just makes no sense in a product at this price point and supposed capability. Wrong audience. BAD DESIGN DECISION. I expect more from such companies. How about a little honesty to go along with that performance killer?

Did you see that little JL singing to 16hz? Not even a whimper. I guess JL HSU SVS and Velodyne haven't signed on to the warranty claim prevention trickery.

BTW, I haven't blown a speaker in over 30 years.

First of all, a sealed cabinet doesn't completely protect against bottoming out. And it's perfectly reasonable to focus on 20 hz and up, this is where the vast majority of bass content is. For most bass drivers, going below the low 20s with any output at all is a real strain, and that is where a lot of wear and tear come from. There are only a few that can do it without breaking a sweat. I don't believe JL Audio is one of them, as even the f3 on their F113 looks like its 20 hz. I don't know if the subsonic filter on the JL Audio is defeatable, but it definitely uses one. The SVS subs use a very hard and undefeatable subsonic limiter, so that is a poor example. Hsu subs are definitely using subsonic limiters too, although they can still be made to go into over-excursion if both ports are open when the amp is switched to extension mode. I am certain Velodyne uses limiters as well.

If your complaint is false advertising, as a sub is advertising to go lower than its actual performance, you might have some merit, but you know as well as I do how specs can be gamed. The DSP3400 has a spec of -3dB at 19 hz in-room, which is vague, but it is plausible it could do that, although probably not at max output sweeps. No offense, but I don't think your complaint against the Paradigm is legitimate. Besides, since you hold Hsu and JL Audio in such high esteem, why didn't you go for one of those?
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post #8 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 09:13 AM
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The Paradigm subs, being ported, will have their minimum driver excursion right around the port tuning frequency. Every ported sub becomes unloaded below the tuning frequency and the driver will beat itself to death if high levels of input below tuning occur if not somehow protected.

Haven't paid attention to the ML subs in a while, but it's quite possible that rising distortion make a high pass filter the better option on those subs. No great thing to have sub 20 Hz extension if it's got 50% distortion once you get to audible levels.

I would never assume what a -3 dB point means unless I've seen a frequency response curve. And of course manufacturers will measure or predict the sub's output at relatively low SPL, and a big key is whether the driver has the excursion and the amp has the power to continue to output lower frequencies at the correct relative level once you start to turn up.

Lots of subs are advertised or specified at +/- 3 dB. Again, what this means can vary. A sub lke my REL that has a native FR curve that looks like the top half of a sine wave will be defined by the place where upper and lower frequencies are 6 dB below the peak of the FR plot. A sub like the Hsu 15H, which has a pretty flat frequency response in most of its passband, will actually be 6 dB below that flat response level when you are at +/- 3 dB. In effect, there's no plus, only minus.

Since manufacturers all specify differently (and some use DIN, which allows you to pump up the low frequency spec compared to an anechoic measurement because of anticipated room effects), you can't know what any manufacturer means without looking behind the specs, and you can't count on being able to compare different manufacturers' specs because they may have been arrived at very differently.
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post #9 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 09:45 AM
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Sorry to hear of your experience tritumglo and I know too well what you're talking about regarding the 3400's... I too had duals that I was able to obtain cheaply from a friend and they indeed did nothing Paradigm claimed they could do (~19Hz in-room).

I posted my PBK graphs here which showed a classic ported 7th order roll-off below ~27-30Hz which is quite obviously around the tuning frequency of the 3400.

Having said that, take heed what shadyj and JHAz have said about subwoofer design as they pertain to nearly every sub out there. Without seeing outdoor 2m GP measurements from manufacturers (if only just a FR plot), take everything on their 'spec' sheets with a grain of salt... or less. You'll never hit anything below 20Hz with the 3400's and it is quite clear they were designed to not even attempt to reproduce frequencies below ~25Hz at any appreciable SPL.
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post #10 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

First of all, a sealed cabinet doesn't completely protect against bottoming out. And it's perfectly reasonable to focus on 20 hz and up, this is where the vast majority of bass content is. For most bass drivers, going below the low 20s with any output at all is a real strain, and that is where a lot of wear and tear come from. There are only a few that can do it without breaking a sweat. I don't believe JL Audio is one of them, as even the f3 on their F113 looks like its 20 hz. I don't know if the subsonic filter on the JL Audio is defeatable, but it definitely uses one. The SVS subs use a very hard and undefeatable subsonic limiter, so that is a poor example. Hsu subs are definitely using subsonic limiters too, although they can still be made to go into over-excursion if both ports are open when the amp is switched to extension mode. I am certain Velodyne uses limiters as well.

If your complaint is false advertising, as a sub is advertising to go lower than its actual performance, you might have some merit, but you know as well as I do how specs can be gamed. The DSP3400 has a spec of -3dB at 19 hz in-room, which is vague, but it is plausible it could do that, although probably not at max output sweeps. No offense, but I don't think your complaint against the Paradigm is legitimate. Besides, since you hold Hsu and JL Audio in such high esteem, why didn't you go for one of those?

Paradigm was love at first sight. Just fell for them.

The spec you quote for the 3400 is F3 at 19. Thats the problem. When Paradigm says 20hz they mean it. Its not F3 as specs usually indicate. F3 indicates natural roll off. The show is over way before 19. The roll off with the 3400 is a brick wall at 24hz. The cones stop moving at ~20hz. regardless of the material being presented. The DSP employs software that cuts the signal. I verified it. Pdigm does not deny. I truly believe the 3400 could do better if it were allowed to stretch its legs a bit without interference from frequency limiting.

As far as JL, they are using F3 as a measurement. They roll off naturally and still have some usable response below 20. Their circuitry is based largely on car audio. Their car amps have a switch that can disable the filter. SVS absolutely denies the use of any filters. If HSU is using one, its employed at a frequency way lower than 20hz. This is evidenced by their measurements. My Velodyne has no filter. Ive tested it to be sure. Paradigm, doesn't limit their higher end subs such as the sub 12, 15, and 2. They indicate some of these play as low as 8hz.

I dont want to sound like I hate Paradigm. Their new tribute is one of the best speakers I have ever heard. It surpassed even the Revel Salon 2 in many respects. Incredible speaker and bargain. I think they missed the mark on the DSP series subs though.


Thanx. for the reply.

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post #11 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 11:55 AM
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I have a question for you. If you are a member here and read the forums with knowledge of HSU, SVS, etc.. then why on earth would you even consider that subwoofer? You would know that we consider ID brands a much better bang for buck in the first place with DIY the biggest. Did you go to the paradigms owners thread for some response curves or anything before purchasing?
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post #12 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Follz20 View Post

Sorry to hear of your experience tritumglo and I know too well what you're talking about regarding the 3400's... I too had duals that I was able to obtain cheaply from a friend and they indeed did nothing Paradigm claimed they could do (~19Hz in-room).

I posted my PBK graphs here which showed a classic ported 7th order roll-off below ~27-30Hz which is quite obviously around the tuning frequency of the 3400.

Having said that, take heed what shadyj and JHAz have said about subwoofer design as they pertain to nearly every sub out there. Without seeing outdoor 2m GP measurements from manufacturers (if only just a FR plot), take everything on their 'spec' sheets with a grain of salt... or less. You'll never hit anything below 20Hz with the 3400's and it is quite clear they were designed to not even attempt to reproduce frequencies below ~25Hz at any appreciable SPL.

Yes. This seems to be my experience as well. I have a MiniDsp Umik on the way. I am going to measure mine before I pull them from the system.

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post #13 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

I have a question for you. If you are a member here and read the forums with knowledge of HSU, SVS, etc.. then why on earth would you even consider that subwoofer? You would know that we consider ID brands a much better bang for buck in the first place with DIY the biggest. Did you go to the paradigms owners thread for some response curves or anything before purchasing?

I really think the 3400 would be more competitive without the DSP Limitations.

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post #14 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tritiumglo View Post

SVS absolutely denies the use of any filters.

FWIW:

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/subwoofers/pb12-nsd/pb12-nsd-measurements
Quote:
The response nose dives below 20Hz at what appears to be 48dB an octave indicating the typical bass reflex 4th order roll off below tune combined with a 4th order rumble filter.

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/subwoofers/sb12-nsd-subwoofer/sb12-nsd-measurements
Quote:
In the case of the SB12-NSD the outdoor response measurement indicates some amount of low frequency boosting and a high pass or rumble filter near 20Hz.

Edit:
and

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/subwoofers/svs-pb13/pb13-measurements
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The two ported modes roll off very quickly below their tuning range which indicates that they have a high pass filter in line with the usual 24dB/ octave roll off of a bass reflex alignment.
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post #15 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tritiumglo View Post



I really think the 3400 would be more competitive without the DSP Limitations.

Maybe they put one in place because the THD rises too much below 20hz and or the driver falls apart, compresses, etc... Just because something is sealed does not mean it can handle below 20hz. Not all drivers are linear down low.
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post #16 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tritiumglo View Post

F3 indicates natural roll off.

Does it? Wouldn't you need to also know something else, like the F10, to know anything at all about the "roll-off" as well as whether it might be "natural" or not.

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post #17 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Maybe they put one in place because the THD rises too much below 20hz and or the driver falls apart, compresses, etc... Just because something is sealed does not mean it can handle below 20hz. Not all drivers are linear down low.

Right, without the driver specs it is impossible to know the details as to why the tuned and filtered the sub the way they did.

My guess is that this was all part of the design based on the driver and enclosure they are using and were trying to get maximum clean output above the tuning frequency.

Like you said, if your goal is ULF, you should never have been looking at this sub anyway for the cost/performance ratio.

Seaton, JTR, DIY!!!!
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post #18 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

Right, without the driver specs it is impossible to know the details as to why the tuned and filtered the sub the way they did.

My guess is that this was all part of the design based on the driver and enclosure they are using and were trying to get maximum clean output above the tuning frequency.

Like you said, if your goal is ULF, you should never have been looking at this sub anyway for the cost/performance ratio.

Seaton, JTR, DIY!!!!

Agreed!
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post #19 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Wow, that is a ridiculous rant. Looks like you are going to have to build your own sub, since there aren't many you can buy that doesn't have some kind of low frequency limiter. This isn't exactly a dirty secret, it's industry wide standard practice and a sensible one too. You are precisely the kind of customer that necessitated that design decision.

I don't look at the OP as a rant..Paradigm simply bumps up their specs..

Jeff
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post #20 of 30 Old 05-08-2013, 07:54 PM
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The title sure didn't prepare me for this rant (maybe not a rant, whining perhaps). Someone didn't do their homework and now this misleading headline....

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post #21 of 30 Old 06-17-2013, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I am glad I started this thread. There has been much learning. I have to give credit to Martin Logan for at least being honest about the use of subsonic filters. They stated that this is being done industry wide. I had no idea how right they were. I began working on the replacements for the Paradigms. Woofers will be IDMax 12. For amps, I started looking at the Crown XLS and Behrenger INuke series. It seemed these may be best amps available for my application. I have learned that they also employ aggressive filters at 20hz that cannot be turned off. This is all in the name of keeping DC away from the output stages of the amp. The whole industry has taken a turn for the worse. It looks like it is going to be a real challenge to find a non frequency limited amplifier to finish this project.........................

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post #22 of 30 Old 06-17-2013, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tritiumglo View Post

I am glad I started this thread. There has been much learning. I have to give credit to Martin Logan for at least being honest about the use of subsonic filters. They stated that this is being done industry wide. I had no idea how right they were. I began working on the replacements for the Paradigms. Woofers will be IDMax 12. For amps, I started looking at the Crown XLS and Behrenger INuke series. It seemed these may be best amps available for my application. I have learned that they also employ aggressive filters at 20hz that cannot be turned off. This is all in the name of keeping DC away from the output stages of the amp. The whole industry has taken a turn for the worse. It looks like it is going to be a real challenge to find a non frequency limited amplifier to finish this project.........................

FWIW, the Crown and Berhinger are technicaly targeted to live sound reproduction, where "subs" roll off below 40 or 50 Hz pretty routinely, so there's not a need for infrasonics to get through those amps in their intended uses . . .
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post #23 of 30 Old 06-18-2013, 07:35 AM
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It is not hard at all, what size drivers do you need? Get a Behringer EP-4000 which is flat to 5hz and a miniDSP for EQ purposes. This way you have 2000 watts and flat to 5hz with EQ ability for $400-$500.
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post #24 of 30 Old 06-18-2013, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by tritiumglo View Post

I am glad I started this thread. There has been much learning. I have to give credit to Martin Logan for at least being honest about the use of subsonic filters. They stated that this is being done industry wide. I had no idea how right they were. I began working on the replacements for the Paradigms. Woofers will be IDMax 12. For amps, I started looking at the Crown XLS and Behrenger INuke series. It seemed these may be best amps available for my application. I have learned that they also employ aggressive filters at 20hz that cannot be turned off. This is all in the name of keeping DC away from the output stages of the amp. The whole industry has taken a turn for the worse. It looks like it is going to be a real challenge to find a non frequency limited amplifier to finish this project.........................

What's your source on the Crown XLS amps? Can you post it?

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post #25 of 30 Old 06-18-2013, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

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Originally Posted by tritiumglo View Post

I am glad I started this thread. There has been much learning. I have to give credit to Martin Logan for at least being honest about the use of subsonic filters. They stated that this is being done industry wide. I had no idea how right they were. I began working on the replacements for the Paradigms. Woofers will be IDMax 12. For amps, I started looking at the Crown XLS and Behrenger INuke series. It seemed these may be best amps available for my application. I have learned that they also employ aggressive filters at 20hz that cannot be turned off. This is all in the name of keeping DC away from the output stages of the amp. The whole industry has taken a turn for the worse. It looks like it is going to be a real challenge to find a non frequency limited amplifier to finish this project.........................

What's your source on the Crown XLS amps? Can you post it?

I'm looking at a schematic for a XLS 202, 402, 602 (best I can do online right now) and the 1 pole input coupling network is 10 uF working into 35 K. Seems typical for Crown amps.
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post #26 of 30 Old 06-18-2013, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tritiumglo View Post

I am glad I started this thread. There has been much learning. I have to give credit to Martin Logan for at least being honest about the use of subsonic filters. They stated that this is being done industry wide. I had no idea how right they were. I began working on the replacements for the Paradigms. Woofers will be IDMax 12. For amps, I started looking at the Crown XLS and Behrenger INuke series. It seemed these may be best amps available for my application. I have learned that they also employ aggressive filters at 20hz that cannot be turned off. This is all in the name of keeping DC away from the output stages of the amp. The whole industry has taken a turn for the worse. It looks like it is going to be a real challenge to find a non frequency limited amplifier to finish this project.........................

What's your source on the Crown XLS amps? Can you post it?

I'm looking at a schematic for a XLS 202, 402, 602 (best I can do online right now) and the 1 pole input coupling network is 10 uF working into 35 K. Seems typical for Crown amps.

Thanks Arny but can you translate in laymans language (if possible) how that information works into a filter sub 20Hz please?

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post #27 of 30 Old 06-19-2013, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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My source was Crown Tech support. 6db at 20hz. Behringer stated that a similar filter was used but did not give any technical info.

NAD M15 /NAD M25 / PSB STRATUS GOLD / PSB STRATUS 6C /DENON AVR 3300/CARVER TFM 45/35 - ANTHEM MCA3/NAD T163
IDMAX 12INFINITY RS3 / POLK MONITOR 10/ALTEC 501 / INTEGRA 50.3/PARADIGM DSP 3400 / GOLDENEAR AON3

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post #28 of 30 Old 06-19-2013, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

It is not hard at all, what size drivers do you need? Get a Behringer EP-4000 which is flat to 5hz and a miniDSP for EQ purposes. This way you have 2000 watts and flat to 5hz with EQ ability for $400-$500.

Nice. Also looking at D-Sonic 1550 watt stereo amp. They verified no subsonic filters in use. Drivers are 12" Image Dynamics IDMAX.

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post #29 of 30 Old 06-20-2013, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by tritiumglo View Post

My source was Crown Tech support. 6db at 20hz. Behringer stated that a similar filter was used but did not give any technical info.

Any intelligent use of a subwoofer will involve equalization, so your first shot is to fix any roll-offs there.
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post #30 of 30 Old 02-08-2014, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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And here we are. IDMAX12 x 2. Carver TFM45. NHT electronic crossover. Incredible results. They play smooth and deep. Im highly impressed with Image Dynamics. Im also glad I found a great use for my old Carver.

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