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post #151 of 238 Old 06-04-2013, 10:35 PM
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The active should be flatter, more effecient, and more flexible.
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post #152 of 238 Old 06-05-2013, 05:20 AM
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I believe that with active giving you the opportunity to add DSP and EQ each driver/speaker individually, that makes it have a pretty significant advantage over the same speaker with a passive crossover. It should work out great, if you utiliz the options that are taking advantage of the active crossover benefits!
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post #153 of 238 Old 06-05-2013, 06:35 AM
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ok i see. thanks

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post #154 of 238 Old 06-05-2013, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I have figured out how I am going to do this at the speaker. I am going to install a second terminal cup. This cup will have dual binding posts. Upper set for tweeter and lower set for woofer. Yes I will remove jumper. I will make connections to crossover board at the output terminals for the tweeter. I will do the same on the output side for the woofer. This way, I can connect up to one set of terminals for active and easily switch back to the other set for passive. I am doing this so that if my MiniDSP ever goes out, I can quickly convert back to passive, rather than have to take the speaker apart to convert it.

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post #155 of 238 Old 06-05-2013, 07:38 AM
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Great idea!
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post #156 of 238 Old 06-05-2013, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

I have figured out how I am going to do this at the speaker. I am going to install a second terminal cup. This cup will have dual binding posts. Upper set for tweeter and lower set for woofer. Yes I will remove jumper. I will make connections to crossover board at the output terminals for the tweeter. I will do the same on the output side for the woofer. This way, I can connect up to one set of terminals for active and easily switch back to the other set for passive. I am doing this so that if my MiniDSP ever goes out, I can quickly convert back to passive, rather than have to take the speaker apart to convert it.
Very cool. Looking forward to you impressions and photo's. smile.gif

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post #157 of 238 Old 06-05-2013, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
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While I am waiting for my amp and the terminal cups, I decided to hook up one speaker active. I set up the crossover and the PEQ that Tuxedocivic worked up. I played the right and left in stereo mode. I swear the active speaker sounded a little cleaner, less colored. This seem particularly true with the upper frequencies. There was one song that I listened to that had a clicking sound in it. The clicking clearly was crisper and sharper on the active speaker. Now could just be the response, but I will need to measure and see what is going on. Once I get all my parts, I will then start measuring and adjusting the frequency response.

I am getting some hiss out of the speaker, but I have not messed with adjusting gain of amp vs level adjustment in AVR. I did use the +6db boost at 19,000HZ. Dropping that down or even eliminating that boost may help with the hiss.

Added
I also listened to Avatar with phantom center. I don't know about other systems, but on my system phantom center does not even come close, compared to having an actual center speaker behind the screen. I was surprised at how bad it was. I was sitting dead center of screen and 9' away.

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post #158 of 238 Old 06-06-2013, 07:54 AM
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Keep making progress! You are motivating me every time you do. smile.gif
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post #159 of 238 Old 06-06-2013, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

Added
I also listened to Avatar with phantom center. I don't know about other systems, but on my system phantom center does not even come close, compared to having an actual center speaker behind the screen. I was surprised at how bad it was. I was sitting dead center of screen and 9' away.
Interesting. I normally boost the volume of my center a bit and definitely prefer a center on my current system.

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post #160 of 238 Old 06-06-2013, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Interesting. I normally boost the volume of my center a bit and definitely prefer a center on my current system.

I pulled out an old Kenwood KM-X1 THX amp (130 watts/ch. total of 6 channels) that I have had sitting around unused. I used two channels of this amp for the active left speakers and a couple more channels from it for the center and right passive speakers. To get the channels to balance out, I had +4.5 on the two passive speakers and -4 on the active speaker. Sounds about right, since the active speaker is getting two channels and the passive speakers are getting a single channel each. A lot less hiss with this amp in the system.

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post #161 of 238 Old 06-06-2013, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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After listening to a couple pro amps vs the Kenwood consumer amp, I am going to use the old Kenwood 6 channel amp. The sound was at least as good, if not better and lower noise floor.

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post #162 of 238 Old 06-06-2013, 07:14 PM
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That is a nice bonus. smile.gif
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post #163 of 238 Old 06-06-2013, 08:26 PM
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Mike, cool to see you delve into active. From the little that I have read on active, the complaint seems to be that the active seems more colored. It's interesting that you are having a different experience. Keep posting, you have my attention.
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post #164 of 238 Old 06-06-2013, 08:49 PM
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From the little that I have read on active, the complaint seems to be that the active seems more colored.

That's a new one on me.

The worst about it I've read is that it's more complex and expensive, but no better than a well executed passive XO.

Noah
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post #165 of 238 Old 06-06-2013, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
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That's a new one on me.

The worst about it I've read is that it's more complex and expensive, but no better than a well executed passive XO.

Something that has always bothered me about passive. The passive crossover adjusts the response of the speaker to be flat, but once you put it in your room, you need to EQ the speaker to get a flat response. So an area where the crossover may be reducing the output of a driver, may now need to be boosted. An active system is much more efficient than a passive system, so using PEQ should not hurt you as much. I think there are other advantages to active. I think it is a little more consistent. In other words does not change values like a passive system does, once it starts to heat up. This is less of a problem with active, because we are working with a small signal.

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post #166 of 238 Old 06-07-2013, 06:13 AM
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Mike, have you adjusted the EQ to flatten out the response in your room? Or are you just using the active crossover settings that you got from Tux? The reason that I ask is because if he came up with the crossover and dsp settings then that would have been for his room, and should be different for your room, right? How are you liking the MiniDsp? Have you found it easy to use? Anyway, I am glad that you like the active speaker better and can actually hear an audible difference as that makes me feel better about the active setup that I am building for myself.
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post #167 of 238 Old 06-07-2013, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

That's a new one on me.

The worst about it I've read is that it's more complex and expensive, but no better than a well executed passive XO.

This is the very little I've read. http://www.tnt-audio.com/ampli/hypex_as2_100_e.html
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post #168 of 238 Old 06-07-2013, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Mike, have you adjusted the EQ to flatten out the response in your room? Or are you just using the active crossover settings that you got from Tux? The reason that I ask is because if he came up with the crossover and dsp settings then that would have been for his room, and should be different for your room, right? How are you liking the MiniDsp? Have you found it easy to use? Anyway, I am glad that you like the active speaker better and can actually hear an audible difference as that makes me feel better about the active setup that I am building for myself.

The settings, were not for his room. Those setting are to match the passive crossover. I will be able to adjust the EQ to get flat in my room. Have not done anything yet. Waiting on some terminal cups. I am planning on adding a terminal cup to the back of each speaker. This way I can connect up for active or quickly switch over to passive. I want this ability, in case I ever lose an amp or the MiniDSP goes out. That way I am not down if I have to get something repaired or replaced.

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post #169 of 238 Old 06-07-2013, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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I found a post where advantages and disadvantages were listed:

"Advantages & Disadvantages of Active & Passive Crossover Systems

Active Crossover
Advantages:
Active loudspeakers are always included in the very good systems. There advantages over conventional systems are something with no doubt. The following text numbers the major advantages of active loudspeakers and a small description of each. These are also mentioned by Vance Dickanson in his very successful books. Recommended for everybody from those who want to know more about speakers till the serious speaker builder.

1. Increased dynamic range.
2. Improved transient response & damping factor.
3. Reduced IM distortion.
4. Easier amp load (constant impedance).
5. Easier control of sensitivity differences, phase, time delay and frequency tailoring
6. Better overall sound quality.
7. Electronic crossover (required) allows for easy adjustment of crossover frequency to optimize system performance.
8. Non linear and lossy effects of passive speaker crossover networks are eliminated (big plus for low frequency drivers).
9. Electronic crossover allows excellent performance with very high filter slope cutoff (keeps unwanted energy out of speakers that can't deal with it).
10. If one amp clips, the other amps in the system are not impacted (resulting in less degradation of the overall sound).
11. Slight increase in audio output capability as compared to one large amp of equal power driving a full range speaker.
12. Audio level to each frequency band can be easily adjusted (to compensate for different speaker sensitivities).
13. Direct control of each driver by its own amplifier.
14. Easier impedance load on the amp.
15. No loss of power or damping factor.
16. Reduced clipping. If a clipping occurs, only one driver/amp is affected.
17. Crossover works at line level maintaining its design properties.
18. Each amp deals with only a specific bandwidth.
19. Reduced harmonic distortion.
20. Reduced intermodulation distortion.

• Low intermodulation distortion (IMD)
The IMD is low because the power amplifiers work in a smaller bandwidth. IMD is produced from different frequencies that modulate each other producing new frequency products that don't exist in the original signal. The amplifiers work easier and can’t affect the other amplifiers. Also clipping from low frequency overloads of the amplifier in multi-way active systems is not present because here only the loudspeaker can limit the signal.
• Larger Dynamic range
A 60W and 30W amplifier in an active system will clip at the same level as a 175W amplifier in a passive system. When a low and high frequency signal are amplified at the same time there is at high levels a sink of the maximum level because the low frequency signal makes the power supply voltages lower due to high current need. That's why active systems always sound dynamic and louder than passive systems.
• Better Impulse behavior
Great impulses in music reproduction create sudden and high current transients on the way from amplifier to speaker. These impulses from musical instruments hold almost all of the important information about the instruments sound and character and the room acoustics of the recording. So they carry eventually essential information that is needed to reconstruct the spatial sound image of simultaneously playing instruments in a room and this is very critical and sensitive. Any distortion of these characteristics changes the whole reproduction of recorded music so that's why different speakers sound different.
• Better coupling between amplifier and speakers
Amplifier and speakers are better coupled directly and introduced resonances from passive crossovers are avoided. When you use a speaker cable with larger cross section the sound get better. This is always noticeable. The reason is that with lower output resistance the amplifier controls the load better. It has a better damping factor as known. Passive crossovers have a larger share of resistance losses then the cable and make the situation worse since the passive components produce distortions.
• Better function of the crossovers that work with a constant load
In a passive crossover the voice coil of the speaker is always a part of the crossover. There is a very big variation in the speaker’s impedance from low dips to high resistances. This means there has to be a correction circuit that equalizes the impedance to more constant. In an active crossover that is placed before the amplifiers the speaker impedance is of no importance. The cut off frequency and the filter characteristics stay constant whatever the input of the amplifier is. This is very good for the DIYer who wants to experiment with the least mistakes and problems. Even a 24 dB/octave filter is practical without any of the known problem of the passive filters (most important coils and high cost of the passive elements).
• Better subjectively sound quality
The sound quality of an active crossover is subjectively higher than a high level passive crossover. There is a big difference in working with millivolt and microampere level signals and with high current, high voltage signals. The second had problems like micro phony effect, a lot of solder points, high currents to handle with the least losses and the quality of the passive elements plays a significant role in the overall performance and quality.
• Easy level control
When designing active crossovers is easy and there is a great freedom in controlling the different sensitivities of the speakers. When the tweeter plays too loud you can't just put a resistor in the passive crossover to change the level. It will most possibly change the cutoff frequency or other characteristics of the filter. In an active crossover you can control the various levels through trimmers before the amplifiers like the volume control.
• Easy design
With active crossovers it is very easy to manipulate phase, time delays, resonances, amplitude shaping, equalizing etc.

Disadvantages:

1. Expensive: one amplifier is needed for each frequency band, also an electronic crossover is required.
2. Overall system is quite a bit more complicated compared to a single amp full range system.
3. Must be careful of tweeters (there should be some kind of DC block to protect tweeters from low frequency "thump" at amp power up/down).
4. If it is a portable system a lot more cables to hook up (and a lot more stuff that can go wrong)!
5. If not properly wired, ground hum and other noise can be a problem due to so many components to connect up.
6. Residual noise from X/O, less of an issue for digital processors.
7. Greater susceptibility to EMI (electromagnetic interference), and RFI (radio frequency interference).
8. Multiple amps & cables, more complex setup.
The only disadvantage is that the cost is a lot higher than a conventional system since it needs more discrete amplifiers plus an extra active device (the active crossover) . This is relative though. First of all when one is convinced to use a system like this, especially a DIYer I don't think the additional cost will matter so much. DIYers can make less compromises because it more flexible for them to design and build and spend money where it really matters. Cost is very important though in commercial equipment where low cost is a major matter. Apart from that there is one thing that can make the cost lower. Each amplifier as stated before can be a lot smaller than the one very big one needed in a passive system. As conclusion I think it is worth it. The only thing I want to propose here are that no op-amps re used anymore. The sound bad and a discrete op-amp is easier to design. There are a lot of ready ones out there you can use like from the Nelson Pass article or from Erno Borbely.

Passive Crossover

Advantages:

1. Plug & Play simplicity.
2. One amp, one cable, done!

Disadvantages:

1. Passive networks may be expensive if executed properly. They can be bulky and cause power loss.
2. Passive crossover networks are not only frequency-specific, but also load impedance specific. This prevents interchangeability of crossover filters or filter components with speaker systems of different impedances and designs.
3. An ideally working crossover filter including load impedance equalization networks, can be very difficult to design as passive electronic components behave and interact in complex ways.
4. Back EMF (electro motive force) goes back into the X/O, interferes with the input signal from the amplifier.
5. Passive X/O buffers the amplifier from the drivers resulting in loss of damping, loss of direct amplifier control over the drivers.
6. Loading effects, inductors, magnetic coupling, larger Cs, and parameters less adjustable.
7. Passive network wastes power, lowers efficiency, requires higher wattage amplifier to compensate.
8. Differing impedance of various drivers and the resulting phase shifts from the X/O present a difficult load for the amplifier, especially 1st order X/Os.
9. X/O properties and accuracy varies with power and temperature resulting in shifting properties and inconsistent linear response.
10. Low order X/O reduces phase & time shifts but introduces other issues. Greater frequency sharing between drivers and higher strain on drivers due to wider bandwidth demands increases distortion, both THD and intermodulation, induces interference patterns, amplitude irregularities, driver resonances, cone breakup, and hampers off-axis response.
11. High power draw in a specific frequency range, usually the bass, may cause amplifier clipping and possible damage to the woofer, midrange, or most likely, the tweeter. The amp has to deal with the combined complex impedance load and power draw."


You all can debate what you agree and disagree with in the above. smile.gif

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post #170 of 238 Old 06-07-2013, 08:20 AM
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Something to be aware of regarding the settings versus the room. The settings are made up the same way passive XOers are made. With anechoic measurements to remove the room effects. My room isn't affecting those settings at all.

The cross over needs to eliminate the room because the direct speaker to ear response is very important. This should be flat or slightly down sloping. The room will make it look not quite flat, but that's okay because the anechoic direct sound is. So to everyone, don't dsp your speakers dead flat in room to 20khz. It'll sound bad.

Now, below about 300hz the room is very influential AND our ears care less and less about the direct sound. So go ahead and use the dsp to flatten this out. Caution you don't put big boosts in there, and don't arm wrestle it into a dead flat line. It's not worth it. That's for the sub 100hz region where it's totally about the room.

One last note. Active is better. There's no argument from me there. I conceded that to Penngray without batting an eye when I first joined avs. But don't expect miracles. And don't forget, a bad active design is bad and a good passive design is good. Being active doesn't change that.

Mike, post your measurements if you don't mind and take one at 1m. I had a pm about a polarity problem with the passive version. That would translate into the active version if it wasn't the user's fault which I don't think it was.
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post #171 of 238 Old 06-07-2013, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I wonder how good this cheap amp http://www.pyleaudio.com/sku/PT8000CH/19-Rack-Mount-8000-Watt-8-Channel-StereoMono-Amplifier would do in an active system. Gives you plenty of low cost channels to work with.

That and a MiniDSP would not cost much more than the passive crossovers.

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post #172 of 238 Old 06-07-2013, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon_B View Post

This is the very little I've read. http://www.tnt-audio.com/ampli/hypex_as2_100_e.html

Page search on "colored" didn't find anything
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Originally Posted by tuxedocivic View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

I wonder how good this cheap amp http://www.pyleaudio.com/sku/PT8000CH/19-Rack-Mount-8000-Watt-8-Channel-StereoMono-Amplifier would do in an active system. Gives you plenty of low cost channels to work with.

Looks like a good deal.

You can get Rane MA-6's cheap on ebay, and they're known for good sound, audiophile quality by some accounts.

Noah
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post #173 of 238 Old 06-07-2013, 07:22 PM
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Page search on "colored" didn't find anything
Looks like a good deal.

You can get Rane MA-6's cheap on ebay, and they're known for good sound, audiophile quality by some accounts.

You're right Noah. The next closest I could see reading through again was this: "truth is that the Hypex speakers can sound a little bit raw and edgy at times and remind me strongly of the sound of a budget CD player, but certainly a good budget CD player, don't get me wrong. This is only to be expected, given the price, but still a bit of a shame given their fantastic performance in other areas."

With all the positives mike has listed I would love to jump on board the active speaker club.
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post #174 of 238 Old 06-07-2013, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Something to be aware of regarding the settings versus the room. The settings are made up the same way passive XOers are made. With anechoic measurements to remove the room effects. My room isn't affecting those settings at all.

The cross over needs to eliminate the room because the direct speaker to ear response is very important. This should be flat or slightly down sloping. The room will make it look not quite flat, but that's okay because the anechoic direct sound is. So to everyone, don't dsp your speakers dead flat in room to 20khz. It'll sound bad.

Now, below about 300hz the room is very influential AND our ears care less and less about the direct sound. So go ahead and use the dsp to flatten this out. Caution you don't put big boosts in there, and don't arm wrestle it into a dead flat line. It's not worth it. That's for the sub 100hz region where it's totally about the room.

One last note. Active is better. There's no argument from me there. I conceded that to Penngray without batting an eye when I first joined avs. But don't expect miracles. And don't forget, a bad active design is bad and a good passive design is good. Being active doesn't change that.

Mike, post your measurements if you don't mind and take one at 1m. I had a pm about a polarity problem with the passive version. That would translate into the active version if it wasn't the user's fault which I don't think it was.

Will do when I get the chance to take measurements. Thank you.

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post #175 of 238 Old 06-07-2013, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Only thing I do not like about the Rane MA-6S is the signal to noise ratio of 96 A weighted. Un-weighted it is probably more like 86.

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post #176 of 238 Old 06-11-2013, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Got my right and left main speakers changed over to active, but wife is not feeling good and is in bed, so can't listen to it. frown.gif I will see if I have time to do the center tomorrow.

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post #177 of 238 Old 06-12-2013, 08:29 AM
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I am looking forward to hearing your subjective impressions on the active pair that you now have completed!
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post #178 of 238 Old 06-12-2013, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I got all three front speakers converted over to active. Placed all the settings in the MiniDSP 10x10HD. Grabbed my SPL meter and set the levels. Did not have time to re-run Audyssey, so listening with old Audyssey setting, but since the active crossover is supposed to match the passive, it should be about the same. Well they sound great. Now I have to find time to start taking measurements with and without Audyssey.

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post #179 of 238 Old 06-13-2013, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

I got all three front speakers converted over to active. Placed all the settings in the MiniDSP 10x10HD. Grabbed my SPL meter and set the levels. Did not have time to re-run Audyssey, so listening with old Audyssey setting, but since the active crossover is supposed to match the passive, it should be about the same. Well they sound great. Now I have to find time to start taking measurements with and without Audyssey.

Are you going to EQ them to suit your listening taste before running Audyssey? Since you have chosen running active crossovers I would definitely take advantage of EQ'ing each speaker to perform better in your room. Not sure if you already mentioned that! Anyway, glad to hear that you liked them, but honestly, I would be disappointed to know that running them active does not make them perform better than passive.
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post #180 of 238 Old 06-13-2013, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Are you going to EQ them to suit your listening taste before running Audyssey? Since you have chosen running active crossovers I would definitely take advantage of EQ'ing each speaker to perform better in your room. Not sure if you already mentioned that! Anyway, glad to hear that you liked them, but honestly, I would be disappointed to know that running them active does not make them perform better than passive.

I reported earlier, comparing an active main (left speaker) to a passive main (right speaker) sounded better to me, but it was not a blind test. Taking advantage of the EQ'ing ability is one of the reason's I went active. I first need to measure without Audyssey and see where I am and then go from there. I will say this, room sounded very good listening to stuff that I have heard 100's of times. Seems like the dynamics are better and a little more clarity in the upper end.

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