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Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+) > Digital Active Speaker Thread.....
Andreas's Avatar Andreas 05:10 AM 02-19-2009
Quote:


I have Tact room correction. That should help, no?
If the Genelec are made for sitting so close, what's the point of the available power and basic high system noise (since the amplifier is always fully on)? Hearing damage? You can not sit so close and not lower the volume digitally by 25db or more or you get blasted.
The Klein and Hummel boxes seem to have lower noise. Any experiences with these?

No, not to bring this disussion of course, but the Tact will not help on power response, that is the bundeling capability of the speakers. That bundeling of sound (aka directivity) is in the treble and upper midrange done by the DCW of the baffle, the so called wave guide, and in the low midrange and upper bass by the 8 inch driver in the 8250. In the very low bass no controlled directivity is possible, except for cardiod speakers, like Geithain. The Tact will either solve the impuls FR or only the perceived mixture of impuls FR plus room reverb to come extent, to a certain overall target sound (as does Audyssey by "Reference" or "Flat" curve). But what it does in your room I cannot tell from here. I can only tell you, that usually bigger speakers/drivers will bundle the appropriate wavelengths better, at least this is my understanding. So the perceived difference can be due to directivity, if both speakers draw impuls FRs like a line.....

As you have the Tact in between, I 'm sure you made the comparison between both of your speaker pairs without it ? In case the 8250 sounds to dull, you can shelve with GLM the treble up. If that does not help, it can be the room or the other speaker were indeed more transparent. Then the only question would be why ?

On noise I fond it Ok, for a speaker with almost linear response to above 20KHz, which logically disloses any noise more dramatic. Did you adapt the input sensitivity on the back ?

mhafner's Avatar mhafner 05:33 AM 02-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas View Post

As you have the Tact in between, I 'm sure you made the comparison between both of your speaker pairs without it ? In case the 8250 sounds to dull, you can shelve with GLM the treble up. If that does not help, it can be the room or the other speaker were indeed more transparent. Then the only question would be why ?
On noise I fond it Ok, for a speaker with almost linear response to above 20KHz, which logically disloses any noise more dramatic. Did you adapt the input sensitivity on the back ?

I compared only without the Tact so far, actually.
Input sensitivity is nothing but digital volume control if you use the digital in (which is the whole point of the exercise for me). The amplifier is always at full blast and volume change is only possible by digitally reducing source volume at the player or in the speaker with the switches on the back side. The system noise is constant and can not be influenced since the analogue amplification is constant. My older speakers have variable analogue amplification so the problem does not arise.
Andreas's Avatar Andreas 05:57 AM 02-19-2009
Quote:


Input sensitivity is nothing but digital volume control if you use the digital in

Let's take the discussion off-line and discuss this by PM. I found this on "digital in" for 8000 series, I only use analogue so far. Maybe you are right, maybe not, maybe there is no effect of the below at all :

"If the digital source device has a digital level monitor pot or graphical volume fader that controls the digital level, it may be advantageous to lower the level control either on the computer interface or the loudspeaker’s back panel controls, which in turn will force the use of more of the digital [bit] resolution in the volume control."
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 07:49 AM 02-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kotches View Post

I have a problem with the A/D and D/A in the path where it's extraneous.

In theory or reality? Bob Stuart would tell you he could do about a dozen 24/96 AD/DACs and you wouldn't be able to hear it. Just sayin'.
faberryman's Avatar faberryman 07:54 AM 02-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

In theory or reality? Bob Stuart would tell you he could do about a dozen 24/96 AD/DACs and you wouldn't be able to hear it. Just sayin'.

Do you have a link?
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 08:04 AM 02-19-2009
No, jeesus, why does ever thing need a link? He said it at a talk on the audibility of sampling rates and bit depths. But that Meridian uses digital transfer because it makes *sense*, as 'in theory'.
faberryman's Avatar faberryman 08:17 AM 02-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

No, jeesus, why does ever thing need a link? He said it at a talk on the audibility of sampling rates and bit depths. But that Meridian uses digital transfer because it makes *sense*, as 'in theory'.

Because you routinely make stuff up and hence have no credibility.
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 09:21 AM 02-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kotches View Post

You're wrong. It's been added to the 8000, 5200 as well.

Current line of DSPs are 3100, 5200, 7200 and 8000 so 3 out of 4. My guess is that it will go into the next electronics pack update on the 3100..

Now that I think of it, I believe I was thinking of the apodizing filters.
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 09:22 AM 02-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post

Because you routinely make stuff up and hence have no credibility.

Do you have an example?
FrantzM's Avatar FrantzM 09:26 AM 02-19-2009
Hi

It is best to avoid both on a theoretical and on viewpoints successive Ad to DA conversions. I would like to know in what context Stuart said it because it is far from the best way and lead to audible non-linearities.
As I am beginning to see from this most interesting thread and despite the fact that I believe that Active Digital Crossovers are the future, the single biggest problem seems o be the lack of standard... I tend to think in two-channel terms. In a surround environment the lack of standard is clearly apparent... I do not know for example how such systems would work with the new HD Surround formats.. nor do I know how they would deal with whatever DRM schemes there would be in the Digital stream... Any answer on that Gals and Guys?
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 09:31 AM 02-19-2009
As I recall, Bob was pointing out the efficacy and transparency of current AD/DAC technology, as in the ability for a Meridian piece to transparently digitize the sound of SACD through the 5.1 inputs and in general. I believe he said that they could take a signal and ADC/DAC it a significant number of times before there was a subjective difference. Of course, there would be some small numerical differences in the signal, but that subjectively, it would be transparent. That wasn't possible with earlier, lower bit, lower sampling rate conversions. He also said that 24/96 was overkill (20/66, I believe was his magic number) and 24/192 was a waste of storage space, though he didn't express a serious problem with overkill.

I'd be surprised if John K wasn't at the same talk. I also asked Bob about digital amps and using the amp as the convertor, but he said it wasn't ready for prime time, though they were looking at it. This was about 5 years ago.
Andreas's Avatar Andreas 10:33 AM 02-19-2009
I agree. The new 24/96 AD/DAs have become so good, if we leave the jitter talks for a moment under the carpet, where in the past some audio mashines were supposed to be near the quality of a landline telephone, that at least one or two more conversions will not be of real "signifcant" importance in the overall context. And of course this is only easy for those to except that have and admit to have at least failed once in any a/b blind volume matched listening test. No "cable-listners", as we call people dwelling in the land of high end cables will admit it. No chance. For them it simply cannot be, another AD/DA at that high level must have substance, it most be of significance, even though they may listen in untreated rooms, with huge reverb and too far away from their speakers. Another AD/DA must be bad.

And there we are back to my favorite discussion in "high end" audio. What is important, what has real significance. Does "a bit more air in the treble" many preceive when they buy new hardware show real significance, or isn't it a "s-shaped" FR response of a speaker coloring the sound ? Does the exchange of wire really show signifcance, like hey, I think there is "a bit more depths", or isn't it to have a well treated room with a low RT60 ? Are contact fluids the real ear opener, or isn't it rather a well defined directivity of a loud-speaker for non colored off-axis sound.

It's more about freeing you mind than anything else
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 10:43 AM 02-19-2009
I will say that if you take a digital volume control and run it on a signal, the sound quality gets atrocious *if* you raise the volume where you can pick up how atrocious it's getting. But our ears also lose resolution with volume, so if you have your analog gains set properly, ADC/DACs and digital volume or analog volume ahead of the crossover is a minor issue, possibly a completely inaudible one. If you don't have it set to maximize bit depth, then there will be a sound loss. So any DSP speaker with analog inputs should have a gain control on the back for maximizing performance.
FrantzM's Avatar FrantzM 10:50 AM 02-19-2009
Hi

It is not .. just "freeing" your mind... Let's not make of Digital a perfect process. There are differences between DACs. All 24/192 DAC do not sound alike... which means there are variations and cascading variations leads to more...well variations so that the input shall be quite different and audibly so, from the output... A process that minimizes such AD then DA transitions, IOW taking Digital from input to output yields the best theoretical AND practical advantages... If you want to maintain that as some have put it here on AVS that: Digital is Perfect then we have not much to discuss .. these are opinions that have been elevated to beliefs and as such are not debatable.
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 11:05 AM 02-19-2009
I don't think anyone is calling digital 'perfect', nothing is perfect, certainly not analog. The question is whether minor, likely inaudible processes are inconsequential compared to the gains. I suggest they are and the only thing is that there are better and worse ways of doing things. If you compared the NHT Xd which uses an 'unnecessary' DAC/ADC, it still easily outperformed the 3x$ DSP6000 which has the preferred full bit, all digital connection with analog volume, at least at normal listening volumes.

IOW, all of these things are small elements of a big thing. All things equal, sure, but thing aren't equal. Acoustic design and the power of the processing is still more important than whether the signal is pure digital or whether it has an extra process in the middle.
Andreas's Avatar Andreas 11:17 AM 02-19-2009
Quote:


All 24/192 DAC do not sound alike

Hmmm.....how can you tell ? Some have say 112db S/N, some 113dB S/N, some maybe 120+db S/N. You think you hear the difference of 1db S/N ? Isn't it more likely you hear the difference of the analogue part after the DAC, as you actually cannot listen to a DAC alone ?

Let's skip the discussion. If someone feels (and hears) another 24/96 conversion eats his sound quality to death, so be it.
Brucemck2's Avatar Brucemck2 11:37 AM 02-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas View Post

Hmmm.....how can you tell ? Some have say 112db S/N, some 113dB S/N, some maybe 120+db S/N. You think you hear the difference of 1db S/N ? Isn't it more likely you hear the difference of the analogue part after the DAC, as you actually cannot listen to a DAC alone ?

Let's skip the discussion. If someone feels (and hears) another 24/96 conversion eats his sound quality to death, so be it.

Even if all DACs are "indistinguishably perfect and transparent" at the chip level, IME the analog stages in these devices still sound different.

My DEQX has a pretty high quality D/A and A/D built into it. (The stock box was good, and the mods I had done made it quite a bit better.) If I insert that into my normal chain and have it perform only an A/D and then D/A, it's clearly audible. Subtractive/adverse is another issue: while the sound is different it's not obvious on all material that it's worse.

This from an adopter and supporter of active / digital crossovers.
faberryman's Avatar faberryman 11:39 AM 02-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

If you compared the NHT Xd which uses an 'unnecessary' DAC/ADC, it still easily outperformed the 3x$ DSP6000 which has the preferred full bit, all digital connection with analog volume, at least at normal listening volumes.

I take it you mean in your ever so humble opinion.
FrantzM's Avatar FrantzM 11:55 AM 02-19-2009
Andreas
If to you same measurements means same sound then more power to you... My point is that if we have reach a point where ALL DAC sound the same then we have hit perfection or at the very least a plateau.. The approach of an to D followed by a Dto A then followed by another is flawed.. It is fact. It may be a usefil or even necessary compromise but not the ideal.. Skipping the discussion is all OK with me.. You have not proven that the approach is valid so we can leave it at that....
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 12:26 PM 02-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post

I take it you mean in your ever so humble opinion.

It wasn't all that close. However, the DSP7200 is a big step up from what I've heard so far. DSP6000 driver package is pretty long in the tooth. Like 15 years. So, I'm not saying it was an entirely fair fight. Just saying that there are other things that are more important.

Frantz, do you think you could accept that, done properly, the DAC/ADC effect would be minimal, possibly close to inconsequential in the scheme of things? The problem is that we don't have a universal standard, of which I am aware, for controlling the volume of DSP after the effect, so building in a proprietary solution means a proprietary, closed system. The JL Audio, while I wouldn't have chosen those drivers, does have the advantage of working with anything, even in a multi-channel system. And, I suspect it is good enough to have other companies eager to follow.
faberryman's Avatar faberryman 12:45 PM 02-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

It wasn't all that close. DSP6000 driver package is pretty long in the tooth. Like 15 years. So, I'm not saying it was an entirely fair fight. Just saying that there are other things that are more important.

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying here. Do you mean for the price the Xd "easily outperformed" the DSP6000s from a value perspective or that, price aside, the Xd "easily outperformed" the DSP6000s?
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 01:25 PM 02-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying here. Do you mean for the price the Xd "easily outperformed" the DSP6000s from a value perspective or that, price aside, the Xd "easily outperformed" the DSP6000s?

The latter. But this is because the Xd used much more advanced, newer generation drivers and much more advanced processing. DSP7200s are somewhere in the ballpark though, have some pretty kickass dynamics and a are big upgrade from earlier Meridan efforts. Keep in mind I'm a Meridian dealer, just being honest here.

A 'perfect' DSP speaker would have digital inputs, analog volume (or gain adjustable digital volume), the very most advanced drivers, at least a 4-way or 5-way design and serious adjustability to its environment but until we have that, sometimes little things such as am extra DAC/ADC aren't enough to stop a product from being better.


BTW, did you have an example of how I 'make things up' or were you making that up?
Andreas's Avatar Andreas 02:14 PM 02-19-2009
Quote:
Even if all DACs are "indistinguishably perfect and transparent" at the chip level, IME the analog stages in these devices still sound different.

Yes Bruce, that is what I ment towards Frantz.

Thx for the honest words. You're sure the bybass mode will not route the signal through the DSP as well ?
Brucemck2's Avatar Brucemck2 02:27 PM 02-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas View Post

You're sure the bybass mode will not route the signal through the DSP as well ?

Not entirely, but do know that there is zero processing applied; there's no additional time / phase / frequency signal manipulation in the bypass mode.
John Kotches's Avatar John Kotches 08:12 PM 02-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

In theory or reality? Bob Stuart would tell you he could do about a dozen 24/96 AD/DACs and you wouldn't be able to hear it. Just sayin'.

Two points to make here:

1) Not everyone does things as well digitally as Meridian.

2) I said extraneous -- at every domain junction there is the chance to screw it up. So if you only do one domain conversion there's less spots to screw it up. That also means you better get it right.
John Kotches's Avatar John Kotches 08:15 PM 02-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

No, jeesus, why does ever thing need a link? He said it at a talk on the audibility of sampling rates and bit depths. But that Meridian uses digital transfer because it makes *sense*, as 'in theory'.

It's not theory. Digital is a much more robust transmission format.
Dizzman's Avatar Dizzman 08:58 PM 02-19-2009
if we want to be very quibbly... i think we should say that digital is not a transmission format. it is a signal format. Virtually all signals, follow analog wave transmission rules.
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 09:40 PM 02-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kotches View Post

It's not theory. Digital is a much more robust transmission format.

Robust, sure, but that doesn't mean you can't go back to analog for a few feet and back to digital and still have a great result. Analog still works quite well. DAC and ADC still works quite well. We're talking about the difference between 'ideal' and 'practical'. I haven't seen too many speakers that even approach what I would call 'ideal', so an ADC/DAC isn't that big of a deal, bigger fish to fry.
Andreas's Avatar Andreas 12:40 AM 02-20-2009
This discussion is now drawn to AD/DA, as we said we miss interfaces for digital active speakers, and like the JL audio does not even have a digital input. In reality, we have SPDIF (IEC958/75ohm) and AES/EBU(110ohm) for digital transmission. But isn't it the chicken and egg principle, which was there first ? Are we missing digital interfaces or are we missing digital active speakers ?

For DACs comparison it would be cool, if someone would make a small unit with 4 different DACs in the same box one could switch through via remote, for double blind level matched a/b testing. Say, throw in a Wolfson, a BB, a selected BB and a Crystal DAC and whatever high end DAC, but same analogue out. If you hear then a clear difference, then the discussion is worthy. of course AD/DA needs to be done right, at least for the money we spend, but at 24/96 chances are very good you won't hear another conversion significantly. And if you do, what is worse as asked ? Another conversion, or to have a passive x-over/speaker and no bi- or tri-amping....we are circling here.
John Kotches's Avatar John Kotches 07:03 AM 02-20-2009
Andreas:

Maybe it's just me, but if we don't talk about the ideal solution and then work towards it we end up with the status quo.

I would love for the digital active speaker market to grow by leaps and bounds, but it isn't exactly taking off.

BTW, Tannoy has some digital active speakers with digital and analog inputs, the Eyris iDP line.
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