Surround processor with crossover? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-17-2013, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Do any surround processor have built in crossover and EQ for active speakers?
It would be nice to avoid double D/A conversion which is what happens if using an active external crossover like miniDSP, DEQX 2496 etc.
My front and center speakers are two-ways. Surrounds will remain passive.
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-17-2013, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by omholt View Post

Do any surround processor have built in crossover and EQ for active speakers?
It would be nice to avoid double D/A conversion which is what happens if using an active external crossover like miniDSP, DEQX 2496 etc.
My front and center speakers are two-ways. Surrounds will remain passive.

You mean you want to build an active Xover for your speaker in the processor and multi-amp the speaker?
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-17-2013, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by edorr View Post

You mean you want to build an active Xover for your speaker in the processor and multi-amp the speaker?
Correct. For the fronts and center. I know Onkyo has started with this feature in their surround receivers, but it doesn't have enough options and I don't need built in amps since I'm using power amps.
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-17-2013, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by omholt View Post

Correct. For the fronts and center. I know Onkyo has started with this feature in their surround receivers, but it doesn't have enough options and I don't need built in amps since I'm using power amps.

So how many discrete channels do you need?
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-17-2013, 12:30 PM
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Here is what I use.

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/DCX2496.aspx

It is a three channel 2 way crossover with built in equalizer.

I have biamped tubes on my LCRs. 60w midrange with PP KT88's and 10w with PP 6V6's on the tweeters. The subs are off a 350w/channel SS amp. I previously had a 3 channel 2 way tube crossover and outboard DBX equalizers. The DCX2496 opened up a new era in room response correction for me. I highly recommend it.

Note that some sneer at Berhinger products due to their low price. There are also quite a few hack modifications in the internet supposed to upgrade this unit. Many of these projects actually degrade the unit. They are based on the same tired old audiophile fokelore. I am an EE in the broadcast/mastering industry and have quite a test bench. I tested the DCX2496 and found it to be a high grade unit. Yes some improvements can always be made but I find the stock unit quite good for my needs.

P.S. my main processor is a Lexicon MC8. I do not have the balanced output feature and it isn't necessary to feed the balanced DCX2496 if they are less than 3 cable feet apart. Of course using the Lexicon balanced option can't hurt and I would if I had it.

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post #6 of 16 Old 07-17-2013, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omholt View Post

Do any surround processor have built in crossover and EQ for active speakers?
It would be nice to avoid double D/A conversion which is what happens if using an active external crossover like miniDSP, DEQX 2496 etc.
My front and center speakers are two-ways. Surrounds will remain passive.

If cost is no object, then I think both the Datasat and ADA Reference will do this, but they cost about 20K and 40K, respectively. I think the challenge with other processors having this is the need to have so many pre-amp channels out (they both have 16 out of the box and can be expanded beyond that).
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-17-2013, 12:49 PM
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On the double conversion issue...

I looked at modifying both my MC8 and the DCX2496 for direct digital connection. But after measuring the double A/D D/A performance I didn't think it would be worth the effort. Modern audio digital conversion has reached very high levels towards transparency even at the lowest cost levels. While is not truly transparent and never will be, it's generally close enough today to where one must seriously question the audibility of the induced distortions.

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post #8 of 16 Old 07-17-2013, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

Here is what I use.

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/DCX2496.aspx

It is a three channel 2 way crossover with built in equalizer.

I have biamped tubes on my LCRs. 60w midrange with PP KT88's and 10w with PP 6V6's on the tweeters. The subs are off a 350w/channel SS amp. I previously had a 3 channel 2 way tube crossover and outboard DBX equalizers. The DCX2496 opened up a new era in room response correction for me. I highly recommend it.

Note that some sneer at Berhinger products due to their low price. There are also quite a few hack modifications in the internet supposed to upgrade this unit. Many of these projects actually degrade the unit. They are based on the same tired old audiophile fokelore. I am an EE in the broadcast/mastering industry and have quite a test bench. I tested the DCX2496 and found it to be a high grade unit. Yes some improvements can always be made but I find the stock unit quite good for my needs.

P.S. my main processor is a Lexicon MC8. I do not have the balanced output feature and it isn't necessary to feed the balanced DCX2496 if they are less than 3 cable feet apart. Of course using the Lexicon balanced option can't hurt and I would if I had it.
Perhaps it's my bad english, but i find it strange that you recommend my what I exactly said I didn't want in the first post. I'm asking for a surround processor that has functions similar of a DEX2496 built in.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-17-2013, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sipester View Post

If cost is no object, then I think both the Datasat and ADA Reference will do this, but they cost about 20K and 40K, respectively. I think the challenge with other processors having this is the need to have so many pre-amp channels out (they both have 16 out of the box and can be expanded beyond that).
Thanks. I will look closer as those units, though they are in reality more then I initally are willing to pay.

"The AP20 comes with 31 bands of third octave and three bands of parametric equalization on every channel. In all, the AP20 delivers 512 individual equalization bands. In addition, each channel includes low, high and bandpass filters as well as individual treble and bass controls to deliver a stunning clarity of sound"
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-17-2013, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

On the double conversion issue...

I looked at modifying both my MC8 and the DCX2496 for direct digital connection. But after measuring the double A/D D/A performance I didn't think it would be worth the effort. Modern audio digital conversion has reached very high levels towards transparency even at the lowest cost levels. While is not truly transparent and never will be, it's generally close enough today to where one must seriously question the audibility of the induced distortions.

Everyone on this forum I'm aware of that switched from A/D - D/A conversion into a Trinnov processor to an all digital signal path (either using a modded Oppo with digital outputs or getting the ADA reference), reported significant improvements. This would include me.
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-17-2013, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by omholt View Post

Thanks. I will look closer as those units, though they are in reality more then I initally are willing to pay.

"The AP20 comes with 31 bands of third octave and three bands of parametric equalization on every channel. In all, the AP20 delivers 512 individual equalization bands. In addition, each channel includes low, high and bandpass filters as well as individual treble and bass controls to deliver a stunning clarity of sound"

An alternative is to get a Trinnov processor (MC8, MC12, MC16 depending on channels needed), forego the HDMI input, and get a modded Oppo as source. With the forthcoming vanity105 board you can switch additional HDMI sources into the processor, using the HDMI input on the Oppo, and converting to 4 x 2 channel digital outputs that you run into the Trinnov.

Depending on how many channels you need, this would be relatively affordable.
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-17-2013, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by edorr View Post

An alternative is to get a Trinnov processor (MC8, MC12, MC16 depending on channels needed), forego the HDMI input, and get a modded Oppo as source. With the forthcoming vanity105 board you can switch additional HDMI sources into the processor, using the HDMI input on the Oppo, and converting to 4 x 2 channel digital outputs that you run into the Trinnov.

Depending on how many channels you need, this would be relatively affordable.

That's fine for all media played through the Oppo, but has anyone solved how to any the decoding of surround sound from any other sources (i.e., gaming, set-top box, Kaleidescape, etc.) using this approach?
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-17-2013, 02:02 PM
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That's fine for all media played through the Oppo, but has anyone solved how to any the decoding of surround sound from any other sources (i.e., gaming, set-top box, Kaleidescape, etc.) using this approach?

The Oppo 105 has one HDMI input and can do surround sound decoding. Once the Vanity105 board is available, you can put an HDMI switcher in front of the Oppo and use it as a decoder and HDMI to 4 x digi out converter, that happens to also spin discs.
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-17-2013, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Everyone on this forum I'm aware of that switched from A/D - D/A conversion into a Trinnov processor to an all digital signal path (either using a modded Oppo with digital outputs or getting the ADA reference), reported significant improvements. This would include me.

Well here's a current thread over on the audio forum that explores this.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1481921/multiple-a-d-d-a-conversions

I too added discrete AES output to my BluRay player and then into a Lucid DAC. But there the analog section in the BluRay was inferior plus I had a 30 foot cable between the player and the processor. Yes this did make an audible improvement, in my case mainly noise floor. But I did not find the analog link between my MC8 and the DCX that bad. I still may go all digital but I also at times use a DBX expander which is analog so at least for that I must stay analog between the processor and crossover/equalizer.

Another problem with an all digital link is gain control. Full range volume control is difficult to do well in the digital domain. And the new generation electronic analog volume controls like the BB PGA2310 are very good. So in my case if I would go all digital I need a gain controller in the chain as well. I do have one in the form of an AES mixer but I don't think it's worth the trouble to implement and may not perform as well as the analog volume control.

Going to a full digital interconnect is a very strong placebo candidate, far greater than any cable. Of course pure digital is better? In most cases this is true but not always deep down in the details.

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post #15 of 16 Old 07-17-2013, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by edorr View Post

The Oppo 105 has one HDMI input and can do surround sound decoding. Once the Vanity105 board is available, you can put an HDMI switcher in front of the Oppo and use it as a decoder and HDMI to 4 x digi out converter, that happens to also spin discs.

Just to confirm, you are stating that the Oppo 105 can decode DD & DTS that comes from an external source via HDMI, and not from a disc? Can it also decode DTS HD or Dolby TruHD from an external HDMI source?
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-17-2013, 03:39 PM
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Just to confirm, you are stating that the Oppo 105 can decode DD & DTS that comes from an external source via HDMI, and not from a disc? Can it also decode DTS HD or Dolby TruHD from an external HDMI source?

First, this will be a board for the 103, not a 105. My mistake.

The Oppo103 actually has 2x HDMI input, not one. My mistake again.

You can check the specs/manual of the 103, to see what level of decoding the Oppo is capable of on the HDMI inputs. You can also post the question on this forum.

I would be very surprised if it could not decode whatever you feed it over HDMI (except for DSD probably), but also keep in mind that the only source of DTS HD or Dolby TruHD content are BR discs (as far as I know). So even if it cannot decode that for external HDM source, you would be needing that only on the discs you spin in the Oppo itself anyway. Even If there is an external device that plays DTS HD or Dolby TruHD content, you can let it do the decoding and feed the Oppo 103 LPCM.
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