High/low pass from an hrt MSII - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 07-18-2013, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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So I have an HRT MSII and audioengine a5's, and I'm looking to add a subwoofer. The A5's don't have a dedicated sub out, but a 2-RCA line out, so I think they won't be able to detect the lowpass settings from the sub. Since the A5's don't have a highpass filter, I'm wondering if it's possible to get some device which does nothing but split analog signal (coming from my MSII, 2-rca) into two high- and low- passed signals. However, I don't want to lose any sound quality.

Can anybody suggest something, ideally something rather cheap, which can do this? I just don't want to make the A5's run full-range when they're connected to a sub. If somebody thinks it won't really make a difference, though, that would also be good to know.

Note: I'm not using a receiver because the a5's are active, as will be the sub.

Here's a full diagram/listing of the connections I have.

Computer USB to USB HRT MSII DAC
DAC 2-rca to 3.5mm Audioengine A5
Audioengine A5 2-RCA to 1-RCA, 1-RCA to 1-RCA subwoofer.

I can low-pass the subwoofer, but it would also be fine to have the lowpass be controlled separately.
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post #2 of 2 Old 07-18-2013, 12:38 PM
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I've had the same question many times - that's why I own a couple of external crossovers. Most people will tell you that you don't need a crossover or that all modern AVRs have built in crossovers, but that isn't always true (and that wouldn't help you anyway). Many will say that you should run your A5's full range and let the natural rolloff at 50Hz blend with the (assumably adjustable) crossover in your sub at about 50Hz.

I agree with you - that your A5's will sound a lot better and have more power for the mids if they aren't trying to reproduce down to 50Hz. You want to use the power amp built into the sub to offload some of the work below 70Hz or 100Hz and let the A5's play where they aren't working so hard. That is the whole point of a SUB crossover (don't get this confused with a bi-amping crossover which would separate the highs and the mids).

By the way - great speakers! I have some M-Audio AV40's on my computer desk which aren't as nice and even they are amazing. Powered speakers are something that always had amazing potential but never caught on. Only until high-end computer and near-field monitors started showing up the powered speaker had almost disappeared. One problem is that since the amp is built in you need to alter the frequency response before it gets to the amplifier.

Unfortunately, since most AVRs come with built in bass management and most people use AVRs, very few people use external crossovers any more and very few are produced. I would suggest a nice used Paradigm X-30 or an Outlaw Audio ICBM off of eBay, but they are hard to find. There are a lot of options for car audio, but then you would need a 13V power supply.

The simplest and cheapest option that I know of is using a passive crossover on the RCA input to your speakers:

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=266-274

This doesn't have any adjustability, but if you know what you want to do this is an easy way to block the bass from your A5's BEFORE it is ever amplified which is what you really want. As more people use DAC's and other pre-amp sources directly to amps or powered speakers, I think this question will be asked a lot more fequently.

Good Luck
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2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2, Paradigm Signature S4 v.2, (2) SVS SB12-NSD subs, AQ & Cardas XLR
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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