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Newb Bass Management/EQ questions. Help appreciated!

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I'm a noob when it comes to setting up a 2.1 system with proper bass management and EQ. How do the 2 channel guys implement a line level crossover between the subwoofer and main amps, a high pass filter for the mains, and equalize it without having a separate analog preamp?

I've been leaning towards the SMS-1.

I am simplifying my system from 5.1 to 2.1. But the move has proven to be more complicated than I thought it would be. My system currently consists of: Parasound 2100, 2x Emotiva UPA-1 amps, Selah Prestigio(sealed), 2x Epik Empires, Emotiva XDA-2 dac, Oppo DV983 CD player, PC, Mac, PS3, cable etc.

Now that I don't need HT bypass, have only one [analog] source(the XDA-2, which handles all of my digital sources) and don't have a turntable anymore, I'm thinking about eliminating the Parasound 2100 and buying an SMS-1 to use with my XDA-2, which only puts out fullrange signals. I believe my speakers have a -3db @ 75hz. Does anyone have experience using the Velodyne SMS-1 as a crossover? Since the XDA-2 has both XLR and RCA outputs and both my subwoofers and main amps also accept both, there will be a couple of ways to hook everything up:

1: XDA-2>XLR>UPA-1 and XDA-2>RCA>SMS-1
2: XDA-2>XLR>SMS-1 and XDA-2>RCA>UPA-1

The above options will keep the signal to the UPA-1 short without risk of altering by the SMS-1. But, my mains will be receiving a full range signal, which supposedly puts more stress on the amp and can adversely effect the midrange as the smallish drivers attempt to reproduce midrange and bass.

3: XDA-2>RCA>SMS-1>THRU(untouched full range signal)>UPA-1
4: XDA-2>RCA>SMS-1>OUTPUT(above 80hz)>UPA-1

Option 4 seems appealing because it doesn't send the bass under 80 or so to the mains, but I am unsure whether the SMS-1 re-digitizes the whole signal or just whatever is under 80hz.

Another problem is concerning how I will play the test tones out of the SMS-1 as it outputs the test tones in analog only and the XDA-2 only accepts digital signals. Should I use an ADC? Run it through my Parasound 2100 before removing it from the system?

If anyone has experience using the SMS-1 any thoughts would be appreciated, especially if you have put a full range signal through it and used its crossover. I am interested in whether the THRU signal actually sends out EXACTLY what it receives and if the high pass crossover is of good quality.

Is there a better way to EQ the subs and do bass management(crossover) without spending a ton of cash, like an Outlaw ICBM and a cheaper Anti-Mode?

Lastly, would the XDA-2 volume control perform as well as a pure analog volume control? I've seen posts saying that the XDA-2 and XSP-1 have the same volume control.

Coming from a 5.1 system with 4 amps, a pre/pro, a separate analog pre with HT bypass, 2 subs, and multiple sources, I never thought a 2.1 system could be so complicated.

I know this may sound like a newbie post, so any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.
post #2 of 2
You seem to have overlooked an easy way to implement bass management with your current equipment. Keep the Parasound 2100 preamp in there. Please forget that you bought it for the HT bypass. It does excellent bass management in a 2.1 system. Set your crossover on the preamp in the rear to 80 or 100Hz and send the low pass signal to the sub. The front panel of the 2100 allows you to tweak the level of signal going to the sub, and of course your sub probably has a volume knob too. Use them interactively and a SPL meter to determine the best levels for the sub channel.

Use the high pass output to send to your mains. That will avoid sending a full range signal and will cutoff at 80Hz. Now your amp will not have to work so hard to produce a full range signal and can be dedicated to the highs and mid-range signals.
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