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Physical Topology for Separates Setup - Where to Start?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have come to the junction I am sure many of you have crossed; I am looking at moving to separates, and foremost, I am trying to determine the most effective order in which to make the transition. My goals are to 1) make the transition in a way where my receiver is the last thing to go (due to cost of most pre/pros) and 2) have as little redundancy in the capabilities of my components as possible when the transition is complete.

First, I'd like to explain what I understand so as to better elucidate where I might be confused and help you to help me remedy my misconceptions. Let's assume for now that I want to hang on to my AVR (Denon 3312ci) and yet I would like the option of being able to manually EQ beyond what the AVR's firmware already lets me do.

Where my questions lie is in the placement of signal processing units within the physical topology.

What is the correct placement of a signal processing unit? Between the AVR preout and the amplifier?

If I am not using a dedicated preamp and I am not using the EQ functions of the AVR, would I need a separate DSP for each amplified channel/pair?

For instance:
http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/DEQ1024.aspx
http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/DEQ2496.aspx
http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/FBQ3102.aspx

Having asked that, of course, if I needed a separate EQ for each pair of speakers, I would just get a pre/pro instead.

Now, if I was using a dedicated pre/pro would there still be any value in having a standalone EQ for each speaker pair, beyond what the pre/pro is capable of? Do people do this?

Now for the issue about which I am most confused: When a product says it is a "31-band parametric stereo EQ" does that mean it equalizes only a LR pair (or SL SR, SBL SBR) of speakers?

If so, are there DEQs that can process signals for all 5 or 7 channels in a 5.1 / 7.1 system? Or am I basically just describing the ultimate function of the pre/pro?

Lastly, just so I can see the big picture, assuming cost was no object, what would the ultimate phyisical topology look like? Please include the total quantities of EQs/FB destroyers/Crossovers necessary to cover all the bases.

As an aside, here is my current system:

PS3 (BD player)
Denon 3312ci
5.0 system, building an enclosure for an LMS-R 15
For the LMS-R 15 I currently have an EP4000 and a CX2310.
http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/CX2310.aspx

Immediately, I am most concerned with knowing what options the CX2310 gives me. Does having such a crossover mean I should ideally use a FL and FR without passive crossovers built into them?
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMSdisciple View Post
1.  What is the correct placement of a signal processing unit? Between the AVR preout and the amplifier?

2.  If I am not using a dedicated preamp and I am not using the EQ functions of the AVR, would I need a separate DSP for each amplified channel/pair?

3.  Having asked that, of course, if I needed a separate EQ for each pair of speakers, I would just get a pre/pro instead.

4.  Now, if I was using a dedicated pre/pro would there still be any value in having a standalone EQ for each speaker pair, beyond what the pre/pro is capable of? Do people do this?

5.  Now for the issue about which I am most confused: When a product says it is a "31-band parametric stereo EQ" does that mean it equalizes only a LR pair (or SL SR, SBL SBR) of speakers?

6.  If so, are there DEQs that can process signals for all 5 or 7 channels in a 5.1 / 7.1 system? Or am I basically just describing the ultimate function of the pre/pro?

7.  Lastly, just so I can see the big picture, assuming cost was no object, what would the ultimate phyisical topology look like? Please include the total quantities of EQs/FB destroyers/Crossovers necessary to cover all the bases.

8. Immediately, I am most concerned with knowing what options the CX2310 gives me. Does having such a crossover mean I should ideally use a FL and FR without passive crossovers built into them?

1.  Yes.  Between pre out and amp.

2.  Yes.  Most such are only 2 channels.

3.  Not a bad idea.

4.  Some do it but it depends on what the prepro does and what you want.

5.  Yes.  Just a pair.

6.  Yes but they are pricey.

7.  Why do you need " EQs/FB destroyers/Crossovers?"

8.  Yes but it is, imho, not necessary for the level of system you are talking about.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Kal,

Thanks for your reply. That clears up a lot for me. A couple more questions if you're feeling magnanimous...

1. Concerning the EQ/FB Destroyer/Crossover question, I guess I'm just a little bit unclear on which, if any, functions of said units overlap. For example, consider the following three products:



2. With respect to "zero"-attack limiters/feedback destruction, are these brand-speak for notch filters? Are all three synonymous?


3. What are the following functions for?

a.) Threshold level adjustment on this unit:
http://www.behringer.com/assets/FBQ6200_P0230_Top-Front_XXL.png

b.) Dynamics (Gate, Limiter) and Master (Stereo image) adjustments on this unit:
http://www.behringer.com/assets/DEQ1024_P0220_Top-Front_XXL.png
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMSdisciple View Post

Kal,

Thanks for your reply. That clears up a lot for me. A couple more questions if you're feeling magnanimous...

1. Concerning the EQ/FB Destroyer/Crossover question, I guess I'm just a little bit unclear on which, if any, functions of said units overlap. For example, consider the following three products:



2. With respect to "zero"-attack limiters/feedback destruction, are these brand-speak for notch filters? Are all three synonymous?


3. What are the following functions for?

a.) Threshold level adjustment on this unit:
http://www.behringer.com/assets/FBQ6200_P0230_Top-Front_XXL.png

b.) Dynamics (Gate, Limiter) and Master (Stereo image) adjustments on this unit:
http://www.behringer.com/assets/DEQ1024_P0220_Top-Front_XXL.png

I have no experience with any of those devices.

post #5 of 8
I'm tired, so you're getting the short version as Kal answered the rest.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMSdisciple View Post

What is the correct placement of a signal processing unit? Between the AVR preout and the amplifier?
Won't work. Every AVR I've seen the schematic for has the pre section connected to the power amp, with the pre out RCAs simply a parallel to this. There is no 'break' in the signal path for you to insert into

Quote:
Originally Posted by RMSdisciple View Post

Now, if I was using a dedicated pre/pro would there still be any value in having a standalone EQ for each speaker pair, beyond what the pre/pro is capable of? Do people do this?
Yes, I do. I use my Onkyo AVR as a pre pro and use the pre outs to drive active xovers for all speakers with a rack of power amps. In addition to the xover functions, there is a lot of EQ available if I need it and I trust my measurements and corrections better than an algorithm to set them how I want.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMSdisciple View Post

]As an aside, here is my current system:

PS3 (BD player)
Denon 3312ci
5.0 system, building an enclosure for an LMS-R 15
For the LMS-R 15 I currently have an EP4000 and a CX2310.
http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/CX2310.aspx

Immediately, I am most concerned with knowing what options the CX2310 gives me. Does having such a crossover mean I should ideally use a FL and FR without passive crossovers built into them?
Ditch the CX as it's just a xover and far too limited. Get a MiniDSP and use that for EQ and HPF for the sub, and LFE/other channels xover via the AVR/pre pro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RMSdisciple View Post

Does having such a crossover mean I should ideally use a FL and FR without passive crossovers built into them?
Yes, but you are asking such basic questions, you are not at a level where ou could design/implement a suitable active system. It is not plug and play.
post #6 of 8

Yes.  Let me amend one point, then:

1.  Yes.  Between pre out and external amp.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Ditch the CX as it's just a xover and far too limited. Get a MiniDSP and use that for EQ and HPF for the sub, and LFE/other channels xover via the AVR/pre pro.

Thanks for the miniDSP suggestion. Just a few minutes of reading on their site has helped me to assimilate an enormous amount of disjointed information I've picked up here and there along the way. I've had calc-based physics, but we skipped LRC circuits and most of what's there delves little into applied concepts. Finally, things are starting to come together. Much appreciated, guys.
post #8 of 8
MiniDSP have units capable of applying DSP to all the channels in a HT, as do Xilica (the XP / XD units).
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