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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently bi-amping my speakers w/o a cross-over....passive bi-amping. I have heard that active will/should make a difference...any suggestions for a reasonably priced cross-over?
 

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IMO the ultimate solution although surely not cheap is to use a TacT RCS 2.2x: it will give you a preamp, a crossover, delays and room correction. Then you can add digital amps and then you don't have any analog parts.


Michel
 

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I'm also interested in what active crossovers are out there.


Has anyone made a find from the pro-audio or more likely the recording world that would be a good match for home theater?
 

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Bigus: Before moving to a TacT 2.2x I tried a Behringer active crossover (analog) and a quite expensive XTA DP224 Loudspeaker management system (digital crossover, delay, par EQ) but this was not too good! Nowhere near the quality of the TacT.


Michel
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Come-on....I do not consider a few grand as reasonable...is that it?
 

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slewis,


Sadly, I just don't think that the idea of doing the crossover before the amp has caught on enough to make it cheap. I do think that in a decade, all systems will ship digital to the speaker, similar to the top-of-the-line Meridian systems. It is too bad John Dunlavy retired, because this was going to be his next big step. When this finally happens, it will allow the overall cost of systems to drop dramatically.


I have played with the TacT RCS, and it is a very good unit. However, I don't think that digital power amps make any sense, and that they will not achieve the performance of DACs followed by analog amplification.


Tim
 

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does anyone know if there are truly "digital" speakers? normal speakers generate sound by moving its cone proportional to the current going through the coil. so the speakers are analog.


what about digital speakers that work differently?
 

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Slewis,


There are any number of "pro" crossovers available at prices from under $100 to $10K. Unless you can disable the crossover in your speakers having an active outboard one won't help and will most likely hurt your sound. If you can disable the on-board unit then you'll need to know what freq(s) the mfg recommends for crossover and at what slope.


Millwood,


Since sound is analog there will never be a digital speaker in the sense that you mean. Something has to move the air so our hearing can receive it.
 

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Quote:
does anyone know if there are truly "digital" speakers? normal speakers generate sound by moving its cone proportional to the current going through the coil. so the speakers are analog.

what about digital speakers that work differently?
Sound is analog... you can't send a digital waveform into a speaker and expect good results. Now there are some speakers (Meridian, etc.) that contain a digital amp that will drive the speakers. These speakers are sometimes referred to as digital speakers...

Quote:
I am currently bi-amping my speakers w/o a cross-over....passive bi-amping. I have heard that active will/should make a difference...any suggestions for a reasonably priced cross-over?
You are using a crossover... the passive one in your speakers. You'll need to disable this crossover and drive each speaker directly from the amp outputs. As an experiment you could try a car audio crossover. You'll need to get a 12V converter or temporarily hook things up to a battery. If things sound great then you can go with a pro audio unit (Rane, etc.).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
okey...so I ask...is it even worth it to purchase one? If the cross-over in my paradigm ref speakers do the job anyway, why spend the $$$? Is the signal loss at the cross-over any thing to really worry about?
 

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This is from a response I posted in the Remote Central Forum a year ago, when someone asked about bi-wiring vs. bi-amping:


About bi-wiring, there would be no effective crossover differences. As for bi-amping, the reduced loads on the respective amp sections would be beneficial. However, the ideal bi-amping situation would include an active (i.e., in the line-level stage, between pre-amp and amps) crossover, which presents its own caveats:


The crossover components within the speakers should be bypassed, i.e., wires run directly from cabinet terminals to driver terminals, because:


All amplifiers not only start the driver diaphragms into motion when fed an input signal, but also control and/or stop such motion when the signal changes/stops. This ability is determined by the "source" impedance of the amplifier's output stage, and is typically known as "damping factor". Yes, sources have impedance ratings, just like loads do. Source impedance is the ability of a source to not be affected by the load, which is why a larger power supply (or battery) will drop voltage less than a smaller one with increased load current.


Solid state amps usually have a very low (
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by slewis
I am currently bi-amping my speakers w/o a cross-over....passive bi-amping. I have heard that active will/should make a difference...any suggestions for a reasonably priced cross-over?
Every Dolby Digital receiver or pre-pro has an excellent Linkwitz-Riley crossover built in.


What are you trying to bi-amp? Do you have a way of bypassing the passive crossovers?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by hwc
Every Dolby Digital receiver or pre-pro has an excellent Linkwitz-Riley crossover built in.
Yes, but that's between the LFE and the woofer. We're discussing the woofer-tweeter crossover range.
 

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Nutt:

"However, I don't think that digital power amps make any sense, and that they will not achieve the performance of DACs followed by analog amplification."


I would suggest that you try the combo RCS + S2150 digital amp from TacT. I replace a Chord amp and Chord DAC with this combo and I can tell you that it makes a lot of sense!


Michel
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Larry Fine
Yes, but that's between the LFE and the woofer. We're discussing the woofer-tweeter crossover range.
That's why I was asking what he wanted to bi-amp.


Although biamping the midbass driver and the tweeter in a two-way speaker with an active crossover is a technically sound thing to do, I would not generally recommend that someone go that route unless they have very detailed knowledge of the specific speaker and the ability to generate "anechoic" frequency response graphs. Virtually all of the engineering in a two-way speaker involves little tricks with the crossover to match the tweeter to the midbass driver. The crossover may involve equalization of the tweeter response, level matching, etc.


Just trying to set an active crossover in this particular application "by ear" would stand a much better chance of screwing up the sound of the speaker. You also stand a really good chance of blowing up a bunch of tweeters if you don't know what you are doing.


Where bi-amping pays HUGE dividends is between the bass driver and the midbass driver: in the 60 to 400 Hz region. This is where passive crossovers really suck and it's also where the dynamic range benefits of biamping REALLY show up, mostly because amplifier clipping on bass notes are no longer audible as distortion in the midrange and tweeter range.


All things considered, the money spent on amplifiers and crossovers to biamp the midrange and tweeter would be MUCH better spent on a serious powered subwoofer to take advantage of the excellent Linkwitz-Riley active crossovers built into every Dolby Digital receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
hwc...


I see your point. Yes I am bi-amping btwn the midbass and tweeter. I already have three pretty beefy subs that shake the entire house and my block. My cc and l&r are paradigm ref, thus can be bi-wired. So I picked up a few nice amps...Acurus...and bi-wired and bi-amped the three fronts. However, I come to read that active cross-overs will help..could help...may help...thus this thread.


I am about to pick up a little machine to help flatten out and balance the three subs...next, possibly is the active cross over if needed.
 

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HWC - understand and concur.
 

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Quote:
okey...so I ask...is it even worth it to purchase one? If the cross-over in my paradigm ref speakers do the job anyway, why spend the $$$? Is the signal loss at the cross-over any thing to really worry about?
Paradigm used to sell an active version of the Studio 40 (called the Active-40). IMO these sounded significantly better than a Studio 40 being driven by high end amplification (Krell, Theta, etc.). Of course Paradigm was able to design the amplifier, active crossover, & speaker to act together perfectly. Your 100s are not designed specifically for bi-amping so getting the amp and 4-way crossover perfectly balanced with the drivers would be a difficult (if not impossible) exercise. I'd suggest sticking with the passive crossover...
 
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