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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,


I need help making a decision as this is an area which I don't have a clear understanding of...


This is about a 2 channel setup: Monitor Audio Gold Ref. 20 floorstanding speakers, PC running foobar2000 out via usb cable to a Bryston BDA-1 DAC out via RCA cables to an Odyssey Candela tube preamp out via RCA cables to a Jensen ISOMAX isolation transformer, out via XLR cables to a Pass Labs x250.5. From here out to both the speakers and the Velodyne CT-150 subwoofer's "speaker in" terminals.


A few things:


The Monitor Audio 20's are excellent speakers but they lack a little in the base department. Therefore I decided to add the sub.


In case you're wondering why I hooked it up this way instead of just running a line in into the sub and utilize the sub's internal crossover to set it to cross at 80 hz or somewhere around there. When using the sub's line in I get a hum. That's why the Jensen is in the signal path... I have spent numerous hours, sent back components to the manufacturer for checkups etc etc. No ground loops: everything's plugged into one dedicated circuit, surge protector, power conditioner, even had an electrician over to check things out. It seems that the Velodyne does not like one of my other components. The hum goes away entirely if I use the "speaker in" terminals on the sub...



Question: The system sounds very good right now. But I have been wondering, if I add an external crossover (Rane SAC22) and take a bit of strain off the mains, would that be beneficial to the system not necessarily in terms of audio quality but just generally? The mains can handle everything just fine and the subwoofer is definitely helping out.


Or am I just itching to get a new toy and I should just leave things alone and not mess with a perfectly good signal path?


I appreciate someone setting me straight on this one,


Regards.
 

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ON one hand, if it is working and sounds fine, don't worry, be happy. Just listen to music instead of worrying about.

On the other hand, yes. You can adjust and tune so much easier. Ultimate toy is something along the lines of the DCX. We do keep track of toy count.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, tvrgeek!


In all honesty, I was expecting some of the gurus here to chip in on this issue: whether an active crossover would be beneficial to a hifi system... Perhaps I posted in the wrong thread: if so, I apologize and mods, please move it where it belongs...


I pm-ed one of the owners of Odyssey Audio, Alex, who also designes and hand builds their tube preamps, the Candela. I really respect his opinion - their stuff sounds great, so they must know what they're talking about...


I am quoting his answer in the event that others may have the same question:

"A sub woofer is a great addition if connected properly - I use one occasionally. It is my experience that setting up active crossovers in hi-fi is not the way to go. I would connect a sub woofer at line level. If you don't have second outputs on the Candela just connect a set of splitters at the RCA outputs - 1) pair (L-R) to the power amp and 2) the second pair (L-R) to the sub woofer at line level input. Most subs have dual inputs. Cross (adjust) the sub just below your main speakers low frequency and adjust your sub volume for good balance overall..."

Cheers!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddgtr /forum/post/17051118


No ground loops: everything's plugged into one dedicated circuit, surge protector, power conditioner, even had an electrician over to check things out. It seems that the Velodyne does not like one of my other components. The hum goes away entirely if I use the "speaker in" terminals on the sub...

Of course you have a ground loop, and it's being broken when you use the 'speaker-in' terminals.


It stands to reason if the mains are reproducing a more narrow passband containing fewer low frequencies, the frequencies they are reproducing will sound better.


As for Alex's opinion it's worth what you paid for it, and it's wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by cixelsid /forum/post/17072408


Of course you have a ground loop, and it's being broken when you use the 'speaker-in' terminals.


It stands to reason if the mains are reproducing a more narrow passband containing fewer low frequencies, the frequencies they are reproducing will sound better.


As for Alex's opinion it's worth what you paid for it, and it's wrong.

I'm pretty sure that if there is a ground loop it's not in my electrical wiring but rather my sub does not like one of my components... I tried my setup at my brother's house, with a dedicated circuit and it still did it...


So I understand that if the mains have fewer low frequencies to deal with they will sound better. Do you think that a BBE Max-x3, or Behringer or a Rane SAC22 will get the job done WITHOUT deteriorating the incoming signal? Are there any circuits in active crossovers that may negatively affect incoming sound?


Thanks...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddgtr /forum/post/17077510


So I understand that if the mains have fewer low frequencies to deal with they will sound better. Do you think that a BBE Max-x3, or Behringer or a Rane SAC22 will get the job done WITHOUT deteriorating the incoming signal? Are there any circuits in active crossovers that may negatively affect incoming sound?

I've used the Behringer 3400 and modified Marchand XM9s.


The Behringers are surprising transparent with a bit of a soft top end. The Marchand units are of course better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just a quick update. I bought a dbx223 with balanced connections, overall a pretty simple unit. Plugged it in and it's working great. To my ears, there is no difference in sound quality - which is exactly what I wanted. I'm crossing at 80Hz. As an added bonus, the system is overall quieter. The crossover must act like some sort of a buffer because any trace of hum is completely gone.


Thanks to all who helped!
 

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Might drop to 60 Hz. I find at 80 I get some localization of the sub on some audio. It also leaves the excellent Monitor's a little more full vocal range without the crossover in it. ( I am running a Behringer)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek /forum/post/17178242


Might drop to 60 Hz. I find at 80 I get some localization of the sub on some audio. It also leaves the excellent Monitor's a little more full vocal range without the crossover in it. ( I am running a Behringer)

Great, I will give it a try!


Thanks!
 
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