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ADC Recommendations for 3-Way Studio Monitors

Robson Santos

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Hello everything is fine?

I'm looking for suggestions for ADC components for use in 3-way studio monitors. I look for ADCs that excel in specific frequency ranges, aiming to ensure the best sound quality in each range.

1. For BASS, I need a carefully selected component that is capable of reproducing deep, velvety and smooth bass, providing an immersive and immersive sound experience.

2. For the MIDDLE, I'm looking for a high-resolution ADC that guarantees clarity and precision in the medium frequencies, allowing a faithful and detailed reproduction of the instruments and vocals present in this frequency range.

3. For TREBLE, I need a high-speed component that delivers bright, crystal clear treble, adding life and clarity to the higher frequency ranges, providing vibrant and dynamic sound reproduction.

Therefore, I would like to thank you in advance for any recommendations on ADCs that excel in each frequency range and that can be used in a dedicated manner in each of them to guarantee the best possible sound quality in 3-way studio monitors.
ADC Dedicated.png
 

antcollinet

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I think you mean DAC, not ADC.

You don't need different DACs for different frequency ranges. Modern DACS simply perfectly output the analogue signal from the digital encoding. They will do that for the whole frequency range, or for any frequency range you are working with (assuming you have correctly digitally filtered the signal upstream of the DAC).

I'd suggest what you need is something like a miniDSP flex 8 which will do both the DSP low pass, band pass and high pass filtering, and provide you with 8 analogue outputs, allowing you to drive 2x3 amps (one for each driver) and still have two spare outputs for subs if you want to use them. You will also be able to do room correction with the DSP, and similarly adapt the frequency response for the audio qualities you want.
 
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Robson Santos

Robson Santos

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I think you mean DAC, not ADC.

You don't need different DACs for different frequency ranges. Modern DACS simply perfectly output the analogue signal from the digital encoding. They will do that for the whole frequency range, or for any frequency range you are working with (assuming you have correctly digitally filtered the signal upstream of the DAC).

I'd suggest what you need is something like a miniDSP flex 8 which will do both the DSP low pass, band pass and high pass filtering, and provide you with 8 analogue outputs, allowing you to drive 2x3 amps (one for each driver) and still have two spare outputs for subs if you want to use them. You will also be able to do room correction with the DSP, and similarly adapt the frequency response for the audio qualities you want.
It is not a ready-made ADC/DAC from other brands, but a "Chip CI" component. The dedicated ADC is for each frequency range, one component for the Bass range, another for the midrange and another for the treble range and logically I will have the DAC for each frequency range as well, with the same purpose.

Of course, first I will have cut filters so that the desired frequency enters each ADC.

I'm looking for ADCs that sound better at these frequencies and don't color too much, to develop my own system.
 
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MaxwellsEq

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Hmm, so you will use an ADC for the bass which feeds a DAC for the bass, which feeds an amplifier for the bass, which feeds a bass driver. You will use an ADC for the midrange which feeds a DAC for the midrange, which feeds an amplifier for the midrange, which feeds a midrange driver. You will use an ADC for the treble which feeds a DAC for the treble, which feeds an amplifier for the treble, which feeds a tweeter.

All modern quality ADCs will handle bass midrange and treble equally well

You don't say what your source is. Presumably it's an analogue only feed, if you are using ADCs but if it's the output of a DAC, then you have an unnecessarily complex chain.
 

somebodyelse

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I don't understand how your system is intended to work. I fear you may be working under a faulty premise (that the characteristics you desire are a property of an ADC chip).
 

sigbergaudio

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Of course, first I will have cut filters so that the desired frequency enters each ADC.

How will that be implemented exactly? As an analog passive crossover?
 

olieb

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Of course, first I will have cut filters so that the desired frequency enters each ADC.

I'm looking for ADCs that sound better at these frequencies and don't color too much, to develop my own system.
So you want to have a filter network in the analog domain, then input this into three ADC and - presumably - have digital filters before outputting through three DACs to power amps and drivers.
And you are concerned about the coloration from the ADCs? I would think about the analog filter first.
And coloration problems in a filter network? You might simply adjust the filters. You have to do this anyway as the drivers will have massive coloration (compared to ADCs).
This seems a bit over-engineered to me. No analog filters and one ADC would do better I guess.
 

antcollinet

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It is not a ready-made ADC/DAC from other brands, but a "Chip CI" component. The dedicated ADC is for each frequency range, one component for the Bass range, another for the midrange and another for the treble range and logically I will have the DAC for each frequency range as well, with the same purpose.

Of course, first I will have cut filters so that the desired frequency enters each ADC.

I'm looking for ADCs that sound better at these frequencies and don't color too much, to develop my own system.
I think you need to describe your complete audio chain - from source, through whatever components you think you need, how you intend to process the signal at each stage, how you intend to separate the bass, midrange and treble frequencies etc.

At the moment, what you are saying is not making much sense.
 
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Robson Santos

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Hmm, so you will use an ADC for the bass which feeds a DAC for the bass, which feeds an amplifier for the bass, which feeds a bass driver. You will use an ADC for the midrange which feeds a DAC for the midrange, which feeds an amplifier for the midrange, which feeds a midrange driver. You will use an ADC for the treble which feeds a DAC for the treble, which feeds an amplifier for the treble, which feeds a tweeter.

All modern quality ADCs will handle bass midrange and treble equally well

You don't say what your source is. Presumably it's an analogue only feed, if you are using ADCs but if it's the output of a DAC, then you have an unnecessarily complex chain.
You are right to point out the complexity of the component chain I am considering for the sound system, including ADC, dedicated DAC, DSP, XMOS and Microcontroller. This way it is more complex. Therefore, the configuration and implementation of system programming will be more minimal, some will find it exaggerated, but after choosing all the components it will certainly be optimized. While it's true that many modern ADCs support bass, midrange, and treble well, some enthusiasts argue that certain brands and models perform better in certain frequency ranges.

This way, by choosing the best ADC model, you can guarantee optimized performance in each frequency range, contributing to more accurate and immersive sound reproduction in your audio system.

As for the source, it is in fact an analog feed, since you are using ADCs. Thanks for sharing more details about your project!
 
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Robson Santos

Robson Santos

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I don't understand how your system is intended to work. I fear you may be working under a faulty premise (that the characteristics you desire are a property of an ADC chip).
I'm not sure if I'm correct or exaggerating, so I'd like your help in suggesting ADCs. In my research, I discovered on some websites that some brands perform better in certain frequency ranges.

Would it be more advantageous to opt for something dedicated instead of a device that covers all bands? Wouldn't a dedicated component be more accurate? By separating the frequencies before A/D conversion, it is possible to avoid potential interference or intermodulation problems between bands. This ensures a more accurate and clean digital representation of each frequency range.

Thank you in advance for your collaboration and shared knowledge!
 

DVDdoug

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some enthusiasts argue that certain brands and models perform better in certain frequency ranges.
A lot of people say a lot of things and most of the "audiophile community" is nuts!!! And most people making crazy claims "don't believe in blind listening tests" and/or they claim they can hear things that can't be measured..

ADCs & DACs have been better than human hearing for a long time.

If the speaker monitor is reasonably designed the transducers and acoustics will be the weakest link, by far. The analog electronics is next, and the digital will be audibly transparent, except possibly for the DSP if it includes EQ or other processing intended to alter the sound.
 

EERecordist

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There are a handful of audio DAC chip makers: ESS, Asahi Kasei, Analog Devices, and lesser brands.* You might look into the development kits they offer. As you mention, the crossover processing is code. If you are following a DIY path, you will also need to build analog anti-aliasing filters.

The difference between ADC & DAC chip performance is almost entirely the noise floor. There may be slight differences in harmonic distortion below the limits of audibility.

There are off the shelf digital crossovers, for instance Lake. There are DSP plate amplifiers for speakers made by Hypex. Professional monitor makers do in-house or subcontract out their crossover/amplifier.

You may find more information on the various DIY audio forums. There is a mastering studio in the UK, Present Day Productions, which designed their own monitor and they have videos on their process.

*https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/dac-adc-fpga-chip-manufacturers.15565/
 
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MaxwellsEq

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While it's true that many modern ADCs support bass, midrange, and treble well, some enthusiasts argue that certain brands and models perform better in certain frequency ranges.
These enthusiasts are wrong. All modern ADCs cover the entire audio spectrum better than any human is able to hear.
 

antcollinet

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I discovered on some websites that some brands perform better in certain frequency ranges.
Those websites are wrong.

Modern DAC chips are transparent (means they are audibly perfect - you cannot hear the imperfections). This is the case in all frequency ranges.

If you are certain you want to design and build your own system (sounds crazy to me - normally teams of people spend months or even years to do this) then choose your components based on other charcteristics (ease of use, cost etc) rather than their audio performance.

But think long and hard about it. A miniDSP will do everything you need with much less effort and with all the problems already solved. I cannot see any scenario where it makes sense to re-invent this wheel yourself.
 

sigbergaudio

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By separating the frequencies before A/D conversion, it is possible to avoid potential interference or intermodulation problems between bands.

Still interested in how you propose to do that.
 
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Robson Santos

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So you want to have a filter network in the analog domain, then input this into three ADC and - presumably - have digital filters before outputting through three DACs to power amps and drivers.
And you are concerned about the coloration from the ADCs? I would think about the analog filter first.
And coloration problems in a filter network? You might simply adjust the filters. You have to do this anyway as the drivers will have massive coloration (compared to ADCs).
This seems a bit over-engineered to me. No analog filters and one ADC would do better I guess.
I understand your well-placed observations. Yes, the coloring mentioned refers to ADCs, as different models can have different sonic characteristics, with some being more transparent than others.

Regarding filters, I agree that it is essential to consider the quality of analog filters. However, the coloring of ADCs can also impact the overall quality of the captured sound.

Take a look at the Barefoot brand filter system on the Footprint 03 monitor, the SPOC (Speaker Phase Optimization Control) system. I'm not sure if it's exactly the same system I want to make, but you can check out more information about it on the official Barefoot page:

Barefoot page link

Thank you for the discussion and the opportunity to share knowledge about these technical aspects!
 

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sigbergaudio

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So if you do analog passive filter / crossover, why do you need the ADC/DAC at all? I may be missing something, but I must say this feels like a very convoluted / complicated solution for no obvious benefit.
 

LTig

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Yes, the coloring mentioned refers to ADCs, as different models can have different sonic characteristics, with some being more transparent than others.
No, they don't, unless you chose an ADC totally inappropriate for audio.
Regarding filters, I agree that it is essential to consider the quality of analog filters. However, the coloring of ADCs can also impact the overall quality of the captured sound.
No, see above.
Take a look at the Barefoot brand filter system on the Footprint 03 monitor, the SPOC (Speaker Phase Optimization Control) system. I'm not sure if it's exactly the same system I want to make, but you can check out more information about it on the official Barefoot page:

Barefoot page link

Thank you for the discussion and the opportunity to share knowledge about these technical aspects!
You refer to their SPOC technology, right?

SPOC™ (SPectrally Optimized Conversion) is introduced to the audio world through the Footprint03. The new Barefoot patented technology incorporates an analog crossover section prior to the analog-to-digital conversion, allowing us to pass the high frequencies into the converter unattenuated. This yields 5-bit higher resolution or a 15 dB signal-to-noise ratio. Exclusive to monitors featuring SpOC, this technology achieves a more transparent signal not found in any other monitor in its class.

While in theory this could have an advantage in practice I say this is a solution looking for a problem. The disadvantages are: you need an analog crossover, 2 ADCs instead of one, and chances are that fast transients may clip the ADC for the tweeter, since 5 bits higher resolution imply an additional gain of 5 x 6dB = 30 dB for the highs. IMV this is dangerously high.
 

olieb

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So if you do analog passive filter / crossover, why do you need the ADC/DAC at all?
I guess this is for DSP, linearizing the drivers and implementing SPOC (and maybe KIRK and BONES too).
I would use it also to counter coloration from the analog filters (capacitor value deviation), but what do I know. :cool:
I repeat myself, I see more convincing options.
 

beefkabob

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I have a strong suggestion: start over. Disregard everything you have read and decided to do up until this point. Throw it all out. It's tabula rasa time.

What do you already own? What is your budget? Are you looking for surround system or stereo or stereo and sub(s)?

If you want objectively the best sound, we can help. If you're going for some theoretical aesthetic, you're not only going to fail to achieve it, you're going to waste a lot of money in the process. You'll get scammed.
 
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