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Digital Crossovers Software Hardware technical questions(Speaker Management Systems)

Krunok

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#21
Now the question is what works best a combination of passive components and digital crossover work done by Audiolense or is the ultimate goal pure digital crossover? And obviously need to find a descent multichannel DAC. I feel the cheaper ones might be a downgrade from my NAD356 or C510 as preamp.
If you're designing/building new speaker from scratch I'd go with pure digital crossover and active variant.
 

Kal Rubinson

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#22
If you want to do room eq and use more sources than just a PC, you can use an Antimode 8033 to equalize where it matters most, i.e. just the subs. It is cheap, easy to use, and works well. If you want to equalize both your subs, and your main speakers, and optimize the crossover between them, the new Antimode X4 is an easy and excellent solution, but it is expensive (you get a DAC/preamp in the bargain).
I think their Dual-Core model is the sweet spot in terms of capabilities and price. The 8033 is effective but limited. The X4 is great and does a lot for a high price. For just subs, the Dual-Core works seems ideal.
 
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#23
If you're designing/building new speaker from scratch I'd go with pure digital crossover and active variant.
What is exactly active variant? Do you mean an active crossover if so where would that go? Doesn't it defeat the purpose of digital crossovers?
 

Krunok

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#24
What is exactly active variant? Do you mean an active crossover if so where would that go? Doesn't it defeat the purpose of digital crossovers?
Active speakers are speakers with built-in amplifier. XO can be digital or analog. Those 2 things are unrelated.
 
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#25
Active speakers are speakers with built-in amplifier. XO can be digital or analog. Those 2 things are unrelated.
How embarrassing. Yeh, my mind just was concentrated on crossovers. Active speaker variant got it.
 
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#27
I think their Dual-Core model is the sweet spot in terms of capabilities and price. The 8033 is effective but limited. The X4 is great and does a lot for a high price. For just subs, the Dual-Core works seems ideal.
That presents another option to. Thanks.

Ill look into it.
 

Fledermaus

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#28
Hi there,

I just fell in love with etc6849's system and I'm contemplating a (much more modest to begin with) tri-amp setting with AHB2s. My system is currently set up as follows : USB streamer (DLNA controlled) >ADI2-DAC >passive preamp >AHB2 >passive XO'd speakers. There are a few more analog sources I occasionally use (FM tuner, CD player, LP rig), and I like the old-school user-friendliness of select/volume via preamp's remote.

I've got a Xilica XA4080 (analog I/O) serving as an active XOver in another system, between preamp and amps. I could transpose it, set frequencies, levels & slopes and call it a day - or is there any benefit, other than theoritical, in getting into the DSP/XOver in digital format, as in (one pair of brackets, one box) :
[Digital source] -> [DSP/XOver > DACs] -> [Amps]
rather than
[Digital source] -> [DAC] -> [Preamp] -> [ADC > DSP/XOver > DACs] -> [Amps] ?

In any case, I'm afraid 1st solution, though more elegant, would be trickier to make do with analog sources, source selection and volume control.

Any thoughts ?
Thanks !
 

Willem

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#29
I wonder if you cannot ditch the preamp. I have gone over to internet radio, and even though comparing the sonic limitations of FM radio with those of lossy streams is comparing apples and oranges, on balance I prefer the sound quality of the lossy internet stream. I use the digital output of my disc player, if only to benefit from the superiority of my RME ADI-2 DAC, so that too is now a digital source. The only remaining analogue source was my Linn Sondek LP 12 turntable, and I was quite happy to ditch it, but the family would not let me. So I got a Pro-ject Optical Ebox phono pre amplifier with optical output. I know hard core vinyl lovers will be horrified, but the resolution of the ADC is almost certainly well above that of vinyl so I am not worried. I use this automatic switch: https://www.tindie.com/products/Beni_Skate/automatic-spdif-opticalrca-audio-switch/ It works well, but only if the source switches itself off when not in use. The Project box does not, so I have thatal onits own on the coaxial input.
This does not answer your questions about digital X overs, of course, but it may simplify your system. I think the ADI-2 is a very good preamplifier.
 

Fledermaus

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#30
As an audiophile from last century, I've got an LP12 too ;) - that I might consider ditching. I might use the digital out from my CD player too, since I'm not too afraid of missing this good old TDA 1541A magic.
I'd be more hard pressed to ditch my Yam T1 FM tuner - I kinda like this guy ! Maybe I should try to get used to internet radio.
Of course I've been thinking of using the ADI-2 as a preamp with a stand-alone RCA source selector (box1) for tuner and LP, then a cheap ADC (box2) connected via coax s/pdif ; USB for streaming ; and AES for the CD player - oh wait, no AES input on the ADI2 :( so have to find one box3 for converting AES to optical...
Well, that made too many boxes in the end, so I went for a nice passive preamp with a remote for source selection and volume !
 

Willem

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#31
In my case it was not too difficult : Chromecast Audio optical out for internet radio and Spotify, Panasonic plasma TV optical out, Panasonic Bluray optical out, all three into the automatic switch and then into the optical input of the ADI-2, Project Optical box into coax converter and then into the coax digital input of the ADI-2 (the Poject Box did not work properly with the automatic switch so it needed its own input). Only the ADI-2 is visible. The Quad 606-2 power amplifier is more or less out of sight, just as the Antimode 8033 dsp eq for the subwoofer. I am using a master slave power strip to turn on all the other gear when I turn on the ADI-2. The ADI-2 did not quite consume enough power to make the power strip switch, so I connected it together with the CCA to lift it above the power consumption threshold for the master to switch on the slaves. It really is all very neatly out of sight, and convenient.
I love internet radio, and not just for its sound quality. It also allows me to not only listen to Dutch radio, but also to e.g. BBC radio 3, American Public Radio, or various French stations.
 
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#32
Personally I would never ever apply a digital crossover to a speaker with an existing analogue crossover - it would make me into a substitute speaker designer and I fear the original designer is likely to be much better than I am.
My speaker designer (VMPS - no longer made) put great stock on his passive crossovers claiming to get it to within the nth degree of accuracy. Yet he decided to employ a digital crossover (the Behringer DCX2496), suggesting (I think) that these can be extremely accurate in their slopes and so better. In order to give buyers a choice he made an external passive crossover box (calling it OXO) that could be connected to the speaker, or replaced with a digital crossover in which he put the various slopes.

Others have done something similar - Salk speakers for example which used a DEQX but I don't see it any longer.
 

Fledermaus

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#33
Call me irrational or unscientific, but even with no hard data to support it I tend to consider that bypassing the passive crossover, on the condition you know how to respect the intended cutoff frequencies, slopes and levels, can hardly not be beneficial - if not, however, hopefully the mods can be kept reversible, and one can get back to the original design.
 

Willem

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#34
I did not mean to say that digital x overs would not be beneficial. Only that the original designer would be better.
 
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#35
While we are on this topic, I wan't jump one more hurdle to get a grasp of digital crossovers. It seems I will in future go the software DSP route.

1. So are we technically building a cabinet with a driver for each frequency range and cross them over digitally? Mitch's example on the Audiophylestyle article is based on his JBL cinema speakers, so does that speaker not have a crossover? Ultimately, can I choose a speaker and not purchase the crossover components and cross them over according to the original or by computer modelling that I might do on a crossover software?

2. This question is for Mitch but if anyone else wants to chime in it will be greatly appreciated, his comment in his article on how he has a preference for high efficiency speakers for its dynamics and loves the punch and kick it provides. I have always wondered why PA systems sound so powerful with that kick that you just can't get out of home sound systems. I am presuming that is what Mitch was keen on when choosing the JBL's am I correct in my understanding? What do I look for in a speaker to get that punch and kick. I understand a top of the line sub woofer will probably do wonders but lets say I was looking to build my next speaker or better still my cabinets for each frequency range to crossover digitally and wanted a extremely low QTC, superb transients, a lot of air moving to feel that kick and punch what I am looking for to receive that in my system?
 

mitchco

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#36
Hi @Trdat Yes, the JBL cinema speakers can be ordered with or without a passive XO. The specs specify what XO frequency to cross at and sometimes gives the slope as well. Previously I had a 3 way that came with passive XO and I bypassed it and used a 3 way digital XO in it's place. I used the same XO points as the passive, but under further investigation, changed the midrange to woofer XO point to a bit higher based on examining the drivers raw response. When I sold the speakers, I wired back up the passive XO.

Speaker design/building is big on sites like diyAudio, AVSforum, Parts Express and Troels Gravesen among many others, including kit sites like DIY Sound Group. The digital XO part is fairly easy as most speaker specs will indicate range of operation and recommended XO frequency. With a measurement mic and software like REW, one can sweep each speaker in it's intended range and verify the XO point. Usually the digital XO's are linear phase so that they sum perfectly in the frequency and time domain. See http://www.acourate.com/XOWhitePaper.pdf Also, the slopes are steep enough that the driver's response beyond the passband is convolved with the slope of the digital XO, retaining the perfect summing. It also gives you an opportunity to time align the drivers and choose amps you want to drive the individual speakers with. e.g. woofers lots of watts and damping factor, tweeters maybe a low watt tube or single ended Class A design. Just opens the door wide open for any possibilities.

Personally, I am a fan of ridiculously huge, high efficiency speakers. If you get into speaker building the sites listed above will assist as you will need to model box sizes with Thiel & Small parameters if the manufacture does not have a recommended cab size, but most do. Then you will need to familiarise yourself with various speaker parameters that provide that kick and punch. Usually a combo of subs and a large 15" PA type woofer(s). Lots of good recommendations on the sites listed above. It's a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. Good luck!
 
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#37
Mitch,

Really appreciate the reply, to be honest I do have Audiolense(still an amateur learning how to interpret impulse response and group delay) and also have a Troels 3WC although I am a long way away from digital crossovers I just needed to get my head around some of the simple concepts which are not so simple.

Your response painted the picture I was looking for and with my passion for DIY speakers I think digital crossovers seems a logical route to persevere in. I just couldn't understand how you managed digital crossovers when you had a speaker that already had a crossover but obviously the JBL came without.

Anyway, I am reading all your articles and will get to purchasing a multi channel DAC and hopefully be ready to design my own system in the near future. Yes, its is a lot of work, but I am getting there.
 

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