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Old 12th September 2008, 02:33 PM   #1
Dan_E10 is offline Dan_E10  United States
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Default Inexpensive multichannel volume control for active loudspeakers

I've finally made the plunge into digital active crossovers with an EMU 1820m. I'm working on generating FIR filters in Matlab, but I purchased and Thuneau's Frequency Allocator and have been absolutely blown away by it. I am just amazed at how good it sounds and how easy it is to dial things in.

This is despite the fact that I'm currently running the speakers from a Sony Home theater receiver that has an appalling signal to noise ratio. You can hear a very noticeable hissing sound whenever the volume is turned up past 0. Additionally, it does not have preamp outs so the woofers which are powered by plate amps need to be fed directly from the 1820m. I've been adjusting volume separately from the mids and tweeters which are powered by the receiver. If I am not doing too much attenuation, I just use the master volume control in Allocator since that is much more convenient. However this has me searching for a better alternative.

I've read lots of discussion here about using multiple amps with passive attenuators or using full digital volume control. I'm interested in also looking deeper into using a sub $1000 USD home theater receiver as another full analog alternative. However, it's tough for me to tell what exactly are the drawbacks to this approach. It seems preamp outs aren't tough to find in this price range, but I am having trouble finding out which models allow complete bypass of their DSP to give analog in to out. Any thoughts on this approach would be appreciated.
-Dan
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Old 13th September 2008, 01:34 AM   #2
dlr is offline dlr  United States
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Default A good alternative

Consider the MSB MVC-1 remote 8-channel volume control. I got one through ebay from the current seller, but they sell direct. The current price is $399. Well worth it in my book.

Sound4Sale

I use SoundEasy in digital filter mode, running the output at the 80% setting to the MVC set up to for direct mode. Since SoundEasy still has no option for digital input (severe limitation IMO), I have to use the analog input to the sound card. This is controlled by a fixed setting on a very good passive attenuator fed by a good (MSB) external DAC.

If you use an external unit such as this you can set the sound card settings to close to max for best S/N ratio and max bit usage of the card's DAC. In my case I have the A/D and D/A stages, so I maximize both this way.

Dave
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Old 13th October 2008, 11:20 PM   #3
cuibono is offline cuibono  United States
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Default Re: A good alternative

Quote:
Originally posted by dlr
Since SoundEasy still has no option for digital input (severe limitation IMO)

I'm soon going to be doing the same - I currently use Thuneau's Allocator. You might be able to use a program called Virtual Audio Cable to input both digital signals and media jukeboxes into Soundeasy. It just adds a little more hassle to the whole setup..
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Old 14th October 2008, 12:19 AM   #4
dlr is offline dlr  United States
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Default Re: Re: A good alternative

Quote:
Originally posted by cuibono
I'm soon going to be doing the same - I currently use Thuneau's Allocator. You might be able to use a program called Virtual Audio Cable to input both digital signals and media jukeboxes into Soundeasy. It just adds a little more hassle to the whole setup..
I was a beta tester (or at least I tried), but I only had Win2K at the time. I couldn't get it to work in 2K. I now have XP, I may go back to the last beta I have to see what I can do with it.

I'll google that software. If it will take the DI directly, I'll use it. SE can play a file, but only a specified file I believe. If that software can feed the DI into a "file" that is actually the incoming digital stream, that would work. I have my doubts, but I'll look into.

Thanks.
Dave
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