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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

What do you think of passive crossovers?
What do you think of passive crossovers?
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Old 28th September 2011, 11:00 PM   #11
18Hurts is offline 18Hurts  United States
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Active crossovers are great!

Easy to mess around with filters, slopes, overlapping, underlapping and getting the drivers interaction sorted out.

However, the speakers are not speakers anymore--they are a system. 20 years ago I had a set of Carvin 993 PA speakers that had bi-amp inputs and full range inputs through a passive crossover. Generally, I would bi-amp them and change the crossover frequency from the dual 15" woofers going to the dual 6.5 inch cone midranges as the night wore on. At the beginning, I'd lower the XO from the stock 500Hz to around 250Hz for a cleaner sound--later on I'd go to 500Hz or slightly higher if I needed massive SPL. Loved running them bi-amped but sometimes, I'd run a single amp through the passive XO.

The active/passive option was great since one day one of my amps shut down so I finished off with the passive XO. If the active crossover dies, the passive backup is a nice option also. My HT main speakers use an active XO with built-in amplifier crossed at 200 Hz, the mid to tweet is passive at 3 KHz. Nice system but eventually, the amp will fail so I'll build a new speaker with a passive filter network feeding a different woofer combo. The downside of active is eventual failure of the amp/electronics but when it's good--it is very good!

For subwoofer use, I only use active crossovers and their own amplifiers--gotta pay to play. Mid/tweet filters are fairly inexpensive to build and the speaker will connect to many different things as a single unit.

Can I vote active subwoofers and passive mid/tweet filters?
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Old 28th September 2011, 11:02 PM   #12
gainphile is offline gainphile  Australia
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Passive crossovers are expensive, difficult to implement, and have limited application. Except for insistance to use a single typical stereo amplifier I don't see any benefit of using them?
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Old 28th September 2011, 11:06 PM   #13
rob g is offline rob g
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vacuphile View Post
Rob, we may have cross-posted, but you go to the heart of the matter: The Pluto, like the other Linkwitz designs I know, rely on active xovers with driver specific compensations to achieve their goals. Linkwitz rules, I have stated it before.

vac

Yes, I have read your post now, I should have edited mine with reference to your post.
I am with you 100%, Linkwitz rules!

He made a speaker out of drain pipe and $20 fullrange drive units as tweeters with active equalization that is so vanishingly smooth that they rival the Heil AT's, ribbons and Seas Excel tweeters I have used in previous passive speakers. I do not even hanker after the Quad Electrostatics I used to use now either.
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Old 28th September 2011, 11:20 PM   #14
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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What do you think of passive crossovers?
Geddes speakers big? The Abbeys sure aren't. They're no bigger than most bookshelf speakers.

IMO the reason most folks rave about the advantages of active crossovers is simply because they are easier to get right. That's a huge advantage for the DIY guy. His chances of success are far greater.

I'm tired of the hassle and all the parts of active, I'm going back to passive. Stay tuned to see if I regret it.
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Old 29th September 2011, 12:18 AM   #15
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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What do you think of passive crossovers?
I originally designed my system with the idea I would some day go active, and designed a quick and dirty passive X-0, it was good enough that I went back and did it right later. These days I have no serious plans for active for the reasons stated above. It's much less trivial when you are running an all tube system..
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Old 29th September 2011, 12:31 AM   #16
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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What do you think of passive crossovers?
Good point Kevin. For many of us the advantage of a passive crossover is ease of use.
As much as I like my modified DCX2496, a passive allows me to just hook up any amp, source DAC or whatever and have a listen. I enjoy that.
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Old 29th September 2011, 12:35 AM   #17
bbggg is offline bbggg  United States
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There are a few manufacturers that make otherwise identical speakers in active and passive versions. The ones I have auditioned are by ATC, PMC, and Dynaudio. Not only were the active versions markedly better on all occasions, they were also better value for money. Massive overengineering is needed to make amplifiers that can drive super-speakers with vanishingly low impedance these days. This is sheer folly. Amplifiers that are asked to drive band-limited drivers directly are fairly easy to construct to a very high subjective standard; the more so the higher driver impedance is. High current requirement is the bane of high fidelity (hey, I like this, I'll make it my sig).
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Old 29th September 2011, 12:49 AM   #18
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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What do you think of passive crossovers?
You can bi or tri-amp with passive too, you know.
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Old 29th September 2011, 01:00 AM   #19
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gainphile View Post
Passive crossovers are expensive, difficult to implement, and have limited application.
"Difficult to impliment", absolutely, especially with waveguides, way over most DIYs capability, but a walk in the park with my software tools, but "expensive" that is completely ridiculous, they are cheap by comparison with a DSP box and another amplifier - get real! "Limited application", I guess if they are "difficult to impliment" thats true.
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Old 29th September 2011, 01:02 AM   #20
bbggg is offline bbggg  United States
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Originally Posted by Pano View Post
You can bi or tri-amp with passive too, you know.
Even more of a folly, if you ask me.
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Last edited by bbggg; 29th September 2011 at 01:06 AM.
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