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Old 8th March 2004, 09:20 PM   #1
Salinas is offline Salinas  United States
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Default Active cross over - any advantages?

Is there any advantage in using an active crossover, compared to conventional passive crossovers. By using a couple GCs and OPs it should not be too difficult to come up with a basic design. Do active crossovers (and two amps per channel for a two way speaker) sound better? Is designing an active crossover easier?

Thanks, Tom
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Old 8th March 2004, 10:07 PM   #2
Keld is offline Keld  Sweden
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read this: http://sound.westhost.com/bi-amp.htm
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Old 8th March 2004, 10:09 PM   #3
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For 2 way speakers which cross to a tweeter in the 2K-4KHz area, the is almost no advantage to an active crossover.

Naturally someone will post and say otherwise.
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Old 8th March 2004, 10:11 PM   #4
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Short anwer YES

Long answer absolutely
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Old 8th March 2004, 10:23 PM   #5
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Bill I would dissagree, I have had a semi active system where the bass and mid/tweet were driven separately linked by active. Then I went fully active, made a large difference.

I Know that with the power splitting it makes sense that acitve is better for bass drivers, as a split at 300hz is like giving 50% to one amp and 50% to another. Then higher up maybe 5% tweet and 95% to mid/bass. But still remember that if you drive the system hard and the amp clips with a passive then all the clipping is sent to the tweet too. Active this doesnt happen and the sound stays cleaner when pushed. Also your less likely to blow a tweet this way if you like loud music.

I can understand however where you are coming from, is going active worth the extra outlay in amplifiers etc in a two way, then no might be applicable, but on the basis of is it better. The answer is yes it is, but is it worth it. thats the real question. Is putting your hard earned cash into this better spent elsewhere.
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Old 8th March 2004, 10:29 PM   #6
tg3 is offline tg3  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by 5th element
Short anwer YES

Long answer absolutely
What he said. But YMMV.
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Old 8th March 2004, 10:35 PM   #7
Ken L is offline Ken L  United States
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Default Re: Active cross over - any advantages?

Quote:
Originally posted by Salinas
and two amps per channel for a two way speaker) sound better?
Quote:
Originally posted by Bill Fitzpatrick
For 2 way speakers which cross to a tweeter in the 2K-4KHz area, the is almost no advantage to an active crossove
Ummm, well I'm probably prejudiced because I'm bi-amping a two - way, and think the results are much better -

But I am crossing over to subs at about 145hz. If I were to add something on top, I would use a passive crossover.

And while I agree with Bill F that he has a point, I wouldn't say that there is almost no advantage...etc. I believe that it might more accurately be said that if crossing over above 2-4k, that generally the advantages don't exceed the disadvantages by a great deal _big grin_

I don' think I'm in basic disagreement with Bill F on this one, more like I would choose a different wording. _grin_

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Old 8th March 2004, 11:02 PM   #8
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I'm with 5th Element on this one.

I've been actively crossed over to my subwoofer since 1983, but recently tried it midbass to tweeter.

I compared my speakers with passive and active xo - 2nd order at 2400 Hz using Leach amps as required, and liked the sound of the active XO better, even more so when I went to 4th order LR. Then plugged in Baffle step compensation and phase adjustment (ala S. Linkwitz) and WOW!

The result was much more realistic and transients have much more impact. When I put it back together passively, my 13 year old son was upset with me. He couldn't see anything wrong with having a bunch of circuits on pieces of MDF alligator clipped together in the living room and thought that active sounded much better.

The phase compensation made more difference to me than the BSC. Sinc you can pretty much dial in the phase change desired I think it is easier to get it right than building tilted/offset baffles. I couldn't begin to get my hands around the math to do it passively.

The BSC and phase compensation cost me a couple of bucks actively, haven't priced it passively, but I bet it is a bunch. Same for notch filters if your driver(s) need them. Of course, you have to figure in the cost of another couple channels of amplification to make it a fair comparison. But, I already had the extra amps

Now to find the time to assemble presentable boxes for the XO and my prototype speakers. BTW, the active XO uses trusty old NE5532s - It will be interesting to plug in some "better" chips to see what happens.
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Old 8th March 2004, 11:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by 5th element
But still remember that if you drive the system hard and the amp clips with a passive then all the clipping is sent to the tweet too. Active this doesnt happen and the sound stays cleaner when pushed. Also your less likely to blow a tweet this way if you like loud music.
Yeah, but part of one's plan should be to use amps that won't clip at the level one wishes to play the system. I don't see the advantage to say, "great, the clipping isn't reaching my tweeters", while the woof/mid amp is clipping away and sounding very harsh. Kind of an expensive tweeter protection scheme if you ask me.

I still say there is almost no advantage to bi-amping a two way. If someone can give me a really great reason to do so, please let me know.
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Old 8th March 2004, 11:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by BobEllis


I compared my speakers with passive and active xo - 2nd order at 2400 Hz using Leach amps as required, and liked the sound of the active XO better, even more so when I went to 4th order LR. Then plugged in Baffle step compensation and phase adjustment (ala S. Linkwitz) and WOW!

The result was much more realistic and transients have much more impact. When I put it back together passively, my 13 year old son was upset with me. He couldn't see anything wrong with having a bunch of circuits on pieces of MDF alligator clipped together in the living room and thought that active sounded much better.

The phase compensation made more difference to me than the BSC. Sinc you can pretty much dial in the phase change desired I think it is easier to get it right than building tilted/offset baffles. I couldn't begin to get my hands around the math to do it passively.
But with baffle step compensation and phase adjustment you're adding stuff that really isn't part of the original question.

Can you point me to the text describing the Linkwitz phase compensation technique?
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