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Old 16th October 2004, 11:45 PM   #1
kfr01 is offline kfr01  United States
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Default Best way to tri-amp?

Alright .. I've spent way more time than I should have reading as many posts as I could find regarding active/digital crossovers to tri-amp.

To be honest I am very confused. None of the crossover solutions seem to be clear winners.

Behringer Ultradrive isn't built for home use and seems to need hardware 'hacks' to work right for home audio. That and I'd need multiple units to handle a 5.1 system. This gets expensive.

I want to spend around $1000 on my crossover/pre/pro. I already have a computer that I can use. I want to go active. The front 3 speakers will be tri-amped and the rears will be bi-amped. Is this possible? What is the easiest / best way to do this? I am a software guy. If at all possible I'd like to stay away from hardware mods. As far as I can tell the only crossover software to handle this many output channels is probably BruteFIR. Will I be happy with this option? Opinions!?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 17th October 2004, 02:21 AM   #2
bser is offline bser  United States
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This is an awesome question, one I wish I had an answer to because I'm also looking for a solution like this. For my car I have a unit from alpine called the pxa-h700 which is a loaded sound processor with a 31band eq, tons of crossover options and dolby and dts playback. If I could get something similiar to this for my home I'd do it in a second. Check this unit out at http://www.alpine-usa.com/, Products >Car Audio >Sound Processors & Equalizers ( it won't let me link right to it).
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Old 17th October 2004, 02:32 AM   #3
kfr01 is offline kfr01  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by bser
This is an awesome question, one I wish I had an answer to because I'm also looking for a solution like this. For my car I have a unit from alpine called the pxa-h700 which is a loaded sound processor with a 31band eq, tons of crossover options and dolby and dts playback. If I could get something similiar to this for my home I'd do it in a second. Check this unit out at http://www.alpine-usa.com/, Products >Car Audio >Sound Processors & Equalizers ( it won't let me link right to it).
I was originally turned onto active crossover through car audio too - my Eclipse deck has a highly flexible dsp. I've loved going to all digital crossovers and eq in my car. I'm sure the quality isn't as great as home systems, but it is surprising to me that the home audio industry has been so slow to the market with reasonably priced active crossover options.
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Old 17th October 2004, 03:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by kfr01
I'm sure the quality isn't as great as home systems, but it is surprising to me that the home audio industry has been so slow to the market with reasonably priced active crossover options.
In the car it doesn't matter so much, as you will never have high-end in a car IMHO.
For a home audio, active crossovers should be made specifically for each speaker.
If you see a "universal" active crossover, ignore it.
Linn has active crossover modules to install on their amps, and they are made specifically for each speaker.
I've heard a 5-channel Linn power amp with 5 active modules driving a 5-way Linn Akurate speaker.
Double this, as this is for each channel.
Oh, it sounded nice.
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Old 17th October 2004, 03:11 AM   #5
kfr01 is offline kfr01  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by carlosfm

For a home audio, active crossovers should be made specifically for each speaker.
If you see a "universal" active crossover, ignore it.
Linn has active crossover modules to install on their amps, and they are made specifically for each speaker.
....
Oh, it sounded nice.
I don't think I like that answer. I understand that many active crossovers may never be as 'high end' as custom analog xos, but CERTAINLY some of their advantages and flexibility can outweigh a whole heck of a lot of passive crossovers out there - both in commercial products and diy speakers.

Come on ... saying that difficulties in an idea can't be overcome is like saying computers will never have more than x mhz. I just don't buy it.

Further, I'm not saying that measurements and tweaking can be avoided. If I'm totally wrong, fine. But I would find it absolutely amazing if a universal active crossover combined with some amount of tweaking could never come close to the sound quality of a passive.

Also, even if I am wrong re: the universal crossover thing, it seems like BruteFIR is FAR from universal. Just because I'm new to diy speaker building doesn't mean I'm an idiot. Comments like "it sounded nice" don't help anyone. Why not rather try telling me WHY a universal xo should be disregarded or telling me what I DO NEED TO DO in order to make an active solution work???
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Old 17th October 2004, 03:20 AM   #6
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Default triamp

If money is a consideration, you could use an car crossover to get close to your final solution, since you may end up spending most of your time deciding on the freqs, slopes, and drivers. The crossover itself should be less of a sonic consideration than your eventual decision on the above considerations. Just a thought.
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Old 17th October 2004, 03:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by bser
This is an awesome question, one I wish I had an answer to because I'm also looking for a solution like this. For my car I have a unit from alpine called the pxa-h700 which is a loaded sound processor with a 31band eq, tons of crossover options and dolby and dts playback. If I could get something similiar to this for my home I'd do it in a second. Check this unit out at http://www.alpine-usa.com/, Products >Car Audio >Sound Processors & Equalizers ( it won't let me link right to it).
You can have something exactly like that for your home. Take an identical unit and add a 13v dc power supply.
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Old 17th October 2004, 04:45 AM   #8
kfr01 is offline kfr01  United States
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Default Re: Best way to tri-amp?

Quote:
Originally posted by kfr01

I want to spend around $1000 on my crossover/pre/pro. I already have a computer that I can use. I want to go active. The front 3 speakers will be tri-amped and the rears will be bi-amped. Is this possible? What is the easiest / best way to do this? I am a software guy. If at all possible I'd like to stay away from hardware mods. As far as I can tell the only crossover software to handle this many output channels is probably BruteFIR. Will I be happy with this option? Opinions!?
Any takers on my original question?
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Old 17th October 2004, 05:23 AM   #9
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kfr01 wrote:

Quote:
I'm sure the quality isn't as great as home systems, but it is surprising to me that the home audio industry has been so slow to the market with reasonably priced active crossover options.
Active crossovers pretty much dictate DIY speakers or professional installation. Maybe not for the addition of a subwoofer, but definitely for active full-range speakers.
Most folks want to walk in to a store and leave with a system that works.

Car audio has evolved quite differently because decent sound quality in a car demands custom speaker fitting, the addition of external amplifiers (to get beyond ~12 watts per speaker), and eventually the additional of a larger low frequency driver to reach the bottom octaves. The salespeople and installers were the ones who continuosly drove the market to that point.
Car audio customers also walk into a store, and leave with a system that works. It just takes a little more time.

Your original question leaves me a little confused because I'm not a computer guy. Are you wanting to go with DSP for crossovers and decoding? Off-the-shelf or DIY? Internal or external?

Wait a second... Is the $1k budget just for preamp, crossover and processor??? That's a lot of cash.

For a 5.1 system using 3-triamped plus 2-biamped speakers, 13 amplifier channels will be needed! That's a lot of cash, too...

Tim
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Old 17th October 2004, 05:44 AM   #10
kfr01 is offline kfr01  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by tsmith1315

Your original question leaves me a little confused because I'm not a computer guy. Are you wanting to go with DSP for crossovers and decoding? Off-the-shelf or DIY? Internal or external?
Any of the above. I just want the best and most flexible (hopefully reasonably easy too) way to implement an active crossover system for a modest amount of money. I'd prefer a sound card / software based solution. But am open to any of the above.
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