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Old 30th March 2005, 10:56 PM   #1
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Default Active or Passive

Hello, I am finish the construction phase of my loudspeaker system, (3 way, 10" woofer, 4" Vifa midrange, Fountek tweeter). I was wondering what the recommendation to go active or not would be.

I designed a preliminary passive crossover, and the cost was in the 120-130's for quality components, and installation.

I designed my loudspeaker for an outboard crossover, with the plan of going active down the road. Would it be cost prohibitive to go active with my speakers, assuming I already have the amplifiers (I have a 300wrms x 2 @ 4ohm amp, for the woofers, an old 40wrms x 2 @ 4 ohm reciever, and I'd need another amplifier), but how much would an active crossover cost. The closest I have seen is a behringer 3 way x-over, (but I'd rather have the digital one), but what would the DIY approach be, assuming I have very little electronics experiance, or is there another commerical approach I should look at.
 
Old 31st March 2005, 10:31 AM   #2
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The Marchand XM1 modules with Burr Brown OPA2134 is very good. I've had a Behringer and it wasn't even close.

It won't cost much more than your passive network even with a good power supply.




http://www.marchandelec.com/ Click the image to open in full size.
 
Old 1st April 2005, 09:58 PM   #3
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The H.E.L. crossover is similar to the Marchand, being 24db LR crossover. It consists of a stereo crossover with on board regulated power supply, which would simplify things a bit. Cost is about the same, or maybe cheaper, depending on what you do to power the Marchand. Parts on the H.E.L. are better, I think, using 2% polypropylene caps instead on polyester types, and resistors are MIL spec Dale/Vishay. I doubt you would hear much difference between the two, however.
The crossover kits on the online store only list 3 frequencies, however, it is easy to set the board for any crossover frequency by changing resistor values. Contact them, they are very helpful.
Going to an active crossover is highly recommended, and actually cheaper than building a good passive one (as you have found out), providing you already have the power amps needed.

http://www.highefficiencyloudspeakers.com/
 
Old 2nd April 2005, 12:13 AM   #4
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Default Re: Active or Passive

Quote:
Originally posted by bjackson
Hello, I am finish the construction phase of my loudspeaker system, (3 way, 10" woofer, 4" Vifa midrange, Fountek tweeter). I was wondering what the recommendation to go active or not would be.
I will always recommend an active XO over a passive equivalent - everytime. I'm biased but the results I've had speak for themselves. In fact I've given up on passives for all but the most simple designs.

The disadvantage, well actually its one of its strongest advantages if you look at it from another perspective, is that you will need an amp for each driver, 2-way means bi-amp, 3-way tri-amp etc. Obviously costly but it really shows in the sound, words like effortless, dynamic and transparent best describe an active tri-amped 3-way

If you start to look at LR XO's then you've also got perfect phase alignment and stable gain over the XO point. This of course doesn't mean sqat in the real world but electronically its the perfect XO, which means you are that bit closer to making your life and the sound better.
Another nice bonus is the fact that removing the passive network means that there is absolutely nothing between your amplifier and speaker, no distortion or noise is added and the amp can more effectively control the loudspeaker since its not acting through an intermediary(the passive XO).

If it wasn't for the fact that you need multiple amps in an active setup, I think that passive networks would be something that we'd all look at in the local museum and say 'I can remember those!'.

There's nothing that can't be done with an active XO that a passive XO acheives. Actually there's plenty off stuff that you do with active that's simply impossible, impractical or expensive with passive ie. PEQ, LT, high orders, notch filters etc.

No technology is perfect but for me active offers less compromises and more flexibility.
 
Old 2nd April 2005, 12:49 AM   #5
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I am planning on using BruteFIR to be my source/xover/peq/delay, etc.

Anyone have any experiance with it?
 
Old 2nd April 2005, 02:13 AM   #6
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It's hard for me to justify actively crossing between the mid and tweeter.

But I am eager to learn the error of my ways if someone wants to educate me.
 
Old 2nd April 2005, 03:24 AM   #7
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Try any of the Marchand kits, I really like their XM44, it has extreme flexibility and a very low noise floor. I think I paid about $600 for the 4-way kit, fun to asemble as well if your into that kind of stuff.
 
Old 2nd April 2005, 04:28 AM   #8
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An active is the best choice, in every way. Just make sure the crosses are phase linear. You can do that with standard opamp or discreet designs. This G. Randy Sloane book shows how: The Audiophile's Project Sourcebook
DSP is a more elegant way, frequency & phase agile. Costly, though & the golden ears frown upon the binary music thingy.
This is not hard, I started in the late 70s; it was so obvious that it sounded better! Give it a try.

Also check:
Walter G. Jung
Don Lancaster
Do a search @ Amazon for active filters.
Good luck.
 
Old 2nd April 2005, 06:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
The Marchand XM1 modules with Burr Brown OPA2134 is very good. I've had a Behringer and it wasn't even close.
I switched from marchand to behringer dcx - and do not regret it.
1st. - no difference in sound
2nd. a lot more flexibility
3rd. with time delay auto adjusted through the dcx, marchand cannot even start to compete with the dcx - and I had marchands 12 & 48 db in two and three way configs. Sold my latest one last year.

Quote:
It's hard for me to justify actively crossing between the mid and tweeter.
I guess thats your problem, nobody elses, and I am not trying to convince anybody.

Tried the sub active/ mid-high passiv config. and then switched. Sounds better to my ears.
 
Old 2nd April 2005, 11:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by audio-kraut


I switched from marchand to behringer dcx - and do not regret it.
1st. - no difference in sound
2nd. a lot more flexibility
3rd. with time delay auto adjusted through the dcx, marchand cannot even start to compete with the dcx - and I had marchands 12 & 48 db in two and three way configs. Sold my latest one last year.
I was referring to the CX3400 - not the digital Behringer.

I don't need the delay with this rib but it could be handdy with my horns - maybe I'll borrow the digital unit someday and see how I like it.
 

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