Active crossover - suggestions?


2011-04-16 9:03 am
seems like I've finally got the drivers I need for my speaker system. Next in line will be an active crossover. Preaviously I've been using behringer filters both standard and modified versions and feel it's time to move on.

So, the Marchand XM-44 seems like a good choice but it would be great to know if there are any other contenders to consider.

The filter must be able to handle 110 db senitivity, on a 4-way system plus sub.

Any reccomendations?

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Features are nice. Not clean on power up or power down. Noisy. Dubious distortion. Just when you think you are about to get the features you want programmed, it says it is out of memory. Note to the OP, it is a three way crossover. You say you are looking for a four way. You would need two.

Is this even with a memory card installed in the PCMCIA slot?
The best eight channel digital crossover I have experience with is the DBX 4800. It has tons of process power, powers up-down dead quiet, and sounds more like a wire than anything else I have. Full function from the front panel or through a PC. It's kind of a light show however, if you want PC interface only with full utility and without the screen and lights, the 4820 will save you $700-800. The Auto Warmth feature is itself almost with the price of admission.

I have some of the BSS 8810 units. These are eight channel. They have a ton of process power and the interface is great. The near deal breaker is they bang when powered down. I haven't tried one of them in a high-fi rig yet. They and their Crown twins the USM810 can be found used cheap.

Going back from that I had a pair of DBX 260's, one per side as six channel dual mono. That would get you 4+1. They just don't do have the process power of the afore mentioned units.


2011-04-16 9:03 am
I too would like to hear some suggestions regarding active crossovers. I have read posts by people here that have the Behringer DCX 2496 and so far I'm leaning in that direction.

It's a great tool. Been using it for 2 years, figuring out the speakers, and how i want them. When that is said, the stock 2496 is way too noisy on my horns. I've tried a modyfied one and it's way better, but it will cost me get the job done.

Would be nice if anyone have had hands on experience with the marchand filters. I know the XM-126 is good enough, but at 5000 usd, it's quite expensive for me at this stage.

@ KMossman, yes it's a, 4 way system plus sub, at least for now. Have not tried the sub yet, so I just have to see how it works. My thougth is to have a separate filter for the low end, just to come in and help the mid bass open baffles where they naturally roll off at about 80 hz

Hypex DLCP

Here is an option if you are willing to DIY. This device is controlled by a PC. You will need two boards to get the job done. When you have a complete working unit, it could be fairly expensive.
I have no experience with this, or company. But, thought it could work for you. Hopefully it will be worth a little research.

Hypex DLCP in their webshop.

Hypex Electronics BV - Home
I use a BOSOZ pre amp driving a line level passive crossover using small slug tuned coils and Polypropylene signal capacitors. You could put a B1 after the filter so you know what the following impedance will be. The volume control goes in front of the BOSOZ so you don't affect the filter. The BOSOZ makes a good front end for the filter, because each BOSOZ channel has a gain control which changes the intrinsic gain of the pre amp circuit...thus...not changing the out put impedance of the pre amp as you change volume levels of the individual channels.

You can calculate the approximate values of the L and C, then sweep the crossover with a signal generator to get it perfect. I use a "plug" board so I can plug components in and out to get the slope and crossover frequencies correct.

I had a Marchand Active crossover, but when you use op amps, the sound starts sounding like "car radio"...seems a waste if you are using good Nelson Pass type amplification.

I think a fully discrete line level passive crossover is a good way to go and not expensive, and of course its completely DIY.
I had a Marchand Active crossover, but when you use op amps, the sound starts sounding like "car radio"...seems a waste if you are using good Nelson Pass type amplification.

well, Linkwitz ASP is full of opamps, and I can assure you it does not sound like a crappy radio.. I am not saying it is the best, but good, yes it is! I guess there also is the B4/B5 if you prefer Jfets?
DCX SUX.. modded or not..unreliable as HELLO!
I love the digital eq aspect but.. im still searching myself .. mini dsp>?? eh?
don't like computer driven functions too much power esp if you are suing that as your playback medium.. sticking to bryston 10b's modded and home brewed analog now
MY DCX is nuttin but a toal TOOL in both senses.
Yup, Self just published a very thick book on the subject. Takes it a long way past Lancaster or Jung. My argument with many units like Marchland is they are old. Op amps went from horrid (741) to decent ,(5532) to fantastic, (the new National one and others). I just half to laugh when a purist complains about a modern op-amp. To each his own.

You can always build a discrete FET unit. Good luck finding decent FETs.


2011-04-16 9:03 am
Than you all for showing interest in the subject.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the B4 is just a 2-way xo, isn't it? Is it possible to stack them up for a 4-way xo? If so do I need 2, 3?

As for the op-amp question, does op-amps suck the life out of the music, or are they ok when done right?

The CX3400 have been used earlier, slightly modified with new op-amps - it's ok, but not in the league I wish to be in with this project.