active crossovers

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I know there have been threads on this before, but they are pretty old. Now I've designed the cabinet for a 3-way and would like to use an active crossover and am looking for advice. I'm considering Rane and possibly Behringer so any good or bad experinces with either?

But my biggest problem is inserting a balanced device in the middle of an unbalanced system. I've read at least four different lengthy articles on the topic and one is more depressing than the next. It sounds like a crap shoot, so I would like to hear how other people have handled this.

Thanks for any help you can give me,

get an active crossover that has 1/4" jacks.

I've found that the cheap ones (non marchand) sound bad when running with a full range driver (even the lowly pioneer b20). But it is an excellent tool for running 2 or 3 way systems.

I believe this should be moved to multi-way

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The only problem I had was when I hooked up regular consumer audio power amplifiers to my DCX. These had no gain controls so I could hear noise from the tweeter if I came close enough to the speaker.
My advice is to use power amps with gain control or sit at least 2-3 metres away from the speakers.
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Behringer active crossover is just a delight to have. Incredible flexibility including mixed bass (seems unsound to have two subs below say, 120 Hz, when one good one is better, esp, if placed in a choice corner location).

But you really need to set the controls using instruments to ensure curves and loudnesses match. It has tiny knobs and cheapy pots... that doesn't matter for sound quality, but makes precise alignment impossible by eye.

Set up can be as simple as a free computer o'scope and a Denon test CD... and up.

Now-a-days, passive XOs are complicated and hand-tuned and full of questionable components and when you are done, not adjustable easily. Makes no sense. Go active.

The Behringer digital box seems do-all. But I am skeptical about "black boxes" esp. if digital. DIYers who wouldn't touch a plain capacitor without a pedigree are ga-ga over digital processing.
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Behringer not very good

Behringer xovers do not get good reviews about their sound. I went with miniDSPs which are far more flexible since they are setup using a pc. As to sound, I've read that at least one user identified the miniDSP as the best sounding in blind a vs. b testing while I have read nothing to the contrary. To each their own though. Professional equipment often doesn't sound as good as equipment made for consumers. The expectations are different. In tests the miniDSPs had better s/n and thd than the Behringer even though the miniDSP is 48kHz and the Behringer is 96kHz.
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theresa - talking about the CX3400 or the digital processsor?

I tend to be skeptical about differences between modern electronics that have astonishingly low basic test performance. The CX3400 is certainly no examplar of golden-ear components, but seems to be OK in my system.

About XLR plugs, easy to buy cables or to make your own. Lots of "surplus" stores around here with the bits and pieces. No obstacle. If you do want to work with balanced lines, many great advantages but you need to buy some transformers. These are not expensive and are said not to harm signals. You might find some mysterious hums disappearing.
I'm another of us who finds professional digital speaker-management systems to be plenty OK. I've been using a dbx DriveRackPA for several years with a big OBLA, and I now use it for the bass sections of my Audio Physic Avanti IIIs and SuperSubs.

I'm no GEA, but I find myself eventually annoyed with bad sound. I never found my self annoyed with the sound of the DriveRack. I LOVE its flexibility including level controls, of course, so one doesn't need those on one's amps.

I use it in a single-ended system that includes single-ended-triode poweramps and Audioquest 'triple-balanced' ICs with XLRs on the dbx ends and RCAs on the other ends. Works and sounds just fine.
I have two DCX2496 and have used analog active crossover boards as well. The DCX has everything you need. Don't forget that in addition to the low-pass and high-pass filters, you also will likely need some baffle step compensation, a couple of band pass filter to kill driver resonances or room resonances, etc. All of this is available in the DCX.

The Behringer unit has gotten a lot of negative press about its "high noise" because people try to match it up with consumer gear. The Behringer has pro output levels, which raise the level +14dB (think that is correct) WRT consumer gear. As a previous poster mentioned, having amps with input level controls is key, as it lets you reduce the gain of the amp while increasing the gain of the DCX output stages. This reduces noise output from the speakers to unnoticeable levels.

The MiniDSP is a worthy match for the Behringer, and will come out a bit less expensive. You will need to be able to have a computer to program it, however.

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