dbx At P.E.

For anyone interested, PartsExpress is now carrying dbx, including the DriveRack active crossover series.

One of the well-regarded brands for those into active speaker building. A little pricier than some, but very well built I'm told.

I can't get a link to work here, but just go to the manufacturer's drop-down menu on the site - they're listed.

:)
 

crs1

Member
2007-12-08 6:58 am
like i said i use them on my live sound sys and they are very clean and ashly is very high quality but can be a bit pricey that is why i only have a few ashly components at the moment . the only benefit i see for going active in home audio is being able to change the x-over freq. at the drop of a hat that is why active is used in pro audio it makes it nice when building systems in the home to be able to hear what the different x-over points sound like before you build the passive the only draw backs are you need more components like 3 power amps .
 
active vs. passive

"the only benefit i see for going active in home audio is being able to change the x-over freq. at the drop of a hat"

The voice of reason!

This position won't be terribly popular around here, as most of the posts revolve around "how can you possibly think a PASSIVE XOVER" can sound as good as an ACTIVE ONE" How gauch:D :D

After all, It's tough to do 48dB/octave passive, right (which anyone with half a brain nose(sic))?? :cool: :cool:

John L.
 
Well I'm all for being reasonable and not spending money unnecessarily. I've long been suspect about audible differences between active and passive, and that's the bottom line for me. It's just that I highly respect designers such as Linkwitz, who won't do anything BUT active.

I guess the best way to know is to test two speakers of the same design, one active & one passive. Wonder if anybody's ever done this.
 

crs1

Member
2007-12-08 6:58 am
This position won't be terribly popular around here, as most of the posts revolve around "how can you possibly think a PASSIVE XOVER" can sound as good as an ACTIVE ONE" How gauch

After all, It's tough to do 48dB/octave passive, right (which anyone with half a brain nose(sic))??

well we have to remember including me that 95% of people in the world wouldn't know the difference we are a different breed on this forum .with me in the home passive is fine in my truck and in my pro audio sys. ie. live sound using passive i might just as well put a gun in my mouth it just depends on what the person is trying to get out of there sys. and what the person is into
 

Brett

Member
2002-01-07 6:02 pm
crs1 said:
the only benefit i see for going active in home audio is being able to change the x-over freq. at the drop of a hat
If you have the amps, then I can't think of a single reason why you'd go passive. I'm about to build another 6 channels (well two are resto/redigns on an old Fisher) and will be using a Quest pro amp for the subs.

Once set up, I never alter anything on my PA rigs wrt xovers and speaker specific EQ and I don't know anyone else who does. The reaons active is used in pro world includes, steeper xovers for better control of out of band mush, lower poer losses because of no passive X, better matching of amplifier power to drivers, delay compensation in DR/horn mixtures
http://sound.westhost.com/bi-amp.htm

Passive crossover parts of good quality are expensive, bulky and sap power. I'll stay active thanks.
 
sdclc126 said:
That makes good sense too!

:cannotbe:

Yep - There are good reasons to be in either camp. It's all about tradeoffs and what YOUR priorities are at the moment.

In my case, I rarely leave well enough alone for long as far as speakers go. It ends up being easier/less expensive to go active, and I am more likely to keep tweaking towards "perfection" once I get a decent sound. I use DIY analog active crossovers. Changing out a couple of resistors is a piece of cake.

I went on an amp building binge a while ago, so that expense part of the equation is moot.
 
nice qualifier...

Brett said:
If you have the amps, then I can't think of a single reason why you'd go passive. I'm about to build another 6 channels (well two are resto/redigns on an old Fisher) and will be using a Quest pro amp for the subs.

snip

Passive crossover parts of good quality are expensive, bulky and sap power. I'll stay active thanks.

Couldn't of made my original point any better if I'd written it!

I'm not against active xovers.. just alot of extra amp channels that some folks don't want to have. Both methods work. I use passive, but then I'm using planar dipoles, which cover most of the critical part of the spectrum w/o ANY crossover, thank you.

John L.
 

marchel

Member
2007-11-18 4:51 am
The only real problem I see\hear with active xo, is that the sound quality of your system is not as transparent as a system with properly done ( as it should be in the first place) passive xo.

I've tried several active xo , To xo my b&w n805 main and b&w sub in an acoustically treated room, My system (including the room, btw) is so revealing about the the sonic penalties of having so many components in the signal path , That the sound lost transparency, So I ended up DIY my own line level passive xo .

IMO, Going active has it's pros and cons, One of the biggest cons for me is the lost of transparency in sound quality.
 

Brett

Member
2002-01-07 6:02 pm
marchel said:
The only real problem I see\hear with active xo, is that the sound quality of your system is not as transparent as a system with properly done ( as it should be in the first place) passive xo.

IMO, Going active has it's pros and cons, One of the biggest cons for me is the lost of transparency in sound quality.
I could not agree less. I've never heard a properly implemented active not sound better than passive.
 

miksin

Member
2005-04-02 6:58 pm
marchel said:
I've tried several active xo , To xo my b&w n805 main and b&w sub in an acoustically treated room

...

One of the biggest cons for me is the lost of transparency in sound quality. [/B]

"Active approach" reveals its benefits in compeletely different enviroments like yours, I assume.

Combining multiway loudspeaker with loudspeaker line level passive XO (B&W 805?) to an active crossover gives to you just the worst of the both worlds. Dont do it.

First get rid of passive components between driver and a amp, before making any more judgements between the two.
Then select amps and drivers suitable to explore all the benefits of active system.
Only then decide which you like more, and then, take a deep breath before you judge another to "better" or "more transparent" to another.

Edit: In my not so humble opinion: Driverack PA is a highly avoidable piece of c***. Dont buy it! If you are on budget, go for Alto Altodrive/Maxidrive or (geeks!) Peavey VSX 26.
More upmarket, Driverack (non-PA) is almost as expensive as BSS's or XTI's, but sonically not quite in the same league.
I've never had tried a Xilica, altough heard some very positive reports of it.
 

marchel

Member
2007-11-18 4:51 am
Hi,

I think you mis understood my previous reply.

I'm not currently combining active and passive xo for the tweeter and mid woofer split, and never did.

My set up runs from the source to the pre amp, to the passive line level xo and then to the power amp and active sub, the sub's own filter further increase the xo slope, to avoid localization.

If, I remove the passive xo on my n805, and replace it with active xo and add amps, as you proposed. the result would be worst, cause I have to do BSC, and notch filter for the breakup mode of the woofer and there is no garranty the response would be as flat, cause I dont know what kind of response compensation was done in the xo of the n805, and all these additional components further decrease the transparency of my minimalist system.

As I said, going active have its pros and cons.

PS: When I said "decrease transparency" It means ( to my ears) that the leading edge of the sound became dull, when it should be sharp. The reverb decay on the sound decresed and shortened, which has an effect of making the sound stage flatter. The delineation between instrument and voices became indistinct. That is, When having an active filter to xo the n805 at 80hz. Replacing it with a passive line level filter consisting of just a polyprop. cap. tuned to around 80hz with regards to the amps' input impedance, made the sound much more transparent.

Of coarse, I'm not saying you should not go active, I,m just pointing out what one would lose on having additional components in the signal path, Transparency.
 

Brett

Member
2002-01-07 6:02 pm
marchel said:
Of coarse, I'm not saying you should not go active, I,m just pointing out what one would lose on having additional components in the signal path, Transparency.
Incorrect. I bet the components used in the last discrete active xover I used were higher in quality than what's in the B&W xover. I also didn't lose efficiency with passives, had a steeper xover slope, added high quality components where they do less damage sonically than after the amplifier etc. The only thing after the amp were zobels on the individual drivers, so nice flat loads (in passband).
 

crs1

Member
2007-12-08 6:58 am
Brett said:
If you have the amps, then I can't think of a single reason why you'd go passive. I'm about to build another 6 channels (well two are resto/redigns on an old Fisher) and will be using a Quest pro amp for the subs.

Once set up, I never alter anything on my PA rigs wrt xovers and speaker specific EQ and I don't know anyone else who does. The reaons active is used in pro world includes, steeper xovers for better control of out of band mush, lower poer losses because of no passive X, better matching of amplifier power to drivers, delay compensation in DR/horn mixtures
http://sound.westhost.com/bi-amp.htm

Passive crossover parts of good quality are expensive, bulky and sap power. I'll stay active thanks.

i think you misunderstood what i was getting at about the pro sys. i don't know where you set up ie gig's or if when you are set up if it is one band or not my norm is from 2 to 5 bands with all having different needs in one night and at times i go from being in a fire hall to in a barn to being in a field and having to use my b-52's witch i use indoors to my turbo sounds outside but it is my fault for not making my self more clear on my uses of the active x-over
 
marchel said:
If, I remove the passive xo on my n805, and replace it with active xo and add amps, as you proposed. the result would be worst, cause I have to do BSC, and notch filter for the breakup mode of the woofer and there is no garranty the response would be as flat,


A properly implimented active XO would take all of that into account, as well as provide equalization as needed to flatten the response, provide baffle step compensation, notch out breakup modes, and provide for phase/time alignment just as your passive XO does (or should do). Simply dialing in a LR4 XO at a crossover frequency is not a proper crossover most of the time. Linkwitz's site is a good reference.

PS: When I said "decrease transparency" It means ( to my ears) that the leading edge of the sound became dull, when it should be sharp. The reverb decay on the sound decresed and shortened, which has an effect of making the sound stage flatter. The delineation between instrument and voices became indistinct. That is, When having an active filter to xo the n805 at 80hz. Replacing it with a passive line level filter consisting of just a polyprop. cap. tuned to around 80hz with regards to the amps' input impedance, made the sound much more transparent.

Of coarse, I'm not saying you should not go active, I,m just pointing out what one would lose on having additional components in the signal path, Transparency.

My experience comparing active to passive with the same drivers was the opposite of yours, although the speakers were not in the same league (a kit supposedly designed by one of the big names in the business). I tried a roughly equivalent 2nd order slope version then went to 4th order.

For me, the attack seemed sharper when active, especially when phase corrected. The soundstage opened up and was deeper. Even with half a dozen NE5532s in the signal path, I found the active version more lifelike and transparent. It's even better now with OPA2134s. Someday I'd like to try one of the newer super opamps, but am quite happy with the OPAs for now.
 

Brett

Member
2002-01-07 6:02 pm
crs1 said:
i think you misunderstood what i was getting at about the pro sys. i don't know where you set up ie gig's or if when you are set up if it is one band or not my norm is from 2 to 5 bands with all having different needs in one night and at times i go from being in a fire hall to in a barn to being in a field and having to use my b-52's witch i use indoors to my turbo sounds outside but it is my fault for not making my self more clear on my uses of the active x-over
I never need to change xover freqs; I don't see the point if it is the same basic system in a multitude of venues. However, if you're mixing and matching components all the time, I can see why you would. If that was the case for me, I'd get a driverack and input the combinations. Varying bands' requirements are handled through the desk, not the xover.