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Thread: Active Crossovers

  1. #61
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    I had the 10B,s. I also have a bunch of bryston amps.

    Bryston is VERY well made, very clean, and very accurate, but, also not my favorite sonic flavor.

    Their definitely TOP of their Class, but, they do have a distinct sonic character, some love em, some dont.
    scottyj

  2. #62
    Senior Seņor boputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin View Post
    IAre you using a 10B at the moment?
    At this very moment...
    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

  3. #63
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    All this talk of TAD's...


  4. #64
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    Hello Bo,

    Steven Stone reviewed the Bryston 10B in the May 94 issue of Sterophile.Link.

    He mentions how "little glare" he detected on the piece. That's not to say he detected no glare at all.

    I think the gains (no pun intended) from active crossovers are worth it for some people. I used to love that control! I also liked the load of the amps more evenly distributed. I just think the equipment has to up to the task is all. I think the 10B is probably an exceptional piece of gear, and up to the task as far as active crossovers go...

    I have had love/hate relationships with active crossovers in the past. I can hear them- no question about it!

    In my experience (which may differ from the experiences of others), I prefer a well done passive crossover being driven by an amp whose muscularity is clearly capable of driving the load ten fold. The fewer things the signal has to travel through- generally the cleaner the music. No worries, I'm not gonna jump into the single driver crowd just yet! But if I did, it'd be an JBL LE8!



    Nathan.

  5. #65
    Senior Seņor boputnam's Avatar
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    Hi, Nathan...

    Thanks for the Link - I had seen that but it's good to have it referred to again. A pretty favorable review.

    wrt the "GL" issue that Steve Stone speaks about - I discussed that with James Tanner at Bryston and that was an older design (1994), a problem which has since been remedied. I've not had any GL issues. btw, the guys at Bryston are great to work with.

    I had a thought on passive vs active crossovers - I may be repeating a post found under Everest II DD66000 (reviews from CES), so bear with me:

    Greg Timbers designed the DD66000 to work flawlessly with it's internal, passive network. This was done so the DD66000 can be nearly plug-and-play - very user friendly. JBL did not want a product who's sophistication would deter potential owners. There are a few "filter" options in the face of each cabinet that provide limited optimization for room response - these comprise gold-plated bridging plates to re-direct the signal through different / optional crossover circuitry. Pretty cool.

    However, Greg reported when bi-amped, the DD66000 is "simply from another world". Bi-amp was his preference, for sure, but takes extra high-quality and expensive outboard gear, and related know-how. Just grist for the mill...
    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

  6. #66
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    Thanks for the link Nathan. Hell I guess I simply want it all! I suppose everything represents a subtractive compromise to some degree - I just need to find the compromise that suits me best.

    Has anyone ever tried one of Phil Marchand's tube designs? I have heard enough digital filters to know what they can do for imaging and detail retrieval, but I've yet to hear one that carries the natural musical communication of an analogue tube setup. A tube crossover and Manley EQ would possibly be a mighty fine alternative.

  7. #67
    RIP 2014 Ken Pachkowsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin View Post
    A tube crossover and Manley EQ would possibly be a mighty fine alternative.
    It sure would be fun to try. I have never used a Pultec but have heard nothing but rave reviews. They are a standard in high end studio's.

    Ken

  8. #68
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    Bo,

    With the way components have evolved over the last few years- it doesn't surprise me to know that there are some amazing active units out there. I am continually amazed at how far the quality of resistors, inductors, capacitors, and in some cases- transformers have come. Although some might argue that these things are worse! I find the good stuff to be far more accurate, transparent, and reliable. I bet the 10B is very nice. Even a circa 1994 unit is probably still near the top of the pile.

    I am building a pair of charge coupled crossovers with Giskard's help, and hopefully it will be the best of both worlds. Yet, I'd still like to master the art of passive line levels...

    Marchand makes a PLLXO (XM46) right out of the box.

    Here is a quote from Phil:

    "Because of the passive design the signal-to-noise ratio is very high. The noise generated by the crossover is much lower than for the electronic crossovers. The use of large ferrite pot-cores for the inductors is responsible for the low harmonic distortion levels. The circuit needs no power supply and is ideal for incorporating into other equipment, like power amplifiers, etc. We can also provide these crossovers assembled into a cabinet, with or without output level attenuators."


    Of course, there is the insertion loss to consider, but we're talking about driving JBL's here! It only takes a little power to push through a passive and still rock a JBL speaker- especially if the bottom end is a pair of 2245's. I still prefer amps that are overkill- even if the knob stays below the 1/4 mark.

    Nathan.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by X_X View Post
    Of course, there is the insertion loss to consider, but we're talking about driving JBL's here!
    It's never been an issue for me. The top ends are usually more efficient.

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    Senior Member jim campbell's Avatar
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  11. #71
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin View Post
    Has anyone ever tried one of Phil Marchand's tube designs? I have heard enough digital filters to know what they can do for imaging and detail retrieval, but I've yet to hear one that carries the natural musical communication of an analogue tube setup. A tube crossover and Manley EQ would possibly be a mighty fine alternative.
    Phil Marchand says his tubed XO sounds SOOOO clear, and natural, I havent had the pleasure of hearing it though. I do have an XM44 SS XO which is very good, especially considering it doesnt cost a mil.

    I have heard Pultecs, the original, Manley, and Summit Audio. They are all good, and all EXPENSIVE, but, for what they do, are amazingly sweet sounding EQ,s.

    I happen to like the Summit Audio EQP-200, really sweet sounding top end, and clear midrange, and full sounding bottom, with terrific defintion. Definetely leans to the warm sound a bit. $2950 list. www.summitaudio.com.

    The Manley is recording studio clean, but warm sounding, capable of pretty high gain and BIG bottom, and ULTRA expensive. They also have another EQ, Pultec styled, but even more comprehensive, The Massive Passive, SUPER EQ! Again, PRICEY!

    The original Pultec I have heard in studios, great for kick drums and such, but, being old as they are, and if they have their original carbon pots, get scratchy, and no original parts still available, same for the tubes they use. So, I wouldnt go for one of these, not to mention they are RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE when you do come across them because of their collectibilty.

    The BEST midrange of any of these Pultec or Pultec style EQ,s I have ever heard was a D.W. Fearn EQ, absolutely amazing, and natural mids, slightly rolled off sounding top end, though. However, they make these for recording studios, so they have click detented level and frequency switches, instead of continuosly variable pots. Also 4 rack space for a single channel unit, and also really expensive.

    I have always favored the Summit EQP-200, with its hybrid SS/Tube circuitry, and this unit offers pretty good price to performance ratio! Best bang for the buck in this category of EQ,s, IMHO! The Jensen 990 discrete op amp output stage has a sweet sound, especially the top end.

    Yet two more EQ,s to look at, and audition if your going to spend the money, is the Massenburg GML-8200. SS parametric EQ, very flexible in what you can do with it! www.massenburg.com. And the Cranesong Ibis, www.cranesong.com.

    scottyj

  12. #72
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    Ok, terrible question I know, but you never know until you ask...

    With the idea that many things are cheaper (as well as less expensive) with new technology these days, i.e. computers as a whole, are the cheap active crossovers like pyle and others useless? I am not ready to drop more $$ on a crossover that my speakers, but am always looking for other options. Or should I still stay with my t3 series stock circuitry?

    Thanks as always.

  13. #73
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyedoc View Post
    With the idea that many things are cheaper (as well as less expensive) with new technology these days, i.e. computers as a whole...
    The analogy doesn't completely hold... at the low end, say Behringer... it does, but further up the food chain, the numbers of units sold is just too small for dramatic price savings... and if you are talking analog crossovers, the technology simply hasn't changed much if at all depending on the design so the cost would only go up over the years and not down.

    Quote Originally Posted by eyedoc View Post
    ... are the cheap active crossovers like pyle and others useless?
    I have no idea what a Pyle crossover is like, but I have messed around with Behringer, Rane, JBL, and Ashly... I'd put the Ashly far above the rest at this level.

    Are these inexpensive networks better than going with a single amp and a passive crossover at the speaker... there are too many variables to make a blanket statement, but in many cases the answer would be no. If you are adding crap at the front end, you will hear it coming through your speakers.

    The best inexpensive approach is to use a passive network at line level... i.e. between the preamp and amp. There are several on line sites that can guide you through this... you need to know the impedances of your associated electronics and the R-C types of networks typically used are rather simple, but with a passive network at line level you are not adding noise and distortion at the front end and you are not dealing with wild impedance swings and their issues at the speaker level filter design.


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  14. #74
    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    With the idea that many things are cheaper (as well as less expensive) with new technology these days, i.e. computers as a whole, are the cheap active crossovers like pyle and others useless? I am not ready to drop more $$ on a crossover that my speakers, but am always looking for other options. Or should I still stay with my t3 series stock circuitry?
    What is it you want to do??? You could Charge Couple the crossovers.

    Rob

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott fitlin View Post
    Yet two more EQ,s to look at, and audition if your going to spend the money, is the Massenburg GML-8200
    Many thanks for the advice Scott - you were reading my mind! I've heard the GML performing clever tricks in a friend's studio. There's something simply right about analogue Eq done properly to my ears - maybe I'm too nostalgic.

    I'm going to try and borrow a Massive Passive at some stage and compare with DEQX. I am really hoping that the digital option wins out as it would be one heck of a lot less costly than trying to do this thing with tubes and passive pots!

    Thanks again to all those of you who have been kind enough to help out with the emptying of my bank account.

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