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Author Topic: Crossover dilemma  (Read 2572 times)

Noah Mintz

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Crossover dilemma
« on: March 09, 2011, 01:51:16 am »

In my studio I have custom designed speakers. Soffett mounted.

Currently I'm using a Bryston crossover. The speaker designer is urging me to change it to a DBX Driverack crossover so he can adequately set the delay, eq, and C/O points. The problem with that is the fact that the DBX is digital. I'm having a psychological issue with the digital conversion before output to the speakers.

Should I let the designer use the DBX or should I stick to my reservations and try and find an analog solution or keep the Bryston?

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Noah Mintz Mastering at Lacquer Channel http://www.lacquerchannel.com

Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: Crossover dilemma
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 06:49:33 am »

I don't know anything about the dbx drive rack you are looking at but most of the dbx lower end products I see today are cheap Chinese made junk. I don't know where their "professional" line is made or how good it is. Do you really want your audio going though one of these??? I know a lot of professional sound companies doing concert sound use the dbx drive racks but....I am not sure I would want to send my monitoring audio through one.

MTCW

A couple of reviews of different drive racks.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/document?doc_id=89558

http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/16662/0/

http://www.proaudioreview.com/article/2328

 http://svconline.com/audioplayback/products/avinstall_dbx_dr iverack/

ETC...FWIW
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-TOM-

Thomas W. Bethel
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Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
Room With a View Productions
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bruno putzeys

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Re: Crossover dilemma
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2011, 07:34:54 am »

Have him replicate the Bryston curves exactly in the digital crossover and compare. If the difference is small, you can be quite sure the improved performance from better crossover curves will far outweigh the conversion loss. If the difference is large, the digital box is junk.

Either way, don't fly by philosophical precepts. What matters is the result.
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Viitalahde

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Re: Crossover dilemma
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2011, 09:59:29 am »

Here's some thoughts:

I run a custom system right now, and my current analog crossover is an old ATC model from 1982. I have not serviced it, and it's full of old capacitors and op-amps that might be considered sub-optimal today.

The system sounds excellent and has tons of resolution, and the driver integration is perfect!

Even if I'm eventually going to clean up & service the crossover (and I'm sure I'll squeeze even more information from the system by doing this), this tells me that the correct slopes are far more important in crossovers than principles.

Of course, it all adds up and the pros and cons must be weighed.

Once I've completed servicing the current crossover I use, I'm going to try out something completely different. A line-level passive crossover, L's and C's, just to see how far I can get with it.
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Jaakko Viitalähde
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Tim Boyce

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Re: Crossover dilemma
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2011, 11:44:35 am »

Get an XTA


driveracks are great, and don't sound bad for live installs....


but if you really want nice quality, XTA sounds better than DBX.


(or go hog wild and get a Galileo from Meyers ... overkill).


as far as the digital thing .  .  .   setting up the correct delay times for your speakers will far surpass any minimal A/D-D/A conversion going on.

If the speakers are off in the time-domain ..  having them all correctly aligned will make a huge difference.


When I tune systems in rooms, I spend the most effort to make sure the entire system is 'in-time' .. then I delay the whole things back just a tiny bit, to let the natural stage sounds hit first. Just slightly .... people are constantly amazed at how natural it sounds. Getting the right delay is key! (this is for groups of speakers in a large space)




... the second issue . .  . if your speakers actually need digital delay (as in per driver) .. then their not designed right, or the drivers are mis-aligned. Sounds more like he might be using delay to alter the phase, instead of using it to align the drivers.


Noah Mintz

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Re: Crossover dilemma
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2011, 01:40:14 pm »

Thanks Tim.

Can you tell me which model XTA is good? I'm not familiar with crossover models at all.

Edit: I think the XTA DP424 is the one I'm looking for http://www.audiocore.co.uk/products-series4.html

He mentioned something about delay for the phase.

Noah



Tim Boyce wrote on Wed, 09 March 2011 11:44

Get an XTA


driveracks are great, and don't sound bad for live installs....


but if you really want nice quality, XTA sounds better than DBX.


(or go hog wild and get a Galileo from Meyers ... overkill).


as far as the digital thing .  .  .   setting up the correct delay times for your speakers will far surpass any minimal A/D-D/A conversion going on.

If the speakers are off in the time-domain ..  having them all correctly aligned will make a huge difference.


When I tune systems in rooms, I spend the most effort to make sure the entire system is 'in-time' .. then I delay the whole things back just a tiny bit, to let the natural stage sounds hit first. Just slightly .... people are constantly amazed at how natural it sounds. Getting the right delay is key! (this is for groups of speakers in a large space)




... the second issue . .  . if your speakers actually need digital delay (as in per driver) .. then their not designed right, or the drivers are mis-aligned. Sounds more like he might be using delay to alter the phase, instead of using it to align the drivers.




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Noah Mintz Mastering at Lacquer Channel http://www.lacquerchannel.com

Tim Boyce

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Re: Crossover dilemma
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2011, 04:59:53 pm »

Sounds about right ..

2 in (L/R)

4 out (L: hi/low & R: hi/low)

that's good for two drivers per speaker ... if you have a 3-way system, you'll need a 2x6, etc ...


if your tech just needs to alter phase .. there is an all-pass filter in the XTA's too . .. he might not need to do phase as delay. Give him the specs .. I'm sure he'll have a grand time playing with the unit Smile

Ruairi O'Flaherty

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Re: Crossover dilemma
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2011, 05:29:41 pm »

Hi Noah,

I did a lot of live sound in my younger days and recently I was helping a venue where I used to be house guy to configure their 2 systems and got down and dirty with an older and newer model driverack.

I'm sorry to say that in my opinion they don't sound very good.  Of course I couldn't bypass them to hear the contribution of the AD/DA, I'm talking about the quality of the filters, eq and crossovers.  They are definitely not something I'd want in my mastering chain unfortunately.

I have used XTAs in bigger rigs and liked them.  Apparently EV have a nice box too.

If I was considering a digital crossover option now I'd probably hold out for the new Hypex 3 way unit. I can't link directly but go to Hypex.nl and into products and select Digital Signal Processing. Still in development but very promising (trying not to embarrass Bruno).

Bruno is right though you can quite easily try the Driverack in situ and make a call, they are cheap.

Good luck.
Ruairi
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