R/E/P > Brad Blackwood

Crossover dilemma

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Noah Mintz:
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?

Thomas W. Bethel:
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.


A couple of reviews of different drive racks.




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


bruno putzeys:
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.

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.

Tim Boyce:
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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