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Commercial Active Crossovers

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Can a commercial crossover such as the Samson S be used to drive a 3-way Klipsch speaker?

If not then exactly what are the purpose of these types of crossover boxes?

The S 3-way is a versatile 2-way, 3-way and 4-way crossover with a difference. First, it's a perfect 2-way or 3-way stereo crossover. But its mode is also switchable for use as a 4-way mono crossover. The input gain features +/-12dB range with LED metering and Peak indicators. S 3-way features Low, Mid, and High Frequency outputs with +/-6dB of gain control. Each output incorporates a Mute switch for monitoring the individual frequency bands and a phase switch to invert the phase of the output.

The first crossover point is sweepable in 3 ranges: from 35Hz to 800Hz, from 350Hz to 8kHz with the 10X-Multiplier switch engaged, or from 16Hz to 400Hz in 4 way low-mode. The second crossover point is sweepable from 175Hz to 4kHz or from 350Hz to 8kHz depending on the setting of the mode switch.

The S 3-way also includes a Delay section with up to 2ms of delay to time-align low frequency outputs for improved phase response of any PA system. The S 3-way's global section features a variable threshold Limiter, a CD function (for constant directivity horns) and High Pass Filter.

Features
Full-featured, Stereo 3-way, Mono 4-way Electronic Crossover

Phase Switches Invert the Phase of Individual Outputs

Adjustable Low Frequency Delay for Time Aligning Speaker Stacks

Mode Indicator LEDs Provide Quick Visual Display of Operating Mode

4-Segment LED Input Meter Allows Easy Gain Adjustment

Precision Linkwitz-Riley, 24 dB/Octave filters

Output Mute Switches for All Individual Outputs

Constant Directivity EQ Smoothes the Response of CD Horns Above 3.5 kHz

Peak Limiter with Independent Threshold Control and Peak LED

post-34661-1381944683611_thumb.jpg

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It depends on the specific speaker system...in any event...you need additional amplifiers as well.

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how fast do you want to get in way over your head?

These are really meant for pro PA rigs. Look at the delay section for instance. For MOST PA rigs, the HF will be horns and the LF will be direct radiators (like a Klipsch KP682 or comparable JBL dual18 box). THe horn's driver is farther from the audience, so you need to delay the LF so the sound reaches them at the same time.

With Klispch LF horns, the problem is the opposite so you generally need delay on the HF section. This unit won't do that.

Guys using the Klipschorn Jubilee prefer the EV DX38 digital processing, which has variable crossover points, types, and slopes + delay for all channels + Parametric EQ to straighten out the response of the horns.

What 3 way Klipsch speaker are you thinking of abusing?

M

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What 3 way Klipsch speaker are you thinking of abusing?

I have just been reading/studying/learning and was just curious as to the purpose of these boxes as opposed to an in-speaker crossover.

Since coming to this forum after buying and restoring a pair of 74 Khorns, I have been interested in crossover design and function since it seems to be the key to good speaker sound. It seems that getting elementary information is somewhat difficult from the hubris and commercialization of people who understand crossovers. However, I'll keep poking and prodding until I eventually satisfy myself or lose interest due to apathy.

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Notwithstanding the issues involving how to use them, let's say with K-horns, the biggest hurdle for most folks would be the cost of the additional amplifiers as SF indicated.

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sorry to be a bit stern earlier.

The gist of it is that an electronic crossover goes between your pre amp (mixing console) and amplifiers. Therefore if you are splitting a stereo signal into three way speaker system, it will require 6 channels of amplification. Bass x 2, mids x 2, tweets x 2. Gets pretty spendy and bulky in a hurry.

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I'll try to answer your question in laymans terms as best I understand it. Active crossovers are generally used in professional sound reinforcement applications to increase the efficiency of the system & tailor the frequency of the crosover points of the many types of speakers involved. Using an amplifier for each section of the frequency band produces a much more efficient use of power than using a single larger amplifier to drive the whole system. For example: A particular system may have a 500 watt RMS per channel amp to drive a particular speaker system to a certain loudness level through a passive crossover. If you were to bi-amp as, say a simple 2 way system, then you could potentially use a 100 watt RMS per cahnnel amp for the bottom end & a 50 watt RMS per channel amp on the top end to achieve the same sound pressure level with less distortion. (The power figures I have chosen are purely arbitrary for the purpose of illustration). Sound reinforcement systems are nearly always set up this way. The other benefit is that you can limit the power going to each driver to avoid distortion.
You can apply this to K Horns but you will need a stereo 3 way active crossover & 3 power amps if you are going to run it as a standard 3 way system. If you were to replace the tweeter & mid drivers with a high frequency unit that extended to 20 Khz & went 2 way, you'd still need an additional power amp & lets not forget the extra run of speaker cable which can be veryyyyyy expensive if you're using exotic cable types.
I've been down this road before & yes, it's fun, like anything new that you try. As you become older & wiser you get to appreciate the simplicity of a simple system & the sound that it can reproduce. Is bi-amping any better than through a passive? Well, how longs a piece of string. I've heard sysytems that sound terrible bi-amped & standard set ups that are magnificent. If you want to try it....try it. If not, the sound from Khorns is truly magnificent already.

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Can a commercial crossover such as the Samson S be used to drive a 3-way Klipsch speaker?

Will it work? Yes.

However,
you'll want to make sure your active crossover has better sound quality
than the stock passive crossovers in your speakers.....In other words,
I wouldn't recommend a Samson product for home listening. Live sound is
generally more forgiving of the electronics...

And if you're gonna go active, you
should also get a unit that will allow you to time-align your
khorns...so you'd need roughly 9ms of delay to the tweeter and about
7ms to the squawker (if I'm remembering correctly....Heyser actually
measured it when he wrote his review on the khorn).

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Time alignment, my area of interest lately. With actives you do have the choice to pursue it or not. These speakers from the factory however are NOT aligned. You could also physically align the coils (some speakers easier said than done) vertically if you wanted to. Wow, 9ms seems like an eternity to push or pull a speaker, but what do I know? The actives I have won't even do a 9ms delay.

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.....In other words,
I wouldn't recommend a Samson product for home listening. Live sound is
generally more forgiving of the electronics...

Not in my neck of the woods, quality live sound is completely unforgiving of the electronics! Applying a 100K watts to your input signal will magnify any noise accordingly. As discussed previously, just 'cos it's got XLR connectors on the back doesn't mean it's a "professional" piece. Serious live systems these days are using crossover/processors that cost more than your Khorns. There's a good reason for that expenditure.

Also, at sea level, 9ms is about 3 meters, if you're measuring that much physical delay in a Khorn it's happening somewhere else in the signal chain. Could it be 9us?

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You might want to look at the Behringer CX3400. It offers almost identical features/performance for $40.00 less (street price) than the Samson.

http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-BEH-CX3400-LIST

The main problem with both of these units is that you can only delay the LF. If you have a LaScala, Belle or Klipschorn, you'll definitely need to delay the mid and HF with respect to the LF.

IMHO the next step up is not the EV DX-38 but the Behringer DCX-2496. This is a DSP-based crossover with every bell and whistle at 1/4 the cost of the EV DX-38.

http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-BEH-DCX2496-LIST

If you are averse to using front panel menu trees (and who isn't), you can download a free interface and control everything from your laptop. Here's a linkl to the Sync manual.

http://behringer-en.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/behringer_en.cfg/php/enduser/fattach_get.php?p_sid=lKEkErrj&p_li=&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_tbl=9&p_id=54&p_created=1137311343&p_olh=0

Lee

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IMHO & fairly lengthy experience, the unit listed above will not deliver any sonic advantages over a decent Crites retro-fit. You'll get time-alignment at the expense of noise & that lovely cheap A/D-D/A convertor sound.

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But if you gonna do like me and experiment with crossover points, speaker placement, or amp configurations, then by all means do it and have fun! Some of the best listening in my life was a kid with a noisy old tube radio with "Wolfman Jack" playing the hits.

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..In other words,

I wouldn't recommend a Samson product for home listening. Live sound is

generally more forgiving of the electronics...

DrWho,

Do you recommend a better amp for my CS-Ultras? Crown XTI series?

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.....In other words,
I wouldn't recommend a Samson product for home listening. Live sound is
generally more forgiving of the electronics...

Not in my neck of the woods, quality live
sound is completely unforgiving of the electronics! Applying a 100K
watts to your input signal will magnify any noise accordingly. As
discussed previously, just 'cos it's got XLR connectors on the back
doesn't mean it's a "professional" piece. Serious live systems these
days are using crossover/processors that cost more than your Khorns.
There's a good reason for that expenditure.

Also, at sea level,
9ms is about 3 meters, if you're measuring that much physical delay in
a Khorn it's happening somewhere else in the signal chain. Could it be
9us?

I understand what you're saying
about live sound, but the majority of venues are dominated by
compromised acoustics and absolutely no nuance of the electronics is
going to be of any substantial benefit in that kind of environment.
Just recently I was at a concert running Meyer speakers and easily $100k of electronics driving it all....I found it kinda
disheartening when the sound guy was talking about how good the new FOH
console sounded, while in the meantime the venue was flooded with
unbearable slapback. Sure, you could hear the smooth mids through the
muck, but that's like admiring a pearl in a puddle of mud...

That
said, when you've got an awesome venue, then absolutely you want it to
sound as good as possible. Last summer I visited a venue in Houston
Texas that sounded better than 90% of the home systems I've heard -
simply amazing. They were running JBL Vertec Line Arrays and the venue had great acousticis.

I'm not sure what the pathlength of the Khorn bassbin is, but a 40Hz Fc requires a length of at least 7ft. If you figure about 1ms per ft, then that's about 7ms of delay required on the tweeter. I do remember that one of the numbers was 7ms, so maybe it's 5ms for the squawker (instead of 9 and 7). But yes, the Khorn really is that bad...

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Ok, I found the thread where the article was posted:
http://forums.klipsch.com/forums/t/94684.aspx?PageIndex=1

For convenience, here's page 3 where he talks about it:
http://forums.klipsch.com/forums/storage/4/959306/Review%20page%203%20of%206.pdf

He mentions that the tweeter showed up at 10.3ms, the squawker at 12ms, and then the bassbin at 17.7ms....so that's 7.4ms of delay needed for the tweeter and 5.7ms for the squawker.

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Yet that 7ms is not corrected with passives in the Khorn. Yet folks rave over the sound. How can that be? Seems like the 7ms delay would really mess things up. [*-)]

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Paul did a blind listening test ,,shifting drivers and bass bins forward a back words to compensate... We could not hear the difference,,, I,m sure some people can detect the change,,,I couldnt. When i took off the blinder the bass bin was almost pushed up to my knees.

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The part that seems to impede the sound the most in the K-horn is not the delay between the bass bin and the squawker but the alignment between the tweeter and squawker. When I here high frequency information in sounds such as clapping (crosses between the two drivers and is quick) it sounds unrealistic. Time alignment on those two drivers would be the best bang for the buck in cleaning up the K-horns sound.

Great speakers in many ways though I can only have them as my main speakers for short stents until I switch them out.

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He mentions that the tweeter showed up at 10.3ms, the squawker at 12ms, and then the bassbin at 17.7ms....so that's 7.4ms of delay needed for the tweeter and 5.7ms for the squawker.

This is going thru the passive xover. My current delay settings are closer to the air travel times, I have no reactive components between my amps and drivers.

After I complete my 200 Hz midrange horns a buddy that has SMAART is going to come over and we'll get an exact time alignment.

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