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Yeah - no DSP. I don't want ad and then da, the Behringer above, as far as I know aren't dsp based. There is another model above the one I mention that is DSP based.
Oh - and one other general comment I should have put in the top part. One way to minimize the impact of the quality of the crossover is when using the amp-matching part, lower one and keep the other at 0, don't raise either, that way you aren't using any pre-amp aspects of the crossover to raise the level of the signal, and thus lowers the quality requirements of that aspect of the crossover.
One thing that is nice about the Bryston are the adjustable slopes. Magnepan recommends the following for the settings at the crossover:
Low Pass: 18dB per octave at 250Hz
High Pass: 6dB per octave at 200Hz
Note that asymmetrical crossover point and slope!
Both the Rane and Ashley look good overall, I think the Rane can only do 24 db/octave and the Ashley and Behringer are the same. That doesn't mean it won't work - but its nice to know that if I stick with what is above then the factory thinks it should work really really well.
Maybe that is part of what we pay for with the Bryston, the flexibility?
Don't forget Marchand Electronic's active/passive crossovers. They have several 2,3, and 4-way crossovers and will also custom build ones to your exact needs/specs.
You can get the same performance and quality as the others(excluding the digital xo's) mentioned at 1/3 to 1/2 the cost.
The Dahlquist DQ-LP1 has a passive, 6db/oct HI-pass section that is transparent to your system(use a good polystyrene or polypropylene cap there), and an active 18db/oct LO-pass circuit that enables you to dial in your freq(up to 400Hz), level and low freq EQ(boost the bottom a bit). I used one from 1981(always bi-amping planars), 'til 2004, when I went with my TacT RCS 2.2X. They generally sell for around $300(what they sold for in '80) ie: (http://cgi.ebay.com/DAHLQUIST-DQ-LP1-Variable-Low-Pass-Filter-USA-Made_W0QQitemZ260440261155QQcmdZViewItemQQptZVintage_Electronics_R2?hash=item3ca3730223&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A12%7C66%3A2%7C39%3A1%7C72%3A1234%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50) The crossover's designer(Carl Marchisotto) also designed the Alon Exotica Grand Reference system, which still uses the DQ-LP1 as it's HI/LO filter. Allegro Sound may still have one also: ( http://www.allegrosound.com/Dahlquist_DQ-LP1.html )
Just put the Behringer in last night. Have 3.6's. Cannot believe the technology that is built into the Behringer for the cost. Just ordered matching Balanced IC's to use instead of my spares that may be affecting my sound. It seems transparent to a degree - settings could cloud your judgement if they are not correct. I am not using any gain , or eq from the Behringer or phase correction to keep the signal less processed. I would ultimately like to try the pass labs x-over. FOR THE MONEY THE BEHRINGER IS A GREAT TOOL TO TRY BI-AMPING OR ADDING A SUB TO THE MAGGIES. It's worth the money to try it for yourself. Remember, that's just my initial impression. Happy listening! Greg.
Cool. What is funny is that a couple of people have contacted me directly on this, and I may wait a year and then get a floor model XVR-1 - the opposite of where I was heading with this thread. Some say that once you go active, the active crossover itself matters more than the quality of the amps, sort of sounds backwards, but my making the amps around 4X more powerful, can make more sense. But the XVR-1 is a 'sciene project', I may just pay somoene to try and do it over a weekend. Depending on what month it is, I like science projects, but right now I have so many things going on in life I just want this part to work without much time input. One criticism of active crossovers, even the good ones, is that they become 'infinite science projects', which I'm not looking for. But don't properly (or even just within 5-10%) I do believe they totally change what Maggies are capable of.
LiketoListen - yeah, the entry fee is so low, it seems almost worth trying as an experiment. Let me know how your project goes. I am a fan of Hero ICs as a not super-exotic but extremely dependable and have several balanced in my system here and there. I think if you went with Hero balanced you could rule out ICs as a source of any problems. Also - I've heard that going active you almost have to go balanced as otherwise you will get hum, but if you can go with Hero RCA's you'll save a ton of money and still know the ICs are holding anything back. But, yeah, let us know what you find.
I have MG3A speakers; I am using 2 Bryston 10B sub crossovers and VMPS larger subwoofers (triamplified system). Biamping the MG3A speakers is the single biggest improvement I have made in more than 15 years of owning the Magnepans. The Bryston crossovers sound very good, quite transparent. I have only used the factory-recommended Magnepan crossover settings from the MG3A manual. Some advantages I could see with a digital crossover are adding delays for speaker phasing and parametric equalization for the subwoofer. If you just want to biamp your Magnepans, a single Bryston will do the job. Make sure you understand the different frequencies available on the 10B vs 10B sub models. Having an amp for the bass panels frees up the power they need and keeps the high-frequency clipping products out of the tweeters where you could hear them. Highly recommended - you can't go wrong with the Bryston! I have used a bunch of power amps over the years and could still hear differences, but they are after the Brystons in the signal chain so that does not surprise me. The midrange/tweeter amp is the more critical; the bass amps matter less when biamping.
I was just surfing through Behringer-related posts on Audiogon this A.M. and noticed your Aug. '09 post regarding Behringer crossovers. I have Maggies too, but use the Behringer DCX-2496 x-over. I am very satisfied with this crossover and find it to be extremely flexible: it offers Linkwitz-Wiley, Butterworth, and Bessel crossovers @ 6, 12, 18, 24, and 48 dB/octave, sampling rates from 32 to 96 kHz, and a sampling depth of 24 bits. I hve had absolutely no problems with this crossover and highly reccomend it. While I suspect that the x-overs used by Magnepan are a better audiophile choice, the Behringer offers the audiophile an excellent learning experience, especially since it offers (with it's extra calibrated mic) the opportunity to phase-correct your planars. The improvement in imaging is exceptional, and measurement of phase-coherency is something that analogue equipment cannot offer.
I was wondering what equipment conclusions you had come to to date...
Yes I get the Behringer flexibility & I agree with Listener it's likley a good way to play. Some folks are not fond of the sound quality depending on their system.
XO quality is less critical for subs so you could use either and move them later.
Even if it's (partially) correctible with DSP, watch heavy equilization & steep slopes.
You will like the XVR-1 I can assure you & it has tons of flexibilty. The manual on the Pass Labs site is a great read for anyone regardless of what XO they're using. I highly recommend it.
I am thinking of going lower-spec on the amp and getting the XVR-1... And after trying to set it up myself, paying someone locally who really knows they are doing to finish it off and continue to work on setting it up for a day.
For the low end, I really think high-power low-cost D is the way to go (i.e., Rotel) and then go crazy high-end on the top side. Our family had some other big purchases recently so the project is on hold for at least 3 - 4 months, but I recently put a kilowatt amp on my 3.6s and now am very excited to get some more power through it somehow!
People talk about amp-matching on active crossover setups, I have to do more listening and testing to see if a low-cost D will match well with a very high-quality 2nd amp.
Another way to look at all of this - from a $ perspective (not from a time perspective) get the Behringer now - figure it all out, tweak it, get the extra amps, etc., but then upgrade the crossover a few years later.
In that sense - how the Behringer gets you started at such a low cost - it is awesome. Remember, though, Marchand has some decently priced modules, albeit with far far far less tweakability.
One of the best crossovers around is the Behringer DCX 2496. It does all crossovers, parametric EQ, delay, and lots of other things in the digital domain, so they are as perfect as they can be. If you are starting with a digital signal anyway, it can accept digital input and serves as 3 stereo DAC's in addtion to crossover. (Unfortunately, there are no digital outs.) The interface and flexibility are fantastic. The quality is tolerable, particularly the analog outputs could be better, but are useable as delivered. The steepest built-in crossover is the Linkwitz-Riley 48dB/octave, but some people make that even steeper by using tacked on parametric EQ's. There are many modifications available, and many active discussion threads, particularly over at DIYAudio. The all-analog behringer equipment is rather pedestrian by comparison, reasonably flexible but their analog circuitry is typically mediocre, and as a rule never get the cheapest Behringer model.