Dude...seriously...I think I'd just stick with the headphones! Life is too short.
14 responses Add your response
Hey Bdhgon. Been meaning to thank you for quite some time for such a comprehensive write-up. I have a few comments and suggestions of my own but just have not had time to get around to responding. I am however actively working on my own solution to my "hiss" problem.
My situation is the result of tri-amping and bypassing the passive internal crossover all together - NOT THE RESULT OF A PRODUCT DEFECT. They are wonderful speakers!
I too spoke with Clayton and he suggested the 10db pad as well. It just did not sit well with me and was curious about the root cause as opposed to a bandaid fix.
Finally found someone at DBX tech support who explained the underlying problem and I quote:
"The DBX 260 is a line level device which operates at professional level +4 dBu rather
than consumer level which is -10 dBV."
Essentially there is a 11.79 dB difference between Pro and consumer products. I have ordered a bi-directional 8-port line-leveling device that should address the output conversions between the dbx and amps. I'm really curious about the input side of the equation. I would think that would be an issue as well. Your thoughts....
I'll let you know the results either way.
After posting here, I decided to continue this narrative in the Open Baffle forum at audiocircle.com, as there seemed to be a bit more interest there.
I haven't updated those threads in awhile and since tri-amping myself, it has taken quite a bit of time playing with DBX settings to get the sound to how I want it -- I've changed it significantly since I last posted. It's quite amazing how much the passive crossover (internal to the speaker) affects the sound to the negative, but also provides necessary driver overlap of the frequency spectrum to provide seemless integration between drivers.
Since I moved to 45 SET's, I haven't had to worry about hiss or dropping the voltage. But after tri-amping, you have to become an expert on the DBX to get the crossover frequency overlap, EQ, and channel levels just right so that the sound is not too thin or unbalanced or fatiguing. But it's been worth it.
I can't take credit for any DBX configuration work as it relates to tri-amping. I had Clayton build this configuration for me as part of my purchase. This all came about after review of the CS1.3 and discussions with him at RMAF 2009. This was before he sold the company to Walter.
I could not agree with you more about the negative impact on sound quality regarding the internal passive xover. Its pretty horrible in the original production release of the CS2.3. By-passing it was HUGE improvement!
Interested in your selection of SET amplification with the CS2.3's. Send me a PM so we can discuss.
Got the unit back and tested the input side going from preamp to dbx. The result in terms of clarity, dynamics are subtle but good. Slightly higher gain in volume but not as much as I had hoped for. The real down side to this unit is the additional xlr cabling required - essentially double which sucks.
Just going to run the high and midrange in this manner for now. May move to a pro audio amp for the bass drivers with the correct +4dbu input and sell my Bel Canto's and pocket the change.
After listening with the ebtech line leveler XLR in the mix (only on the input side of the DBX 260) for the last 3 months it turns out there is a huge improvement in the sound quality.
I was cleaning and reorganizing today when I decided to take the unit out of the chain. Immediately thought something was wrong or not connected up the right way. Put the unit back in and bingo, back to its previous glory.
I have not yet had the chance to use it to deal with the wonderful hiss issue some of us have between the active crossover and consumer grade amps. Just have not had time or additional cabling for that matter.
What I have found actually infuriates me. I have had to spend close to $400 so far to fix obvious problems with the product. Going to be taking a serious looking at the DEQX product line going forward. If nothing else you can use it with any speaker platform.
Because its $3k for the software and single room tune, plus a fully upgraded minimac at $1.7k, plus at least $2k for a suppoted DAC/active crossover. After speaking with Clayton last week, the next generation of his product may better meet my needs. Until then I'll stick with fixing the inherent flaws of the products I have.