Vandersteens-- Removing M5-HPs for a Digital Xover?


Hi. Quick survey of people that have removed the M5-HP when using a processor/preamp that can do the Xover internally and how much of a sonic difference there was. I guess there is just something comforting about having the physical Xover in-line when the manual (I have Quatros) talks of all the driver damage that will occur if they are used without a Xover. I just upgraded my pre/pro to a Theta Casablanca that can do it internally. I would assume that there would be some kind of difference due to eliminating the parts inside the M5 and the electric change of having dissimilar metals between my interconnects and the pigtails of the M5s. I know that hearing it is the only proof but wanted to see others’ opinions. Thanks.

jwseitz

My first thought is -Don't do it.

My second is to contact Vandersteen. Mr. V. will probably answer you the next day.

Bob

I have Quatros  and Aesthetix Atlas which has high pass built in but the M5-HPs

sound better  

Why would you want to do that? Are they not bi-amp capable? How many separate amplifiers are you planning to use with them? If you're going to use an amplifier for each driver, lows, mids and high frequencies, 3 or more like I'm doing, well maybe. I'm multi-amping using an electronic crossover and nothing between the drivers and amplifiers but copper wire. Risky, but in my opinion worth the risk. Best wishes.

Thanks.  Yes, I asked Richard, and he said to leave them but also said that it can be done.  So..?  I didn't want to press him on it.  I never had a processor that could define the slope before like this one so that I know I am getting it exactly right.  He said a Butterworth Xover would work, though, which this can do, at 100Hz.  6dB slope, I believe.  Seems like it would be sound better to bypass them.  The Theta does the digital realm so well.

 

fiesta75
Why would you want to do that? Are they not bi-amp capable? How many separate amplifiers are you planning to use with them? If you're going to use an amplifier for each driver, lows, mids and high frequencies, 3 or more like I'm doing, well maybe. I'm multi-amping using an electronic crossover and nothing between the drivers and amplifiers but copper wire. Risky, but in my opinion worth the risk. Best wishes.

To have a cleaner signal path.  Not bi-amping.  If you know Vandersteens, they all have a Xover if they have a sub.  I's just the design.  Thanks for your input.

Good luck and happy listening.

@jwseitz ,

Mr. V. isn't a big fan of digital, at the moment, though I am.

That being said,

I would take Mr. V's advice, as he knows what sounds best. But, if you want to try using digital crossover, and have it set up properly- Why not give it a go?

Bob

Yes, I think I will give it a whirl when I get a free afternoon.  Just start the volume off very low...😁

Nice stack of gear, and I don’t even know what else is in it.
It is odd running Vandys in a surround system. There are at least 2 of us, but my speakers and amps are not at your level and I have Lyngdorf rather than a Theta… But I think the concept is the same..

I would probably tell the pre processor it cuts off at 40, 60, 80 (I dunno, just dick around with it)… And then it will boost whatever is too low up, and you will not hear anything wrong at the frequencies which we are not overly sensitive to.

But I have not completed my set up.
Alternatively there is Vandy forum.

Nice stack of gear, and I don’t even know what else is in it.
It is odd running Vandys in a surround system. There are at least 2 of us, but my speakers and amps are not at your level and I have Lyngdorf rather than a Theta… But I think the concept is the same..

I would probably tell the pre processor it cuts off at 40, 60, 80 (I dunno, just dick around with it)… And then it will boost whatever is too low up, and you will not hear anything wrong at the frequencies which we are not overly sensitive to.

But I have not completed my set up.
Alternatively there is Vandy forum.

@holmz 

Thank you.  I'm always tweaking, but getting the Quatros was a milestone when I got them.  They were my price/performance bullseye for "forever" speakers, and I had owned 1Cs and then 2Ce Sigs before getting a really good deal on them from here.  Then they had to go and add a CT version (sigh), but that's another story--ha.  They are fantastic, though.

Vandersteens actually make really great surround systems due to their spaciousness.  You can honestly just run movies two-channel, and they sound great.  Also, their surrounds (VSMs) are made to be wall-mounted and look very sleek when done so.

To your comment about the Xover frequency, though, it HAS to be correct on any subs or else it will damage them.  Just so you don't ever do that if you get some.  Other passive models can be toyed with, sure.

To the OP - just nail the crossover point specified in the Quattro manual. No matter what filter you pick ( first order, Butterworth, etc ) the -3db point need be accurate. Let us know what you think, pls do post those findings on the Vandy owners forum. This is a case with care, experiment is good. Best to you and BTW the older Quattro is a formidable beast.  iF you are really concerned about dissimilar cables, have your HP filters converted to your wire.

Jim

If it was me, I'd do it in the theta.  Just make sure you adhere to the original slope which I believe is 6 db/Octave or you'll change the phase relationships of the upper and lower sections.

With this particular speaker, don't try to get fancy in the digital crossover.   Just stick to the intention, which I believe is 6 db/octave high pass and full range to the lower portion. 

Vandersteens actually make really great surround systems due to their spaciousness.  You can honestly just run movies two-channel, and they sound great.  Also, their surrounds (VSMs) are made to be wall-mounted and look very sleek when done so.

It was astounding how well the TV sounded just going to 2.0.

 

… Also, their surrounds (VSMs) are made to be wall-mounted and look very sleek when done so.

I have 2 pairs of pre-loved VSMs coming, or maybe they arrived.
I’ll use one for the LR/RR of the 5.x.x.
I am thinking about using the other pair for a 5.x.2 or 5.x.4 Atmos.

And also preloved VCC-5, which my friend picked up yesterday from DHL/FedEx.
 

To your comment about the Xover frequency, though, it HAS to be correct on any subs or else it will damage them.  Just so you don't ever do that if you get some.  Other passive models can be toyed with, sure.

What do you mean damage them?
Do you mean powered subs in the quatrros?

Are you running a 2.0 system, as well or is it exclusively HT?
If it was 2.0, then the XO in the cable to the amp rolls off the lows, and they are built back up in the subwoofer section.
I suppose if you are not running those in-line XOs, then you would roll off the main speakers t the 6dB/octave at the 100 Hz point.

With my AVR I tell them how low that the LF and RF go… if the Theta did that, then you may want to say that they only go down to say 40 Hz… Then the loud thumps in movies would not be trying to extend them down to 20Hz.

I would assume that you would be using a separate LFE sub in the 10-40 range (or higher)?
And relieving the speakers from the brunt of it for movies should not overly stress them.

If there was a bypass for 2.0, then Quatrros would so what they are supposed to do for music, which is not mixed as deep/hard for music, unless it is some rap or techno… or whatever it is called.

I mostly trying to understand, so take ^these statements^ as more like ideas and discussion, then gospel facts.

(((Hi. Quick survey of people that have removed the M5-HP)))

This is like saying if i disconnect the Brakes in my car how many of you fellows will still have their family jewels left and are they still in decent working condition.

We have had many attempts to compare the M5 high pass units with the built ins yes the built ins can work but the Vandy Battery bias always comes out on top.

Perhaps this will help. If you can try and understand the unique design advantages.of speed  A High performance loudspeaker driver task where each driver has a purpose high mass drivers for bass a lighter faster driver for mid bass an even lighter faster Mid driver and finally a ultra light mass tweeter. The allows  proper tonal character at any given musical task. The high pass properly maintains the long waves out of the faster drivers. The full range speed this allows the whole system is brilliant when properly set up. All your doing by having the crossover improperly set is ruining the intended alignment and slowing the faster then normal drivers in these designs from operating as intended.

 Best JohnnyR

 

 

 

Johnny - I really doubt that any "charged capacitor" internal crossover networks can compare to an active crossover using multi-amps. Vandersteen has some of the best, but JBL started this 60 - 70 years ago. Unless you've tried eliminating passive crossover components between the amplifier outputs and the drivers (just plain copper wire) you will not know the improvements. All the best.

@fiesta75 ,

I would be hesitant to challenge Johnny's take on this.

 

As I said in my earlier post, Mr. V. has considered using a digital crossover, but found it to be lacking. Johnny, attempted to explain why.

You can doubt 

that any "charged capacitor" internal crossover networks can compare to an active crossover

But, if the designer himself finds it not up to snuff, then I would take it as gospel.

As, I think, Mr. V. would say, you have to listen closely to see if those 'improvements' are what they seem to be.

I won't claim to be able to hear this, but I will put my faith in the hearing of those I respect.

Bob

 

No disrespect intended. I'm just going by what my ears have told me over the years.

This is like saying if i disconnect the Brakes in my car how many of you fellows will still have their family jewels left and are they still in decent working condition.

 

I try not to put my ‘alls on the line… in case they still work ;)

By the way I heard very good things about you and your shop.

 

Johnny - I really doubt that any "charged capacitor" internal crossover networks can compare to an active crossover using multi-amps. Vandersteen has some of the best, but JBL started this 60 - 70 years ago. Unless you’ve tried eliminating passive crossover components between the amplifier outputs and the drivers (just plain copper wire) you will not know the improvements. All the best.

I pretty much agree, but most users have big mono blocks and are wedded to the passive XOs.

But at least there are two of use in a small boat.

It would be interesting to hear both approaches with the same drivers/boxes. I have been toying with that idea for some older 2Cs.

 

This is like saying if i disconnect the Brakes in my car

I asked this legend race car drover once about braking technique and going fast.
He said, “Brakes do not speed one up, so it is best to stay off of them.”
(It’s sort of true once I watched closely at his technique… he would just brush them to transfer some weight.)

Well, I finally tried it last night.

To @gdnrbob 's point and last post, I do trust RV's ears and experience.  He didn't really tell me one way or another in terms of sound when I asked him, though.  I need to do more listening, but I detected a slight bump in clarity upon first impression when moving to the Theta.  Of course, I am not going to be A/Bing this back and forth because it is really hard to reach the back of my amp and switch everything with the limited space I have behind my cabinet and all the cables there.  I have to go on "muscle memory" of having heard certain things for testing over and over again.

It seemed like maybe there was a slight drop-off in bass along with the clarity bump, so that is why I want to be sure I'm not just hearing more upper frequencies and perceiving it as such.  I can adjust the bass in them, if need be, and will probably need to re-run the Vandertones.  I'm also going to be switch power cords in a couple weeks (on order) so will wait to re-calibrate them until that is in, if that's how I think I should go.

I think the takeaway would be that the difference is slight, but better is better.  Thus, I'll take whatever improvements I can find.

Second night of listening.  Definitely a little clearer and better defined.  Slight bump in midrange, which I like.  Less bass (maybe 1.5dB), but I just bumped up my levels.  Bass is crisper, too--kick drums and such--so it's wasn't just the treble tilt before I bumped the bass up.  There's a little more air and three-dimensionality.

To wax poetic about the Quatros for a minute, man, they are fabulous speakers.  The thing that I love about them is that they produce what you give them.  Every tweak/change is to your system is heard.  I've listened to a lot of high-end brands and have been impressed more recently by the revised Aerial 7T (or maybe it was 6T) and the new Revel Be line (I want to hear the Paradigm Be stuff now), but the Vandersteens just always sound so RIGHT.  So real.  I still haven't heard the CTs, but I am happy with these in a dual-use system for now.  Maybe someday if I break it apart and have an even nicer dedicated two-channel system, I would get a second pair in CTs or Kentos/5A CTs, but it would have to be a deal.  Quatros are definitely the price/performance sweet spot, IMO.

Since @holmz had brought up their surround performance, too, I will just reiterate how much I love them for surround, too.  I have a VCC-Sig for a center (want a 5.  I used to see them used all the time but now never do!) and standard VSMs for rears.  I added a VSW recently for the .1 output in addition to the Quatros running full range for the fronts and was messing with it some last night, too.  I had to reconfigure something in the Theta to make it work on the right port and finally did.  I was demoing it all again with one of the few but favorite test discs for sound that I own--Sin City (and it kicks ass), and just wow.  I don't even have the BR version, just the DTS.  Everything is so precisely placed in space.  Of course the Casablanca is doing an awesome job to help things, but the Vandersteens just again make everything seems so realistic.

Anyways...  My .02

@holmz --Congrats on the VCC-5.  I haven't been able to find one in black in some time.  Damage to the other drivers, not the sub.  It's in the manual.  Regarding the frequency and having a Xover, it's for any Vandersteen sub product (except the VSW, which is line level).  The Quatros and up with the subs built in and the separate subs.

My system is dual-use.  It's 5.1, but I do a lot of 2-channel listening on it.  I have been trying to build the best sounding surround system for 2-channel.  It does get a little confusing with the Xovers.  If using the digital Xover at 100Hz, I can't add a second (with what I have) filter to also limit it lower.  Can they ever have a HP applied, even with the M5s in place, and work correctly?  Idk.  I'm not concerned about the Quatros running frequencies too low, though.  I think they are -3 in the 20s, and stereo bass is awesome.  I did/do have to really think about the fact that they are always running full, I guess, since they build back what is taken out by the HP.  The processor is then also sending that to the LFE, though, so I'm kind of getting double the bass (at least from the front signals)?  

 

@holmz --Congrats on the VCC-5.  I haven't been able to find one in black in some time.
​​​​​​….

If I resock the VCC-5, I’ll save the sock for you.
I may also end up pulling the top and bottom of it, so I can shove it into a cabinet.

I actually started on the table for it, so the top is 1/2 done.
 

Greetings,

Please make sure that your Vandersteen High Pass Batteries are A up to date and B soldered in only by a professional, C make sure that you nailed the proper adjustments with the internal hi pass dip switches. As the series of dip switches to be set correctly is vital for performance.Please don’t just read the manual as many are wrong and in need of the following.

Play Track 27 Vandertones 1000 HZ voltmeter into left channels amp speakers binding post. Adjust Volt meter to AC Volts next adjust pre amp volume controls to see meter read 1 Volt AC then go to track 30 adjust the dip switches untill the meter reads .707 volts start all over again from track 27 until you nail it anything else is wrong. please don't forget to adjust both high passes to proper setting.

I would bet heavy once this is done you will easily hear its advantages.

Best JohnnyR

Once I got my Quatros dialed in, I tried using my OPPO BDP 105 for the high level crossover to eliminate the extra IC's, connections and the inline passive crossover but was ultimately disappointed.  The outboard inline crossovers provide much more in the way of musicality, soundstage depth and impact. I'll also echo that one needs to make sure the batteries are at full charge and to make sure to use the correct batteries specified. 

So yes, the crossover is set correctly in the M5s, the batteries were done at Vandersteen, and they have not expired. The manual says that testing the voltage actually drains them and that they should be good until the dates marked.

Sometimes….which Even tho it’s a PITA, it pays to listen…. I expect the real work on the Theta filter was Jim White. Great engineer w good ears. Might come down to preference. As Johnny says, always good to verify actual crossover performance using the voltmeter. Quattro are a real treat for sure, enjoy the journey.

Enjoy the music !

i am a lazy Robot in a busy world