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Here we go again yet another Two Way Active system 4 months 2 weeks ago #55530

  • Bencat
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Well having started out with a simple two way active using a MiniDSP 2x4HD unit and then adding in filters from REW I progressed to my current three way active stacked KEF103 system with a MiniDSP DDRC 22  D acting as a DIRAC Live DSP unit and then feeding digitally a MiniDSP 8 x 10 HD to give full threw way digital crossover signal to 2 x NVA P20 power amplifiers one for each speaker on the Mid and Treble drivers. Then an NVA P30 power amplifier looking after the left and right lower bass units . Sounds magnificent and if any of you are in the UK and want to hear what this sounds like then I will have a room at the Wam Show in October www.thehifishow.com/

Well all the above is done and dusted but I just have to have another project so I have now started on my next active system . I have owned for a very long time a pair of passive Linn Sara 9 speakers that i enjoy very much . Not the most accurate of speakers but lots of fun to listen to .

They are already bi wire speakers so no additional work needing to be done their . But they are an Isobaric bass design and Linn take a great deal of care in making sure they are a fully sealed design including gluing the drive units in place and sealing all bolts etc. So to get one apart to remove the the crossover and wire the drive units directly to the speaker terminals is not a simple job. In fact in was just to much for me as my mechanical skills are very poor and i have no doubt there would have been serious damage to the drive units and the cabinet . I was alerted to a company called Anapeach Loudspeaker Restoration in Wellingborough and I took the speakers to Andrew who took them apart removed the crossovers and polished the cabinets. I collected them yesterday and i was shocked at the sheer size and weight of the passive crossovers all of those complicated components are not good for being clean and transparent sound a nice simple Digital CR will make these sing .

So now I have them back I have my plans for my system which I will put in place next week when i get a clear day to work on it . The system will be a Squeezelite Player which is connected to my Logitech Media Server feeding a digital signal by Toslink to a MiniDSP DDRC 24 unit which will act as Digital Crossover (10-2500HZ then 2500 - 20000kHz) then a Dirac DSP treatment / DAC / Digital volume control this will then output to 2 x Quad 405 Power Amplifiers one for the Left Channel and One for Right Channel connected to the Linn Sara 9's .

All of the above should be quite simple I have worked with MiniDSP software for a while now and I find it simple and easy to navigate around and to work with so I can get the set up working and then singing really quickly . I have quite a good expectation of this change as the original crossovers were frankly overkill and not helping the overall system work .

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Here we go again yet another Two Way Active system 3 months 3 weeks ago #55784

  • Bencat
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Well it has taken me much longer than i thought to get a fully working system . Some of this has not been my fault in that I was not expecting to have a failure in one of the Linn Sara tweeters but have now had a replacement unit and today managed to get the old unit out (an awful job requiring a hairdryer and lots of patience as the tweeters are glued in) and wire up and replace the tweeter.

Next with sound down very low the dreaded first switch on and hoping that nothing goes pop . Well no nothing did and I was then able to go in to a full DIRAC Live session using wide angle 17 position measurement and this went easily and well .

After that I was able to get things started with some music and the sound is truly wonderful all the good points of the passive Sara's the ability to boogie and make you grin huge bass for the size of the speakers (due to the Isobaric loading) and best of all they will go really loud without hardening . Very happy with the end results and will be giving this some serious listening over the next few days.
The following user(s) said Thank You: EdHowarth

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Here we go again yet another Two Way Active system 3 months 3 weeks ago #55826

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Have now had a few days to listen to this system using the DDRC 24 and I am again amazed at how versatile and complete this unit is . I know that going up the MiniDSP scale to SHD and others you gain but frankly if used in a fairly simple active two way system the DDRC 24 just works so well . A little time to get used to how to set things like crossovers and how to do a full DIRAC Live session to a good standard and you are rewarded with a really great and musical sound .

You can if you have the skills make your own cabinets and select your drive units and i am sure the results will be as good as system treble the price . However if like me you do not have the mechanical or technical skills to do this just pick a passive speaker that you enjoy the sound of and then remove the passive crossover and rewire direct to the speaker terminals one for bass (I always make this the bottom pair) and one for treble . Get two stereo power amplifiers matched if possible or use an old AV Receiver with an analogue input and you will make a system that will sound far and away better than the original passive set up .

This second active system is now sounding so good that I am struggling to think of how it can be bettered . My three way KEF 103 system does just shade it for low bass and seperation but it not by much and I would be just as happy to use the Linn Sara system as the KEF 103 one . This is all down to the quality of the MiniDSP units being used and the easy user interface they present . I have tried other DSP / CR units such as Behringer and DBX but in all cases they are aimed at Pro use and are far more difficult to use with full digital input which is what I want and use now .
I would say to anyone thinking about it give setting up an active system a try the results are excellent and once you get the quality of music it brings you will be hooked and and just want to do it again .

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