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  • Amplifier Dude Crossover DSP and Amplifiers

    Wow that’s a lot of parts in the signal path! The biggest upgrade I ever experienced with the Purifi 6.5X and Bliesma T34B tweeter was when I took out all the passive components from the signal path and replaced them with a solid piece of Furutech Alpha-OCC copper wire.

    End result from the listening position with this 2 way monitor in a 3L sealed cabinet.

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    With no crossover? That's interesting...

    And that is why some of those parts in the path are a bit pricey...


    Of course, what I figure is that you're using a DSP based crossover setup, and direct connection on your drivers.

    The problem I've found with that approach is the quality of the DAC's used in DSP based systems, and the overall digital train- no place for re-clocking or a rubidium clock in there, and typically delta-sigma DAC chips, compared to standalone high end DACs and digital signal train. And if you room EQ for one listening position to get a very flat response, it can create issues with the response everywhere else in the room, because the actual system power response is changed from whatever nominal flat or acoustic voiced character exists for the speaker to something else.

    I ended up recommending an NAD M33 to a friend/forum member who wants to try that path- it comes with a 500Hz and down version of Dirac, which for small dollars can be upgraded to the full version.

    But by all means, you should do whatever makes YOU happy!

    I prefer acoustic solutions to acoustic problems. This is a rental home with no acoustic solutions in place, (moving in March/April) so with a long enough measurement window for capturing the bottom end, there are quite a few reflections.
    the AudioWorx
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    Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
    Just ask Mr. Ohm....

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by JonMarsh View Post
      With no crossover? That's interesting...

      And that is why some of those parts in the path are a bit pricey...


      Of course, what I figure is that you're using a DSP based crossover setup, and direct connection on your drivers.

      The problem I've found with that approach is the quality of the DAC's used in DSP based systems, and the overall digital train- no place for re-clocking or a rubidium clock in there, and typically delta-sigma DAC chips, compared to standalone high end DACs and digital signal train. And if you room EQ for one listening position to get a very flat response, it can create issues with the response everywhere else in the room, because the actual system power response is changed from whatever nominal flat or acoustic voiced character exists for the speaker to something else.

      I ended up recommending an NAD M33 to a friend/forum member who wants to try that path- it comes with a 500Hz and down version of Dirac, which for small dollars can be upgraded to the full version.

      But by all means, you should do whatever makes YOU happy!

      I prefer acoustic solutions to acoustic problems. This is a rental home with no acoustic solutions in place, (moving in March/April) so with a long enough measurement window for capturing the bottom end, there are quite a few reflections.
      Yes using DSP. The DAC’s in my DSP system are the best I’ve ever heard using them in a 2 channel passive system. And I’ve made dacs that compete with the MSB Select DAC 2 in the past. Review of one of my old dacs comparing to $100000 MSB Select DAC 2:

      Before I even get started, yes, I know there will always be something bigger/better/badder coming down the pike, but sometimes you hear something that allows you to relax and not worry about what else may be out there. [In the homebrew hobby, we say RDWHAHB.] Remember, this is an impressionistic...


      However my new dacs used in my DSP system put that DAC to shame. That was 6 years ago.

      Regarding the room correction, my system measures from 40 points in the room. And with these drivers crossed over at 1.5k with a 4th order, the power response from all room positions is pretty amazing. However I did settle on only correcting below 300hz, with mild correction. Because the response is pretty amazing with these drivers without correction.

      Here’s the response with no EQ at all above 300hz. From the listening position 8’ from the speakers in the centre. The room is 18x34’. With hardwood floors and many windows. No carpet or acoustic treatments. And the measurement using no gating at all. All reflections are included.

      Click image for larger version

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      • #4
        A 300 (!!) dB scale? Wow....

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by draki View Post
          A 300 (!!) dB scale? Wow....
          Here’s zoomed in more with 1/48 smoothing.

          Click image for larger version

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          • #6
            Is "flat" really where it's at?

            This is more like what I'd expect to see in the room.

            But if you have this much control over your filters, here's a suggestion that's been vetted by quite a few other people, and promoted by Sigfried Linkwitz, too. Several on the forum here have tried the passive filter version I proposed and find that they really prefer the listening experience that way.






            Some specific EQ curves proposed and considered/evaluated by Linkwitz and associates





            Passive circuit simulation and implementation for NAD M22 (or similar power amplifier with input impedance in the 100K range).





            I know of several sets of these voicing filters built up and in use now with members, after their evaluations.
            the AudioWorx
            Natalie P
            M8ta
            Modula Neo DCC
            Modula MT XE
            Modula Xtreme
            Isiris
            Wavecor Ardent

            SMJ
            Minerva Monitor
            Calliope
            Ardent D

            In Development...
            Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
            Obi-Wan
            Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
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            Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
            Just ask Mr. Ohm....

            Comment


            • #7
              When you’re doing listening position measurements in an untreated room I think using 1/12 smoothing is fair. However the first measurement I shared with the +-0.5dB 20-20 from the listening position had no smoothing at all. And that measurement was taken with REW. When the correction was done with completely different software.
              https://www.maverickaudioforum.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JonMarsh View Post
                This is more like what I'd expect to see in the room.

                But if you have this much control over your filters, here's a suggestion that's been vetted by quite a few other people, and promoted by Sigfried Linkwitz, too. Several on the forum here have tried the passive filter version I proposed and find that they really prefer the listening experience that way.






                Some specific EQ curves proposed and considered/evaluated by Linkwitz and associates





                Passive circuit simulation and implementation for NAD M22 (or similar power amplifier with input impedance in the 100K range).





                I know of several sets of these voicing filters built up and in use now with members, after their evaluations.

                I can set the target curve to any shape I want. For this example I set the target curve to flat. However the un-corrected response has no target curve at all. It’s just a simple 4th order Linkwitz crossover at 1.5k and the tweeter gain adjusted 12dB lower than the woofer above 300hz. And that’s how the listening position result turned out. And it sounds damn good! From all positions in the room.
                https://www.maverickaudioforum.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  As to the DAC's, it sounds like you've got your bases covered, but for a three way system, if your homebrew hits the suggested performance level of the MSB DACs, that would be like using three Berkely Alpha DACs cost wise, which is a LOT more than the price of all the speaker system components including top of the line passive crossover parts. Even the baseline Berkley Alpha DAC is $10K these days, a lot more than I paid for my first one from them. Most of our members have somewhat finite financial resources...

                  I'm partial to R2R ladder DACs these days using precision selected resistors, and with a digital front end re-clocked through a Brainstorm DCD-8 which itself is slaved to a Rubidium 10MHz reference clock for precision and low jitter. A former colleague at the firm I used to work for, based out of Munich, and I spent many years evaluating quite a few solutions in that area, including MSB, and we used both my Audio Precision and his wife as "independent" reference standards for comparing and evaluating bench and listening results. One of the weirdest things we found is that Rubidium clocks don't all "sound" the same; when we were comparing what we thought were the best candidates, his wife could tell the difference and identify each one; and the "best" one for imaging and tonality and minimum grain was not the most expensive one.

                  Everyone I know of that has build some of these passive designs, like the Wavecor Ardent, has commented on how well they respond to source and component upgrades. So, for now, at the level of expenditures they can afford, I don't think they're getting short changed by passive crossover components. And for me, there's no money in it for me anyway, this is just a labor of love, driven by my past life as a professional musician and my experiences as an engineer in a variety of areas. Including electronics for audio.

                  So, let's just say we're using different paths and different levels of resources to get to what we individually conceive of as audio nirvana...
                  the AudioWorx
                  Natalie P
                  M8ta
                  Modula Neo DCC
                  Modula MT XE
                  Modula Xtreme
                  Isiris
                  Wavecor Ardent

                  SMJ
                  Minerva Monitor
                  Calliope
                  Ardent D

                  In Development...
                  Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                  Obi-Wan
                  Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                  Modula PWB
                  Calliope CC Supreme
                  Natalie P Ultra
                  Natalie P Supreme
                  Janus BP1 Sub


                  Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                  Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JonMarsh View Post
                    As to the DAC's, it sounds like you've got your bases covered, but for a three way system, if your homebrew hits the suggested performance level of the MSB DACs, that would be like using three Berkely Alpha DACs cost wise, which is a LOT more than the price of all the speaker system components including top of the line passive crossover parts. Even the baseline Berkley Alpha DAC is $10K these days, a lot more than I paid for my first one from them. Most of our members have somewhat finite financial resources...

                    I'm partial to R2R ladder DACs these days using precision selected resistors, and with a digital front end re-clocked through a Brainstorm DCD-8 which itself is slaved to a Rubidium 10MHz reference clock for precision and low jitter. A former colleague at the firm I used to work for, based out of Munich, and I spent many years evaluating quite a few solutions in that area, including MSB, and we used both my Audio Precision and his wife as "independent" reference standards for comparing and evaluating bench and listening results. One of the weirdest things we found is that Rubidium clocks don't all "sound" the same; when we were comparing what we thought were the best candidates, his wife could tell the difference and identify each one; and the "best" one for imaging and tonality and minimum grain was not the most expensive one.

                    Everyone I know of that has build some of these passive designs, like the Wavecor Ardent, has commented on how well they respond to source and component upgrades. So, for now, at the level of expenditures they can afford, I don't think they're getting short changed by passive crossover components. And for me, there's no money in it for me anyway, this is just a labor of love, driven by my past life as a professional musician and my experiences as an engineer in a variety of areas. Including electronics for audio.

                    So, let's just say we're using different paths and different levels of resources to get to what we individually conceive of as audio nirvana...
                    You can’t beat a DAC slaved directly to a local clock at the native frequency of the audio signal. The PLL generators alone add loads of phase noise. But that’s a discussion for another thread.

                    Yes I know that there’s no commercially available solutions this good on the market. Which is why I spent 6 years making my own. Which is commercially available now.



                    Here’s the types of components I use for reference when comparing to the DSP. Sounds like cotton is in my ears with the passive parts. And the soundstage is on another planet. Active. Same with the dynamics at all listening levels.

                    Click image for larger version

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                    https://www.maverickaudioforum.com/

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                    • #11
                      OK, now I understand- you are posting here because you have a product you would like to sell more widely.

                      You've already directly posted a link to your site- if you want to reach more people, I suggest you start a thread here about your project hardware, and the example implementation, and post bench test evaluations in the "On the Bench" forum section- measurement evaluations such as what John Atkinson does would help you make your points.

                      This forum section "Mission Possible DIY" is a forum for home construction DIY, not for products for resale. We don't have any "bans" on mentioning services or products for resale, but you're not really posting in the right place, if I understand what you're doing correctly. Given that it doesn't sound like a DIY project, it seems that promoting and describing it in a more commercial setting would be appropriate and more useful for you. .
                      the AudioWorx
                      Natalie P
                      M8ta
                      Modula Neo DCC
                      Modula MT XE
                      Modula Xtreme
                      Isiris
                      Wavecor Ardent

                      SMJ
                      Minerva Monitor
                      Calliope
                      Ardent D

                      In Development...
                      Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                      Obi-Wan
                      Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                      Modula PWB
                      Calliope CC Supreme
                      Natalie P Ultra
                      Natalie P Supreme
                      Janus BP1 Sub


                      Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                      Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That’s not why I posted. I just wanted to share some results using almost the same drivers you’re using for the mid and tweeter, and DSP. But since you mentioned the lack of commercially available solutions on the market to do things right, I thought I’d let you know that there is some available. Usually people are interested in the kind of equipment used to obtain the shared results. So I hope that I won’t be disqualified for chatting about speaker designs, simply because I happen to make electronics.
                        https://www.maverickaudioforum.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          No, you wouldn't be, but I'd suggest posting a thread about your complete design- the speaker and the crossover system. Focus on the acoustic design issues and how they were implemented if you want to put that in the Mission Possible forum section- And I suggest posting some bench testing on the bench forum section- if you wish, explain your design choices in as much detail as you're comfortable with, and document test results as usually done commercially. And for the two way speaker project (I'm guessing you're using one of the PuriFi woofers, not the midrange as is in this current thread update) document the design, and how you handled the driver time origin offset with what ever features your DSP solution provides (LR4 normally assumes coincident sources in the Z axis).

                          And it would probably be helpful to explain how you support both digital and analog sources. And document the performance.
                          the AudioWorx
                          Natalie P
                          M8ta
                          Modula Neo DCC
                          Modula MT XE
                          Modula Xtreme
                          Isiris
                          Wavecor Ardent

                          SMJ
                          Minerva Monitor
                          Calliope
                          Ardent D

                          In Development...
                          Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                          Obi-Wan
                          Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                          Modula PWB
                          Calliope CC Supreme
                          Natalie P Ultra
                          Natalie P Supreme
                          Janus BP1 Sub


                          Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                          Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I could do that at some point. I made this system for my own internal use. In active in-wall speakers. But decided to put together a system in a nice case that could be used with regular speakers.

                            The 2 way is actually a local speaker manufacturers product. That he brought over to hear what I could do with my DSP system. He was so blown away that he’s done with passive now for good.

                            Regarding the Purifi midwoofer vs the pure mid, the results would be essentially identical above 300hz. Other than slightly less gain attenuation on the tweeter amps to match levels.

                            Regarding acoustic, and cabinet design attributes, that’s no different when you go active vs passive. Any speaker that is great with a passive crossover, can only be made better going active. And the main thing is getting all the trash out of the signal path. And you would be shocked how much power passive crossovers gobble up as well. With the amps putting out the same wattage, I’m getting 15dB more SPL’s from these monitors compared to running them with the passive crossover he brought over with them. So the 450w amps are like having 2000w+ amps powering the speakers through passive crossovers. And the dynamics! It’s another world. Especially at super low levels. The tonal density at whisper levels is just amazing. With passive crossovers at low levels the crossovers absorb most of the energy before the signal has a chance to make it to the drivers. Think of it like a fire hose going into the passive crossover, and a garden hose coming out.
                            https://www.maverickaudioforum.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If what you report about the difference in active versus passive crossover for SPL at the same amplifier power, his crossovers are quite problematic. That's the polite way of putting it, because the insertion loss for designs usually posted here are well under 1 dB.

                              As with everything engineering, solid documentation is key.
                              the AudioWorx
                              Natalie P
                              M8ta
                              Modula Neo DCC
                              Modula MT XE
                              Modula Xtreme
                              Isiris
                              Wavecor Ardent

                              SMJ
                              Minerva Monitor
                              Calliope
                              Ardent D

                              In Development...
                              Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                              Obi-Wan
                              Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                              Modula PWB
                              Calliope CC Supreme
                              Natalie P Ultra
                              Natalie P Supreme
                              Janus BP1 Sub


                              Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                              Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by JonMarsh View Post
                                If what you report about the difference in active versus passive crossover for SPL at the same amplifier power, his crossovers are quite problematic. That's the polite way of putting it, because the insertion loss for designs usually posted here are well under 1 dB.

                                As with everything engineering, solid documentation is key.
                                It’s mainly the baffle step compensation. If you don’t use that with a skinny baffle 2 way monitor, the listening position sound would will be quite thin. With a passive crossover you can’t add gain to the lower frequencies to achieve a flat, (or Harman curve) type of response at the listening position. So you must attenuate the higher frequencies. This results in a decrease in efficiency.

                                Personally I’d rather use my amp power by converting it to acoustic sound waves via the driver voice coils, rather than heating my room via the passive crossover. My furnace does a good enough job in the winter.
                                https://www.maverickaudioforum.com/

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  One thing I find odd on some forums is if you share a plot of the speakers real world summed response from both speakers at the listening position you’ll often hear “if you moved away from the listening position, the response wouldn’t be as good”. Then they share the appropriate measurement of a single speaker, on axis, 1M from a single speaker in either an anechoic chamber, or with the room reflections gated out. Hmmm, how many people listen to a pair of speakers that way under real world conditions?

                                  Personally I’m more of a listening position listener. But the listening positions in the right or left to me in the actual room also matter. What matters the least to me is conditions under which nobody will ever listen to my speakers.
                                  https://www.maverickaudioforum.com/

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I don’t want to dominate this thread, however I thought I’d chime in on my recent thoughts on target curves like you mentioned a few posts ago, along with curves, like the Harman curve. My recent experience with my DSP system and these extreme quality monitors has me questioning the conditions in which both the Linkwitz and Harman listening tests were conducted under. One thing I know for sure is they were using crap electronics, and mediocre drivers. One thing I know for sure as well is I’m certainly not with my test conditions as of late. And what I’ve discovered is when I set several target curves in the DSP like the Harman curve, and the 1974 B&K curve, is with well recorded music I prefer the flat setting at the listening position. The main reason I suspect is how clean and pure the electronics and the drivers are. And the second reason is the sound engineers did a great job in the studio already tuning the sound, based on studio monitors with a flat response.

                                    However the beauty with a system like this is I can change the target curves in 1 second with the tablet app from my listening chair. So no need to redesign the crossover if a track comes on where the studio engineer did a poor job. Then swap it out with another one when listening to tracks where they did a great job.

                                    Example of some custom presets I made for these speakers.

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                                    https://www.maverickaudioforum.com/

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Amplifier dude View Post

                                      Personally I’d rather use my amp power by converting it to acoustic sound waves via the driver voice coils, rather than heating my room via the passive crossover. My furnace does a good enough job in the winter.
                                      Well, that is a clever if silly turn of phrase, but you see, out here with our Idaho winters we don't mind a few watts of power being dissipated in an attenuator for a high efficiency midrange or tweeter- given the power spectra of music and the sensitivity characteristics of extended range woofers, it's those woofer voice coils that will be heating up the room- and even then not likely nearly as much as the Class XD amplifier bias current.


                                      This back and forth about your digital crossover product doesn't really belong in part of this DIY speaker project thread, so in my role as moderator I'm going to need to move it- I think copying this discussion to the Digital Audio forum section might be most appropriate, with attribution to you and your development efforts.

                                      I encourage you to post some detailed information about what you are offering, and to address the likely questions interested forum members will have. I'd guess you must have this all handy in your spec and product sheets, and suggest perhaps you simply create high resolution image files of key pages and link to them from a suitable hosting service- I use Flickr as well as a commercial site hosting service.

                                      Some topics it occurs to me that could be helpful for you to share in your own thread:
                                      1. The overall block diagram of inputs and outputs and functional blocks
                                      2. Key functional information-
                                      3. ○ What inputs are supported? Ethernet? AES/EBU? I2S?
                                      4. ○ Where is the master volume control for the multiple output channels located? Is it analog or digital? If digital, what is the impact on bit depth with 16 bit data?
                                      5. ○ What DAC filter options are supported? NOS? OS? what types of specific filter types?
                                      6. ○ What standard and not so standard crossover filter functions are directly supported (built in)
                                      7. ○ Is there a methodology using standard math notation in the GUI tool to program "non-standard" filter topologies?
                                      8. ○ Are elliptic and notch filters supported?
                                      9. ○ Input power compatibility and configuration
                                      10. How the DSP system is programmed-
                                      11. ○ GUI interface on what kind of device (PC, presumably)?
                                      12. ○ Data sharing or input from tools like VituixCAD



                                      And it's probably a good idea to fire up your Audio Precision or what ever test system you use, and provide performance reference information in the "On the Bench" forum section - something like the kind of testing AudioXpress and Stereophile does would build a fair amount of credibility with the forum members.

                                      This review of the Weiss Engineering DAC502, an updated product from Weiss, is a good example.

                                      https://www.stereophile.com/content/...r-measurements

                                      At a much more modest price level, (about 1/5) the Benchmark DAC3 HGC also provides superlative performance, and very low noise- just look at -90 dBFS 16bit and 24 bit performance.

                                      https://www.stereophile.com/content/...r-measurements

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                                      I also tend to be keyed in on 19+20kHz intermodulation performance, and how that folds upwards as a function of the DAC filter.

                                      The analog part of the DAC3 HGC is also quite credible; I suspect it has some genetic heritage from the Benchmark LA4 line Preamp, which I use for my acoustics test system.


                                      I'm sure this kind of information would be very interesting to the forum members.


                                      I'm going to leave these posts here for a day or two more, then move them into their own thread in the Digital Audio forum section.
                                      the AudioWorx
                                      Natalie P
                                      M8ta
                                      Modula Neo DCC
                                      Modula MT XE
                                      Modula Xtreme
                                      Isiris
                                      Wavecor Ardent

                                      SMJ
                                      Minerva Monitor
                                      Calliope
                                      Ardent D

                                      In Development...
                                      Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                                      Obi-Wan
                                      Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                                      Modula PWB
                                      Calliope CC Supreme
                                      Natalie P Ultra
                                      Natalie P Supreme
                                      Janus BP1 Sub


                                      Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                                      Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Sounds good. Wooo sounds like a lot of work! Basically if you read the Purifi 1ET400A amp module spec sheet, it matches the performance from the analog outputs. Because my DSP/DAC section exceeds the performance of the Purifi modules, and my audio analyzer. Which maxes out at -116dB THD+N. Which is what the 1ET400A modules max out at with 100w output into 4 ohms. And the ADC and mic preamp section also exceeds the performance of the amp modules. So the bottleneck is the Purifi modules in this system.

                                        When I get some time, and a couple put together in a finished case, perhaps I’ll do that. I have my own forum as well which I will likely update first.
                                        https://www.maverickaudioforum.com/

                                        Comment


                                        • #21
                                          Oh and I’m also running the new MiniDSP Flex 4 channel preamp/DAC/DSP unit through the paces today. Connected to my Purifi analog input amps and these same monitors. More info here if anyone is curious. This might be a game changer for the price. This is hot off the shelf. And one of the first units on North American soil.

                                          https://www.maverickaudioforum.com/

                                          Comment


                                          • #22
                                            Lol, I think the assignment you issued him has scared hm away. Patience is a virtue you have Jon!

                                            Comment


                                            • #23
                                              Nothing scary for me. Here’s the 100W THD+N into a 4 ohm load, of the entire system from Ethernet input to the analog speaker binding posts. If this isn’t clean enough might need to pack it in on this hobby altogether. Because it doesn’t get better with todays amp technology.

                                              Click image for larger version

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                                              https://www.maverickaudioforum.com/

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