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As most of you know I am a dealer for many brands.

I received a call from a customer asking me about a replacement amp for his Phoenix Gold amp he is having issues with. He was asking about ARC and Zapco.

I asked him more about his system and he rattled off a really nice system, including AudioFrog GB15/GB60/Passive Crossovers for the front stage, AudioFrogGS62 for rear fill, Factory HU into a Helix DSP.3, GB Sub and the Phoenix Gold Amps running it all.

Anyone else catch the "passive crossover" with a Helix DSP.3? I asked him about it and he said the owner of the shop where he purchased it feels more comfortable with running passives so the tweeter won't get damaged. I asked if he knew about $2 caps that would solve that concern....the customer knew about them but said the owner was insistent.

I told him once he gets the amp issue sorted out, he needs to ditch the passives and use the DSP for its intended purpose, have it properly tuned, and his sound quality should increase greatly.

I don't understand other than the dealer not knowing how to properly tune the DSP or something. Kinda like having a Ferrari and only being able to drive in residential neighborhoods.
 

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He probably doesn't know how to tune the car properly. I don't know anyone who would turn down the work to tune the system. Its like the least labor intensive part lol. Plus that's the fun part where all the magic happens. It's like making a cake and not getting to try a piece.
 

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I think I saw him complaining on facebook lol

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It could be that the dealer has had comebacks before from people adjusting their DSPs after the dealer is done with it and blowing drivers?

Once bitten, twice shy?

However, if that's the case, it would be nice to explain that to the customer...
 

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i run passives on my mid/tweeter in one of my cars with awesome results
 

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He probably doesn't know how to tune the car properly. I don't know anyone who would turn down the work to tune the system. Its like the least labor intensive part lol. Plus that's the fun part where all the magic happens. It's like making a cake and not getting to try a piece.
Exactly. Most shops just doesn't have anyone that knows shit about tuning. The ones I've been to lately all looked at me like I just ran over their dog when I asked about tuning.
 

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We all did before dsp. If you are doing it with then why not get a amp with more channels?
a well designed analog crossover is hard to beat, very natural sounding.

take your finest home speakers, they always use analog over digital
 

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He probably doesn't know how to tune the car properly. I don't know anyone who would turn down the work to tune the system. Its like the least labor intensive part lol. Plus that's the fun part where all the magic happens. It's like making a cake and not getting to try a piece.
It could be worse. In 2013, I tried to buy a 3Sixty.3 from my local Rockford Fosgate dealership. They said they would have to special order it because they don't do very many DSP installs.

I ended up ordering it online because they wanted more than MSRP to "special order" it for me. :rolleyes:
 

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a well designed analog crossover is hard to beat, very natural sounding.



take your finest home speakers, they always use analog over digital
This is for other reasons, not because of how they can sound

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also, using passives after a dsp isnt really THAT bad considering some of the shit ive seen from other "reputable" shops. i really wish i wouldnt get shunned if i called them out.
 

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This is for other reasons, not because of how they can sound

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really, what are those other reasons?
 

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really, what are those other reasons?
1) the enclosure and baffle are a given, and the room is even somewhat of a given. This is not the case in a car. I feel like you already know this, but i'll go into detail anyways. When you are building a home speaker, there are still more things to consider than one would think. The enclosure, and the baffle for starters. The enclosure most already know can make a difference, but a baffle size, dimensions, shape, etc can all have a pretty damn big effect on the response of a speaker. you can correct these with passive crossovers as well as active. But if you are mass producing a speaker, and you only have to design the crossover once, well...


2) Cost. Again, you must know this, but i'll go into detail for others sake. Not the cost of the speaker, but the cost of the system. Take Speaker A, and Speaker B. Both speakers have a woofer, a midrange, and a tweeter. Speaker A is active, and Speaker B is passive. Speaker A retains for $10,000 and Speaker B retails for $13,000. Both sound really damn good and you cant go wrong with either. Both also aesthetically match the room you are putting them in. Obviously most are going to go with the ones that cost $3000 less, right? you'd think so until you look at powering 6 channels instead of 2. decent amplifiers that match the performance of those really good speakers are not cheap. The room will probably need additional wiring, etc etc. Cost will probably push option A way above option B in the long run. why do that when you can take care of the baffle and enclosure issues with a passive since the baffle and enclosure are predictable?
 

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And

3) passive cross overs almost always have a lower better/higher SNR than active cross overs.

[edit lower to higher, which is totally opposite]
 

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We all did before dsp. If you are doing it with then why not get a amp with more channels?
a well designed analog crossover is hard to beat, very natural sounding.

take your finest home speakers, they always use analog over digital
Wrong! This has been Obliterated in the last decade with DSP. Almost every top studio monitor is crossoverless DSP. Almost all studio amps are DSP amps.

Even the Japanese are coming around and those guys will spend 10k or more in hand wound silver and oil caps, solid gold wiring and cables. I mean passives can sound good but we are finding even in the bleeding edge of passives DSP has redefined the craft.
 

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There is only thermal noise in passive component.
Whereas with active, then the device's noise figure is higher.
(Not a lot but a bit.)
There was a passive preamp mad in San Diego or La Jolla(?) a few decades back call Mod Squad, which was effector a big dimmer switch...
It's noise when playing loud was outstanding, but at low volume the output impedance went up and up as the volume decreased. It was interesting, but not ideal for running the sound at quiet levels.

Then using digital techniques, one needs enough bit-depth to support the operations without losing precision and getting noise.
This is easier when the digital cross overs are running at a well loaded signal level, and obviously running below clipping.

However if one is running a tiny signal out of a preamp, and then active cross over digitally before going into the amp(s), then... then it will effectively be using only a fraction of the (presumably) 32 bits.
So some attention of gain structure is needed, and it gets more challenging when one does not have a floating point DSP, and something less than a 32 bit DSP.

It is pretty much a problem for those that are not paying attention to gain structure, which sort of reinforces the concept of passive cross overs being generally better for the home... where one just plugs it in and it works with not special care-n-feeding.


Wrong! This has been Obliterated in the last decade with DSP. Almost every top studio monitor is crossoverless DSP. Almost all studio amps are DSP amps.

Even the Japanese are coming around and those guys will spend 10k or more in hand wound silver and oil caps, solid gold wiring and cables. I mean passives can sound good but we are finding even in the bleeding edge of passives DSP has redefined the craft.
The Japanese sort of pioneered the use of bi and tri amping a few decades back.
Yeah they were probably running passive crossovers between a pre amp and amplifiers, but they were doing that in the 80's or earlier and running tiny class-A and tube arraignments on horns and ribbons, and then bigger gear for lower notes.
 
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