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Old 02-12-2010, 02:04 AM   #11
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Default Re: Active home setup

Originally Posted by egoaudio View Post
Hello all,

First of all Iíd like to introduce myself on this forum. My name is Erik. Iíve dabbled in home audio for the last few months and I have some questions that I hope you all might be able to answer. Since I have a good amount of experience with car audio installations and active processing for car audio Iím thinking about ways to achieve similar results in adjustability in a home theater situation. So here are a few questions. Thanks in advance:

What types of amps will allow for active processing?

Are there dedicated active crossovers for home audio?

Iím looking to make my own 3 way + sub loudspeakers but I want to be able actively adjust all the crossover settings and such. Similar to the pioneer 880PRS (car audio head unit) except with an extra bandpass for the midbass, is there anything similar to this for home audio use?

Iíve also though about using a dedicated car audio 4 way+ active crossover with a power supply for home use. Is this a bad way to go?

I know Iíve thrown more than a few ideas out there. If anyone cares to chime in I would greatly appreciate it.

Best regards,

Sorry for the long post, but as someone who has put together an active car system, and spent countless hours tuning it, I can understand why you might want to use the same philosophy in a home system.

If your reason for using car equipment at home is to save money and use what you have, then it will prove to be a fun and decently-performing experiment. Go for it - you'll learn invaluable things about phase/freq/crossover effects while tweaking your active parameters in real-time.

However, if you plan to put together a "serious" system, and are hoping to get the performance of a dedicated home system, then I'm sorry to say that you will be disappointed (as I was when I tried the same thing).

Please don't take this as an insult or simply writing your ideas off.

Just be aware of certain things:
- You could spend hours, days, weeks tweaking the active processors and not get the drivers to mesh together within half of the many parameters that a well-designed home speaker does.

- In car audio, passive XOs are considered just plain BAD. In home audio, a well-designed crossover is the "art" and "magic" that does not degrade the music, but brings out the synergy between individual drivers. The vast majority of people simply cannot recreate this - even with listening, tuning and using measuring equipment.

- High quality car amps will not perform to their potential using the power supply you are considering. Specs and numbers don't tell the whole story. Regardless of your choice of processing, home amps will be much better. Plus, you'd have a mess of wires running everywhere.

- Car equip. will be susceptible to noise in a home environment. You don't have the electrically noisy car environment to contend with, of course, but noise and interference in your music is often caused/allowed by the interaction between components that don't work together well. Mixing car and home components will make this worse. Do not use more than a single processor in the system chain.

- If you put your money where it counts - in a good set of home mini-monitors - then you won't need processing, time alignment, crossover settings, or extensive equalization. All this would've been determined and designed into the speakers' performance. You may not even need a sub.

This may sound like a lecture or something, but it's not. It's just some of the things I've learned through similar experiences. It's what I wish someone had told me - though admittedly, I probably wouldn't have listened to them at the time LOL.

Good luck either way.
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