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Triamp the AR-3a ?


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There have been many posts citing the effects & interactions that capacitors and chokes (both original equipment and newer, "improved" versions) have on speakers like the 3a. Has anyone here ever attempted to triamp the 3a, using a 3-way electronic crossover with slopes & crossover points approximating those of the original passive crossover? Would this make moot the discussion of passive component voicing, warmth, naturalness and musicality?

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I have a dbx driverack pa it is a electronic crossover with a mic and spectrom built in you can play with any crossover point you want its pro gear.

I will be testing it out soon

the one thing it can't do is be a aoutomatic transmition for the AR9 woofer crossover I had two get two AR9 woofer crossovers for that part.

I have some tsw510 cabinets cut out to fit a AR 12 inch woofer and a AR3a mid and tweeter just to play with (long story). I could hook this up and test it like it was a 3a. right now working on the listening room won't be done for a couple of months yet.

this should solve the cap problem with no problem. just set it to the threes crossover specs and look at the feedback but I don't have a chamber so it would be the acoustics of my room.


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>Would this make moot the discussion of passive component voicing, warmth, naturalness and musicality? <

Great minds. . .

I was asking myself more-or-less the same question nearly 12 hours ago, but I was including Ken's reference to a digital equalizer (hoping to take "components" out of the loop as much as possible) in my fantasy. A digital active crossover. I was afraid to say anything for fear my mother would need a polygraph to be trusted and Ken would accuse me of knowing as little as I really do and being bizarre again.

I didn't know that such a thing existed, but it stands to reason that it would. It also stands to reason that testing with old components and retesting with this active crossover should say a lot.

The "out" here is the reference to "voicing" and compromises made by the designer. Even with a perfect crossover substitute it could be said that the result was not what was intended by the designer and that the limitations of the crossover were built-in or compensated for in specific ways on purpose -> in the name of the designer's idea of correct "voice."


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Bret try this sight on the dbx you will find its all in one for you.


but you are correct in taking in consideration the componets of a crossover and the sound the speaker has.

The driverack is used by the bands sound man to set up a concert hall to sound the way the artist wants it to sound. he can even time align the drivers I still don't think you can compensate for a bad room filled with the wrong stuff.

with one of these we can take a original speaker and come vary close to the sound using the electronic crossover and the built in feedback mic with the spectrom displayed. The only problems I see are the woofer crossover in the AR9s and the LSTs switch don't see a way do do these.

if this was to be done in a chamber and the specs stored in the driverack you could set up any room to match this sample stored in there. in thery

like taking one of Toms AR 3As sticking it in the chamber using the driverack only to record the spectrom. then try to match that with your own speakers at home might be a fun experiment.

I have my AR9s still boxed up been that way for 22 years might be the closes thing to original sound but you still have know idea what time has done to them. i have picked up the foam for all the drivers just in case. fact have four woofers already done.

But look this up and have fun reading about one of these.

This all sound good in thery but yet to be worked with but I will get there.


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>I have my AR9s still boxed up been that way for 22 years<

How can you stand it? It'd be like that last glass of 99 SLV cabernet sitting in the bottle, or that last piece of pie in the fridge. . . I'd never sleep.

The dbx unit looks. . . daunting. All those adjustments to a 6-channel output. You could spend a lifetime twiddling knobs! Looks like great fun. I've bookmarked it and will go back and download the instructions later.

I was listening to Mendelssohn's "Incidental Music to A Midsummer Night's Dream" today. Everyone was gone and the place was silent - rare. I think I've added it to my speaker-testing CDs, not because of the recording but because of the music. Rarely do you get a piece of music with bassoon in the foreground, then clarinet, then flute, then the cellos, then the low brass. . . I assume bassoon would be hard to reproduce and the 9s just do it. They don't complain or groan about it and the image doesn't move.

Before I sound too stuffy, I'll admit I concluded the day's listening with "Close to the Edge."

Still too stuffy? In case someone is concerned about the lack of "balance" in my life, I promise to turn on some Incubus tomorrow.

Add to the speakers you can't triamp - 10pi's. I know I don't know anything, but I was hoping that by staring at the crossover long enough I might get a clue via some mass consciousness thing. But nothing happened. It's a Mystery To Me.


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Guest Brian_D

I'm not sure any electronic crossover would duplilcate the sound of a passive one... there's so many variables to keep track of. As frequency changes, the impedance at the driver changes, and that changes the whole crossover response.

I guess you could splice in a ton of notch filters where the major changes are, but I just don't think it would work.

It would be awsome to play with though! My buddy and I have great fun with a Behringer EQ and Multi-chanel notch filter when we used to DJ... Very powerful stuff.

I've used that dbx unit in a studio install once. I never really messed with it, though the installer showed us what it was capable of. Daunting is an understatement!

Triamping and Biamping and whatnot are things we do as an exception rather than the rule, but in the car audio biz it's done all the time. I remember an install in a Caddilac that had two 18" subs, two 6.5" midranges and two 1" titanium tweeters... each driver had it's own 500 watt amp. Not each driver pair, EACH DRIVER! That system had a very complicated crossover/processor combination and it sounded great. (If you like your sub-bass coming from behind you!)

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