Component speakers: passive versus active crossover opinions - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon

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Old 03-17-2009, 04:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Component speakers: passive versus active crossover opinions

09 Crew Cab.

I'm going with Pioneer Premier 6.75" components in the front and 6.75" Premier coaxes in the back.

These speakers come with what appear to be high quality, "audiophile" grade passive crossovers.

I have one JL Audio 300/4v2 now which has built-in active crossovers. If I go active I'd need to get another amp for the rear speakers so I retain fade (I know, I know, but I like my rear fill :) ).

I understand the technical reasons for the superiority of active crossovers versus passive, but subjectively it's not like active is perfect and passive totally sucks; most home systems are still passive.

I'd appreciate comments, ideas, thoughts as to whether it's worth it to ditch the passive crossovers. Thanks.
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Component speakers: passive versus active crossover opinions

Why not just run the rears off the head unit and the fronts off the amp?
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Component speakers: passive versus active crossover opinions

I've considered running the rears off the HU, that would save me an amp. If I felt certain the rear speakers would be loud enough at an acceptable distortion level I'd be even more inclined to go that way. Every time I use the phrase "deck amplifier" it seems I get roughed up :( .

The Pioneer HU claims 50W/channel max, 22W/channel continuous @ 5% THD, and only 14W/channel at 1% THD+N.

The JL Audio by contrast is rated at <0.03% THD @ 150W X 2 into 4 ohms.

The extra cost of another amp, including the extra power wiring etc, is not high enough to make me go with HU power for the rear speakers if I use active crossovers.

This is really more of a question as to the merits of active versus passive crossovers.

For example, is it possible Pioneer engineers tweaked their crossover based on real world speaker characteristics such that going active could actually result in worse sound?
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Component speakers: passive versus active crossover opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by m.lexi
I understand the technical reasons for the superiority of active crossovers versus passive, but subjectively it's not like active is perfect and passive totally sucks; most home systems are still passive.
I'd say if you're actually going to curve and tune your speakers, the active Xovers might give you flatter response. And if you have perfectly calibrated ears, you might notice the difference. Otherwise, the passive Xovers should be fine.

Oh, yeah, passives also cause some power loss, but again, unless you're absolutely desperate for every last watt, not a big issue.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Component speakers: passive versus active crossover opinions

First of all I don't know how you could run active with the coaxes. That's something I never even thought about.
Second, Active in car audio will NEVER result in worst sound unless you have totally screwed up.

Active crossovers is car audio's heaven sent. Once you do it you will never settle for less if you really know what you're doing.
With that said I run completely active using an Alpine 701 processor because it is capable of running a 4-way set up. Tweets, mid range, mid bass and sub bass.

I can not speak or imagine doing it with the inaccurate crossovers built into most amps. There is no easy way to accurately dial in exact settings with a little knob and hash marks.
Sure it can be done and has been done but it requires a lot of time playing with test tones and a Multimeter every time you make an adjustment.
I know you may think that I am talking smack about stuff that I truly don't understand by some comments made, but I really do speak the truth sometimes.

From what I see the amp you speak of is not capable of running active.
An amp that can run active has both high and low pass filters for each pair of drivers and not just a choice of high or low.

Note that Channels 1/2 have High Pass and Low Pass adjustments. The same is true with Channels 3/4.

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Old 03-17-2009, 11:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Component speakers: passive versus active crossover opinions

Thanks for the replies. renalp, I think I'll try running passive first, then move on if needed.

Texas, the JL Audio 300/4 is definitely capable of going active. It's only a two way crossover, but it is active. You can select the frequency and slope for each pair of channels, either in the sub to mid bass range, or in the mid to tweeter range. Or you can bypass the active crossover entirely and use it as a four channel amp.

As far as actively crossing over a coax speaker, it all depends on how accessible the tweeter/mid connections are. On this particular Pioneer coax, I'm lead to believe the crossover may be external or bolted on to the speaker frame (I don't have them in my hands yet), in which case it should be possible to bypass the passive crossover.

In any event, I probably would not actively cross the rear coaxs', just use a basic 2 channel amplifier with no active crossover.

Just to be clear, if I use the JL amp in active crossover mode to drive the front speakers, it's done, I can't use it for anything else. So, in order to run rear speakers I'd have to use another amp (active or passive), or use the HU's amps.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Component speakers: passive versus active crossover opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by m.lexi
Texas, the JL Audio 300/4 is definitely capable of going active.
Wrong....If that's your definition of "Going Active" then anybody using the low pass filter on a sub amp is running an Active System.





I was beginning to think you lost your mind but I now see what you are trying to say. :P
Sometimes things are lost in translation on the internet. Correct me if I'm wrong, but here is how I see it.
You are not going to be running a sub. You where thinking of using the high pass filter on channel 1/2 for the tweets
The low pass filter on channel 3/4 for the mid range/mid bass. If that is true then yes it will work but I have to agree that it would not be worth the effort.

If you are going to run a sub then no it won't work because that amp is not capable of "Going Active" in the true sense of what "Running Active" means.
What I mean by this is that it can not Bandpass. It will not allow you to limit the frequency to your mid bass/mid range between two points like the amp above.

Just so you don't think that I am completely crazy....here is my 100% true blue, bona-fide, certified, real life four way "Active" system.
It requires 7 channels of amplification. One low pass filter for the subs (not shown) 63Hz down.
Two bandpass filters. One for the mid bass in doors set between 71 to 360Hz, and one for the mid range in kick panels set between 400 to 4500Hz.
One high pass filter for the tweets in A-pillars (tweets in door not used) 5000Hz up.
All the amps are set to full and the processor divides the frequency's before they reach the amps.



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Old 03-19-2009, 09:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Component speakers: passive versus active crossover opinions

You are correct, I would use one channel pair high pass for the tweeters, the other pair low pass for the mids.

I've got an Alpine V12 I'll use for the sub.

The HU has sub-pre-out with it's own active crossover.

Nice sound system BTW, alarm by Smith & Wesson? :D
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Component speakers: passive versus active crossover opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by m.lexi
09 Crew Cab.

I understand the technical reasons for the superiority of active crossovers versus passive, but subjectively it's not like active is perfect and passive totally sucks; most home systems are still passive.

I'd appreciate comments, ideas, thoughts as to whether it's worth it to ditch the passive crossovers. Thanks.
The only justification for active crossovers is when a massive amount of power is needed, like outdoor PA systems, or when time alignment is desired and due to the sizes, the drivers cannot be physically aligned, like movie theater systems (or a killer home system I know about for around $16k).

Go with the passive crossovers, you can't hear the difference in the noisy truck environment, assuming the drivers are quality enough to reveal the difference.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Component speakers: passive versus active crossover opinions

Thanks Colt45, that's where I'm at right now, I'll use the supplied crossovers and the amp I already own.
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