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Hi geo, thanks for your reply. I'm concerned that you feel the A23 is noticeably better than the Stratos, ie my recent purchase (I don't have it yet). Is the reason you feel this way specifically because of the hum you described, or are there other reasons you prefer the A23?
Though the Emotiva & the Parasound have similar cap capacity, the Parasound transformer has more than 3 times the capacity : 350KVA vs 1000KVA. I.e. it's capable of putting out a LOT more current.
Hi geo, thanks for your reply. I don't see anything inconsistent between our respective impressions of the A23. Of course it's kind of difficult to compare our respective comparisons, since the other amps we listened to are not the same. I'm concerned that you feel the A23 is noticeably better than the Stratos, ie my recent purchase (I don't have it yet). Is the reason you feel this way specifically because of the hum you described, or are there other reasons you prefer the A23? If there are others, do you mind describing them for my edification?Also, one thing I forgot to note is that my system is 2.1 with an active crossover set to at 65 Hz. Because my sub's amp is taking over the load at lower frequencies, I don't even attemp to to determine how well my stereo amps handle the low end.
The UPA-2 has an even slightly smaller transformer of 300VA vs it's replacement model, the UPA-200, which has a slightly larger 350VA transformer (I know you meant to say VA instead of KVA!). A larger transformer in itself doesn't always guarantee higher current capability because the maximum current of the output devices will often be a limiting factor, but you're probably correct that the A23 has a higher current capability. The A23 has a capacity of 45A peak current per channel, but the UPA-2 does not list a peak current specification.But another revealing spec is that the UPA-2's 125W/225W power output is only measured at 1KHz, while the A23's 125W/225W power output is measured from 20Hz-20KHz.Steve
To answer one question, my XDA-1 DAC has a volume control on it (digital preamp, as opposed to the XDA-2 which has an analog resistor ladder preamp which digital control).
On the crossover : I've heard of others running pro crossovers in their high end audio system, but it just always seemed to me that it would be better to run things as pure & direct as possible and avoid if you can introducing additionally connector breaks and components in the signal path. At the price point of that DBX I'm assuming that compromises need to be made in the quality of the components, and also a bit nervous about what the "active" in the description refers to and what violence it may be causing to the original signal. Then again, presumably the Ascend engineers would know better if using an external crossover would cause material harm to the sound. I somehow doubt the subwoofer crossover is going to be any better than the DBX one.Happily as there really is no cost to the experiment, I'd suggest the following:- Hook up the speakers direct to the amp (not via the subwoofer)- Hook up the subwoofer direct to the amp (i.e. speaker level, not line level, as the dac doesn't have a sub-out RCA)- Experiment by ear w/ the subwoofer crossover point & level to best integrate / merge the sound of the subwoofer w/ the speakersThat in effect means you're running the speakers at their full range, and yes, that means it will put somewhat more load on the amp, but as your speakers are fairly efficient and the amp choices you have at hand more than powerful enough, I doubt the sound quality will suffer. If it were an anemic receiver, things might be different.
Hey Jarcher, I apologize it's taken me so long to run this experiment. I actually didn't have a spare set of speaker cables, and before long I got side-tracked on other projects. However, recently I got around to borrowing some cables from a friend and ran the test as you described.The good news is that I was unable to discern any sort of coloration difference with and without the dbx crossover in the loop. The bad news is that with the crossover in the loop, the noise floor is slightly but unmistakably higher. It's still below the level of many of the recordings I listen to, which unfortunately have a fair amount of background noise. But when listening to well-recorded material such as Dave Brubeck Quartet's "Back Home" album, there is definitely more hiss with the crossover than without it.Having said that, I use this system for TV and movies as well as stereo, and for action flicks with big bass, I really like freeing my amp of the burden of amplifying the low end, so I'm reluctant to ditch the crossover. I think the solution is to keep my eyes open for a used high end crossover like an Accuphase, Marchand, or Bryston. Picking up from another thread of ours, I recently got my music server up and running using XBMC, so I plan to expand my collection of hi-res music, which should benefit from a lower noise floor. Thanks for the suggestion!
Thanks for the update! I've recently changed my tune somewhat re: pro digital processors, having witnessed what a modest Behringer DEQ2496 digital equalizer can do in capable hands (between the digital source & a DAC keeping all in the digital domain). The internal DAC (an AKM model) was surprisingly decent as well. I heard no significant noise either (but all again was in digital doman w/ no A-D conversion taking place).A Behringer DCX2496 would to me make an interesting choice as it's both a crossover & digital eq. Doesn't have the real time analyzer functions of the DEQ2496, but if you could do that w/ something else and be able to tweak both crossover + eq'ing in one unit, that would be very exciting indeed. I'm gonna go out on a limb here also & say that the DCX as DAC may not be too outclassed by the Emotiva XDA-1 - potentially allowing keeping the single chain one box less. ADDITION : I.e. with a USB / AESBU convertor or toslink / asebu convertor depending on whether direct from mac or aiport, you could run straight to this behringer from the Mac & keep everything in the digital domain until it converted to analog in the same unit then sent to the amp + sub. If these don't have XLR inputs, then there is the cost of convertor plugs. Anyway - the idea just being that you try to keep everything digital, have the benefit of digital eq as well, until the final conversion to analog.Nice thing is, Behringer goes for only about $350 new, so even if it doesn't work as a DAC alternative, you still have all the functionality as crossover + eq. Some complain of build quality w/ Behringers - at that price I think its worth taking the risk - unless someone else makes a better product at similar money. Haven't researched this one too much though.Best of luck to you!
...However, If I ever were to add digital EQ, I'd definitely want to do it upstream of the DAC stage and not downstream, with an all-in-one solution probably being the best way to go, as you suggested. Multiple AD-DA conversions is something to avoid at all costs, and I see little to no benefit in using separate boxes for low current applications in the digital domain!
However, If I ever were to add digital EQ, I'd definitely want to do it upstream of the DAC stage and not downstream, with an all-in-one solution probably being the best way to go, as you suggested. Multiple AD-DA conversions is something to avoid at all costs, and I see little to no benefit in using separate boxes for low current applications in the digital domain!
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