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View Full Version : I've been thinking again....(which is scary)



ballstothewall
02-03-2006, 09:57 PM
Ok, I have a Behringer EP2500 (never seen it, but it should be at home, picking it up sunday) and a receiver that dosen't have preouts. I am buying a behringer CX2310 crossover, pretty sure I'm going to get one of them atleast. Since I would have to buy a new receiver anyway, (I might have one at home that would work, have to check sunday). I was wondering if I could get a small rack amp for my horns, they only need ~15-20 watts max, I was wondering if they made rack amps small enough that it would be possible to run them off of one. That way I would have a nice pretty stack of three in a rack. And I will be upgrading the mains sometime this summer I believe, I would like more power than most receivers can put out.

Soooo...... The point of this post is that I'm continously thinking about this stuff on a friday night... and I wanted some input from ya'll. Questions are mainly...

1. Does it sound logical to ditch a receiver completly, and go with all rack stuff
2. What exactly do I need in addition to the crossover + amps, a preamp?
3. How much is a good preamp if thats what I need.
4. Why the hell do I like this hobby, why does it cost so **** much, and why is it so dang addicting....

Thanks for any input

-Ryan

JimJ
02-03-2006, 10:17 PM
Ok, I have a Behringer EP2500 (never seen it, but it should be at home, picking it up sunday) and a receiver that dosen't have preouts. I am buying a behringer CX2310 crossover, pretty sure I'm going to get one of them atleast. Since I would have to buy a new receiver anyway, (I might have one at home that would work, have to check sunday). I was wondering if I could get a small rack amp for my horns, they only need ~15-20 watts max, I was wondering if they made rack amps small enough that it would be possible to run them off of one. That way I would have a nice pretty stack of three in a rack. And I will be upgrading the mains sometime this summer I believe, I would like more power than most receivers can put out.

Soooo...... The point of this post is that I'm continously thinking about this stuff on a friday night... and I wanted some input from ya'll. Questions are mainly...

1. Does it sound logical to ditch a receiver completly, and go with all rack stuff
2. What exactly do I need in addition to the crossover + amps, a preamp?
3. How much is a good preamp if thats what I need.
4. Why the hell do I like this hobby, why does it cost so **** much, and why is it so dang addicting....

Thanks for any input

-Ryan

A good preamp/PA combination will give you so much more flexibility in system choices, but as you're aware, it's going to get more expensive quicker :)

You're going solid state, I assume? You may not even need an active preamp, I've heard setups with passive "preamplifiers" that were little more than a transformer-based level control that worked well. Of course, you need to know the input impedance and levels that your PA is looking for.

Preamps generally are the most expensive part in the chain, because they can make or break the final sound...another thing that's popular to do is run a tubed preamp with a solid state final amplifier, eliminating the problems that a tubed output stage has while taking the "edge" off an all-SS system.

Components really are the way to go, if you like the freedom it gives you :)

ballstothewall
02-03-2006, 10:27 PM
Since your the tube guru, could you point me in the right direction of a good tube preamp?

joetama
02-03-2006, 10:27 PM
An EQ is usually a good thing to add, and if you want some kind of protection for your speakers a compressor/limiter wouldn't hurt. A lot of new EQ's have all that built into them like the DSP8024 and the DEQ2496 from Behringer.

How many different things are you looking to run into your pre-amp/mixer? Do you specifically want a rack mount or would a “desk top” unit work?

JimJ
02-03-2006, 10:29 PM
Since your the tube guru, could you point me in the right direction of a good tube preamp?

http://www.bottlehead.com

Look at the Foreplay III preamp. It's a kit, but it's pretty easy to build if you know what end of the soldering iron gets hot.

http://www.decware.com

The SE84CSP is more expensive than the Foreplay, but it's prebuilt.


For other ideas, just check Audiogon for used listings.

thylantyr
02-04-2006, 01:47 AM
If you want to accellerate your audio skills save up for a Behringer DCX2496
and ditch the CX2310 crossover.

The proaudio world is a higher voltage world on the preamp side so
keep that in mind later. You can probably run a reciever with preouts
into the DCX2496 -> proamp pretty well if you turn up the proamp gain control.

Later, you can optimize your gain structure and get a stronger preamp
with higher voltage, lets say the home audio world is 1 - 2 volts preout,
pro audio lets say 8v - 10v to give you an idea... so if you get a preamp,
make sure it's closer to 10v clean on preouts, not closer to 1 volt otherwise
it's moot to get one.

The DCX will give your more tools to play with to learn more about audio
but it cost more, but it would last a longer time before the next upgrade.
You will easily get bored of the $100 analog crossover as it's serverly limited
in function. Later you might want an EQ to fix a few issues, well DCX has one.
Later you might want to experiment with signal delay... DCX has it. Later, you might
want to program different settings for different audio moods.. DCX can do it...
Later.. you might want to understand the sonics of different slopes, different
filters ... DCX has it ... It has 6 outputs... good for a 3 way system only.

I don't want to directly recommend this preamp because Ii haven't used it,
but I considered it mainly due to cost.
http://www.zzounds.com/item--BEHT1953

It has a love/hate following which can easily be explained as I analyzed it.
Basically, Behringer just made an opamp based preamp, the same opamps
used in other product like the DCX... Now to capture the pro audio folks,
they dangled a worm --> they installed a tube stage that doesn't really offer
high distortion, hence many people don't hear that 'tube sound' from the unit
because it's actually clean. // hehe //

For $129 it's probably a good interface from the lower voltage world to the higher
voltage world to drive the DCX -> proamp.

If money is no object, then consider a Parasound Halo for $800 as it has high
voltage preouts.

There is another clever idea that I'm using.. Roland M1000 mixer. Great unit
for $250... too bad it's discountined. It will do digital and analog pathways
and I use it as a digital volume control to do 'all digital pathway testing'.
This is the best kept secret that mates very well to the DCX.... You'd have to
call around to see if there is any left in inventory somewhere.

ballstothewall
02-04-2006, 12:26 PM
Ok, I'm liking the way that the preamp looks, but I'm definetly not ready to bite the bullet on a 300 dollar crossover. I don't have that kind of money right now.... (I guess I need to get busy making the BLH's and selling them....haha). Ok, so I can go straight from my source--->preamp--->crossover--->amp--->speakers? *dang, that looks like alot of crap*

Any ideas on what tiny amp to get to drive the mains? Since my current amp will be going to the sub, I am needing one now for the mains.

I know I need better, but the 75 dollar price tag on the Behringer CX231 is looking awfuly tempting right now. And since I'm a poor college student...

My current home audio inventory includes
1 Behringer EP2500
1 Yamha reciever w/o preouts
2 BLH's

What I am needing to buy to make everything work
1 Crossover $75-300
1 Preamp $120
1 Small amp $150?

Does the needing to buy list look correct to you guys?

Once again, thanks guys for everything you've helped me with, the links and big *** posts that you took time to type that really help me learn wtf I'm doing.

-Ryan

thylantyr
02-04-2006, 04:17 PM
I think you need to define the long term goals to avoid buying stuff you can't use
later. What do you see yourself doing in a year or two with audio ? In my case,
I'd rather collect good stuff and be patient because the stuff will last a long time.
I take alot of discipline to tame your audio demon as it wants music now!

I would run another proamp for mains, one proamp for sub, digital crossover
and the music source could be a cheap AV reciever with preouts or even
a hand held MP3/CD player with headphone out. Granted, these little units
will have more hiss than a real receiver but you can have tunes now and focus
on getting the more important stuff later.

You can buy this stuff used to save money. Get a used AV reciever, used proamp,
etc. Build your battle station over time :crazy: :)

Why not run your BLH off the proamp and put off the subwoofer for now? /hehe
What's drivers are you using on the BLH ?

JimJ
02-04-2006, 04:34 PM
What's drivers are you using on the BLH ?

Think he said he was using Fostex FE103's.

joetama
02-04-2006, 05:39 PM
Fostex? Really? Hmmmmmm......

ballstothewall
02-04-2006, 10:12 PM
Yep, fostex FE103E's, so they don't need much power at all, only 20 watts at full tilt (I'll be making and selling them if any of you all want to buy some, or hell any horn design for that matter I'll build it....hehe /advertisement).

Thy, in a year or two, I see myself still into audio, more so than now, doing bigger and better things, making ALOT of different projects, just to try stuff out. The projects I believe will be more in the directions of mainly just enclosures because I love working with wood. But I am going to try to take an accoustics class here at school where you spend all semester making your own horn, using all the equations and formulas and stuff, that sounds like fun.

Will the behringer be tame enough to run that low of wattage at 8 ohms?

Thanks

Ryan-

thylantyr
02-04-2006, 10:25 PM
Will the behringer be tame enough to run that low of wattage at 8 ohms?

Amplifiers have variable power, aka the volume knob. You can get a fraction
of a watt or alot more if you step on the throttle.

If you want to be in the game of audio then be patient and get the good warezez...

ballstothewall
02-04-2006, 10:39 PM
What I didn't know is if the gain knob was sensitive enough to be able to get that small of power out of the amp.

So I should restrain myself and save up for the DCX2496, ****it, I want more tunes now. But I can restrain myself...:crap:

The preamp I could probably do right now though, It looks like to me it is a good piece, I've been reading the reviews, some say to replace the tubes with NOS ones? Please explain what NOS tubes are Jim.

joetama
02-05-2006, 01:32 PM
You could always pad the input on the amp, it's easy to do just add some resistance in series between the input and the drive section. We always paded the input of the QSC MX-1500a and the MX-2k.

thylantyr
02-05-2006, 03:46 PM
I don't know if I'm following your train of thought. EP2500 has gain knobs
for each channel on the front panel.

http://media.zzounds.com/media/brand,zzounds/ep2500_front_top-e312b52483ecce71d4a37df18b5844ad.jpg

Home amps usually do not.

Gain turned down all the way yields no to very little output even if your preamp is
cranked up. You can sorta use it as a volume control. I do it now on the test
bench to keep the setup lean and uncluttered.

I run an old DVD player preouts right into my PLX and use the PLX gain
as the volume knob. If you are hurtin' for cash there are work-arounds to
problems until you get the other items.

To get tunes right now you can avoid buying a preamp and get the better
crossover. It kinda svcks to adjust gain knobs but it's good enough for now.

/black sheep