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Tips
02-13-2008, 09:07 PM
I was looking at the option of running my new components active. I was wondering what I would need to do. I read up on it, found a lot of information about the benefits, but no guides on how it's actually set up. What minimum hardware would I need to run a 2-way set active?

ebrunn
02-14-2008, 03:37 AM
Need a head unit that can handle the processing, and 4 channels of amplification. Two the the mid's, and two for the tweeters.

Is this gonna be your first install? Do you know all about crossover points and slopes and stuff like that? Might be getting in a litte over your head if your just starting out.

Tips
02-14-2008, 10:50 AM
no this isn't my first install, and yes i know mostly about it, but I don't have head unit that can handle active processing. Would I be able to use an equalizer or processor? Is it worth getting one or should I get a new HU? I have the alpine 9847 and I don't see the point in getting a new one if I don't have to.

Macklessdaddy
02-14-2008, 11:22 AM
no this isn't my first install, and yes i know mostly about it, but I don't have head unit that can handle active processing. Would I be able to use an equalizer or processor? Is it worth getting one or should I get a new HU? I have the alpine 9847 and I don't see the point in getting a new one if I don't have to.

you can use an active capable 4 ch amp

James Bang
02-14-2008, 11:35 AM
you can use an active capable 4 ch amp
that's not all.

You can also use an HU that's capable of 3-way active or an external active x-over network.

You'll also need a channel of amplification for each speaker.

dirthog
02-14-2008, 12:40 PM
I jumped head first into being active. I purchased a 880 HU with Alpine 545 and 1005 amps. I couldn't be happier. I like the 880 for the Auto eq/ta and then I make personal preference adjustments.

You will want a 4 channel amp or 2 2 channel amps for your front stage. 1 channel for each tweet and mid. Subs depends on how many you will be using.

Here's a link to list of active HU's.

http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31207

Get an idea of the equipment you will be using then come back and let us know. We will be able to help you out more at that time.

MiniVanMan
02-14-2008, 12:44 PM
There are a number of ways to accomplish this.

But first let me lay out what going active really allows you to accomplish. It goes way beyond just setting your own crossover points.

First is "Time Alignment". This allows you to adjust a time delay to every speaker so that it sounds like every speaker is equidistant from the listening position. This is invaluable in a car where it is virtually impossible to mount all your speakers equidistant from the driver of the vehicle.

Second is "EQ". A lot of times good active processors will allow you to individually tune each speaker's response. This is invaluable when you have a less than desirable mounting position and say your left side tweeter has a peak at 6k, while your right side tweeter is smooth. Good EQs have several bands of EQ available for each channel.

So, the easiest way to do it right is use an active capable head unit. Most of the head units that offer active processing nowadays have all three features to some varying degree of precision.

The cheapest way to do it is to use an external active crossover like the Coustic XM-6. This offers the ability to choose your crossover points, but does not have time alignment, or EQ capabilities.

The better ways to do it are with a unit like the RF 360.2. This is an all in one processing unit that allows for all of the above. It's fairly easy to setup and use. You can get very good results, but it's a bit on the pricey side. There are other units out there as well, like the Alpine H701 that requires an optical out from an Alpine head unit. JBL has a unit coming out here soon called MS-8. Either way though, expect to pay somewhere in the realm of $400.00 on up for a unit like this.

The absolute best way to do it? Well, in my opinion is to use a Pro Audio rackmount processor. DBX and Rane have some really nice units that cost a couple thousand dollars. However, the real gem in this category is the Behringer DCX2496 coming in at a cool $250.00. It has processing for days, is a bear to setup, and install in a car, and you need to power it with 120V. The last part ain't a big deal as there's a guy that built a 12V power supply specifically for that unit that costs a little under $150.00. For $400.00 total, the DCX2496 can't be beat for capability, but like I said, you'd better have a ton of knowhow to implement it.

Hope this helps. Like other said, your best bet is to probably just get a new head unit, or maybe just get an RF 360.2.

filtor1
02-14-2008, 01:32 PM
Read the sticky at the top of the page.

Macklessdaddy
02-14-2008, 01:32 PM
that's not all.

You can also use an HU that's capable of 3-way active or an external active x-over network.

You'll also need a channel of amplification for each speaker.

I was saying that because he did not want to buy another headset,the other stuff was already mentioned IE 4 channels of amplication

Alpineinstaller
02-14-2008, 01:34 PM
You buy my Alpine H701 combo thats how.......

its_bacon12
02-14-2008, 02:03 PM
you will see that almost every active setup is different based on user's preferences..

it's really ultimately up to you what you want in your setup and how flexible you want to be able to tune your system. i'd say the easiest way would be to get a head unit that has EQ, TA and multiple outputs, to a 4 channel amp to your speakers up front.

it's probably the simplest way of running a true active setup without going into different components for everything. My future setup is semi complicated with quite a few components, and for me, it is all absed on my preferences. I love the way nakamichi head units sound, and i dont need a head unit that has EQ, TA, adjustable slopes, etc.. that's what i would use a DSP for.

do some more research and find something you like. its not as simple as asking people what the best way to run active is, like i said, its different in almost every situation. i'd consider it a form of art running an active system, it takes time and effort to do it well and make it sound good to your standards.

bass_lover1
02-14-2008, 02:50 PM
you will see that almost every active setup is different based on user's preferences..

it's really ultimately up to you what you want in your setup and how flexible you want to be able to tune your system. i'd say the easiest way would be to get a head unit that has EQ, TA and multiple outputs, to a 4 channel amp to your speakers up front.

it's probably the simplest way of running a true active setup without going into different components for everything. My future setup is semi complicated with quite a few components, and for me, it is all absed on my preferences. I love the way nakamichi head units sound, and i dont need a head unit that has EQ, TA, adjustable slopes, etc.. that's what i would use a DSP for.

do some more research and find something you like. its not as simple as asking people what the best way to run active is, like i said, its different in almost every situation. i'd consider it a form of art running an active system, it takes time and effort to do it well and make it sound good to your standards.

Well said. My first active setup consisted of my Nak CD400 for signal, then a Next VRz4.400 for amplification which had the built in x-overs that I needed, however it only had a 12 db/oct slope.

The setup was nice and clean, but I didn't have TA nor a respectable EQ, plus if I wanted to play with the x-overs I had to do so in my driveway because the amp was in the trunk and made adjusting on the fly dangerous.

I eventually swapped out to a Pioneer 880PRS which offered me TA, a 16 Band EQ, and x-overs that I needed, plus with adjustable slopes.

It's not difficult to run active, but remember that it will take a bit more fiddling while active than it would if you were to just run passive components.

My biggest reason for going active in the first place was I couldn't find a well priced respectable component set, but active allows you to purchase the raw drivers, and your options are pretty much limitless.

Tips
02-14-2008, 05:31 PM
Interesting. That was the main reason I wanted to go active. Cheap raw drivers. Also, I don't see how amplifying the signal and then removing unwanted frequencies is even as close to as efficient as amplifying them afterward.

If I didn't want to change my headhunt, and I wanted to use 3 different amps, 1 for tweeters, one for subs, and one for the woofers, what would be the best approach? I don't think I'd want it to be too complex, just simple. I'm not too sure what this would entail. Would I look for a DSP? A crossover? EQ?

its_bacon12
02-15-2008, 08:49 AM
Interesting. That was the main reason I wanted to go active. Cheap raw drivers. Also, I don't see how amplifying the signal and then removing unwanted frequencies is even as close to as efficient as amplifying them afterward.

If I didn't want to change my headhunt, and I wanted to use 3 different amps, 1 for tweeters, one for subs, and one for the woofers, what would be the best approach? I don't think I'd want it to be too complex, just simple. I'm not too sure what this would entail. Would I look for a DSP? A crossover? EQ?

the inexpensive raw drivers is appealing to alot of us, which is why we DIY. that and you have endless possibilities, where as passives you're stuck with one crossover slope between the two..

anyways, passives are alot less efficient, like you thought. the coils (inductors) dissipate some power, not sure how much.

A dsp would make life a lot easier, but you could always get just a 3 way active crossover as well. Something that allows for paralell inputs, like a Coustic XM-6 or XM-3. i have the XM-3 and i was running 3 amplifiers off it happily, but it doesnt offer a band pass option. (combination of highpass and lowpass)

like i said in my previous post, its best to do some research and find out whats best for you (price wise, appearance, functionality)

its_bacon12
02-15-2008, 08:50 AM
oh and i decided in my next setup to use two pairs of RE RE midbass sets and a pair of LCY110 ribbon tweeters, kind of revamped from before. i am absolutely stunned at the performance of these RE mids