View Full Version : digital crossover vs analog crossover

08-11-2008, 04:40 PM
which Crossover is better in term of Soudn Quality - Analog or Digital.?
what is the diffrences?
(I have 3 way component speakers)

I ask that becuase I want to decide if using The Pioneer P9 Crossovers or my Audison VRX 6.420 crossovers (which is as you know in the Analog domain)

please give me as much details as you can


08-11-2008, 04:54 PM
If the crossover points are flexible enough for 3 way
on your audison; I'd stick with that. No reason to
introduce the Pioneer into the signal path. IMO

08-11-2008, 05:24 PM
I like to know the diffrences in the sound quality between the Pioneer External processor crossover and the Audison analog crossovers

08-11-2008, 05:26 PM
Do you have the pioneer headunit that controls it?

08-11-2008, 05:45 PM
Yes I have the P9 + the processor

08-11-2008, 06:05 PM
Great, then the win on the processor is the flexibility, the ability to
have multiple tunes implemented on the fly for different situations.
Also, the ablility to do time correction on the fly. It also can compensate
for listening position.

That stregnth can also be a weakness. God forbid you leave
one little setting wrong, you've got to dig in and figure out what
you did wrong. Where as with the Audison, you tune it once, it
sits in the trunk never again to be messed with.

As for crossover point "sound quality" the Pioneer has some flexibility
that the Audison likely does not like very high slopes. But that does
not always mean the final product will sound better.

Rich B
08-11-2008, 06:09 PM
The great advantage of using your P9's digital crossover is the ability to use steeper slopes than you will find on any analog crossover.

08-11-2008, 06:11 PM
can you expline the diffrences between the Analog and Digital crossovers?


08-11-2008, 06:22 PM
Your HU sends a digital signal directly to the
external unit. This is a digital signal that does
not deteriorate. Since it's digital, the dsp's
can do all the vodoo my last post without
introducing noise.

Now, you run a wire to your amps that is analog
(RCA's). If you where to tap into that RCA signal
from the HU, with no Pioneer processor, and try
to do those tricks in analog, you could introduce
noise, and you still could not match the flexibity.

But since your audison is in the signal path already,
and is a high quality component; it's crossover section
is nothing to fear in the noise department. IMO

The Pioneer external unit also has the ability to manipulate
the slope on mids and highs from like 6db to 36db or
something. This can be very useful for blending components.

If you bought the Pioneer, use it.

If you limited your use of the digital crossover to only those
crossover points and slopes available to the analog on the audison;
there would be no difference in the SQ.

08-11-2008, 06:54 PM
as I know digital crossovers is effected by "delay" which is not a probelm in analog crossovers.

is it not effect SQ?

08-11-2008, 06:57 PM
Not the way pioneer is doing it in your setup.
If you were to use the analog outputs from the
HU plus the processor, you may have a problem.

But if you stick to the processor your golden.

08-11-2008, 07:09 PM
I don't know how much you familiar with Pioneer ODR products.

they have digital amp - RS-A9 and ODR RS-P90 processor which have two mode -
"linear phase" and "minimum delay phase"

you can found explaination of that is this link: (page 9)


can you explain what this is mean?

Thanks again

08-11-2008, 07:44 PM
It sounds like they are building some of the features
of the external processor into that amp. This seems to
be a gimmick to get people to pay far too much for the

I could be wrong, but it seems like the processor you have has
all the phase and delay compensation you will need.

08-11-2008, 07:54 PM
That's just marketing hype. No amps are "digital".

Good analog crossovers work well. They work exactly the same as an equal quality EQ, except in an eq, the bands are split so you can adjust the levels of each band, but then the bands are recombined into a single output. A crossover gives you seperate outputs for each band. Otherwise they are functionally identical.

In a digital crossover the main quality issue is in the digital to analog converters. If they are of good quality then this method has a better "potential" for improved sonic quality. But since analog crossovers work well, a theoretically "better" digital processor is just "more-better".
Digital processors usually give you added features like time delay correction, eq, and sometimes limiting. Once it's in the digital domian, it's just a question of software.
If the DA's, AD's or DSP **** then watch out, you would be better off with a decent analog processor. Cheap digital is not better than good analog.
All DSP devices suffer from "Latency", which is the very small delay that builds up as the audio is converted from analog to digital, running thru the software, then back out thru the digital to analog converter. If all your audio is going thru the processor then you cannot hear this latency. If, for example, you ran only the right side thru the processor, but the left side straight to an amp you may notice that one speaker is out of time with the other, depending on how much latency is caused by the processor. For most uses in a car, latency shouldn't be an issue. In live concert audio, latency can be a giant pain in the *** sometimes.

08-11-2008, 11:53 PM
all causal filters have a delay.

most audio use digital filters are IIR based, due to the reduced complexity. IIR filters are largely modeled based on analog filters. Thus there will be at least the same delay issues with digital filters as analog ones. specifically as it relates to group delay, or the delay of some frequencies by more then others. In general, it is difficult to notice such things. the delay through the IIR filter is typically lower then through an equivilant linear-phase FIR filter, but again, the delay changes on a per-frequency basis.

FIR filters can be made "linear phase" which means "constant delay". my guess is that linear phase will select some FIR filter. Such a filter might have a significant (eg, 100ms) delay before any audio is heard. this would make it impractical for real-time applications, but fine for recordings.

likewise, i'm guessing the "minimum phase" selects a "minimum phase" IIR filter that is similar to an analog filter. The delay for this would be similar to that of analog filters.

digital filters are nice in that they can be very well matched, allowing for very steep slopes without worry that the filters will not match up.

multiple digital filters (seperate units) can also be asyncronous, leading to slight frequency shift. eg, one filter works on 192,000 samples/second, while the other 192,001 samples per second. over long periods of time, the speakers will drift in and out of phase...

08-12-2008, 02:57 AM
is there any quality difference between the analog and digital crossover?
which crossover you recommend me to use - the DEQ-P9 or the Audison VRX6.420? (the vrx 6 has build-in varaliable crossovers)?

08-12-2008, 04:31 AM
is there any quality difference between the analog and digital crossover?
which crossover you recommend me to use - the DEQ-P9 or the Audison VRX6.420? (the vrx 6 has build-in varaliable crossovers)?


You just got several long detailed answers to that question.

Here's a simple answer; go with the one that's easier for you to use. You will not notice a "quality" difference.