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Does this exist? (Should it?)

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  • Does this exist? (Should it?)

    My mind was wandering today and thought "what if there was an integrated amp that could handle active XO?"

    DAC, preamp, EQ, active XO and multi channel amps all in one. Say 6 channel amp for stereo 3-ways and DSP controlled output/s for sub/s

    I always thought I'd try DSP once I get sick of messing with passive XOs and finally get a room to dedicate to listening... Though, due to being married.. "dedicate" is a strong word. So being able to compact things down so I could still have space for source equipment would be nice!
    I'm certainly not good at this. Just stubborn enough to keep going.

  • #2
    I am still waiting for this ^ obvious technological step to arrive, Drew.

    So far I have stacked a MiniDSP 4x10 on top of a soon to be constructed 6 channel amp but it could be smaller if some company would just do it.
    The chipset shortage has really put a dent in this market development though . . .


    • DrewsBrews
      DrewsBrews commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't know how many times I've almost pulled the trigger on a 4x10 due to having the extra cash burning a hole.. but ended up spending it elsewhere. Now It seems the 4x10 is NLA? seems the parts shortage you mention is real. :(

  • #3
    It is real which is why I stocked up on drivers in 2020 as I saw this shortage coming and also bought the MiniDSP 4x10 & Wondom amps when I did - this way I am not attached to the supply chain for my XO development needs.
    (Well, that ^ and the fact that passive XO's are expensive and complicated as he-ll - I'll never master it but I understand basic active/DSP stuff).

    If I were in your shoes I would get the MiniDSP Flex Eight and a multi-channel amp or some stereo amps and go at it from there.
    If prices and parts availability ever get reasonable again you can take what you learned/developed in the DSP realm and create passive XO's for them later.

    This is the path I am on . . .


    • #4
      My concerns in combining that much in one package are how to integrate future technology and repairabilty.At the very least, I think I'd prefer the power amps to be separate.

      I'm not sure about XO duty but you might look into some of the new receiver options coming to market that have the option for Dirac (Denon and others).

      Personally, I have a beer budget and fine audio taste so most of my bigger purchases are on used equipment. Last year I found 100 pounds worth of Denon AVR-5805. It's pushing 15 years old but I'm still very impressed with it. 9 channels of amplification on board w/ the ability to interrupt the signal if I want to add outboard processing. My current wish list is for dedicated Dirac processors to drop in price and add it to what I have. In the meantime I'm unusually content with the 5805. Having paid $550 for it definitely helps but I know there is progress to be made.
      Attached Files


      • Steve Lee
        Steve Lee commented
        Editing a comment
        That ^ thing is an awesome beast!

    • #5
      I think I will stick with multiple class AB Stereo amps downstream of any DSP unit for XO duty and speaker development at this point.
      BTW, as above - one can recycle 5 channel surround AVR's as 6 channel amps as long as they have a 6 channel input.
      Most of them have SMPS (Switch Mode Power Supplies) so unless you are driving them hard they should sound fine with a powered subwoofer system for the bottom octave.


      • #6
        Originally posted by DrewsBrews View Post
        DAC, preamp, EQ, active XO and multi channel amps all in one. Say 6 channel amp for stereo 3-ways and DSP controlled output/s for sub/s
        The minDSP Flex series covers everything on this list except amp. A miniDSP Flex 8 could run 2x 3 way speakers AND two subs. Just supply power amps of choice.
        Constructions: Dayton+SB 2-Way v1 | Dayton+SB 2-Way v2 | Fabios (SB Monitors)
        Refurbs: KLH 2 | Rega Ela Mk1


      • #7
        I had heard the regular miniDSP line is not so great on the SQ side, but the HD line does well. Does the Flex line use their standard or HD processing?


        2x4HD shows "ADSP21489 400MHz Sharc DSP floating point engine"
        Flex Eight shows "32-bit floating-point 400MHz Analog Devices SHARC DSP"

        So I guess they are comparable?

        Ugh just noticed the flex eight has no rca inputs. So still have to jump through hoops. This is my frustration. It isn't worth the price to me. I'd rather just get a 2x4HD for near 1/3 the price, play around with that for a while, and deal with it's limitations until something better comes along with all the inputs and outputs I'm looking for.
        Last edited by DrewsBrews; 10-25-2022, 11:55 AM.
        I'm certainly not good at this. Just stubborn enough to keep going.


        • #8
          I too would love to see some more integrated products developed with digital crossovers in mind. I have a combined music & HT setup with 4-way OB mains (active), a 3-way OB center (active), 4 passive surrounds, and 2 subs - 17 channels total. I'm currently running an OPPO BDP-103 through a pair of miniDSP 4x10HDs through an 18-channel home-brewed volume control to 3 5-channel amps + a hacked AV receiver just using the amps to drive the surrounds. I prefer to have the digital XOs before the volume control to have them operating on more bits of data, and with the HT setup, I need matched volume control for all 17 channels. I've been recently scouring the internet for AVRs or AV processors that would allow me to simplify this setup, but I've pretty much come up empty. These products have significant processing on board that are probably already running a number of IIR biquads per channel for room eq. Seems like it wouldn't be a stretch for a Denon or Emotiva to offer a configuration app that would let you program the signal routing and biquads to support digital XOs pre volume control, which would also eliminate the extra A/D and D/A stages for down-stream digital XOs.


          • JRT
            JRT commented
            Editing a comment
            " 18-channel home-brewed volume control..."

            Interesting. Please provide a more detailed description of that.

        • #9
          It's something I put together about a dozen or so years ago initially as an analog active crossover board before the days of miniDSPs. Simple 2-layer PCBs with an 8-bit PIC micro reading from a Radio Shack IR remote demodulator and controlling a bank of CS3310 digitally controlled analog volume ICs with OPA4134 input buffers. It works pretty well, but it's kind of a big mess with (3) 6 channel boards cobbled together and 34 interconnect cables. I also didn't take it far enough to be easy to adjust channel balances - requires modifying the PIC code and re-programming it. It's kind of a product of my preference for open baffle speakers, which are tough to do with passive XOs.