DIVA CROSSOVER WHAT'S THE BEST RIGHT NOW?

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DIVA CROSSOVER WHAT'S THE BEST RIGHT NOW?

Postby DarthDiva on Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:36 pm

So, what's the current thinking on a state of the art cross over for the Divas? Go passive? Go active DSP, and if so, a DSP from who? And what about upgrading Apogee's DAX? I've read that as is , the DAX doesn't sound near as good as new passive crossovers, BUT, does anyone have experience with an upgraded DAX? There is a guy in Quebec that offer DAX upgrades. He replaces the op amps and I don't know what else. Has anyone had their DAX upgraded by audiodoctor007.com ? I don't know if he is a part time spy or a part time tec wizard. Thanks in advance for your comments and advice.
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Re: DIVA CROSSOVER WHAT'S THE BEST RIGHT NOW?

Postby Graz on Mon Mar 08, 2021 11:15 pm

To be honest I have heard a good many passive and active crossovers on several Apogee's, old and new. The 2006-2015 Synergy speakers were actually designed with the ability to connect from single passive to triple active in any combination. The best I heard from them were single amps through a passive crossover.

The early Diva passive was not very well designed imho, the inductors (especially bass) were poorly made, the casework flimsy and prone to vibration. The DAX's - I have not had a great experience of them but there have been reports of people that have upgraded them and had improvements. I have not personally heard them, but several clients have given positive reviews. Who is the man in Quebec?


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Re: DIVA CROSSOVER WHAT'S THE BEST RIGHT NOW?

Postby DarthDiva on Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:21 pm

Hi Graz,

Below is the link to 007"s site from Quebec regarding the DAX upgrade. There is not much detail about what is done in that process. I haven't been able to find anyone who can comment on the before and after performance of the DAX upgrade. I think I will follow up with them and ask for more specifics on what precisely they do, and why those changes should bring significant sonic improvements.

https://www.audiodoctor007.com/am%C3%A9 ... apogee_dax
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Re: DIVA CROSSOVER WHAT'S THE BEST RIGHT NOW?

Postby Al^ on Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:20 am

I have both the Dax with the readouts and passives for my Divas, The stock dax puts the passives to shame as far as I'm concerned, If you look in the old forums, I believe Brian Beck rebuilt his Dax and explained what he'd done, may even be on this forum :)
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Re: DIVA CROSSOVER WHAT'S THE BEST RIGHT NOW?

Postby DarthDiva on Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:45 pm

Thanks for your observations Al. I had the passive crossovers before switching to the DAX with readouts, which were in my experience much better as well. I've read that some people have "upgraded" their DAX by changing the op amps. But I am gun shy of letting someone perform surgery on my units. I can't imagine anyone has had much surgical experience and I sure can't find any patients with glowing testimonials. I also have not heard directly from anyone that has had actual experience with a DAX that says the latest greatest passive cross over design will put the DAX to shame. Maybe I will play around with a DEQX , dbx driverrack or mini dsp instead.By the way, have you swapped out your bass panel or the other ribbons yet? If so, what differences did you hear?
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Re: DIVA CROSSOVER WHAT'S THE BEST RIGHT NOW?

Postby Zardoz on Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:27 pm

Hey Al,
Where do you live?? It looks like a rec hall or something. I would love to have a room that big.
Good listening,
Z
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not screaming in terror like his passengers..."
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Re: DIVA CROSSOVER WHAT'S THE BEST RIGHT NOW?

Postby Al^ on Sat Mar 20, 2021 7:24 am

DarthDiva, I tried the driverack 260 and 482, DEQ2496, DCX2496, and I still find the Dax best,, but I did find the Divas are very flat on their own.
Sorry about the monster size pic,
Zardoz, I bought a12000 sq ft school, thats the Auditorium :)
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Re: DIVA CROSSOVER WHAT'S THE BEST RIGHT NOW?

Postby DarthDiva on Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:23 pm

Al, thanks so much for your answer. You have just saved me a lot of messing about with dbx, DEQ etc etc. Monster pic? No worries, you have an auditorium and the pic gives a great feeling of space.

By the way, did you make any changes to your DAX or anything in the DAX type crossover boxes?

No response yet from 007 in Quebec to my email requesting more detail on what they do to "upgrade" the DAX. Maybe he's gone dark, out on a secret mission.
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Re: DIVA CROSSOVER WHAT'S THE BEST RIGHT NOW?

Postby Zardoz on Sun Mar 21, 2021 5:09 pm

I rebuilt my own Diva xovers with much better caps and inductors. It made a huge improvement in the sound. I generally think passive is the best way to go. Active xovers add complexity to the signal path that is probably not really needed. Just more to go wrong farther down the road. Just my 2 cents anyway. ;)
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Re: DIVA CROSSOVER WHAT'S THE BEST RIGHT NOW?

Postby DarthDiva on Wed Mar 24, 2021 7:49 pm

Thanks for your post Zardoz. Maybe one day, I'll get lucky and be able to do an A/B comparison of a well done passive crossover with my old DAX.

In the meantime, here's an update on my DAX upgrade inquiry from 007 in Quebec. I tried to get some specifics on what he does to improve the DAX and why he does it. I asked if he had technical before and after measurements and specs, and if he could refer me to any customers that upgraded their DAX with him so that I could hear of their experience. I asked if he could describe the before and after sonic differences.

In true 007 fashion, I suppose, I did not get an answer to any of my questions. I was hoping for something that would give me a bit of comfort from him to demonstrate audio engineering knowledge and competence.

But I did get this, and more of the same, all of which I won't bore you with:

--It is not our role to convince people to adopt our upgrade on their DAX crossover
--The experience of our customers who had the possibility of making A/B tests between the passive crossover and the upgraded active crossover, has shown that the upgraded active crossover sounds better than any passive crossover.
Furthermore, technically speaking, a passive crossover can never achieve the frequency response linearity and the precision of the crossover frequencies of an active crossover.
--To debate this subject is not in our scope. It can be very long and time consuming. We simply don't have the time for it.

--Our upgrade is meaningful to open minded audiophiles who are in the quest of the highest level of fidelity, to reproduce as faithfully as possible the music, as it was recorded in the recording studio, the day it was made.

Well, for me anyway, I guess I am not an open minded audiophile that makes decisions in the absence of answers to fair questions and honest third party peer reviews.

It would be great to somehow get input from George Short, who I have read worked with Krell, then with Apogee and who designed the DAX to begin with. I think he may now be a designer for Wisdom Audio in Nevada.
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Re: DIVA CROSSOVER WHAT'S THE BEST RIGHT NOW?

Postby apogee_admin on Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:44 pm

From personal experience, all active crossovers, do not sound as good or even close to a high quality part passive one.

The talk about linearly and precision is actually pointless when you see what a room does to frequency response of L and R channels.

I directly compared an Apogee DAX to an upgraded Duetta Sig passive crossover about four years ago. The DAX by comparison sounded totally flat and lifeless, it would have needed the mother of all upgrades to get near the passive.

The reason why the Apogee DAX improves the Diva so much in stock form is the original Diva passive is severely compromised by the switches. When I had Divas I was amazed at how much better is sounded without them.

Also I had the DAX with Duettas in 2000-ish, and to be honest felt a bit stupid for shelling out £1k as it hardly sounded any better than the stock passive, bit more bass control, that was about it.

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Re: DIVA CROSSOVER WHAT'S THE BEST RIGHT NOW?

Postby DarthDiva on Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:26 pm

Thank you for that Jon. Vert helpful. Good new passive crossovers must truly sound amazing . I have never found my Divas flat or lifeless with the DAX so I am very much looking forward to testing them new passive crossovers.

When you refer to compromised switches on the Diva passive boxes I assume you are referring to the industrial type toggle switches, one of which remains for the mid/tweeters even with the DAX upgrade?

By the way, are you a fan of biamping Divas when using passive crossovers?
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Re: DIVA CROSSOVER WHAT'S THE BEST RIGHT NOW?

Postby apogee_admin on Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:37 pm

Yes the switches on the crossover boxes, you can take them out of circuit pretty easily by just snipping and connecting the wires together. I remember them being particularly egregious on the tweeter adding grain and spit on voices.

I tried biamping once with 2 x Musical Fidelity Nuvista 300's, I had one and borrowed one from a friend. There was a bit more control in the bass, but nothing else that would make me want to spend another £3-4K.

I think if the amp you have is capable, biamping doesn't necessarily give a big advantage.
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Re: DIVA CROSSOVER WHAT'S THE BEST RIGHT NOW?

Postby DarthDiva on Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:19 pm

Thanks Jon, I may try that tweek once i figure out what the permanent switch setting should be. I have been happily bi amping with 4 Ray Lumley 100 watt mono tube amps. First heard the Lumley's driving Apogees many year ago in Toronto. The Lumley totally outperformed the Krell mono blocks of the time, Classe class A's, Stax class A's and whatever else we tried back then. So, I have lived with them ever since. I might mess about with trying a few new amps just to see how things are now but those new contenders will have a serious bit of work ahead of them.

And, I'm going to try to get a pair of a super "updated" passive cross overs to A/B against my ancient DAX. It will be interesting to see if any of the super accomplished cross over designers are prepared to sell a pair to me on a "if you don't like them, you can return them" basis.

Also, I think I will will try to demo a dbx Driverack PA2. Just something to do during covid shut down.
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Re: DIVA CROSSOVER WHAT'S THE BEST RIGHT NOW?

Postby apogee_admin on Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:45 am

Most amps are better than Krell in my opinion, there are some exceptions, but a lot of them need sweetening with a tube pre at minimum.

I would doubt you would get someone to build custom crossovers to try, you are looking at a days work that is non-refundable.

The DBX will be full of op-amps like everything else, might be better than the DAX though. The best active crossover I heard was a rare Yamaha JFET one my brother had, still sounded a lot less natural.
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