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Setting crossover value to match amp impedance


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Greetings everyone,

I have had my 2wq for over 15 years and have used it with my DNA .5 until recently when I got my hands on a DNA 1. I was using a 75k crossover with the .5 and the sub seemed to blend well. However I am having a hard time getting a similar result with the DNA 1. I was wondering if there is any disadvantage of using a crossover value that’s the same as the input impedance of the amp? I have a bunch of different crossover values but the max value is 100k. I had plugged it temporarily and it seemed to sound much better with the sub kicking in only in songs that went low. Would using the same vale crossover as the amp impedance have a detrimental effect on the equipment?
 

The amp impedance for both amps is the same (100k)..

I have the X2s and not the M5s. I have X2s for 20, 50, 75, and 100k.

Any recommendations and caveats are welcome..

thanks 

Edited by stratocaster
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No, I do not believe it would be detrimental.  My understanding is you should experiment with the values above, at and below the listed impedance for your amplifier and decide which one you think sounds best.

There is a similar question in the Ask Richard section:

Quote

 If the input impedance of my amp is 100k, what settings can I safely experiment with on an M5HP with 3A Sigs and 2Wqs. I have the cheat sheet, I simply don't want anything to blow up.

Answer: HELLO RANDALL, FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS IN THE 2WQ MANUAL. IF I RECALL YOU WOULD TEST THE EXACT VALUE, ONE ABOVE AND ONE BELOW. REMEMBER TO READJUST THE WOOFER LEVEL SO THERE IS THE SAME AMOUNT OF BASS FOR EACH SETTING.

There is some contradictory/conflicting information in the 2Wq manual on pages 5 and 6.
https://www.vandersteen.com//media/files/Manuals/2wqmanual.pdf

On page 5 it says to experiment:

Quote

Once the subwoofer(s) is bronen-in, you should use a jazz recording with a stand-up bass to evaluate the blend between the 2Wq(s) and the main speakers with the WX-2 crossover set to one setting above, one setting below and at the nominal setting determined on page 3. (Some adjustments to the level and Q controls may be necessary.)  When you determine the best crossover setting for your system, you should purchase the matching higher performance X-2 fixed crossovers from your Vandersteen dealer.
...

Then on page 6 it says to go with the setting one below:

Quote

Once you have determined the crossover setting that is one value below the input impedance of your main amplifier, you should purchase the matching, high performance X-2 fixed crossovers from your Vandersteen dealer.

 

I encourage you to experiment.

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Robertsmania said:

There is some contradictory/conflicting information in the 2Wq manual on pages 5 and 6.
https://www.vandersteen.com//media/files/Manuals/2wqmanual.pdf

On page 5 it says to experiment:

Then on page 6 it says to go with the setting one below:

 

 

 

 

Thanks Robert. I hear you about the confusion. There are two things about Vandersteen speakers that I have found to be topics on ample discussion and confusion on almost all forums

- Optimal crossover settings for 2wq

- Setting the tilt on speakers.

The manual can cause a little bit of confusion but what I find quite surprising is that different people report performing things that are in contradiction to what the manual suggests and the speakers sound great to them. I can understand that it’s all relative/subjective to the room acoustics and gear but on the same hand do other speakers take that much tweaking to get them to sound just right? I have never owned any other speakers besides Vandersteens but I can certainly say that my 1cs are less picky about placement and tilt than the 2ces.

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I think its best to experiment and listen critically to determine what you think is best and setup your system in a way that makes you happy to listen to the music you like.

What the documentation says, what people say on the forums, what your dealer says, and everyone else who has input and opinions are secondary.  As long as you dont do something that directly causes damage to the equipment or your hearing, I think its all fair game.

Back to the question about setting the crossover value, it might also be good for you to take a look at what a volt meter tells you.  It may shed some light on what you perceive as the difference between the two amplifiers that say they have the same input impedance. 

Quote

Vandersteen Audio Set Up Data For 80 Hertz High-Pass (SUB THREE)

THE MOST IMPORTANT FIRST STEP IN THE SETUP IS SETTING THE 3DB DOWN POINT ACCORDING TO THE INPUT IMPEDANCE OF THE CUSTOMER'S (MAIN) AMPLIFIER. THIS PROCESS IS MORE ACCURATE. THAN LOOKING UP THE INPUT IMPEDANCE SPECIFICATION. TAKE ANY DIGITAL VOLTMETER SET TO AC VOLTS. WITH THE MAIN AMPLIFIER PROPERLY HOOKED UP TO THE MAIN SPEAKERS, VOLT METER ACROSS THE BLACK AND RED OUTPUT TERMINALS. PLAY THE KĒNTO CARBON VANDERTONES TEST DISC TRACK 27 (1000HZ) ADJUST THE PREAMP VOLUME FOR EXACTLY 1 VOLT. PLAY TRACK 30 (100HZ) AND THE VOLTAGE SHOULD BE .707 VOLTS. IF IT IS HIGHER THAN .707 ADJUST THE M5-HP CROSSOVER TO A HIGHER IMPEDANCE SETTING. IF THE VOLTAGE IS LESS THAN .707 ADJUST THE M5-HP TO A LOWER IMPEDANCE SETTING RUN THE PROCESS AGAIN ONCE YOU MAKE THE CHANGE TO VERIFY THAT THE IMPEDANCE SETTING IS CORRECT.

https://www.vandersteen.com//media/files/Manuals/Vandersteen Audio Setup Data 80 Hertz High-Pass.pdf

The instructions above are for the adjustable HP-M5 filters, but you can use the same process to evaluate the fixed X2 filters you have. 

The point is to set the volume so the voltage reads 1V AC on track 27 (1000Hz) and then take a look at the voltage you see on track 30 (100Hz) and track 31 (80Hz).  If either of the lower frequency tracks produce a 0.707V reading, that indicates the -3dB crossover is at that point.

I like to try and be methodical and use observations from experiments like this to help understand and explain aspects of the performance I hear - but try not to get lost in the diagnostics and equipment.  For the blending of the subs into the mains, I think its really more about how the mains fall off and how low their natural frequency response reaches.  So its totally possible that moving the crossover point up or down may sound better even if its not at a suggested "correct" value.

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@stratocaster,

Great advice!

Johnny R and Samir did much the same- Though Samir had a really neat Audio software program that mapped the room response.

There were times Samir said : 'Did you hear that'?

All I heard was: 'Bwoop'!

 

@Robertsmania,

I had the 2wq's- now Sub 3's. I do recall sometimes calibrating the crossover to a lower impedance setting.

Much depends upon your room, and also how much bass you like.

 

Also, was your DNA-1 upgraded?  Steve McCormack sometimes changes his impedances if he upgrades his amps at SMcAudio.

If so, I would call Pat or Steve and see if they have records.

Bob

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/7/2021 at 5:17 PM, GdnrBob said:

@stratocaster,

Great advice!

Johnny R and Samir did much the same- Though Samir had a really neat Audio software program that mapped the room response.

There were times Samir said : 'Did you hear that'?

All I heard was: 'Bwoop'!

 

@Robertsmania,

I had the 2wq's- now Sub 3's. I do recall sometimes calibrating the crossover to a lower impedance setting.

Much depends upon your room, and also how much bass you like

I have used my sub with the 1C’s as well as 2Ces in many different rooms of different sizes and layouts. I have always felt that there’s something that’s missing in the overall representation and this feeling is more pronounced in smaller rooms and with the 2CEs than with the 1Cs. I have disconnected the sub on many occasions for extended periods of time to listen to just the main speakers and then reconnected the sub to hear the difference. Since the difference is audible and hard to explain I have not bothered reaching out to JR or RV.
 

I am going to get my amp upgraded and hopefully that should help me determine whether I should abandon my quest of getting the sub to blend and just pull the trigger on the Quatro’s and ditch external subs.

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9 hours ago, Steve Edwards said:If they’re in your range, I hope it happens for you. 

They are in range but not ideal from a size perspective in my house. I can handle wide speakers.. deep speakers are a problem. Treo’s are ideal but if I need to still have a sub then it’s not worth the hassle. 

In any case I am slowly inching up and focusing on the electronics (amp) first and then will pull the plug on speakers. 

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@stratocaster,

I own Ctsooners Treo's.

I, too, have a space limitation in my room, so I can understand your position.

My Treo's had a pair of 2wq's, but have since upgraded to the Sub 3's- I have to say that if you want the fullest  effect, you really need to add subs to the Treo's, and if you get the Sub 3's you'll be darn close to a pair of Quatro's- with the benefit of placing the subs just about anywhere.

Did you see my previous post?

Steve's latest upgrades seem to use a Very low impedance. I had him upgrade my DN A-1's to monoblocks, though I told him what my system was, he had those amps at something like 5K ohms. The M5-HP crossovers don't go that low in balanced, so I had to buy a set of RCA with Jensen Transformers.

Long story short, I never got those amps connected, as I found a nice pair of Ayre MX-R's. 

 

Looking at the original post, was your DNA-1 ever upgraded before you got it? It might have a different impedance.

Bob

 

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@GdnrBob

I saw your post and the amp is going to go through an upgrade a few months down the road as per the current schedule. I have spoken to Pat and haven’t asked him about what version my amp is. I suspect it’s a Rev B.  Thanks for the tip on the impedance. I will verify the current value as well as inquire about how it will change after the upgrade.

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Strat beat me to what I was going to post.  Guys, it's all about being a system.  I so often see folks making electronics changes or trying to tune a system with cables and cords, but if you aren't happy you should think about putting any extra money into speakers.  

I have been reading this thread and others like it on AG and other forums I visit.  I spoke with Charlie Hansen and then last year Ryan who is the Pres of Ayre.  It seems that most folks are upgrading amps first when they should be upgrading pre amps before anything.  After that it should be source components and than amps.  

1.  speakers

2. preamps

3. source components

4. amps

5. cables/cords/accessories

I didn't touch on room, but we all know that even great systems will never sound as good as they can if the room is 'bad'.  I've seen many folks able to set up great sounding systems in rooms that are not easy. I have one of those rooms and Bob can attest that I had those Treo's singing with an Ayre AX5/20, QX5/20 and adequate Audioquest cables and zero special cords. 

I thought about adding the 2 subs with the Treo's, but I felt if I was going to upgrade and spend more money, that the money would be best spent on a pair of Quatro's.  I made that upgrade and have been very happy.  They live right in the corner of the room up against the back wall, so the depth of the cabinet fits in the room just fine and it throws a large soundstage when it's called for or intimate when it's in the recording.  I strongly recommend upgrading to Quatro's if you can afford that.  

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On 2/18/2021 at 8:24 AM, Steve Edwards said:

@Steve Edwards @GdnrBob@ctsooner

Thanks for your feedback. I agree with your comment about getting the room to sound right and I have constantly battled  getting equipment, speakers, cables to blend in living spaces without getting frowns and scowls from my wife. I have currently disconnected the 2Ces and am listening to 1C/2WQ combo swapping crossovers a few days at a time  to determine what sounds  better. Maybe for my room size/acoustics the Treo's might turn out to be a better option.

Edited by stratocaster
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  • 6 months later...

Hi, I'm new to the Vandersteen forum, and this is my first post.  I own a pair of 5a carbons and need some guidance/help regarding the right high pass filter settings. I am using the M5-HPB high pass filter for balanced.  I used to own an Aesthetix  Atlas amp, and have purchased a Pass Labs X250.8 amp.  The Pass Labs has an input impedance of 100k ohms for balanced. What is the right switch setting for the high pass filters and do I have to open up the HP filter to set the switches?  Hep/guidance is greatly appreciated.   Thanks!

Edited by Musikfan
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Hi Bob, thank you very much.  May I ask if there is any chance of damaging the speakers if the HP filter is set at the wrong setting or is it just a matter of how much bass you're hearing?   I want to make before I open up the box and start monkeying around.  Best, James

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1 minute ago, Musikfan said:

Hi Bob, thank you very much.  May I ask if there is any chance of damaging the speakers if the HP filter is set at the wrong setting or is it just a matter of how much bass you're hearing?   I want to make before I open up the box and start monkeying around.  Best, James

Yes damage is possible with grossly wrong settings. Read the manual. There are two ways to set the DIP switches, one by relying on specifications ( from Nelson Pass they should probably be trusted ) and or to verify see the Vandertones test tracks method using a voltmeter to verify.

Me personally, i would set the M5 correctly and “ season to taste “ with the level and Q setting on the back of the 5a. Just me.

 

Reach out if you need help. Jim

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What does "match the impedance sum of the positive and negative legs of the main amplifier's input.  (The individual legs must each be half of the impedance sum.)"?  Also, do I rely on the switch settings that are on the HP filter or those in the manual?  Thanks again.

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Weird,  responses have only shown up today, yet I have been logging in every day and checking Forum Activity, as well. Yet, I haven't seen your reply from 8/28.

 

In any case, find the impedance listed for your amplifier, get the setting from the Vandy website-https://www.vandersteen.com//media/files/Manuals/M5HP_2Wq.pdf

The settings on the box are for Vandersteen speakers with incorporated subwoofers. Use the link I provided to get the settings for. You didn't mention whether you are using balanced or RCA, so I'll let you decide for yourself.

As you are using a Pass amp that states 100K ohms, then use that figure. You can go up or down a setting should you want more/less bass.

B

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On 2/6/2021 at 12:09 PM, stratocaster said:

Greetings everyone,

I have had my 2wq for over 15 years and have used it with my DNA .5 until recently when I got my hands on a DNA 1. I was using a 75k crossover with the .5 and the sub seemed to blend well. However I am having a hard time getting a similar result with the DNA 1. I was wondering if there is any disadvantage of using a crossover value that’s the same as the input impedance of the amp? I have a bunch of different crossover values but the max value is 100k. I had plugged it temporarily and it seemed to sound much better with the sub kicking in only in songs that went low. Would using the same vale crossover as the amp impedance have a detrimental effect on the equipment?
 

The amp impedance for both amps is the same (100k)..

I have the X2s and not the M5s. I have X2s for 20, 50, 75, and 100k.

Any recommendations and caveats are welcome..

thanks 

The instructions in the manual are to try the actual impedance, one below,  and two below and use the one that sounds best on a stand-up bass.  It does say that often it sounds best one down with full range speakers.  THE POINT IS USE THE ONE THAT SOUNDS BEST (I am not yelling just trying to make my point).  The only time the high-pass setting is critical is with the Five, Quatro, KENTO and SEVEN series speakers that have built in subs.  Some people have even reported to me they get best response by going up one setting from the actual amplifier impedance.  

RV

RV

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Some people have even reported to me they get best response by going up one setting from the actual amplifier impedance.  
 

Oh my!  When I return from my vacation, I’ve got TWO adjustments to do:  confirm the tilt on my Quatros is 8” (plus laser level height) above my ears at listening position and try going up one setting from the actual impedance level of my PSE Studio V amps  …………………….  

Pity the poor audiophile 

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I think I'm now an official 'OLD', lol.  I am thankful to own a pair of M5HPA's as I don't have to worry about anything other than the simple switch inside the amps is on 100hz for crossover.  The newer ones even have the DBS unit built right into them!  Using the TT is too much work for me at this point, so I just focus on the best digital I can put together.  I don't roll tubes anymore and honestly, other than a couple of tubes in my server, I don't have any in the system.  My next pre may or may not have tubes, but I don't care one way or the other.  I'll pay Rutan and hopefully Samir to come to the house and reset my speakers if my wife decides to give up her quest to make us sell and move (not a fan as I love my home).  My set up for now is just fine., so no rush Johnny R although I would love to visit with you soon!

I have only ONE device I'll look at right now and that's a new DAC. I will wait for the one I want.  After that, I'll get a preamp if I need one and then I'll bring in the CAD devices that make improperly grounded units sound better.  I need to hear these with the Vandersteen electronics.  I need to make sure they are making a positive difference and if so, I'll probably get one.  

I have my plan and I'm sticking to it.  I love listening to you guys talk about your gear as it helps me figure out what to audition.  

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