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Aesthetix Atlas Crossover Use with Treo CT


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Hello all.  The Treo CT fundamentally differs from the Quatro in that it does not offer the ability to fine tune it's bass response regardless of room position.  So, how does one get the best out of the Treo's low end? Moving them closer to the front wall increases bass response and room coupling but far too often results in overblown bass and a lack of soundstage depth (my experience in my room). Placing them out in the room remedies that problem but low end response and room coupling suffers. 

I am driving my Treo's with an Aesthetix Atlas Signature which has a built-in crossover starting at 40 Hz and going up to 200 Hz (6 dB per octave slope). It has been suggested that I move the speakers close to the front wall and use the Atlas crossover to tame the low end. Of course moving the Treos and my 75# granite bases is no easy task. In addition, I am concerned that moving the speakers close to the front wall may increase the low end response in a non-linear fashion. For example, if this placement increased the overall bass response from say 150 Hz down by an even 6 dB then obviously setting the crossover at 150 Hz would result in an even response across the board. But if only the mid-bass is effected then this crossover setting would tame the mid-bass at the expense of losing the lower bass frequencies.

Someday I hope to move up to the Quatro's but for now I am still trying to get the best out of my Treos. Has anyone had any experience dealing with this issue? 

Thanks in advance for your comments.

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Reports from the field over the years are that the built in high-pass is not as transparent as our M5-HPB so most are using the direct in with the M-HPB for better sound.  This idea may help but fine-tuning room placement by the inch between these extremes should find a sweet spot.  Best option would be to add a SUB THREE which has room EQ.  RV

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5 minutes ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

Reports from the field over the years are that the built in high-pass is not as transparent as our M5-HPB so most are using the direct in with the M-HPB for better sound.  This idea may help but fine-tuning room placement by the inch between these extremes should find a sweet spot.  Best option would be to add a SUB THREE which has room EQ.  RV

Thank you Richard for your feedback.

 

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I bought a pair of Sub 3's for my Treo's (well, they replaced the 2wq's I had), and find them to integrate seamlessly.

Though I hate to spend more money on the system, but I had to acknowledge the beauty of the Vandy sub/crossover design, in that you'll be able to place your speakers and subs where you want and use the Sub 3 equalizer to balance things out. And, your amp will be doing less of the heavy work in the bass. I don't understand why more speaker designers don't do the same.

 

One thing you could try is to use the Aesthetix high pass and put the speakers on something easy to move around, and try to locate a spot that gives you what you want. Add Granite bases later.

(mind you, I am not saying it will be an 'accurate' frequency response, but sometimes a 'goosed' bass response sounds a bit more entertaining).

Bob

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Since I'm a kind of tinkering around kind of guy, I added the high pass filters into the preamp I built.  

I didn't need to use all the switches and associated components as found in the Vandersteen filters, because this isn't a commercial product that needs to work with all sorts of amplifiers and their different input impedances.  There's some minor advantage to my approach in terms of performance, I suppose.  All at the expense of practicality.

Battery biasing a series pair of caps makes a giant difference.  That means you need double the number of caps compared to a more traditional solution.

In the end, I found that Teflon caps were the best, by a fair margin.  No cheating short cuts available.  This solution is not cheap, but it clearly works.  

My point is, unless you really want to do what I did, you're far better off using the Vandersteen manufactured high pass filters than almost every other solution.  (Or, just buy Vandersteen amplifiers with this all built in.)

Just my two cents, which I did not save by building my own.  But, I just needed to know for myself.

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One of the things I have learned from being a Vandersteen owner, and listening to John Rutan is that so much of what we enjoy comes from Mr. V's design. A simple and elegant solution to some very vexing issues in sound reproduction-including bass reproduction. in this case.

@BKDad's response seem to make this clear. Yes, you can achieve results similar, but you'd have to pay more to get it.

Once again, I would still recommend the OP to try moving the speakers around. Hey, it just might work. And, in the worst case, you'd still be able to get the subs later. But, at least you might get closer to the bass you like.

My 2 and a half cents...

B

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1 hour ago, BKDad said:

Since I'm a kind of tinkering around kind of guy, I added the high pass filters into the preamp I built.  

I didn't need to use all the switches and associated components as found in the Vandersteen filters, because this isn't a commercial product that needs to work with all sorts of amplifiers and their different input impedances.  There's some minor advantage to my approach in terms of performance, I suppose.  All at the expense of practicality.

Battery biasing a series pair of caps makes a giant difference.  That means you need double the number of caps compared to a more traditional solution.

In the end, I found that Teflon caps were the best, by a fair margin.  No cheating short cuts available.  This solution is not cheap, but it clearly works.  

My point is, unless you really want to do what I did, you're far better off using the Vandersteen manufactured high pass filters than almost every other solution.  (Or, just buy Vandersteen amplifiers with this all built in.)

Just my two cents, which I did not save by building my own.  But, I just needed to know for myself.

Not the best place to put the high-pass caps because once you've gone through them your system is high impedance.  I would recommend putting it into the power amplifier but don't forget to bias the caps!  The switches in our high-pass are not in the signal path, they are only used to shunt the impedance to the proper values for the coupling caps installed.  RV

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3 hours ago, GdnrBob said:

 I don't understand why more speaker designers don't do the same…

I think once one goes to 12, 18, 24, etc (dB/octave) cross over slopes… then it gets difficult to blend the sub in terms of phase.
And a single manufacturer can sometimes not even have consistency between models.

Plus the majority of the industry seems to go to DSP solutions, with only a small minority doing analogue active cross overs. (Accuphase, Marchand, etc.)
It is a pretty elegant solution, and is basically acting like an active crossover…

And the main reason (and I am postulating here), is that they are “speaker designers” , and the sub integration is more of a “systems approach”.
We cannot often get a speaker or a sub “designer”, able to come up with a systems engineering approach. Maybe they do not think like a systems engineer?

Or it takes a lot of work, and one cannot be designing a speaker 24/7 and also doing systems work 24/7.
And most of the places large enough to do that (like Harmon, etc.) are already leaning heavily towards DSP.

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12 hours ago, GdnrBob said:

I bought a pair of Sub 3's for my Treo's (well, they replaced the 2wq's I had), and find them to integrate seamlessly.

Though I hate to spend more money on the system, but I had to acknowledge the beauty of the Vandy sub/crossover design, in that you'll be able to place your speakers and subs where you want and use the Sub 3 equalizer to balance things out. And, your amp will be doing less of the heavy work in the bass. I don't understand why more speaker designers don't do the same.

 

One thing you could try is to use the Aesthetix high pass and put the speakers on something easy to move around, and try to locate a spot that gives you what you want. Add Granite bases later.

(mind you, I am not saying it will be an 'accurate' frequency response, but sometimes a 'goosed' bass response sounds a bit more entertaining).

Bob

Agreed. Thanks Bob.

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On 6/20/2022 at 7:28 PM, Richard Vandersteen said:

Not the best place to put the high-pass caps because once you've gone through them your system is high impedance.  I would recommend putting it into the power amplifier but don't forget to bias the caps!  The switches in our high-pass are not in the signal path, they are only used to shunt the impedance to the proper values for the coupling caps installed.  RV

Doesn't it depend on where the high-pass caps are placed in the overall circuit?

For example, if one chose to put them at the input side of the volume control, that would have no effect at all on the output impedance of the preamp.  (Unless it was a "passive" preamp where the output impedance depends on the source impedance and the volume control setting.)

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1 hour ago, BKDad said:

Doesn't it depend on where the high-pass caps are placed in the overall circuit?

For example, if one chose to put them at the input side of the volume control, that would have no effect at all on the output impedance of the preamp.  (Unless it was a "passive" preamp where the output impedance depends on the source impedance and the volume control setting.)

Input of the pre-amp would be OK as long as the volume control setting doesn't change the load on the cap but finding a place after input selection and before the volume control may be difficult.  It would still need to be biased for best sound, IMO.  RV

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@Gsal Well it sounds like you have excellent components AND a desire to improve and experiment a bit, granite lugging not withstanding….

In some sense, i probably got very lucky in quickly finding a sweet spot for Treo CT in my room which is approximately 36’ x 15’ x 9’ with a half step, some odd angles and openings to other rooms. It’s also not a dedicated Audiophile room, so it’s full of records, plants, furniture, etc…the stuff of life. I do need to keep the listening chair off a mode adjacent to back wall. My Treo are only about 14” from back of cabinet to wall with no upper mid bass hump. I have 7 mk2 in my reference system, super blessed, but once you have heard that..well it’s difficult to “ unhear “…and yet, the Treo for me have been very satisfying….and hopefully you feel an incredible value…..

I did add a single sub 3 which integrates SO seamlessly….Mode greatly diminished… high passing the amp w Kento grade M5 filters had a profound + effect on midrange and of course bass is better. I think i have about 200 hours on the filters and sub and will use Vandertones in the fall. I did quickly settle on a Q of .7 , same place my 7’s ended up. I may need to revisit that when i set EQ.

So my advice is, work the placement in small increments, you could use Vandertones while doing this along w SPL meter, there is probably a good spot as yet not explored. You could also use the filter built in the Aesthetix. i have only heard the Atlas ( mono and stereo ) using Vandy filters, dealers tend to want to put best sonic foot forward….but you have tge filter, so try it and learn. My M5 is set at 80 hz, but remember the amp in the sub 3 restores the bass to flat for the sub.

I think for sake of experiments don’t use granite base for now…..

Best to you

Jim

Edited by TomicTime
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5 hours ago, TomicTime said:

@Gsal Well it sounds like you have excellent components AND a desire to improve and experiment a bit, granite lugging not withstanding….

In some sense, i probably got very lucky in quickly finding a sweet spot for Treo CT in my room which is approximately 36’ x 15’ x 9’ with a half step, some odd angles and openings to other rooms. It’s also not a dedicated Audiophile room, so it’s full of records, plants, furniture, etc…the stuff of life. I do need to keep the listening chair off a mode adjacent to back wall. My Treo are only about 14” from back of cabinet to wall with no upper mid bass hump. I have 7 mk2 in my reference system, super blessed, but once you have heard that..well it’s difficult to “ unhear “…and yet, the Treo for me have been very satisfying….and hopefully you feel an incredible value…..

I did add a single sub 3 which integrates SO seamlessly….Mode greatly diminished… high passing the amp w Kento grade M5 filters had a profound + effect on midrange and of course bass is better. I think i have about 200 hours on the filters and sub and will use Vandertones in the fall. I did quickly settle on a Q of .7 , same place my 7’s ended up. I may need to revisit that when i set EQ.

So my advice is, work the placement in small increments, you could use Vandertones while doing this along w SPL meter, there is probably a good spot as yet not explored. You could also use the filter built in the Aesthetix. i have only heard the Atlas ( mono and stereo ) using Vandy filters, dealers tend to want to put best sonic foot forward….but you have tge filter, so try it and learn. My M5 is set at 80 hz, but remember the amp in the sub 3 restores the bass to flat for the sub.

I think for sake of experiments don’t use granite base for now…..

Best to you

Jim

Thanks for the detailed room info Jim. Believe me, I am far from dissatisfied with the sound I am currently getting. And yes, I have experimented extensively with room placement  and the Vandertones. I think I have them in a good place now but it will always be a compromise given the speaker design. I am certain that the addition of the Vandersteen filter and the addition of a sub or two would be a vast improvement offering smoother low end and lower IM distortion in the mid-range. Nonetheless, I am not inclined to make this move at this time. I'm saving up my money for a pair of Quatro Wood's or if I am fortunate enough a pair of Kento's ! Happy listening.

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I am assuming that the sub-3 needs a redo of the frequency pot adjustments when one adds some bass traps?
And I was intrigued by the statement earlier (maybe in another thread) of not having extra big unpowered woofers littering the room in spare cabinets.

Edited by Holmz
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@Holmzwith introduction or subtraction of bass traps or even some large furnishings, i would at least run thru Vandertones…. adjust EQ  as desired…. just don’t overdo the EQ..

On subject of other speakers in the room, just use short bit of wire as shorting plugs, especially on woofers ! Better to get them OUT of the room.

Jim

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