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Author Topic: Running tops full range while using subs?  (Read 2255 times)

David Parker

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Re: Running tops full range while using subs?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2012, 10:16:32 pm »

Just wanted some thoughts on the practice of running top cabinets full range while also using subs.

Well, there are ways to do anything I guess, but I'll relate my experience. I had 2-15+horn tops and double 18 subs. My thoughts were that if I ran my tops full range, they made a certain amount of bass. If I added the subs to that, it would make MORE bass. IN my case, that was wrong. I had no way of time aligning the tops and bottoms, and at the time didn't even know what that was. My tops and subs fought each other, and I tore up LOTS of 18's trying to get the system to work. I got a proper crossover and hi passed the tops and lo passed the subs and had a LOT more bass, a lot cleaner bass, and never blew another 18. I'm sure somebody a lot smarter than me can make it work just fine, but I couldn't. After I split things up with a crossover, I had no more problems and started making money instead of keeping my reconer in business.

Try it and see what happens, but be sure and make it an A-B test. Make sure your changes actually help. Your cabs may play together just fine.
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Robert Weston

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Re: Running tops full range while using subs?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2012, 10:33:18 pm »

For most shows, I run my tops (1 x 15" and horn) in full-range mode (i.e. using the full-range input); however, the top cabs are only producing around 100hz and up (subs handling everything else below) - crossover is a dbx-260.  It sounds good and there's plenty of power, and guests/attendees/managers provide good comments on the sound quality.

Over the past many years, it seems that internal crossovers have greatly improved.  I used to have to tri-amp because internal crossovers were crap, but now it seems any quality cabinet made in the last 10 years has a decent crossover.  It it works full-range, I'll do it... if not, I have the option of bi-amping the tops.
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Patrick Tracy

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Re: Running tops full range while using subs?
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2012, 10:43:12 pm »

Just wanted some thoughts on the practice of running top cabinets full range while also using subs.

Heck, even without subs I high pass my tops. I use the same crossover and sweep the frequency down toward the -3dB point of the speakers.

Ivan Beaver

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Re: Running tops full range while using subs?
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2012, 06:43:25 am »

It is a common thought that by running the full range and subs so they overlap-then you will get "more bass".  This is generally not true (even if properly aligned). 

The reason is that (in many cases) the subs will be run quite a bit hotter than the full range-so the level from the full range in the sub area is way down (typically 10-15dB) so they add very little-if any-to the output.

But if not aligned they can subtract.  IF you figure that if you have 2 cabinets and get perfect summation-you can pick up 6dB.  But in worse case you could get complete cancellation.

So as usual-it depends.
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Merlijn van Veen

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Running tops full range while using subs?
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2012, 12:17:25 pm »

It is a common thought that by running the full range and subs so they overlap-then you will get "more bass".  This is generally not true (even if properly aligned). 

The reason is that (in many cases) the subs will be run quite a bit hotter than the full range-so the level from the full range in the sub area is way down (typically 10-15dB) so they add very little-if any-to the output.

+1

Only when subs and tops are run at equal levels and are phase alligned in the overlap region, i.e. by means of all-pass filters, you could achieve up to 6 dB of summation. This bump could be equalized on the input of your DSP without loss of power. This practice could benefit small setups that need the extra power. This "marriage" can hold over distance depending on the physical displacement, which nobody seems to have mentioned AFAIK. I've you stack your tops directly onto your subs, you most likely won't find any listening positions with more than 120 degrees of phase separation, read 0 dB summation or even cancellation, in most cases. However act with caution.
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Don Boomer

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Re: Running tops full range while using subs?
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2012, 01:33:06 pm »

I run the tops full range-within their rated response.


Wow ... your answer surprises me, but I respect your opinion and must admit I've always followed the conventional wisdom here and used a crossover.  So I guess I've never actually tried it.  Well, maybe that's only partially true as I usually run aux fed subs.

I guess this will give me one more project to test out (when I get some spare time :D )

I guess I usually have all the lows I need and would rather make the trade off to cut them from the top box in exchange for the extra margin of power handling and reduced distortion.
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Don Boomer
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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: Running tops full range while using subs?
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2012, 01:51:16 pm »

I run the tops full range-within their rated response.

The reason is simple.  If you crossover the tops to the subs-and then send a signal that has moderate bass response (say male vocals-guitars etc) only to the tops (that may be high passed at say 80Hz), then they will sound "thin".  The only way to 'warm them up" is to run them to the subs-kinda bypassing the whole idea of specific instruments going to the subs...

Ivan, do you send bass and kick (and keys?) to both the subs and tops but vocals and all other instruments only to the tops?
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