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Active crossover for bi-amp setup?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Hamrat, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. Hamrat


    Feb 3, 2012
    Hi all, long time lurker who finally has a question that I couldn't find an answer to by searching the forum...

    My technological knowledge will leave most wanting but let's give it a shot:

    I've been using a dbx subharmonic synthesizer to have it do what they do to my bass' signal(in live application), and for the most part love it. The issue I have is when I use my distortion pedal, all of the benefit from the synthesizer disappears. I'm aware of bass specific overdrives that let you dial the dry signal, but that's not the route I really want to take.

    I've been looking at a few crossovers, since I like my dbx I'm looking at a dbx 223 or 234. I did see some smaller units made by Rolls that are intriguing as well, but the dbxs seem more versatile if I ever want to expand.

    So first I want to know if this type of crossover is the type that I should be looking at. If it is, how would I properly configure it all?

    I'm thinking: Bass(or guitar)
    High/ \Low
    Guitar Preamp(effects in loop) Subharmonic Synthesizer
    Poweramp Bass Head
    Guitar Cab Bass Cab

    Also interested whether or not putting the effects pedals before the guitar preamp would work.

    As you can tell I'm wanting to try this setup on guitar as well, since in theory I love the subharmonic synthesizer on guitar, but it sounds amazingly bad straight into an amp.

    Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    Since the Crossover is an active, line-level device, you can't drive it directly from your instrument; you need to put the Preamp in front of the Crossover.
  3. Hamrat


    Feb 3, 2012
    Would a passive crossover be what I'd need in order to have the setup I described?

    I've read that Bill Laswell employs a crossover to feed his subharmonic synthesizer, any idea what method/hardware he uses?
  4. Instrument _ preamp of some description _ crossover _ go crazy with whatever processing_ amp1 lows + amp2 highs
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    No on the passive crossover. One option is a crossover pedal made by UK company [sfx] [sfx]: high performance audio devices

    Also there was an old chorus pedal by Pearl that had a crossover built in, and it was a "secret weapon" in ye olde days, the sort of thing Laswell might plausibly have used considering the other pedals he likes (though I have no idea what he actually used).

    If you're handy with a soldering iron, I believe there's a schematic on the mooseapotamus site for a crossover pedal circuit.

    Also there are dual band compressors such as the ones by Rane and FEA that also work as very good crossovers.
  6. Cheap and cheerful no frills preamp would be the way to get the allpurpose crossover into play.
  7. will33


    May 22, 2006
    What speakers are you using? If it's a setup that allows you to set the crossover fairly low, say 200-300 hz, you can run your effects after it on the high side and keep the bass clean. Otherwise you'd need to run them before it and somehow highpass the effects.
  8. Hamrat


    Feb 3, 2012
    Will33- For the lows I have a 4x10 Hartke cab. That is what I'm looking to do.
    Bongomania- Thanks for the info, I like the look of that X&M pedal. Going to have to see how much they cost.

    I suppose at least for my guitar application a dbx 223 or 234 might be ideal, guitar-preamp-crossover-effects on high into guitar poweramp-subharmonic synthesizer on low into bass head. Although I do like the idea of the X&M pedal and being able to to do the bi-amp in one thing...

    Hmmmm..... Can anyone think of any pros/cons to either the dbx or pedal routes?
  9. The pedal is your all in one solution, fixed application box. I bet it's not cheap. You could build a set frequency, output only one for peanuts on the pound. It's just like the crossover in a speaker cabinet but with little cheap coils etc, a box and a switch. There could well be a plan for it on diystompboxes forum. If not they'll teach you how to design it yourself.

    Otherwise you need a boost pedal capable of getting you up to line level, and the rack crossover. Both units having multiple other applications.
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    with soundguys all going to digital stuff, used analog crossovers are now cheap. a regular DBX or even a better unit like a rane or ashly will not be too spendy.

    +1 to needing a strong preamp in front of it.