Renaissance ESL-15A full range or with Balanced Force 210 subs?

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shellnut48

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I’m just about ready to set up my new speakers which I use for home theater and 2 channel music. I have a pair of BalancedForce 210 subs paired with the 15-A left and right speakers. Your thoughts on playing the speakers full range or with a crossover? I’ll run the PBK and ARC, but what’s your philosophy? The 15’s go down to 22 and the subs to 20. The woofers in the 15’s are 12” and 10” in the subs. I’m inclined to use a crossover, perhaps not 80 though.
I also have an Illusion center speaker, but I add that only for background information.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Steve
 

codesx100

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I think you be best trying both ways and seeing what sounds better for you. In my experience I've always found running sub(s) with a crossover sounded better. Personally, I like go by the speaker specs say add +10 hz to the bottom end to crossover with a sub. There comes a point where you will have to deal with roll-off finding that exact hertz range will be where you would want the crossover to be. Right now I am currently running montis+focus center with a crossover of 40hz for the montis and 60hz on the focus. For the 15As if you can do either 30 or 40hz, or if you can dial it to the exact frequency which may take some time you will get an overall better sound. Good Luck!
 

shellnut48

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I think you be best trying both ways and seeing what sounds better for you. In my experience I've always found running sub(s) with a crossover sounded better. Personally, I like go by the speaker specs say add +10 hz to the bottom end to crossover with a sub. There comes a point where you will have to deal with roll-off finding that exact hertz range will be where you would want the crossover to be. Right now I am currently running montis+focus center with a crossover of 40hz for the montis and 60hz on the focus. For the 15As if you can do either 30 or 40hz, or if you can dial it to the exact frequency which may take some time you will get an overall better sound. Good Luck!
Thanks for your advice. I won't know until I've tried a few scenarios. I like your idea of adding +10 hZ to the bottom range and I do think it will sound better with a crossover. The center's crossover will naturally be higher as it plays down to 45 hZ. And the (8) Sistine ceiling speakers play to 65 hZ. I've been waiting for a long time to get the system up and running as I have moved all components into (2) A/V rack cabinets and the wiring/cabling/electrical/ethernet has taken quite a while to complete. Thankfully I have wonderful help with the installation.
 

codesx100

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That sounds like one awesome system you got set up there! Let us know your findings. Not sure the equipment you have on the racks but i'd recommend sticking to/around 40hz on the L/R, 60hz on the Center and 80hz on the sistines
 

msimanyi

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That's going to be a fantastic combo!

If it were me, after running ARC I'd definitely test MLs custom filters for the BF210s, paired with your 15As: MartinLogan | Custom Filters & Firmware Updates. Do you have the Perfect Bass Kit (PBK)?

I don't have 15As, but it seems like their bass controls should let you customize response to your own taste after applying the BF210 filter.
 

shellnut48

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That's going to be a fantastic combo!

If it were me, after running ARC I'd definitely test MLs custom filters for the BF210s, paired with your 15As: MartinLogan | Custom Filters & Firmware Updates. Do you have the Perfect Bass Kit (PBK)?

I don't have 15As, but it seems like their bass controls should let you customize response to your own taste after applying the BF210 filter.
Thanks for your help. I have both the PBK and ARC and I’ve downloaded the file to a thumb drive. I just need the power to be checked out and turned on and away we go.
My other components: Anthem AVM 60, Anthem MCA 525, Anthem MCA 325 gen. 2, (3) PS Audio BHK 300 monoblocks, PS Audio DirectStream DAC, PS Audio SACD/CD transport, PS Audio BHK preamplifier, PS Audio P-20 and P-12 power regenerators, Equi=Core 2400 power conditioner, Reavon UBX-200 universal disc player, Rega Planar 10 turntable, Rega Aura phono stage, Bluesound Vault 2i and PowerNode 2i, 8Switch, ENO “kit” both for streaming, GIK acoustic panels, Sony 85” Z9J. I just started tinkering with streaming so only time and sound quality will determine if I upgrade those components.
 

msimanyi

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@shellnut48 I'm curious how you ended up settling your setup. I'm currently breaking in my 15As and have the same pair of BF210s (and Illusion center), and I just loaded the custom low pass filter last night. I'm starting with the full range version, and I've tuned down the 25Hz levels on both the speakers and subs to reduce Joel's preponderance of bass. After a couple tweaks last night the dynamics are truly impressive, even at low volume.

This is all temporary while the speakers break in, since I'm sure ARC will change all of this substantially (based on my BF210 experience.)

Did you go with the crossover method or are you letting both the speakers and subs cover the bass range?
 

shellnut48

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@shellnut48 I'm curious how you ended up settling your setup. I'm currently breaking in my 15As and have the same pair of BF210s (and Illusion center), and I just loaded the custom low pass filter last night. I'm starting with the full range version, and I've tuned down the 25Hz levels on both the speakers and subs to reduce Joel's preponderance of bass. After a couple tweaks last night the dynamics are truly impressive, even at low volume.

This is all temporary while the speakers break in, since I'm sure ARC will change all of this substantially (based on my BF210 experience.)

Did you go with the crossover method or are you letting both the speakers and subs cover the bass range?
I loaded the custom low pass filter which uses a crossover even though the 15’s can play full range. I also set the crossover in the AVM 90 to 50hZ which improved the sound/bass/fullness. The system has been ARC’d twice once before room treatment and a second time since I added GIK Acoustic panels.

I plan on loading the beta version of ARC since this has a bit more capability to really tweak the system. I’ll let you know how that goes.

I’m intrigued about loading the other low pass filter option which lets the 15’s play full range. I know I’m going to try that just to hear the full capability of those Big Boys!

Keep me posted as your speakers break in.

Cheers and good luck!
Steve
 

msimanyi

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Thanks Steve. That just sparked a question for me. I wonder if there's any way to run ARC against both the speakers and subwoofers at the same time. Does the current or beta version offer that option?

FYI, running the full range custom filter on the BF210s, I've turned the speakers to -10 on their controls and I have the subwoofers around -9 on the 25Hz control. I'm sure all that will change once the speakers are broken in and I run ARC on the 15As. As it is, some music sounds perfect, some sounds bass-light and some sounds bass-heavy.

I'll try this through the weekend and then try the "crossover" custom filter for the BF210s. It will probably be at least a few more weeks of breaking them in before I run ARC, but I'll update as I move forward.

Mike
 

Robert D

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Running ARC on my bf210 helped get rid of the small amount of booming I'd get with heavy low bass. Much better than my depth i. It would boom a lot more and didn't seem as tight even though it had 3 smaller woofers.
 

ttocs

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Thanks Steve. That just sparked a question for me. I wonder if there's any way to run ARC against both the speakers and subwoofers at the same time. Does the current or beta version offer that option?
Sadly, no. I spoke to ML about this a couple years ago and they said that ARC for ML can only control the amps in the connected speaker. I've tested what I hoped would be work-arounds, but failed.
 

Robert D

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Sadly, no. I spoke to ML about this a couple years ago and they said that ARC for ML can only control the amps in the connected speaker. I've tested what I hoped would be work-arounds, but failed.
How about if you run ARC on a pre-amp or receiver, that would do everything wouldn't it?
 

ttocs

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How about if you run ARC on a pre-amp or receiver, that would do everything wouldn't it?
Yes, it would make a correction filter for the processor, but it won't control any speakers or subs. I guess the bottom line is that ARC only controls its host device, whatever that is. Our speakers and subs with ARC are controlled by the ARC app on a computer.

In my case, I have a Dirac compatible processor that corrects all the channels of the processor, but doesn't control the connected speakers in any way. It only controls the processor, and the speakers simply play what Dirac is sending to the processor. So all of my ML speakers and subs with the Anthem ARC feature need to have ARC run on each first, then run Dirac on the processor, and yes, there is additional improvement by running Dirac in addition to ARC.

For someone who has a processor with Anthem ARC, they would first run ARC for the ML speakers and subs, then run ARC on the processor.
 

jimbill

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Thanks for your help. I have both the PBK and ARC and I’ve downloaded the file to a thumb drive. I just need the power to be checked out and turned on and away we go.
My other components: Anthem AVM 60, Anthem MCA 525, Anthem MCA 325 gen. 2, (3) PS Audio BHK 300 monoblocks, PS Audio DirectStream DAC, PS Audio SACD/CD transport, PS Audio BHK preamplifier, PS Audio P-20 and P-12 power regenerators, Equi=Core 2400 power conditioner, Reavon UBX-200 universal disc player, Rega Planar 10 turntable, Rega Aura phono stage, Bluesound Vault 2i and PowerNode 2i, 8Switch, ENO “kit” both for streaming, GIK acoustic panels, Sony 85” Z9J. I just started tinkering with streaming so only time and sound quality will determine if I upgrade those components.
I can't imagine the amount of cables and cords you're dealing with! When I get behind my console, which has much less, I'm always overwhelmed. How many outlets are you using, or are they customized to handle all the traffic?
 

msimanyi

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I'll back up @ttocs on this. Before running ARC on my BF subwoofers I had run the room correction on the processor I was using at the time. I think it was Audyssey XT32 equipped.

Then after breaking in the subwoofers I ran ARC on those and re-ran the room correction. It was NOTICEABLY better that way.

But for two-channel playback I don't engage room correction, so ARC remained in effect for that while the processor wasn't engaging any room correction. I'm glad both the subwoofers and speakers offer ARC.
 

Robert D

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Yes, it would make a correction filter for the processor, but it won't control any speakers or subs. I guess the bottom line is that ARC only controls its host device, whatever that is. Our speakers and subs with ARC are controlled by the ARC app on a computer.

In my case, I have a Dirac compatible processor that corrects all the channels of the processor, but doesn't control the connected speakers in any way. It only controls the processor, and the speakers simply play what Dirac is sending to the processor. So all of my ML speakers and subs with the Anthem ARC feature need to have ARC run on each first, then run Dirac on the processor, and yes, there is additional improvement by running Dirac in addition to ARC.

For someone who has a processor with Anthem ARC, they would first run ARC for the ML speakers and subs, then run ARC on the processor.
Yeah, I do that now. Run ARC on my BF210 and then run Audyssey on my receiver. I figured running ARC on the pre-amp/receiver would control all of the speakers too since it controls the signal that reaches them. Wouldn't running ARC on the speakers too be redundant? Certainly wouldn't hurt. ARC on top of ARC. If all speakers had ARC built in to them and you run that first, would then running ARC on the receiver do much of anything?

I have no way to test it since I don't own a receiver that has ARC.
 

ttocs

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Yeah, I do that now. Run ARC on my BF210 and then run Audyssey on my receiver. I figured running ARC on the pre-amp/receiver would control all of the speakers too since it controls the signal that reaches them. Wouldn't running ARC on the speakers too be redundant? Certainly wouldn't hurt. ARC on top of ARC. If all speakers had ARC built in to them and you run that first, would then running ARC on the receiver do much of anything?

I have no way to test it since I don't own a receiver that has ARC.
Here is what I don't know. If I turn ARC off for my 13A, then is all DSP also turned off in that speaker? My gut says no, that the DSP module is active all the time. So if this is the case, then ARC in the 13A first, then ARC or Dirac or Audyssey after should be no harm no foul.

But, if I turn ARC off and the DSP module in the 13A is also turned off, then that would be one less analog/digital conversion. So if you are one who cares about this, which I am not, then you would consider this a benefit to not using the built-in ARC in our speakers.

What I do know is that I get the best response and enjoyment - most of the time - when ARC is active in the speaker and subs in addition to using Dirac. The caveat for all this is that I only let Dirac correct up to 500Hz for the 13A speakers, and I let the higher frequencies run wild. The Center, Surrounds, and ATMOS speakers are corrected full range, the 13A from 20Hz up to 500Hz and squelch the output below 20Hz as much as possible, and the subs from 18-200Hz and I squelch the lower and higher frequencies from the subs so there is little to no output in the out-of-bounds frequencies.
 

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I'll back up @ttocs on this. Before running ARC on my BF subwoofers I had run the room correction on the processor I was using at the time. I think it was Audyssey XT32 equipped.

Then after breaking in the subwoofers I ran ARC on those and re-ran the room correction. It was NOTICEABLY better that way.

But for two-channel playback I don't engage room correction, so ARC remained in effect for that while the processor wasn't engaging any room correction. I'm glad both the subwoofers and speakers offer ARC.
Very similar process here. My typical workflow is this: 1. ARC separately on each of the two 1100X subs, 2. ARC on the 11A's, 3. ARC on the AVM 60 for all speakers/subs.

I'm using a separate 2-channel preamp with HT passthru for music, so no room correction there other than what's done in the 1100X's and 11A sub sections. Because I'm feeding both stereo R/L from my 2-channel preamp for music and LFE from the AVM 60 for movies into the 1100X's, I'm doing additional steps of first manually setting the phase and crossover on each sub in the ML app for 2-channel, and then as the final step, adjusting the sub distance in the AVM 60 for multi-channel. Works great until I change something somewhere along the chain and then have to redo everything downstream.
 

Robert D

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Here is what I don't know. If I turn ARC off for my 13A, then is all DSP also turned off in that speaker? My gut says no, that the DSP module is active all the time. So if this is the case, then ARC in the 13A first, then ARC or Dirac or Audyssey after should be no harm no foul.

But, if I turn ARC off and the DSP module in the 13A is also turned off, then that would be one less analog/digital conversion. So if you are one who cares about this, which I am not, then you would consider this a benefit to not using the built-in ARC in our speakers.

What I do know is that I get the best response and enjoyment - most of the time - when ARC is active in the speaker and subs in addition to using Dirac. The caveat for all this is that I only let Dirac correct up to 500Hz for the 13A speakers, and I let the higher frequencies run wild. The Center, Surrounds, and ATMOS speakers are corrected full range, the 13A from 20Hz up to 500Hz and squelch the output below 20Hz as much as possible, and the subs from 18-200Hz and I squelch the lower and higher frequencies from the subs so there is little to no output in the out-of-bounds frequencies.
I agree about ARC on the speakers working well. My bf 210 sounds better with it turned on. Audyssey doesn't allow me to not affect the whole frequency range, so that kinda sucks.

If I bypass Audyssey on my receiver and play music without it, there isn't a huge difference for me. Sounds very similar, but I give the edge to Audyssey, so I just keep it on all of the time. The sound stage sounds better with it on, more "3d" sound.
 

Brandon Hartwick

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I’m just about ready to set up my new speakers which I use for home theater and 2 channel music. I have a pair of BalancedForce 210 subs paired with the 15-A left and right speakers. Your thoughts on playing the speakers full range or with a crossover? I’ll run the PBK and ARC, but what’s your philosophy? The 15’s go down to 22 and the subs to 20. The woofers in the 15’s are 12” and 10” in the subs. I’m inclined to use a crossover, perhaps not 80 though.
I also have an Illusion center speaker, but I add that only for background information.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Steve
Have you tried anything yet?

Personally I'd definitely crossover the mains but play around with your crossover points and see what works best in your room. Bass is a bit different for everyone.
 
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