• 12-03-2003, 10:19 AM
    piece-it pete
    Marchand Components - 1st impressions.
    Or, how to assemble an active crossover with a pair of wirecutters & an old pocket knife in less than an hour.

    I received my components yesterday - woo-hoo!

    2 ea XM1 active crossovers @ 80 hz 24 db both ways, all outputs in phase, and a PS10 power supply.

    For starters, I received excellent personal attention directly from the owner, Phil Marchand himself.

    Pricing was reasonable. Total cost, including frt. & a 10% discount as an Audiogon member, was $111.00. You may find a used middling quality pro active crossover for this, but a) they're big & ugly and b) read on for quality concerns.

    They shipped UPS within a week, well packaged.

    When I pulled the 1st crossover out of the box the craftsman in me smiled. Small, 2"x 3", and very nicely done. I'm no electronics expert, but I have taken the cover off many a component, and have rarely seen any guts that look this good. I can't imagine that a run-of-the-mill pro crossover meets this build quality.

    Ditto for the power supply.

    Being impatient, I rushed home, got sidetracked by the SO decorating the living room for Chrismas (how do you get out of that:), and FINALLY got to my pieces-parts about 9:30. Well I'm sure not going to build a proper base for it tonight, but I'll be darned if I'm not going to hear it!!!

    So, I set the box it came in on it's side, laid out the bits, used a pocket knife to punch a couple holes in the box, and garbage-bag tied them down :).

    Since there's no soldering (all the connections on the units are screw down) I just cut up some crappy patchcords and an old powercord I had lieing around, used a little 18ga speaker wire for internal power supplies (15 volt), and Wala! instant crossover!! Not that I'd show this at any fashion show lol!

    The difference between this unit & the sub amp crossovers I was using to high pass the mains was unbelievable! I haven't had time to SPL or listen "critically" but the large peak I had at about 80 hz is at least lessed to the point where I could turn up the sub volume enough for the sound to be much more life-like - I knew I had the subs turned down to keep the peak down. Bach, rock on.

    The entire speaker range seemed crisper on first blush. Perhaps the amplification in the crossover is behind it. I don't know yet if I'll like it. Time will tell.

    There is also a little hum that I believe is a result of the cheapest junkiest wire available & the fact that it's sitting on top of a cardboard box directly behind the TV. I will immediately (this weekend, probably:) rewire it with some dbl-shielded Ixos interconnect and place it INSIDE a box (perhaps lined with foil). Then I can craft its' permanent home out of fine wood and care at my leisure.

    I will report again, after I've corrected the (self-imposed) cheapness & listened & SPL'd for a while. I'll also report the total spent - money & time.

    I'd like to thank Steve, Bruce, Highend64, Phil Marchand, and a ton of others for all their patient help.

    Pete