Grimani Systems loudspeakers are active speakers, and make use of digital signal processing (DSP). All the amplifiers and DSP are located in the speaker to increase reliability and simplify installation. Our speakers accept a standard AES/EBU digital signal at 24bit, 96kHz resolution that is carried on a standard CAT 5 cable. Having high quality and very powerful digital signal processing for each loudspeaker enables us to take a slightly different approach to loudspeaker design.
Of course, the most obvious thing to do with DSP in your speaker is to use it for the crossover. While ANY form of active crossover is vastly superior to passive crossovers (ones that use large capacitors, inductors and resistors), a digital crossover is more flexible, has less noise and distortion, and is more stable over time than any analog crossover could ever be. Traditional passive crossovers, frankly, have no place in a premium cinema system loudspeaker. They introduce distortion components. They are a potential failure point. They can’t be built with nearly as much precision. High order slopes are simply not practical to build…and that’s not the worst of it.
Passive crossovers make the electrical load that the amplifier “sees” much more complex and difficult to drive. They also keep the amplifier from being able to directly control the motion of the drivers (woofer, midrange and tweeter). Whatever damping factor your amplifier has, if it’s driving a speaker with a passive crossover, just forget it! (Damping factor is the ability of an amplifier to control a driver’s motion.) The resistance in a typical passive crossover will GREATLY reduce that number. This increases “ringing” or “time smearing” in the driver as they can’t be adequately controlled. But it gets worse, still.