Vintage Nytech – Active loudspeaker equipment
An “active” loudspeaker system uses an individual power amplifier to drive each drive unit in a loudspeaker.
The crossover that normally sits inside the loudspeaker becomes a separate “electronic crossover” that filters the HF and LF (in a two way system) which sits between the preamp and the power amps. Because the crossover is now an electronic crossover using amplifiers and small signal components (which can be made to much higher specification) The frequency splitting becomes much more accurate and all the losses associated with the high level passive crossover are eliminated.
The end result is the perfect match between power amplifier and loudspeaker drive unit which gives such a very dramatic improvement to the musical experience with tighter bass and improvements to stereo imagery and focus that have to be heard to be believed!
Two British manufacturers, Linn Products and Naim audio produced some very high end active systems in the late 1970s.
Nytech Audio wanted to bring this quality to a wider audience without the five figure price tag and teamed up with a small independent loudspeaker manufacturer ARC (Acoustic Reproduction Company) to produce systems that could easily be upgraded to active systems and were affordable to more music lovers.
The end result was two products, A line level active crossover and a very ingenious single box” active upgrade for Nytech CTA252 / CA252 owners who had an “active capable” loudspeaker.
We are still very committed to the ideas behind active loudspeakers so we continue to support the classic systems and if possible provide new crossovers for modern active capable loudspeaker systems.
EX0102 (2 way) and EXO103 (3 way) Electronic crossover
The EXO102/3 was designed for use with the CPA602 power amplifier (although it could easily be used with other power amplifiers).
To upgrade the system, a CTP102/CP112 and CPA602 owner with a suitable active capable loudspeaker had to purchase an EXO102 and an additional CPA602 for a full on active system. A three way system (like the Linn Isobarik PMS required a third CPA602.
The EXO consisted of two parts.
The main unit contained a plug in “crossover board” (two boards for a three way system) which was specific for the speaker in use. So to change the speaker type it was only necessary to change the crossover board for the new speaker type.
The main unit could be set as either a two way (EXO102) or three way (EXO103) by cutting (or repairing) a single pair of links inside so it is easy to change the EXO between a two or three way system.
These crossovers are easy to service and repair as everything except major case parts is still available today.
When we restarted Nytech Audio in 2013 we made an upgraded crossover module for the EXO/CXA but we only made a very small production run and the cost became unreasonable.
However we are working on a new replacement crossover board for the EXO/CXA using components from our new crossover, the EXO202.
Prototype boards are up and running and we hope to release the new upgraded crossover board later this year (2022).
Watch this space!
In the early 80s ARC started making the ARC 050 loudspeaker which was very reasonably priced, incredibly good, and active capable!
The Nytech/ARC “entry level” system soon became a CTA252 or CA252 and a pair of ARC 050 loudspeakers.
So Richard Hay (Nytech’s owner) came up with a very clever idea – the CXA252!
The CXA252 is essentially an EXO102 two way electronic crossover combined with a pair of CA252 power amplifier modules in one box!
Because the CTA/CA had a “preamp out/poweramp in” socket on the back and a “link” plug, the preamp out signal could be fed out of the CTA/CA into the CXA’s electronic crossover and the HF and LF for one channel fed to the power amps in the CXA.
The other channel HF and LF were fed back down the cable to the CTA/CA power amps to provide the other channel making the CXA a “one box / one purchase, very cost effective active upgrade!
Many active CA/CXA/ARC systems were sold and it became a much talked about and respected system at the time producing more musical enjoyment then many “passive” systems costing ten times as much!
Servicing / repair is still a simple job as all parts except case parts are still available.
We are currently looking at a remote “power on” for the CXA/CXA which is compatible with our new equipment range
The CXA used the same two way crossover board as the EXO102 so the new upgraded crossover board mentioned above will work with the CXA as well.