What is a good crossover? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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This is my first post, so be easy on me.

I have been lurking around this forum for a few weeks now and have learned a TON about HT.

Something I am still a little confused about, and haven't seen much info about, is what is a good crossover frequency for speakers?

I'm sure its subjective to type of speaker (being two way, three way, brand, room size ect...) but I'm just a little lost.

Any explanation to this would be great.

Thx
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post #2 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 08:20 AM
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The THX recommended crossover is 80hz.
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post #3 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, should have been a little more specific.

I meant crossover for mid-high frequency, not for LF.

I like Klipsch (haven't heard very many high quality speakers) and some have 1200-1800Hz crossover frequency. I'm just not sure what is a good range.
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post #4 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 08:42 AM
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The engineer who designs the speaker chooses a crossover frequency based on the physical and electrical characteristics of the woofer and tweeter.

Your question is like asking what size tire to buy without mentioning if it is for a Ferrari or a Chevy pickup truck.

There are a dozen things more significant than the crossover frequency of the speaker when exploring the possibilities of setting up a sound system.




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Originally Posted by 06GTOguy View Post

Sorry, should have been a little more specific.

I meant crossover for mid-high frequency, not for LF.

I like Klipsch (haven't heard very many high quality speakers) and some have 1200-1800Hz crossover frequency. I'm just not sure what is a good range.

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post #5 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06GTOguy View Post

Sorry, should have been a little more specific.

I meant crossover for mid-high frequency, not for LF.

I like Klipsch (haven't heard very many high quality speakers) and some have 1200-1800Hz crossover frequency. I'm just not sure what is a good range.

There isn't any one good crossover frequency. It all depends on the speaker. The best crossover frequency is the one the helps the system (drivers & cabinet) perform it's best. Also, it's not just the frequency that matters but the slopes, amplitudes and phases too. A lot goes into designing a crossover. Everything should be fine tuned to make a good sound. There is no one size fits all.
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post #6 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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^^

I was curious to know if the information was pertinent or not when looking at the specs.
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post #7 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06GTOguy View Post

^^

I was curious to know if the information was pertinent or not when looking at the specs.

No. The crossover frequency is of no concern when shopping for speakers. As a matter of fact, and I hope this speaks to the exact question on your mind, speaker specs are mostly of no importance. About the main specs I look at are price and size. Everything else is subjective. I don't look at frequency response numbers because I know they mean basically nothing. They do not indicate what the speaker sounds like.

The best thing to do when shopping for speakers is to listen to them and listen for extended periods. The best thing to do is to buy from an outfit that will let you demo the speakers for up to a month.
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post #8 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 10:54 AM
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The best xover is no xover. My speakers don't have a x-over between mid and high freq drivers by design.

For the other 95% of speakers that do have x-overs between mid & high freq drivers, my preference would be to have it as high as possible so that it is out of the way of most musical instrument fundamentals. That's usually not practical since the highest note on the piano is about 4.2 kHz.
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post #9 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russ_777 View Post

The best xover is no xover. My speakers don't have a x-over between mid and high freq drivers by design.

For the other 95% of speakers that do have x-overs between mid & high freq drivers, my preference would be to have it as high as possible so that it is out of the way of most musical instrument fundamentals. That's usually not practical since the highest note on the piano is about 4.2 kHz.

What speakers are these? I find this view amusing among audiophiles, because every dirt cheap ultra budget speaker is designed like that in order to eliminate costs. Take some fancy looking drivers, and a fancy enclosure, and now it's the pinnacle of audio purity
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post #10 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by russ_777 View Post

The best xover is no xover. My speakers don't have a x-over between mid and high freq drivers by design.

I guess I also have to pile onto this statement. How can it be the best crossover when it does not even have a crossover? It's an illogical statement. Also it's completely unrelated to the OP's question.

That said, no crossover would only be best if the result is better than what can be attained by a properly tuned crossover.
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post #11 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

What speakers are these? I find this view amusing among audiophiles, because every dirt cheap ultra budget speaker is designed like that in order to eliminate costs. Take some fancy looking drivers, and a fancy enclosure, and now it's the pinnacle of audio purity

Gallo Reference 3.x. Anthony Gallo is well known for his dislike of the negative effects of crossovers. He selected mid & HF drivers for these speakers such that their mechanical properties provided sufficient isolation between the bands. Not sure why you have the sarcastic attitude about this. It's a fact that crossovers dissipate power before it reaches the drivers and introduce frequency dependent phase shift, neither being desirable results.
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post #12 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave1027 View Post

I guess I also have to pile onto this statement. How can it be the best crossover when it does not even have a crossover? It's an illogical statement. Also it's completely unrelated to the OP's question.

That said, no crossover would only be best if the result is better than what can be attained by a properly tuned crossover.

The gentleman asked a question about crossovers and said he would appreciate any explanation. I simply used an example to illustrate that the topic he was asking about was a good one because crossovers almost always have negative effects (in addition to providing isolation between drivers). It was not an illogical statement, nor was it unrelated to the gentleman's question.

Also, if you bothered to read the rest of my reply you would see that I did respond directly to is question.
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post #13 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russ_777 View Post

Gallo Reference 3.x. Anthony Gallo is well known for his dislike of the negative effects of crossovers. He selected mid & HF drivers for these speakers such that their mechanical properties provided sufficient isolation between the bands. Not sure why you have the sarcastic attitude about this. It's a fact that crossovers dissipate power before it reaches the drivers and introduce frequency dependent phase shift, neither being desirable results.

I'm sure those speakers sound very good, they were carefully engineered to do exactly what Gallo wanted. When you start making definitive statements about what the best approach is, you open yourself up to negative comments. Those speakers have plenty of issues of their own, just like every type of design.
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post #14 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 09:08 PM
 
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Once you've heard DEQX with a decent design... one realizes we are all LIVING IN THE STONE AGES regarding the use of speaker level passive networks. The advent of cheap digital amps should help usher in bi/tri-amp systems doing all xover work in the digital domain BEFORE conversion.

Listen to a DEQX or TaCT system using active DIGITAL DOMAIN DSP xover performed right after transport stream without unnecessary conversion.

I have done so with the EXACT SAME speaker design and I can tell you the DAC/ADC/DAC LESS digital xover with no conversion was NOTICEABLY BETTER and this is with a state of the art design with the best drivers available. And the passive xover was a very tweaked LR4.
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post #15 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 09:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06GTOguy View Post

Sorry, should have been a little more specific.

I meant crossover for mid-high frequency, not for LF.

I like Klipsch (haven't heard very many high quality speakers) and some have 1200-1800Hz crossover frequency. I'm just not sure what is a good range.

Klipsch horns are HORRIBLE...

Seriously do some more research and more important... SPEAKER AUDITIONS. Befriend a local two chan shop that's willing to lug gear around the listening room for you. Don't purchase though! At least not on the spot! That's a HUGE mistake!

Like most people you probably have no idea how a good loudspeaker even sounds! LOL

Going to a decent shop and LISTENING for a FEW HOURS at the LEAST will really give you an idea of how things should sound.

PS I take that hint/que from your praise of Klipsch
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post #16 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

I'm sure those speakers sound very good, they were carefully engineered to do exactly what Gallo wanted. When you start making definitive statements about what the best approach is, you open yourself up to negative comments. Those speakers have plenty of issues of their own, just like every type of design.

Please don't put words in my mouth. I said: "The best crossover is no crossover". The obvious point is that if you can engineer a solution without a passive crossover network or push them as far away from the most important part of the music spectrum as possible, you'll avoid or minimize their negative effects. That's all I meant bro, doesn't mean every speaker has to be designed that way.
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post #17 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 09:43 PM
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Did we retract our post solid state? I was about to explain to you why your disagreeing with me and Gallo about the negative effects of crossovers contradicts your post extolling the virtues of DEQX. "LOL".
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post #18 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russ_777 View Post

Please don't put words in my mouth. I said: "The best crossover is no crossover". The obvious point is that if you can engineer a solution without a passive crossover network or push them as far away from the most important part of the music spectrum as possible, you'll avoid or minimize their negative effects. That's all I meant bro, doesn't mean every speaker has to be designed that way.


What words did I put in your mouth exactly? Sounds like a pretty definitive statement to me. Little bit sensitive there guy.
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post #19 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 10:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by russ_777 View Post

Did we retract our post solid state? I was about to explain to you why your disagreeing with me and Gallo about the negative effects of crossovers contradicts your post extolling the virtues of DEQX. "LOL".

I didn't disagree with Galo one iota... what I was going to point out though is that even the most famous gurus of this industry can be full of **** on certain topics. I was going to use Galo thinking it was his comments regarding bi-wiring when it was Vandersteen's opinions.

Do you now understand my redaction?
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post #20 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 10:20 PM
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What words did I put in your mouth exactly? Sounds like a pretty definitive statement to me. Little bit sensitive there guy.

Well I am a little sensitive to people who nitpick my posts...call it whatever you wish -- I subsequently explained what I meant. So to set that aside and move on, do you agree with me that conventional crossovers have significant negative effects?
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post #21 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 10:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russ_777 View Post

Well I am a little sensitive to people who nitpick my posts...call it whatever you wish -- I subsequently explained what I meant. So to set that aside and move on, do you agree with me that conventional crossovers have significant negative effects?

I know I most certainly agree!
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post #22 of 36 Old 04-08-2012, 10:40 PM
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When properly implemented, no I do not agree.
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post #23 of 36 Old 04-09-2012, 10:39 AM
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When properly implemented, no I do not agree.

Allrighty then...we have a fundamental disagreement that is unlikely to be resolved...and that somewhat explains your prior responses. Good day.
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post #24 of 36 Old 04-09-2012, 12:47 PM
 
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Quote:
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When properly implemented, no I do not agree.

I suggest you try an active digital xover. There is a great website for doing this with a PC, two sound cards and the right software.

BTW have you ever heard one?

Thuneau Allocator is the software to use.

Here is a tutorial on how to do it.

http://www.home-speaker.net/htpc-software.html

I have heard like I said a loudspeaker with passives and a PC based xover using Allocator and the difference was immediately noticeable. The loudspeakers were IDENTICAL as well.
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post #25 of 36 Old 04-09-2012, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid-State View Post

I suggest you try an active digital xover. There is a great website for doing this with a PC, two sound cards and the right software.

BTW have you ever heard one?

Thuneau Allocator is the software to use.

Here is a tutorial on how to do it.

http://www.home-speaker.net/htpc-software.html

I have heard like I said a loudspeaker with passives and a PC based xover using Allocator and the difference was immediately noticeable. The loudspeakers were IDENTICAL as well.

I dont doubt active is great, but I dont really have the space/setup for 9 channels of amplification to run a 3-way L/C/R.
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post #26 of 36 Old 04-09-2012, 03:48 PM
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I grew up listening to 8" speakers with dual cones. the interior smaller cone was the tweeter. No crossover.Pure sound. Pure Music. Those speakers are still in production today, 30 years later.

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post #27 of 36 Old 04-09-2012, 05:45 PM
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Some clarification.....while it may be true that passive crossover components introduce what may be considered harmful effects on the drivers performance at some point of the operational frequency response, they are quite neccessary for a multi drive unit speaker system and will also I prove the response of even the best Fullrange drivers. Driver technology hasn't produced a device that can do what someone earlier proposed. Systems that claim otherwise do suffer from other, way more offensive artifacts than what a cap or coil might do to the SQ. Active systems do have an advantage over passives in some areas, practicality not being one of them.
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post #28 of 36 Old 04-09-2012, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06GTOguy View Post

Something I am still a little confused about, and haven't seen much info about, is what is a good crossover frequency for speakers?

I'm sure its subjective to type of speaker (being two way, three way, brand, room size ect...) but I'm just a little lost.

(I'm a fan of Klipsch so discount anything I say appropriately)

I was once with a group of people who had a chance to visit the factory at a public event however, we got there a day early.

That gave us a chance to mess around with one of their engineers (PWK's right hand man)

One of the things we did was compare some actives using different slopes. The upshot of this was that the steeper the slope of the crossover, the less each component overlapped and the clearer the sound became.

This was not an "omg" black/white moment. Indeed, had you walked into the room you might not have ever noticed the difference. You could however, upon doing a side by side, clearly hear that the "veil" had been lifted from the sound.

My (Klipsch) speakers are 2-way and are crossed around 380hz. Another thing I learned on my own after replacing my Khorns was going from large 3-way horns to large 2-way horns was probably the single most noticable improvement to the coherency of the sound.

Mind you, my Khorns were stock drivers/horns with Al K's extreme slope crossovers. I also had a pair of JBL 2404 tweeters that I could wire in with a moment notice.

All of that was pretty well swept under the mat by going to the 2-way speaker.

I don't know any specific frequency but the more you can avoid crossing anything in the vocal range, the better. That said, if you can totally drop the tweeter crossover, you will notice a larger improvement.
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post #29 of 36 Old 04-09-2012, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem13 View Post

Some clarification.....while it may be true that passive crossover components introduce what may be considered harmful effects on the drivers performance at some point of the operational frequency response, they are quite neccessary for a multi drive unit speaker system and will also I prove the response of even the best Fullrange drivers. Driver technology hasn't produced a device that can do what someone earlier proposed. Systems that claim otherwise do suffer from other, way more offensive artifacts than what a cap or coil might do to the SQ. Active systems do have an advantage over passives in some areas, practicality not being one of them.

Someone just posted a picture of such a full range driver with a "whizzer" tweeter...this type of broadband driver is commonly used in the DIY community. The Ohm Walsh CLS driver has been around for 40 years in various forms. Bose 901s used full range drivers (with equalization). It's just not true to say that driver technology hasn't produced anything that can't operate broadband....plenty of examples of it.

BTW, if you're referring to my post, I did not intend for people to get the impression I was proposing to do away with crossovers. The point, in response to the OP's question, was it's better when crossovers can be pushed as far away from the midrange where most music exists as possible.
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post #30 of 36 Old 04-10-2012, 02:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chikoo View Post

I grew up listening to 8" speakers with dual cones. the interior smaller cone was the tweeter. No crossover.Pure sound. Pure Music. Those speakers are still in production today, 30 years later.


I came to the revelation about loudspeakers when I attended a DIY GTG. It was a bunch of old greyheads and shortwave guys, tubes and some guys with coaxial speakers like that. The stuff looked... DATED to say the least... So when I walked in I was very cynical . THEN...

I LISTEN TO THEIR RIGS

OMFG

BLEW THE DOORS OFF OF ANY BIG BRAND/BOX STORE STUFF I'D EVER HEARD!

Then I bought books on loudspeaker design. I bought a test mic... Then some kits...

Let's put it this way... I'd NEVER EVER purchase a "brand name" loudspeaker ever again!

PERIOD

PS they were coaxial with a custom built HUGE HORN/waveguide made out of fiberglass... ugly buggers but the SOUND
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