Preferred use of crossover in receivers - what's your pleasure? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
grigorianvlad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,287
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 590
I wonder how people set their crossover in a receiver?
Here is my dilemma.
I have a Harman Kardon AVR 1700. It has a self calibration mic that passes test signals to the receiver which sets it optimally after emitting some test signals from all the speakers and the sub. I thought it will set crossover at 100Hz because this is the "one size fits all" suggestion I have heard (I am sure you guys will blast me for it!) The receiver decided that optimal crossover frequency is 60Hz. I guess if I had small tin can speakers common in modern prepackaged home theaters it would have set it at 100Hz. But since speakers were capable of producing 60Hz without any significant distortion at high volume, it decided to spread the bass between them, as opposed to sending it all to the sub.
What are some pros and cons of setting crossover at 60hz or lower as opposed to the traditional 100Hz?
One of the pluses of keeping crossover low is that if a low frequency event happens to come from lets say one speaker (an explosion happening in the far right or left of the screen) there will be some direction to the sound. Another positive is that more speakers will produce the low frequency event, the more accurate the sound will be.
One of the minuses is that the receiver works harder if all speakers are piping the same explosion sound, instead of sending an LFE preamp signal to the sub which has its own amplification, so the sound is more accurate, less distorted.
So, here is my question. Those of you who have good speakers that can go 31.5Hz and lower - how did you set up your receiver crossover in your home theater and why?
Looking forward to your replies.
grigorianvlad is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 08:16 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Alan P's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 1,673
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked: 136
Actually, the "standard" crossover is usually 80hz (recommended by THX and Audyssey), not 100hz. If you haven't already you should check out the Audyssey FAQ and 101.

I use Klipschorns for my FL/R speakers and a RC64II for my center - fairly "large" speakers by anyone's definition - and I have my crossover set at 80hz. FWIW, Audyssey set my crossovers at 40hz for all three speakers.

I have recently started using REW to measure my in-room response and have been experimenting with higher crossovers. I'm far from finallizing sub placement (or quantity) but I seem to get a smoother response from my system at 120hz. Mid-bass sounds better as well. My FL/R are spec'ed down to 33hz, but because of my room layout (and possibly problems with the aging crossovers in the K-Horns themselves), they just won't go that low in my room, so I'm trying to make up some mid-bass with the higher crossovers.
Alan P is online now  
post #3 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
grigorianvlad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,287
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 590
That is an interesting observation. I had no idea that setting crossover as high as you said will actually improve the sound. I will try it. I never went over 100Hz. Alan, what about crossover setting on your sub? How high (or low) is it? Is it at 100Hz, 200Hz, 60Hz?
grigorianvlad is offline  
post #4 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 08:51 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Alan P's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 1,673
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked: 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

That is an interesting observation. I had no idea that setting crossover as high as you said will actually improve the sound. I will try it. I never went over 100Hz. Alan, what about crossover setting on your sun? How high (or low) is it? Is it at 100Hz, 200Hz, 60Hz?

When playing with crossovers higher than 80hz you have to be careful of sub placement or you will run into localization issues. Above 80hz, the human brain is able to locate the source of those frequencies, so if you have your sub too far away from your mains you will be able to "localize" it and that is not what you want from your system.

Personally, I have 3 subs - 2 up front between my mains (17' from MLP), and 1 behind me (6' from MLP). I have the crossovers on the 2 front subs defeated, so they are crossed at 120hz (controlled by the AVR). I have the crossover on the 1 sub behind me set to 60hz (with the subs internal crossover) to reduce localization. Like I said though, this is a work in progress and I am still tweaking - but, it does sound really, really good to my ears right now. biggrin.gif

Whether or not higher crossovers will improve your sound is highly dependent on your own setup, and to a larger extent, your room. The only way to know if you're getting a better response is with some sort of measurement software.
Alan P is online now  
post #5 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 08:52 AM
AVS Special Member
 
BIslander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 122
Calibration discs have bass sweeps rhat can be used to determine the point at which a speaker can no longer handle low frequencies as well as a sub.

Beyond that, bass response is affected by placement in a room. The full range speakers need to be positioned for imaging, which may not be optimal for bass performance. Subs can be placed anywhere that works best.

So, there's no one approach that works for everyone, even when they have the same equipment. Environmental factors play a big part in configuring a system.
BIslander is offline  
post #6 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
grigorianvlad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,287
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 590
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post

When playing with crossovers higher than 80hz you have to be careful of sub placement or you will run into localization issues. Above 80hz, the human brain is able to locate the source of those frequencies, so if you have your sub too far away from your mains you will be able to "localize" it and that is not what you want from your system.
.

Thanks, Alan. I have this problem. I didn't realize it was because of the high crossover setting on the sub. It makes perfect sense.
grigorianvlad is offline  
post #7 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 09:50 AM
AVS Special Member
 
BIslander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 122
Be careful about playing with the filters on your sub. You want the receiver to send the sub everything in the LFE channel along with bass from the main channels below the crossover. If you filter out some of the LFE, it will simply be discarded.
BIslander is offline  
post #8 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
grigorianvlad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,287
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 590
That is why I set the sub crossover high (but not to high). This clarifies things. I am closing this thread and opening another one on LFE or LFE+L/R, which is another thing I want an expert opinion on.
grigorianvlad is offline  
post #9 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 10:11 AM
AVS Special Member
 
GregLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Waimanalo HI
Posts: 3,117
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Liked: 52
80Hz. It's sort of like that saying "Don't fight the Fed." You've got a bunch of engineers who designed your receiver, your speakers, and mixed the recordings you play, and they all expect you to be using 80Hz. So, regardless of interesting lines of thought leading in other directions, it probably won't turn out well to be a maverick.

Greg Lee
GregLee is offline  
post #10 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 12:32 PM
AVS Special Member
 
BIslander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 122
Why would you use 80Hz as a crossover with speakers that can't handle frequencies that low? 80Hz is the recommended point for THX certified equipment, which leaves out the majority of home AV gear. (Localization can be an issue above 80Hz, of course, but that has nothing to do with the engineers who designed the equipment.) People should configure and calibrate based on their equipment and how it works in their home environments. What do you suppose the engineers did that would make a speaker that struggles with frequencies below 100Hz sound better with the crossover at 80Hz? And why would those same engineers produce processors with variable crossovers if 80Hz is what everyone should use?
BIslander is offline  
post #11 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 12:36 PM
AVS Special Member
 
M Code's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Joshua Tree, CA
Posts: 9,777
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked: 108
Keep in mind..
The Low Frequency X-over point is actually down 3dB to the reference Hz..
The other X-over spec to be aware of its the roll-off slope, most are either 18 or 24 dB per octave...

Just my $0.02.. wink.gif
M Code is online now  
post #12 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 01:06 PM
Member
 
EmotivaKeith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
All good points - and you need to consider all of them.
You also need to remember that there's a lot of grey and not much black-and-white involved.

First, even a 24 dB/octave crossover isn't like a vertical wall.
If you set a crossover at 80 Hz, the small speakers will be down about 27 dB at 40 Hz, and the sub will be down about 27 dB at 160 Hz.
That means that the sub will still be making some output at those frequencies where localization effects occur.
Likewise, the small speakers will still be making some output at 40 Hz (which they, presumably, don't do a good job of).
The frequency chosen is a compromise - and 80 Hz works well for most small speakers and subs.

Sadly, the original idea was that 80 Hz was chosen as an optimum compromise point, and both subs and "satellites" were designed with that in mind.
Recently, with the obsession with tiny speakers, manufacturers are making tiny speakers that don't work well down to 80 Hz.,
so we are forced to sacrifice more by compromising more and raising the crossover frequency into the area where it will be audible.

In the end, the best advice that you can get is "pick the lowest frequency at which your small speakers don't distort or sound strained when you play music with lots of low notes".
There isn't a lot of reason to go much below 80 Hz but, if your auto-system picks 100 Hz or higher , you should consider trying 80 and see what happens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Why would you use 80Hz as a crossover with speakers that can't handle frequencies that low? 80Hz is the recommended point for THX certified equipment, which leaves out the majority of home AV gear. (Localization can be an issue above 80Hz, of course, but that has nothing to do with the engineers who designed the equipment.) People should configure and calibrate based on their equipment and how it works in their home environments. What do you suppose the engineers did that would make a speaker that struggles with frequencies below 100Hz sound better with the crossover at 80Hz? And why would those same engineers produce processors with variable crossovers if 80Hz is what everyone should use?

EmotivaKeith is offline  
post #13 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 01:19 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Alan P's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 1,673
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked: 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Why would you use 80Hz as a crossover with speakers that can't handle frequencies that low? 80Hz is the recommended point for THX certified equipment, which leaves out the majority of home AV gear. (Localization can be an issue above 80Hz, of course, but that has nothing to do with the engineers who designed the equipment.) People should configure and calibrate based on their equipment and how it works in their home environments. What do you suppose the engineers did that would make a speaker that struggles with frequencies below 100Hz sound better with the crossover at 80Hz? And why would those same engineers produce processors with variable crossovers if 80Hz is what everyone should use?

Not quite sure what this was in reply to, but I mentioned the THX/Audyssey recommended crossover of 80hz because the OP has speakers that can obviously extend below that since his receiver's auto EQ set them at 60hz.
Alan P is online now  
post #14 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 01:31 PM
AVS Special Member
 
BIslander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 122
It was in reply to this "Don't fight the Fed" post right above mine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregLee View Post

80Hz. It's sort of like that saying "Don't fight the Fed." You've got a bunch of engineers who designed your receiver, your speakers, and mixed the recordings you play, and they all expect you to be using 80Hz. So, regardless of interesting lines of thought leading in other directions, it probably won't turn out well to be a maverick.

I am only trying to make the point that equipment and room factors matter and should be taken into consideration rather than simply setting the crossover at 80Hz because that's what the Fed says.
BIslander is offline  
post #15 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 01:34 PM
Advanced Member
 
JD in NJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 645
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 35
Best recommendation I can give for someone using an AVR is to raise any crossovers set lower than 80 to 80 and leave any set higher alone. If you're using dedicated amplification there's an argument to be made for not raising the crossovers, and it comes down to what measures best and/or sounds best to you.

JD in NJ is offline  
post #16 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 01:35 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Alan P's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 1,673
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked: 136
Well, it is worth stating here although it's all over these forums and in any of the Audyssey setup guides - you should NEVER lower any crossover set by Audyssey (or whatever auto EQ your AVR uses). If you do, you risk damage to your speakers.
Alan P is online now  
post #17 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 04:50 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
arnyk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
Posts: 13,654
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 288 Post(s)
Liked: 997
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Why would you use 80Hz as a crossover with speakers that can't handle frequencies that low?

No good reason comes to mind.
Quote:
80Hz is the recommended point for THX certified equipment, which leaves out the majority of home AV gear. (Localization can be an issue above 80Hz, of course, but that has nothing to do with the engineers who designed the equipment.) People should configure and calibrate based on their equipment and how it works in their home environments. What do you suppose the engineers did that would make a speaker that struggles with frequencies below 100Hz sound better with the crossover at 80Hz? And why would those same engineers produce processors with variable crossovers if 80Hz is what everyone should use?

Reality is that life is full of trade offs.
arnyk is offline  
post #18 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 05:01 PM
AVS Special Member
 
M Code's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Joshua Tree, CA
Posts: 9,777
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked: 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Why would you use 80Hz as a crossover with speakers that can't handle frequencies that low? 80Hz is the recommended point for THX certified equipment, which leaves out the majority of home AV gear. (Localization can be an issue above 80Hz, of course, but that has nothing to do with the engineers who designed the equipment.) People should configure and calibrate based on their equipment and how it works in their home environments. What do you suppose the engineers did that would make a speaker that struggles with frequencies below 100Hz sound better with the crossover at 80Hz? And why would those same engineers produce processors with variable crossovers if 80Hz is what everyone should use?


Many years back when THX defined their standards..
The THX loudspeakers were full-range, and the low frequency effects (0.1) were handled by the subwoofer.. But as the home theater market expanded driven by DVDs having Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround decoding, larger full-range loudspeakers were not acceptable to many systems due to their size and wife acceptance factor.. The loudspeaker market responded with the 5.1 satellite/subwoofer systems which make up the majority of systems today, and these satellites used 2 1/2" or 3" drivers that were incapable of handling the lower frequencies < 100-200 Hz..

Just my $0.02... wink.gif
M Code is online now  
post #19 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 09:22 PM
AVS Special Member
 
GregLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Waimanalo HI
Posts: 3,117
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Liked: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

What do you suppose the engineers did that would make a speaker that struggles with frequencies below 100Hz sound better with the crossover at 80Hz?
They could mix recordings pre-emphasizing frequencies 80-100Hz to compensate for the drop off of the small surrounds, or, more plausibly, they could minimize surround material in that frequency range, to make the small surrounds sound almost as good.
Quote:
And why would those same engineers produce processors with variable crossovers if 80Hz is what everyone should use?
Marketing. It's to sell more receivers to people like you, who are convinced there is something terrible in sending a speaker frequencies which it will attenuate.

Greg Lee
GregLee is offline  
post #20 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 09:41 PM
AVS Special Member
 
BIslander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 122
Or, you could simply configure and calibrate your equipment so that it sounds best in your listening space.
BIslander is offline  
Reply Receivers, Amps, and Processors

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off