Originally Posted by JimWilson
I have been cascading crossovers for years and voices were one of the driving forces behind it for me. For whatever reason I'm particularly sensitive to 'chesty' voices and if they sound the least bit heavy - when they aren't supposed to - I find it very distracting. I am also a fanatic for precision and detail, I love to hear every little nuance. When a subwoofer is still audibly contributing above the crossover point it seems to detract from the experience. Since I don't personally know anyone else who has the same difficulty I just assumed it was a unique sensitivity. Reading how so many others have benefitted from making the same adjustment has made me realize perhaps I am not in a band of one, that there are others who feel similarly. That's why you see me place so much emphasis on voices in my speaker reviews, it one of the criteria I'm most aware of.
Originally Posted by GeoJustGeo
I've seen you mention Cascading crossovers throughout my time on this forum but I never understood it until just now reading these last few posts about it Mike.
You make so much sense and I can relate to running a high boost on your sub's. I run mine 12db hot and some scenes seem too "bassy" and now I understand that this is a normal problem and I amplify it more by this bass boost I run.
Luckily I just got The Sandlot BD in the mail today so I'll be able to test this out with James Earl Jones right away.
Thank you Mike for all the work you put in on this forum!
First, thank you both for responding, and for your supportive comments. I agree with Jim that it's interesting when someone else hears what we hear and notices what we notice. In the relatively short time that I have been actively talking about cascading crossovers, and other people have been responding, I think that only one or two people who tried using the technique have said that they couldn't hear a difference. As far as I recall, everyone who could
hear a difference preferred using cascading crossovers.
There was a post recently on the Audyssey thread which helped to explain what I have been describing in very graphic terms. I think we are all indebted to @Jon AA
for the measurements he provided to illustrate what happens, above a crossover, when we boost our subwoofers. I am sharing a link to a question as to how a strong subwoofer boost might change the way we perceive bass with a given crossover.
That wasn't exactly the way the question was phrased, but that's what the OP was really asking. Jon not only interpreted the real nature of the question correctly, he proceeded to explain how subwoofer boosts can affect what we hear, above the crossover, via a series of measured frequency responses. Here is a link to the question and to Jon's answer:
At some point, I will add a link to those graphs to the Guide, so that people can see graphic illustrations of why a quicker roll-off above a crossover can be so helpful. But, since the use of significant subwoofer boosts is so common, and since the use of cascading crossovers is a frequent topic of conversation, I thought it would be worth sharing the link here as well. Jon is discussing subwoofer boosts, in the context of using the new Audyssey app, as a way to have a more blended bass response.
To a large extent, we can achieve that same effect with cascading crossovers, because we make the subwoofer boost roll-off more quickly above the crossover. But, there is also even more that we can do, depending on the size
of our subwoofer boosts and on our own listening preferences. And, for those who may not be able to fully implement cascading crossovers, for whatever reason, this additional technique may be helpful.
The following technique is not dependent on either Audyssey, or the use of the Audyssey app. In most AVR's, the use of the tone controls affects only the front speakers. I believe, however, that in at least one brand of AVR's (Yamaha?) the tone controls also affect the center channel. Where we are using an independent subwoofer boost (and not using Audyssey's DEQ, which can also obscure bass clarity) we can use the bass tone control to help balance the mid-bass, coming from the front speakers, with the boosted bass coming from the subwoofers.
We would do that by adding anywhere from 1db to 6db of bass boost to the front speakers. (Most tone controls I have seen allow 6db of upward or downward adjustability.) Although the crossover is not a brick wall, in either direction, that tone control boost would be implemented primarily above
the selected crossover. It would drop away rapidly below the selected crossover, would remain in full force out to about 200Hz, and would tail-off gradually out to about 800Hz. With an 80Hz crossover, we would hear the boost most strongly from about 80Hz to about 200Hz, or so.
Particularly in systems where the tone controls do not
affect the center channel, that allows us to have a smoother bass transition with our front speakers, without affecting the clarity of voices which are played almost exclusively by the center channel. Win-Win! That is because, although some boosted bass is leaking into the frequencies a little bit above 80Hz, the front speakers are playing that >80Hz bass a little bit louder than they would ordinarily, due to the bass tone control boost we have added.
By raising the bass volume by a few decibels, from about 200 or 300Hz down
to 80Hz, we meet the subwoofer boosts which are leaking-in a little above 80Hz. And, the overall low-bass, mid-bass, and upper-bass may sound more balanced, as a result. As with everything in audio, we still have to find the right combination of settings for our own personal preferences. And, it helps if we are starting with fairly capable front speakers, which can easily support an 80Hz or 90Hz crossover. So, this technique may work better for some people than for others.
But, I offer the use of the bass tone control as a way to achieve more blended sounding bass, without sacrificing clarity, where we are enjoying the use of a significant
subwoofer boost for the special effects in movies, or where we just want to add a little more bass to our front speakers. I like to use a bass tone control boost, in conjunction with a large subwoofer boost, in conjunction with cascading crossovers, for 5.1 movies. I especially enjoy that combination for action movies and blockbusters. YMMV! [IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/IMG]