AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading a bit about crossovers lately and I've noticed that XO tweaks seem to be popular with some speaker DIY-ers which brought a question to mind. Will changing the brand and/or type of capacitors, inductors, and resistors (while retaining the same values of the original XO components) of a speaker's XO have any appreciable (and measurable) effects on the sound characteristics of a speaker?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,649 Posts
Changes can definitely have measurable effects. If the measurable effects are large enough, which I think is not as often as many "audiophiles" think, they can be audible. Sometimes an audible change is a good thing, sometimes not.


There are many kinds of capacitors, i.e. electrolytic, paper and foil in oil, metallized polypropylene, polypropylene and foil, etc. used in crossovers. The differences in material and construction between these result in some electrical differences that can be measured in a circuit. An ideal capacitor would exhibit only capacitance and be perfectly linear. Practical capacitors exhibit resistance and inductance in addition to capacitance, and are not perfectly linear. The engineer that designs the crossover choses one that works well enough and is afforable considering the price point of the speaker.


Likewise, there are different kinds of inductors, the broadest categories being air core and iron/ferrite core inductors. Again, differences in materials and construction can result in some electrical differences that can be measured in a circuit. Air core inductors are physically larger and more expensive than the equivalent iron/ferrite core inductor. But iron/ferrite core inductors exhibit hysteresis and saturation. Also, inductors wound with larger wire have lower resistance. But the design of the crossover many depend on the resistance provided by smaller wire. Again, it is an engineering tradeoff.


The same thing goes for resistors. There are wire-wound resistors, non-inductive wire-wound resistors, carbon resistors, cermet resistors, etc.


I think most of the time any improvements you can achieve by just using better components in the crossover are swamped by deficiencies in the ability of the downstream components (woofer, tweeter, etc.) to accurately reproduce the signal.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top