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In the Forum: Audio Discussions
In the Thread: Monitors: Wishful thinking
Post Subject: Prototyping crossovers.Posted by Romy the Cat on: 8/5/2006

Well, I never felt that for prototyping I need more then one-channels crossover as by use of the poor sounding prototyping crossovers I never look at the system in it’s entirely but rather for the “technical listing” of  just two channels that I need to bind.  Therefore for me do “a channel a time” worked always well and after I found the necessary crossover points I always trued to go line level. Two things I have to mention though.  My high pass for MF channel is not implemented on my system at line level and I still use the speaker level 3uF cap. I was not able to make the amplifier to sound good when the amp did not pass the lower frequency harmonics through itself. Also, do not forget that I use always fort order and therefore the precision of crossover point is not crazily critical.

Also, despite I kind of used the active crossovers but I personally more tend to do prototyping on the speakers level. I have a large box of all imaginable filter caps and coils and I can easy build a simple filter. After I find a crossover point, measure it, listen it and got satisfaction then I implement the same filter at line level and listen if I get everything right. I sincerely feel that a good quality speaker level filter is WAY more reasonable solution then a poor performing line level active crossover. Also I feel the drivers better what I do them with passive components at line level…. the drivers response to the changes more initiatively...

There many active ready to do crossovers out there. Audio Research did one, Briston did, Pioneer did, the same Marchand has many of them. Mark Levonson did one big and expansive; a zillion pro companies did…. They all good enough for prototype and I in past did rented some horrible sounding but superbly flexible pro crossovers for some experiments. It is important to clearly know what you need to hear and then you will be able to cancel out everything else… Well, of course some times it does not work… BTW, if you wish to know how it “might be” I re he was getting member a few years back Bob Crump during SES was trying to setup his room with some kind of speakers that he did not know but needed to promote (I think it was Wisdom Audio but I do not remember correctly). The speaker come with own LF section and own second order low pass active filter. Crump hardly demonstrated any interesting sound but the sonic horror that he was getting in his room that year was too much even for him to bear. So, he decided to blame this speakers and that active crossover. How big was his surprise when he opened up that crossover and found on the circuit board of the second order low pass filler 300 op-amps (read three hundreds!!!). I did not know if he actually counted them but he insisted that it was the number. It is not surprise that the speaker cost $15K and I am sure that they had a wonderful press in audio publications….

Anyhow, I think nowadays, is you do not wiling for whatever reasons to go speaker-level prototyping, a digital crossover might be a comfy solution, with a price tag of $300 it might be a direction to go…

The caT

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