HT Receivers and their Crossovers

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Jeff Maruschek, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. Jeff Maruschek

    Jeff Maruschek Auditioning

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    Hey everyone...

    I think part of my tax refund will be going towards a new receiver...and I'm a little curious on how the newer receivers handle crossing over?

    Now, I know crossover points within the receiver aren't an issue when watching DVDs...however if I'm listening to a CD or a record (I'm a DJ...so I still DO listen to vinyl!), or watching TV...how is the sub channel crossed over?

    I'm not so worried about my SUB
    (I can't post the URL to my sub pics...so email me if you'd like to see my enclosure I built for a 18" Kicker Comp from 1988)

    However, I have 15" woofers in my main speakers...and I'm wondering if they'll still receive a full range signal. If not...I'm wondering if some of the new receivers have crossover settings for the main speakers.

    moose
    [email protected]
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    Bass Mgt on most modern AVR's is pretty good. Some still have limitations.

    But the better Management schemes allow a wide range of xover points, and choices.

    And allow each channel to be set independently for "Large" or "Small" speakers, any signal lower than the xover point selected on any channel set small goes out the LFE/ Sub Pre Out.

    Some also allow LFE to go to fronts set to large.
    Some even allow for bass at or under the chosen xover point for channels set large to still go to the LFE / Sub Pre Out....

    Ect..ect..ect.....
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Basically, bass management is no different for movies or music. Only select receivers allow different settings for different situations, and that depends on your price range, as these are not in the sub $500 range. Many receivers allow you to bypass bass management and tone controls, allowing you to play your speakers full range without changing your bass management settings.

    I believe Sony is still one of the only manufacturers who has individually selectable x-over for each channel, but nearly all of them will allow size (large or small) adjustments for various channels.

    It sounds like what you will want to do is have your mains set to large, allowing them to play full range, while setting the rest to small, sending their bass to the sub. Now, this will have one possible negative side effect - your receiver now has to power those 15" drivers, which will mean you will need plenty of power. If they draw a lot of current, your best bet is external amplification for them.
     
  4. Jeff Maruschek

    Jeff Maruschek Auditioning

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    Thanks for the info! I'll check out the sonys...can someone give me an example of some AVR's that have individual xover points for the main speakers?

    Also, my main concern is listening to cds and records...which means, that only the Mains (left & right) and the sub should be running. (no DSP) I'm not interested in listening to my cds with a center channel or synthetic surround sound. However in this situation...I'd like to be able to set the crossover points of my main speakers...and then know where to x-over my sub on the plate amp. (by either knowing exactly what is being sent out the subwoofer pre-out...or being able to set THAT x-over point as well)

    My goal is to create the smoothest response between my mains and my subwoofer. But how can I do that if I can't set the x-over points to my mains or know how the sub pre-out is generated?

    BTW, My mains are (not great) old Fisher 3-ways with a 15", a 3", and a tweeter. I replaced the 15"s with Kicker Comp 15"s for better low end. My sub is a custom built acoustic suspension enclosure with a Kicker 18" and the Rythmik audio 380 watt amp.

    So, are they're any AVR's that allow you to set individual x-over points on the mains and the subwoofer pre-outs?
     
  5. John S

    John S Producer

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    Hmm, I was not indicating separate xover points for the mains was really an option...

    Simply that on some higher end bass mgt you get options like...


    Mains = LFE+below xover content on channels set to small, stuff like that....

    The same xover point in my experience has always been the same for all channels set to small. The options start to come into which channels are set Small and which ones large.
    And will sometimes have more options for the fronts, knowing many people own meaner speakers for their fronts, than their surrounds.
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Jeff: Some Onkyo and Harmon/Kardon receivers I've played around with recently have their sub output active during plain ol' stereo operation. In fact, the Harmons were this way right out of the box. But as far the actual crossover points themselves......I didn't get that far because at the time we were concerned with getting these set up as full-range satellite surround music playback systems (sacd and dvd-audio >>> Pioneer DV-563) so I never delved deeply into the bass management sections of the the receiver's settings menu.

    Otherwise, for now could you just set your present receiver to "no" subwoofer and "large" fronts, & use the speaker-level inputs on your sub amp?

    LJ
     
  7. Zack_R

    Zack_R Stunt Coordinator

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    The Sony 4ES will let you set your mains to small and cross them over at 40 hz on the low end (the lowest crossover setting). It will also let you keep your mains large and set your center and surrounds to small and your sub on. The newer Sony's will likely offer the same functionality.

    But before buying a new receiver, I recommend charting your frequency response of your mains, using test tones, to determine just how full range they are. Unless they truly hold flat to 30 hz without out a lot of bass boosting, the best crossover setting for them will probably be 80 hz. Then calibrate the low end with your sub and subwoofer level control.

    Depending on the outcome, you may give yourself more choices of receiver if a low crossover point isn't needed. I like my 4ES but I'm just giving you food for thought.

    I have charted my frequency response using a variety of crossover settings and have found 80 hz to be about the best crossover setting for my mains and I have 15 inch woofers too. What can happen when you crossover to low is that the bass frequencies from your mains and sub can create some undesirable cancellation with your sub as you work towards 20 hz. This can happen even with the phase dialed in pretty tight. When I set me mains to large and leave the sub on I lose 1 db at 40 hz and the gap grows to a good 6db or more by 20 hz.
     
  8. Jeff Maruschek

    Jeff Maruschek Auditioning

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    Zack_R said:


    This would be an option...however...when I went to watch a DVD...I'd loose the option of using true 5.1.

    Thanks for the info, everyone! I'm surprised that crossover points are not more an issue in home theatre...or should I say...more customizable. My background is in Professional Sound reinforcement...where your crossover points are VERY important. Since the main goal is a quality response curve...I figure the approach would be the same...instead of blindly trying different settings until you luckily find the sweet spot.
     
  9. Tim Streagle

    Tim Streagle Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,

    I am going to try to simplify this discussion and attempt to satisfy your question.

    Large setting for speaker - fullrange, no signal to sub. Many receivers have a setting for the sub that lets you add bass from mains to sub.

    Small setting- mains, center, and surr's are crossed over to sub for bass.

    X-over settings are typically 40,60,80,100 Hz. They probably go higher but I never noticed. X-overs work when speakers are set to small, and on large when the sub is receiving bass signal from mains when set to LFE+ MAINS.

    My receiver allows independent x-over settings for Mains, Center, Surrounds, Rears, and sub. YMMV

    The danger is to set the Main/Sub point at 40Hz and have the surr's at 100. This leaves a hole in the Surr. channel from 40-100! I find more problems with phase cancellation in the mid bass region than in the sub area.
     
  10. Jeff Maruschek

    Jeff Maruschek Auditioning

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    Tim!

    Thanks for the info. Can I ask what receiver you have?
     
  11. Tim Streagle

    Tim Streagle Stunt Coordinator

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    Harman Kardon AVR 525 (discontinued). The new models also have similar bass management. So do Denons, some Yamahas, a few Sonys, and the Pioneer Elites (I think). I have probably left out a few others. Most receivers are jumping on board with more flexible bass management. Also check out the Outlaw Audio products.
     

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