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Speaker crossovers, 10hz above, or one octave above? (1 Viewer)

TyGuy

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I have a LCR set of two Monitor Audio Bronze 2s a Bronze Centre and a BK Double Gem. I understand the best way to figure out the best crossover for your setup is REW, but unfortunately while I have a PC, I have no mic. So for those of us who can't do that what's the best method of determining the best crossover for someone's setup. I hear two theories, set the crossover 10hz above what each of your speakers are rated at, or two, one octave above what they're rated at, so in my case my fronts are 42hz, so that would 84hz, so 80. And my centre 60hz, so 120hz. I've tried both methods and each one has its differences. Doing one octave above seems to add more bass overall, doing 10hz above seems to make the fronts and centre more pronounced while the sub is doing it's thing in the background. What's best?
 

JohnRice

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I generally suggest one octave (double) as a starting point, but there are a lot of variables that play into it. Sometimes it ends up lower or even higher.
 

TyGuy

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I generally suggest one octave (double) as a starting point, but there are a lot of variables that play into it. Sometimes it ends up lower or even higher.
Audioholics recommend 10hz above the frequency response of your speakers and so do SVS, but on other places it's one octave above, what to do lol.
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Ten Hz sounds really insubstantial to me. A movie with a low-end boost on the bass track can blow that right out and it’ll end up being practically like no filter at all.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

TyGuy

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Well technically my receiver goes like this, 40, 60, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 150, 200 and 250hz. So my speakers are rated 42hz so it would actually be like 52hz but, 60 is how the system goes.

I may be listening to my system all wrong but somehow having my crossover 10hz above does actually sound good, clean sounding I guess. Why would using only 10hz be a bad idea?
 

JohnRice

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It depends on a lot of factors, but let's assume you have a good subwoofer and it is designed to reproduce frequencies to well over 100Hz. Why would you limit its range so much? Or, let's put it this way. Say your subwoofer has usable output up to 200Hz. You would never set the crossover to 190Hz, would you? There is always a range, which in your case is about 42Hz at the low end and let's just say 150Hz at the high end for the subwoofer. Aside from room interactions, the ideal crossover is probably somewhere in the middle, not at either extreme.

Your speakers serve a purpose and your subwoofer serves a purpose. Let them both do their job.

In my HT, my main speakers are flat to 32Hz. I ended up with the crossover for movies at 80Hz and music at 50Hz.
 

TyGuy

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It depends on a lot of factors, but let's assume you have a good subwoofer and it is designed to reproduce frequencies to well over 100Hz. Why would you limit its range so much? Or, let's put it this way. Say your subwoofer has usable output up to 200Hz. You would never set the crossover to 190Hz, would you? There is always a range, which in your case is about 42Hz at the low end and let's just say 150Hz at the high end for the subwoofer. Aside from room interactions, the ideal crossover is probably somewhere in the middle, not at either extreme.

Your speakers serve a purpose and your subwoofer serves a purpose. Let them both do their job.

In my HT, my main speakers are flat to 32Hz. I ended up with the crossover for movies at 80Hz and music at 50Hz.
Localisation. You wouldn't want the sub to become directional, especially at 200hz. My sub only goes as high as 120hz.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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At least for some of us, if we have particularly old and/or expensive audiophile speakers (that are generally optimized more for music than movie soundtracks) perhaps mated w/ (somewhat) less expensive subs (especially if more than 1 sub), we might want to give more work to the subs for movies and less for music, which seems to be what @JohnRice is doing.

Sure, you don't want directional upper bass to come from the subs, so not too high...

I will probably go that route myself for my "new" setup soon. Don't wanna overwork the 20-plus-yo, former flagship Thiels (and the amp that needs to drive their particularly difficult load in the bass region down near 1ohm) on movie soundtracks afterall. Much easier to replace a new $800-900 sub (from Hsu) in my case... although ideally, I shouldn't even need to use subs for stereo music since those Thiels are supposed to be flat down to ~23Hz (+/-1db), but I may need to just because of the difficult load (in the bass region)...

_Man_
 

JohnRice

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Localisation. You wouldn't want the sub to become directional, especially at 200hz. My sub only goes as high as 120hz.
It appears you have already decided what you are going to do, so I have to wonder why you asked the question in the first place.
 

Mike Up

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My Polk TSi 100 main speakers have a -3 db point at 61 Hz. I have my Denon Receiver AVR-2312ci set at 80 Hz and that seems to be a good point. It goes 40 Hz, 60 Hz, 80 Hz, then 90 Hz. These speakers sound really good in the mid bass and actually could be used without a subwoofer. Most bookshelf speakers I had or even my Old Infinity RS 2000.4 Tower speakers had more low end thump, but midbass was low in level making a subwoofer a must. Not so with these Polk TSi 100s. BTW, I don't use Audyssey MultEQ XT on my AVR-2312ci. I found that it makes the speakers overly bright, un-natural and harsh sounding. Maybe my room doesn't work with it well but it just sounded horrible so I've never used it.

I would experiment with different crossover settings, room acoustics and speaker characteristics may lead to a better sound with a crossover setting that's technically not ideal.

My Media Rooms Polk TL1 main speakers have a low end that only goes down to 135 Hz -3db but I have my Denon AVR-3803's crossover set to it's highest at 120 Hz. Plus Polk recommends a crossover setting of 120 Hz. The TL1 speakers blend seamlessly with the Polk TL1600 subwoofer. No hole in the upper bass is detectable at all. Sounds like a nice even and smooth transition. If you didn't know, you would think I had large full range tower speakers from the nice blend between the speakers and subwoofer.
 
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TyGuy

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Thanks guys for your input. Found an article with some really helpful info which I'll try later https://bobpariseau.com/blog/2018/6/5/choosing-a-crossover-frequency-awesome-bass-begins-here

Apparently the upper limit of a crossover should your sub go this high is 100hz, as this is the safe zone where speech canno get to the sub, also shouldn't be any directionality. Besides the one octave above thing, he also recommends using a sweep tone to test multiple crossover settings. Now while I don't have the AIX cal disc, I do have DVR with a sweep tone so will toy with the crossovers later. I'll let you know what I find.
 

Mike Up

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Depends on your speakers. If they are small and don't go down to 100 Hz flat, you'll likely have a hole in the frequency range or a dip. But room acoustics, phasing, and resonances can change that to even having peaks instead.

Also if your speakers are small and don't go to 100Hz, the sub should be located right by the speakers so localization doesn't become a problem.
 

JohnRice

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This topic comes up a lot and people tend to insist on setting a crossover that's too low. I find it hard to believe a company like SVS would advocate only allowing a 10Hz buffer, but that article linked above does explain why that's never going to be a good solution. It also explains why I always suggest a starting point of one octave.

This is often a sacrifice, since frequently the equipment involved doesn't allow for a smooth transition between speakers and sub. Then you toss in room interactions and poor location of the sub(s) and it can get extremely complicated.
 
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TyGuy

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Agreed tbh. I've found zero info on why 10hz above is a good thing, they just state it, yet articles like I linked before gave serious reasons as to why doubling your speakers lowest frequency is best. Anyways I think the reason why I'm thinking 60hz for my fronts sounds better is probably where my room is coming in.
 

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