Subwoofer Crossover

Bepaof8

Agent
Joined
Sep 2, 2006
Messages
45
Real Name
Pete
The new SVS PB12-NSD/2 subwoofer I just got to upgrade my HT setup has raised a question in my mind...

I really love Home Theater, but I confess that I don't know much about speakers and subwoofers. Especially all the technical stuff. All I really understand is a speaker or sound system sounding good, or sounding bad. Not sounding bright, dark, warm, soft, full or whatever. I consider myself a audio layperson. (One who only uses his setup for Home Theater, by the way. 100 percent HT, 0 percent music)

With that being said, could somebody explain to me - in laymans terms - the following?

My understanding of "crossover" assignment is the point at which all other speakers turn over to the subwoofer all bass from that assigned point on down. I see 80 Hz mentioned. But why wouldn't it be better for someone with a really great subwoofer to get more benefit from it by setting the crossover to 100 Hz, or even 120 Hz. It just seems that throwing more responsibility to a great subwoofer would make more sense than setting the crossover at a lower point.

Thanks for the help!
Pete
 

John Garcia

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 24, 1999
Messages
11,571
Location
NorCal
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John
Sound becomes directional and most people are able to locate the origin of sound at about 120Hz, which is why you DON'T want your sub to be crossed that high. That would mean you would be able to tell where in the room the sub is. Crossing your sub high also means the sub is now working harder to produce sound that ideally should be handled by the main speakers. Sound is reduced as you move away from the crossover point, it is not a brick wall, so the sub will still get some information above the x-over and the mains will get some below the x-over (at a reduced level), to allow them to blend together more seamlessly.
 

Jeff Gatie

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
Messages
6,531
In addition to John excellent post, you can also think of it as a marching band, with the sub being the tubas and bass drums. Each instrument (speaker) has it's sweet spot and you wouldn't want the tubas struggling to play the french horn and trombone parts or the bass drums playing the snare and tom tom parts. This is the same reason why the vast majority of mains, centers and surrounds should be set to "small". Let the players play what they play best, or else someone is going to get winded.
 

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