Where should I cross-over my Atoms?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Johnny V, May 10, 2004.

  1. Johnny V

    Johnny V Agent

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    I just upgraded my HT to 4 Atoms and a CC-170 with an HSU STF-2 and an Onkyo 601. I was just wondering where I should set my cross-over for the sub at? For the time being I set it for 100 (on the receiver), but I thought I would get some of your opinions as well. Is there a way to tell where you should set it with an SPL meter, or should you just try and use frequency charts, etc.?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Bill Blank

    Bill Blank Stunt Coordinator

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    First calibrate your sub's level to match that of the other speakers in your system. Then you're ready to mess with the x-over setting.

    I've found it best in my systems to run the main L&R speakers set to "LARGE" with the Sub turned off. Use a test CD such as Rives Audio's Test CD2, Stereophile's Test CD3, or something with 1/3 octave warble tones. I prefer the Rives disc over the Stereophile disc for two reasons:

    1) They use separate tracks for each tone, Stereophile only Indexes
    2) They have tracks that "correct" the errors found in the RS analog sound level meter.

    After running you mains full range and plotting your results on a chart, see where the bass begins to taper off (usually a -3dB point that's not followed by any peaks.) Start with your receiver's cross-over at that frequency and run the test tones again with your mains set to "SMALL" and your sub on. See if that smooths out the bass, extending it much lower. Now experiment with the phase control and compare the results in a graph.

    If you are still having major problems, you may have to experiment with placement and test all over again.

    I've found 80Hz to be the highest x-over frequency I can use in my room. Anything higher and all of the bass comes from the right side of my room where the sub is.

    Again, this is what works for me, your mileage may vary.

    Good Luck!
    Bill
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Bill's recommendations are spot on, but are also going to take you some time.

    Quick and dirty: (after basic level calibration) You cannot use an 80Hz x-over with the Atoms. They lack useable bass to cover as low as 40Hz with an 80Hz x-over effectively, so they should be crossed over quite high. I'd expect 100Hz to be decent, but I found they may still give a slight dip near the x-over point, so you might try slightly higher. Unfortunately 120Hz might be too high for the sub.
     
  4. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Johnny

    Typically atoms are crossed over in a particle accelerator. Damned inconvenient [​IMG] if you ask me.
     
  5. Johnny V

    Johnny V Agent

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    ^^^LOL

    Thanks for the replies. I'm too lazy to try your method, Bill, but thanks for taking the time to post[​IMG]

    I guess I'll leave it @ 100 for now.
     

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