|The Crossover Design Cookbook|
by Mark Lawrence
What are Crossovers?
1st order Crossover
2nd order Crossover
How Crossovers Work
Final Watt-V Crossover
What We've Learned
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This book is actually quite comprehensive on the general topic of filtering. Because of this, there is a fair amount of material which you don't need to cover if all you want to do is build simple crossovers.
Everyone has their own opinion of the best cross over; further, different people are interested in different aspects of sound reproduction. I'm mostly interested in low distortion; others are more interested in flat frequency response, some are more interested in the best sound stage, and others are more interested in the visceral effects of loud music. Your preferences effect your choices in building cross overs and speakers.
In spite of this, probably 95% of all speaker designs use 1st order and 2nd order cross overs. These are by far the easiest cross overs to design and build. If all you want is a simple, effective 1st or 2nd order cross over, everything you need to know is in chapter 1. You may regard the rest of this book as extra-credit work.
If you wish to use 3rd or 4th order cross overs, or perhaps use serial cross overs instead of parallel cross overs, then you'll want to read chapter 2 also. Serial crossovers offer big improvements in power handling, however they require substantially more work to build. I prefer parallel cross overs, as I think they offer lower distortion and higher sonic fidelity. Further, if you're building electro static speakers, parallel cross overs are the only passive type that works. These are covered in chapter 3.
Chapter 4 is for those of you who wish to bi-amp; that is, use a cross over after your pre amp and before your power amps. The plural is correct: you'll be needing 2 or 3 stereo power amps if you wish to do this. Active cross overs are not really so easy to design by hand; so, this chapter will tell you about the major design issues, but you'll still need software to calculate component values. The advantage of active crossovers is that the power required by your woofer does not interfere with driving your midrange and tweeter, and that the inductive kickback from your woofer can be damped directly by the power amp without a crossover in between.
If you're interested in building the best possible speakers according to your chosen sound criteria, then chapters 5 and 6 hold a lot of useful information. Some of this information is fact, and some is opinion. I try to distinguish between the two. These chapters discuss distortion mechanisms in speakers, speaker dispersion, and speaker boxes and their effect on speaker distortion.
Copyright © 2002-2019 Mark Lawrence. All rights reserved. Reproduction is strictly prohibited.
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Revised Thursday, 15-Aug-2019 09:30:53 CDT