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Old 19th December 2016, 09:51 AM   #1
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Default Crossovers for beginners

Hi everybody! I am wondering if someone could point me in a good direction regarding crossover building and testing for a beginner? Books, websites, programs, biggest beginner mistakes or whatever you think might help.

I'm building a home cinema system first. I got drivers for a 9.2 system. I'm taking on this project because I need to learn everything from scratch. I can't copy anybody's boxes or crossovers for different reasons. I will keep the crossovers external for easy access and mods.

And yes I'm not crazy. I will fail and learn and fail some more but then somewhere along the way something beautiful might emerge.


Regards, Timo
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Old 19th December 2016, 10:06 AM   #2
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Well, the obvious place to start is a book, "The Loudspeaker Design Cookbook", whatever the current edition is, ( I have the sixth, but I'm sure he's got a couple more done since ).

Next would be another book, Joseph D'Appolito's "Testing Loudspeakers", so you know if what you're building is working the way you want it to.

As for software, I use Soundeasy, but I wouldn't recommend it to a complete beginner as it has a learning curve like a cliff, and even though I've been using it for about 10 years, still trips me up every now and again. I'm not sure what else is out there at the moment, but I'm sure others will chip in with suggestions.

Again, websites, there are lots, good, bad, some with differing opinions that can be either, but if you get and read the above books, then you will be able to take an educated view of the online stuff, and pick and choose what to use.

And of course, you can always post your problems here.

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...I will fail and learn and fail some more but then somewhere along the way something beautiful might emerge
Perfect!
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Old 19th December 2016, 10:12 AM   #3
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Thanks! I ordered the Cookbook 7th edition already. Coming in a week with a pair of Dayton UM18-22. Will take a look at the Testing Loudspeakers online now...

Regards, Timo
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Old 19th December 2016, 10:30 AM   #4
timpert is offline timpert  Netherlands
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Hi Timo,

What Pinkmouse says. In addition, you could also look at the various software packages that are freeware or shareware, such as:

HOLM Acoustics
ARTA Software
REW - Room EQ Wizard Room Acoustics Software

The title of the latter is somewhat misleading: it also contains a rather good loudspeaker measurement functionality. Anyway, their manuals and appnotes are a good place to gain additional understanding once you have the basics in your head as recommended by Pinkmouse. And since they don't cost you anything, you can give all three a spin and decide what you like. I like ARTA, but I occasionally also use the others.

Visaton has a nice bit of software called Boxsim, this might be just what you're looking for:

Downloads

(edit) If you really want to study the acoustic part of the equation, I can recommend Beranek's "Acoustics: Sound Fields and Transducers". It is quite academic, but if that's what you are looking for, then this is one of the standard works. The author passed away a couple of months ago at the age of 102, but the latest edition is from 2012. Here's his last publication:

https://www.researchgate.net/publica...ecent_findings

Quote:
And yes I'm not crazy.
Yes you are.
Quote:
I will fail and learn and fail some more but then somewhere along the way something beautiful might emerge.
Which proves my point. But that attitude is your blessing! Good luck!

Last edited by timpert; 19th December 2016 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 19th December 2016, 10:41 AM   #5
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Oh, and just a word of advice. You are doing this for fun and eventual listening pleasure. Whilst getting ruler flat curves is a very laudable goal, what really matters is what sounds good to you. So by all means aim for technical perfection, but if you have to stray a little from that to make something sound good to you, in your room, then do so with no regrets at all. You are the one that has to live with your creations, we don't!
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Old 19th December 2016, 10:51 AM   #6
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Thanks and noooo... I'm not crazy at all lol!
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Old 19th December 2016, 11:08 AM   #7
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I'll add a link http://www.pispeakers.com/Speaker_Crossover_Lab.pdf Quite a lot of theory, so maybe better for a bit further down the track depending on how you learn, but I got some insights here that I didn't get from any other sources

If you have got excel I'd highly recommend having a play with PCD (passive crossover designer) It's a great way to get a handle on what the circuits are doing to the acoustic response. Xsim XSim free crossover designer is another option which is a standalone program not requiring excel though I've only had a cursory glance, (as I tend to use speakerworkshop, which is quite archaic, but I like it)

Tony.
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Old 19th December 2016, 11:11 AM   #8
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It's all for "fun" in the beginning but my goal is to learn to build stuff that I could actually sell with a small profit so I will have to learn the hard way. I would not be satisfied copy/pasting somebodys ideas even if it would save me some time. I'm aiming for the long run. This workshop will hopefully be my final project. I got 20 years experience from construction. Building houses from scratch, kitchens, stairs and whatever needed to be done. I have always solved any problem/task at hand. Audio and visual have been a big interest my whole life. I got some experience with cabinet building and I have a great eye for details.

I retired from construction because of back problems but this workshop of mine is gonna keep me busy and happy since I really need to do something with my hands.
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Old 23rd December 2016, 04:23 PM   #9
rsavas is offline rsavas  Canada
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I have used ltspice simulator to do some passive crossover design/verification.
I even plugged in the speaker inductances and vc resistance, to make it more realistic than just a simple R load.
see attached,
you are going to need to learn the free software tool, but the price is right
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File Type: asc Altec lansing 3 xover.asc (2.7 KB, 16 views)
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Old 3rd January 2017, 08:19 AM   #10
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Happy new year everybody! Thanks for the info and links. Crunching data into WinISD atm and it's slowly getting somewhere hehe. Any recommendations regarding soldering station and tools for that? And what is a good approach regarding ordering parts for the crossovers? I assume I'm gonna need a lot of boxes with a lot of components so should I just order 10's or 100's of each? Any parts or materials that I should look for or avoid etc?

Thanks for any help! I'm getting the keys to my new shop in two days if all goes well...
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