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Old 25th October 2007, 02:53 AM   #1
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Default Ways to Prototype a Crossover? (newbie question)

How do y'all experienced speaker builders prototype up your crossovers?

My next project, I want to build an ugly speaker with the crossover outside the box so I can easily tweak values and hear the effects immediately. Don't want to solder/desolder every time, and just twisting leads together doesn't seem right. What connection methods can you recommend?

Thanks!
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Old 25th October 2007, 03:02 AM   #2
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Here's one way:

http://www.geocities.com/woove99/Spk...esigningXO.htm

As for connection methods, I've read here of people doing exactly what you mentioned - twisting leads together - I think that's probably the best way to go temporarily - when you've tweaked your XOs to your taste then you can solder everything up.

BTW - external crossovers won't make your speakers ugly - all you have to do is recess the rear panel (if that's where they'll be mounted) about two inches and they'll be pretty much invisible from the sides. Just account for the recess in your cabinet volume by making the sides an equivalent distance deeper.
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Old 25th October 2007, 06:43 PM   #3
Elfer is offline Elfer  Canada
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If it's going to be an experimental speaker that you want to rewire a lot, a breadboard might be a good option. You can just plug your components into the circuit and go.

I wouldn't recommend this for speakers with a high wattage though. I'm not even sure how much power a regular breadboard can handle without failing.
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Old 25th October 2007, 06:59 PM   #4
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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If you twist the component leads you ruin the component fore later use

Just use those plastic things with brass inside and screws ... used to internal wire in the house ... dont know what they are called in english
Some joints are easily soldered many many times with no problem, just dont twist anything
But always do a proper and logical layout, so that you always know what is going on
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Old 25th October 2007, 07:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by tinitus
If you twist the component leads you ruin the component fore later use

Just use those plastic things with brass inside and screws ... used to internal wire in the house ... dont know what they are called in english
Some joints are easily soldered many many times with no problem, just dont twist anything
But always do a proper and logical layout, so that you always know what is going on
They're called "terminal strips" - and that's a very good idea - they are used a lot in crossovers and I'll be using some in my next ones.
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Old 25th October 2007, 09:26 PM   #6
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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another important detail ... if you bend the leads from a component make absolutely sure its NOT bending at the point where it leaves the component
If you bend the leads over a finger making a nice round curve you can bend and rebend a hundred times without breaking

Also make sure that both channels(xo) are wired exactly alike
If you want to listen to a small change, make the change on only one channel ... then listen, and you will very quickly hear which one to prefer

Also try placing your head closely in front of the speakers, about 1 meter, one speaker at a time ... moving your head slightly up and down the sound should not change too much ... when you achive that you are very close
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Old 25th October 2007, 09:39 PM   #7
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I think it's possible that tinitus was referring to Twist-on wire connectors. See p 729 of the McMaster-Carr online catalog. We have not tried those, they may be ok. One drawback is that they would seem to require several turns of the comp. leads.

What you can get away with depends on how good the drivers, xo components, and associated equipment are. If all are quite good... well see below. Listed in order of improvement as we found it.

We experimented with several approaches, starting with good ol' clip leads. DON'T USE CLIP LEADS! Even the better ones added quite a bit of grunge to the sound. We got misled a couple of times as a result. We were slow learners too...

Twisting leads is so-so, works better if you really mess the leads up with several turns.

Terminal blocks; we just stacked two loops and used the terminal screw as a compression to mash the two leads together. It seems that any modern, decent driver is transparent enough to require at least this level of construction. I would guess the twist-ons to be about this level.

Finally, unfortunately the only sonically reliable method was to tack solder. For the final build, you will want to solder with a twist or two, with a decent mechanical connection, but for breadboarding, just cross or lap the wires at the ends and make a small solder joint. It really isn't as bad as it sounds, and perhaps the practice will add to your soldering experience. Cheer up, the first thousand joints are the worst.

For our final build, we used polyethylene pegboard from McMaster-Carr; the double-thick version. Works well, looks good, strong, sorta pricey.

Edit: I just saw tinitus' 2nd post, and would certainly agree. In addition, it reminded me: breakin effects count; resistors a few hours, coils the same? and capacitors usually up to 40 hours. Again, the better the drivers, components, etc. the more important this is. It took us a while to get this sorted out too...
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Old 25th October 2007, 09:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by tinitus
If you twist the component leads you ruin the component fore later use

Just use those plastic things with brass inside and screws ... used to internal wire in the house ... dont know what they are called in english
Some joints are easily soldered many many times with no problem, just dont twist anything
But always do a proper and logical layout, so that you always know what is going on
I believe you are referring to Marr connectors? That's what I used. Very versatile because of all the sizes available.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 25th October 2007, 09:47 PM   #9
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Actually I warned AGAINST twisting ... on the finished speaker it may be ok, but when are they finished

Otherwise I agree ... I also only use soldering by crossing the end of leads 90 degre ... a small drop of solder will do and quite sufficient to do the speakers justice

Unfortunately there is no perfect joint
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Old 25th October 2007, 10:10 PM   #10
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Marr connectors don't require twisting. You can just feed the individual wires into the screw and tighten. They do kink a bit, but only on the ends.
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