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Old 2nd March 2015, 04:56 PM   #1
ReDress is offline ReDress  Canada
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Default How did you guys go about learning crossover design?

Hey everyone

I'm still a newbie here, improving my designs - yet the thing that gets me is that I'm still at the mercy of pre-assembled crossovers. As such, I was wondering how you guys went about learning how to do your own crossovers (Such as how what each piece in the crossover is and does, how to calculate the necessary sections properly, etc.) Any resources, like books, courses and the like would be greatly appreciated

But like I said, how did you go about learning and implementing?

Cheers
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Old 2nd March 2015, 05:48 PM   #2
Lojzek is offline Lojzek  Croatia
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How does one learn to walk? Practice works miracles.
Nowadays you can practice without spending on parts.
Simulation is very good at teaching. Measuring even
better.
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Old 2nd March 2015, 06:20 PM   #3
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learning the formulas for inductive and capacitive reactances is the basis for most crossover design work.
loudspeaker design books from Dickason,Weems,Davis and many others are good primers.
and i believe there's a sticky on crossover design without math.. or measurement.. or something.. round here somewhere...
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Old 2nd March 2015, 06:21 PM   #4
bwaslo is offline bwaslo  United States
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Hi ReDress,

In my case, I was a EE designing RF and microwave filters for a living, so was already half way there. But even then, experience and intuition only go so far

The best bet is to download an easy to play with crossover modeler (such as, oh, perhaps Xsim) and see how things interact. Start assuming speaker elements just have ideal 8 ohm resistance before you start in with real speaker impedances.

Basically, the things to understand are:
The current flowing through a driver controls its output.
Resistors in series resist current at all frequencies. In parallel (I.e., across a driver) they can allow an 'end run' around it, also reducing current in the driver.
Capacitors behave similarly, but resist low frequency current more than high frequency current.
Inductors behave similarly, too, but resist high frequency current more than low.
Capacitors and inductors can interact together to operate preferentially at mid frequencies.
Though seldom discussed, crossover networks usually provide eq as importantly as they do crossover filtering.
Driver impedance curves also interact with networks as if they were from inductance or capacitance, which is one reason (of many) why universal crossovers don't really work very well.

Play with modeling somecomponents, you'll catch on.
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Old 2nd March 2015, 07:46 PM   #5
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Start here: superb write-up by Allen

Introduction to designing crossovers without measurement
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Last edited by devilsindetails; 2nd March 2015 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 2nd March 2015, 08:25 PM   #6
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

Slowly and painfully. Allen's write up is fine except it puts
far too much emphasis on completely unnecessary zobels.
(Zobels are best avoided if not needed, due to impedance.)

The pennies dropped looking at someone who knew what
they were doing (eventually, as they say so) and can
document most of what they are doing, and explain
why, whether you agree or disagree with the choices.

Zaphaudio.com is IMO the best site for a comprehensive
tutorial on crossovers, noting that they are all parallel,
and all quite correctly 2nd or 4th order L/R acoustic.

I don't know a good site for series crossovers. The
obvious one sticks to series slavishly for no good
reason, which gives very little insight to reality.

Series is very interesting for simple 1st order stuff,
compared to parallel with real driver impedances.

rgds, sreten.

TinaTi is a great free simulator for the basics.
Also look at the free version of Basta! and
Visatons free Boxsim, speaker simulators.

Basta! has a great free manual if your into
the technicalities of how speakers work.
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Last edited by sreten; 2nd March 2015 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 2nd March 2015, 08:56 PM   #7
Tweet is offline Tweet  Australia
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Great advice.....

Zaph|Audio

C.M
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Old 2nd March 2015, 09:58 PM   #8
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreten View Post
Allen's write up is fine except it puts
far too much emphasis on completely unnecessary zobels.
After reading Vance Dickason's book, I wrote a suite of crossover simulation software in the eighties to pursue avoiding Zobel correction, and to control lobing through acoustic phase. Ordinarily a Zobel network can be a practical consideration and is not necessarily a bad thing.

There are two sides to crossover development.. the electrical methods, and the acoustic goals, the latter of which I learned much from what's written about on this site.
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Old 3rd March 2015, 02:42 AM   #9
benb is offline benb  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReDress View Post
Hey everyone

I'm still a newbie here, improving my designs - yet the thing that gets me is that I'm still at the mercy of pre-assembled crossovers. As such, I was wondering how you guys went about learning how to do your own crossovers (Such as how what each piece in the crossover is and does, how to calculate the necessary sections properly, etc.) Any resources, like books, courses and the like would be greatly appreciated

But like I said, how did you go about learning and implementing?

Cheers
What I haven't seen mentioned here so far is learning basic electrical/electronic theory, specifically AC circuits analysis. Any old cheap textbook of that name will do, though such textbooks tend to be dry reading.

Oh, look here:
Volume II - AC : Electronics Textbook
The first 8 chapters appears to cover what you need, especially chapter 8, as a crossover is just a collection of filters, one filter for each driver.
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Old 3rd March 2015, 03:25 AM   #10
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The thing is, one doesn't stop learning, so might as well start somewhere... anywhere... everywhere.
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