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Old 28th December 2006, 10:50 PM   #1
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Default Importance of building your own crossover?

hi,

I'm somewhat new to DIY audio (I've made very low end speakers). However, I have never made my own crossovers.

Is it not possible to purchase ready made crossovers that will suit your needs, or do you find you get much better sound by making your own crossovers?
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Old 29th December 2006, 01:32 AM   #2
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"Is it not possible to purchase ready made crossovers that will suit your needs, or do you find you get much better sound by making your own crossovers?"

Depends on your needs. They will probably be fine for "low end" speakers, but if you plan on going audiophile there's not much point in spending a lot of money on quality drivers and then skimping on crossovers.

The best way to learn about building great loudspeakers, including the crossovers, is to buy a reputable kit or build an established design. If you need links let us know.
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Old 29th December 2006, 02:31 AM   #3
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A crossover should be driver specific.

Things like a zobel are calculated from the drivers specs.
The lowest crossover point for a tweeter is generally stated as 2*fs (some places 3*fs).
An L-pad is calculated to give a specific attenuation based on the drivers efficiency and impedence.


In short a prebuilt crossover will work but a crossover that takes into account the drivers parameters/characteristics will give better results.
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Old 29th December 2006, 04:54 AM   #4
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My recommendations are:
1. Buy a couple of loudspeaker design books - Building and designing loudspeakers with projects by Weems is a good start followed by Dickason's loudspeaker design cookbook

2. Find an existing kit / design you like. Try and obtain the driver specs and frequency, phase and impedance measurements off the net

3. Download some software and model the enclosure / crossover of the kit. Play with the component values to see the effect (if you are a hands on learner). www.audua.com has speaker workshop. A bit buggy, but helps the learning curve heaps.

Assuming you are designing and building your crossovers from scratch, then you'll want to be able to measure to fien tune the designed system.

Software modeling a crossover / speaker enclosure is an approximation (pretty good if you know what you are doing) - but it relies on quality data going in - typically you measure the drivers you have purchased (and burned in) in the enclosure you plan to put them in.

If you just want great sound - might be best to build a kit.

Cheers,
David.
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Old 29th December 2006, 08:58 AM   #5
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patchwork,suppliers like solen will design the crossover for you if you buy the componets from them.they usually donīt charge for the design.it may not be perfect but much better that using a pre made xover.this may be a simple solution for you and gets you building right away.
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Old 29th December 2006, 01:26 PM   #6
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http://www.madisound.com/leap.html

Madisound will also design a crossover for you. I am sure they will walk you through the spec points of the crossover if you would like.
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Old 29th December 2006, 03:24 PM   #7
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A properly designed crossover will, in almost all cases, outperform a generic ready made one. If you are new to DIY, you probably don't have the tools needed to properly design a crossover. I strongly recommend you start by copying a project. Choose a budget, a goal, then find a project to match it.

If you have the funds, I also recommend you look at the ready made cabinets at partsexpress.com. They are a huge time saver.

Dan
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Old 29th December 2006, 04:14 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your replies.

I had looked at some projects over at zaphaudio, and some seem very interesting, however I doubt my current ability to make crossovers. I have printed a couple hundred pages of reading on speaker design and crossover, and I figure I should start there before attempting to make anything audiophile quality.

Solen said they will make me a crossover, which is where I will order my drivers, so I will go that route for my first project.

I also think it will be good for me, as some of you have stated, to buy a ready made casing for my first set.
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Old 29th December 2006, 04:19 PM   #9
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sounds like a good plan.let us know what drivers are you buying?
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Old 29th December 2006, 04:41 PM   #10
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Just a note: I recently built a nice pair of MTM speakers. Some very good speaker designers on another forum designed the crossover since they had experience with the drivers I was using.

The crossover cost half what the drivers cost. The price kind of put me back but, I had heard over and over that the "magic" is in the crossover.

Once I heard the completed speakers, I was completely convinced.

I was not aware such imaging was possible!
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