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Old 1st October 2013, 07:51 PM   #1
cjv998 is offline cjv998  United States
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Default Beginner questions on crossover budget

Hi everyone. As the title indicates, I'm new to DIY audio. (Well, I've looked at it occasionally and built a gainclone amp a few years ago, but I'm finally ready to dive in.)

So, I'm curious how much everyone spends on their passive crossovers. I'm used to buying cheap low-power parts from Digikey for electronics, so you can imagine my reaction when I saw you can spend upwards of $40 on one capacitor for audio use. I vaguely recall reading a "rule of thumb" somewhere that suggested spending half as much on crossover components as you spend on the drivers. Does that sound about right? At what point would you consider "stepping up" to higher-quality crossover components on a design? (I'm sure the answer to my question is on the forums here somewhere, but I didn't have any luck finding it.)

Also, what about using higher-quality passive components in an amplifier design? Do you actually hear a difference there? (I guess it depends on where in the circuit the components are used.)

If it matters, I'm looking at designing a ported 2-way bookshelf speaker; probably using the one of Vifa's ring radiator tweeters and a 6.5" midrange driver, and I would probably set the crossover around 2.5 kHz.

Thanks for the replies!

Last edited by cjv998; 1st October 2013 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 1st October 2013, 08:19 PM   #2
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Anyone who spends a lot spends too much.

Speaker kits, loudspeaker design services, sub-woofers and amplifiers. - X-Series kits

Is worth a look for a good value build.

Personally I like the basic kit in a bigger box.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 1st October 2013, 11:46 PM   #3
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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You might visit Parts Express, they sell a wide range of all things speakers. They sell ready made crossovers, and they also sell bare crossover boards, along with charts so you can set your own crossover points with the parts they sell. They sell some good-better-best sorts of caps and inductors. You can experiment.
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Old 7th October 2013, 04:34 PM   #4
mortron is offline mortron  Canada
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My only experience has been rebuilding a rather complex (to me) two way crossover that required six caps and a pair of resistors per channel. I purchased decent quality Nichicon Muse electrolytics and bypassed the caps with small Vishay Roderstein MKP1837 film caps... Whether or not the bypass makes a difference will be only evident when I'm finished, but for $12 extra, it was worth taking some advice I was given and trying it out. The speakers I paid $20 for but sound much better than $20 or I'd never consider this... I figure I have about $40 tops into rebuilding the crossovers (new caps, resistors and boards, reused the stock inductors.)

In my case it was an easy decision to spend little: a 68uf film cap wasnt cheap, nor were 6 of them... Now, that said, if it was a single cap crossover like in a Dynaco or EPI, if probably spend a few extra dollars on a film cap.
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Old 7th October 2013, 09:44 PM   #5
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ApexJr has film caps for cheap on the website. And call to ask Steve what inductors he has in stock.
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Old 8th October 2013, 10:12 PM   #6
cjv998 is offline cjv998  United States
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Thanks for the replies; it's nice to know you don't have to spend that much on crossovers to get good-sounding speakers.
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