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Crossovers????

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Davis Goertzen, Apr 20, 2004.


  1. Hi, I'm just wondering, what are crossovers, what do they do, and how essential are they? Thanks, Davis Goertzen.
     
  2. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    There are two types of crossovers...active and passive.

    Passive crossovers are usually hidden within a multi-way speaker system. Their purpose is to protect high frequency drivers (midrange, tweeter, etc) from damage caused by low frequencies.

    An active crossover is used when you biamp. The signal from a preamp gets split into two or more frequency bands. These frequency bands are fed into separate power amplifier channels and then to the speakers. Again, this is done to protect certain speakers from damage. For electric bass the low frequency drivers are usually 15s or 18s and the high frequency drivers are 10s....but you can do what ever you want.

    Does this make sense?
     
  3. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Crossovers split your signal into high and low frequency components, and sent them out separately. There are two main types, the passive crossovers that are usually found in speaker cabs, and the electronic crossovers used in bi-amp systems.

    In the case of a speaker cab, the crossover is mounted right in the cab, it usually consists of a coil and a capacitor, and the high frequency output feeds the tweeter while the low frequency output feeds the woofer.

    In the case of a bi-amp system, the high and low frequency outputs of the crossover are used to feed separate power amps, which are then used to drive separate speaker cabs.

    They are essential in those systems that require them. Any speaker cab with a tweeter requires a crossover, the tweeter won't work without it. And bi-amp systems require crossovers, if there isn't one then it's not a true bi-amp (it could be running amps in parallel instead). In general, if the crossover fails, then one or both of the signal components won't work.

    If you're asking should you go out and buy a speaker cab just because it has a crossover in it, I would say "no". There are plenty of great sounding speaker cabs that don't have tweeters. Usually they use full range speakers instead. And, depending on your playing style, you might not need (or want) all those high frequency components.

    Can I ask why you're asking?

    Edit: BillyB, you're a fast draw, you beat me to the post. Your post is right on. :)
     
  4. Hi there, thanks guys, I THINK I've more or less got the idea of them now. nonsqtr, you wondered why I was asking. Well, it was just a matter of ignorance. Pure, simple ignorance. My brother has a 2003 Peavey catalogue with some bass amp combos that were looking pretty good to me, and they were advertising the Combo 115 and TNT 115 with crossovers, and neither me or my brother knew what they were. That's all. Thanks again.
     
  5. My personal belief is the crossover make the cabinet.

    Anyone know superb designers that aren't named Bergantino or Wright or ... read as accessible to do custom work?
     
  6. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    There's nothing magical about crossovers. Design equations are all over the web. Search Google.
     
  7. Fred Labbidie

    Fred Labbidie Guest

    Apr 22, 2004
    Partial quote:

    If you're asking should you go out and buy a speaker cab just because it has a crossover in it, I would say "no". There are plenty of great sounding speaker cabs that don't have tweeters. Usually they use full range speakers instead. And, depending on your playing style, you might not need (or want) all those high frequency components.

    end partial quote)

    Most of the bass cabinets out there with passive crossovers and tweeters run the "big speaker/woofer" full range anyway. The tweeter just adds the really top end stuff. I agree that someone could not need or want a cab with a tweeter; but if they turn the tweeter down, they still have a full range cabinet. At least as far as reproducing all the fundamentals is concerned.
     
  8. AFIK passive crossovers, as part of the speaker array, are power soakers because they show up in the signal chain post power amp. Active crossovers are part of the preamp section and don't have this characteristic.