Many audiophiles go the extra mile to ensure they are getting the best out of their audio equipment. They believe that the quality of the sound must always be of a cinematic level of clarity. Over time, they’ve learned several tricks to know how to supply this particular specialization. For instance, they frequently include a crossover as well as an amplifier in their setup.
Sometimes, making use of two amplifiers simultaneously isn’t an issue. The crossover is able to send high-frequency sound to one amplifier, and low-frequency audio to another. This process is also known as bi-amping. In order for the pairing to function the amplifiers connect to various components of the speaker or speakers. The tweeter, which is the component of a speaker which emits loud frequency will be connected to one amplifier and the other will connect to the subwoofer.
You’ve just bought the crossover you’ve been eyeing and want to test it for your first attempt. However, before doing that, you’ll need to know what to do when connecting the device to an amplifier. If done properly this can lead to high-quality audio.
Learn more information about crossovers and amplifiers. Also, look at these helpful tips and techniques.
Understanding the Function of an Amplifier
The term “amplifier” refers to an electronics device that amplifies low voltage signals generated by any source system into a high-voltage signal. The original sound gets a boost and becomes much louder. This means that you will be able to hear each cord with clarity.
The process is more complex than it appears, however. Amplification’s purpose is not always to will make the sound louder. It also highlights all the details of audio that you won’t hear if using an individual speaker.
How It Works
The amplifier is the bridge between the speaker and the crossover in this case. The sound produced by the crossover is then fed into the amplifier. The amplifier, in turn, improves the sound before sending it to the appropriate drive (tweeters or subwoofers, woofers, etc.) inside the speaker.
A majority of the amplifiers on the market include high-pass as well as low-pass filters that the crossover system makes use of. But, the filters inside the amplifier can be inaccurate which is why audiophiles prefer an additional electronic crossover.
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Understanding the Function of a Crossover
An audio crossover device is an important element in this system. It’s responsible for filtering out the sounds that are emitted. It then ‘groups’ the sounds into various frequency bands, including high mid, low, and high. Then, the crossover transmits its output through an amp. Then, the path wraps with the drivers, more commonly referred to as the speakers.
How It Works
This device collects in signals from the source, filters them, and splits the outputs into three. The outputs come from various frequency bands: an upper, middle, as well as a low-range frequency.
The various bands are connected to the different drivers in your sound system. The tweeters, woofers, and subwoofers. The crossover is designed to ensure that every drive receives the precise frequency they are designed to play.
To make it clearer it is possible to illustrate the method in a more believable way. Think of the crossover as a “sound inspector’s sole job is to guide the frequency. The device will direct the high frequencies to tweeters, mid-frequency frequencies to woofers, and the low-range frequencies into subwoofers for this purpose. This is similar to traffic police.
Naturally, the role of a crossover could prove essential. Without it, the system is often an incoherent mess. The sounds would totally mix and alter the sound. One example is that the mid and low frequencies would conflict with the woofers. In contrast, the tweeters will spend energy playing notes from that mid-range band. In addition, many frequencies would be lost in the noise. We owe an honest “thank you” note to our tech experts.
Connecting Crossovers to Amplifiers
We’ll be getting more specific regarding connecting the active crossover to the amplifier.
The first thing to remember is that yellow and green color markings symbolize “the earth,” the blue color markings represent neutrality and the brown color markings represent “life”. But, they are contingent on the manufacturer of the particular crossover system. Therefore, if your amplifier and crossover aren’t from the same manufacturer, it may not be the case. So, the colors of the amplifier may not match the colors on your crossover.
However, this isn’t enough reason to raise alarm. In these cases, you should look for an ‘E symbol on one of the amplifier’s connections. “E” is a reference to “earth” so you’ll be able to tell it’s compatible with the yellow and green colors of your crossover.
The blue color on your crossover is exactly the same thing as the black terminals on the amplifier. Usually, you will be able to identify them with using the “N” symbol. In addition, the copper wire in your crossovers connects to the red terminal of the amplifier. Also, be sure to look out for an “L” symbol.
Sometimes, the alternate colors for the “life” wires are red rather than brown. The alternative color for neutral blue wire is usually white. In the case of the earth wires, you could get them in a green or yellow color.
Precautions to Keep in Mind
It is not recommended to expose these devices to splashing or dripping liquids. Also, in no way should you place an object that is filled with liquid over the equipment. This step is vital to stop any injuries from happening.
Additionally, make use of dry cloths every time you need to clean the electronic device of dust or dirt. Additionally, avoid placing the device so that its vent openings become blocked. Be sure to ensure that your equipment’s vents are facing toward an open space.
Additionally, do not install the crossover device close to any device that generates heat. The most obvious ones to avoid are stoves, radiators, or any other devices that produce heat. Even placing it near another amplifier isn’t a good idea.
Finally, make sure you are aware of the weather as well. If lightning strikes begin in the outside area, you must be on the lookout to remove the device from the electrical source.
How to Connect a Crossover to an Amplifier Using Passive and Active Crossover Units
These audio-visual combinations in studios, home theaters, or during live shows or other performances. However, how can one configure it? It is possible to use either a passive or active crossover. Your preferences, as well as your budget, will be the primary aspects in deciding on this option. No matter what you decide to do, however, we’ll go over both strategies in the following paragraphs.
Connecting With a Passive Crossover
The crossover is connected between the speaker and the amplifier for this arrangement. Therefore, the first thing to do is disconnect your speakers from other sources of power. Then, connect the amplifier’s output via speakers wires, or RCA connectors to the crossover’s input. This can be done by connecting speaker wires and as well as the +ve and -ve connections of your amplifier, into the crossover’s inputs.
Do you remember the color codes that were previously mentioned? Use red wires to connect +ve terminals and black wires for the terminals with -ve. After that, you can secure the terminals using the screwdriver or hex key, based on the crossover and amplifier unit.
After that, all that’s left is connecting the crossover with your speaker. Begin by connecting your speaker wires to your crossover’s output to tweeters and woofers. Then, the tweeters connect to the speaker’s woofer as well as the tweeter.
The markings below are contingent on the manufacturer that the unit that you select to use. The signs on the woofer are generally identified with “W+” and “W-“. For tweeters, look out for the “T+” and “T-” symbols.
At the end check connections by listening to a few tunes. If everything’s okay, you’ll be hearing a better sound. In the event that you don’t, go back to your original steps.
Pros of Passive Crossover
Passive crossovers are simple to install since they don’t require power or ground connections. Additionally, they don’t require any setting of frequency. The reason is that the passive crossover operates at a certain frequency for the speaker.
Pros of passive crossover
This automatic frequency-finder is an issue, as well. It’s because you aren’t able to alter it without difficulty. For the frequency to change it will require a brand new system of crossover. The passive crossover is tuned to one frequency that is appropriate for the speakers, so that’s all there is. Additionally, the crossover uses a lot of energy and is susceptible to noise.
Connecting With an Active Crossover
This crossover is designed to connect the amplifier and the receiver. Just like as previously mentioned, disconnect your speaker from the source of power they currently use before you begin.
Because the active units for crossover are bigger in dimensions as passive units, it is necessary to set them up properly. Find the right space that allows you to have easy access. It is ideal to make quick adjustments on the knob (or knob). Be sure to not place your crossover directly on a metal rack. This will negatively alter the audio quality.
With the correct cables connect your crossover to the receiver. The wires that exit the receiver need to connect to the input of your crossover.
Connect the crossover unit to the amplifier. Connect every output of the crossover unit to the appropriate terminal on the amplifier.
If you do not want to use subwoofers, change your crossover’s settings to two-way mode. Once you have that done you can send the high-frequency signal to the tweeter amp and the low-frequency to the subwoofer. Refer to the user’s manual for how to make sure you are applying the settings correctly If you’re not sure.
If you’re using subwoofers There are many options to link it with your equipment. No matter which method you decide to use be sure to make your crossover such that only the mid-frequency goes to subwoofers. It is not a good idea to have low-frequency signals to be affecting them.
If a subwoofer is not powered the first method uses additional cables to establish connections. Change the crossover’s settings to three-way mode when there is a separate component of the speaker (woofer as well as tweeter). Two-way is the preferred option for those who are only transmitting bass to the subwoofer.
The other option involves connecting the wire to the output terminal of the subwoofer to your receiver. The latest models of receivers have different crossover options. Therefore, there is no need to purchase an external crossover if you’re using these. Some subwoofers also have built-in crossovers and do not require it. However, they do not offer the same audio quality that an external crossover will.
Also, if crystal clear audio is important for you, consider a different option. You could, for instance, pair your external crossover and the subwoofer that has a built-in crossover. However, you cannot use two or more crossovers at one time. Therefore, in this situation you’ll need to turn out the internal crossover making it go through its full rotation. This will remove it out of the circuit.
Pros of an Active Crossover
The crossover comes with switches or knobs that can be used to adjust the frequency. This feature allows the crossover to be used with any speaker, in contrast to it being a passive one.
Furthermore, when you have the active crossover there’s no need to worry about the power that the amp. A crossover that is active processes the signal prior to sending it into the amplifier, performing the majority of the heavy lifting.
Cons of an Active Crossover
The process of setting the crossover at the correct frequency can be challenging. It requires an understanding and expertise to determine the appropriate frequency to connect your speakers. In the event that you choose to set the frequency too low, you’ll have a possibility of harming your tweeter. If you set the frequency excessively high, then you’ll notice distortion due to mid-range frequencies.
There is an answer to this which is to install an active crossover that is connected to an electronic audio processor (DSP).
Connecting Your Crossover to Power
Certain amplifiers feature a connector to supply electricity to the cross-over. Plug your crossover in a wall outlet while installing your studio or home equipment. If you have a car you can plug it into your car battery, which will provide 12 volts of power to charge the crossover.
When the crossover is active, you are able to adjust the crossover and test it to determine how the sound is performing. To do this adjust everything by turning the knob, both the crossover as well as the amplifier gain until you reach the maximum. Begin testing by playing your most-loved tracks. When the music plays you can gradually increase the volume of your crossover’s input. Continue this process until you are at ease with the sound through the speakers.
Adjust the output of the crossover until all frequencies are in their spot. Then, you can increase the gain of the amplifier until just before the sound begins to distort. Re-adjust your frequencies until you have found the perfect frequency.
Connecting an Active Crossover With Two Amplifiers
If you use two amplifiers for your connection, it is known as a bi-amp. The setup is very like the traditional approach we’ve discussed previously. The crossover location is between the source of sound along with the amplifier. If the source has a mixer it produces sounds. Then, the crossover divides the sound signals into different frequencies. These frequencies go to the respective amplifiers and then connect to the speaker or components. That is the tweeter, the woofers, and subwoofers.
Utilizing your shielded connection cable join the mixer’s primary output. Based on the system you have the output can be unbalanced (low impedance) or unbalanced (high impedance) and requires either a quarter-inch connector or an XLR.
Attach the second end of the shielded cable to the mixer’s output and connect it to the crossover’s port for input. The second cable shielded connects the crossover’s high-frequency output terminal to the other end of the input port of the amplifier. This connection powers the high-frequency speaker.
Then, you can use the third shielded cord for the low-frequency terminal of your crossover. Connect it to the input of your amplifier. This will activate the bass speaker at low frequencies.
Connect the first speaker cable to the high-frequency amplifier’s speaker output port. The other end of the cable should be connected to the frequency horn’s input port.
Finally, the second speaker cable must connect to the output port for low-frequency speakers. Another end of the cable, as the first cable, should connect to the bass low-frequency speaker input connector.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is the reason I should adjust my frequency of crossover?
If you’re playing music and are noticing distortions or noise The second step will be to alter the frequency settings. By fine-tuning these settings, you may get a better sound.
Q2. Are active crossovers worth it?
The answer is dependent on the reason you’re using the crossover to serve. Therefore, the answer will differ depending on whether you are using it for professional use or for personal use. But, an active crossover system can allow you to get the best from an audio device.
Q3. What are the main differences between active crossovers and passive crossovers?
The primary difference between the two is the fact that the active crossovers require power. The passive crossover does not however, it does come with certain limitations.
Q4. How do I determine which speaker is best suited to my amp?
In your search for the best speaker to complement your amplifiers, be aware of three key aspects. First, you should consider the ratings for the power of both products. Then, check their impedance. Finally, make sure to look up the sensitivity ratings on the audio device.
There are many ways to make use of amps and crossovers. Learning how to tweak this combination is an excellent way to be resourceful. It could also help you save time and money in the search for new gadgets. Instead, you can get the most of your existing devices. If you can fix them correctly so that you can make them work to their full potential of them. This means that the identical devices will provide more powerful sound. It will sound similar to an expensive sound system. After that, you’ll be able to listen to your favorite tunes in a completely new manner.
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