Dialing in your Subwoofer Crossover with your Main Speakers

musicfirst1

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Gentle People

While I am really happy with location of my Rel Gibraltar G1s,
I have played with the crossover from 30hz to 80hz.

The differences are not huge to my ear.

Am I using the wrong recordings? What recording(s) should I use?
What do I listen for?
 

Addicted to hifi

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Gentle People

While I am really happy with location of my Rel Gibraltar G1s,
I have played with the crossover from 30hz to 80hz.

The differences are not huge to my ear.

Am I using the wrong recordings? What recording(s) should I use?
What do I listen for?
Good question.I am always playing with the xover settings on my subwoofers.i found the best position at 120hz but some recordings sound better at 80 or 90 hz.
 

musicfirst1

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Good question.I am always playing with the xover settings on my subwoofers.i found the best position at 120hz but some recordings sound better at 80 or 90 hz.
How do you determine better? what do you hear specifically if the crossover is set too high?
 
Last edited:

Addicted to hifi

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It’s very hard to get it right as some music will always sound better on a different setting.I set my subwoofers to give the best with most music.
 

musicfirst1

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It’s very hard to get it right as some music will always sound better on a different setting.I set my subwoofers to give the best with most music.
Thanks so much for your help! Can you give me a reference track you use and what to listen for? 'sounds better' is a little vague for this Engineer... : - )
 

sbnx

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Mar 28, 2017
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Something with good stand up bass being plucked in a scale. Brian bromberg “wood ii” or midnight sugar are both great.

by far the easiest way is using REW and then you can see when the subs are integrated well as you will have a flat frequency response.
 

Brucemck2

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By far the easiest way is using REW and then you can see when the subs are integrated well as you will have a flat frequency response.
Dialing in placement, phase, level and crossover point with REW is an order of magnitude easier and more reliable than dialing in by ear alone. The process of measurement with a broad array of crossover points and phases helps me to understand why the mains and subs are behaving and sounding the way they are.

Following that I usually tweak the crossover point +/- 10-20hz and level +/- 2-4db a bit after getting things ”correct” using measurement, but even then validate that I haven’t created unwanted side effects by remeasuring with REW.
 

x1992

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I used to own a pair of S/510s and took a lot of measurements with REW. While placement and phase was a big deal the filter point was not, especially higher in the adjustable frequency range. I believe I was underestimating the speakers' influence that that region. I also highly suggest REW to define problems.
 

stehno

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Thanks so much for your help! Can you give me a reference track you use and what to listen for? 'sounds better' is a little vague for this Engineer... : - )


Kerry, I don't think it's so much a particular recording as I suspect most any recording you're familar with should do. Here's one you're obvioulsy familiar with but I don't know if it helps as a direct response to your questions here or in your OP.

In my case, my subs' current crossovers are set at about 82Hz. I've not spent much time on this sector of dialing in my subs but what I listen for first and foremost is to ensure the bass is tight and uniform with the mains. The subs drivers and main speaker drivers voice coil fronts are hopefully within a 1/2-inch of each other from a listening chair perspective so phase does not appear to be an issue. After that, what I've found myself listening for or at least noticing primarily is potentially additional ambient information, warmth, and improved balance in the overall presentation. Others obviously may notice other things but that's what I've noticed most. I've got the x-overs set at 82Hz because the time or two I've set the x-overs between 82Hz and 120Hz, I've not noticed much of a difference so I prefer to save the subs' amplifier juice for the regions that impact most.

I should also note that my VMPS RM-40 speakers are each equipped with two woofers and a passive down-firing radiating woofer and I was never able to or I gave up attempting to dial-in the mains to the nth degree. IOW, in my case, although I thoroughly enjoy the VMPS speakers, their bass is perhaps their greatest weakness in my current config. Hence, once dialed in, the subs seem to provide the necessary augmentation to make up for that weakness. So I'm kinda' liking the 82Hz x-over.

Hope this helps,
 

Bruce B

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Apr 26, 2010
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So my subs don't fight with the mains, I like to use an external x-over and roll the mains off about 90Hz. Seems to integrate really well and the amps don't have to work as hard, especially if you have inefficient speakers!
 

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