. regardless of its kind. and each band is routed to the appropriate speaker.  Example of crossover for a 2-way speaker.Crossover A crossover. the crossover will route the low frequencies to the woofer and the high frequencies to the tweeter. will take the signal and split it into different frequency intervals or bands.

A 24 dB/octave active crossover Graphical comparison of Passive and Active .  For this reason.Passive Crossover and Active Crossover • Passive crossover means that the signal is split after it is amplified by the amplifier. • Active crossover means that the signal is split before it reaches the amplifier. but for each driver of the system a separate amplifier channel is needed.  Which means the crossover works with a low level signal. it has to deal with large currents and voltages.

Filters of crossover networks • High pass filter : Filters the low frequencies and lets the high frequencies pass. Used for midrange drivers. • Low pass filter : Filters the high frequencies and lets the low frequencies pass. Sample Frequency Response for a Crossover Network . Used for woofers. Used for tweeters • Band pass filter : Filters some low frequencies and some high frequencies.

• Also.7 will give somewhat a flat knee before roll-off. measured in dB / octave.Properties of the passive crossover Filter resonance • This describes the frequency where the component reactance are equal. corresponding to those who pioneered these response shapes : Q=0. • Depending on the components used in the crossover network the roll-off can be gentle or steep : 6. 18 or 24 db / octave.58 => Bessel Q=0. while a Q=1 will give a slight peak before roll-off.707 => Butterworth Q=1 => Chebychev . • It is the actual crossover frequency / crossover point. • This means that a Q=0. • The type of slope dictates the order of the crossover  Q • This describes the shape of the “knee” when the frequency starts to roll off. the different values of Q have different names. the frequency response will start to roll-off. The slope of the roll-of • This describes the attenuation. • Near the crossover point.49 => Linkwitz – Riley Q=0. 12. • The formula which dictates the crossover frequency is dependent of (L x C).

o In a practical example : if the crossover point is at 500 Hz. . the woofer will receive 20 – 500 Hz and the tweeter will receive 500 – 20 000 Hz. The frequencies are attenuated starting from this point. Filters of crossover networks • Low pass (the orange–blue–brown line) describes the frequency which is going to be player by the woofer • High pass (the green line) describes the frequency which is going to be played by the tweeter • Pass band (orange line) describes the frequency on which the crossover does not interfere. Frequency Response • Knee (blue line) describes the point where the effects of the crossover are kicking in. It lets these frequencies pass. Another 2-way Passive Crossover pass band is present for the high pass as well. • Crossover point (yellow dot) : The point where high pass meets the low pass.

starting from the crossover point. . 2500 – 5000 Hz is an octave.If the crossover point is at 350 Hz. the Frequency Response woofer can be 90 db loud at 350 Hz. 2-way Passive Crossover . for each increasing octave. it looses 12 db of output. Filters of crossover networks • Octave : An octave is any frequency range which ends in double of what is started : 20 – 40 Hz is an octave. 66 db loud at 1400 Hz and so on. 40 – 80 Hz is an octave. o In the graph. • Slope (brown line) : The amount of attenuation per octave. the woofer will be 78 db loud at 700 Hz. etc. Because of the crossover attenuation and the 12 db slope.

it’s the same as they would be in phase. they will cancel each other out. • the woofer compliments the tweeter at the crossover point to make a smooth transition and yield a flat response. • 360° out of phase : When 2 sources are 360° out of phase. Phase • 90° out of phase : When 2 sources are 90° out of phase. . This will add up to + 6 db of sound increase. they sound like they are producing different sounds. it will be in phase and this will result in +6 db of sound output. This will add up for a +3 db sound increase • 180° out of phase : When 2 sources are 180° out of phase.Crossover Point and Phase Crossover Point • When 2 sound sources play the same sound and are in phase. o If you reverse the polarity of the out of phase speaker. so 0 db of total output. for a total of 96 db. it will combine for a +6 db louder sound.

where the frequency response of the woofer overlaps the frequency response of the tweeter. . you can find its corresponding wavelength at that frequency (in meters). • Make sure the distance between the two drivers is not longer than the wavelength. • Knowing what the crossover frequency is. • Reduce the distance between the woofer and the tweeter as much as possible to minimize the issue.Time and Phase Delay Vertical Alignment • At the crossover point. it could create some time delay and phase distortion.

so the coil of the tweeter is on the same plane as the coil of the woofer. it is actually in front of the woofer. acoustically.  • To correct this. to place the tweeter a little bit back. • Even though the tweeter is on the same baffle as the woofer. . you can use an asymmetrical baffle.Time and Phase Delay Horizontal Alignment • The acoustical center of each driver is considered to be in the middle of the voice coil. The voice coil is sitting right in the magnet assembly.


.2-way Crossover Simplest crossover design for a 2 way system.

.3-way Crossover Crossover design for a 3-way setup.

C1 = 1 / (2π * fC * RH) . fC – crossover frequency point. L1 = RL / (2π * fC) . L1 – Inductor 1. measured in ohms. RL – The rated impedance of the low frequency speaker (woofer). measured in ohms. RH – The rated impedance of the high frequency speaker (tweeter). .1st-order Butterworth Explanation of terms : C1 – Capacitor 1. measured in Henries. measured in Farads.

2nd-order Butterworth C1 = √2 / (4π * fc * RH) C2 = √2 / (4π * fc * RL) L1 = (√2 * RL) / (2π * fc) L2 = (√2 * RH) / (2π * fc)  .

2nd-order Linkwitz-Riley C1 = 1 / (4π * fC * RH) C2 = 1 / (4π * fC * RL) L1 = RL / (π * fC) L2 = RH / (π * fC)   .

3rd-order Butterworth C1 = 1 / (3π * fc * RH) C2 = 1 / (π * fc * RH) C3 = 2 / (3π * fc * RL) L1 = 3RL / (4π * fc) L2 = RL / (4π * fc) L3 = 3RH / (8π * fc)   .

L3 = (2√2 * RL) / (3π * fc) . C2 = 3√2 / (8π * fc * RH) . L4 = (√2 * RL) / (3π * fc) . C3 = 9√2 / (16π * fc * RL) . L2 = (√2 * RH) / (π * fc) . C4 = √2 / (8π * fc * RL) . L1 = (2√2 * RH) / (9π * fc) .4th-order Linkwitz-Riley C1 = 3√2 / (16π * fc * RH) .