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A crossover, regardless of its kind, will take the signal and split it
into different frequency intervals or bands, and each bandis routed
to the appropriate speaker.

Example of crossover for a 2-way speaker; the crossover will route the low
frequencies to the woofer and the high frequencies to the tweeter.
Passive Crossover and Active Crossover
Passive crossover means that the signal is split after it is
amplified by the amplifier.
For this reason, it has to deal with large currents and
Active crossovermeans that the signal is split before it reaches
the amplifier.
Which means the crossover works with a low level signal, but
for each driver of the system a separate amplifier channel is

A 24 dB/octave active crossover

Graphical comparison of Passive and Active

Filters of crossover networks
High passfilter : Filters the low frequencies and lets the high
frequencies pass. Used for tweeters
Band passfilter : Filters some low frequencies and some high
frequencies. Used for midrange drivers.
Low passfilter : Filters the high frequencies and lets the low
frequencies pass. Used for woofers.

Sample Frequency Response for a Crossover

Properties of the passive crossover
Filter resonance
This describes the frequency where the component reactance
It is the actual crossoverfrequency / crossover point.
The formula which dictates the crossover frequency is
dependent of (L x C).
The slope of the roll-of
This describes the attenuation, measured in dB / octave.
Near the crossover point, the frequency response will start to
Depending on the components used in the crossover network
the roll-off can be gentle or steep : 6, 12, 18 or 24 db / octave.
The type of slope dictates the order of the crossover

This describes the shape of the knee when the frequency
starts to roll off.
This means that a Q=0.7 will give somewhat a flat knee before
roll-off, while a Q=1 will give a slight peak before roll-off.
Also, the different values of Q have different names,
corresponding to those who pioneered these response shapes :
Q=0.49 =>Linkwitz Riley Q=0.58 =>Bessel
Q=0.707 =>Butterworth Q=1 =>Chebychev
Filters of crossover networks
Low pass(theorangebluebrownline)
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

Pass band(orange line) describes the

frequency on which the crossover does not
interfere. It lets these frequencies pass. Another
2-way Passive Crossover
pass band is present for the high pass as well.
Frequency Response
Knee(blue line) describes the point where the
effects of the crossover are kicking in. The
frequencies are attenuated starting from this

Crossover point(yellow dot) : The point

where high pass meets the low pass.
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.
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, 40 80 Hz is an octave, 2500
5000 Hz is an octave, etc.

Slope(brown line) : The amount of

attenuation per octave, starting from the
crossover point.

o In the graph, for each increasing octave, it

looses 12 db of output.
2-way Passive Crossover
- If the crossover point is at 350 Hz, the
Frequency Response woofer can be 90 db loud at 350 Hz.
Because of the crossover attenuation
and the 12 db slope, the woofer will be
78 db loud at 700 Hz, 66 db loud at
1400 Hz and so on.
Crossover Point and Phase
Crossover Point
When 2 sound sources play the same sound and are in phase,
it will combine for a +6 db louder sound.
the woofer compliments the tweeter at the crossover point to
make a smooth transition and yield a flat response.
90 out of phase : When 2 sources are90 out of phase,
they sound like they are producing different sounds. This will
add up for a +3 db sound increase

180 out of phase : When 2 sources are180 out of phase,

they will cancel each other out, so 0 db of total output.
o If you reverse the polarity of the out of phase speaker, it
will be in phase and this will result in +6 db of sound
output, for a total of 96 db.

360 out of phase : When 2 sources are 360 out of phase,

its the same as they would be in phase. This will add up to +
6 db of sound increase.
Time and Phase Delay
Vertical Alignment
At the crossover point, where the frequency response of the
woofer overlaps the frequency response of the tweeter, it
could create some time delay and phase distortion.
Reduce the distance between the woofer and the tweeter as
much as possible to minimize the issue.
Knowing what the crossover frequency is, 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.
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.
Even though the tweeter is on the same baffle as the woofer,
it is actually in front of the woofer, acoustically.
To correct this, you can useanasymmetrical baffle, to place
the tweeter a little bit back, so the coil of the tweeter is on the
same planeas the coil of the woofer.
2-way Crossover

Simplest crossover design for a 2 way system.

3-way Crossover

Crossover design for a 3-way setup.

1st-order Butterworth

Explanation of terms :
C1 Capacitor 1, measured in Farads.
L1 Inductor 1, measured in Henries.
RH The rated impedance of the high frequency speaker
(tweeter), measured in ohms.
RL The rated impedance of the low frequency speaker (woofer),
measured in ohms.
fC crossover frequency point.

C1= 1 / (2 * fC* RH) .

L1 = RL/ (2 * fC) .
2nd-order Butterworth

C1=2 /(4 * fc* RH)

C2=2 /(4 * fc* RL)

L1= (2 *RL) / (2 * fc)

L2=(2 *RH) / (2 * fc)

2nd-order Linkwitz-Riley

C1= 1 /(4 * fC* RH)

C2= 1/(4 * fC* RL)
L1= RL/ ( * fC)
L2= RH/ ( * fC)
3rd-order Butterworth

C1= 1 /(3 * fc* RH)

C2= 1/( * fc* RH)
C3= 2 /(3 * fc* RL)
L1= 3RL/ (4 * fc)
L2= RL/ (4 * fc)
L3= 3RH/ (8 * fc)

4th-order Linkwitz-Riley

C1= 32 /(16 * fc* RH) .

C2= 32 /(8 * fc* RH) .
C3= 92 /(16 * fc* RL) .
C4= 2 /(8 * fc* RL) .
L1= (22 * RH)/ (9 * fc) .
L2= (2 * RH)/ ( * fc) .
L3= (22 * RL)/ (3 * fc) .
L4= (2 * RL)/ (3 * fc)