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High-end crossover components... Do you think they are worth the cost?

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  • High-end crossover components... Do you think they are worth the cost?

    I know I may be opening a big can of worms here but I wanted to get a few opinions on weather you feel the higher end crossover components make enough of a difference in sound quality.

    My first DIY speaker was from a designer that included all-foil inductors and sonicaps in the kit and the component cost far exceeded the driver cost. I believe he offered these components because he truly felt they enhanced the audio quality and overall sound of the speaker.

    Also, another related question... Do crossover components become fatigued or start to diminish in quality/clarity over time? Can they be used and reused as many times as I want on various builds without diminishing effects? I ask because my speakers (center channel specifically) has been driven hard for over 10 years and it seems it just does not have the clarity and performance as it did when new (sounds muffled and boomy, like the speaker is in a closet).

  • #2
    Re: High-end crossover components... Do you think they are worth the cost?

    Personally, I think if the cost of the cross-over components exceed the cost of the drivers, it may not be the best allocation of money in the design.
    Cross-over components (except NPN capacitors) should never wear-out or age, although your center channel's drivers may have aged, or if it was sealed, the enclosure may be leaking air. A surround on a cone could be bad also, or the tweeter may have quit, or any combination of these.

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    • #3
      Re: High-end crossover components... Do you think they are worth the cost?

      Worms:

      Prove a negative.
      Pro/Fi Cinema Speaker project: "From the Ashes"

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      • #4
        Re: High-end crossover components... Do you think they are worth the cost?

        It's more like a whole case of worms. The question has been posed here many times. IMO it really depends on the speaker system as a whole. Some drivers, particularly very accurate sounding drivers CAN have some benefit to higher end components. Others that have say a less than accurate sound, may not. IOW, if the driver is not fully capable of delivering the orignal signal with precision, better components will probably not make an audible difference. When cost of the components starts to exceed driver cost, I stop to consider where the money would be better spent in the design and it is often in the driver itself, but not always.
        https://www.facebook.com/Mosaic-Audi...7373763888294/

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        • #5
          Re: High-end crossover components... Do you think they are worth the cost?

          I need a few 500 uf, 100-volt crossover capacitors which will be in the signal pass of the midwoofer and tweeter.

          I like to hear some low-end and high-end suggestions for such a capacitor.

          my current low-end solution is to link two 1000 uf, 63-v electrolytic capacitors end-to-end for about $2.00 per final 500uf.
          http://www.ebay.com/itm/221273475186...84.m1497.l2649
          Last edited by ligs; 09-29-2013, 10:49 AM.

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          • #6
            Re: High-end crossover components... Do you think they are worth the cost?

            i posted a thread like this once...still have the scars. i agree that if the xover cost more than the speakers, it's probably overkill. having said that though, many people here can make a compelling argument against that. my thinking is that if you have ten little things you can improve it might add up to one big improvement. also note that the high end caps usually have better power handling. after building a few projects i have come to the conclusion that it's not just the drivers that make the project, it's the cabs and xover designs.

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            • #7
              Re: High-end crossover components... Do you think they are worth the cost?

              Originally posted by ligs View Post
              I need a few 500 uf, 50-volt crossover capacitors which will be in the signal pass of the midwoofer and tweeter.

              I like to hear some low-end and high-end suggestions for such a capacitor.

              my current low-end solution is to link two 1000 uf, 63-v electrolytic capacitors end-to-end for about $2.00 per final 500uf.
              http://www.ebay.com/itm/221273475186...84.m1497.l2649
              Just wondering where you need that capacitance? Oh and all components are technically part of the signal path. But there are caps I would not use in series with a driver but will in the shunt. Solen is one. Tried it on the advice of a friend and was amazed in the difference.
              https://www.facebook.com/Mosaic-Audi...7373763888294/

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              • #8
                Re: High-end crossover components... Do you think they are worth the cost?

                isaeagle4031,

                Here is an example of 150hz high pass for Infinity IL 60's 6.5" midbass. C1 is 470uf/100V.
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Re: High-end crossover components... Do you think they are worth the cost?

                  I'm sure that there is an small audible difference between bottom of the barrel and cream of the crop XO components.

                  I'm also quite sure, room treatments will cost much less and provide a far greater sonic improvement.

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                  • #10
                    Re: High-end crossover components... Do you think they are worth the cost?

                    I have seen that much in a subwoofer circuit, but you stated mid/high. That's why I asked. Is the schematic where you are looking to put these?
                    https://www.facebook.com/Mosaic-Audi...7373763888294/

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                    • #11
                      Re: High-end crossover components... Do you think they are worth the cost?

                      Originally posted by isaeagle4031 View Post
                      I have seen that much in a subwoofer circuit, but you stated mid/high. That's why I asked. Is the schematic where you are looking to put these?
                      Actually this Infinity IL 50 crossover is a better example. The midbass runs from 150Hz to 2500 hz and has a 470 uF/100v(C1) in series of a 6.5inch driver.
                      I like the idea of using a large capacitor to limit the excursion of my current 2-way speakers since I have a pair of Infinity Perfert 10.1's which can used as subwoofers.
                      Yes, I see no reason to put a large capacitor before the mid/high drivers but it has been done(actually before the entire speakers) such as in AR 10Pis and AR LST's.
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        Re: High-end crossover components... Do you think they are worth the cost?

                        Yes
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                        • #13
                          Re: High-end crossover components... Do you think they are worth the cost?

                          I'm not an E.E., but I really enjoy threads like this, provided they don't turn into a pizzing match.

                          My own limited experience tells me I can hear a difference between electrolytic caps and low cost MPP (Solen Fast Caps, Erse Pulse-X) in the mid and high circuits. Whether that is because the MPP caps are "better" or because I have changed the EQ of the crossover network due to the lower ESR values of the film caps I can't say.

                          Some would argue (Ken Kantor, for example) that if one swaps electrolytic caps with film caps with a lower ESR value that one also needs to change the value of the in series resistor in order to maintain the original voicing of the speaker.

                          I've not used any expensive caps in any of my projects. I'm generally not a boutique kind of guy except when it comes to certain guitar pickups.
                          1: Sony DVP-S7000 | Denon DVD-2900 | Laptop > Parasound Zdac > Denon AVR-5700 > Focal 826V | Def Tech BP2000 | (2) DIY 15" Subs powered by Crown XLS2500
                          2: Computer > Schiit ‹bered Bifrost > Emotiva RCA Control Freak > Crown XLS 1500 > Focal 706V | Def Tech SM450 | Velodyne F-1000B Sub

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                          • #14
                            Re: High-end crossover components... Do you think they are worth the cost?

                            That's 470 Millifarad, not Microfarad...

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                            • #15
                              Re: High-end crossover components... Do you think they are worth the cost?

                              That is actually microfarads.
                              Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

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