Crossover Point Selection Process; How to Choose the Best Crossover Frequency

Okay so you have chosen your speaker drivers. There are a few ways to determine the right crossover point selection for your speakers.

Easy way

You can simply place the drivers as close as possible and listen for the best crossover position. (lazy mans method)

The right way

Determine before purchasing (your new drivers) how close the selected drivers that you like can be placed to one another.

Example; a crossover point selection

If using a 7” driver with a 1” tweeter often the flanges are larger than you would think. Tweeters can have a flange that is 4” in diameter or larger.

Take 7” of the midrange driver and 4” for the tweeter and add them together which gives you 11”. Divide by two, which is 5.5”. So your minimum distance between drivers is 5.5” from center to center if placed frame to frame. This measurement will dictate a maximum frequency crossover of 2455Hz.

You may also need to have a small rib of material between the drive units for strength. When placing two countersunk drivers one next to the other you will have very thin ribs of wood or baffle material that may become weak. In this case I recommend adding 1/8” of an inch or .125” as a rib between the two driver countersinks. This will offer a 1/8” thick wood rib between drive units.

crossover point selection process

So you would need to add this .125” to the center to center distance between drive units to calculate.

• 7” driver
• 4.25” tweeter flange
• .125” rib between drive units

= 11.375” total divided by 2 = 5.6875

Maximum frequency at crossover would then be 2374Hz (use this calculator and determine if your drivers are placed correctly)

Better speaker performance and results

This would allow for minimal driver lobeing at the front baffle between the driver units and provide the best response at the crossover. Can you break this rule? Sure, but the results won’t be as good as if you can stick to the rule. Making changes and measuring with an active crossover or digital crossover is easy and painless.

Wavelength also works as you move away from the baffle so if the crossover frequency is set at 3000Hz and the drivers are placed further apart you will get lobeing if the midrange and tweeter drivers are more than 4.5 inches apart. So plan accordingly.

Will you hear this if you are sitting 12 feet from the speakers? I don’t think so. The drivers should integrate completely, well before the sound reaches your ear.

This will depend on the type of slope you use in your design as well as the roll off of the woofer will go into the treble realm where the tweeter should be playing which is higher in frequency. Depending on the slope you use would also determine how far from the speaker you would need to sit for proper integration.
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