You Can Own A More Musical Speaker Crossover!

“Better DIY Speaker Projects using a Digital Speaker Crossover”:

Make your own DIY speaker crossover

Think it may be too difficult?

Speaker building has never been easier than it is now.Echo-firewire

Why?

The computer…

Finally! DIY speaker projects and products now available can be combined to create a state of the art playback system with extremely high performance. Learn more about setting up a speakercrossover network using the PC.

 

Digital crossovers are breaking new ground for transparency.

Fidelity with the latest DAC processors are available to be used with a PC.

Your music and movies will sound better than ever.

You can settle into your listening room and be immersed in live music.

The most recent Digital to Analog converters… What’s different about these?

Many of these DAC solutions are professional level, high-quality-multichannel-D to A converters.

They are so good they’re just begging to be added to your speaker system, DIY speakers, or DIY sub-woofer system.

To learn more about this new way to use the latest DAC’s do a search on this site for our speaker crossovers articles. There are tons of articles covering this subject. Or use the links at the bottom of the page.

Quad-on-stand

What you may need for a DIY Speaker Crossover Projects (using one of these DAC’s) using a Digital Software Crossover:

1. A reasonably fast Computer ;

      2.5GHz quad core (minimum) with 4GB RAM (preferably DDR3 1600MHz or higher) and a 64 bit Operating System.

2. A firewire card output on the computer (can get a card for the PCI slot if there is none on existing motherboard)

3. An SPDIF digital output on the computer (usually built into the motherboard) can also use an expansion card in the PCI slot.

4. A professional sound card –often called a firewire interface box (I like the Echo Audiofire 8 or 12)

5. A multichannel preamplifier (at least 6 channels, including the subwoofer) a surround sound processor will work, as will a multi-channel home theater receiver.

6. An amp channel for each ‘way’of your speaker system: (the tweeter of one speaker is one way for example) If you have 3 way stereo speakers you will need 6 amp channels. (can be included in a home theater receiver)

7. A speaker system with no passive crossover networks; this can be a set of speakers that you have made or have modified by removing or disconnecting the passive crossover networks.

8. A software digital crossover such as available through the Allocator Lite.

9. A Blu Ray Player or Blu Ray Drive for watching Blu Ray discs from the PC. You can also use an external BR player as well.

10. A digital switch (optional) to bring in multiple digital streams into the PC from other sources.

The software you can use for this type of a system is a long list. I will only show the software that I have used personally:

1. Foobar crossover component: This filter system uses IIR filters which are thought to be inferior to FIR filters. But for some reason I have found the Foobar crossover to sound better than some others for music playback. This could be that the inherent ringing of IIR filters can sound more musical. Kind of like listening to a tube amp.

FR88ex-frequency-response-with-sub

a. Foobar Also has a convolution component that allows you to use the reversed peaks of your room response as a WAV file. You will need a measurement program like Room EQ Wizard to make the measurements and produce the WAV file.

b. When you play back your music, it plays it over this file like a finger print correcting the room (room correction) as it plays in real time.

2. Thuneau.com has an Allocator Liteand “Allocator” that provides filters and slopes for each speaker driver.

In addition; it also has correction bands for each speaker driver to not only correct for speaker response but also for making corrections of the measured room response.

Other Popular Articles

1. Go to digital audio speakers – “speaker blueprints” page.Free Plans!

2. Why the best speaker-crossovers are digital Active Digital Crossover.

3. Learn to build the best speaker wire for a fraction (of the costs) of high end cables.

4. What home theater softwarewill you need?

5. If you have ever wanted anHTPC or digital music server(home theater personal computer), learn to build one now.

6. Learn how to make your theater silent with home theater sound proofing.

7. Get a high end Media Center PC and learn How to use the Digital Media Server for Best results.

8. Review of the ESI Julia Soundcard the ESI Juli@. an excellent digital output card.

9. Learn more about setting up a speaker crossover network using the PC.

a. Again, you will first need to make some measurements using Room EQ Wizard to get your necessary filter locations. You won’t be using a WAV file though as in the Foobar convolution component.

b. By taking measurements from test sweeps you can effectively put in a correction filter, make a test sweep and record the change seeing exactly what your correction filter has done to the response.

c. You will need to load the filter and slopes into the individual crossover legs to use the correction function. (the manual spells out how to do this very easily)

To some degree the above filters and slopes will depend on your equipment and gear (as to which will sound the best). I think that this is the best part of the experiment. You can really see how much difference your tweaking is making to your music and movies playback.

Don’t believe that a Digital Crossover could be for you?

Try one of these systems out for yourself first.

You can download the Foobar Player for free.

The crossover component ad on is free too.

The Equipment

You will just need a few pieces of equipment to put it together. (A receiver, multi-channel soundcard with ASIO support) These are the most common items that you may not have.

Nearly any passive speaker system could be modified by de-soldering the speaker wires from the crossover and adding more binding posts onto the back of the speaker cabinet. Then the extra amps could be hooked up to use the active crossover.

For measuring your system and speaker crossover use the Room EQ wizard software from Home Theater Shack.

It’s a free download too and works quite well for taking in-room measurements. Even if you have no intent of using it to control an active or digital crossover speaker system you could use it to troubleshoot your home audio subwoofers response.

If you put all the parts of this type of system together you will end up with one very versatile machine that will give you years of tweaking and satisfaction. I don’t think I would do it any other way. (And I have tried) To see some ‘Active Crossovers’ see; DJ Store – Everything for the aspiring or professional DJ . These are active crossover units often used in the pro audio industry. They can be successfully used in a home speaker system as well. Learn more about setting up a speaker crossover network using the PC.
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More help to build your own Digital Speaker Crossover:

Speaker Box calculator

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DIY Subwoofer Installation -to use with your Crossover network
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