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jamesgarvin
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Joined: Sep 2 2005 - 12:22pm
Speakers/cross-overs question for JA/Reviewers

I am wondering what difference, if any, you have experienced between fourth and first order cross-overs. I see many competent and recommended designs of both types, and competent engineers who advocate for both types.

The difficulty in getting an experienced opinion is that dealers generally have an interest in the product they sell, or other audiophiles in a product they purchased. There may be idiosyncracies not gleaned in a dealer demonstration.

I am considering purchasing a speaker with a first order crossover. In your experience of listening to many speakers for longer periods of time, what are your experiences of the differences between the two, in terms of reliability? Placement? Listening distance from the speakers? Needing to be in the sweetspot? Size of listening axis? Or is there a reference book or article which addresses these issues?

I have read reviews in an attempt to generate a pattern, but many reviews do not include the type of crossover. Thanks for the help.

Pjay
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Re: Speakers/cross-overs question for JA/Reviewers

I am not a reviewer, but will tell you that anyone who says one order of XO sounds like this or that is nuts.

At this point it is about synergy with the drivers and box. Sometimes a first order is the ideal match. Sometimes a 3rd or 4th order is right. Many times a speaker will have a first order tweeter with a second or third order woofer, (if some other circuit moves phase). Sometimes a second order electrical produces a third order accoustic, etc.

So this is not a parameter you should be fretting over, pick the speaker which sounds the best to you.

P

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jamesgarvin
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Re: Speakers/cross-overs question for JA/Reviewers

I listened to the speakers at the dealer and was impressed. Problem is, the dealer can set up the speakers to specification. For example, I have read that the speakers should generally be set up four feet from the rear wall, which I can probably do. But there are issues such as how far I need to sit away from the speaker that may play a factor in how the speaker sounds in my room, which I may not be able to accomodate. The scuttle that I have read is that speakers with first order crossovers have different set up requirements. Consequently, the speaker that sounded great in the demo may not sound great in my room with my limitations. My query is whether people who have had experience with both types of crossovers can provide some information whether this is true.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Speakers/cross-overs question for JA/Reviewers

Speakers with 1st order crossovers and raked drivers (such as Vandersteens) that are designed to be time coherent need to be set at a specific angle in relation to the listening position in order to benefit from the intended purpose of having the sound arrive at your ears all at the right/same time. This sort of limits the window of where everything snaps into focus (but, that's sort of true of any speaker in a way.) I find the benefits of having phase and time coherent speakers to be soundstage layering and depth seem natural and convincing, and it's a bit easier to hear the change in sound when polarity is inverted on CDs. There are so many worthy designs out there that don't adhere to this design, though. The best speakers to go with are the ones that gives you the most pleasure when listening to music, regardless of which crossover is implemented.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Speakers/cross-overs question for JA/Reviewers

Oops! I'm not a reviewer either. Sorry.

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