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FAQ: Do I need crossover control? 

What is a crossover?

 

A crossover is a very handy device that helps you take charge of the frequencies that are going to your various speakers. For example, it lets you send low frequencies through to your subwoofer or bass shaker amp, and it lets you send high frequencies to your other speakers.

 

You probably don't need a crossover if you have a subwoofer with built-in crossover control, like this one


 

Crossovers can be purchased as separate devices, but be aware that often come built-in to your amps and receivers.

For sound boffins after more in-depth information, try the sites below:

  • Solen offers a free crossover design service.
  • Crutchfield has lots of articles on crossovers.

darth_vadar_bass_shakers.jpg

 

Why would I need a crossover for my bass shakers?

 

If you have no control over your frequencies, you could find your bass shakers vibrate at frequencies that are too high for your liking. For example, when you are watching Star Wars, you want the shakers to rumble with the low frequency SFX of a space craft, but you do NOT want them to vibrate whenever Darth Vadar opens his mouth. If you have a crossover, you can stop this happening.

Furthermore, it's kinda pointless sending high frequencies through to your bass shakers because they can't do anything with them. Bass shakers only "hear" low sounds. The same with subwoofers: high frequencies can even injure your subwoofer.

 

The crossover checklist: how to tell if you need a crossover


You possibly WON'T need a crossover if:

  • You are powering your bass shakers with an amp that has a built in crossover, like this one.
  • You have a simple setup and your receiver crossover is doing it's job OK.
  • You are powering your bass shaker with a good subwoofer.
  • You are happy to let the shakers do their job without tweaking them too much.

 

You possibly WILL need a crossover if:

  • You are doing some wild and whacky things with your sound system, and need to control what's going on.
  • You are powering your shakers with a normal amp WITHOUT a crossover control, and you want to be able to tweak the rumble.

 

You can buy a range of crossovers online.