Electronic Crossover?

I believe I already know the answer to this, but I thought I'd get a sanity check.

If I am stuck working with a venue's wound system that only has 2 "2-way" speakers (Peavey PV 112 speakers), is there any point in using an electronic crossover to help divide up the high frequencies and low frequencies? The specs for these speakers says: "Heavy duty crossover network for driver protection and EQ."

So I'm guessing the speaker already does the job. I just thought I remember something form the mists of my memory that sound could be improved with an electronic crossover? I don't really see how since the tweeter and woofer are both in the same speaker. Hence my question.

Thanks!
 

gecko zzed

Grumpy Mod
If tweeter and woofer are in the one enclosure with only a single feed in, then they will have an internal cross over and your electronic crossover can't be used.

If the speakers are intended to be bi-amped, they would have separate inputs for top and bottom and no cross over, in which case your crossover would be handy.
 

bouldersoundguy

Well-known member
It might be worth using a crossover just to high-pass the signal going to the speakers. I'd set it to about 50-60Hz. That would relieve it from having to reproduce low bass below its effective range. And if someone wants to bring in a sub to supplement the system you can run the crossover up to 100Hz.
 
Thanks for those replies! Kind of what I was thinking.

I don't actually have an electronic crossover. I was just making sure if I should get one or not. And it wouldn't be helpful, I don't think, to try to high-pass the speakers because the music being amplified at this venue is all acoustic - no bass guitars, no kick drum, etc. So it probably would be of minor benefit.

Thanks again!
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I've run one theatre PA I have tried-amped. The subs as a channel, then LF and HF to the mid/hi boxes. Last year I had an amp die on me, and with a bit of reprogramming the crossover, and switch flicking on the cabs, enabled the internal crossover and finished the last couple of shows. We always have a 3 month break, and on powering up forgot about the broken amp still in the rack. The point being the sound quality didn't change at all!
 

bouldersoundguy

Well-known member
Properly configured, active crossovers can help squeeze more performance and better sound from a system, but if it's being used well within its limits there won't be much difference. Some good EQ would be more useful.
 
If tweeter and woofer are in the one enclosure with only a single feed in, then they will have an internal cross over and your electronic crossover can't be used.

If the speakers are intended to be bi-amped, they would have separate inputs for top and bottom and no cross over, in which case your crossover would be handy.
Not entirely true.

The boxes could have a "passive\biamp" switch with a NL4 connector. In Passive mode, the input to the boxes crossover circuit will come from pins 1+\1-. In biamp mode, usually the woofer will get it's input from pins 1, and the tweeter would get it's input from pins 2+\2-.

Things really get fun when the box has dual woofers, midrange, and tweeter drivers configured as a 3 way box (pretty much every large line array box these days). A NL8 connector will be utilized. Pins 1 for one woofer, pins 2 for the other woofer, pins 3 for the midrange, and pin 4 for the tweeters.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I’ve converted many to run off two amps so I can use electronic crossovers and the success relies on the speaker quality, usually the ability of the HF driver sounding nice. Adjusting the crossover frequency and filter slope often gets you back to what the manufacturer designed into the passive crossover in the box. For me it usually allowed a little more volume at the bottom and less harshness from the top driver by being kinder to it. One pair got returned to original spec after a few years and I never noticed the difference! I don’t do it any more. If they dont have a bi-amp switch, ask yourself why the manufacturer did not put one on them, and make it a feature and extra selling point? Why would an improvement be something their R and D department missed?
 

LazerBeakShiek

200M Subscribers
bi amping is the cHoice to increase the amplitude of the hi's or low. Each having their respective output controls. Instead of a treble and bass knob on a subtractive tone stack.


example-
Hi cabs are 2x10's
low cabs are 2x15s

balance the hi cab and low cabinet with the amplitude "level" knobs. Not treble and bass.. More subtle bi amplification works better to stimulate non-subtractive tone controls. Than stereo left right amp trying to do the same job with equal power sides. Bass needs more watts/ than treble side. THD curves and such reveal limits.

For the Biamplificator, you select where this crossover begins. Which go, to the the biamps high knob , and which to the biamps low knob. THIS SHOULD BE ON EVERY BASS AMP! A CROSSOVER control. X Over should be there.

Biamping is awesome for BASS and vocals
Stereo Amplification is aweome for guitars and keyboards with digital R + L effects
Dual Mono Amplification is awesome for high wattage stereo PA systems and splits the heat for live performances.
 
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bouldersoundguy

Well-known member
I don't know offhand, but it could be different number of cabinets in the array, different arc at bottom, indoor vs. outdoor. Basically lots of things besides the crossover. If there's something wrong with the passive crossover design, like a phase mismatch, external processing isn't going to fix it, though other things can be addressed (e.g. a minor frequency deviation). Or maybe a new engineer came in and wanted to put his personal stamp on things with a minor variation.
 
I don't know offhand, but it could be different number of cabinets in the array, different arc at bottom, indoor vs. outdoor. Basically lots of things besides the crossover. If there's something wrong with the passive crossover design, like a phase mismatch, external processing isn't going to fix it, though other things can be addressed (e.g. a minor frequency deviation). Or maybe a new engineer came in and wanted to put his personal stamp on things with a minor variation.
The tunings have NOTHING TO DO with the number of boxes in the array, the arc, of indoor\outdoor use. it is the same tnning regardless of any other factors. They simply fix the sound of the box. Every major manufacture of high end boxes has tunings for various processors that can implement them.

I work regularly on top end systems in venues that international touring acts play in, as well as all sorts of summer festivals. I have work on just about every high end line array system there is. I am in constant contact with system techs for very large sound companies.

The things you are arguing are NOT arguments that these techs make, nor the manufacturer reps that are often at big shows.

My Vertec system of on its 5th revision of it's tunings. The latest version brings this 20+ year old system into the modern sonic fidelity of much more expensive Meyer and L'Acoustics. It is because of these tunings that the Vertec system if still the most used line array box in the world. They simply work.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Why do people release new EQs and gizmos? People like to have tweaks. I have a pile of 932's - I certainly won't be changing any of them because some R7D fella has tweaked a new curve that might sound great on whatever it was tested on.Do you really think people using a system twenty years ago had the 'wrong' curve? No - they had the popular one for that period - just like the smiley face of the 70s. The key point in this topic was we were talking about Peavey, not a Versus. You've totally and utterly missed the point. If you work on top end systems and know the R&D guys home phone, you can get the latest updates - chasing updates for firmware, software and adjustments seems to be the modern way to guarantee optimum - yet in the end, it's a personal choice to make something better (as in, different, not better).

Vertec being on revision 5 means one of two things. Their earlier ones were poor (I don't think they were) and the later ones are wonderful (but probably just flavour of the month different)

You carry on with your system tech conversations it will keep you happy. Those tunings you are now unhappy with, are because you like constant updates. Clearly you can hear the difference and like it. Which means your system was poorer before - when you also liked it? Don't confuse the core elements of this topic with your mega tweaking addiction. It's perfectly fine for top end guys like you to pursue excellence if it's dangled before you. That's why you get paid big bucks and are well respected in the industry. The trouble is we also have people with some boxes in a small pile or on a stick who want to make them better. Bi-amping a Peavey with a switch and a soldering iron is a great thing to try to give you more scope for adjusting what comes out to the best you can get it. This is great experimentation. Oddly, very like your top end systems, the results are small tweaks really, not huge differences. The constant twiddling on a budget product just isn't going to happen. On a system where a new driver costs the same as a new PA, tweaks are somewhat more, er, modest in success.

I've no idea why you moved from bi-amping a Peavey through VRX to Vertec. What are we talking five grand a box? You also muddied the waters with the mention of the tunings for the 932LA - this kind of tuning is really just a curve adjustment, and I suspect just a way to tweak further the response when you've used the lo vs hi adjustments as you add more to the curve. My experience is that really bi-amping these boxes is a bit pointless because in normal mode the -3 or +3 switches balance the distant sound more simply and predictably than doing it with two amp lo-hi balance. Each to his own of course.
 

Smithers XKR

Well-known member
I had a couple of great Peavey full range cabs in the late 80's together with a couple of Peavey bins. The bass bins were 15s... the full range were 15s with an 8 and a bullet horn which were brilliant. The full range had passive X over so I ran the system with a Peavey early DECA digital 700W power amp into a DOD stereo active Electronic X over, splitting the signal at about 120 Hz. The 15s in the full range cabs handled the mid range really well and never experienced any issues using the active and passive crossovers in tandem with each other and the DECA amp had outputs to split the frequencies via the DOD so no need for seperate power amps for each set of speakers. 700W doesnt sound like much but that amp was so efficient, it really kicked! 😉👍
 
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