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Crossover help needed !

sultan01

Standard Member
Hello there guys ,

I am a bit of a Noob when it comes to home cinema and I have some questions should anyone be able to assist me I would be grateful.

I currently have a Marantz NR1604 amplifier and I am trying to ascertain what crossover and speaker size I should set it to for my speakers.

The speakers I am using are Dali Zensor 3's and their crossover is set at 2,600Hz.

This is a link to their specs sheet

DALI ZENSOR 3

The settings in my amplifier for the crossover are as follows, 40Hz, 60Hz, 80Hz, 90Hz, 100Hz, 110Hz, 120Hz, 150Hz, 200Hz, and 250Hz.

Could someone Please kindly advise me as to which one of these I should set these speakers to?
And also what I should set my speaker size to, although they are bookshelf speakers I am not sure if I should set them to small or large?

Integrated within this set-up is also a REL R 218 sub-woofer Which is currently being repaired, should that be of any assistance, I only mention this as REL advise I should set my front speakers to LARGE as to enable the speakon/neutrik to the sub to be able to attain the full frequency from the amplifier, to achieve best results.

Thank you in advance to all.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The Zensor speakers have a frequency handling ability of 50 - 26,500Hz. This figure is not the crossover but the range of frequencies the speakers can handle. You ordinarily set the speakers all as SMALL. This has nothing to do with physical size and is more to do with whether speakers are rated full range or not. Full range would be 20 - 20,000Hz which is recognised as being the range of human hearing. Speakers designated SMALL use a user defined crossover point, this point determines at what frequency to redirect lower frequencies away from the speakers to a dedicated subwoofer also connected to the AV receiver. It is typically suggested to use a crossover of 80Hz for the crossover point and I'd suggest this for use in conjunction with your speakers. I'd also suggest you ignore the REL advice and only use the dedicated sub pre out from the receiver to your sub and you should set all your speakers as being SMALL.

The sub needs tp be configured as follows prior to running the Audyssey calibration:

1. If the subwoofer provides a direct input (sometimes called LFE input) then it should always be used. *That input bypasses the filters in the subwoofer and allows the bass management system in the AV Receiver to operate properly
2. If there is no direct input, then the lowpass filter knob on the subwoofer should be permanently set to the highest frequency it allows. *That way it will not interfere with the MultEQ measurements and bass management
3. The level control on the subwoofer is often set too high. *This can cause the AV Receiver to run out of level correction range when MultEQ tries to set the subwoofer to reference level. *Set the subwoofer level control to the midpoint. *If MultEQ reports high negative trims (e.g., -12 dB) for the subwoofer, then you should turn the level control further down and run MultEQ again
4. If there is a Phase control on the sub it should be set to 0°


You then set the speaker sizes and crossovers after running the calibration.


More detail can be found here:

Crossover and Speaker Settings in Relation to Bass Management | AVForums

Small vs. Large

Do you have a subwoofer in your system? Great. Then your speakers are small. Before you get all upset, read on. This is one of those audio myths whose time has come to be busted. To understand why, we need to talk about Bass Management.

In the early days of home theater it was thought that in order to reproduce the full movie surround experience at home it was necessary to place 5 large loudspeakers in the room. The reason for the size was the woofers. To play at theatrical reference levels and reproduce the deepest bass available in the content requires each speaker to have 12" or larger woofers. Let's just say that this theory didn't get very far in the real world.

A better and more practical approach came after studying human perception. The mechanisms that we use to determine the direction of arrival of sound depend on the frequency. At high frequencies the wavelength of sound is small and so sound coming from the side is shadowed by our head. That creates a level difference between the sound reaching the ear closest to the source and the ear on the other side. Our brain analyzes these level differences and produces an estimate of where the sound is coming from. But at lower frequencies, the wavelength of sound gets longer and our head is not large enough to produce a level difference at the two ears. Instead, we analyze the difference in time of arrival of sound at the two ears. Sound arrives first at the closest ear and we use that to determine the direction. But even that ability fails us below about 80 Hz. The wavelengths get very large and it was found in listening tests that 80 Hz is the frequency below which most people can not localize the direction of sound.

Taking advantage of this apparent deficiency in our hearing was what made home theater practical for millions of homes. Five satellite speakers of reasonable size could now be used because they no longer required large woofers. A subwoofer (or two) can reproduce the lower octaves and it can be placed out of sight since its content is not directional.

But there is also a practical advantage: directing the bass to a dedicated subwoofer channel with its own amplifier greatly improves the headroom in the main channels. The idea behind this was proposed in a Society of Motion Picture Engineers (SMPTE) meeting in 1987. The participants could not agree on the minimum number of channels required for surround sound on film. Various numbers were being shouted out until a voice was heard from the back: We need 5.1. Everyone's head turned around to look at Tom Holman. He proceeded to explain what he meant: Take the low frequency content from all 5 channels and redirect it away from the satellite speakers to the subwoofer. If we do the math, then the content below 80 Hz is 0.004 of the audible 20,000 Hz bandwidth. But 5.004 didn't sound as catchy so Tom rounded up to 5.1. By the way, don't make the amateur mistake of calling it 5 dot 1. It is a decimal: 5 point 1.

Fast forward to the early 90s when the first DSP powered home theater receivers started to appear. Along with progress came complexity. Some industry forces believed that Bass Management should be an option that could be turned on and off by the consumer. That's not necessarily a bad idea, but to make an informed decision requires much more knowledge about the system than what was available to the typical consumer. So, the Large and Small rule of thumb was established. The idea was to look at the size of your speakers and decide whether their woofers were large enough to reproduce the lowest octaves at the required levels. It was a noble thought, but looking at it 15 years later I believe that it has led to nothing but massive confusion. The poor consumer was led to believe that Large is somehow a good thing and was then left wondering why there was nothing coming out of their subwoofer.

Redirecting the bass to the subwoofer relieves the receiver amplifiers from having to work on reproducing the low frequencies and this greatly improves the headroom. If you happen to be using Audyssey MultEQ for room correction, you will achieve much better low frequency performance because the MultEQ subwoofer filters have 8x higher resolution than the filters in the other channels.

Here is a better rule: All speakers are Small. In today's complicated AVR lingo that just means: If you have a subwoofer you should always turn bass management on. Always. Even if your receiver clings to the past and automatically sets your speakers to Large.


Crossover frequency : Ask Audyssey
 
Last edited:

sultan01

Standard Member
The Zensor speakers have a frequency handling ability of 50 - 26,500Hz. This figure is not the crossover but the range of frequencies the speakers can handle. You ordinarilly set the speakers all as being SMALL. This has nothing to do with physical size and is more to do with whether speakers are rated full range or not. Full range would be 20 - 20,000Hz which is recognised as being the range of human hearing. Speakers designated SMALL use a user defined crossover point, this point determines at what frequency to redirect lower frequencies awy from the speakers to a dedicated subwoofer also connected to the AV receiver. It is typically suggested to use a crossover of 80Hz for the crossover point and I'd suggest this for use in conjunction with your speakers which should all be set as SMALL..

More detail can be found here:

Crossover and Speaker Settings in Relation to Bass Management | AVForums




Crossover frequency : Ask Audyssey
 

sultan01

Standard Member
Thank you for that my friend, it is very informative and useful. It has cleared up a lot of questions.:)
 

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