Why you cant do without a car audio crossover.

By: Mantius Cazaubon

I've heard the question asked many times before, 'Do I reallyneed a crossover?' Without wasting any time I quickly answer,'Yes you do'. Whether it's a passive crossover or an activecrossover, your car audio system will never sound good without acrossover. I want to make myself very clear here, so before youget confused let's talk about what a car audio crossover is andwhy you need one.

A crossover is a filtering device which limits the frequenciesthat reach a speaker. It splits a music signal into separatefrequency ranges and sends them to speakers that are designed tobest reproduce each frequency range. For instance, only highfrequencies would be sent to your tweeters, midrange to your midrange speakers, and lows to your subwoofer.

The passive crossover is very common. It's basically a capacitoror coil installed on the speaker leads between amplifier andspeaker that stops certain frequencies from reaching a speaker.It's relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

But for your car stereo system to perform better and beefficient, you need an active crossover, also referred to as anelectronic crossover. It is installed between your head unit orequalizer and your amplifiers. Your electronic crossover sendsthe proper frequency ranges to each amplifier. Some people runthree separate amps: one for bass, one for mids and the otherfor highs.

Active crossovers are almost infinitely adjustable. You can varythe crossover points and adjust the level of separate speakersto achieve the best overall sound in your vehicle.

If you're serious about sound you must have a car audiocrossover. Otherwise your system will sound terrible. Oh what amess it will be when your subwoofer and mid-range speakersduplicate many of the same frequencies! How about when yourmid-range speaker attempts to put out high notes that yourtweeters are supposed to handle. Can you bear such grief? Ican't.

And this is just the beginning of your sorrow and pain. Sincelow frequencies are being sent to your tweeters there will bedistortion. As a result of this distortion your tweeters will bedestroyed. Loud bass will eventually destroy your mid-rangespeakers as well. Now you've got to start from scratch and buy anew set of speakers, all because you started on the wrongfooting.

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