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Author Topic: Crossing over two types of subs  (Read 538 times)

James Heyser

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Crossing over two types of subs
« on: August 06, 2018, 03:43:02 pm »

I have a pair of EAW SB180's and a pair of EAW SB250z's, I was toying with the idea of using them together at an outdoor gig I have coming up.  I've read that using different subs can create issues, but I was wondering what it would sound like if I crossed over the 180's at 25hz- 50hz and the SB250's from 50hz - 120hz.  Has anyone experimented with such narrow frequency bands for drivers?  I've seen audiophile home speakers that were like five-way, but they were more about breaking up higher frequencies.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Crossing over two types of subs
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2018, 04:30:18 pm »

I have a pair of EAW SB180's and a pair of EAW SB250z's, I was toying with the idea of using them together at an outdoor gig I have coming up.  I've read that using different subs can create issues, but I was wondering what it would sound like if I crossed over the 180's at 25hz- 50hz and the SB250's from 50hz - 120hz.  Has anyone experimented with such narrow frequency bands for drivers?  I've seen audiophile home speakers that were like five-way, but they were more about breaking up higher frequencies.

What are you trying to accomplish?
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Taylor Hall

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Re: Crossing over two types of subs
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2018, 04:38:01 pm »

The great thing about audiophile setups is that they get to exist in a extremely controlled environment that hardly ever changes, and when it does, there's all the time in the world to fix any bugs in it (as long as your SO doesn't object). Live sound rarely gets those luxuries (let alone one of them).

While it's true that you -can- mix and match different models like this, it is generally frowned upon because of the myriad sonic output differences between any two cabinets. In this case, mixing a double 15" and single 18" design. While freeing up some top end from the 18" might help them get lower, do you really need that extra low end excursion and vice versa? What hole does this fill in your system, or does it fill a hole at all? Are you just looking for more output or a cleaner output?

If you have any time before the event, I'd test mixing them together. You may find that each cabinet has it's own sweet spot that would cause your xover points to shift to increase output or introduce extreme peaks and "boom". Or, when both are in use you may find weird phasing issues and so on. Placement could also affect their performance compared to making one big stack vs using one model center stage and the other stage L/R, and so on. The last thing you want is to throw it all together the day of the event and find it to be suboptimal.
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lindsay Dean

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Re: Crossing over two types of subs
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2018, 04:47:55 pm »

To add
 even if you did get them to play nicely together
Crossing them over 1 set low frequency once a little higher frequency means you've effectively lost about a third of your output
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drew gandy

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Re: Crossing over two types of subs
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2018, 05:07:00 pm »

To add
 even if you did get them to play nicely together
Crossing them over 1 set low frequency once a little higher frequency means you've effectively lost about a third of your output

I would, from a practical standpoint, agree with this general idea. 

But it depends on how you look at "output".  Meyer used to make a "2-way" subwoofer that had a 15" and an 18".  I think it was crossed over around 55Hz.  If I'm remembering correctly, their marketing propaganda claimed that it had more dynamic range than their dual 18" at the time and they had some numbers/graphs to go along with it.  If you think about what music signals are usually composed of, this might make sense.  The vast majority of acoustic music sounds are full of lots of tones and overtones.  If the low woofer produces a fundamental and the high woofer produces a harmonic, when mixed together in the air in front of the box, they could have a higher acoustic peak than another configuration of "one-way" woofers.  But, this product was short lived so the validity of this idea might not have played out well in the real world. 

I would suggest that if you're playing canned music, EDM or some other synthesized music with little dynamic range in the bass then you're probably better off with armies of woofers all doing the same thing.  If you're playing live music then there might be some merit to the idea of 2-way subs. 

Of course, as was already suggested, the tuning of something like this might take a lot longer than the gig itself does. 
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Mark Wilkinson

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Re: Crossing over two types of subs
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2018, 06:04:21 pm »

I'd just run them all together, using the same high pass filter (probably 30- 35Hz) and the same low pass filter.
They look to have similar low freq f-3, about 36Hz.......and should play nicely together.

I believe the meyer sub mentioned is the psw-4.  I've got a pair in the bottom of some meyer 4-ways, and I will agree they have a really dynamic sound.  But it takes some hellacious good crossover engineering to pull that off. And you'd need quite different port tunings for the different subs.

IMHO, you can only lose doing anything other than simply running your given subs together, with equal crossovers.
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