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Author Topic: What kind of wire is good for passive crossovers?  (Read 763 times)

John Halliburton

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Re: What kind of wire is good for passive crossovers?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2019, 07:50:35 am »

Is there a difference to the sound when using an iron core and air core?  Or just different amounts of turns and resistance.

Mostly due to if the coils move into saturation, or basically towards their power capacity ability limits.  If you're looking at a pro audio type loudspeaker cabinet design, generally you'll wind up(pun intended) using iron/steel core coils on the woofer side of the circuit, and air core coils on the mids(if any) and high frequency sections.  Overkill is never a bad thing, buy the largest gauge/power rating/lowest DC resistance coils you can afford(and big ones get expensive), as headroom is always your friend in pro audio.

On another aspect of crossover building, capacitors on the mids and highs can sometimes benefit from using higher grade products like polypropylene types.  Solen and Bennic are trusted and good brands.

As mentioned, Parts Express sells parts, as does Madisound, and Solen themselves(out of Canada).

Have fun!

Best regards,

John
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Frank Koenig

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Re: What kind of wire is good for passive crossovers?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2019, 11:50:58 am »

Mostly due to if the coils move into saturation, or basically towards their power capacity ability limits.  If you're looking at a pro audio type loudspeaker cabinet design, generally you'll wind up(pun intended) using iron/steel core coils on the woofer side of the circuit, and air core coils on the mids(if any) and high frequency sections.  Overkill is never a bad thing, buy the largest gauge/power rating/lowest DC resistance coils you can afford(and big ones get expensive), as headroom is always your friend in pro audio.

Yes, this. An air-core coil will never saturate. It will stay linear until it melts or starts arcing between the turns. It's also simple to design. A ferro-magnetic (typically silicon steel at audio frequencies) core coil will become non-linear at some point. It's complicated to design and you need to get suitable cores with full engineering data. By using a core, however, a lower resistance (higher Q) can be achieved for a given amount of copper. So, as John points out, they are often used at lower frequencies where higher inductance is needed and where the lower cost and weight pays off.

For hobby use cost and weight may be secondary considerations and the air-core coil's resistance can be taken into account in the circuit model. For a given style/size coil the resistance is approximately proportional to the square root of the inductance. The scale factor can be taken from a typical coils out of the Parts Express catalog, for example. Once the inductance and actual coil are chosen then its exact resistance can be put back into the model and checked.

My way around big inductors is to bi-amp, which has very many advantages. But that's another story.

My favorite cartoon about DIY was in the back of "Chemical Engineering News" many years ago. A woman in the foreground says "My husband is a real do-it-yourselfer. He's making a lawn chair from scratch". In the background is the husband with a few barrels of petroleum and some chemical gear.

--Frank
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: What kind of wire is good for passive crossovers?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2019, 01:17:40 pm »


My way around big inductors is to bi-amp, which has very many advantages. But that's another story.


My cutoff for that is around 1kHz. Below that, I'd bi-amp. Above that, the components are usually small, so they're also cheap and losses aren't too significant.

I must note that doing a passive crossover properly is rarely a simple affair. My home HiFi speakers ended up with something like 16 components each, but on the other end of the scale I've put something together for a newly-released 10" coaxial unit which uses four components, and manages to get the HF balance into shape by using a very small cap for the highpass. Either way, "textbook" crossovers rarely apply.

Chris
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Re: What kind of wire is good for passive crossovers?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2019, 01:17:40 pm »


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