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Crossovers for my Speakers? How to set them up in AV Receiver- Confused :(


1CY
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Hey everyone, I have a few questions and need help as I really do not know how to set up my speakers correctly with my Onkyo.
 

Can someone tell me which crossovers my speakers should be set to and also perhaps educate me as to how you came to that recommendation?

 

I am having a hard time figuring this out and equally having difficulty interpreting the specs on each speakers manual.

 

These are my speakers listed below which are being paired to my Onkyo TX-NR656
 

Klipsch R620F Towers

 Klipsch R41SA (pair) - Dolby Atmos for Towers addon 

Klipsch R41M Bookshelf Speakers for Rear Surrounds

Klipsch R34C Center Channel

Klipsch R-100SW Subwoofer

 

I am sorry for sounding inexperienced as speakers and av are not that easy to fully understand with so many variables.

 

I always used to use the auto mic calibration and then set speakers to small in the past along with the whole just use 80hz for crossovers via the THX recommendations online.

 

With that all being said, how do you set them up?

 

Thank you for your help and time.

 

~Nick 

 

 

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13 hours ago, 1CY said:

Hey everyone, I have a few questions and need help as I really do 

I always used to use the auto mic calibration and then set speakers to small in the past along with the whole just use 80hz for crossovers via the THX recommendations online.

 

Start there and adjust to what sounds best to you.  Every room and setup is totally different so what works for one person may not work for another. 

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17 hours ago, 1CY said:

Hey everyone, I have a few questions and need help as I really do not know how to set up my speakers correctly with my Onkyo.
 

Can someone tell me which crossovers my speakers should be set to and also perhaps educate me as to how you came to that recommendation?

 

I am having a hard time figuring this out and equally having difficulty interpreting the specs on each speakers manual.

 

These are my speakers listed below which are being paired to my Onkyo TX-NR656
 

Klipsch R620F Towers

 Klipsch R41SA (pair) - Dolby Atmos for Towers addon 

Klipsch R41M Bookshelf Speakers for Rear Surrounds

Klipsch R34C Center Channel

Klipsch R-100SW Subwoofer

 

I am sorry for sounding inexperienced as speakers and av are not that easy to fully understand with so many variables.

 

I always used to use the auto mic calibration and then set speakers to small in the past along with the whole just use 80hz for crossovers via the THX recommendations online.

 

With that all being said, how do you set them up?

 

Thank you for your help and time.

 

~Nick 

 

 

 

 

Hi Nick, welcome to the forum!

 

Your ears are the final judge.  Try whatever you come up with with a great variety of both music and movies.

 

The modal (play on words) crossover recommended by THX and others is 80 Hz. 

 

Your towers are adequate to about 40 Hz with proper boundary gain (i.e. within 3 to 4 feet from a wall, or closer) so a 80 Hz crossover for the front left and front right should be O.K.

 

Your center poops out about an octave above that, so I'm not sure what you should do, other than experiment.   Various people have suggested a sub overlap of at least 10 Hz (sub crossing over at 92 Hz for you) to, "No, no, you should have an octave of overlap (164 Hz for you).  So -- your ears.  By "overlap" I mean the -3 dB point of the front speaker (in this case, the center) would be 10 Hz below the sub crossover point to one octave below the crossover point.  Your centers go down to about 80 Hz (a little above, actually), so, by this algorithm your crossover should be about 90 Hz to as high as 160 Hz.  Audyssey (which Onkyo has now dropped -- maybe you have an old one?) and some other room optimisers will tell you what your in room 3 dB down point on a given speaker in its location in your room is.  Sometimes it is called F3.  Set all speakers for SMALL as you have done in the past.

 

One thing about the center channel is that you want crisp dialog, so you may not want a lot of bass.

 

There is an entirely independent Low Pass Filter for Low Frequency Effects (in movies).  It is not a crossover, but it is often confused with one.  Originally, the LPF for LFE was meant tobe set at 120 Hz so that every last dollop of noise artful sound effects the movie's 

sound designer put in would be delivered to your lap.  The irony is that, in their great zeal, they load that on very, very thickly --- AND they don't dare do that with the lowest frequencies, because it is likely to blow some subwoofers to smithereens.  So, some sub manufacturers have advocated setting the LPF for LFE to 80 Hz, instead of 120 Hz.  The double irony is that with this lower LPF, the special effects may sound deeper, without the ramped up 80 Hz to 120 Hz range in the way.  Counter-intuitive, right?  The AVR mixes the regular deep bass (bass management bass) with the LFE just before passing them on.

 

Here is a guide, by Mike Thomas, to practically everything to do with home theater audio.  You may want to hit his Cliff Notes section first, since the main section is about the length of War and Peace ... a good thing.

 

GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES  [and more]
* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.

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4 hours ago, garyrc said:

 

 

Hi Nick, welcome to the forum!

 

Your ears are the final judge.  Try whatever you come up with with a great variety of both music and movies.

 

The modal (play on words) crossover recommended by THX and others is 80 Hz. 

 

Your towers are adequate to about 40 Hz with proper boundary gain (i.e. within 3 to 4 feet from a wall, or closer) so a 80 Hz crossover for the front left and front right should be O.K.

 

Your center poops out about an octave above that, so I'm not sure what you should do, other than experiment.   Various people have suggested a sub overlap of at least 10 Hz (sub crossing over at 92 Hz for you) to, "No, no, you should have an octave of overlap (164 Hz for you).  So -- your ears.  By "overlap" I mean the -3 dB point of the front speaker (in this case, the center) would be 10 Hz below the sub crossover point to one octave below the crossover point.  Your centers go down to about 80 Hz (a little above, actually), so, by this algorithm your crossover should be about 90 Hz to as high as 160 Hz.  Audyssey (which Onkyo has now dropped -- maybe you have an old one?) and some other room optimisers will tell you what your in room 3 dB down point on a given speaker in its location in your room is.  Sometimes it is called F3.  Set all speakers for SMALL as you have done in the past.

 

One thing about the center channel is that you want crisp dialog, so you may not want a lot of bass.

 

There is an entirely independent Low Pass Filter for Low Frequency Effects (in movies).  It is not a crossover, but it is often confused with one.  Originally, the LPF for LFE was meant tobe set at 120 Hz so that every last dollop of noise artful sound effects the movie's 

sound designer put in would be delivered to your lap.  The irony is that, in their great zeal, they load that on very, very thickly --- AND they don't dare do that with the lowest frequencies, because it is likely to blow some subwoofers to smithereens.  So, some sub manufacturers have advocated setting the LPF for LFE to 80 Hz, instead of 120 Hz.  The double irony is that with this lower LPF, the special effects may sound deeper, without the ramped up 80 Hz to 120 Hz range in the way.  Counter-intuitive, right?  The AVR mixes the regular deep bass (bass management bass) with the LFE just before passing them on.

 

Here is a guide, by Mike Thomas, to practically everything to do with home theater audio.  You may want to hit his Cliff Notes section first, since the main section is about the length of War and Peace ... a good thing.

 

GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES  [and more]
* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.


 

Garyrc thank you for your time and energy to helping me out, I apologize again for being out of the loop with speakers and crossovers.

 

I would have hoped the auto calibration would take care of everything for me but is it trust worthy when said and done? Can you set it and forget it? I am not to sure.

 

Anyway with that said I have to ask you Garyrc, how do you know based off the specs for each model on what to set the crossovers to?
 

What is the math behind that because for an example the towers say 

38Hz - 21kHz +/- 3dB. How would one arrive to the 80hz suggestion from the lowest they go being a 38hz?

 

This is where I get lost with speakers. 

 

I have seen many people online for Home Theater say set your hz from the lowest your speakers go up by 10 or 20.

 

So, for me in my head the lowest says 38hz for the towers right?  If it is then the math would be from there normally 38+10hz increase =48hz crossover and a 38+20hz increase=58hz crossover.


If it is not too much trouble, I would appreciate if you can help me understand how you reached the said crossovers on each model listed below based off of their specs. I need to know the actual math formula involved as it clearly escapes my comprehension.


I have listed them for you convenience. 


R620F  Towers        38Hz - 21kHz +/- 3dB

R41SA  Atmos         Conforms to Dolby Atmos Specifications?
R41M  Bookshelfs     68Hz - 21kHz +/- 3dB

R34C    Center.            82Hz - 21kHz +/- 3dB

R100SW Subwoofer.         32 Hz - 120 Hz +/- 3 dB

 

Thank you again Garyrc, I really appreciate it my friend.

 

-Nick 

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2 hours ago, 1CY said:

I have listed them for you convenience. 


R620F  Towers        38Hz - 21kHz +/- 3dB

R41SA  Atmos         Conforms to Dolby Atmos Specifications?
R41M  Bookshelfs     68Hz - 21kHz +/- 3dB

R34C    Center.            82Hz - 21kHz +/- 3dB

R100SW Subwoofer.         32 Hz - 120 Hz +/- 3 dB

 

 

Well, there is what I might call a "Bold" and then a "Conserative" way to look at all this.

 

Part of the idea is to set things up so your mains (fronts) aren't asked to do more, and more difficult, work than they have to.  Crossing over lower than optimum increases distortion and risk to the main speakers. 

 

For instance, the woofers in your R620F Towers, at only 6.5" each, are asked to cover the range from 38 Hz to 2,000 Hz, before crossing over to the tweeter.  Those little woofers may protest a bit if asked to produce 40 or 50Hz at THX's 105 dB peak level at the Main Listening Position.  Also, they are direct radiators, which makes them a little more subject to modulation distortion than horn loaded speakers (like your tweeters, or the Klipschorn, La Scala or Klipsch Jubilee) would be.  Since you have a subwoofer, that is a golden opportunity to let the sub do the heavy lifting, and free up your towers to handle the middle and upper bass, as well as the midrange.  Your perceptual mechanisms (including ears) are much less sensitive and critical at the likely upper range of the sub, than they would be near 2,000 Hz at the upper range of the woofers in your towers, so if a few notes intermodulate, in the sub range, causing unwelcome sidebands which are harmonically unrelated, at least it isn't in your ears' most sensitive zone, plus many of those potential sidebands would be above the range of the sub, but since they are produced mechanically (partly through Doppler effect), would never be born.  I'll try to find something that explains this better to attach.

 

Anyway, relative to your two towers:

 

Bold would be crossing over at the F3 of 38 Hz + 10 Hz = 48 Hz.  

 

Conservative would be noting the F3 of 38 Hz, then go up an octave (double the Hz), making the crossover at 2 x 38 hz or 76 Hz.

 

Anywhere inbetween that sounds good to you, would be O.K.  If you decide to go conservative, since your AVR probably doesn't give 76 Hz as a choice, you could go to 80 Hz, the THX recommendation.  When I calculated your crossovers in the former email, I built in a fudge factor, because almost all speaker makers base their F3 on the best possible boundary gain.  So I started with 40 Hz instead of 38 Hz for the F3.

 

Now, your center is more of a problem.  I'd say:

 

Bold would be 82 Hz (the F3 from the specs) + 10 Hz = 92 Hz for the crossover.

 

Conservative would be 82 Hz, plus an octave (double the 82) or  2 x 82 = 164 Hz for the crossover.

 

So, now you know how to do it.  For your bookshelf surrounds, I get Bold: 78 Hz and Conservative: 136 Hz

 

Here is an excerpt on frequency modulation distortion (some times called Doppler) which you want to restrict to areas in which the resolution of your ears is low, i.e. keep it out of the upper bass, midrange, and treble.  One way it can arise in speakers is two or more tones (and music has zillions) "riding" back and forth on a speaker cone as it pumps to make a lower tone.  So, keep bass in small speakers to a minimum -- send it to the sub.

 

"The results were intriguing. Distortion of the flute was gross at 10mm peak diaphragm displacement and not in the least bit euphonic. On the contrary, Doppler made the sound as harsh as you might expect of a distortion mechanism that introduces intermodulation products. At 3.16mm peak displacement (below Fryer's suggested detectability threshold) the distortion level was obviously lower but still clearly audible; and even at 1mm it could still be heard affecting the flute's timbre and adding "edge."

Everyone who uses a two-way speaker (me included) can take heart from the fact that most music signals are less revealing of Doppler distortion than this special brew. But these findings undermine the view, widely accepted in the last two decades, that Doppler distortion in loudspeakers is not something we should trouble about. Having done the listening, I side with Moir and Klipsch more than with Fryer, Allison, and Villchur on this issue—something that may come as no surprise to anyone who has heard the effects of low-level jitter and sees where the Fryer criterion appears in fig.2. .

It has often been claimed that, with a two-way speaker, there are audible benefits to using a crossover frequency below the typical 3kHz, the usual explanation being that this removes the crossover from the ear's area of greatest sensitivity. But I wonder. Perhaps this not-uncommon experience actually has much more to do with the D word. A three-way solution is potentially even better. Three-way speakers bring new design challenges, of course, in particular the need to achieve another perceptually seamless handover between drivers. But from the Doppler perspective, having a crossover for the bass driver at 400Hz or 500Hz is, unquestionably, better." --  By Keith Howard, from Stereophile


Read more at:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/red-shift-doppler-distortion-loudspeakers-page-3#omWdye7G676SYg0g.99

 

 

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19 hours ago, garyrc said:
  Well, there is what I might call a "Bold" and then a "Conserative" way to look at all this.   Part of the idea is to set things up so your mains (fronts) aren't asked to do more, and more difficult, work than they have to.  Crossing over lower than optimum increases distortion and risk to the main speakers. 

 

For instance, the woofers in your R620F Towers, at only 6.5" each, are asked to cover the range from 38 Hz to 2,000 Hz, before crossing over to the tweeter.  Those little woofers may protest a bit if asked to produce 40 or 50Hz at THX's 105 dB peak level at the Main Listening Position.  Also, they are direct radiators, which makes them a little more subject to modulation distortion than horn loaded speakers (like your tweeters, or the Klipschorn, La Scala or Klipsch Jubilee) would be.  Since you have a subwoofer, that is a golden opportunity to let the sub do the heavy lifting, and free up your towers to handle the middle and upper bass, as well as the midrange.  Your perceptual mechanisms (including ears) are much less sensitive and critical at the likely upper range of the sub, than they would be near 2,000 Hz at the upper range of the woofers in your towers, so if a few notes intermodulate, in the sub range, causing unwelcome sidebands which are harmonically unrelated, at least it isn't in your ears' most sensitive zone, plus many of those potential sidebands would be above the range of the sub, but since they are produced mechanically (partly through Doppler effect), would never be born.  I'll try to find something that explains this better to attach.

 

Anyway, relative to your two towers:

 

Bold would be crossing over at the F3 of 38 Hz + 10 Hz = 48 Hz.  

 

Conservative would be noting the F3 of 38 Hz, then go up an octave (double the Hz), making the crossover at 2 x 38 hz or 76 Hz.

 

Anywhere inbetween that sounds good to you, would be O.K.  If you decide to go conservative, since your AVR probably doesn't give 76 Hz as a choice, you could go to 80 Hz, the THX recommendation.  When I calculated your crossovers in the former email, I built in a fudge factor, because almost all speaker makers base their F3 on the best possible boundary gain.  So I started with 40 Hz instead of 38 Hz for the F3.

 

Now, your center is more of a problem.  I'd say:

 

Bold would be 82 Hz (the F3 from the specs) + 10 Hz = 92 Hz for the crossover.

 

Conservative would be 82 Hz, plus an octave (double the 82) or  2 x 82 = 164 Hz for the crossover.

 

So, now you know how to do it.  For your bookshelf surrounds, I get Bold: 78 Hz and Conservative: 136 Hz

 

Here is an excerpt on frequency modulation distortion (some times called Doppler) which you want to restrict to areas in which the resolution of your ears is low, i.e. keep it out of the upper bass, midrange, and treble.  One way it can arise in speakers is two or more tones (and music has zillions) "riding" back and forth on a speaker cone as it pumps to make a lower tone.  So, keep bass in small speakers to a minimum -- send it to the sub.

 

 

 

 

"The results were intriguing. Distortion of the flute was gross at 10mm peak diaphragm displacement and not in the least bit euphonic. On the contrary, Doppler made the sound as harsh as you might expect of a distortion mechanism that introduces intermodulation products. At 3.16mm peak displacement (below Fryer's suggested detectability threshold) the distortion level was obviously lower but still clearly audible; and even at 1mm it could still be heard affecting the flute's timbre and adding "edge."

Everyone who uses a two-way speaker (me included) can take heart from the fact that most music signals are less revealing of Doppler distortion than this special brew. But these findings undermine the view, widely accepted in the last two decades, that Doppler distortion in loudspeakers is not something we should trouble about. Having done the listening, I side with Moir and Klipsch more than with Fryer, Allison, and Villchur on this issue—something that may come as no surprise to anyone who has heard the effects of low-level jitter and sees where the Fryer criterion appears in fig.2. .

It has often been claimed that, with a two-way speaker, there are audible benefits to using a crossover frequency below the typical 3kHz, the usual explanation being that this removes the crossover from the ear's area of greatest sensitivity. But I wonder. Perhaps this not-uncommon experience actually has much more to do with the D word. A three-way solution is potentially even better. Three-way speakers bring new design challenges, of course, in particular the need to achieve another perceptually seamless handover between drivers. But from the Doppler perspective, having a crossover for the bass driver at 400Hz or 500Hz is, unquestionably, better." --  By Keith Howard, from Stereophile

 

Read more at:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/red-shift-doppler-distortion-loudspeakers-page-3#omWdye7G676SYg0g.99

     

 

Wow! Thank you again for all the insight, as you really do not have to do any of this for me. You are very kind. I am starting to understand now the whole bold and conservative formulation along with what HZ you can actually dial in based on your reciever by rounding up etc. I recall you mentioned speakers have to be small as well in the setup due to that has always been the best way to set particular crossovers. I am curious now with all this said, do you think the auto mic setup is good at doing this stuff for you at all? I know the mic is good as determining distances and volume more or less etc and at times it is pretty decent with crossovers too like a hit or miss scenario. I just fear not having things set correctly for them if I was to fully trust the auto setup understandably so. With all of the speakers being taken care of thanks you to Gary, I am wondering now with the whole bass thing. Mine is basically beside the speakers a little to the left of them like this image here from Klipsch website. More or less my setup will look exactly like this minus the big room and a wider furniture stand.ad89903c35642f04f98433bcc3e15495.jpg

 

I know the sub has volume dials and crossovers etc / auto on off and the usual phase. Once more online I have seen numerous posts suggesting leave the volume in the middle, the crossover dial maxed, and then run the setup. What are your thoughts for that? I personally have not been confident the auto mic setup is good at determining the right setting for subs at all.

 

I really appreciate your time here! Your helping me a great deal my friend. 

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10 hours ago, 1CY said:

Wow! Thank you again for all the insight, as you really do not have to do any of this for me. You are very kind. I am starting to understand now the whole bold and conservative formulation along with what HZ you can actually dial in based on your reciever by rounding up etc. I recall you mentioned speakers have to be small as well in the setup due to that has always been the best way to set particular crossovers. I am curious now with all this said, do you think the auto mic setup is good at doing this stuff for you at all? I know the mic is good as determining distances and volume more or less etc and at times it is pretty decent with crossovers too like a hit or miss scenario. I just fear not having things set correctly for them if I was to fully trust the auto setup understandably so. With all of the speakers being taken care of thanks you to Gary, I am wondering now with the whole bass thing. Mine is basically beside the speakers a little to the left of them like this image here from Klipsch website. More or less my setup will look exactly like this minus the big room and a wider furniture stand.ad89903c35642f04f98433bcc3e15495.jpg

 

I know the sub has volume dials and crossovers etc / auto on off and the usual phase. Once more online I have seen numerous posts suggesting leave the volume in the middle, the crossover dial maxed, and then run the setup. What are your thoughts for that? I personally have not been confident the auto mic setup is good at determining the right setting for subs at all.

 

I really appreciate your time here! Your helping me a great deal my friend. 

 

  1.  We have many reasons to believe the 8 mic set up  Audyssey runs should provide very good EQ across hundreds of potential correction points.   It uses a proprietary process with "fuzzy logic" (a good thing) to weight the results from the mics, that is better than just averaging them.  It is also better than the single mic technique or the three mic technique that people used to use.  The mics should be placed as Audyssey recommends unless a) there is usually a single listener (you) b) there are usually 3 or fewer listeners, sitting very close together (e.g., cheek by jowel on a couch).  Under those conditions, the mic positions should be clustered closely around the listener or listeners.
  2. The one caveat is that, for various reasons Mike explains in the link I gave you ( GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES  [and more] ) people often hear a little less bass than they would like.  So, most people use a subwoofer boost of a few dB, made by turning up the knob on the sub itself (not in the AVR; reason in Mike's link), and done AFTER (& ONLY after) running Audyssey.
  3. The SUB should be placed (BEFORE running  Audyssey) in a place it has good boundary support for good boundary gain.  That usually means near a wall, or even in a corner.  Ears rule.  All speakers should be within about 1 to 4 feet from a wall, to produce adequate bass with minimum effort (IMO).  "Leave the volume in the middle," is just a starting point.  Use the highest crossover on the sub box, and set the crossover in the AVR, instesd.  Set phase to 0 BEFORE running Audyssey.
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  1.  We have many reasons to believe the 8 mic set up  Audyssey runs should provide very good EQ across hundreds of potential correction points.   It uses a proprietary process with "fuzzy logic" (a good thing) to weight the results from the mics, that is better than just averaging them.  It is also better than the single mic technique or the three mic technique that people used to use.  The mics should be placed as Audyssey recommends unless a) there is usually a single listener (you) B) there are usually 3 or fewer listeners, sitting very close together (e.g., cheek by jowel on a couch).  Under those conditions, the mic positions should be clustered closely around the listener or listeners.
  2. The one caveat is that, for various reasons Mike explains in the link I gave you ( GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES  [and more] ) people often hear a little less bass than they would like.  So, most people use a subwoofer boost of a few dB, made by turning up the knob on the sub itself (not in the AVR; reason in Mike's link), and done AFTER (& ONLY after) running Audyssey.
  3. The SUB should be placed (BEFORE running  Audyssey) in a place it has good boundary support for good boundary gain.  That usually means near a wall, or even in a corner.  Ears rule.  All speakers should be within about 1 to 4 feet from a wall, to produce adequate bass with minimum effort (IMO).  "Leave the volume in the middle," is just a starting point.  Use the highest crossover on the sub box, and set the crossover in the AVR, instesd.  Set phase to 0 BEFORE running Audyssey.

Interesting. Makes enough sense Gary, thank you.

A pleasure speaking with you!


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