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Subwoofer Crossover Settings


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In the home audio FAQ on the Klipsch website, it is suggested that the settings for small bookshelf speakers be set to "small" on the amp and the crossover set to 100-120 Hz. For "large" speakers the sub setting should be in the 50-60 Hz range.

I am using a two channel system with an old stereo amp (there are no small or large settings) and RB-5's as my main speakers. The specs for the RB-5's list a frequency response at the low end of 48 Hz. I would guess that at 48 Hz the speaker is not performing optimally and that I would want the crossover set at a point around where the performance flattens out, but that should be before 110-120 Hz, shouldn't it?

I don't have any meters and certainly can play with the settings, but I was interested in the groups ideas as to where the setting should be.

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Cross-over settings as discussed in the FAQ probably refer to use with a receiver which is limited to 2 settings - small and large for the crossover.

How have you connected the sub? I imagine that your setup is not using a separate sub-out and that you have connected via the speaker outs.

The ideal crossover position will vary as much according to the room you are in as to the speakers you are using (well - almost).

I would suggest a bit of trial and error. Usually the best crossover point is around 80 Hz for speakers like yours in a normal room but this may vary tremendously.

Setting the sub up by ear is not usually a problem. Just play with the settings until you get to a level you like.


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Somewhere in the range of 50-80 hz should work okay. The idea here is to have the subwoofer pick up where your RB-5's drop off. My guess is that the response of the RB-5's are not flat down to 48hz, but should be at a slightly higher crossover point, say 50-80hz.

Let your ears be your guide - however, if you really want to get this right, you can buy an analog SPL meter at radio shack ($40) and a disc that does test sweeps (such as Avia Guide to Home Theater, also about $40). You play a "test sweep" from 20-200 hz, for example, and find out how the RB-5's respond to your listening environment with the meter. Many of us who have home theater systems use these because we need to balance 5 channels plus a sub. This makes it easy to find out just how to set up the sub. Also, positioning of that sub and speakers will make a difference in response of the speaker, so the meter/test disc helps out there too.

If all of this seems like overkill to you, you can do it by ear.


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