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This is something I have been curious about for many years but so far no one has been able to provide a good answer. Seems like a pretty simple question,....how does volume level affect a crossover point. I mean if I have some small, sealed, two way bookshelf speakers with a frequency response of 85Hz - 20 kHz +- 3dB, 2.83V @ 1 meter and I set them as large, no sub,... what happens? If I play music at very low dB does it make any difference what frequency range the speaker can produce vs. the frequency range at reference level? Or does this speaker (in general) reproduce 85Hz - 20 kHz no matter the volume level? Or, does it depend on the internal crossover and what the designer did to prevent damage to the speaker?
 

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Gee, thats a loaded question.....I will put my two cents worth.

A crossover if its of good quality will simply alow what it was designed to let through. So if the signal has lower or higher frequencies than what the speaker crossover can handle it simply wont let it through.
If you have the volume low and play bass heavy material the driver simply is not going to move the amount of air required to hear it. As you get louder this changes and until you near the drivers max excursion you will hear more detail in the lows. The cabinet design also plays a huge part in what you hear as well.
 

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Volume has little effect on the crossovers. They are designed to direct the highs to the tweeters and the lows to the woofers. Increasing the volume will cause distortion in the woofer as the level goes up. If your speakers are fused, they will be protected, but, if not, playing them loud can destroy the drivers (I speak from sad experience with WOTW on DTS!). You may want to consider a sub to handle the frequencies below about 100 HZ. This will relieve the small woofer in your speakers and, make you smile more during low bass. Hope this helps, Denins
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As I suspected, no effect on the crossover. So aside from being fused, is there any other protection inside the speaker? Tony, you say it will simply prevent low frequencies from getting there? Where then does that energy go? :scratchhead: Or am I looking at this the wrong way?

I usually play these at very low volume, broke out the RS meter and average volume is about 60 - 62 dB. They sound better when set to large and I have no fear of damaging these speakers using them in this manner. And yes, there is a sub for the occasional need to increase the volume. :T
 

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Tony, you say it will simply prevent low frequencies from getting there? Where then does that energy go? :scratchhead: Or am I looking at this the wrong way?
The extra energy is given off as heat, I have actually had a crossover start a fire inside of some Pro Tanoy PA speakers because of the heat. A crossover should be able to breathe.
 

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Where then does that energy go? :scratchhead:
In short, the energy is never released. Your crossover works by increasing the impedance as the frequency drops which means the amp can't deliver as much current. Small bookshelves roll off naturally at lower frequencies without the need for a crossover, but they can use a high pass filter to prevent damage to the speaker at loud levels.
 

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Volume has little effect on the crossovers. They are designed to direct the highs to the tweeters and the lows to the woofers. Increasing the volume will cause distortion in the woofer as the level goes up. If your speakers are fused, they will be protected, but, if not, playing them loud can destroy the drivers (I speak from sad experience with WOTW on DTS!). You may want to consider a sub to handle the frequencies below about 100 HZ. This will relieve the small woofer in your speakers and, make you smile more during low bass. Hope this helps, Denins
+1. Volume has nothing to do with the crossovers. Sure, you'll have more air being pushed by the woofers at louder volumes, but that doesn't mean the crossover is allowing more or less of a certain frequency through.

Now, if we are talking crossover built into a receiver or preamp, they roll off and aren't a brick wall. I'd recommend setting the crossover of your speakers at least 20Hz higher than they are recommend to go down to.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So,.. to revive this old topic :)

These speakers really do sound better (to my ears) set to large also using a sub. So what is the bottom line? I really don't play them very loud so I have no fear of damage from that standpoint. The heat thing does make me curious. With these being a sealed design there is no fresh air,... is it possible to overheat the crossover?
 

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As long as you keep within the power rating of the speakers, you shouldn't have any problem. If you do play something loud, make sure it is only for a few minutes (or seconds). Also, any distorted sound will be more likely to damage speakers. As far as whether to set them to large, or small, that is up to you - especially if you like it better that way. Have fun. Dennis
 
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