Individually designed for every speaker, crossovers take the full spectrum of signals from the source and break them down, depending on their frequency and similar characteristics, to split the sound between the various drivers. It is no use sending high frequency sound to the woofer, for instance, as it’s simply too cumbersome to deal with it, just as the tweeter ballerina can’t lift heavy weights. The crossover will be designed to give optimum performance from the drivers, ensuring that they all perform within their own capabilities.
Crossover design is highly complex, taking into account not only the capabilities of the drivers, but also the physical characteristics of your cabinets. The shape, proportions and size of the cabinet are critical in this process.
The electronic components within your crossover have all their values initially established by the designer. As with drivers, the quality of each and every component can vary. From a few pence to hundreds of pounds, the quality of those components can have a dramatic effect on the quality of the sound you will hear.
Higher-end components not only cost more, but many are physically considerably larger than their lower quality counterparts. In the majority of mass-market speakers, the crossovers are small and are, therefore, contained within the cabinets.
As a result of this requirement for space, we often, but not always, favour housing the crossovers outside the speaker cabinets, where they are not subject to vibration and a lack of ventilation. This requires another box on the shelf, or the accommodation of the crossover on, or within, the speaker stand. Much of this can be down to your preference, and your design can be adjusted to suit. If external crossovers are selected, they, as with the speakers, can be housed in bespoke enclosures to complement their surroundings.
This is where it starts to get technical, but we have even started to talk about crossovers yet. We aren’t here to provide the technicalities as this is a big subject.
A brief outline – the drivers are the units that produce sound in line with signals provided from the source, the amplifier.
Drivers are categorised as Tweeter (higher end of treble), Mid Range (filling in the gaps between the other two), and Woofer (low frequency bass). Some speakers have one driver, some have many. Tweeters are like ballerinas, woofers are weightlifters.
We have a multitude of drivers available to us and those that we favour are bought in from Western European manufacturers. We only use drivers of the very highest quality. As with anything, these are built to tolerances, which may lead to small variations in performance – our drivers are tested by the manufacturer for us, and provided as matched pairs.
The choice of drivers is our responsibility and will depend upon many factors including the physical characteristics of the listening space, the size and form of the cabinet, the type of music you like, and so forth.
..and yours will be cabinets, not boxes. Cabinets made by cabinet makers, who are selected for their exacting standard of work and meticulous attention to detail.
Whether your speakers are going to be used at home, in the den, the boardroom, for exhibitions, on the boat, this is where your imagination can run away with itself. There are limits…but we’ll push them.
Like most speaker makers, we favour the use of wood-based products. We are open to discussion on this topic, but it is to be borne in mind that natural materials, solid wood and stone, for instance, may contain defects that can, albeit extremely unlikely, have a detrimental effect on sound quality. Wooden cabinets are going to be heavy; other materials can be really heavy.
We can veneer or laminate virtually anything to panels, paint them in any colour, French polish or lacquer them, so the world can be your 'lobster'.
Smaller speakers, and some bigger ones, can be mounted on stands, on the floor. Just as with cabinets, we make stands out of virtually anything, in any shape or form. Glass, stainless steel, rusty steel, multi-coloured translucent acrylic, laminated plywood, mermaids, dragons, the sublime and the ridiculous….anything.
All wood products used in your speakers will come from certified sustainable sources.
Size, form, shape, finish, colour…if you can think of it, we can do it.
For more information on our bespoke range of high quality designer speakers, please get in touch using the form below.