Listening without crossovers

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Most loudspeakers have crossovers. I am hard pressed to think of a full range loudspeaker that doesn't. I know they exist, but ..... The crossover is a filter network that makes sure the tweeter and woofer (and midrange) play only what they are supposed to play. But you can imagine that any time you have such a filter, crossing over to different speaker drivers, you're going to get "non-perfect" reproduction. They are a necessary compromise. Yesterday I heard a full range loudspeaker sans crossover. Nothing. Nada. And listening to music that reaches the lowest depths of bass to the highest tweets a speaker can make, without any interruption of a crossover was a real treat. What's the name of this loudspeaker? The Audeze LCD-X, the subject of Andrew Benjamin's latest thoughts we published a few days ago. But wait! These are not loudspeakers, they are headphones! Technicalities, technicalities. Yes, they are headphones, but they are speakers as well. And when my friend Arnie Nudell invited me over to hear just how remarkable these "loudspeakers" are, he wasn't kidding. What I noticed immediately was the lack of a crossover. I didn't intend to hear that but after listening to speakers with crossovers for much of my life, hearing one without - and yet with full frequency response - was a real slap in the face. No, I am not yet buying into the headphone thing yet. Getting closer, but I still appreciate listening in the room. But I have a new appreciation for the possible.
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Paul McGowan

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