FR30 crossover

April 11, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

Of course, we’re all interested in what makes a product tick. Inside a loudspeaker is the crossover network that divides the frequencies between the various speaker drivers: tweeters only produce their intended range, as well as midrange and woofers.

Below are photos of the crossover networks in an aspen FR30. They are split between a midrange/tweeter network and woofer network.

Designer, Chris Brunhaver explains:

We are using all air core coils (for the high power handling and low distortion) including a 5.5 pound 12 awg coil on in the woofer network.

Capacitors are all metallized poly film type (excepting the large electrolytic caps required for the 45 Hz conjugate notch filter we use to flatten the impedance curve at low frequency).

The resistors are a high-quality 15W wire wound type.

The crossover slopes are all forth order Linkwitz-Riley acoustic, but the resulting electrical networks vary between second and third-order to achieve this.

What you don’t see here are the years and years of experience and knowledge needed to put the right value parts in the right places.
Every product is an amalgam of its parts and the experience to know where and how to use them.
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36 comments on “FR30 crossover”

  1. Wow!
    Thanks Paul…all good stuff…no sandcast resistors & no
    iron core inductors…no Mundorf’s either, but that ok ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Smart move leaving the values off the casings.
    Internal cabinet schematics next…please ๐Ÿ˜€

    You know that I’m not a measurements guy, but (here it comes
    folks) a frequency response graph would be nice…just once ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. FR, You forgot to ask for an impedance graph. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We know that Paul has several sets of FR30’s out for review. If one pair is at Stereophile, there will be plenty of graphs available.

  2. All credit to you Paul for โ€œThe post I thought would never comeโ€.

    The green really allows the yellow to shine. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Eh, all those meters of wire in the crossover. All simple, solid, wires with varnish insulation. All wound up into tight little coils.

    And yet folk buy multi stranded wire with elite insulation, air-spacing, and weird frequency-changing boxes attached to connect the speaker to the amp.

    Bizarre, eh?

    Paul – nice-looking crossovers, though. But if that big coil is really 5+ ponds, should there be a bit of mechanical reinforcement for the poor board?

  4. You know I just watched this last night
    So it really makes me appreciate when companies like Schiit share their manufacturing experiences.

    Thank you for this, Paul. You have an incredibly intelligent staff and Iโ€™m extremely happy for you and especially Chris.
    The whole is definitely the some of its parts. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I’ll bet it took a lot of listening sessions to finesse the final part values. I notice care was taken with inductor orientation so one inductors field would not step on the toes of another inductor.

    Why is it the metalized caps are good for a speaker crossover but not so much for stage coupling in amplifiers?

  6. If Chris really wants to take the crossover to the “next level” with even and especially with the lower cost films utilized, is have him prototype a charge-coupled capacitor crossover. Yes, it does take more parts. (you take the known value and split it in a set of series capacitors and energize them in the center with 9V DC through a 3.3 mega-ohm resistor) It truly makes even lower cost caps sound like a much more expensive offering, and with really good caps the performance is best described as “ethereal”… Just like knowing that you have to hear the advantages of a PowerPlant to truly understand it’s benefits, you have to hear this type of configuration to truly understand the potential.

    1. It sounds like you are saying the FR 30 is using lower-cost caps. It is hard to wrap my head around that when the speaker costs $28k. And then I realize Wilson Audio bought a cap manufacturer to bring the production of their caps in-house. And their speakers range from about $19k to God knows what. Wild.

  7. Love you guys but this is embarrassing. I applaud you for displaying the working components of the crossover but PCB mounted components in this level of a speaker crossover? This looks very pedestrian to say the least. The components should be point to point connected with silver solder and with vibration mitigation mounting implemented. Did you guys at least try Mundorf or Jupitur caps or Mundorf resistors? How about silver foil inductors?

    Like I said, love you guys and have been a long time PS Audio customer but this makes my audiophile heart hurt..

    1. Say what? Pretty much all crossovers of speakers are PCB mounted and it’s a really excellent way to do it. Point to point wiring is good but there’s no reason for it. And capacitors? Absolutely we played with all the REL, Jupiters, and Mundorfs. In the end we chose these for sound quality. They are not designer’ish but they are the best sounding in this application. I think you’ll find out once you have a listen. We wouldn’t do anything to comprtomise performnace.

      1. No, not all x-overs are PCB mounted. Even my lowly Alon Lotus SE mk ll speakers have outboard x-overs with point to point wiring as are my Nola Viper 1AX. I just think the design could have been taken a lot higher with better, more isolated components.

        Did your team even try an outboard crossover with point to point wiring?

        1. Love all of the care and content Paul produces. With that said, for the price these speakers are going to retail for I tend to agree you can do better on parts quality for the Xovers. Nonetheless, I can’t wait to hear them! I’m sure regardless they sound spectacular.

  8. Purrrrdy!
    Funny how us audio geeks look at things (you’ll never see) such as this with the same lust and fervor as gear heads ogle over coated competition cam shaft with hydraulic tappet and extruded aluminum pedestal style roller rockers.
    I think those x-overs ought to be mounted on the OUTSIDE!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    YOU gearheads KNOW who you are….
    โ€œNice car!โ€ โ€œYeah, itโ€™s got Marko D421 forged concave head 9 stage pistons with K16 rings and P8679 bearings & forged diamondite kote push roller rods, a dynoblap hedonic rear-end, a shiftomatic probofluid macro-mesh turbo transmission, stage 3 hypoturbulator flywheel, a dynamatic anti phase detractor clutch, ultra viscous phase reversing oil pump, neo-splining anti-roller shifter with type R side-toothed bushings and hetodonic fracture seals, bounceomatic gravity detracting motion cancelling suspension, linear digital friction reverse slip brakes, hush noise canceling flow thru wheezer exhaust, a johnholmes straightline locker driveshaft and a limited production gearhead grease nipple scented rear view hanging mean-ass duck shaped air freshener!โ€
    โ€œAwesome, I have no idea what you just said, I just meant I like the colorโ€ฆโ€ โ€œOh yeah, thatโ€™s a custom special order Espresso metallic Lagoon rally moon dust infrared pearl chromaflair diamond-flaked edition alubeam tri-coat chameleon candy appleโ€ฆ..โ€

  9. Gotta love when keyboard “engineers” chime in to tell a successful and respected company what it’s doing wrong. And I thought facebook was bad….

  10. Well waddaya know…in just one day I learned that VPI’s unipivot arm is junk and PS Audio doesn’t know what it’s doing. Thank goodness for the interweb warriors!

      1. I’m afraid I can’t use a VPI unipivot arm… I suffer from turntable elbow and water on the cueing finger….
        I think DSD might help.

  11. my zaldek 19 years…..3 way nice crossover?

    Its time to build a new one? have 7 3way zaldek…….will like to see this company options, or if after info transfer sell de blueprints for my setup.

  12. Kudos for showing us the crossovers. If the caps are what they look like: “Yontex” caps made by Bennic, there should be room for improvement especially on the tweeter highpass.

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