Active crossover

An active crossover gets its input from the pre-amp and sends the signal to multiple outputs, each connected to a power amp.

Each power amp drives only one driver.
As the passive crossover is removed out of the power circuit, the amp has now full control over the driver (damping).


The crossover is working on line level. This allows the use of active components (opamps).
This allows for more functionality than possible with passive components.

Crossovers are covered in more detail here.


Active crossovers can be implemented using an analog circuit or using DSP.


Bryston 10B $3050

The Model 10B features independently selectable crossover points for high-pass and low-pass, in case the speaker installation requires slightly overlapped, (or slightly staggered), response curves for the drivers. You can also independently select crossover slope, from 6, 12, or 18dB/Oct., where one driver requires faster cutoff than another in the same system. A fixed frequency plug in Linkwitz-Riley alignment with steep rolloff curves of 24 dB/Oct. is also available.

Marchand XM44 3 way $1200


  • Available 1-way, 2-way, 3-way or 4-way.
  • Steep 24 dB/octave 4-th order slope (Linkwitz-Riley) standard. Up to 48 dB/octave optional.
  • Any slope available (6,12,18,24,30,36,42 or 48 dB/oct)
  • Asymmetric or symmetric slopes (different slopes can be mixed)
  • Crossover frequency 20Hz - 20 KHz.
  • Subwoofer summing switch.
  • Standard 12 position attenuators, 1 dB/step, for level control on all outputs; 24 position attenuators optional.
  • Options: Balanced outputs/inputs, baffle step compensation, notch/boost filters, delay sections and bass boost filter (Linkwitz transform).

Marchand XM44 Analog Active Crossover Review

Rane AC 22S Active Crossover $ 449

  • Stereo 2-Way, or Mono 3-Way
  • Linkwitz-Riley Alignment with 24 dB per Octave Slopes
  • Adjustable Driver Alignment Delays
  • Infrasonic, Ultrasonic and RFI Filters
  • Low Output Muting (2-Way)
  • Mono Sub Output Option
  • Constant-Directivity Horn EQ Option
  • Input & Output Level Controls
  • Fully Active Balanced XLR Inputs & Outputs
  • Internal Universal Power Supply (100-240 VAC)


DSP is using a processor to implement the crossover.

Instead of analog components, why not use a processor.

Playing Redbook audio (CD) is 44.100 sample a second.
Obvious the processor has 1/44100= 0.000023 of a second to do the processing.
In case of 192 kHz this is 0.000005 s.
Obvious a DSP chip must be fast.
The word length is also important to avoid audible artifacts due to quantization errors.

Behringer DCX2496 $ 439.99

  • 3 analog inputs (one suitable as digital stereo AES/EBU input) and 6 analog outputs for maximum flexibility
  • High-end AKM® 24-bit/96 kHz A/D and D/A converters for ultimate signal integrity and wide dynamic range (113 dB)
  • Integrated sample rate converter for easy connection of external digital signals with sampling rates from 32 to 96 kHz
  • Precise dynamic EQs for level-dependent equalization and extremely musical parametric EQs, selectable for all inputs and outputs/
  • Several types of EQs (LP/BP/HP) for each input and output/
  • "Zero"-attack limiters on all output channels for optimal speaker protection/
  • Four different mono and stereo output operating modes
  • Individual crossover filter types (Butterworth, Bessel and Linkwitz-Riley) with selectable roll-off characteristics from 6 to 48 dB/octave
  • Adjustable delays for all inputs and outputs-allow manual or automatic correction for room temperature, phase and arrival time differences
  • Additional sum signal derived from the A/B/C inputs offers a fourth internal input signal
  • Future-proof ULTRADRIVE PRO software enables single or multi remote control via PC through RS-232 and RS-485 interfaces
  • Link option via RS-485 network interface enables cascading of several ULTRADRIVE PROs
  • 60 user-defined internal presets storable via PC software or on PCMCIA card
  • Open architecture assures easy software updates
  • Servo-balanced, gold-plated XLR connectors for all inputs and outputs
  • High-quality components and exceptionally rugged construction for long life and durability
  • Internal switch-mode power supply for maximum flexibility (100 - 240 V~), noise-free audio, superior transient response plus lowest possible power consumption

DEQX HDP-3 Preamp proccesor AUD 6575

The HDP must be placed between the pre- and the power amp.

The signal from the pre-amp is converted to digital.

The DSP is applied and the result is converted by the DACs.


  • Provides DEQX Calibrated™ speaker correction for passive speakers
  • Provides DEQX-HD™ speaker correction for up to 3-way active speakers
  • DEQX-HD™ active crossovers; 48dB/octave to 300dB/octave linear-phase
  • Traditional active 3-way crossovers from 6dB/octave to 48dB/octave
  • Frequency-response of speakers typically corrected from 6dB range to 1dB
  • Automatically corrects phase and group- delay over typically 3ms window
  • 32-bit, floating-point, 240-MFLOPS processing with dual SHARC DSPs
  • Audiophile 24-bit 96kHz ADC-DSP-DAC processing and conversion
  • Provides anechoic measurement and detailed display for speaker correction
  • Provides room-measurement/display (non-anechoic) for room correction
  • Calibration Kit provides DEQX-calibrated measurement microphone
  • Two analog inputs: Unbalanced (2 x RCA) and Balanced (2 x XLR)
  • Two stereo digital inputs: S/PDIF (1 x RCA) and AES/EBU (1 x XLR)
  • Six analog outputs: unbalanced (6 x RCA)

Ground Sound DCN28 € 4.217,00

DCN28 is a digital crossover, pre-amplifier and room correction in one unit.

DCN28 is supplied with the XOverWizard II advanced software which is a graphical tool to manipulate with inputs, outputs, gain, crossover frequencies, crossover slopes, equalization and delay. The software features measurement engine, post processing tools, optimizer engine with target option, output listing and direct transfer to the crossover setup environment.

  • 4 Digital Inputs (AES3-Coaxial-Optical)
  • 2 Balanced Stereo analog Input
  • 1 USB Audio Soundcard Input (galvanic isolated)
  • Digital controlled analog attenuation on all outputs
  • 4-way stereo true balanced outputs
  • Digital PCM signal 32kHz-192kHz
  • Included XOverWizard II advanced software
  • Included Philips SRU6006 Remote
  • Optinal application code for Philips Pronto remote
  • Optinal code for Logitech Harmony Remote
  • Big Dimmerble Dot Matrix display
  • All in one Encoder Button controlling menu and values
  • 4 Power Amplifier remote trig outputs for 12V relays
  • Converter Resolution 24bit
  • Sample rate 96kHz
  • Total processing power: 180 biquads IIR
  • Frequency response: 5-48kHz (-3dB)
  • Latency input-output about 1ms
  • Low Standby Power
  • Dimensions: 430mm x 290mm x 100mm

HOLM Acoustics DSPre 1

Most active crossovers expect a analog input.
If the crossover is done using DSP inevitably the analog input has to be converted to digital (AD) first. Then the DSP is applied. The resulting signals are send to the DAC’s and converted to analog again.

If your audio is digital you can save two DA – AD conversions if the active crossover uses DSP and accepts digital inputs. Holm is one of the very few I know applying the DSP straight on the digital input.
However it also accepts analog inputs. They have to be AD'ed first of course.


  • DSPre design:
    The DSPre unit is designed with the objective to have the least clutter in terms of controls.All other control of the quite advanced DSPre is done from the PC software DSPreLab.
  • DSPre software DSPreLab:
    DSPreLab is the full featured PC application that transforms DSPre to a comprehensive speaker measurement tool and hold the power to transform these measurements into state of the art digital filters to run real-time on the DSPre. No PC needs to be connected during normal playback. The filter-type run on DSPre is FIR "Finite Impulse Filter" hence the name DSPreLab.
  • Room adaption
  • Individual filtering and correction of every driver
  • Perfect summing of driver outputs
  • Calibrated measurement microphone
  • Jitter removal from any digital source - "Clock Flawless" system
  • USB audio playback and recording of any input (adaptive 16 bit/48 kHz)
  • Digital inputs TOSLINK, SPDIF, AES/EBU:
    Sample-rates from 11,025kHz up to 196kHz and are sample-rate converted to the internal 44,100 kHz processing rate.
  • Analog to Digital inputs natively, no extra cost for A/D modules:
    DSPre do all the calculation digital domain and therefore analog input have to be converted into digital signals. Our preamplifier has two stereo Analog to Digital Converters for analog line signal. The ADC sensitivity can be adjusted to match the signal level of your analog source. ADC's convert to 24bit at 88,200 kHz Sample-rate.
  • 6 analog outputs for stereo bass, mid and tweeter:
    The output digital to analog converters are module based in a manner to comfort your system. For conventionally filtered speakers only one stereo DAC is used. For 2-way and 3-way systems a second and third DAC is mounted, one DAC output for every speaker unit. The DACs are 24bit and are up-sampled to 352,800 kHz and anti-aliasing filtering is made outside the frequency band of the human ear, deemphasizing analog component performance. Volume control is achieved by lowering the DAC reference current for damping in the region 0 to -32dB, from -32dB and down the volume is adjusted inside the DACs 24bit multiplier. This way a analog attenuator is omitted in the signal-path, and there is only a minor bit-resolution-penalty at very low listening-levels.
  • A model with digital out only is also available. This allows you to use the DACs of your choice.
  • Band-less equalizer to tune to your preference:
    The DSPreLab software includes a band-less equalizer who have more than 16000 individual frequency-discretions for setting up to 100 EQ points.

Valid Q1 2010



Suggested retail


DSPre 1, 1-way, Analog out


DSPre 1, 2-way, Analog out


DSPre 1, 3-way, Analog out




DSPre 1, 1-way, Digital out


DSPre 1, 2-way, Digital out


DSPre 1, 3-way, Digital out


Onkyo TX-NR5010 € 2999

A 9.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver with active crossover implemented in DSP.


A good explanation: What is a Digital Processing Crossover Network?


Tact M/S 2150 XDM USD 4800.00


  • 5 digital inputs and mic input
  • Level balancing and time alignment
  • Computerless digital crossover package
  • Full blown 12 band parametric EQ
  • 2-channel digital amplification width full spectrum Dynamic Room Correction

A true digital amplifier, accepting PCM input and using PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) to amplify.
The M/S-2150 XDM crossover package is designed to support front panel crossover design, thus totally eliminating the need for computer interface. All crossover filter design algorithms are implemented in the M/S-2150 XDM internal processing unit. Crossover filters are designed and loaded in a split of a second for immediate listening and evaluation.
Supported crossover filters are Butterworth and Butterworth squared

All filter cutoff frequencies can be set anywhere between 10 and 24 KHz with a resolution of 1 Hz and with filter slopes from 6 to 72 dB/octave.


As it is a 2 channel amp you can only use this with 2 way speakers.

You need 2 amps to drive a 2 channel 2 way speaker setup.

Amps can be synchronised.


Trinnov ST2 € 5890

multi-point measurements of all loudspeakers
• time-frequency analysis: the loudspeaker and the room are separately equalized
• automatic optimization of amplitude and phase response according to target curves
• intelligent active crossovers: automatic alignment of delays and gains for every driver

Xilica XD 8080 $ 2000

Audio Performance

Freq Response: +/- 0.1dB (20 to 30kHz)
Dynamic Range: 115 dB typ (unweighted)
CMMR: >100dB (50 to 10kHz)
Crosstalk: < -100dB
Distortion: 0.002% (1kHz @ +4dBu)

Digital Audio Performance

Processor (DSP): 40-Bit Floating Point
Sampling Rate: 96kHz
Analog Converters: Super Performance 24-bit
Propogation Delay: 1.5ms
1.75 – 7.75ms with FIR

Audio Control Parameters

Gain: -40 to +15dB in 0.25 dB steps
Polarity: +/-
Delay: Up to 650 ms per I/O


Variable Equalizers: 8 per I/O
Type: Parametric, Hi-shelf, Lo-self,
          Phase (1st and 2nd order)
Gain: -30 to +15dB in 0.25dB steps
Bandwith: 0.02 to 2.50 Oct (Q=0.5 to 72)
Graphic EQ: 1 per Input, 31 Band 1/3 Oct steps


IIR Filter Type:
2 Individual filters per input & output.
Type - Butterworth, Linkwitz-Riley & Bessel.

FIR Filter Type:
2 Individual filters per Output.
Type - Multi-Tap.
Slopes: 6 to 48dB per Oct for IIR
50 to1200 Taps for FIR



A multi-channel soundcard and the appropriate software allows you to do the DSP on a PC.

The Building of a Pure Digital System by Arthur Cheng gives a detailed description how to do it.

Thuneau - The Frequency Allocator


The Loudspeaker Frequency Allocator is a 4-way, stereo DSP loudspeaker crossover that works with ASIO compatible multichannel sound card. Layout of each crossover leg is consistent with the way professional loudspeaker design software packages work. User is not limited to pre-canned filter algorithms such as B3 or LR4 that are so prevalent in the available hardware and software crossovers on the market today. Instead, we provide a series of flexible processing blocks that can be individually optimized to deliver the best match for the loudspeaker drivers used. Textbook filter settings are of course possible (either through direct input or by recalling factory patches), as are a vast range of other settings.
A brief list of features:

  1. fully integrated Phase Arbitrator section for transient-perfect reproduction.
  2. each DSP crossover leg adjustable from 6dB/oct to 42dB/oct on Low Pass and High Pass side.
  3. 4- band fully parametric equalizer in each leg.
  4. low and high shelving filters in each leg- both switchable between 6dB/oct and 12dB/oct (with q adjustment).
  5. up to 50msec delay in each leg- adjustable in 0.01msec steps (3.4mm resolution).
  6. output polarity switch in each leg.
  7. filter response display.
  8. frequency response data (.frd text file) for each loudspeaker driver can be imported and merged with filter's response.
  9. three zoom levels for viewing of the graphs.
  10. fully skinnable- GUI clearly laid out in an xml-like file.
  11. comes with two premade skins.
  12. 64bit processing throughout. SSE2 instructions utilized.

Source: Thuneau

(((acourate)))® delivers both state-of-the-art digital room-correction and speaker driver-time-alignment, linearization & crossover execution in an upgradable, customizable pc-based solution.

Generates correction filters for a wide range of convolution applications like BruteFIR, Convolver, X-volver, Foobar2000, Inguz Room Correction ,ACXO


A single user license for private, non-commercial use of (((acourate)))® is 340 € (incl. VAT)


You can do a lot with Acourate

  • Create a digital crossover..
  • Time align the drivers.
  • Linearize each driver.
  • Room correction.

Digital Room Correction with AudioVero's Acourate - Archimago's Musings



Ground Sound DCN23 € 693,00


The DCN23 Kit is a stereo/dual mono 3-way stand alone digital crossover.

• High performance Burr-Brown converters
• 24bit resolution
• 96kHz sampling frequency
• XOverWizard software
• Optical isolated USB interface
• 48 biquads total processing filters
• 76bit processor precision
• 21mS total delay option
• Latency 1ms
• 4 layer high performance PCB
• Decoupling at all active components


Hypex PSC2.400 € 347,00 excl. VAT

The module has two 400Watt UcD modules implemented and is also available with a digital audio input AES/EBU, called the PSC2.400d version. The supply voltage is provided by a Switched Mode Power Supply (SMPS400) module, also a module from Hypex Electronics.

A PC controls the PSC2 through the USB port. This connection is used to upload the configuration and filter settings. It will also be possible to update the firmware through USB.

Hypex DLCP € 550,00 excl. VAT

The “DLCP” is a complete hardware/firmware platform for digitally filtered (6 channels) and corrected active multiway loudspeakers. Digital response correction allows significant extra degrees of freedom in the acoustic design of a loudspeaker. Driver parameters can be selected for best efficiency and distortion instead of electrical damping, and the cabinet can now be fully optimized for radiation pattern.

MiniDSP $99

Item Description

Digital Signal processing


28/56 bit Digital Processor - Double precision processing
Host processor 48MHz micro-controller
Sample rate 48/96/192kHz (depending on the plug-in configuration )
ADC/DAC resolution 24 bits
Analog audio input Unbalanced signal, RCA terminated, 2 x Inputs
Maximum input level, THD<1% 0.9Vrms (RevA) or 2Vrms (RevB)
Dynamic range, un-weighted
Input impedance 6kΩ
Analog audio output Unbalanced signal, RCA terminated, 4 x Outputs