How to wire a speaker crossover

Written by nichole liandi
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A crossover is a set of frequency-tuned filters that direct the proper sound frequencies to the different components of a speaker system. In car audio, these are most familiar in "component systems"--speaker systems that consist of a pair of woofers and tweeters, designed to be placed so that the listener achieves better stereo imaging and separation. The signal is fed to the woofers and tweeters through the speaker crossovers, and wiring the crossover correctly is essential to proper operation of the system.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Woofer
  • Tweeter
  • Speaker wire
  • Wire cutters/strippers/crimpers
  • Screwdriver
  • Quick slide connectors

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Examine the speaker crossover. Although you'll find variations among different models, there are three things you'll be looking for in yours: 1. A set of terminals marked "input" or perhaps "from amp." This is the signal input to the crossover. 2. A set of terminals marked "woofer." 3. A set of terminals marked "tweeter." The terminals for most crossovers consist of screw terminals. A screw is loosened, wire is slipped under the screw, and the screw is tightened down to make the connection.

  2. 2

    Strip the insulation off the ends of the speaker wire that's coming from your signal source (receiver or amplifier) so that 3/8 inch of bare wire is exposed. Connect the wires to the input terminals by loosening the screws, slipping the wire ends under and tightening. It's important that the polarity be correct, so check to make sure that the speaker wire lead coming from the positive output of your signal source connects to the positive input of the crossover. Likewise, match the negative to the negative.

  3. 3

    Connect the speaker wire leads coming from the tweeter to the tweeter outputs of the crossover. The method of connecting the wires to the crossover is the same as in Step 2. Be sure that the polarity is correct, as described in Step 2.

  4. 4

    Connect the woofer's speaker wire leads to the woofer outputs of the crossover. You'll connect the speaker wires as you did in the previous steps. Be sure that the polarity is correct when you make the hookups.

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