Crossing over

Not all recording engineers are knowledgable about speaker and crossover design, but it’s my opinion that they should be.

Most studios can’t afford to equip every mix station with single-driver Yamaha NS10s, so the most common mixing and recording monitor style is the two-way.

The chief issue with getting audiophile coherency out of two drivers working as one is crossing them over without disrupting phase and time relationships in the music. Most two-ways are crossed over right at the point where the human voice shines. To an engineer this should be a point of focus in mixing, to make sure one doesn’t lose or miss hearing information that’s there.

Musical transients like a mandolin pluck can have bass elements, midrange elements and very high frequency elements, all at the same point in time. Excellent crossover design is paramount to retaining the cohesion and imaging possible with single drivers operating full range.

When I fire up a pair of Harbeths, or Magico 2-ways, or these Spendor A6r, I instantly know these contain serious crossover designs. Each of these two ways gets the timing so right that adjectives like “palpable” enter into the description of what I’m hearing.

Sitting in the rough sweet spot of these Spendors tells me they are imaging and soundstaging monsters. And, cranking up a nice vocal performance to check for that crossover’s influence, I’m very satisfied with the timing, phase and balance of this speaker. Definite head-turner.