Linkwitz-Riley Crossover Calculator

A Linkwitz-Riley crossover is an electronic filter used in audio systems to split a signal into two or more frequency bands. It’s known for its 12 dB/octave or 24 dB/octave slopes and is designed to ensure flat frequency response and phase coherence when two identical filters are used together, making it ideal for precise audio system integration.

Linkwitz-Riley Crossover Calculator

Linkwitz-Riley Crossover Calculator

TypeElectronic audio crossover filter.
Filter Order2nd order (12 dB/octave) or 4th order (24 dB/octave).
Roll-Off SlopeSteep attenuation of frequencies beyond the crossover point.
Phase CoherenceMaintains phase alignment between high-pass and low-pass outputs.
Ideal forBi-amping and tri-amping speakers, precise audio system integration.
Cascade OperationTwo identical LR filters create a flat combined response.
ApplicationsHi-fi audio, professional sound systems, home theaters.
CustomizationAdjustable crossover frequencies for system tuning.
BenefitsEliminates phase issues, provides flat response when cascaded.
DrawbacksRequires two filter sections, increased cost and complexity.
Commercial ModulesReady-made LR crossover modules available for purchase.
DIY Circuit DesignPossible using passive components or active electronic components.
Integration ConsiderationsCrossover point selection based on system and room acoustics.


1. What is a Linkwitz-Riley crossover?

  • A Linkwitz-Riley crossover is a type of electronic filter used in audio systems to split an audio signal into two or more frequency bands. It is known for its 12 dB/octave or 24 dB/octave roll-off slopes and its ability to provide a flat frequency response when two identical filters are cascaded together.

2. What is the difference between a 2nd order and a 4th order Linkwitz-Riley crossover?

  • A 2nd order Linkwitz-Riley crossover has a roll-off slope of 12 dB/octave for each filter section. In contrast, a 4th order Linkwitz-Riley crossover has a steeper roll-off slope of 24 dB/octave for each section. The 4th order provides better attenuation between the bands.

3. What is the advantage of using a Linkwitz-Riley crossover?

  • The main advantage is that when two Linkwitz-Riley filters are cascaded (one for the low-pass and one for the high-pass), they sum together to create a flat frequency response. This ensures a balanced sound and eliminates phase issues in the crossover region.
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4. How do I calculate the crossover frequency for a Linkwitz-Riley crossover?

  • For a 2nd order Linkwitz-Riley crossover, the crossover frequency remains the same as the user-defined frequency. For a 4th order Linkwitz-Riley crossover, the crossover frequency is divided by √2 (approximately 1.4142).

5. Can I use a Linkwitz-Riley crossover for bi-amping or tri-amping speakers?

  • Yes, Linkwitz-Riley crossovers are commonly used in bi-amping and tri-amping setups. You can use one section of the crossover for each amplifier and driver combination to ensure proper frequency separation.

6. Are Linkwitz-Riley crossovers suitable for subwoofers?

  • Linkwitz-Riley crossovers can be used for subwoofers, especially in setups where precise integration between the subwoofer and main speakers is required. The 4th order Linkwitz-Riley crossover can provide steep roll-off for optimal subwoofer performance.

7. What are the drawbacks of Linkwitz-Riley crossovers?

  • One potential drawback is that they require two filter sections for complete crossover functionality, which can increase cost and complexity. Additionally, they have relatively steep roll-off slopes, which may not be suitable for all applications.

8. Can I build my own Linkwitz-Riley crossover circuit?

  • Yes, you can build your own Linkwitz-Riley crossover circuit using passive components such as capacitors, resistors, and inductors, or by using active electronic components like op-amps. Designing and building a Linkwitz-Riley crossover requires knowledge of filter design and electronics.

9. How do I determine the crossover point for a Linkwitz-Riley crossover in my audio system?

  • The ideal crossover point depends on your specific audio system, speaker characteristics, and room acoustics. It often involves experimentation and listening tests to find the crossover frequency that provides the best balance and performance.

10. Are there any ready-made Linkwitz-Riley crossover modules available for purchase? – Yes, there are commercially available Linkwitz-Riley crossover modules and devices that can simplify the integration of these crossovers into your audio system. These modules often offer adjustable crossover frequencies and filter slopes for customization.

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