Audiophile Crossovers


Active crossovers means the system has to have an amplifier for each  driver.

Many people have been amazed and delighted with the Behringer DCX2496. Its capabilities are truly incredible and the flexibility and ease of configuration (once you get on top of the steep learning curve) have been a joy to many audiophiles and more than a few speaker designers. With pricing under $300 its price/capability ratio is off the scale. Somewhat spotty QC and problematic distribution policies have been the flies in the ointment. However, quality may be improving over the past few years and the price hasn't budged.  Note that several companies upgrade the Behringers for improved sound quality.

There are other similar products.  Here is a summary of the crossovers we know of. Most are from the pro world and require XLR connectors but Marchand is a well-known audiophile supplier. 

DBX DriveRack PA - Complete EQ And Loudspeaker Management System 

Stereo 3 way xover, one source analog only inputs, parametric capability, pink noise generator,  gain control on inputs and outputs, phase adjustment

Peavey VSX 26 

Stereo 3 way xover, 3 inputs analog and digital, parametric eq capability, pink, white noise, sine generator, crossover types fully adjustable Butterworth, Bessel, Linkwitz-Riley, 5 degree phase adjustment, Real Time Analyzer 

KlarkTeknik DN3848E 

Stereo 4 way xover, 4 inputs analog and digital, parametric eq capability, pink, white noise, sine generator, crossover types fully adjustable Butterworth, Bessel, Linkwitz-Riley, 5 degree phase adjustment Input and output gain control

ElectroVoice Dx38 

Stereo 2 way xover, 1 inputs analog only, parametric eq capability, pink noise generator, crossover types fully adjustable Butterworth, Bessel, Linkwitz-Riley, 5 degree phase adjustment Input and Output gain control 

Real Time Analyzer


Completely variable configurations in analog only with solid state and tube options. Custom crossover cards, Newform crossover cards readily available.

DBX DriveRack PA

Stereo 3 way xover, 1 input analog and digital, parametric eq capability, crossover types fully adjustable Butterworth, Bessel, Linkwitz-Riley, 5 degree phase adjustment.


DEQX offers both digital crossovers and room correction with pre-amp capabilities.

Tact / Lyngdorf

Tact may be gone but there is a large overlap of capability with Lyngdorf.  Peter Lyngdorf was a principal in the Tact startup so there is no lack of experience in the design of Lyngdorf products which feature digital crossovers and room correction.


 Hypex produces a broad range of amplifiers, some of which incorporate fairly sophisticated crossovers.


Onkyo is now building some basic crossover capability into several of it's receivers.  Combined with the quite sophisticated Audyssey room correction, it can produce superb results.


Basics of High End Audio

Or - How to get great sound while avoiding the technology blackhole.

The world of high end audio is a very murky place for many interested in music and high performance home entertainment systems. Unlike video where a shopper can clearly see differences in performance between different sets, high end audio forces a person to evaluate performance in a much more complicated way. Volume levels, source components, amplifiers, cables - you name it - there are a huge number of variables. How do you know what you are really listening to? Not only that, competing technologies and formats and equipment priced at astonishing levels make you wonder if a reasonable choice is possible at all. 

When you buy a TV, what you see in the store is just about what you will get in your home once the set or projector is properly calibrated. With audio, all of the components are different and your room is certainly not the demo room. 

Very experienced audiophiles can pick their way through these issues. But how does the inexperienced audio shopper with visions of the enjoying real music or life-like movies in the home make the right series of choices? How can Newform Research help in delivering a dynamite system for less than stupid money? And without tearing the house apart? 

Newform makes a unique line of new technology loudspeakers which will produce superb sound quality in most average rooms. The investment in electronics to drive our loudspeakers can be quite small and still achieve excellent results. Having said that, the better the source components are, the better the sound will be. There is a price ceiling however beyond which there is probably no acoustic benefit. Above $10,000 in electronics, "prestige" and flim flam are the items being purchased. Newform Research Ribbon loudspeakers will not restrict the performance of your system. See our "You Can't Go Wrong" page for ideas on systems and various levels of packages. 

Are Ribbon loudspeakers a valid and current design approach? Over the past 30 years the most experienced audiophiles and music lovers have coveted Ribbon and electrostatic loudspeakers as the first choice for their dream systems. Real world considerations may force compromising on conventional dome/box loudspeakers but once knowledgeable audiophiles have heard a good planar loudspeaker, they have been dissatisfied with anything else. 

Transparency, detail and you-are-there soundstaging are the principal qualities that have separated planars from conventional speakers. The clean sheet Ribbon technology from Newform delivers the best sound qualities of the finest planars in room friendly systems that can be driven by very modest electronics. Our wide dispersion columnar radiation pattern is more likely to deliver superb sound in more normal rooms, for more people, than large dipoles (sound comes out the front and rear), horn loudspeakers or dome tweeter systems. Our Ribbons have excellent room coverage but minimize fatiguing reflections from the floor and ceiling so the soundstage stays three dimensional and clearly focused. 

Many higher end loudspeaker manufacturers are moving to small Ribbon tweeters. These are certainly an advance over their past designs but with their short heights, high crossovers points and baffle mounting, they fail to utilize a great deal of the potential realized in Newforms large, free standing Ribbon systems. 

Our new Coaxial Ribbon LineSource designs come in at higher price levels than we have occupied before but they offer significant improvements in both fidelity and practicality over most loudspeakers, regardless of price- conventional or planar - in most listening rooms. They are just as electronics friendly as our other speakers and thus, for $15,000 total system cost, it is possible to atain ultra system performance. 


Your room must accommodate high quality loudspeakers and a reasonably favourable setup involving both the loudspeaker placement and the listening position. This typically means a room 10' x 14' or better. For dedicated rooms, you can start out slightly smaller. 

You have to have a system budget of $2500 plus. A lot of money to the uninitiated but a laughably small amount for the jaded audiophile. However, a pair of R630s or LineSource Monitors, with a $200 DVD player and a modest receiver (say Panasonic XR57 for $400) will deliver very, very decent sound in a reasonable room. Such has been the progress in the electronics world in recent years. 

You have to have a kernel of real commitment. No matter how much you spend, or how perfect your room is, you will have to plan a little bit and do some experimentation before any system can start operating near its potential. We will work with you on the planning and be there to offer suggestions on optimizing your system.

You don't have to bleed for fine music in the home. Some quiet reflection plus several minutes on the phone with our designer can quickly lead to the development of a simple and successful strategy. 

Once you realize what is substance and what is smoke, achieving great sound on a reasonable budget is very easy. Tearing yourself away from the music then becomes the difficult part. 

Subwoofer Setup

Seamless subwoofer integration requires the sub to be placed in the location which minimizes room modes and also produces the fewest cancellations with the main speakers. 

As always, get the physical issues optimized and the electronics will have a lot less processing to do. 

Listed below are some of the high end subwoofers which almost guarantee excellent bottom end performance. 

Older design subs take a little more work. Many include lossy passive crossovers which roll off the main speakers but rob a good deal of transparency. Use these with extreme reluctance! 

Many receivers have bass management which forces a high 80Hz crossover. You should aim for as low a crossover point as your main speakers can safely handle. 

In the end, any of these systems will produce superb results with Newform Ribbon loudspeakers, especially the new LineSource models as crossovers can be very low and in many cases, the main speakers can be run full bandwidth. 

Different room correction and integration systems from different subwoofer manufacturers may produce different results depending on room size and the problems the systems are called upon to fix. This has to do with how the systems handle long time delays in larger or open rooms. However, in “good” rooms, it is unlikely that the results will be anything less than excellent with any of the systems listed below. 

Velodyne is a famous subwoofer maker for good reason. We have used their subs at a number of shows and now they come with very sophisticated integration and self-equalization systems. Their approach is unlikely to be significantly improved upon in a decent room. 

Paradigm is a speaker manufacturer with an excellent name for great subwoofers at great prices. Their Anthem division produces quite sophisticated processors and amplifiers and their expertise has been applied to their subwoofers. 

Our perennial favourite product for biggest bang for the buck, the Behringer DCX2496 is a sound reinforcement digital crossover with an incredible array of capabilities. If your subwoofer does not have room correction or a sophisticated crossover built in, then the DCX2496 will offer the next best thing. It is an extremely sophisticated crossover with some basic room correction capability via parametric EQ. It has a steep learning curve but being able to modify settings in the most minute detail on the run is a huge plus. Nothing comes close for the money. 

Maybe the most elegant solution of all, the Tact gear has digital crossovers built into their digital amplifiers. As well, probably the worlds most sophisticated room correction is built into their preamp processors. They don’t come cheap but by audiophile standards, the price for this capability is very reasonable when you boil it all out. 

A sophisticated digital crossover with room correction system, the DEQX hails from Australia is very well regarded. It does as much as the Behringer in the crossover department and adds full room correction. It is also reputed to sound a bit better than the Behringer due to its higher grade DACs. It is also over 5 times the price.  

Major mass consumer electronics brands are now offering room correction and more sophisticated bass management in their receivers. In the past, these have been less than ideally implemented but keep an open mind because these companies have plenty of resources and they are now in the realm of digital where everything gets better and cheaper at the same time. Mostly. 

Loudspeakers Unsurpassed in Soundstage, Transparency, Detail and Dynamics in High End Stereo and Home Theater Systems