; I'm familiar with the term 'crossover,' but not really with its meaning.
Audio crossovers are a class of electronic filters designed specifically for use in audio applications, especially hi-fi. A commonly used dynamic loudspeaker driver is incapable of covering the entire audio spectrum all by itself. Thus, crossovers serve the purpose of splitting the audio signal into separate frequency bands which can be handled by individual loudspeaker drivers optimized for those bands. A combination of multiple drivers each catering to a different frequency band constitutes most hi-fi speaker systems. An audio crossover may also be constructed mechanically and is commonly found in full-range speakers. -- more at Wikipedia
If you play Guitar then you should be able to relate to the frequencies I will mention to describe the crossover idea. You can use the picture of the Keyboard to help if that works better for you. (Lowest notes are at the top). (click the keyboard to see that image in its original context).
Your bottom E string has a fundamental frequency of about 82 Hz. (Cyles per second). That is just a reference for this discussion.
When there is nothing attached to Amp 3 output (where we normally connect the blue B1 cable) the Powerstand does this:
- Frequencies above 110 Hz are sent to the L1 Cylindrical Radiator™ This is less of a "crossover" and more of a cutoff just because there's no point sending frequencies to the L1 that it can't reproduce.
- It doesn't mean that if the L1 cutoff is set to 110 Hz, you won't hear anything from the low E string. Our perception of tones is based not only on the fundamental (in the case of the low E at 82 Hz it is lower than 110 Hz), but it is also based on the harmonics we will hear in multiples of the fundamentals (2 x 82, 3 x 82, 4 x 82).
Add the B1 (with all four conductors working) and the PS1 does this:
- Frequencies above 180 Hz are sent to the L1 (the crossover is moved up).
- Frequencies from 40-180 Hz are sent to the B1 (and some processing (EQ) is applied to the 40-180 Hz range) to optimize things with the design of the B1.
For reference, 40 Hz gets us into the range of the low E string on an Electric Bass (an octive below our low E on an Acoustic Guitar).
Here's a bit more from Hilmar-at-Bose about the really low notes:
More Bass Talk
Hilmar-at-Bose explained in More Bass Talk
If there is no B1 and nothing connected to the Bass Line Out. The L1 sees frequencies from 110Hz up. Feeding it anything lower, doesn’t make sense, since it couldn’t produce any acoustic output and if would rip the drivers to shreds.
In any other case the L1 sees signals only from 180Hz up. There is no other variation in frequency or gain for the L1 no matter what else happens
Bass Line Out and B1 behavior
This is based on the design goal that “You should always sound the same; no matter how much Bass stuff is attached” I can try to explain my view of why this is a good design goal (of which you may disagree) but let’s look at the actual behavior first.
Without Bass Line out
1xB1: 40Hz-180Hz, B1 specific EQ, some nominal gain that we call 0dB 2xB1: 40Hz-180Hz, B1 specific EQ, -6dB as compared to nominal
With Bass Line Out
0xB1: 40-180 Hz, flat, roughly the same gain as 2 B1 1xB1: 40Hz-180Hz, B1 specific EQ, -6dB as compared to nominal 2xB1: 40Hz-180Hz, B1 specific EQ, -12dB as compared to nominal
What this complex behavior does is the following. No matter if you attach 1, 2, or 4 B1s, you will get pretty much the same balance between all combined B1s and the L1s. It’s a little off for 3, 5, 6, 7 & 8 B1s, but still reasonably close.
Frequency content of an acoustic guitar
Oldghm, you did some really interesting experiments there. However, you have to be really careful when using an RTA. You can feed these things a pure sine wave at 80 Hz and by turning it up make the 63 Hz and even the 40Hz LED light up. They will be lower than the 80 Hz LED, but still come on. That does NOT mean, that the sine wave contains any other frequency than 80 Hz (it certainly doesn’t). It only means that the RTA has a pretty limited frequency resolution. The 63 Hz LED will respond best to 63 Hz signal but it’s in no way “blind” to 80 Hz signal. Thus being said, the actual frequency content is not easy to determine. All sounds that have a pitch are certainly constraint to 80 Hz and up (in standard tuning) and there isn’t actually too much energy at the fundamental. However, the “non-pitched” sounds like a hard string attack or whacking the top with your hand can very well have lower frequencies. Unfortunately, I don’t have any hard data on that, but we will measure that at some point.
Equal loudness curves
Here is the bunch http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/sound/eqloud.html These curves tell us two things: First, the same physical sound energy produces different perceived loudness depending on frequency. You can turn that around into “The physical sound energy required to produce the same perceived loudness varies with frequency”. Second, this frequency dependency is a function of overall level.
The first statement is not particularly bothersome. Your auditory system is well calibrated to that. A voice sounds normal because it sounds like what you are used to, not because it has “constant sound energy” or “constant perceived loudness” with frequency.
The second statement is much more trouble. It basically says that if you amplify an acoustic source (even if you do it perfectly), the perceived spectral balance will change. This is a well known effect, and most of our home entertainment systems have actually and “automatic loudness compensation” that changes the system voicing with overall level. We actually contemplated adding this to the Personalized Amplification System™ but after some soul searching we thought it would be too intrusive on the musician. The main corrections are at very low levels, and in most practical live music settings, the effect is pretty minor. As a rule-of-thumb guideline, turn the bass up a notch as you turn the volume down.