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For the curious and technically inclined readers: How the LCR Double Crossover System works.



The classic D’Appolito MTM configuration (midrange-tweeter-midrange) is an excellent solution for home theater applications when the speaker is oriented vertically because it provides maximum horizontal dispersion while limiting vertical dispersion. This focuses the sound field on the listener while minimizing reflections from the floor and ceiling. Those reflections would smear imaging and hamper localization. For this vertical application, a traditional two-way crossover design is ideal. Unfortunately, laying a two-way MTM speaker on its side, in the traditional “center channel on a TV” arrangement, creates a problem: comb filtering. As much as we like the two-way approach for a vertical orientation, we wanted something better when we tipped the speaker over. That’s where the LCR’s Center/Main switch comes in.


To introduce the Center/Main crossover switch and how it addresses the problem at hand, let’s start with a visual representation of comb filtering:


Your home theater is now a pond on a calm, clear day. You place floats in the pond at the four listening positions normally occupied by you, your spouse, and your kids (or you and your buddies). Now, drop two pebbles into the pond, one each at the center point of the midrange drivers in the horizontal center channel. Imagine how the waves propagate from both points. Wherever each set of waves meets, they will interact. Two peaks will combine to create a larger wave, two dips will combine to create a deeper trough, and a peak and a dip will combine to create nothing – just still water. If any of these three scenarios occurs at a float (a listener), that location will experience an interference effect. We don’t want that.


How can you use the “good” vertical behavior of a two-way MTM and avoid the potentially” bad” horizontal behavior of the same design? Our solution is to use the two-way crossover only when the speaker is vertical. When we shift to the horizontal, we use the Center/Main switch to change to a separate 2-1/2 way crossover. When this happens, one woofer remains unchanged while the other rolls off at a much lower frequency. The result is that both drivers are only active together below 500 Hz, where wavelengths start to get long and wave interactions are less likely. Critical frequencies (particularly normal human speech, a staple of center channel speakers) are only produced by a single driver, avoiding the interference effects that our four floats were at risk of experiencing in the pond. Now we have the ability to optimize the speaker for both vertical and horizontal placement, even though both orientations face significantly different challenges. You can even use the Center/Main switch to apply the 2-1/2 way crossover when the speaker is oriented vertically but located several feet above or below your listening position (both positions that are potentially susceptible to comb filtering as well). This double crossover allows the Outlaw LCR to be the most placement-flexible MTM speaker we have ever seen.

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