2wq filters: what do you recommend?

hello all,

just hooked up my new pair of 2wq's sunday and am thoroughly impressed by the improvement. overall clarity, soundstage width and depth, and of course bass extension. trying to figure out which way to go with the fixed filter, x-2, homemade, 5a. i'm not familiar with the 5a filter so if somone could explain them to me i would be grateful. any comparisons between the different filters would also be nice. what caps would you recommend if i go homemade? thanks for your time and info.

aloha keith
Forget the X-2. In a word they "suck". DIY X-2 clones using a very high quality cap are vastly better. I like the DynamiCap. The only problem with the DynamiCap is that the .01uf cap is really more like .013uf. That can throw off the high pass point by quite a margin if you need, say two of them, for a .02uf filter for an 80Hz high pass into 100K.You now have a .026uf filter which will give you a high pass point of 61Hz into that same 100K. You might look into the Cardas caps or many others that sound very good.

The M5 is a great way to go but somewhat costly. The M5 is swithable for impedance like the WX-2 and uses much higher quality InfiniCaps which have a bias current placed on them via a 12v battery. I have never listened to them in my own system. Someone that I trust seems to think that this is the way to go if you want the very best sound with Vandy subs.

I have to say that the DynamiCap filter I am using is very hard to detect.
Very interesting. I have a pair of 2wq's and am currently using a pair of X-2's - 50khz. Could you explain to me how to make a better pair?? What caps would I need??


Get your hands on the best sounding .04uf caps(The caps need to be matched and as close to that exact value as they can for a 79.5Hz filter. You might want to measure the value of the X-2's you have and try to duplicate that value, it should be .04uf but all of the X-2's I have measured were way out of spec. This way is won't change the bass balance.) Get some M&F RCA's. Solder the caps on the hot side and a wire for ground. Sit back and prepare to enjoy a pair of filters that will put a grin on your face.

After word your X-2's will be for sale.
In my post above I said 50khz....I meant 50kohm which is the input impedence of my Innersound monoblocks. My current filters are 50k.

I'm not too fine with electronics...although I can solder ok. How do I test the value of my current X-2s. Also, what are the "best sounding" 0.4uf caps. any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated!!!


If you have a multi meter, many of them have a setting for measuring capacitance.

You will have to add values to get as close to the "ideal" value of .03975uf, which @50K=80Hz. .039uf is 81.54Hz @ 50K.

I like the DynamiCap best of what I have tried so far, which has been the AuriCap(which everyone loves but I find somewhat dry and subtractive sounding but KILL the crap in the X-2! AuriCaps do come in some odd small values from Pearcy but not from Parts Connexion) and also the InfiniCap which has been replaced by the DynamiCap.

Teflon caps like the RelCap TFT Exotica or Chris VenHaus's V Cap


are said to be wonderful but the cost is way out there! You would need a total of eight .01uf caps for a total of $223.92 even at the 5-24 peice discount rate! I would love to try them, but. I would also like to try the Cardas caps.

DynamiCaps are very fragile! Do not get them too hot when soldering. You can take advantage of the fact that the .01uf is really more like a .013uf(I have confirmed this and Michael Percy lists them on his site as .013's)and add three together for each side to get as close to a .04uf value as you can with the likelyhood of them being fractions over .039 when three are added up(get them matched and tell them that they are for a filter when you buy them so they understand that the value is critical, you don't want to be 20% off like the X-2 can be, that's why I suggest you find out what they really measure at.) They don't have to look pretty if you can't do that they just have to sound good and not short out. You need to reinforce them if you have real heavy IC's that will pull on them.

in case you're wondering where maxgain is is getting the capacitance values from, the formula is 1/(6.26 x crossover frequency x input impedence) in your case 1/(6.26x80x50,000).


thanks for the input. what have you heard about the model 5 filters. i see a pair listed here now. do you know how they're hooked up. i have no idea what they look like. if they have to be hardwired, i don't think i want to mess up my ic's.

aloha keith

aloha keith

I have listened to the 5 filters with a pair of 5a's and some other very nice stuff. The system was amazing. I can't say much else about it without hearing it in my system. The filter is said to be the most transparent high pass for the Vandersteens. The nice thing about them is that they are switchable for impedence. Unless your system is pretty stable as far as keeping the same components for a long while like I do the versatility of being able to change the cap value with a switch is handy.

I have a photo of them. I can e-mail it to you if you like. They have rca or bal inputs on them just like pluggin into your amp and a fixed pigtail of some sort of top of the line AudioQuset IC that goes into the amp.

thanks again. so they hook to the amp the same as the x-2, with 1 set of interconnects? i would appreciate you e-mailing me a photo if it's not too much trouble. my email is kitosanx@hotmail.com going to call my dealer to seek for further input. upon doing another search here it seems like this is the way to go as bigtee and several others have commented that the 5 xover is very good.

aloha keith
I sent you an e-mail with two attachments.

If you have the cash handy buy the used ones NOW. You can't go wrong. You can always get your money out of them and they don't show up often.

If you have read much of what Bigtee or I have written on the topic you know that this filter is critical to the sound of your system. Everything passes through it! The X-2 as I said before sucks for any system that you desire the ultimate in clarity or resolution. They might be ok with an inexpensive home theater set up.
Atagi, I tried doing your formula but could not come up with the same answer as .3975. Could you show us mathematically challenged folks the equation with all the decimals in place. Better yet I have the 2wqs also with 31k impedance at 80hz what caps would I need?
Dolfan, for a 31K input with a high pass of 80.14Hz you would need cap value of .064uf.
I know I sound like a moron...but can somebody tell me exactly how to build the homemade X-2. I understand I need a cap value of .04uf for each crossover. But once I have a set of RCA plugs...what do I solder where??

If somebody could step me through this....great. Also, if somebody wants to build me a decent set, I'll certainly pay your price!!! (within reason :-))


just responded to your email. thanks for the pics and info.

sorry i can't help you with instructions to build the crossovers as i've never done it, and my friend who builds speakers was going to help me but he's never done it either. perhaps maxgain or bigtee will respond. i know bigtee poste instructions somewhere here but i don't have time to search for it right now.

aloha keith
I could use those instructions too, as future reference.
It's just like building an IC cable but very short. The caps get soldered together in parallel to get the value you are after and then they are soldered to the center(+) of each RCA male and female. Connect and solder a ground wire to the ground portion of each RCA. Cover it with something to give it some strength and your done. I use mine nude but they are very fragile that way and need to be used with care. It would be cool to have the caps soldered into a pair of IC's.

Tried to reply to your email but it keeps bouncing back as undeliverable. Could you kindly send me your email address or phone number? I'd like to get you to build some crossovers for me in light of your excellent reputation.

The model 5 filters are the way to go if you want absolute transparency. However, after I've said that, you can build some that are very, very close.
Most of the caps discussed above have their virtues. Each is a little different flavor. I wish I could decide what was accurate. I sorta favor the Auricaps but as Maxgain says, the Dynamicaps are good BUT they are fragile. I have found Kimber Kaps to be decent along with Hovlands. The Hovlands give you a smooth and warm sound. Pretty much the opposite of the Inifinicap.
When I used McCormack amps way back when, I would solder the cap inside the amp and do away with the extra connectors. The center conductor wire from the RCA input was removed and the cap inserted. Kinda of hard to do that with a lot of connectors soldered directly to the boards now.
Maxgain has the info above for making these. He's right on the money and they are simple to make. I tried the "Nude" approach and actually thought it was better also.
One other note, I was told that the new model 5a's crossover at 100hz instead of 80.
I found using a frequency crossover point just below 80 works best in my room(actually about 73)
Most of these caps are + or - 10%. Auricaps can be specified at precise values at + or - 1% with a given value on special order.
The bottom line here is you really need to experiment. The M-5 filter simplifies this greatly and by the time you get through playing around with the x-2 clones, you could buy a pair of the 5's!
One last note, be careful about the manufacturers stated input impedance. This generally varies a good bit. That's why it's important to narrow your choice down through experimentation.
Hey Bigtee, You been on vacation or something? I had to jump in and answer these questions. I don't usually like to post much for the most part anymore. Got tired of the battles with the Nay Sayers. They can just go on listening to crap systems.
i ordered a pair of model 5 filters yesterday. the dealer told me that the 5 and 3 filters have the same -3db point. don't hold me to this but will find out for sure in 3-4 weeks. right now i'm playing with the 2wq's, trying to figure out which way they sound best. so far anything with solo acoustic or electric bass sounds great, also bass solo's, but having trouble with missing notes on some other music. did the rives test. before adding the subs i had a +14db at 40hz. after adding subs, that is gone but i now have -13db at 50hz and -10db at 100, 125, and 160. any suggestions?

bigtee and maxgain,

thanks for the responses they're always very helpful.


good luck with the filters. is maxgain going to make them for you.

aloha keith
Keith, what happens if you reverse the phase? Really sounds like a phase issue of some cause. Sounds like you've got some real room problems. May have to move things around some if possible.
Maxgain, I was wondering the same about you. Drop me an e-mail sometime and catch me up.
I forgot to mention that I agree the M5 and x-2's for the 2wq's are 80 @ -3db but I think the new 5A has been moved up to 100hz @ -3db.
I am thinking of taking your suggestion and building my own crossover. I have a few specific questions.

1.TNT says that the .01 (or .013) Dynamicap is available in both loudspeaker and electronics version. Percy has it in electronic version only. Which is the appropriate one? (I am guessing electronic)

2. For solder, Wonder or WBT?? WBT has a lower melting point and would it be safer for the Dynamicap?

3. For wire, wonder wire 19 ga. Any other suggestions?

4. For the ground for the RCA connectors, Does it go from the ground of the output RCA to the ground of the input RCA-or somewhere else? Is Wonder Wire OK here too?

5. Wrap all in heat shrink. Meltable, adhesive lined or polyolefin?? What does 2:1 or 3:1 mean in describing shrink wrap? Is that the amount it can shrink?

Thanks very much in advance and I hope others contemplating the same venture will benefit from the answers as well.
Use the electronic version. The Wonderwire is fine. I personally use the WBT solder. The wire goes from the outer part of the two male an female rca connectors.
The numbers on the strink indicates the ratio it will strink to when heated. The metable gets awfully hot. I would use one of the others that don't take as much heat IF you want be flexing it. Otherwise the metable is better.