I like the Paul Mcgowan Method - Run a high level signal to the sub/s from your speaker amplifier. Just some extra speaker cable from the same banana's that are going to your mains. This has the benefit of keeping the sound signature of your amp and allows your Mains run full range as god intended. The sub only fills in what the mains can't do. The trick is to find out the best freq to cross over on the sub as you can't rely on the spec sheet from your mains for this. You will just have to listen and experiment. Of course you will need to find a sub that can except high level inputs...
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So... I assume that means only the frequencies allowed to pass from the subs to the mains via the mains amplifier are presented by the mains... and... that the controls on the subs provide the various adjustments of how much and how those frequencies pass to the mains (at least for the JL subs).
I did take a look at the JL Audio CR-1 crossover reviews and found this discussion of how the reviewer connected it and dialed in the crossover - which is also very informative.
It appears that discussion, moreless follows your suggestion above.
This all makes sense and is very helpful.
the crossover goes before the all the amps including the ones in the subs.
So preamp to corossover to speaker/sub amp. Generally you only adjust once slope and volume of the sub.
So if you have an external crossover you will to disable the subs low pass if possible.
Good crossovers are are very expensive and a nitch item. If you are just playing with subs for the first time I would look for a sub with a built in crossover (very different from a low pass). I use my built in crossovers and I really can not hear any signal degradation with it in the system. I am sure there is some. But the advantages of the subs far out weight the neatives once set up right.
Most important is the subs volume. Phase is really hard to hear honesty in the sub range but sound pressure will stand right out. I would get a dB meter and measure the sound at the listiening position using a est CD.
Jl audio has a document on setting uo phase. It works pretty well, it is online somewhere.
It will I’ll let you tune the bass to the room which has a profound improvement on the sound. I could never have a system without subs again. Otherwise you need a full range speaker ($$$) and a perfect room and who really has a prefect room? 1% of us, less?
The down side of subs for me is all the extra wires everywhere because I have a 6’ set of leads to and from my subs...
Run full range to mains. Run line level to sub EQ, use sub EQ to integrate.
Cons: You don’t get increased output from your main amp. No extra dynamic range. Sometimes a compromise is to plug ported mains.
Highest dynamic range, most altering of main signal:
Use a crossover after your preamp, before your main speakers.
Cons: Adds more processing steps in series with your fancy DAC/pre and amp.
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