External crossover with JL F113

Greetings all,

I’ve been on an upgrade binge lately, and just scored a pair of F113 V1.  They will be supporting Sasha DAWs, which I expect to be installed in a couple of weeks.  The dealer who will be installing the Sashas also happens to sell JL Audio; the Wilson approach to positioning speakers is gonna be cool to experience with the subs in place.  One of the things about which I think (obsess) while I’m in the sweet spot listening to the rig is “can it sound better if I get a little more toe-in, elevation, distance from the wall etc...”. That’ll be put to bed at the end of this.

I’ve read tons of reviews on the Fathom 113s, and in a few they were supplied just the low pass signal from an external crossover.  I have a Marchand XM66 (if you ever need a crossover get one of these; call them and Phil Marchand will probably answer the phone).  A goal of the upgrade binge has been to simplify, but substantially improve my system.  The move to active subs to replace some passive ones I have (a pair of Revel Sub-15s), gets a pair of digital amps and speaker cables out of the signal path for the subs.  I’d also been planning to run the Fathom 113s directly from my preamp via XLR, and get the crossover out of the signal path.  The Sashas will run full range from mono amps, not thru the crossover.  Cabling amongst the various components is Stealth Sakra/Indra.

Any thoughts on which is better:

Keeping the crossover to send low pass signal to the subs or removing the crossover and sending a full range signal to the subs to simplify the signal path?


Dave Mitchell
Yorktown, VA
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My only in home experience with the F113 was one afternoon twelve years ago. 
From the preamplifiers full range outputs we ran the ARO and my Velodyne DD-18's Auto EQ.
Our combined preference was an edge to the Auto EQ but hardly enough to choose one over the other.
Remember these are the manufactures goal of room optimization.  

I recall the F113 uses six fundamental manual adjustments while its room optimization is auto only. The Velodyne provided a visual plot of the F113's adjustments.

Velodyne allows manual adjustments of all its parameters within eight frequency bands from 15Hz-100Hz which can be saved to six memory presets. 

With the Velodyne's gain off and its manually EQ'd signal sent to the F113 the JL became quite impressive giving up VERY little to the big 18" sub. Not sure why JL continues with its auto only optimization. 

Not sure how far this goes to answering your question. The F113 should jump through any hoop its given.

I've had no experience with Marchand or JL's CR-1. Clearly both JL Audio and Velodyne put a lot of development into their crossover implementations for their subsequent versions.

I did find some usable crossover information on page 20 of the CR-1 manual that improved the crossover region of my two Plus'.