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Dividing Networks

Author: N.H. Crowhurst

When a number of loudspeakers - two or three - are used to cover the frequency range, one handles the low frequencies, another the high frequencies, and sometimes a third one handles the middle frequencies. When the two-speaker idea was introduced, the low-frequency speaker was called a woofer and the high-frequency speaker a tweeter (for obvious reasons). The addition of a middle-to-upper range unit led to the name squawker (a rather doubtful description). Some prefer to call the mid-range speaker (which is still "high" in the musical sense) the tweeter, and the unit that handles the extreme highs is called a super-tweeter. In any event, whatever the units are called, each should only get the frequencies that it is supposed to handle.

Each speaker should only get the frequencies it is designed to handle.

If the low frequencies are fed to a unit not designed to accept them, it will rattle and distort badly. Feeding frequencies higher than a unit is intended to handle will not cause any particular distortion, but will result in loss of power at these frequencies, because the voice coil will accept the power, although incapable of delivering corresponding sound waves. For this reason, dividing networks are needed so each unit gets "what is coming to it."

Last Update: 2010-11-03