February 6, 2017
JL Audio Launches New CR-1 Active Subwoofer Crossover
The CR-1 acts an audiophile-grade “bridge”, seamlessly connecting a two-channel audio system with a top-flight, powered subwoofer system for a true full range audio experience. Powerful features and a pristine, all-analogue signal path make it a key component in optimising an audio system’s spatial and spectral performance. To minimise distortion and noise, CR-1 employs top-grade component parts in its all-analogue audio circuitry: 1% precision resistors, JFET-input audio-grade op-amps, polypropylene film-and-foil capacitors and metallized-polypropylene film capacitors, to name just a few. This attention to component quality makes CR-1 a worthy partner to the finest audio preamplifiers and amplifiers.
CR-1’s input-output design makes it equally adaptable to studio, mastering suite or audiophile, two-channel playback environments. Inputs and outputs are provided for balanced (XLR or 1/4-inch TRS) and unbalanced (RCA) sources. Independent buffering of balanced and unbalanced outputs is employed, to reduce the likelihood of noise. JL Audio’s differential input technology effectively rejects common-mode hum and noise on the unbalanced inputs.
From the CR-1’s stereo inputs, you can derive either a single “mono” (Left + Right) subwoofer signal, or separate signals, for separate left and right subwoofers. A front-panel switch allows you to select between these modes.
The CR-1’s crossover functionality is built around two banks of high precision, low-pass and high-pass Linkwitz-Riley filters. These can be set as 12 dB/octave (moderate cutoff slope) or 24 dB/octave (steeper cutoff slope), via a front-panel switch. For each filter pair, the cutoff frequency is fully variable from 30 Hz – 150 Hz via rotary controls. Behind these knobs, multiplying DACs with monolithic ratio matching are employed to adjust the analogue circuit’s filter frequencies. This digitally–controlled, analogue filter circuitry allows for high precision in making frequency adjustments and facilitates precise matching between the left and right channels for the ultimate in crossover fidelity and transparency. The CR-1 offers 167 individual cutoff frequency choices between the 30 Hz and 150 Hz limits, in 0.70 Hz steps.
Another of CR-1’s unique and powerful features is the ability to alter the damping behaviour of each filter bank. Properly used, the CR-1’s damping controls can improve the acoustic summing through the crossover region, compensating for each speaker system’s frequency response and the way they acoustically interact.
At the centre of the CR-1’s front panel, a convenient balance control permits fine level adjustment of the subwoofer and satellite speakers, relative to one another. This is useful for tweaking the sub/satellite balance to compensate for listening conditions or program material, while always being able to easily return to the reference setting. Each of the CR-1’s output channels can also be independently muted via front-panel switches to aid in system setup and troubleshooting.
To facilitate sharing your subwoofer(s) between a home theater system and a dedicated 2-channel system, the CR-1 has a special bypass feature, accessible via a front-panel switch. When this bypass is engaged, the CR-1 will pass signals connected to its dedicated managed bass inputs, completely bypassing the CR-1’s crossover circuitry and level controls. This allows you to use your room’s subwoofers for both 2-channel audio (via the CR-1’s bass management) and multi-channel audio (via your pre-pro or receiver’s bass management).
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