I'd like to know where a crossover fits in a PA system. I'm using a basic pa system like below.


The ? means do I connect the mixer to the power amplifier before the crossover then to the speakers or do I connect from the mixer to crossover then to the power amplifier and speakers...?!

1 Answer 1


There are several variations and it is not possible to answer this as a simple, generic question.

Most speakers have built-in crossovers for 2-way or 3-way (or even 4-way) systems. And, of course, self-powered speakers have the amplifier(s) and crossover built-in.

The primary place you would need a separate crossover would be where you are using a sub-woofer, and you must split the sub-low frequencies into the subwoofer, and the rest of the spectrum into the main speaker(s).

There are two basic forms of crossovers. The kind implemented for line-level signals splits the audio BEFORE it goes into the power amplifiers. You need a power amplifier for each part of the spectrum that is split out by the crossover.

And then there are speaker-level crossovers. You rarely see that kind as a separate unit. They are virtually always built-in to speaker systems.

The specific answer to your question depends on exactly what gear you are using. It is not possible to give an answer that covers all cases.

  • Please can you explain a bit further what the 2, 3 and 4-way system is...?! If I understand you correctly, are you referring to the separate audio channels like high, mid and low in the speakers...?! Jun 21, 2016 at 12:30
  • Yes. Speakers that split up the audio spectrum into two, or three, or even four segments for different drivers. Each place the audio spectrum goes from one segment to another, is a "crossover point". Jun 21, 2016 at 15:35
  • Thanks for the answer, but please what are the names of the 4 channels...?! Jun 22, 2016 at 13:26
  • Typically you could find (1) Tweeter, (2) Midrange, (3) Woofer, (4) Sub-woofer. Or (1) Tweeter, (2) Upper-mid, (3) Lower-mid, (4) Woofer. But 4-way speakers are becoming rare as technology improves to make high-power drivers capable of adequately handling wider bandwidth. Even 3-way speakers are becoming more rare because crossovers are always undesirable. Breaking up the frequency spectrum into separate drivers always does trauma to the signal at the crossover frequency. But in most cases it cannot be avoided because no speakers can handle the entire spectrum at moderate to high power. Jun 22, 2016 at 13:38
  • Thanks very much for your answers...is there a way to learn more about these from the beginning...?! Jun 22, 2016 at 16:44

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