JL Audio CR-1 Active Crossover


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Active Subwoofer Crossover

The lucky few who have heard a well-integrated subwoofer in a great audio system know that the subwoofer's effect is profound. While everyone expects the bass extension to improve, most are shocked at the transformation that occurs in the main speakers. They simply open up, delivering improved dynamics, superior imaging and more low-level detail. Many describe it as the greatest speaker upgrade they have ever made.

Over the years, JL Audio have calibrated many subwoofer systems in highly critical listening environments, and have been frustrated by the limitations of active crossovers we have worked with. Tired of struggling with "blunt instruments", JL Audio felt that a higher precision tool was needed, so they decided to build it and call it the "CR-1". When properly set up, JL Audio's CR-1 creates a listening experience in which the subwoofers and main speakers become one, delivering a cohesive and compelling sonic presentation.


The CR-1 Active Subwoofer Crossover has been designed by audiophiles, for audiophiles. JL Audio believe it has no equal, offering a powerful combination of subwoofer/satellite tuning features, and a complete commitment to analog signal purity.

The CR-1 is built around two banks of precision Linkwitz-Riley low-pass and high-pass filters. Multiplying DACs with monolithic ratio matching are employed to adjust the analog circuit's filter frequencies. This offers superior tracking behavior and far more precise left/right channel balance, compared to conventional approaches.

Another of CR-1's unique and powerful features is a pair of rotary controls that control the damping of each filter bank. These damping controls dramatically improve the acoustic summing through the crossover region, by compensating for each speaker system's frequency response. At the center of the front panel, a single intuitive, rotary control permits quick adjustment of the relative level between the subwoofer(s) and main speakers.

To minimize distortion and noise, CR-1 employs top-grade component parts in its all-analog 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. Like all JL Audio products, the CR-1 is built in their own factory in the U.S.A. This ensures top quality and dependability.

CR-1's input-output design makes it equally adaptable to studio, mastering suite or audiophile two-channel playback environments. To accommodate dual-mode systems, we also include a bypass feature that engages a pass-through from a dedicated "Managed Bass Input" on the rear panel, to the CR-1's subwoofer outputs. This makes it convenient to switch from two-channel to multi-channel mode.

Max. Input Voltage: 8 Vrms (+18 dBv)
Input Impedance: Unbalanced: 50 kΩ Balanced: 20 kΩ (10 kΩ per leg)
Max. Output Voltage: 8 Vrms (+18 dBv)
Output Impedance: Unbalanced: 150 Ω Balanced: 300 Ω (150 Ω per leg)
THD+N < 0.002% at 8 Vrms/10 kΩ20 Hz - 20 kHz, 90 kHz bandwidth
Channel Separation: >80 dB at 1 kHz
Low Pass Frequency Response: +0, -1 dB from 5 Hz to 1/4 of filter frequency
High Pass Frequency Response: +0, -1 dB from 4x filter frequency to 80 kHz
Power Consumption: 30 Watts (typical, with or without signal)
Mains Voltage (Frequency): 120V (60 Hz) or 230/240V (50 Hz or 60 Hz), factory-set for destination country

Width (W): 17.40 in. / 441 mm
Height (H): 3.80 in / 97 mm
Depth (D): 15.67 in / 398 mm
Net Weight: 22 lb / 10 kg

JL Audio CR-1 Active Crossover

The CR-1 confers a big advantage by splitting the frequency band with a true high-pass and a low-pass crossover. There’s very little overlap between the subwoofer and main speakers around the crossover point, eliminating the unpredictable result of having two different sources reproducing the same frequency band. I had dialed-in the CR-1 so that the entire system was perfectly seamless from top to bottom. It’s amazing that it took so long for the industry to create a device like this; once you use it you’ll find it indispensable. more...