View Full Version : Need help understanding passive and active crossovers please

Jumbo Jet
01-23-2009, 10:15 PM
I'm about to pull the trigger on a set of Rainbow Germs, but I keep reading about people bi-amping and running active crossovers and passive crossovers. Can someone please explain what this means ?

Am I correct to think that passive means I'd be using Rainbows crossovers and active means I'd be using two separate amps..... one for the mids and one for the tweeters, and not using Rainbows crossovers at all ?

And what is bi-amping ..... same thing?


Jumbo Jet
01-24-2009, 09:10 AM
anyone ? Beuler ?

01-24-2009, 09:14 AM
It sounds like your not very confused at all.

01-24-2009, 11:02 AM
dont mean to hijhack the thread...i got a pair of visonik crossovers and they have 3 outputs
1 for the tweeters 1 for the bass and 1 for midbass...does that mean i can run lets say
a 1" tweeter a 4" midbass and 6.5" for bass?

Jumbo Jet
01-24-2009, 09:03 PM
It sounds like your not very confused at all.

Thanks, guess I was on the right track after all. I was kinda assuming thats what they meant but wanted to be sure since I keep seeing it everywhere on here. So bi-amping is the same thing then?

For now I'm going to run my Germs passive on the Rainbow crossover, save myself a few bucks from having to buy another amp.

01-24-2009, 09:23 PM
You can technically bi-amp using the passive crossovers, but I don't see the point. As long as you have the channels needed, using the passives isn't worth it.

Jumbo Jet
01-26-2009, 10:03 PM
Hang on, right when I thought I had it... you threw me a curve ball. Do you mean I should leave the Germ's crossovers in the box and use a 300/4v2's channels as the crossovers. How would I wire that up...... channels 1 and 2 for the drivers and 3 and 4 for the tweeters ? Is that right?

I was considering buying a 300/2v2 instead of the 300/4, but it looks like if I go with the 300/4 (bridged) I'll have the same watts as the 300/2, but more expandability.

Sorry if I sound like a dope, this will be my first active hook up.

Thanks again.

02-04-2009, 11:51 AM
If you have the processing for full active, it might be worth it to run them active... by processing, i mean a good EQ, good crossovers, and time alignment per channel. Otherwise, i'd go ahead and just run them bridged, 2x150w into the passives. Especially if it's the difference between the woofers getting 50-60w vs. getting 130-150w.

Rainbow makes excellent crossovers for the germaniums; they're actually quite powerful. You can choose from 2 different crossover slopes and frequencies, for both the woofers and tweeters independently, which allows you to overlap or underlap your tweets/woofers as needed, and the tweeters have 4 different levels of attentuation - one of which employs a 2db/octave LOW pass crossover on your tweeters to help with direct on-axis mounting right up against the glass where high freq reflections can cause unnatural boosts in response.

The passives do eat some power, though. It really depends on your other equipment and your tuning skills as to whether you'd benefit from an active setup.