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Altec 2-way XO Redux

This is an update on crossovers I use for the Altec 2-way speakers.

JEL N1600 Crossover

JEL N1600C + HF EQ
optimized for the 802 driver fitted with the original
16 ohm 20275 diaphragm

The above crossover circuit, as discussed in this previous post, was optimized for my cherished pair of green Hammertone Altec 802Ds fitted with the original aluminum 20275 diaphragm, which has an aluminum wound voice coil. To my ears, this diaphragm has a more prominent midrange response which necessitates rolling off the upper midrange/lower high frequencies of the 414A woofer for flatter response.

JEL Universal Altec 2-way XO

For the Altec 802 driver equipped with the 34852 (16 ohm) or 34647 (8 ohm) diaphragms, which have copper wound voice coils, I recommend the 6dB/octave crossover circuit below which is hinged at around 2500 Hz + high frequency EQ boost. This aluminum diaphragm has less energy in the upper midrange giving a tonal balance that sounds more extended in the high frequencies compared to its 20275 predecessor. In this implementation the Altec 414A woofer is connected as a full-range driver inspired by Joe Roberts. 

JEL Universal Altec 2-way XO with HF EQ circuit

Altec 414A + 32A/802/GPA 34852
JEL Universal Altec 2-way XO

I've also used this crossover successfully with the Altec 802 driver fitted with the Symbiotik diaphragm, Emilar EA/EC175 and Renkus-Heinz SSD1800/1400. Please take note of the different capacitor values for 16 or 8 ohm drivers.

Simplest Crossover

If you want the simplest crossover, my buddy Joe Roberts listens to his Altec 414A/802/32 set-up with the woofer in full-range mode + a 1.5uf paper in oil cap for the compression driver, no L-pad or HF peaking EQ circuit. See his Audiokarma post for more details.


  1. Just wanted to say that based on this post by you I changed my crossover to your recommendation last night. I'm running 909A-16s with the 34852 'frams and 414-16Bs in 614 cabinets. I'm liking what I'm hearing so far. The midrange seems much improved - vocal presence is smoother and more beguiling, and the bass seems a little more defined. I also like the fact that the physical crossover is simpler. Thanks for continuing to lead me astray.:-)

    1. I'm glad you found this useful. Happy listening and tinkering!



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