How to Install a Crossover
Passive crossovers are simple to install. By definition, the only type of connections they require are to your speaker line. They typically get installed between the end of the speaker wire and the speaker. Connection should be fairly simple, just like hooking up the speaker itself.
Unlike conventional passive crossovers, inline crossovers modify the audio signal before it is amplified. They accept the patch cord from your receiver on one end, and then plug directly into the preamp inputs on your amplifier. They are also easy to install, and do not require additional wiring.
Installing an active crossover requires a little more work. You have to connect 12-volt power, ground, and a turn-on lead. The active crossover gets installed between your receiver and your amplifier. Many active crossovers have both speaker-level and preamp inputs, so they can usually accommodate either type of connection. The outputs will be preamp connections to your amplifier.
Once you've done the work, you're sure to be pleased with the new control you'll have over your music. You will be able to tune your sound system so that all of the speakers connected to your amps can give you their best performance.
Finding the right spot
A crossover can be securely mounted with just a few screws. Anywhere between the receiver and the amp is fine. Most people mount the crossover in the trunk near their amp, especially if you have more than one amp. This also makes it easier to add additional amps later. You should mount it where it will be easy to get to so that you can make adjustments without too much trouble. Usually, you'll just make the initial adjustments to fine-tune the sound and then leave it. But sometimes, you may get into the mood to just tweak your system or give it a different sound for the day.
Don't mount your electronic crossover directly on steel — you will invite noise problems. Instead, install it on a non-conductive board and attach the board to the car body (or use rubber grommets under the screws to isolate the crossover).
The wiring for your crossover does not have to be the heavy-gauge stuff that you use for your amp. The crossover itself doesn't need much power, so unless you're trying to cosmetically match your crossover wiring to your amplifier's heavier gauge wiring, typical 18-gauge wire will be fine.
It's always best to ground each component separately. If you'd rather use a single bolt, place the ground for the component that draws the most current (probably your biggest amp) closest to the car body. Put the ground for the component that draws the least current (probably the electronic crossover) on top.
As for the turn-on lead, you can usually tie it into the turn-on lead for your amps. If you have four or more components in your system, you might need a relay network to protect your receiver. That's because the receiver's remote turn-on or power antenna lead can only supply a limited amount of current.
If the components in your stereo system ask for more current than the receiver's turn-on circuit can supply, you can burn out that circuit in your receiver. Call our comprehensive and caring tech support department, free on most orders, if you need advice on building a relay network (please have your invoice handy). A relay network connected to the remote turn-on or power antenna lead draws a small amount of current from the receiver, but supplies enough current to simultaneously turn on all your other components.
Feeding the music to your crossover
Most receivers provide preamp output from RCA jacks. If both your receiver and crossover use RCA jacks, connect them using an RCA patch cable. Some crossovers can also take their input signal from the receiver's speaker leads. But if your receiver has preamp outputs, use those instead. You'll get a cleaner signal. If you want to feed your crossover a preamp-level signal, but your receiver does not have preamp outputs, an effective and inexpensive line output converter will help you step the speaker-level signal down to preamp level. Then run an RCA patch cord from the converter to the crossover.
Make sure the patch cords supplying the musical signal to the crossover and amplifier are kept well away from potential sources of noise, such as brake light wires or rear window defroster wires.
If the amp is in the trunk, run the input signal leads down the same side of the car as any speaker wires you've installed. Run the power and turn-on leads down the other side of the car with the same wires for the amp to avoid interference.