JL Audio CR-1 Crossover

So, I own 4 JL Audio F-113 subs. Each of these were bought used and all have been updated at JL Audio.

I have been very happy using them in my system. The main speakers are Focal Sopra 2’s. I am using a Iso-Max Jensen transformer(s) model #SP-2SX to connect the subs to my mains and it seems to work pretty well. BTW, the Iso Max unit(s) convert speaker level to balanced (similar to the Rel subs) using Speak-On fittings.

The JL Audio solution to the high/low band pass issue was their CR-1 Electronic crossover. I always wanted to try one of these but at $3000 list I didn’t think it could improve that much over my Iso Max unit(s).

However, I was able to find a used JL Audio CR-1 electronic crossover and I have just now connected it up.

The first thing I noticed was how much very low bass I was missing. Example: Linda Ronstadt “Blue Bayou” the bass now digs into the subterranean.

I guess I need to play with it a while. but I was wonderin’ if anyone else who owns or has owned this unit can share any set ups tips and general opinions of the unit.



I don't know this specific unit, but yes, having a properly configured line level crossover has many many benefits.

Thanks erik. I’m thinking the reason there is so much more "low bass" is because I was drawing the bass out of the speaker outputs. Now I am getting the bass directly from the source in this case my Lumin X1.



Ozzy on Linda Ronstadt was the source an LP or CD or ?


Vinyl at my place can hit 30hz, I don’t use a rumble filter either. My stuff can’t pump it’s servo. Deepest hitting vinly rigs I’ve heard are always servo bass AND direct coupled..

CD or stream is source dependent, if it’s there my servos will play it below 20.

4 F113s ain’t cheap, they are really nice looking with a ton of features.. At least they arn’t bottom firing without a butt plate.. EX: REL Bad idea, old tech.. None I my buddies use bottom firing subs any more. Neighbors complain to much...

I stopped the waves in the neighbors pool!! 


My source is a High Rez Download.

I like "the stop the waves in the pool" comments, I would think mine would create some white caps!.



I don't know anything about the JL CR-1, but I've been a big believer in using the low level inputs to all my subs. Exactly what you have described, more very deep bass. Some REL "experts" think using the high level inputs are better, so I just quit debating this. Enjoy!

When I looked at RELs design and read THEIR BS. I did the same. They are WAY behind in Bass tech. It is literally 70-80s tech. Bottom firing with NO butt plate (or slot loaded). There is NO way to decouple from the floor without adding a slot.. 

NONE of my buddies have used subs constructed like that in 30 years.... Nice paint though.. LOL REL owners like SPL, and FEELING the bass that's easy.. Buy exciters.. doing the same thing.. smearing the bass signal over evey surface in the room behind NOT decoupling.. They sound terrible to me, make my ears hurt..

I use to run JL W12s in my auto stuff in the 90s I think it was W12s Serious drivers..


The CR-1 has been a very impactful addition to my system for 2 years now. The main improvement was unexpected; the speaker's (high frequency and midrange) output became clearer. JL explained that it’s due to the speakers being alleviated from the lower frequency bass duty. The cross overs (on the subs) cannot do this. The CR-1 is excellent.

@ozzy - I can’t imagine using 4 of these JL F113 beasts. I have 2, my room is 18X20x9 and the bass is very palatable in the listening locations. The bass must be extremely uniform in your room. Best Regards.


Thank you so much for the comments. I am really surprised in the difference between line level and speaker level low bass response.


What crossover frequency are using with your JL subs and crossover?


Congrats, ozzy! I dream of the CR-1.

I have a pair of JL Audio e110s connected like REL. Since I run an integrated that lacks the ability to "loop" the CR-1 into the system, it's going to stay a dream, at least for a while. 



Never thought about an intergrated amp with the CR-1. Seems like there should be a way to make it work.


Ozzy, I could put it in front of my Cary sli-80, but that would accommodate only one input; either my cd player or my 'table.

Or I could first put my two sources into a passive preamp, then that pre into the CR-1, then split into the Cary and the subs.

It gets complicated and adds more to the signal path. Discouraging.

Anyway, I don't mean to rain on your parade. Enjoy!

I replaced a pair of RELs (using high level input from the amp) with a pair of fathoms with a CR1. This was to correct a 60Hz room mode on the vertical axis generated by the main speakers.  There are measurements pics of this on my system page. The CR1 has a button to switch on/off the crossover circuitry, so A/B is easy. In my case bass extension is a little less and the blurriness around 60Hz reappears with the subs and crossover circuity off. The promise of decreased upper frequency distortion was not materialized in my case, although the coherence between the woofer and the "midrange/tweeter" improved. I have just used factory settings at 80Hz which seems like an obvious choice based on my problem. Playing the damping only made it wound worse. I am still experiemnting with placement/DARO a little bit as well as phase. It seems damping would be normal last step. As a side I find DARO pretty havey handed through its band, making "good enough" placement idiot proof. I am still working through it, though.  

gita, Perhaps contact JL Audio for suggestions?

ohlala, If this helps:

I started with my subs close to the back corners, then I used the DARO. After that I tried to blend their output with my main speakers. Then I used the CR-1 to blend everything together.

But, I too am still experimenting with all the other settings. I can say though that just 2 days with the CR-1 and I am pretty happy with the bass intergration.

BTW, I also have 4-ASC 20" tube traps in all 4 corners.


I had help from acoustic frontiers in sub/speaker relocation to smooth out bass. I have at least a hundred REW measurement from this misadventure. The subs ended up near opposite corners of the room, which flattened all but the 60Hz. Elevating them half way up the wall helped partially, and the crossover eliminated it. With the fathoms, I now have a 20 Hz issue, below what DARO controls. I pulled one sub out in the room as far as resonable to flatten it, but created a massive 34Hz issue that daro amazingly corrected. I did waterfall overlay between the two radically different positions, and there was not much difference even in decay time. I could not really hear a difference either. I may try moving one sub to the corner, so the pair are symmetric to see what happens. 

Like you suggest, I also EQ’d it then adjusted levels, which is easy. The LF trim control’s bandwidth is too broad, so of course volume has to be adjusted. Unfortunately I do not know how to use stereo with separate phase controls and use DARO at the same time. Are you using master/salve configuration?


Thanks for that info.

With my 4 F-113’s I am using left-right stereo configuration and then connected the same L-R to the rear subs. With all set as Master. This allows the ability to set the DARO individually.


I have been curious whether the CR-1 reduces any transparency in the signal to the mains. 


Yes that is also my concern since previously I was sending the signal direct from Lumin X1 directly to my amps thus bypassing a preamp and all the associated cabling.

Now with the CR-1 I have again additional electronics and cabling in the chain.

But, so far I am having a hard time determing if there is in fact a reduction in transparancy.



I am crossing over at 80Hz. But still experimenting. Why did you choose 90Hz.?


hi @ozzy 

90Hz is what JL recommends.  Also, I tried several from 70hz to 110 and did not like other x-over frequencies any better. Regardless if it's 80 or 90,  I believe the most important part is to find the right phasing on each sub.  That's when the entire system just clicks-in! 

Best Regards


For those of you who do own a CR-1 and want to use it with your home theater. The directions are incorrect. If you connect a RCA sub input from the Home theater into the "Managed Subs" input  on the CR-1 you must output using the same type of output (RCA) to your subs. The same goes for XLR input.

I actually used a XLR/RCA adapter into the "Managed Subs" input so that I could still use the XLR subwoofer outputs.

I hope I explained this correctly.


Thanks for your reply, Ozzy. I may try to set the DARO individually. My subs are positioned  to cancel a 40Hz mode, and I do not know how the equalizer will react. Obviously it can only really work at minimum phase. Doesn't hurt to try. 


Just a quick update:

The CR-1 is working excellent!  I cannot tell the difference between running the Lumin X1 direct to my amps or running it through the CR-1. It is that transparent.

Highly recommended.


I had the CR-1 and a couple JL e110 subs for quite a while 

(paired to my Thiel 2.6 speakers).

First of all JL Audio is a stellar company to deal with.

Really helpful customer service and fantastic products!

id first tried integrating the subs “REL style,” running the 

mains full range and adding the subs via the high level 

signal input.  They meshed surprisingly well in terms of audibility 

but not perfect.  I added the Dspeaker anti mode dsp just 

to the subs and it got a little smoother.  Though I kept noting 

an unwelcome change in timbre to my system - too dark

and lifeless.   Finally I added the CR-1 to cross the subs 

with the mains “proper style” and it was significantly better.

I managed to maintain much more of my systems regular 

tone while adding the subs.  The CR1 was a delight to use.

So easy and intuitive.  I loved being able to demo my system

with the subs crossed over or the speakers run full range 

at the push of a button.  That really allowed me to see what the

subs were adding.  Also the CR1 sounded completely transparent!


Ultimately I decided against the subwoofers.  I didn’t

find the low bass added much, I didn’t note any particular

clarity or lack of strain in the mids and up, and it still slightly

altered the tone from what I liked.   My speakers sounded to

me more finally real and alive and punchy without the subs.

So I sold it all with no regrets.


But I very highly recommend the CR1 for anyone wanting

to integrate subs in the analog domain. 

^^^ sorry for bad formatting.  Typed on new iPhone and for some reason that’s how it formatted 

Thanks prof,

I am really surprised at how transparent the CR-1 is. I guess the main speakers used and the crossover point chosen is the challenge to making it shine. The CR-1 allows easy movement of that point for a seamless transition.


One thing that might be worth mentioning about the CR-1 are the ground lifting switches in the back.  Their position matters, especially when using RCA ICs.  Owner should definitely test if grounded or floating sounds best to them.

The ground switch is a good tip I overlooked. Thanks. 

I switched from master/slave mono to stereo. At that time I phase adjusted R and left channels to 80Hz with an SPL meter and also volume corrected the right channel at 80Hz. Phase was zero in mono mode and the xover was best at 12db.

Either way works the overall results were a compromise. The mono mode at 12db cover luckily reduced 115 and 170Hz peaks while producing a dip at 28Hz. Subjectively I prefer the mono mode, but neither is a slam dunk. 

The damping knobs have a broad reach. Broader bandwidth than I was exprecting and easily measured. At 80Hz, I created a "satellite" dip that went up to over 200Hz.  



I am only using the balanced inputs/outputs, so I leave it as grounded. There is absolutely no noise.


I have used the mono mode for my home theater pass through but otherwise its always in stereo. I have yet to play with the damping controls, any suggestions?


Hi. Not really, Ozzy. Partly because I have not done much with it and am not sophisticated. However, as long as I level matched the subs, set phase, ran DARO, there was nothing left fine enough for the damping control to "fix". In my measurements, there is no dip or peak that broad to correct without some compromise. The manual states to set it by ear by way of too lean or full at 80Hz. I have done that with just one decent bass guitar song, and it sounded fine (no revelatory moment of perfect integration ;) +/- 1, then worse beyond that.


I recently picked up a CR-1 to pair with two JL F110s along with my Magico Mini IIs. I think it’s a great unit and an essential part of any hi fi stereo setup, even if you’re running full range speakers. I personally think every system needs subwoofers. I’ve listened to top of the line Magico floorstanders that still lacked sub bass notes that my F 110s are capable of producing. And, if you’re using subs, you should be crossing over the high and low frequencies with an active crossover. My Magicos sound tighter, more articulate and open without having to dig deep into the lower registers. I also run my f110s in stereo mode. I know bass is supposed o be non-directional, but in rare instances where bass notes are coming from both channels, like for example Ole by John Coltrane where Art Davis and Reggie Workman both play bass at opposite sides of the soundstage, the bass does seem to localized to the channel the bassist is recorded on. Overall, I give high praise to the F110s for being easy to place in the room thanks to DARO and the CR 1 for saving my amp from having to work too hard producing bass notes on the Magicos where I don’t need them because the subs have it covered. 

Hey Ozzy,

I'm about to finally take on the CR-1 project based on our system set up being very similar. Might be hitting you up for some pointers along the way!

As I mentioned we have similar set ups in that I will also be using the HT passthrough and running my 2ch set up from my DAC/Preamp to my amps.  Are you also running your 2ch through a dedicated DAC/pre to the CR-1?




I had my Lumin X1 running direct to my tube amps. I now have the JL CR-1 Crossover in between calibrating my JL F-113 subs.

Basically, I set my subs based on their mic and calibration process, then with the CR-1 I used it to find the best crossover setting. I use the subs internal volume setting more than the CR-1 controls to balance the outputs.

Happy to help further if you need it.


Hey Ozzy,

I have the CR-1 up and running, but I’ve run into an issue.

im using scenario 3 where the CR-1 allows me to share both the subs and the front L/R speakers between my AV Processor and my 2 channel Preamp/DAC.

the issue I’m having is related to the fact that my AV Prcessor only has balanced outputs, which is forcing me to use a converter cable turning the balance connection to RCA so I can use the unbalanced inputs on the CR-1.  The balanced XLR connections are used between my 2ch preamp and the CR-1 as the set up guide dictates, while the bypass av processor uses the unbalanced connections.

The issue is; when I hit the bypass button, I get a nasty buzzing in the L/R speakers.  But when I’m using the CR-1 for bass management, there is absolutely no buzzing. 

it appears that the CR-1 doesn't like both balanced and unbalanced connections happening at the same time.  If I disconnect the balanced cables from the CR-1 the buzzing stops. 

i suspect it has something to do with the “cheater cables” connected to the AV processor converting the XLR out to RCA unbalanced.

I wonder if you’ve had a similar experience with your set up?




Now that is strange because I am doing the same thing. I am using Cardas XLR/RCA adapters converting the balanced XLR from my Oppo 205 to a RCA input at the CR-1, while using all the other as balanced.

You may be creating a ground loop, have you tried lifting the ground switch on the back?

So, try just using the XLR output and convert it to RCA at the CR-1 and use them in the RCA managed inputs.

I will double check my connections to make sure what I am saying is correct.



I’m sorry I stated it wrong. I am using the mono sub output from my Oppo to a y- adapter then to 2 Cardas RCA/XLR adapters. Plugging those adapters into the CR- 1 Balanced managed inputs.


"it appears that the CR-1 doesn't like both balanced and unbalanced connections happening at the same time.  If I disconnect the balanced cables from the CR-1 the buzzing stops."

This is correct. I had the same issue. Their customer support is fantastic and I had a helpful exchange with them. 

That is why I am using RCA/XLR adapters to only use the XLR inputs.

So, I am confused as to why he is getting the noise.

Lifting the ground switch may help. 

And yes, their customer support is excellent. Ask for Randy.


Interesting Topic.


Currently I use speaker terminal to sub high level input. (Morrow)

Switched over to using the second XLR output on the preamp to connect to the low pass filter on the sub instead. (MIT Termintor cable).

Volume for both connections is different, but I don’t hear low bass information that is missing via the high level inputs. 

possibly the CR1 makes the difference.


Hello Northman,

just coming back to this thread now and noticed your comment on the buzzing issue while using both balanced and unbalanced connections. Did the JL guys help you find a solution?  I’m still dealing with this buzz when I use the HT bypass switch.



Just add a XLR to RCA adapter to the RCA cables that are plugged into the CR-1.  That way only the XLR inputs on the CR-1 are being used.


ozzy - here is my setup and is "Scenario 3" in the CR-1 manual 


CXN v2 streamer via XLR to CR-1

Marantz 1711 F/R and Sub via RCA to CR-1 

Mcintosh MA7900 integrated via RCA from the CR-1 

JL Audio F112 sub via RCA from CR-1


If what I have read from all the above is true - and I am getting very boomy overly boosted bass from the sub only using the XLR streamer, should I try running via XLR (in lieu of exisitng RCA) from the CR-1 output to the Sub? Is this what you refer to when you say the CR-1 doesnt like XLR and RCA ?

thank you!


I was referring to the inputs into the CR-1. Using all XLR instead of mixing XLR/RCA inputs should eliminate the hum some were having.

To me, if you can run all XLR to the sub, I would use that instead of RCA. Perhaps when using the XLR outs it provides a db boost over the RCA connection.

I am using JL F-113 subs which can contour the bass to the room.

I hope this info helps.


Under Scenario 3 - how could you use two sets of XLR when there is only ONE XLR input set for the "Main Stereo Inputs" on the CR-1.....? hence the confusion.


I see that I did confuse you. Sorry. I was referring to the managed inputs for adding a Home Theater connection along with 2 channel. So, let’s see if I can correct it / or confuse more?

The managed bass inputs come from my Home Theater equipment (Oppo 205). For that input, I am using the balanced inputs. If you use the RCA input and then use the balanced outputs, then, you could get hum.

So, if all you have is RCA from your Home Theater equipment to go into the managed input on the CR-1 then use an RCA- XLR adapter and plug it into the balanced input if you are using the balanced outputs.

Better to use all XLR or all RCA connections into the CR-1



ozzy thank you for clarifying - now I'm with you. Will try both and see - order the same adapters you had mentioned and an additional xlr for the F112 - appreciate the quick reply - and yes, Randy is a gem over at JL....I've enjoyed all my conversations with him getting the CR-1 set-up and my 7 yr old F112 updated/renewed. great company. 

Question for the CR-1 owners. Do you notice any added hiss when using it? I have been using the internal highpass crossover in my JL E112 subs and while they seem very transparent I get some added hiss to my system (I am assuming a high gain output). I have been thinking about trying a CR-1 to see if it better. 

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