Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Samples of various crossfeed versions
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Samples of various crossfeed versions

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Dear headfellows,


most of you probably know what crossfeed is, but have you ever heard its effects? Or have you ever been able to compare different implementations?


The basic theory behind crossfeed is quite simple, you may check out the “crossfeed” page at my website for info, if needed (www.meier-audio.com). However, there are many choices to make when implementing crossfeed: intensity, frequency-characteristics, time-delay (if any), digital or analog, anomalies effecting mono-signals (combfilter-effect), …. Be assured that the effects of crossfeed filters vary strongly!


For some reason it seems that till now samples of crossfeed recordings have never been made public on this forum or elsewhere on the internet. So I made a start and updated my website with a few examples. You will also find links to these samples below, together with a short explanation/description.


Unfortunately I can only provide you with samples of my own natural crossfeed implementation. I do not have any device that has other implementations of crossfeed. But that is where you guys may step in. If you have a crossfeed version that you like very much, please take the three stereo-files below and make recordings with your crossfeed activated. Next place them in this thread with an explanation how these recordings were made. Please use compressed MP3-files. Not everybody has fast internet-access!!


Should you not be able to host your recordings, just drop me a mail at meier-audio@t-online.de. I’m more than willing to help you out.


Acknowledgement/attribution: The original music recordings below are all “free music” and can be found at:






Have fun listening,







Note: All recordings are made with the use of the CORDA DACCORD, which offers three crossfeed settings: stereo, medium, high.


The sample below offers you a voice that is first heard in the left and in the right channels consecutively. Through headphones this feels rather awkward. There is an unnatural "pressure" on the ear and the positioning of the narrator is not very accurate. Next the voice comes as a mono-signal from both channels and is clearly placed at the middle of the soundstage.




The second sample shows the effect of the extended natural crossfeed filter at medium level. The "pressure" on the ear is strongly reduced and positioning of the narrator is more accurate. Also note that the "color" of the voice placed at the centre does not change when compared to the recording without crossfeed. The natural crossfeed filter only effects signals placed outside the middle of the soundstage!




The third sample is made with the crossfeed set to a high level. The "pressure" on the ear is eliminated and the voices are well positioned. Again the "color" of the voice at the centre has not changed. Compared to the stereo-recording the off-centre voices may sound a little bit light , but that's only because the low frequency components no longer stick out but are naturally integrated into the soundstage.




Especially early stereo-recordings often have an extreme left-right panning of the musicians which makes it very difficult to listen by headphones. The samples above demonstrate well how crossfeed can alleviate the problems with these recordings. But also some modern stereo-recordings can have extreme placement of the musicians/instruments and are not easy to listen to by headphones. Please have a listen to the samples below.


This recording presents a number of drums in a wide soundstage. It is easy to give the central instruments an exact position but this is hardly possible for the left-most and right-most instruments. They seem to have a wide "floating" body and produce "pressure" on the ears.




With the natural crossfeed filter set to its high level soundstage has changed considerably. It now is possible to position each instrument more precisely. Pressure on the ears (which easily results in listening fatigue) is eliminated. Listening has become more relaxed. (Note: To prevent the crossfeed to make the overall sound a little bit light "tonal control" on the STAGEDAC was activated).




Most modern stereo-recordings normally have less extreme placement of the musicians and are more easy to listen to by headphones. The effects of a crossfeed filter becomes more subtle and sometimes very hard to hear. However, even then crossfeed does have an advantage. The spatial clues are offered more naturally which is well picked up subconsciously. Listening becomes more relaxed and listening fatigue is reduced. Please have a listen to the samples below.


This recording by Gilberto Gil and an ensemble of instruments and vocalists can well be enjoyed by headphones. However, some instruments, especially at the intro, are placed wide outside and do sound somewhat awkward. They're not very easy to the ear.




Again, setting the natural crossfeed filter to its high level changes soundstage noticably. The intruments at the intro become more logically integrated into the soundstage. The crossfeed may make overall sound a little bit "lighter" but it was decided to keep the "tonal control" de-activated in order not to alter the color of the prominent central voices and instruments.





To be added: Samples of other crossfeed implementations ................

Edited by Jan Meier - 7/8/13 at 2:26pm
post #2 of 5

That is a very interesting listen, Jan. I have the Stepdance and was always curious about the effect of crossfeed. I will dig deeper into this later on the next weekend probably.

post #3 of 5

Honestly I actually think the effect off crossfeed can take away the sense of spaciousness. This is particularly noticeable in your last two samples, Jan. And yes I turned off the crossfeed and tonal balance on my Stagedac when listening :-)


I have never experienced any kind of fatigue due to too much channel separation. Some music styles, like psychedelic trance, really sounds better without crossfeed, way more trippy biggrin.gif

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Dear Razorjack,


it is true that the crossfeed takes away some of the extreme high level of spaciousness. But in real life or with a loudspeaker setup this extreme level is never achieved and simply is not natural. Crossfeed simply wants to make the listening experience more natural.


The appreciation of crossfeed is a very personal one. Of my customers roughly one third don't use/like it all, another third use it occasionaly, and the last third can't do without. We all listen differently, to different music, with different focus of attention. There is no better or worse, just different.


But the advantage of having crossfeed on your amp is, that it can be turned ON/OFF and that you have the choice. Without  crossfeed there is nothing to choose!





post #5 of 5
Hi Jan, are you planning on releasing something like the Stepdance with crossfeed? I would love to get one.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Samples of various crossfeed versions