When sound is sent to a speaker, it needs to be divided amongst the individual drivers that make up the actual speaker. This is done by frequency, as some drivers are better at playing highs, mids, or lows.
For the past 60-70 years or so, this division and routing of sound is done by the usage of capacitors, resistors, and inductors - hardware that can be found in just about any piece of electronics that has been built in memory. The components are mounted to circuit boards and installed in the speakers themselves. These are called passive crossovers and are used in the vast majority of speakers sold today.
The implementation and creation of a passive crossover requires careful measuring and calculations using computer programs, calculators, and pencil and paper. Passive crossovers are not adjustable. What you create is what you get - unless you want to unsolder the components and try different ones. The main advantage of this is that you send 1 amplified signal to the speaker and the passive crossover does the rest of the work. This means 1 speaker wire and 1 amplifier. Very seamless and easy to use for the average consumer
In the past couple of decades, the division and routing of sound between individual drivers of a speaker has also evolved with advent of powerful and small computer chips. These “active crossovers” can divide the sound within a computer chip and output it to individual drivers. The negative effects of this is that this division and routing usually occurs outside of the speaker itself and requires each driver to have its own amplified source, which means the normal stereo amplifier will only be able to power 2 drivers, not 2 whole speakers. The advantages of this is that active crossovers are very adjustable via software - the signal sent to each driver is controllable, as well as volume, polarity and other fancy stuff. All I have to do is plug my computer into the active crossover and I can then visually adjust all of the parameters easily.
So why am I even explaining this? I like tinkering, so I usually use active crossovers. This lets me tailor the sound to match the room and my tastes. Since my speaker has 3 banks of drivers (high, mid, and 2 lows), I need to send 3 separate signals to each speaker.
This means 6 speaker wires running all over the place which could get very messy quickly. My first step at preventing this was the usage of nice speaker wire plugs that I was able to find. I looked for the lowest profile plugs on the market, as I didn’t want them to protrude too far from the wall and speakers. Not only was I able to find some nice low profile ones, the ones I found featured an easy to install procedure. Simply unscrew the tips (pic 1), insert stripped wire (pic 2), then re-screw the tip back on. The teeth grip the stripped wire, and you have a strong and secure speaker wire connection. Repeat 11 more times for all of the terminals, and you’re done.
The second step to preventing a mess was to use my fantastic braiding skills to turn 3 wires per side into 1. Karen makes fun of me and wasn’t surprised that the braid turned out pretty well due to my propensity for playing with hair. In the end, the wire turned out really well, clean, and unobtrusive - just the way I wanted it. It also looks pretty cool - like a long infinite piece of challah bread - shalom!