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  1. #1
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    Small or large speaker settings?

    My question is what is the difference of the output of the reciver, if any, if you set it to small vs/or large speakers?

  2. #2
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    its for freq. response.

    large speaker setting keeps all frequencies coming out of the specified speaker.
    small speaker setting cross over speaker at low freq. and forwards them to the subwoofer channel.

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    Thanks, actually I just found it a couple minutes ago in the instruction manual. Just by chance...I thought I'd just flip through it and I stumbled upon it...good to know this stuff eh.

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    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    As an addition, the terms "large" and "small" are misleading, and really have nothing to do with the physical size of your speakers.
    In almost all setups that include a decent subwoofer, you will be better off setting your speakers to "small" and crossing over the bass to the subwoofer at 90, 80, 60, Hz or below...
    This relieves the amplifier of a tremendous amount of stress when powering 5 to 7 speakers (bass frequencies are the most demaning usually). Your subwoofer should provide better bass for than your speakers (or why bother having the sub at all?) and the speakers should perform better in the midrange when relieved of the low frequency duty...
    There are other benefits to selecting "small" as well, you can search the forums here for dozens of discussions.

  5. #5
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    If your mains go down to 20Hz at 105db,maybe set them to lg,maybe.
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  6. #6
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    In almost all setups that include a decent subwoofer, you will be better off setting your speakers to "small" and crossing over the bass to the subwoofer at 90, 80, 60, Hz or below..

    It really depends. Personally, I dont want all my lower frequencies coming out of my sub. I ditched my DD receiver and went with monoblock amps, so power or amp strain is not a concern. Plus, my center channel is pretty heavy duty.. and has excellent frequency response for its size. So with my setup, I configured the mains and center as large and the rears as small.

    The switches serve a function, it just depends on your HT setup and what components you run.

  7. #7
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Old_s13:

    There's no substitute for personal preferences and you are quite correct to do as you have, that's why I qualified with "almost" all setups...a full range center would be an exception to my response, which I answered safely with the typical consumer in mind. I suspect in your system, however, that sooner or later your sub is taking over in which case you are using the lowest crossover (the "natural crossover) available to your system as I suggested. Selecting the "small" setting alows you to more precisely tune that, a valuable tool if you don't have full range speakers.
    A problem with using the sub AND setting speakers to large or "both" would be an overlap in bass response at certain frequencies...If you boost the gain for the frequencies beyond your speaker's range without parametric equalization, you also boost the gain to frequencies that do overlap with the speakers. Or you employ the sub's crossover to compensate, and then have a gap in the rear channel's bass response. Or consequently, the very low frequencies are diminished so the overlapped frequencies aren't too loud. Not to mention phase issues....

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    I think the most important aspect here, is to look at the actual components and how they are setup. I'm not a fan of receivers and prefer individual components, but if you have a receiver you'll probably want to set things up as efficiently as possible to reduce strain on the built in amplifier. If your speakers are not too great, then you'll want to remove the frequencies most likely to make them distort.. so there's no shame in forwarding the lower freqs to the sub -- afterall, thats what it is designed to do.

    however, if you have the power and your speakers can handle it.. why not? with dolby digital, sounds are encoded to come out of particular speakers.. so if the DVD i am viewing wants a low freq to come out of the center channel, why not? in the end, it comes down to your components and what they can handle.

    i think we're pretty much agreeing on the same thing...

  9. #9
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    You might set $10,000 speakers to small.
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  10. #10
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=old_s13

    i think we're pretty much agreeing on the same thing...[/QUOTE]

    Yeah, I think so too...there are some advantages to bass management regardless of your amp or speaker's abilities though...especially with Dolby Digital and DTS.
    I use separates as well, power isn't just the issue here, most speakers benefit from not being asked to produce 20 Hz frequencies they aren't well capable of producing...what's more many of today's movie soundtracks extend below 20Hz as well, and few "full range" speakers have usuable bass that low, I can't think of any under $10,000 off the top of my head...all this is doing is wasting both power and causing unecessary stress on a woofer.

    Theory aside, the real world performance in a given room might very well dictate setting the speakers to run full-range.

  11. #11
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    ... most speakers benefit from not being asked to produce 20 Hz frequencies they aren't well capable of producing...all this is doing is wasting both power and causing unecessary stress on a woofer.
    I'm with you. My setup includes 2 way Polk RT-35 mains with 6" woofers and powered 12" subs. With the NAD 763, the only way to activate the LFE output is to set speakers to "small". Run full range, the Polks get "honky" sounding. I spent a good deal of time listening to familiar music to tune them and ended up with a 100 hz crossover point. They are much happier and more dynamic not trying to flop around with first octave bass.

    rw

  12. #12
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    Hmmm. What about the bass management setting in my marantz 5400. I can set it to 'both' or 'mix'. 'both' sends low freqs to both teh mains and the sub, whereas mix sends it only to sub. I dont know why it is called mix, but thats what it is. and what does the 'HT EQ' setting do? i cant seem to tell any dif with it on or off.

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    I think the first thing a person should do when setting up their system, regardless if its 2-channel or home theater -- is to look at their hardware and get an understanding of their potentials. I always play my speakers individually so I can hear their characteristics and see how they perform alone, with bass, without bass, etc. You find out their capabilities, limitations, and know whether your amp or your speakers will be your ultimate weakpoint. My monoblocks have super strong power, enough to shred my klipsch speakers into dust..

    From there, you just need to decide of how the speaker will be crossed over, you can leave it up to the built in cross-overs (if they are sufficient for that specific purpose, front speaker, center, subwoofer, etc...).. if not, if they need additional help -- then this is where you need to control it with the receiver, pre-amp, or electronic crossover, etc....

    If your mainspeakers are strong, there's really no reason to remove their lower frequencies. My mainspeakers are Klipsch KG 5.2's. Most mainspeakers are not designed to do the job of a subwoofer, but to remove any freq UNDER 100hz is just wrong.. thats a lot of sound! Same applies to my center channel, its fairly large and does a great job with low frequencies. Sure, I can forward them to the sub but I may miss out on sounds that I prefer coming out of the center.

    So, it really comes down to what you want. Also, it depends on how well your receiver or pre-amp HANDLES crossing over your speakers. The AV600 Marantz I am running does a really really good job of crossing over my subwoofer from 80hz and down.. I think its a really great pre-amp.

    Nice thing about Dolby Digital or DTS is that the subwoofer is its own channel and media is encoded with those frequencies being sent to the sub.

    Ultimately, you'll want to do some good testing and listening to determine whether or not your mainspeakers, center speaker, and rear speakers are capable of the lower frequencies.

    note: if you are talking about a 2-channel setup, i would hope you using the large setting since a pair of good main speakers is critical to good stereo listening.. I wouldnt want 100hz and down removed from my mainspeakers. However, if you are using a sub-satellite style setup where your mainspeakers are all small, you typically have two setup options: set your speaker selection to small (if you have that selection for all speakers including mains), or, set the mains to large and have the subwoofer crossover your satellite speakers.. either one will work -- but again, this all depends on your setup.

    wow, i think we've killed this topic.

  14. #14
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    Old_s13...You are a bit off when stating that information below 100Hz is somehow removed...the subwoofer replaces this information. If the sub is consistent in quality and performance with the rest of your system, then it should handle these frequencies better. This of course assumes proper setup, which isn't often the case.
    The fact that your center is missing a 60 Hz and below frequency is irrelevant. Frequencies below 80 Hz are non-directional (some would argue as high as 120 hz or more, 80 is safe, 60 safer, etc). You cannot localize these. That is you cannot tell anything is "missing" or out of place. Combined with the fact that room acoustics often dictate low frequency signals be emitted from different locations than the rest of the spectrum (your mains speakers), and you can be assured of replacing "good" with "better". That information the center would be sending is not necessarily the optimal way of sending it.

    Any given woofer has a certain xmax (stroke if you will)...the more demand that's placed on this, the less control the magent will have over the cone...non v.c distortion. Not just in the bass, but in the ever important midrange. A subwoofer has a larger motor and magnet structure by design, and better control (assuming it's at the same level as the rest of your system, obviously a cheap sub isn't the answer).

    My stereo main speakers have good usuable bass down to about 26 Hz, use high end Vifa and Scan-speak drivers, yet would still benefit from a superior subwoofer handling the bottom octave.
    Since I don't have a subwoofer yet, I run these full range. (well, my Integrated amp doesn't have bass management anyway). For stereo listening, there are very few instruments that have first fundamental frequencies below 40Hz, so you can very easily do without a subwoofer and get good results...but your woofer is doing an aweful lot work while not producing anything at all for frequencies outside it's range, which is hurting it's performance in othe octaves.

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    You cannot localize these. That is you cannot tell anything is "missing" or out of place.

    I guess thats where the difference is, because I dont agree here. While some people think bass is non-directional, I dont. I will agree that the lower the frequency, the more non-directional it becomes.

    The point I am trying to make is, that I still want my mainspeakers to act as mainspeakers -- not satellite speakers. They have woofers for a reason, and they should use them.. this is especially true if you are bi-amping your speakers. There's absolutely no reason to forward those frequencies to the sub.

    Besides, if its a 2/3-channel setup, the sub will already be receiving those frequencies.. you're just removing them from the mainspeakers, why?

  16. #16
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    I think I've already answered your question aboy why we would desire removing the lowest octave from the main speakers - better cone motion control, superior midrange performance from the lower distortion, superior transient response, less wasted energy and lower power demands.

    If the sub is already receiving the frequencies while your mainspeakers are as well, you run the risk of a slew of phase, and response problems. Most people, don't have the know-how or the materials to overcome this, though I admit it is doable. Not to mention the points I keep repeating about the ability of the woofers. Most woofers aren't well suited below 40Hz, and those that are undoubtedly are almost always 8" woofers, who demand lower crossover points in the all too important midrange.
    You operate under the assumption that main speakers are made to run full-range...This is the problem. Just because a speaker can run full-range doesn't mean it performs best doing so...Show me an 8 inch woofer that can operate in the low 20's Hz without massive distortion...not many out there...and those that can would be cost-ineffective. if you're relying on box tuning and reflex designs for low response, you're losing transient response from the lack of "braking" power or resistance to over-oscillation a reflex design is exhibits...not exactly optimum sound quality either.

    Sure you can run your main speakers full range, but why settle for good when you can settle for better?

    Finally, whether or not you or I believe bass is non-directional is irrelevant...the physics involved at these low frequencies (say under 60Hz) is such that the wavelengths are so huge you wouldn't be able to accurately localize them anyway...there have been more than enough conclusive results on this subject that revisiting it would be meaningless. Especially in most rooms that aren't 20,000 cubic feet.

    I choose my speakers according to my budget...I buy the best main speakers I can afford without a sub, this generally means better midrange and top end performance...later on, if I can improve the bass, I will. It might not always be the most cost-effective upgrade in my system though...

    As I've mentioned though, for most music, even classical, you can get by with good response in the low 30's or high 20's Hz while enjoying great results...doesn't mean they couldn't be better...

  17. #17
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_s13
    You cannot localize these. That is you cannot tell anything is "missing" or out of place.

    I guess thats where the difference is, because I dont agree here. While some people think bass is non-directional, I dont. I will agree that the lower the frequency, the more non-directional it becomes.

    The point I am trying to make is, that I still want my mainspeakers to act as mainspeakers -- not satellite speakers. They have woofers for a reason, and they should use them.. this is especially true if you are bi-amping your speakers. There's absolutely no reason to forward those frequencies to the sub.

    Besides, if its a 2/3-channel setup, the sub will already be receiving those frequencies.. you're just removing them from the mainspeakers, why?
    If your sub is set up right,you'll swear the bass is coming from your main speakers. Set at 80 for the x over,that leaves plenty for your mains to reproduce and you can always go 60 or 40.
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  18. #18
    Forum Regular vr6ofpain's Avatar
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    If you read the follow up to the review the the NHT Evolution B6's in the current issue of Stereophile, the writer apparently felt much better about the sound presentation running the upper half full range straight out of his preamp, compared to running it high pass with NHT's electronic crossover.

    So in this instance running a speaker (the upper half) which consists of a tweeter and two 6.5" plastic cone woofers full range, apparently sounded BETTER than running them high pass.

    I think it depends on the system. I'm starting to think there might be benefits to running even bookshelves full range if you listen at low to moderate levels (obviously as stated, at high dB levels, the less low frequency capable speaker will struggle and distort). I'm gonna try doing comparisons with my bookshelves (ported 6.5" woofer) running full range with my sub, and with them running high pass from 80Hz with the sub (how I have been listening to them for some time).

    Food for thought.
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  19. #19
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by vr6ofpain
    If you read the follow up to the review the the NHT Evolution B6's in the current issue of Stereophile, the writer apparently felt much better about the sound presentation running the upper half full range straight out of his preamp, compared to running it high pass with NHT's electronic crossover.

    So in this instance running a speaker (the upper half) which consists of a tweeter and two 6.5" plastic cone woofers full range, apparently sounded BETTER than running them high pass.

    I think it depends on the system. I'm starting to think there might be benefits to running even bookshelves full range if you listen at low to moderate levels (obviously as stated, at high dB levels, the less low frequency capable speaker will struggle and distort). I'm gonna try doing comparisons with my bookshelves (ported 6.5" woofer) running full range with my sub, and with them running high pass from 80Hz with the sub (how I have been listening to them for some time).

    Food for thought.
    Make sure its a dvd with some loud,20-25Hz LFE. Your mains wont like it. They will be sweating bullets. It will be like a guy thats 6'6" and 275 pounds with a 2" manhood. LOL
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  20. #20
    Forum Regular vr6ofpain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    Make sure its a dvd with some loud,20-25Hz LFE. Your mains wont like it. They will be sweating bullets. It will be like a guy thats 6'6" and 275 pounds with a 2" manhood. LOL
    Read the article and then respond. My personal opinion is the sound might be more 'full' or 'there' at lower volumes, without the negative effects of the speakers struggling.

    Oh and by the way, most music DOESN'T have a great deal of 20-25Hz material. Either way, if you like your setup enjoy it that way. I'm just saying you shouldn't rule out the other way, because it seems that on some applications it works.
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  21. #21
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Yes, I read this too.

    Quote Originally Posted by vr6ofpain
    If you read the follow up to the review the the NHT Evolution B6's in the current issue of Stereophile, the writer apparently felt much better about the sound presentation running the upper half full range straight out of his preamp, compared to running it high pass with NHT's electronic crossover.

    So in this instance running a speaker (the upper half) which consists of a tweeter and two 6.5" plastic cone woofers full range, apparently sounded BETTER than running them high pass.
    My center channel is remarkable similar in layout to the NHT Monitor 6 layout, and I've run my center channel both full range, and small, and I can TOTALLY agree that if your speaker sounds good run full range, then leave it that way!

    There's a good reason for speakers to play as full a range as possible, it's called coherance. The more you shift the speakers output to a sub, the more "disjointed" the sound can become. Unless your speakers are sitting directly on top of your subs, then this will be a problem. Even if you can't detect the location of the sub, if the sub is several feet from the mains, espcially if your using one sub, and the output is from an offset location, you will get offset in both temporal, and phase responce in relation to the harmonics. That's not much of a problem when your using the sub for LFE, but for music it's not what you really want.
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  22. #22
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    I can think of one 8" woofer that's good to 12hz!

    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    You operate under the assumption that main speakers are made to run full-range...This is the problem. Just because a speaker can run full-range doesn't mean it performs best doing so...Show me an 8 inch woofer that can operate in the low 20's Hz without massive distortion...not many out there...and those that can would be cost-ineffective. if you're relying on box tuning and reflex designs for low response, you're losing transient response from the lack of "braking" power or resistance to over-oscillation a reflex design is exhibits...not exactly optimum sound quality either.
    I'm shocked that we haven't heard about that yet. Really though, for MOST HT applications; Average mains are quite capable of playing full range, even if the're saddled with a lowly 8" woofer. I agree that responce to 20hz is not in the cards....unless it's a seas 8" woofer maybe?
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  23. #23
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    Geoffcin:
    Maybe Peter Q's got some crazy woofer in his repetoire...I would think the xmax on that woofer would be so high that it stops being a speaker and starts acting more like a power tool though. Odd that most designers don't prefer to go the 8" route to get to 20 Hz, wouldn't you say?

    Your comments about phase and temporal problems - coherance - are interesting...these can be partially compensated for in subwoofer setup, probably not 100%, but then again, you don't get 100% perfection with phase in a 2-channel setup either and the same problems also exist as you add more speakers to a 2-channel setup...very difficult to get the phase of 5 speakers in a room to enjoy proper phase alignment, a subwoofer's phase controls actally makes this easier..

    I think the comments about lack of musical info below 30Hz sums it up best though...for 2-channel especially, if you do employ a subwoofer with full range speakers, it's probably handling less than 1 octave anyway, and not necessarily a worthwhile improvement.

    I'm not opposed to running speakers full-range at all...I believe many speakers probably benefit, I'm just inclined to believe the majority of speakers (particularly for the average user on this forum) probably aren't true full-range speakers, and would benefit from a sub. And there are many benefits to running a sub with full-range speakers, whether they outweigh other factors is very system dependant.

  24. #24
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Maybe someone can tell us what is the "full range"
    Pain,my post said DVD,not CD.
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  25. #25
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Kexo is right

    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    Maybe someone can tell us what is the "full range"
    Pain,my post said DVD,not CD.
    There are very few of us that have true "full range" speakers. Full range would be a speaker that is capable of significant output to 20hz, and I would consider a speaker that has a -3db point at ~25hz full range. Stereophile mag has even taken to rating speakers in two categories one being "limited low frequency response", where actually most speakers fall. That argument aside, the lowest note on a bass guitar is about 40hz, so unless your into organ music, where the fundamental notes can reach down to 16hz, your really not going to miss it.
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