Center channel - small or large

Roger D

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Should I set my center to "small" or "large"? I can't decide.

Do I need to worry about damaging my center if set to large? Note it is brand new, and not broken in.

The Frequency is 60hz - 20Khz

Here's what I have:
Center - Athena AS-C1.2
Fronts - Athena AS-F2.2 - set to large
Rears - Athena AS-B2.2 - set to small because they sounded better this way.

Here are the specs for the center channel if it helps

http://www.athenaspeakers.com/model-AS-C1-2-specs.htm
 

gene c

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I doubt you would damage it by setting it to "large", but it should be set to "small" anyway. Your sub can make much better use of the low frequencies than your center would. Same for the fronts, btw. You do have a sub, don't you? Even if you don't, I would set the center to "small".
 

Roger D

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I do not have a sub.

Why do you say small?

When I set it to small, I can also set the cross over to 60hz. Do you think I should set it to 80hz instead since some speakers claim ranges, but don't actually go as low as they claim?

Does all this....large, small, 60, 80 really make much difference in sound?
 

gene c

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It's much more difficult for a receiver to power the low frequencies. This is why most subs are self powered. Takes the strain off the avr. As you said, the center can't produce those low frequencies anyway, so why ask it to? Most tower speakers can't get much lower either. That's why THX, Dolby and most everyone else suggests setting all speakers to small and the crossover to 80. Only DTS (those crazy b*stards!) say identical full range (20-20K hz?) speakers all around. But I see no reason why you can't experiment with different settings. I have my fronts (Polk RTi8's) set to small and 60hz, my center (CSi5) and surrounds (RTi6's) set to small/80 and use two Dayton 10" subs. But I'm constantly fiddling with it!
 

AndrewLevine

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I kinda hate to go against what everyone else is saying, but of all the Athena's I own (F2.2's and Point 5's), all the manuals say to set the speakers to "large." To be honest, I just did what the manual said- I have not set them to small to test it out.

Otherwise, don't worry about blowing out your Athenas during the break in- either way you can just pop a cd in your player and put it on repeat for a couple days.

AL
 

LanceJ

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I HIGHLY recommend this piece of advice.

And most centers are in really weird locations as far as lower bass frequencies are concerned (closed or open shelves; TV screen right next door; right next to a wall; etc), so I also think setting the center to "small" is a good idea.

BTW: a large center SPEAKER is a different thing altogether i.e. something with dual 6.5 inchers or using a vintage 10" woofered bookshelf. To see why I like these, set your front channels' filter to 80Hz and hook up the center channel to one of the front outputs. This way you can see how much bass is still present even at such a "high" frequency but more importantly, you can switch back and forth between the two different speakers & hear why larger speakers usually sound fuller/richer even at those frequencies.

FYI: as far as music goes, when fullrange is mentioned, most surround mixers mean a loudspeaker that can get down flat to 40Hz. This is very easy for many, many models out there. And I don't own every 5.1 movie but actually, I have yet to see one where the center and surrounds contain low bass below 40Hz. Coincidence?
 

LanceJ

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Didn't mean to be a thread-killer
, so I deleted the cranky parts of my post above.
 

Seth=L

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I have to dissagree with that, unless someone doesn't like bass at all. That would be robbing you of part of the recording.
 

ScottCHI

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Huh? Please explain yourself.

He said he has no subwoofer.

If he has no sub, he sets his receiver up as having NO SUB. His fronts will default to LARGE. With the center set as SMALL, the receiver will redirect that center channel information which is below his crossover setting to the LARGE fronts. He will not be "robbed" of anything.

As I said, whether he has a sub or not, I would run that particular center speaker as SMALL.
 

Jack Gilvey

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Set the center and surrounds to "small", crossover at 80Hz, and the fronts to "large", thereby re-directing all the bass to the towers. The 2.2 are rather capable down to 35hz or so, and will do a nice job handling all the bass until such time as a sub is added. I set my former AS-F2/C1/R1 system up that way as an experiment, and was surprized at the amount of impact they provided sans subwoofer. Not just any sub would necessarily be a large improvement to such a system, in fact, at least something like an SVS PB10 to add that bottom octave...not one of those pretty little "subs" that go to 30Hz or so.
 

ColinM

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I've noticed that I like to get a bit more slam in the 60hz area when listening to rock videos - Cream, for example - there's quite a bit of bass guitar mixed into the center. Granted, it's great with them XO'd at 80, but bring it down to 40 or 60 and a bit of the slam and thwack returns...
 

Jack Gilvey

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Depends on the center/mains, I suppose, but in this case I found the F2's do a much better job with that range than the C1.
 

Roger D

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I've currently got the center and surrounds set to small with the crossover at 60hz. That's what their specs are.

I do find that I get more bass with the center set to small, but I find that the soundstage is more...matched? seamless? dispersed? Not sure how to describe it, but it sounds more unified, or as one.

Either way, I'm still undecided. I ride along on small enjoying the bass, but always switch back and forth to large to see the difference.
 

Seth=L

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Sorry, I misread your post, thought you said "them" not "it". I thought that you meant set all speakers to small, that would obviously make no sense to do that with no sub.
 

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