Could I damage my small speakers when set to large?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bart_R, Dec 11, 2002.

  1. Bart_R

    Bart_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey everybody,

    My 'problem' should be very clear from the title alone, but let me give you some background info...

    My speaker setup is as follows: I have a (jamo) passive sub system (2 sattelites connected to a sub) acting as fronts, and similar (jamo) sattelites (without a sub) for rears (and an old mid-size panasonic speaker for center, and a sony sa-wm40 sub). I have them all set to large on my receiver, simply because it usually gives me the best sound. I haven't had problems so far, but after reading some posts on the forum, I've been wondering if it isn't bad for my speakers. Can anyone shed a light here?

    Even though my speakers seem to be doing fine, I don't wanna damage them in the long run of course. I'm especially concerned about the rears, cos I think that since the front sattelites are used with a sub that they can be considered large. But I might be wrong.

    (Oh and for my sub it's no prob btw. I have a 'plus' subwoofer setting on my receiver (pioneer vsxd510), which means I will get the appropriate bass sounds from my sub no matter what the speaker settings are)

    So, any thoughts on this one?

    Later,
    Bart.
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    The possibility of damage has to do with how power-capable the speakers are, and how loud you play them. It is generally accepted, however, that speakers with small woofers should be set to small, both to minimize the possibility of damage, and to eliminate bass frequencies coming from too many sources. Typically a single sub source is preferred for best performance.

     
  3. My 5.25" TM speakers are run as LARGE. they naturally have a nice roll off with an Fc=80hz. They blend nicely with the sub this way and haven't had any problems with the volume I listen at. NOTE: these are SEALED units so I don't have to worry about unloading.
     
  4. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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    The best setting is whatever sounds best to you. You have no more possibility of blowing your speaker on either setting.
     
  5. Mark, you DO have more a possibility of blowing a driver on the LARGE setting. while they are both equally suseptable to blowing up the coil, LARGE also allows for driver unloading in ported enclosures and general overexcursion in both.
     
  6. Bart_R

    Bart_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmm, well I'm not totally sure yet what I'll do, but I'm leaning a little more towards setting my rears (and perhaps my center) to small after reading your replies.

    If there is an equal chance (in small and large setting) to blow my speakers then I'll set them to large, but most of you say there it is probably be better to set small speakers to small.

    However, I kinda have the same remark as Anthony's (first reply). I haven't had any problems with my rears yet. And I get more sound from the rear when set to large. But maybe I have to check and compare again. If the difference isn't too big, I'll change to the small setting I think, to stay on the safe side.

    Anyway, thanx for your comments (so far).

    Bart.


    Btw, will you notice easily when a speaker is blown? (E.g. will the sound be really distorted or will there hardly be sound at all anymore? And will it happen suddenly or gradually?)
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Tweeters will usually simply fail (no output from them) usually from creating an open in the circuit so no current passes through them anymore, but midwoofers will either get scratchy or distorted sounding.
     
  8. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    You are missing a lot with the rears and center set to large. The entire signal for 20-20khz is being sent to them. They can't produce the low frequencies, so you just don't hear them. With the speakers set to small, the Jamos get everything above 80 or 100 (depending on the crossover) and the sub, which can produce the lows, gets everything below.

    You may think you are getting more set to large because the Jamos are playing 60-70hz info, (but not much below that). With small that info, and everything below is coming from the sub. It is still there, just from a different source.
     
  9. Bart_R

    Bart_R Stunt Coordinator

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    (Brian...)
    For me it's basically a damage-control issue, cos it's not a case of missing a lot I think. Cos I have my sub-setting on my receiver to 'plus', which means I get all the low sounds from the sub no matter if I have all (or some) of my speakers set to large (I compared the sub sounds 4 the different settings. First with small settings, and the sub setting simply to 'on', and then large setting with sub setting to 'plus' and the sub sound is the same on both occasions). So I think in this case I can only miss something if I set my speakers to small instead of large. But please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Besides, is it the same effect if you get sounds from the sub or the rears? If something happens behind you in a movie, will you experience that localisation as well, coming from a sub (instead of coming from the rears)?

    Thanx 4 your comments...

    Bart.
     
  10. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    Ok, to answer you original question. Sorry I didn't before, I got off on a tanget. Damage to your speakers is more a function of your receiver. You can't hurt the speakers by giving them frequencies they can't produce. They will just try and fail to produce anything. Too little power from the receiver will cause clipping and blow your tweeter. Too much power from the receiver will blow the woofer. With that receiver, I doubt that you will give the speakers too much power to blow them normally. It is possible, but not likely. Just be careful never to make any connections while the receiver is on. That often causes loud (and powerful) hums that could damage your speakers.
     
  11. Bart_R

    Bart_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmm, ok, thanx Brian. So with my receiver I basically don't have a problem, right? It's power is (5x) 80 watts I believe. Nothing is indicated on the rear sattelites, but on the back of the fronts (which are the same size as the rears) it says: Rated power: 50w. Music power 60w. IEC (268-5) 30 w. Impedance 8ohm. Are those figures helpful maybe?
    So yeah, not sure yet what I'll do now (again). If it turns out my small speakers will be safe on the large setting, I'll go ahead with that. If that's not really clear or easily definable, then I'll probably go 4 the small settings.
    to b continued [​IMG]
    Bart.
     
  12. I loose nothing with my small speakers set to large. I feed all the 5.1 pre-outs to an external XO for my sub.
     
  13. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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    You don't really lose that much, and most times I have found that whatever you do gain in a little extra bass, you lose in other areas with the small setting. I would tryout both and see which best suits you. Many of the higher-end speaker manufacturers are now going against conventional wisdom on this as well and are suggesting large settings.
     

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