Is there a "rule of thumb" to determine if you can set your mains to large?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Keir H, Jul 24, 2001.

  1. Keir H

    Keir H Second Unit

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    I'm a bit confused on this matter. Thinking about it today led me to ask this question. Does your speaker have to reach well under 80hz to be considered "large"? I often hear that unless your speakers are flat to 30hz, you should set them to small. Is that true as a rule? What about when you use a sub? Will your amp be able to "relax" and handle the 100hz and up freq.? Or does that even matter when you have a monster amp? Help. thanks
     
  2. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    A good rule of thumb is if you're using a good sub, the speakers should all be set to small. There are a trillion arguments both ways....but it boils down to your subs abilities and the performace capabilities of your mains.
    Even the biggest and baddest mains are no match for a good sub's low end abilities, so it's best to leave it up to the sub for reproduction.
    That said, my mains are set to large [​IMG] Just how I like it the best.
    Jeremy
     
  3. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    The best rule of thumb is just to go for what you prefer the sound of.
    I prefer the sound of my system in 'Large', even though my Kefs cannot compete with the Boston VR2000 for bass. Though I get 'more' bass with Small mode, I just prefer the way it sounds in Large.
     
  4. SamRoza

    SamRoza Stunt Coordinator

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    It's really all about how you like it to sound.
    I'm not a fan of setting ANYTHING to SMALL. I keep may mains as large, and enjoy them WITH my sub. There's no real right or wrong way with this.
    Sam
     
  5. Tony Cicirello

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    What about B&W 602s, small or large setting when used with a a Paradigm PS1000 sub ?
    Tony
     
  6. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    602s should always be set to "small". They can't even pretend to reproduce the low bass required for "large".
    ------------------
    Philip Hamm
    AIM: PhilBiker
    [Edited last by Philip Hamm on July 24, 2001 at 08:21 AM]
     
  7. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    I'm an advocate of setting everything to Small - most speakers will not play flat to the lowest frequencies. So if in doubt start with that. But ultimately let your ears be the guide. Avia has some unique frequency sweeps that utilize your bass management settings - listen to the sweeps in both Large and Small modes and see if there are noticable gaps in one or the other. Also listen to lots of test material. And be sure to include soundtracks that do not include discrete .1 LFE - be it Dolby Surround tracks or DD x.0 (ex. Tarzan, Waterworld). These tracks will be delivering the bulk of the low frequencies to the mains when Large, and you may notice appreciably less ooomph than when set to Small (unless your system allows for running the sub simultaneously when mains are set to Large). Also remember that by setting the mains to Large your receiver/amp will need to work harder - listen for congestion and compression at louder listening levels as a result of the power section struggling to push the lower frequencies (kind of like pushing a truck with the same engine torque as a sub-compact).
    ------------------
    --Jay
    "No one can hear when you're screaming in digital."
    My Home Theatre Pictures...
    "You're no mesiah. You're, you're a movie of the week. You're a ... t-shirt, at best."
     
  8. Tony Cicirello

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    Thanks for the quick reply Philip,
    I'm a little confused...
    Small setting will divert the LF info to my sub, based on my sub's crossover frequency?
    Large setting will divert full range info to the 602s?
    Is this correct?
     
  9. Vin

    Vin Supporting Actor

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  10. Steve T

    Steve T Stunt Coordinator

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    When I bought my first AVR a year ago, I had no sub. Consequently I set the front mains to large. After buying a sub and reading about how the 'small' setting would take the load off the receiver's amp, I tried it. The result was much cleaner midrange and treble, but the low end suffered miserably. Why? For one thing, my mains had much tighter and accurate bass response than the sub. Second, there were spots in the room where there was no bass when the sub took over the low frequency duties. I tried many different locations for the sub but still had the same result.
    Now I run the mains as large and use an external amp.
     
  11. Wayne_T

    Wayne_T Stunt Coordinator

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  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    My sub has a remote and 3 memory settings for crossover, phase and volume. One setting does not work well for both music and movies, so I have one setting for each, and the third one I use for different types of music or TV.
    I tried my speakers out set to large, and I was not pleased with the sound vs. having them set to small. Room size, speaker placement, listening position, type, texture and location of furniture in the room, all affect the overal sound too.
    For me personally, I think your mains' ability to go below 60Hz would be my breaking point for large vs. small. If they cannot do AT LEAST 60Hz, then I would keep them set to small. That is, of course, just my opinion.
    ------------------
    All progress is based upon a universal, inate desire on the part of every organism, to live beyond it's income.
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    [Edited last by John Garcia on July 24, 2001 at 02:12 PM]
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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