LARGE / SMALL speaker settings --- need technical scoop!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Gates, Aug 30, 2001.

  1. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    Being a relative newbie to HT, I have a question about LARGE/SMALL settings on speakers and general bass management on an Onkyo 787.
    I understand that when you set your speakers to SMALL on the 787, a crossover is set to 80 hz, sending the majority of the info above 80 to the speakers, and the majority below 80 is routed to the subwoofer.
    What happens when speakers are set to LARGE?
    What happens to the information that is below the speaker's bottom-end?
    What would actually happen to the sound information if I set my mains to LARGE and the center/surrounds to SMALL?
    I've ordered a pair of nOrh SM 6.9's, and they can go down to 38 Hz. What would be the advantage/disadvantage to setting these to large and playing them full-range for music and HT?
    Is there a way to set the Onkyo 787 so that these are set to LARGE in stereo and direct modes, but small for surround modes?
    Lots o' questions, but if you can help, please reply...
    Thank you!
    John
    System:
    Onkyo 787
    Mains: nOrh SM 6.9 drums (on order replacing wood 4.0's)
    Center: nOrh marble 4.0 drum
    Surround: nOrh wood 4.0 drums
    Rear Center: nOrh prism 4.1
    Subwoofers: 2 x SVS 20-39
    Room dimensions: 16 x 27 approx
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  2. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    All, I apologize for the duplicate posts. Moderator, would you please delete duplicates and leave one thread?
    Thank you,
    John
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
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  3. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Second Unit

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    I am not familiar with your particular speakers but unless your speakers can go down to under about 25HZ the small is the correct setting.
    Kevin C. [​IMG]
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    If you live in the Wichita KS area and are interested in a local meet click here
     
  4. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Not sure about setting different LARGE/SMALL for different listening sources or modes.
    I believe if you have a subwoofer and your receiver is set to FRONT=LARGE and SUB=YES, then technically, your subwoofer should get from 80 hz on down. The bass information is duplicated and sent to both you mains and your subwoofer. I am not positive about that, but it makes sense.
     
  5. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    Chris,
    If the mains can go to 38 hz flat and the info < 80 hz is sent to both mains and sub, wouldn't there be a spike in output from 80-38 hz range? Thank you for the info. Understanding what happens is exactly the kind of info I was hoping for.
    Kevin,
    If I set these to SMALL, does this "free up" the drivers in the mains to perform better somehow above 80 Hz? What is the advantage/disadvantage in setting a full-range speaker to SMALL?
    Thanks!
    John
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  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Here is the trick:
    It takes a LOT more power to create sound at lower frequencies. This is why we have self-powered subs, but not speakers with self-powered mid-range and tweeters.
    If you have a self-powered sub, setting your speakers to SMALL causes your receiver to not even try to send the power to the speakers.
    This tends to free up power for the speakers which tends to sound better.
    It also allows you to send the lower-frequency to the sub, which tends to be placed in a corner so the room helps reflect the sounds.
    Your other speakers are placed around the listening position, but not in the optimal place for bass response.
    So its the combination of these two factors that make setting your speakers to SMALL give you better sound.
    But by all means, try both in your system and decide for yourself.
     
  7. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    Bob,
    Thank you! This is excellent information and mucho apreciated, my friend!
    John
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  8. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Bob McElfresh,
    I am new to this Forum, but have been lurking for awhiile. You give enormous amounts of your time to give detailed explanations to newbie questions. I especially respect your expertise on bass management. Frankly I find bass management extremely frustrating.
    So if you don't mind, maybe you can help me if I can articulate my confusion. Here's my question: I pretty much understand the large/small concept except where you don't have the sub turned on. I like to play music without the sub as I feel my speakers give me enough bass. Here's where it gets confusing. So if the receiver is still set to sub on, and small but the sub itself is turned off, will the receiver still try to send the bass frequencies to the sub, and deprive the mains of their full bass? In other words, for two channel music does the Large/Small scenario apply if one is not using the sub? If the sub isn't being used, should it be set to off on the receiver and only set to on/small for HT 5.1 surround? And if it is set to off on the receiver, should the speakers be set to large? Am I being clear as mud? Reading over this my question makes sense to me. Do you understand what I am trying to get at?
    Thanks,
    Russ
    [Edited last by Russell _T on August 30, 2001 at 07:29 PM]
    [Edited last by Russell _T on August 30, 2001 at 07:36 PM]
     
  9. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Certainly if you set your system to FRONT=SMALL and SUB=YES but your subwoofer is not on, then your fronts will still have a low pass centered on 80hz and so below that will not be reproduced.
    Here's a good question to ask others here, as I don't know this one for sure:
    What happens when you set your FRONT=SMALL and SUB=NO? Is that the same as SUB=YES with the subwoofer off?
     
  10. Vin

    Vin Supporting Actor

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  11. Brian Glaeske

    Brian Glaeske Stunt Coordinator

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    Most receivers won't let you set your mains to small if sub=no. I suppose there are exceptions to the rule.
    Brian G.
     
  12. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Chris,
    So I would set sub to no, which means that the speakers default to large for full range. Right? Actually if you set the sub to no, it wouldn't matter if the sub itself was actually on or not.
    To answer part two, I think that with sub no, the receiver defaults to large. Will check that. I am only beginning to understand this bass management thing.
    Gracias,
    Russ
     
  13. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Just checked. On my Sony, it will let you set to small and no for the sub. It does not default to large if the sub is set to no. Everything else makes sense though.
    In a nutshell, if you want full range from your speakers and do not want to use the sub, you should set the sub to no and speakers to large. Does that sound right?
    Russ
     
  14. Alex Yang

    Alex Yang Stunt Coordinator

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    Just check out this link over at Denon...
    It lists a whole bunch of commonly asked questions (FAQ) and number 1 is you guessed it, large or small speaker settings on the receiver:
    http://www.denon.com/support/faqs_ht.asp
    Have fun!
    -Alex
     
  15. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    John, I called Onkyo on this same question. I have towers that go down to 27hz and also a powered Velo sub. He suggested to leave my towers at large and sub to yes, he explained that DD and DTS is ment for 5 full range speakers plus your sub, by setting your mains to large will send more low frequency's to them and will not "restrict" the .1 sound to your mains. If you have anymore questions Onkyo could explain it properly. (My own opinion is, if everyone will set there quality towers to small, than every one should just invest in satelite/sub system right !?) or maybe a home theater in a box !!!
     
  16. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    If that's what the guy at Onkyo actually said then Onkyo needs better techs. [​IMG]
    On my Sony, even tho the mains are set to "small", if you set sub to "no", then the bass is re-directed back to the mains. I doubt any processor would allow the total loss of the LF by setting all speakers "small" and sub to "no".
    Most processors I've played with have a way to output 2 ch without setting sub to "no".
    Keep in mind that the LFE channel (.1) is not the same as the bass re-direction circuitry.
    Pete
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  17. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Pete,
    You may be onto something there. My Sony has a "2 channel" button on the front. Maybe if you enable it, it overrides the bass redirection circuitry and the full bass is applied to the mains no matter how the speakers and sub are set up. Does this sound reasonable? The manual doesn't say. I will give it a try this weekend. I rented Battlefield Earth for reference. THE worlds worst movie with the best bass ever. Go figure.
    Russ
     
  18. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    Pete,
    Your respones is actually very helpful. In "Direct" mode, the default is sub=no, so when my full-range speakers arrive, I'll try them in "Direct" and see if the full bass comes through. I was worried that I'd have to manually reset to "Large" when I wanted to play some music w/o the subwoofer. If what you say is true, than my problem is solved.
    For HT, I'll experiment a bit with large/small settings and see what sounds the best. From a previous post, it appears that more power would be available to the mids if I set to Small, and the mids are probably more important for HT with the subs handling the
     
  19. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Guys,
    I think maybe we got it.
    Russ
     
  20. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Russel, thanks for the kind words.
    But Bass Management IS confusing because different companies do things a bit differently.
    Yamaha does things one way, Onkyo & Dennon another. And Kenwood apparently tries to "fool-proof" its setup.
    (Because of this, you will notice that my post deals with very general concepts rather than the specifics.) [​IMG]
    So when you post a question, it's always a very good idea to mention what brand and model of electronics you have. This way someone with the same unit or brand can help you with the details.
    Good luck.
     

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