Large/Small speaker Setup??

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Neil Campbell, Jun 14, 2003.

  1. Neil Campbell

    May 25, 2003
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    I just got a Yamaha 5550 receiver and an Athena Point 5 speaker system. I'm trying to figure out how to set the receiver Large/Small setting for the speakers.

    Is there some criteria to define what makes a "large" or a "small" speaker?? Or do I experiment and hope for the best (I don't have much faith in my ears!)?

    Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Apr 15, 1999
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    If you have a powered subwoofer, I'd recommend using Small for all the other speakers.

    Using Small on the Yamaha redirects all the bass below 90hz or so that would normally go to the regular speakers to the powered sub, which is specifically designed to reproduce those low frequencies best.

    The human ear can't really localize bass that low, so it's ok if it all comes from the sub.

    Frequencys that low are also the real power hogs, so releiving the receiver of the power load by shifting it to the sub's independent amplifier can leave more receiver power available for the rest of the speakers.

    If you're more into high end gear, with really powerful separate amps fed by a pre-pro and driving really low bass capable speakers, the above doesn't really apply. But for the typical HT receiver alone driving the usual speakers, using a small setting and a powered sub is, in my opinion, a better and much more economical solution.

    Many people with tower speakers with largish woofers somehow feel compelled to run them as large. If the specsheet for these towers says they'll go down to 40hz or so they feel the speakers are somehow "wasted" if they aren't run as Large, or that somehow they will sound better than a purpose-designed powered sub. While for some types of music played in straight stereo a nice pair of towers run as large is very nice, for the thump, crash, and boom of a typical action movie run at high volume, a small setting is better imho.

    Those big woofs in the towers are not going to be wasted anyway, as they are still going to be handling a lot of bass above 90hz that the midrange drivers don't do well with.

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