Large vs. Small dilema

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tony*C, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. Tony*C

    Tony*C Auditioning

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    Hello everyone, I am new to the forum, this is my first post. This has been a very informative site for me over the past few months while I researched my new HT system, which ended up as;

    Marantz SR5200 receiver
    Toshiba SD 4800 DVD player
    Marantz CC4300 CD Changer
    Axiom M40ti fronts
    Axiom QS4 surrounds
    Axiom VP100 center
    HSU VTF-2 subwoofer

    Everything sounds great so far, but my question is mainly about speaker set-up / calibration. I have the radio shack SPL meter and the Sound & Vision disk and calibrated the speakers to 75db. Anyway, the consensus seems to state set all speakers to small, however, I seem to get better response with my speakers at Large, the crossover on the sub at 55hz, and the volume at 11 o'clock. when set to small and the sub crossover bypassed, the volume is barely off the bottom, maybe at 7:30 o'clock on the dial before it gets "boomy". That does not seem to give enough oomph to explosions and other LFE. I tested during We Were Soldiers. Does this sound right, or could I be doing something wrong, this is my first set-up. Thanks! (and sorry for the long post).

    Tony
     
  2. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    Welcome to the forum!

    First the disclaimer: If it sounds better to you, leave it that way, regardless of the prevailing wisdom or the configuration. Ultimately, your own satisfaction is the only thing that matters in your HT. That being said....

    If this is your first setup, you might just need some time getting used to more accurate audio reproduction. I messed more with my settings more in the first 6 months, than in the past 2 years combined.

    I have a Marantz SR7000 and tower speakers myself. I would never leave my mains as Large. They just can't handle the low-end material and then the midbass suffers when they try to do it. It's most noticeable on music. Leave them all small with the sub = yes. Don't worry about the sub's volume. As long as the sub is calibrated relative to the other speakers, you're fine for both music and movies. On my sub, it's barely off the bottom as well.

    Not that you asked, but if you want my advice: Leave the Marantz in AUTO mode for all functions (movies and music). It will automatically pick up and decode both DD and DTS signals. For music listening, it automatically plays material in 2ch Stereo with the x-over and sub engaged.

    Good Luck and Enjoy!
    --Steve
     
  3. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    Try moving your sub to some other locations. Small is always the preferred setting unless your sub is grossly inferior to your mains (a VTF-2 is fine).

    If the sub volume is nearly at zero, the LFE level on your receiver is probably too high. Reduce that so it's somewhere around the middle of it's operating range (if -10 to +10 try it around -3 to +3).
     
  4. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

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    Steve, you don't like to set your towers to Large for music? That seems strange to me. I have an SR6200 and when playing CDs I always set the 6200 to Source Direct, which bypasses the sub and sets the mains to Large. I would think that most decent modern tower speakers can handle the bass from a typical CD without compromising the mids (but not the LFE present in DVD-Audio and SACD, of course).

    For all other listening, such as TV, VCR, SAT and DVD, I have all speakers set to Small with Sub = Yes. Although I have read that if the receiver's LFE is connected to the sub you should leave the sub's crossover full open (to let the receiver manage the bass), I get better results having the sub crossover dial set to 100 Hz, since leaving it full open (150 Hz) results in some deep male voices eminating from the Sub, something I don't like. The Marantz crossover is 100 Hz anyway.

    The beauty of the Marantz setup is that it can be configured to automatically engage Source Direct (mains only, set to Large, with no sub) whenever I select the CD or Tuner input, then back to all speakers = Small + Sub whenever I switch back to a video input.
     
  5. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    Hi Chris,
    I've played with the Source-Direct feature a lot but I don’t use it. My mains are B&W 603 S2's. They are good to about 38-40hz before they start rolling off (he says while putting his ego in his back pocket). There is still a surprisingly fair amount of bass in your average CD recording that can go well below that (kick/bass drums). When my mains try to cover the whole range, they start to struggle and I lose some clarity. My sub is pretty decent and since my room gives me a surprisingly good bass response, I keep it engaged for everything I listen to. My mains thank me for it [​IMG]
    Regards,
    --Steve
     
  6. Tony*C

    Tony*C Auditioning

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    hey guys -

    thanks for your input, I am going to play around with the settings tonight and see how it goes when I recalibrate and set all speakers to small.
     

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