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Mini Monitors set to "Small" or "Large" when using with a powered Sub?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Mansure, Sep 17, 2001.

  1. Brian Mansure

    Brian Mansure Second Unit

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    I have Paradigm Mini Monitor V.2s that I am currently using as my front speakers and I'm having some difficulty deciding what setting they should be on.
    My receiver is a Kenwood VR-309 that came with the HTB-503 I bought over a year ago.
    It has been doing an okay job at powering the Mini Monitors and the CC-370 so far but most likely will be my next upgrade.
    Until then I would like to get the most out of both the receiver and speakers...so is it better to have the speakers set to "large" or "small"?
    Also with the Mini Monitors, where do you adjust your sub's crossover at? 80hz? 60hz?
    Thanks in advance,
    Brian
     
  2. Irv Kelman

    Irv Kelman Extra

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    Brian,
    Setting your speakers to large will route the audio signal to it with no crossover. In other words, a full range signal.
    Setting your speakers to small will engage the onboard crossover to block the bass portion of the signal at the crossover point you select. The crossover setting will depend on your speaker. 80 Hz is usually a good place to start.
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  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I did an in-home demo of some Minis over the weekend and I have to say that they sounded great set both ways. I know this isn't what you want to hear, but what I found: for music, definitely set to "large" is the way to go with the Minis. For HT, they sounded better set to "small".
    Compared to my Titans, the Mini's bass was noticably more accurate and tight, but was not much lower. The tweeters sounded extremely similar. Though the sensitivity of both speakers is the same, the Minis seemed to play slightly louder for the same volume.
    What surprised me was when I swapped them back to back about 3 or 4 times, the Titans really held their own against the Minis.
    Overall, I think I will hold off and try out a set of Monitor 3s because I am looking for a little more bass when I upgrade.
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  4. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i'm guessing you're using the sub from the htb?
    if that's the case, i would recommend setting the speakers to small. that way, all the bass will be directed to the sub - which does a better job of handling lf's.
    this (in turn) will free up your mini's from having to "work as hard", which should result in less distortion and better sound from them.
    of course, nothing beats experimentation...just go with your ears. [​IMG]
    [edit] duh...i just read your question. obviously you're using the sub... [​IMG]
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    [Edited last by Ted Lee on September 17, 2001 at 11:06 AM]
     
  5. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Thanks Marty. The problem with the 7s is not as much budget, but more that they are floor standers and a bit large for my setup. The 3s are even a bit large, but I will give the 7s a listen. That would solve the large vs small problem altogether [​IMG]
     
  7. Brian Mansure

    Brian Mansure Second Unit

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    Thanks for all the replies fellas.
    John,
    I too have noticed through some preliminary experiments that the Mini Monitors sound better set to "small" while in HT use and when listening to stereo music I prefer the sound on the "large" setting.
    Does anybody know of a way to program a remote to change the speaker setting to large when listening to music and that would change it back to "small" during HT usage?
    I do know that the VR-309 reciever recognizes the difference between stereo and DD/DTS but does it change the speaker setting itself automaticly?
    I hope I'm making sense with the above questions.
    Any more help is greatly appreciated.
    Brian
     
  8. Phuong

    Phuong Stunt Coordinator

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    Whether something sounds better in HT mode vs Music mode is rather cryptic. The advantage to setting the Mini-Monitors to small is that you free the receiver of having to handle the bass, not just the Mini's. Most professional reviewers acknowledge that amps can play 2-3 dB louder when speakers are set to small: that's almost DOUBLING your amp power!!! Plus, virtually every subwoofer (even the ultra-expensive ones) reaches its maximum output at 62Hz (when located in a corner), so what you probably find pleasing when setting the Minis to "large" is an excess of sonic information in the 55-70 Hz region, because the Minis go down to about 55 Hz, and the sub is usually crossovered at 80 Hz. This "fuller" sound is far from the "flat" frequency response you'll get when setting your speakers to "small" and sending all bass to your sub. All in all, the final determination of what sounds right is up to you.
    Happy listening.
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I haven't gotten around to it yet, but I believe that (with a remote that is macro capable) one could program a macro to do the switch from large to small and back. I'll see if I can figure out how to do this tonight. The sequence seems simple enough, though I'm not sure if it will work.
    I know that most receivers only have one setting for speaker configuration, and that is independant of the type of playback selected. My SR6200 remembers the last mode selected for a given source, but the speaker settings are global.
    quote: The advantage to setting the Mini-Monitors to small is that you free the receiver of having to handle the bass, not just the Mini's. Most professional reviewers acknowledge that amps can play 2-3 dB louder when speakers are set to small[/quote]
    The only problem here, is that I want the speaker to do what it was designed to do, not roll off at 100Hz, otherwise I would buy speakers that were designed to roll off there.
    For me, when listening to music, I just prefer allowing the speaker to roll off naturally and let the sub do it's job on the lower frequencies, with some overlap into the territory of the main speaker. For HT however, sending the LFE to the sub vs the mains, when the mains cannot reproduce very low frequencies (55Hz and below in this case) limits the overall effect, as some LFE is lost. Therein lies the difference between HT and music - entirely has to do with how they are recorded and intended to be played back. There is no dedicated LFE track on 2ch music, only full range.
    [Edited last by John Garcia on September 17, 2001 at 04:35 PM]
     
  10. Phuong

    Phuong Stunt Coordinator

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    John,
    Forgot you had the Marantz with a 100Hz crossover. In your case, it seems like a little more tweaking might be necessary instead of simply going small all around.
    BTW, no need to upgrade them speakers. Your system is KICK-ASS as is. If anything. Go supersub like a Hsu 1220, the upcoming VT3, or SVS, something that can hit below 20 Hz.
    That's the only upgrade I see worth getting into.
    Peace.
     
  11. Brian Mansure

    Brian Mansure Second Unit

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    Please let me know if you get that macro working John.
    Thanks again for all the feedback everyone.
    Brian
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  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Thanks Phuong! hehehe. It's all about tweaking [​IMG]
    The sub will be upgraded sometime soon also. Will be looking for something in the 20Hz range sometime soon, probably an SVS, though I'm sure neighbors will be none too happy about it...
    Had things to do last night, and never got around to the macro. Will try to get to it tonight.
     

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