Question on "Large" or "small" setting....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BrianSmith, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. BrianSmith

    BrianSmith Stunt Coordinator

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    My receiver has a setting for Large or Small in regards to speakers.

    My speakers are satellites w/ a built-in crossover. I don't want to double cross them over by setting the speaker setting to small.

    If I set the speaker settings to large and use a subwoofer will I lose some bass information this way? My speakers built in crossover is 125hz.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Brian,
    If you don't designate the speakers as small, the receiver will send bass out to them instead of to the subwoofer. Since your speakers have a 125hz crossover built in, that means that the only bass below that level that will be reproduced is that which is in the dedicated LFE channel on DD or DTS, and that's far from all the bass that's on the soundtrack!

    If your receiver has adjustable crossover and any of the settings is above the 125hz crossover on the speakers, use that setting. Overlap is ok.

    If your receiver has fixed crossover below 125hz, you could end up with a gap in bass response for those frequencies between the speakers crossover and that of the receiver.

    If this is the case, use the speaker level connections on your sub. These are the left/right speaker wire in connections. Go from L and R speaker out connections on the receiver to the in connections on the sub, then from the L and R out connections on the sub to the L and R mains. Set all speakers to small except your mains, then set sub to none on the receiver. This will route all the bass, including LFE to the Left and Right main speaker terminals. Set the crossover knob on the sub to a frequency about 20-30hz over the 125hz crossover on your satellite speakers.
     
  3. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I'm not understanding this...
     
  4. BrianSmith

    BrianSmith Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Steve. You answered my question exactly.
     
  5. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Chris,

    Speakers typically have crossover circuits inside so the correct frequencies are sent only to the appropriate drivers--i.e. high frequencies are sent only to the tweeters and midrange and bass to their appropriate drivers.

    Some small satellite speakers don't have bass drivers (woofers). The little Energy TAKE-5 speakers for example have a tweeter and a little 3 or 4 inch midrange and no real bass driver. These speakers would be severely damaged if one were to attempt to make them reproduce low bass at any kind of volume, so they have an internal circuit that prevents low frequencies from reaching the drivers. Maybe these circuits should be called "Bass limiters" instead of crossovers.

    Brian described his speakers as "Satellites" with a crossover of 125hz, so I assumed they were similar to the TAKE-5s in size and bass-handling capability.



    Thousands of sets of those TAKE-5s have been sold and they're great little speakers with these protective circuits built in. I don't remember what specific hz the limit was on these, maybe 100hz or 80hz, but when using them one had to set all speakers to small in order to route all the bass to the subwoofer.

    My first setup consisted of a set of these TAKE-5s and Energy's 8 inch powered sub, with a Yamaha RXV795 receiver. This gave very nice sound in my smallish room at a very reasonable cost.
     
  6. Ed Teng

    Ed Teng Extra

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    While we're still on the same topic, I have a Mirage OM-C3 center (40Hz ~ 22 KHz) and OM-R2 rear (80Hz ~ 22 KHz). Crossover points for both are 1.9 KHz. I set the setting for the center to "large" and the rear to "small".
    BTW, I don't have a subwoofer and I'm using the Mirage M7-si floor standing speakers.

    Are these settings ok?
     
  7. Adam.Gonsman

    Adam.Gonsman Stunt Coordinator

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    Ed, you're probably ok.

    First, I beleive the crossover you're talking about is a little different than what Steve and the others were mentioning. Your crossover is the frequancy at which signals to the bass driver and tweeters are split. I beleive what they are referring to is a crossover below which the speaker does not try to respond. Anotherwords, their sattelites have a crossover that takes everything below 125hz and basically sends it to obilvion instead of playing it. This prevents the small midrange speakers from being damaged by the massive power swings for driving large speakers at these frequencies. For them, this requires them to set their speakers to small otherwise the reciever would be sending bass info to them that would not get get played and leave holes in the sound.

    As for your own situation, I drove my OM-C3 and my R2's as large for a long time, although I must say they were much cleaner when I finally switched them to "small" on my Sony DB930 (read peice of crap) receiver. I also run my R2's as small. In my system though, they are backed up by a Mirage BPS 150i sub. The C3 is rated down to 40hz although it really doesn't have much impact there. Not having a sub, your setup is probably as close to ideal as you can get.

    Depending on if your receiver allows it, you may do better leaving the mains as the only large and letting them take all the LFE and upper bass and drive the center as small. I'm too young to really remember the M7-si's, but it sticks in my mind that they were pretty beefy so they might handle the extra bass better than the C3. My mains are OM-10's and I know this would be the case with them if I didn't have a sub. That will give you something to play with.

    But either way, you won't damage the C3 by driving it as large. The R2's either for that matter. On my Sony's crappy amps though, they're much muddier as large. Like everything else, so much depends on the reciever. If you have a good yamaha or denon, etc I'm sure it will cope better. I'm in the process of setting up an RX-v3300 to replace the DB930 all that power really makes a difference.
     
  8. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Steve,

    I get the crossover points, not the specifics in terms of order etc. cause I don't really need to know, but where are the cut-out freq sent? Are they just routed to a resistor? They can't just magically dissappear can they? And on another note, usually, (almost always) speakers set to small is best, unless you have really nice powered towers and a really crappy sub.
     
  9. Ed Teng

    Ed Teng Extra

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    Adam,

    Thanks for your sound advice.
    I have the new Marantz SR-7300 Receiver and they sound wonderful and they are very well built.
    I live in an apartment and my only worry about getting a subwoofer is the disturbance it makes to my neighbours, although I would very much like to get one.
    Any good sub to recommend for my system, in the event I change my mind?
     
  10. Adam.Gonsman

    Adam.Gonsman Stunt Coordinator

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    Ed,
    I absolutely love my Mirage BPS-150i. I would love the BPS-400 even more ;-) But it was out of my price range when I bought this one. I might just add a second 150 down the road. It packs a very suprising punch for it's size. I'd post a link but with all the flash on Mirage's sight I'm not sure it would get you there. You should be able to find your way to it from their homepage
    If you like your other Mirages (and it sounds like you do) you might want to check this one out. It definately doesn't have the impact of a bigger sub so it might be better suited for your situation where you have to keep it down.
    Chris,
    I'm not an expert on crossover technology or anything else electronics related, but my guess is that the crossover in the satelite probably just has a resistor or something similar to act as a dead load for the low end of the cross over. No, the signals don't litterally go into obilvion from an engineering standpoint I'm sure. The important thing is, when you're working with speakers that are not considered full range but your receiver treats them as they are, it's sending bass to them that you will definately never hear.
    As for the always set to small argument, I'm wrestling with that again right now. I used to agree whole heartedly. Like I said, my old Sony reciever definately did better as small but I think that was mainly cause the crappy amps didn't have to work as hard. But as I'm setting up and tweaking out my new Yamaha RX-V3300, I'm not so sure that "always set them to small" really applies in all cases. This new receiver has so much reserve power for my needs that it's almost distrubing. My Om-10's are rated down to 27hz. Very impressive I'd say for non-powered towers. No, they don't have much impact down there, but they aren't too shabby down to about 45, maybe 50. Typical crossover for "small" is quite a bit higher than that. The V3300 amps don't even seem like they have to try driving them and "small" definately doesn't make them any cleaner or crisper. As for missing out on some bass that maybe should be going to the sub, well, I'm not sure. It seems to work out ok, but I'm still tweaking. So I don't know. Like I said, I'm not sure any more. It's awefully subjective.
    Also for Ed, I think as long is he isn't using a sub, he needs to get all the bass out of the other speakers as he can. So "always" probably doesn't apply to him either.
     
  11. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    If one has nice tower speakers that go pretty low, the "always set to small" rule may not necessarily apply. Keeping in mind that the realllllly low frequencies are the most power hungry it may still be a good idea if one's receiver isn't too terribly powerful.

    Even with a more muscular receiver, setting to small but changing the crossover (if the receiver allows changes) from the typical 80 or 100hz to 50hz and letting the powered sub handle the reallllly low stuff isn't a bad idea, imho.

    I've gone from the little TAKE-5s to the EXL bookshelf series Energys for my mains and surrounds with an EXLC center.
    These will put out reference level bass at 60hz or so but not much lower, so I have them all set to small with crossover at 80hz, crossover on the sub set at it's highest setting so there's no gap. This keeps the load on my receiver pretty reasonable.
     
  12. Adam.Gonsman

    Adam.Gonsman Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve, well said. Much clearer and more concise than my babbling [​IMG]
    Unortunately, despite it' price tag, I'm not sure my new yamaha allows tweaking the crossover. I'll have to double check if I can or not.
     

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