Should I set my mains to large? (B&W603 S2)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andy Anderson, Jan 4, 2002.

  1. Andy Anderson

    Andy Anderson Second Unit

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    Hi guys. Just got a hold of some B&W speaks at a great sale. Got an LCR6 S2 center and the 603 S2 mains. Now, these are replacing Klipsch bookshelf speaks. I have a Marantz SR7000, and all of my speakers are set to small. (I have a sub, yup.) The B&W's are floorstanding--should I still have the receiver set to small for the mains? What's a good rule of thumb for that? Of course, I will try it both ways, but is there a hard-and-fast rule that I don't know of?
    B&W 603 S2 (link)
    Thanks,
    Andy
     
  2. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    The hard and fast consensus is to go small all around. If I had large full rangers and plenty of power (I have neither) I'd go large with at least the front mains and set the sub xover to about 50 or 45 hz for the deeps, and +2db or 3.
    Have fun!
    - CM[​IMG]
     
  3. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    I see that the BW is -3db at 48hz. I'd monkey with it set large and the xover between 40 - 50.
    You have an SPL meter, right?
    Nice speaker!
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    IMO you should run those as small.
    However, why don't you try both and see what sounds better to you! [​IMG] Use a stereo CD with plenty of bass and make sure the subwoofer is turned off when they're "large". Report back to us what you came up with!
     
  5. Jason Wolters

    Jason Wolters Stunt Coordinator

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    Most will agree, that even the best floor speakers can't reproduce the deep bass the way a good sub will. I fought this idea for along time because I have 12" woofers in my mains. I finally got a good sub, and I now know that small is the ONLY way to go. Small will give you that "frozen rope" bass that we all hope for.
     
  6. Andy Anderson

    Andy Anderson Second Unit

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    Colin--Thanks. [​IMG] I do have the Rat Shack SPL meter and Avia, yes.
    Philip--No problem--I'll see what I come up with. I always thought that you should leave your mains set to small unless you have powered subs in your main speakers--I don't know where I got that, but for some reason I've always thought that. I'll definitely do some experimentation.
    Thanks for the responses--any other suggestions, esp from someone who's been running the 603's would be very cool!
    Thanks, guys--
    Andy
     
  7. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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    Andy, I'm running 603s2s and an LCR6s2 from a Yamaha DSP-A1. I have the centre speaker set to small and would also set my main speakers to small if my Yamaha didn't have the option to send bass to both the main speakers and subwoofer. The 603s have good bass reproduction, but like virtually any floorstanding speaker can't compete with a decent subwoofer.

    Like Phil suggested, try both configurations and decide what sounds best to you, but I would recommend setting them to small.

    Adam
     
  8. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    I have 603s2, cc6s2, asw1000 sub with Yamaha rxv800. It's been many months since I tinkered with settings, but my mains are set to small. I can't remember specifics but I know it sounds better this way.
     
  9. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    I did a little tinkering with test tones and an SPL meter tonight. Testing Paradigm Studio 100's with a Yamaha RX-V1000.

    I ended up with the 100's on Small, and the bass management set to the sub. I tried the following combinations (35-250Hz):

    Large/Bass to Mains - boomy throughout 50-99Hz

    Large/Bass to Swfr - same (*)

    Small/Bass to Mains - same (*)

    Small/Bass to swfr - slightly boomy at 50Hz and 99Hz. Not inclusive, though. Just some small peaks at those frequencies. (**)

    Large/Bass to BOTH - Great for White Zombie, but according to the meter, insanely boomy from 35Hz to 111Hz.

    I'm sure that moving things around would have an effect on these numbers, so your mileage will vary. But, my point is that it took a couple of hours of testing to convince myself that I'm better off setting my main (which on paper go down to 29Hz -3dB) to small, getting a better sound.

    Martin.

    (*) I know they should be the same, but I needed to prove it to myself, as my mind was playing tricks on me

    (**) After recalibrating the sub levels. The first pass was really awful. But you can't calibrate mains on large (unless you have an EQ, or possibly with tone controls)
     
  10. Andy Anderson

    Andy Anderson Second Unit

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    Thanks for all of the help, y'all. I ended up with the mains set to small, as I had suspected I might. Calibrated the whole set up with Avia. I also ended up moving my sub--my system has never sounded better. As soon as I sell off my old (Klipsch Synergy) speaks, I'll replace the rears!

    That leads into the next question, B&W fans--I'm not big on dipoles, so I don't think I'd use those for rears. Should I go with 601's, or 602's in the rear??
     
  11. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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    As you're not really going to utilise any rear speakers' bass capacity, I would go for the smaller 601s (that's what I did, after using 603s1s for a while, which were total overkill).

    Adam
     
  12. Dennis B

    Dennis B Stunt Coordinator

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    Guys,
    If I got this right, when setting the mains to 'large' there should be nothing coming out of the sub for music, right? Only an LFE-encoded channel would do so, I guess. This way all bass is coming from the mains/central.
    So when setting the speakers to small all bass below the rcvr's xover frequency would then be redirected to the sub, right?
    I'm asking this because I also have a Marantz and B&Ws (602s, though), but like listening to music (and I'm more on the heavy side) on the 7200's 6-ch stereo, where I'm pretty sure the sub is playing along. Any thoughts on this mode?
    Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  13. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    Better late than never. I have the 603/601 combo w/an ASW1000 sub. I also have the SR7000. Small all the way around sounds best to me, but don't be afraid to tinker.
    Congrats on those speaks. I love mine (in a non-creepy sort of way). [​IMG]
    --Steve
     
  14. Pete Jennings

    Pete Jennings Second Unit

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    Andy, it's always a personal opinion, but I think the 601S2's are ideal for rears (I have 602S2's for fronts, and a LCR6 center). I bought my 601S2's for rears with the intention of eventually migrating them to the garage and putting 602S2's in their place. I even left height clearance when I mounted my wall brackets for the 602S2's. Well, over a year later and I still haven't changed them out, and now I have no intention of doing so, they sound great! When we repainted the walls I raised the mounts up a little, so now I can't put 602S2's back there if I wanted to.
    Go with the 601S2's. I can also recommend B-Tech B77 mounts from Crutchfield. They are PERFECT for the 601S2's/602S2's.
    Congratulations on being a B&W owner!
    My $.02!
    Pete
     
  15. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    Dennis,

    You are correct. When the mains are set to small, anything below the rec's x-over will go to the sub. Make sure the sub's low-pass filter is turned to the max to get it out of the way, since the rec will already be doing this.

    The sub should be playing in 5/6ch stereo in this scenario.

    --Steve
     
  16. Scott_G

    Scott_G Second Unit

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    I've got the 603-S2's up front - LCR and 602-S2's for rears.
    602's are overkill, but I got mine for 125$ more, figured, what the heck.
    Marantz pre-amp with Outlaw amp.
    Sounds GREAT to me [​IMG]
    Now I've got to figure out what to do for the rear walls for the 7.1 upgrade.
     
  17. JeffGrimes

    JeffGrimes Auditioning

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    These results beg another question...?????

    Are those of us who spend the bucks for large, floorstanding speakers, with drivers going down to 30Hz wasting our Money?

    I just received the Swan Diva 6.1 HT setup (6.1, R3, C3) and find that they do music much better on small with my SVS Sub...

    I'm REALLY thinking I would have been happy with somthing smaller?????

    Anyone else feel the same way?
     
  18. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Like Adam, my Sony 50ES receiver can send bass both to the mains and the sub when the mains are set to 'large'. I have 604 S2's instead of the 603's, but still run them set to 'large' with bass also going to the ASW1000 sub. This allows me to overcome a couple of problems with my setup -- a high 100+Hz crossover on my receiver, and a rear placement of my subwoofer (there is no space up front). I do run the LCR6 S2 center and 602 S2 surrounds as 'small'.

    If my receiver had better bass management, I would probably set everything to 'small' and crossover the mains at a lower frequency (50Hz?) than the center/surrounds.
     
  19. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    I've also got the 603s2s and the SR7000, and I run mine set to small. The 603s would be fine run full range for most music, but when we are talking about home theater or deep bass music they really need the sub to back them up (as most non-exotic speakers do).

    Now if only I could afford WATT/PUPPYs plus amplification for all 5 channels.... The sounds would be great, though my living room might look like a futuristic Stonehenge!

    -Max
     
  20. Stacy Huff

    Stacy Huff Second Unit

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