Should my speakers be set to "small" or "large?"

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Rob White, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey Folks,

    First of all, thanks a bunch to all of you who helped me spend my Christmas money so very wisely. I ended up keeping my Bose 301's (from 1984) as front left/right and my super cheap, tiny Radio Shacks as rear left/right. That's because some of you convinced me to spend my money on a great subwoofer and a center channel (rather than replacing everything with "decent" stuff).

    So, I'm the proud owner of a bouncing (almost literally) SVS 25-31 PCi sub and an ec35 JBL center channel. And I've been sitting on my couch smiling for two days straight. I now have optical audio and component video for my Xbox 360 and my cable box as I use video switching through my receiver.

    Here's my question, though: Should I have the Bose 301's and/or the JBL ec35 center set to "small" or "large" on my receiver? I definitely hear more of the sub with the speakers set to "small," but I'm not sure if that's what I really should have. Is it just opinion or is there really a "best" answer?

    Thanks,
    Rob
     
  2. John_RO

    John_RO Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    When you add a sub to your setup, all other speakers should be set to small.
     
  3. Keith S

    Keith S Extra

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What does the setting to small do anyway? Just alter the volume? Or is there more to it?
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,867
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Setting the speakers to small activates the crossover in your receiver. If, for instance, your crossover is set at 80Hz, setting your speakers to small will send all frequencies above 80Hz to your speakers and all frequencies below 80Hz to your subwoofer. Now a crossover is not like a brickwall, more of a gentle slope, so your speakers and subwoofer will share the duties for the range right around 80Hz.
     
  5. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Cool.

    I already had the crossover set to 80Hz. I have the Avia disc, but I really don't feel like sinking $35 into the Radio Shack SPL meter. I know that $35 might not seem like much after spending so much on the sub, but I need to stop the spending somewhere. So for now, I'll just be calibrating the speakers as best I can without the SPL meter.

    Next question is whether I should stick with a crossover of 80Hz. I'm around 55/30/15 for Xbox 360/HDTV & DVD/music. I've got a wife and two young kids so I can't have the volume up too much. Not a ton of action movies.

    Any suggestions?

    Rob
     
  6. gene c

    gene c Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,853
    Likes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Bay area, Ca
    Real Name:
    Gene
    FYI, with some receivers, even when fronts are set to large, you may still have x-over points to choose from. When the sub on my H/K 520 is set to LFE+L/R I can choose between 40 and 60 as a x-over. 80 and 100 when the fronts are set to small. So as always, read the manual. 80 is the suggested x-over point but I experimented with other points and found I liked 60 better . I only like the deepest bass coming from the sub. I also turn the sub off (at the sub) during night time listening so as not to bother anyone. But with Rob's setup, I wouldn't recommend anything less than 80.
     
  7. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The large vs. small setting is one part of bass management. A general topic I'd suggest you search the forum on and check the FAQ as well. Its not hard to understand but its hard to give ironclad rules about because AVRs differ so much in how they handle it and then throw in the fact that DVD players can get in the bass management act as well.

    Depending on how you have the sub hooked up, and other settings for speakers the small/large will influence where the AVR puts the bass freqs. Often that setting ends up having little to do with the speakers themselves but a lot to do with getting the best overall results. In my system I've experimented with a variety of connections and settings. To my surprise I found the best results for a combination of music and theater needs was to set the LF/RF to large, the others small, and sub set to none. The sub's actually fed the a LF+RF speaker level signal. Not intuitive for me but it was one of the suggested setups in the sub's instructions and the result is what counts.
     
  8. Ron Temple

    Ron Temple Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    Of the 2 Avia and SPL meter, the meter is more important. Especially for dialing in the sub. You have to be able to measure the blending at the crossover point and tell where peaks and nulls are in your room/frequency response. I don't have Avia, but the meter is essential. I use it all the time.

    Congrats on the sub

    .02
     
  9. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    19,449
    Likes Received:
    337
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Cees Alons
    Generally, 80Hz is a good choice. Lower will ask the other speakers to output more bass in the < 80Hz range (and some cannot really deliver that), higher may start "locating" the sound at the position of your sub.

    Of course there may be other considerations, e.g. set it higher than 80Hz if the other speakers really cannot output much bass in the 80-100Hz range, or, on the contrary, set it lower if they are very capable to it.


    Cees
     

Share This Page