small or large?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Brad Russell, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. Brad Russell

    Brad Russell Stunt Coordinator

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    Anyone have a rule of thumb as to setting a speaker large or small? i.e. if it only goes to 70 its small, if it goes to 40 its large.


    Thanks!
    Brad
     
  2. Mat_M

    Mat_M Stunt Coordinator

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    This is debated over and over on here. Do a search and you'll find at least 10 threads discussing this. My recommendation (if you have 'full-range' speakers)is to try both settings for an extended period of time, and pick the one you like the best.

    I tried both scenarios and found that the best sounding (to me) setup was to put the mains large, the center and rears as small, and the sub option 'on'.

    It all boils down to personal preference.
     
  3. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    I think that some of the older amps automaticly cut the sub feed when you set to large. Is that correct? I have a new Denon 3803 and have not even set it up or read the book yet but I found with my last receiver and using large towers that I ran them (against what most will say) to large and still had the sub feed at 80 and below. I found by doing it this way I did not have to mess with the volume control on the sub between music and movies so much. Movies always need more and music always needs less on the sub end when you have large mains.
     
  4. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    Here is a lengthy and interesting treatise on the subject. Pay particular attention to Brian Florian's posts

    HERE
     
  5. Steve-R

    Steve-R Auditioning

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    You beat me to Brian Florian's article! It changed the way my music and movies sound. It makes all the difference in the world. You must hear it to believe it.
     
  6. Brad Russell

    Brad Russell Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the responses!

    So if I'm reading this right He thinks everything should be set to small and get a really good sub.

    How many people here have speakers that good response below 80Hz actually set there speakers to small?

    Brad
     
  7. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I do
     
  8. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Me too.
     
  9. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    The bass capabilities of a larger speaker (like a tower) are not "wasted" when high passing it at 80 Hz.

    Since the high pass filter rate is typically 12 dB/octave (that is the THX standard and also what most AVRs use), an 80 Hz XO will result in a 6 dB deficit at 60 Hz and will be 12 dB down at 40 Hz. And that's not counting the natural roll-off of the speaker itself.

    If you use an 80 Hz XO, the speaker in question should be rated -3 dB at 50-55 Hz or lower. That's pretty much the domain of larger center channels and surround speakers. Even my towers are only rated -3 dB at 42 Hz.

    If you doubt how much bass the system is still "allowed" to play with an 80 Hz XO, physically power off the subwoofer and listen to all the surround channels. I'm always surprised at how much bass they still handle.

    IMO, you should not be using an 80 Hz XO with smaller surround speakers that are only rated to 70-80 Hz extension. The use of this type of speaker will create a depression below the XO point because the speaker is already rolling off at the same time it is also being filtered by the BM circuit. You are better off using a 100 Hz XO in this case.

    So to answer your question - yes - all my speakers (7 channels) are run on small with an 80 Hz XO and a 12/24 BM filter, and they vary in extension (-3 dB) from 55 Hz to 42 Hz. I let the SVS PB2+ handle the deep stuff and my AVR and my surround speakers thank me for it; they sound far better (for a number of reasons) when relieved of deep bass duties.

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Everything Edward J M said!! Pretty much sums up anything I would have written.

    My main 3 are -3dB at 55Hz, surrounds at 58Hz with an 80Hz x-over.
     
  11. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    Exactly right.

    I also use small floorstanders with response to 42Hz, but set them to small.
     
  12. Brad Russell

    Brad Russell Stunt Coordinator

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    So I just checked and my Yamaha A-1 has 90Hz 24db cross-over instead of the standard 80Hz. Still set mine to small?

    Thanks!

    Brad
     
  13. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Yupper, what ED said and Brians great read.

    Our mains are down -3 at 24Hz and the others -3 at 35Hz When mains are set to large and the subs are also running, multi point low frequency information combined with room interactions, actually create less percived and measured bass. Much less flat FR also.

    Sounds like crap basicly when mains are set to large in our room, regardless of sub phasing/crossover.

    All speaks small & let the SVS's handel the bottom end 60Hz and down.

    Regards
    Geoff
     
  14. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Geoff:

    Are you using 60 Hz as an XO for HT? If so, are you concerned with losing the top part of the LFE channel? Or does your pre/pro have the capability of setting the LFE channel XO separate and independent from the other surround channels? For music, 60 seems like a good choice for your system - wow you've got really bass capable mains.
     
  15. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    XO can be set seperate and independently for the sub/s. I have experimented with diffenent options but feel we get the best results their.

    The mains are large DIY towers using HIVI-Research drivers. A friend did the crossovers for me and designed the speaks. I can certainly build cabinets to spec, but am totally lost with cossovers! :b They can get very expensive using all good stuff as he says, and I now know.

    Most of the time for 2-channel music I don't even run the subs. They do very well down low.

    =====>
    Are you the PB2+ review write up, ED?
    =====>

    If so, I must say what a excellent written review. Mag material IMO. When do you start work for Stereophile or S/GTHT, etc?

    When is the next "new" SVS review?

    Cheers
    Geoff
     
  16. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    Yes
     
  17. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    QUOTE:
    =====>
    Are you the PB2+ review write up, ED?
    =====>

    If so, I must say what a excellent written review. Mag material IMO. When do you start work for Stereophile or S/GTHT, etc?

    When is the next "new" SVS review?

    END QUOTE:

    Yep, that's me. :b Thanks for the kind words.

    Actually, I'm working on some improvements to the PB2+ review format. There are three areas IMO where that review was lacking: 1) No really nice digi photos; 2) No high SPL sweeps to demonstrate response linearity well into triple digits; and 3) No THD measurements.

    These things are easier said than done. Once I have these capabilities, and I can generate repeatable data (particularly on the THD aspect), I'll start to seriously dream about an upgrade and another review. I'll also be able to host sub shootouts at my place with other enthusiasts and separate hype and opinion from fact.

    Ed
     
  18. PhilBoy

    PhilBoy Second Unit

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    My gear sounds best with all set to small and sub slightly forward of mains facing in to the 'circle'...

    This seems to 'naturalize' the sound for both stereo & 5.1.
     
  19. Brad Russell

    Brad Russell Stunt Coordinator

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    So where do you guys set your sub cross-over?
     
  20. Zack_R

    Zack_R Stunt Coordinator

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