Small vs Large speakers when using a sub

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Scott Cunninghm, Nov 29, 2002.

  1. Scott Cunninghm

    Scott Cunninghm Stunt Coordinator

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    I just purchases a HSU-VTF-2 sub to handle the deep bass for my setup. I was going to add some small Boston Acoustic Bravo models as my rear channels (mainly because of size, although they sounded fine).

    Question I have is since I have a sub, can I ditch the large, utterly mediocre Bose 10.2 mains I have up front and go with something smaller (like another set of the Boston Bravo's). I plan on setting all the F/R speakers to "small" to utilise the subwoofer. Are the large 10.2 speakers going to be overkill now that a major portion of their signal is output to the sub.?

    Anyone with any experience with this, or should I just wait until I get the small speakers and test them out.
     
  2. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    As a general rule of thumb, the best results in a HT set-up with a subwoofer are usually obtained with all speaks set to small, regardless of their physical size or rated extension.

    Most speaks sound better in the mids when they don't have to labor with bass duty, and the receiver amp has more headroom too.

    Hope this helps............please seek out second and third opinions.

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  3. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    I senconds edwards opinion, he put it just right.

    Regardless of the size of speakers, the best way to set it in a 5.1 or 6.1 is to set your speakers to small. This way you will relieve the receievers amp of a lot work passing it to the sub amp and also the speakers will be stress free just playing what they do best. At the end everything will be working in what they do best, accomplishing the best setup can have you.

    Hope this helps,
    Pablo
     
  4. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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    Who's thumb are we talking about? [​IMG]
    I ask this, because having a pair of full-range speakers capable of sub-50 Hz frequency range (i.e. containing bass drivers in addition to mid-range and high-frequency drivers) does not take anything away from the LFE channel that I am aware of.
    Additionally, the complete answer cannot be exclusively contained in a loudspeaker-subwoofer relationship, because one's integrated receiver or pre-pro may be more rebust in the processing of all the channels than another product.
    Unless someone has a full-range speaker in combination with a integrated receiver/pre-pro that takes away from the LFE channel when a given non-LFE channel is set to Large then I do not see where the harm is. Of course, each individual's application differs as other things can and will come into play.
    For instance, it would be wise to set someone's loudspeakers to Small if they are not full-range, their integrated receiver either shutsdown or overload or overheats, etc. But not all HT's are created equally and it really depends on many factors, including but not limited to loudspeaker-subwoofer.
    If I remember correct (ahem, biased enough) Bose couldn't make a full-range speaker capable of sufficient bass reproduction as to lose much if one sets them to Small.
    Just $0.02. Cheers!
     
  5. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    Brae's understanding is my understanding...err...my understanding is Brae's understanding...in any event, he understands it better.[​IMG] ...I agree!
     
  6. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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  7. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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    Edward, I'm with you here. My Paradigms Studio-100 can go really deep, but never like my Servo-15. So I set everything to small (crossover at 80Hz), and let the Servo handle the bass.
     
  8. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    I also have very capable tower speakers that I keep set to SMALL for both HT and stereo use. Even with music, my speakers don't give me the clarity and detail I like when I ask them to reproduce the entire frequency range without the help of my sub.
     
  9. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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  10. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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  11. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Also keep in mind the size of the room one is using will affect how well a "full range" speaker can reproduce bass. And many people think the 80Hz standard is too high. So for you guys with towers my may benefit from crossing over somewhere between 40-60Hz. But a sub untilizing a 12" or 15" driver with a large Xmax will have greater output than most any tower speaker.
    Brae, IIRC, you have a rather large room. So when I did decide on a sub, I might decide on two! [​IMG]
     
  12. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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  13. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    Many people think that if they are crossed over at 80 or 100hz, that are have somehow wasting their tower speakers. It's simply not the case. In addition to the sloping crossover point, the extra mid/bass driver can really help make a smoother transition from mains to sub.
     
  14. Greg Kolinski

    Greg Kolinski Second Unit

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    My HK520 has an option for large FRONT's and LFE ,it offers a crossover at 40 -60 htz.From the little I know this would appear to be best of both worlds[​IMG]
     
  15. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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    I guess I just do not see the harm in running Paradigm 100's as Large regardless if you have a subwoofer or not. Since nothing is being taken away from the LFE channel no matter how you set the main loudspeakers, to me its a question of simply driving the 100's 8" drivers fully or not.
    Of course, if your amplification is not in order then this is a good reason why not to run them as Large. Again, in my personal combination it would be better for me to not run the 100's as Large and the amount of electrical energy to reproduce bass acoustical energies is borderline on shutdown condition without external amplification.
    Oh well, to each his own. [​IMG]
     
  16. GregLee

    GregLee Stunt Coordinator

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    It may be important to have the 60-80Hz frequencies coming from more than one speaker, for a sense of bass "envelopment", even though we can't localize these frequencies very well. For many of us with only one sub, mains (at least) capable of producing bass in this region, and receivers whose crossovers cannot be set below 80Hz, there is a case for using the "large" setting.
     
  17. Mike Sloan

    Mike Sloan Second Unit

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    An audio video receiver is not going to have enough power to drive full range speakers to "near" reference levels when those speakers are set to large. Furthermore, nobody has brought up the problems that occur when you have different point sources producing low bass and how they interact with room nodes. I have B&W 802's powered by a Sunfire Signature Stereo II and I found that the small setting made for smoother bass and integrated better with the subs for Home theater. With the speakers set to large I heard definite room interaction which created nulls in different location's. Getting back to audio/video receivers... I tried the "powerful" Denon 5803 in this particular setup and heard some compression in the highs and mids when pushing system near ref. in a large room (18' by 24')with mains set to large..and it is rated at 170W per ch! Go small and co-locate the subs!
     
  18. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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  19. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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    I think everyone should go read this article:
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...rs-9-2002.html
    You will understand why I put my full range speakers to small.
    Real good article on the subject.[​IMG]
    If you are lazzy like me, and don't what to read the all article, go directly to the last paragraph.[​IMG]
     
  20. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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    Interesting article, but the article assumes a lot in terms of the subwoofer being used, as opposed to the ideal subwoofer. Again, that was my entire point, which was in cases in which one has a weak bass frequency reproduction due to a weak subwoofer then maybe the bass reproduction abilities of one's full-range speakers could assist in this scenario.

    My current setup is the perfect example of this. Also, I fully acknowledge that my situation is one of those that is more the exception to the rule, but then I begged the question of buying such robust speakers, instead of something more modest, and putting more greenbacks into a better/real subwoofer.

    BTW, what speakers is the poster using? Oh yeah, the Bose. Well, here is a good case for a real mediocre set of mains that would/could benefit greatly from a very robust subwoofer.
     

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