Speakers - Large or Small Setting?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MikeLobos, Jan 23, 2002.

  1. MikeLobos

    MikeLobos Extra

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    I just got the Take 5.2 + S8.2 system and paired it with a Denon 1802 receiver. The speakers are rated to 100W and the receiver is 80W/channel. I have tried setting the speakers to "small" and "large" but I don't know which I should go with. Energy's manual says to set them to "large" to achieve better blending of low range sound between the sub and the speakers. The woofers seem to move an awful lot when set to "large", can this potentially damage the speaker.

    The Denon receiver has a subwoofer control called "Main+" that sends the low frequency sound to the speakers set to "large" and the subwoofer or "Norm" which only sends the sound to the sub. I had the speakers set to "large" and the sub set to "Main+" but I am afraid I may damage the speakers. Oh just for info I have the surrounds set to "small".

    What I really need to know is can setting the speakers to large damage the speaker with the volume turned up?

    MikeLobos
     
  2. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    I'm not sure about damage, but I would set any speaker to small if it can't do less than 40hz.

    Even then I'd set it to small just to let my amps do the easy work while the sub does the heavy lifting.

    Small. My .02.

    Good Luck -

    - CM
     
  3. Drew Eckhardt

    Drew Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    If they'll hit 105dB at 20Hz without making scary clunking noises first, you might want to set 'em to large (the might comes from sub-optimal interactions due to spacing between speakers and the length of bass wave lengths) :)

    Since that's not the case, a large setting risks damage

    to the speakers by bottoming the voice coils against the top plate (excursion requirements increase dramatically with decreasing frequency, and small speakers have limited range here). You're going to end up with excessive distortion in the bass octaves if that doesn't happen. Finally, bass out of small speakers mucks up the midrange.

    Try small. If you don't like the bass, you have a subwoofer problem - either placement or flatness (some subwoofers are impressive.. but not teribbly natural sounding). If you're stuck with a subwoofer you don't like, you might try parametric equalization or turn it off and set the mains to large on music at moderate volumes. For movies, this might not be prudent.

    HTH.
     
  4. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    If you aren't running something like THESE, set your speakers to "small". [​IMG]
    Seriously, if your mains aren't capable of full range reproduction (20Hz-20KHz), it's probably best to set them to "small". The exception here is if your receiver or pre/pro has a variable crossover allowing you to adjust the crossover frequency, many receivers and pre/pros have settings of 40, 60, 80, & 100Hz (some allow for even smaller steps). When you have this option it's best to look at your speaker's specs and test different frequencies judiciously. One point to remember though, a crossover isn't a "brick wall". Meaning that some sound below that crossover point is still going to be sent to your speakers, it's just that the amount of sound sent to you speakers after the crossover point tends to "rolloff" pretty steeply (how steeply depends on the crossover's properties). This "rolloff" allows for a more seemless blending of your speakers and your sub(s).
     
  5. MikeLobos

    MikeLobos Extra

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    Here's a question: Why would Energy recommend setting them to "Large" if this is not appropriate?

    MikeLobos
     
  6. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Maybe a Marketing guy wrote the manual. Tech heads wouldn't tell you to do that....

    IMHO

    - CM
     
  7. MikeLobos

    MikeLobos Extra

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    Thanks for all of the help everyone.

    MikeLobos
     
  8. Jason Wolters

    Jason Wolters Stunt Coordinator

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  9. Jason Hammerly

    Jason Hammerly Supporting Actor

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    I'm assumong when they said to set them to large, they are meaning to set them to large and use the speaker level inputs and output to the sattelites. Then you would use the subs crossover to get everythiing to match correctly.
     
  10. MikeLobos

    MikeLobos Extra

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    In the Take 5.2 speaker manual it says to set the receiver settings to "Large" for normal listening levels, but if you frequently listen to loud levels set it to "Small".

    The subwoofer manual says if your receiver has a internal X-over and an sub RCA out (which the Denon 1802 does) set the speaker control on the receiver to "Large" and the sub control to "On".

    When I first setup the system I set it up as the sub manual states, but I thought it was odd having nonfull range speakers (80Hz-20kHz) set to "Large". I have noticed that setting the speakers to "Small" seems to make the sub more boomy so I am going to have to reposition the sub.

    MikeLobos
     
  11. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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    The Take5.2 satellites have a high pass filter built in to them at 80Hz.

    Set to small for sure for a standard set up.

    If you want to try something neat though that actually helps the sound of that system, wire up your sub by the high level inputs by speaker wire instead of the line level cable (from the receiver's main left and right speaker outputs). Set your receiver to large mains and to no sub. Adjust the low pass filter control on the front of the sub to 80Hz (about the 12oclock position I think) but be prepared to tweak that slightly higher or lower depending how the room and placement of the sub changes things. Set the sub level control to taste.

    Betcha you like that better.
     
  12. MikeLobos

    MikeLobos Extra

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    I might try this and see if it can improve the sound of my system.

    What is the difference between letting the receiver's X-over do the work or letting the sub's, besides the variable X-over?

    With this arrangement, how do you control the volume of the sub seperate from the speakers when I setup the speakers using a SPL meter? Won't the sub volume and front speaker volume be one in the same.

    MikeLobos
     
  13. Ron Alcasid

    Ron Alcasid Stunt Coordinator

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    Marc H is suggesting you bypass the reciever's high pass filter, which is probably in the same range as the ones built in to satellites, by setting the mains to large. You definitely do not want to two overlapping sets of filters. You bypass your reciever's low pass filter by connecting your sub via the high level LR speaker connectors. Use the sub's adjustable low pass filter to blend them with the main satellites.
     
  14. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    My simple take on the whole thing is set 'em to small and have the sub carry most the bass. Even with speakers with dual woofers I would set to small. However when it comes to critical listening I do set them to large because sometimes bass is not an a big issue when it comes to like traditional jazz etc.
     
  15. Ron Alcasid

    Ron Alcasid Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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    Yeah, what Ron says.

    Try it if you can. Rewiring is a pain I know but I think it's worth the effort.

    Works nicely too on Energy's Encore system too for the very same reason.
     
  17. MikeLobos

    MikeLobos Extra

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    I believe the Denon 1802 X-over is at 100Hz. The manual states nothing of the sort, but on this forum people have stated that it is 100Hz.

    MikeLobos
     
  18. MikeLobos

    MikeLobos Extra

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    Sorry, the X-over is at 80Hz.

    MikeLobos
     
  19. MikeLobos

    MikeLobos Extra

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    So if I understand you properly Ron, I would not use the 2-RCA sub inputs on the sub (one bypasses the sub X-over and the other uses the sub X-over) and instead use the High level connection and adjust the bass using the low pass filter on the sub. Their LPF ranges from 50-100Hz, would I want to be above 80 Hz so I don't have a gap in bass from where the satellites drop-off and the sub picks up?

    MikeLobos
     
  20. Ron Alcasid

    Ron Alcasid Stunt Coordinator

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    That's right, do as Marc H suggested. On your reciever, set the mains to large and no subwoofer. Connect the L/R speaker outputs on the receiver to the sub's L /R inputs. Then connect the sub's L/R outputs to the L/R speakers. 80 Hz is probably a good place to start, since that's where Energy's start to drop off. Do you have a calibration disk like Avia?

    After trying Marc's tip, you may also want to try the following settings to get the most from the center and surround channels.

    1) Set the center and surrounds to LARGE.

    2) Set the subwoofer back to YES.

    3) Set the subwoofer mode from NORMAL to +MAIN.

    I think you will be safe with these settings unless you really like to listen LOUD!!! Maybe if you contact Energy they can give you their exact definition of "extremely loud levels."
     

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