Understanding LFE, crossover frequency, and bass management - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 49 Old 09-01-2011, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a Denon TX-SR508 and I've spent too much time on my own trying to make sense of the crossover frequency settings. After hours of experimentation, I'm somewhat confused. Here's what I thought I knew about bass management and surround sound:

A 5.1/6.1/7.1 sound track includes a discrete channel for LFE effects. The other channels may have encoded the full range of audible frequencies. The subwoofer outputs the LFE channel plus the lower frequencies of the full range channels. The crossover frequency is the where the AVR sends the lower frequencies of the regular channels to the subwoofer. All frequencies under 120 kHz are non-directional by human perception.

Should I set the crossover frequency to the lowest frequency the speakers are designed to handle, or the lowest optimum frequencies of the speakers? If the speakers are full range, what should the crossover frequency be?

What are "main" speakers? The front l/r, all satellite speakers, or just the full range speakers? Is there an advantage to output LFE to both the subwoofer and main speakers?

My AVR allows each channel to have its own crossover frequency. With full-range speakers, it has a subwoofer setting for LFE or LFE + main speakers. What should I set this to? Does "LFE + main" mean that the LFE channel will be directed to both the subwoofer and the main speakers?

Now what has me really confused is that, when you set it to have individual crossover frequencies for each channel, it also allows you to set the crossover frequency for the LFE channel (in addition to individual settings for the front, center, and surround channels). If the crossover frequency directs low frequencies to the subwoofer and the LFE channel by default is the subwoofer, how can it have a crossover frequency? Where would it be crossed-over to? The mains? The lowest this could be set to is 80 kHz and this setting disappears if the subwoofer is set to LFE only.

I would appreciate any help. Thank you in advance!
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post #2 of 49 Old 09-01-2011, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterAlt View Post

I have a Denon TX-SR508 and I've spent too much time on my own trying to make sense of the crossover frequency settings. After hours of experimentation, I'm somewhat confused. Here's what I thought I knew about bass management and surround sound:

A 5.1/6.1/7.1 sound track includes a discrete channel for LFE effects. The other channels may have encoded the full range of audible frequencies. The subwoofer outputs the LFE channel plus the lower frequencies of the full range channels. The crossover frequency is the where the AVR sends the lower frequencies of the regular channels to the subwoofer. All frequencies under 120 kHz are non-directional by human perception.

The consensus is closer to 80Hz but, otherwise, you are doing fine.

Quote:


Should I set the crossover frequency to the lowest frequency the speakers are designed to handle, or the lowest optimum frequencies of the speakers? If the speakers are full range, what should the crossover frequency be?

Again, the consensus is that all speakers should be set to SMALL in order to take advantage of the bass performance of the sub. The crossover should be chosen to be at the -3dB point or above. Too many variables to generalize.

Quote:


What are "main" speakers? The front l/r, all satellite speakers, or just the full range speakers?

Every speaker except the sub is a main speaker.

Quote:


Is there an advantage to output LFE to both the subwoofer and main speakers?

IMHO, no but some like the more emphatic bass.

Quote:


My AVR allows each channel to have its own crossover frequency. With full-range speakers, it has a subwoofer setting for LFE or LFE + main speakers. What should I set this to?

See above.

Quote:


Does "LFE + main" mean that the LFE channel will be directed to both the subwoofer and the main speakers?

No, it means that the main channel bass is directed to both the main and the sub.

Quote:


Now what has me really confused is that, when you set it to have individual crossover frequencies for each channel, it also allows you to set the crossover frequency for the LFE channel (in addition to individual settings for the front, center, and surround channels). If the crossover frequency directs low frequencies to the subwoofer and the LFE channel by default is the subwoofer, how can it have a crossover frequency?

The so-called LFE crossover (really a low-pass filter) affects only the LFE component of the sub output and not the redirected main channel bass.

Quote:


Where would it be crossed-over to?

Generally, leave it at 120Hz.

Quote:


The mains? The lowest this could be set to is 80 kHz and this setting disappears if the subwoofer is set to LFE only.

That is strange.

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post #3 of 49 Old 09-01-2011, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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So, the LFE crossover is just a filter and filters out sounds above the crossover setting? Or is it below this setting? If it's below, why would it have 80 kHz set for its lowest (and, btw, its default)? If it's just a filter, this means that the filtered sound is just filtered out and not redirected?

Another question.... Why would studios mix LFE into any of the full range channels (in addition to the LFE channel)? Is this duplicate information for backward compatibility with the 5.0 DPL systems? Or is this not duplicate information and intented to create effects by manipulating the positioning of multiple low frequency effects at a given time?
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post #4 of 49 Old 09-01-2011, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterAlt View Post

So, the LFE crossover is just a filter and filters out sounds above the crossover setting? Or is it below this setting?

I said it was a low pass filter. That means it filters out what is above the setting.

Quote:


If it's below, why would it have 80 kHz set for its lowest (and, btw, its default)?

80Hz?

Quote:


If it's just a filter, this means that the filtered sound is just filtered out and not redirected?

Yes but there should be no significant content in the LFE signal in that range.

Quote:


Another question.... Why would studios mix LFE into any of the full range channels (in addition to the LFE channel)?

Dunno. Do they?

Quote:


Is this duplicate information for backward compatibility with the 5.0 DPL systems?

Possibly.

Quote:


Or is this not duplicate information and intented to create effects by manipulating the positioning of multiple low frequency effects at a given time?

Doubtful.

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post #5 of 49 Old 09-01-2011, 08:50 PM
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With a denon you have audyssey. Run that and then change all crossovers to a minimum of 80hz for your front 3 channels. Your surround speakers should be a little higher. I read somewhere that surround speakers should be 10hz higher then your fronts.

LPF of LFE should be 120hz. There is no connection between that and your speakers crossovers. The reason for this setting is that movies are mixed at 120hz so if you make it lower you are essentially just filtering out content that you are meant to hear. Another thing to remember is that crossovers are not Brick walls.

Also never use the LFE + Main or use other things like double bass boost. LFE is very difficult to reproduce without lots of power so you want to take the stress off your receivers amp and just let your sub amp handle everything sub 80hz. Goodluck and if you want feel free to post your after audyssey settings and we can comment from there and make suggestions on what to change.
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post #6 of 49 Old 09-02-2011, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterAlt View Post


Another question.... Why would studios mix LFE into any of the full range channels (in addition to the LFE channel)? Is this duplicate information for backward compatibility with the 5.0 DPL systems? Or is this not duplicate information and intented to create effects by manipulating the positioning of multiple low frequency effects at a given time?

and

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post


Dunno. Do they?

Possibly.

Doubtful.




There are many mix methods in use these days, but a lot of overly bombastic movies place the high level sub 20 hz content on the main channels with no sub 20 Hz content being placed on the dedicated LFE channel.

Some movie mixes have stereo bass including infra on the main channels.

Some movies place simultaneous LFE on mulltiple channels.

In other words, the dedicated LFE channel is not the sole source for LFE these days!
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post #7 of 49 Old 09-02-2011, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post


No, it means that the main channel bass is directed to both the main and the sub.



That depends on the receiver in question. There is more than one LFE plus main scheme in use.
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post #8 of 49 Old 09-02-2011, 07:11 AM
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I've never heard of any bass management that send LFE to the mains unless it is set to "no sub."
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post #9 of 49 Old 09-02-2011, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojomike View Post

I've never heard of any bass management that send LFE to the mains unless it is set to "no sub."

Double bass on onkyo will (lfe+main)
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post #10 of 49 Old 09-02-2011, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpray1983 View Post

Double bass on onkyo will (lfe+main)

If the mains are run full range, double bass will send the mains' bass to the subs and mix it with the LFE which is also being sent to the subs. It doesn't send the LFE to the mains.

LFE+mains means that the sub is playing LFE plus the bass from the mains.
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post #11 of 49 Old 09-02-2011, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpray1983 View Post

Double bass on onkyo will (lfe+main)

Do you have a source that backs that up? From everything I've read, Onkyo's double bass feature copies the bass from the LR to the sub, it does not copy the LFE to the LR.

Here is what I found from some Onkyo manuals:

With this setting, you can boost bass output by feeding
front left and right channel bass sounds to the subwoofer.

Off(THX):
The subwoofer only outputs the
LFE channel.
On:
In addition to LFE channel sounds,
the subwoofer outputs front left and
right channel bass sounds.
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post #12 of 49 Old 09-02-2011, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironhead1230 View Post


Do you have a source that backs that up? From everything I've read, Onkyo's double bass feature copies the bass from the LR to the sub, it does not copy the LFE to the LR.

Here is what I found from some Onkyo manuals:

With this setting, you can boost bass output by feeding
front left and right channel bass sounds to the subwoofer.

Off(THX):
The subwoofer only outputs the
LFE channel.
On:
In addition to LFE channel sounds,
the subwoofer outputs front left and
right channel bass sounds.

I'm guess I'm wrong I have never personally used it. I may not be reading this correctly...Here is my source

http://forum.blu-ray.com/subwoofers/...nt-part-i.html

From link above:

"Double Bass or LFE+Main is an option that was created by AVR makers as a compromise to customers who were personally "offended" when their speakers were designated Small in the AVR's menu. In such modes, the mains run full-range AND the subwoofer is lowpassed at a specified frequency. So both the main speakers and the subwoofer are receiving bass signals. The problem is that in the overlap frequency region between the sub and the front speakers, the bass frequencies are doubled and tend to become bloated and boomy."
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post #13 of 49 Old 09-02-2011, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpray1983 View Post

http://forum.blu-ray.com/subwoofers/...nt-part-i.html

From link above:

"So both the main speakers and the subwoofer are receiving bass signals."

I don't think bass signals are the same as LFE signals. I believe that the .1 or LFE channel is a distinct channel that gets it's own set of signals much like the center channel would not get sent to the left rear speaker. This may change if you have no sub and the AVR mixes it into your main channels though.

When you set the AVR to LFE+Main (or L/R on some AVRs) and set the main speakers to large, then the sub will get the discreet .1 signals in addition to the bass frequencies from the main speakers. I think that is what they refer to as double bass.

I could be wrong though. I'm still pretty new to all of this.
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post #14 of 49 Old 09-02-2011, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpray1983 View Post

With a denon you have audyssey. Run that and then change all crossovers to a minimum of 80hz for your front 3 channels. Your surround speakers should be a little higher. I read somewhere that surround speakers should be 10hz higher then your fronts.

LPF of LFE should be 120hz. There is no connection between that and your speakers crossovers. The reason for this setting is that movies are mixed at 120hz so if you make it lower you are essentially just filtering out content that you are meant to hear. Another thing to remember is that crossovers are not Brick walls.

Also never use the LFE + Main or use other things like double bass boost. LFE is very difficult to reproduce without lots of power so you want to take the stress off your receivers amp and just let your sub amp handle everything sub 80hz. Goodluck and if you want feel free to post your after audyssey settings and we can comment from there and make suggestions on what to change.

This! Exactly how I have mine set up--and from what most say here and other forums, this seems to be sound advice for most situations.

Bob

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post #15 of 49 Old 09-04-2011, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Palmer_Cass View Post


and

There are many mix methods in use these days, but a lot of overly bombastic movies place the high level sub 20 hz content on the main channels with no sub 20 Hz content being placed on the dedicated LFE channel.

Some movie mixes have stereo bass including infra on the main channels.

Some movies place simultaneous LFE on mulltiple channels.

In other words, the dedicated LFE channel is not the sole source for LFE these days!

Very interesting. Now, are you talking about theatrical mixes or home mixes? Because studios remix with far less definition for home use (this includes the best standards for home use DTS Master HD and Dolby Digital HD) than the theatrical digital standards of DTS, Dolby, and SDDS - which are common only by name (except SDDS, which is unavailable as a home standard).

I am using two subwoofers. One is a Bang and Olson that connects only to the L/R main speakers and is not powered. The other is a powered Bose that I cannibalized from a 5.1 speaker set. The B&O frequency range is 20-120 Hz. The Bose is 40 Hz and up.

I am also using two AVR units. The Denon is set for 7.1 DPLIIX Cinema. I also have an Onkyo that is set for 7.1 DPLIIZ. Combined, I have a 9.1 (or 9.2, if you include both subs) system. I have the Onkyo controlling the front speakers (including the heights) and the Denon controlling the four surround speakers.

I keep switching the subs. The B&O will always stay with the Onkyo since it must stay with the l/r front main speakers. I had the Bose on the Denon. In this configuration, I programmed the Onkyo for no subwoofer and the l/r front main speakers to large and the crossover frequency to 40 Hz to catch all the frequencies (20-40 Hz that the Bose on the Denon is incapable of).

On the Denon, the Bose is on the LFE output. I've set the main front l/r to large so that those signals are channeled to nowhere since the l/r main speakers are not connected to this system. The crossover frequency is set to 120 Hz for the rest of the channels. In theory, this should make the Bose handle all the 40-120 Hz LFE as well as the 40-120 Hz crossovers of all channels except the mains, including the center and l/r surround even though these speakers are connected to the Onkyo.

I also experimented with placing both subs on the Onkyo, but I realize I would loose the 20-40 Hz in the LFE.

If buying new equipment was not an option, how would you arrange these?
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post #16 of 49 Old 07-22-2013, 11:31 AM
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Hello all- I've been reading this forum for the past few years but I'm a first time poster. I've been building my system over the past few years. Starting with the Paradigm Monitor 11 v6 and then the Denon 3310. I have now upgrading my center to the Paradigm Center 1 v7. I have yet to purchase a subwoofer; the monitors have been handling plenty bass really nicely (especially since I've recently moved into a smaller apartment)
SO my question deals with crossover frequencies for each individual speaker, and LPF for LFE with no subwoofer. I've messed around with everything trying to get the sound I want but still feel like I've got something wrong. Should my LPF for LFE still be 120Hz? How would I have some of the bass from the center go to my towers?

Thank you all!
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post #17 of 49 Old 07-22-2013, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DireSound View Post

Should my LPF for LFE still be 120Hz?

Very most likely. Without a subwoofer, I can see no reason why you would want to lower it. I assume you do have your AVR configured as having no sub connected so that the LFE channel is rerouted to your front channels.

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Originally Posted by DireSound View Post

How would I have some of the bass from the center go to my towers?

By setting the center channel to SMALL with the appropriate and/or desired crossover setting.

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post #18 of 49 Old 07-22-2013, 11:48 AM
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Leave the LPf of lfe at 120 or you will lose information And sound. Set speakers to fill range since u don't have a sub
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post #19 of 49 Old 07-22-2013, 12:08 PM
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A quick view on bass management:

Speakers are consider satellite if they are set to small. The main speakers are the Front Right and Left. Most towers will not handle deep bass as well as a subwoofer. Speakers set to small = bass management, speaker set to Large= No bass management. Most people can't tell the direction of sound under 80 Hz. The LFE or .1 channel is a dedicated channel for the low content that sound engineers use. The subwoofer is a playback channel and will reproduce the LFE and redirected bass from the satellite speakers. The LPF attenuate gradually the frequency above a certain point. These are frequencies that the sub will not reproduce well. Filters are not brick walls and use slope for how gradual frequencies are cut.

The LFE setting should be 120 Hz. Studios and movie engineer put 120 Hz and below content in the LFE or .1 channel. Less than 5% of the LFE is between 80-120 Hz. Crossing the avr at 80 Hz is recommended by THX and is a good starting point to use Using a variable xo, setting different xo for all the speaker is not necessarily better than using a single xo for all the speakers.. Auddysee has more filter resolution for the sub than other speakers, which is a good thing. Things can get funny because different avr makers have different bass management schemes and quasi bass management that can also include speaker set to large. Some avr's speaker XO also changes what is sent from the LFE or .1 channel.

I set my large Klipsch RF 7 towers to small and they have 2 ten in. woofers and go into the low 30 Hz range. A lot of people believe let the towers play since they spent good money for them. The sub also cost you some good money and use it to it full advantage!

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post #20 of 49 Old 07-22-2013, 12:10 PM
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If you don't have a sub then that setting has no effect on anything. That setting determines how high into the bass frequencies get set to the LFE channel. This is independent of the crossover frequency set for the satellite speakers. Since you have no sub most processors will mix the LFE channel into the front channels I believe. SInce you set the sub to none, all your satellites should be set to large if your receiver even allows you to set it at anything other than large.
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post #21 of 49 Old 07-22-2013, 12:12 PM
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Alright... I've always had my AVR setting to No Sub. I'm keeping my LPF for LFE at 120Hz.
The my fronts are 48Hz - 20kHz and the crossover on the AVR is set to 40Hz (Large)
The center is 75Hz - 22Khz and is set on the AVR to 80Hz (Small)
Does the AVR crossover frequency mean "everything lower than this frequency will be directed to the front speakers?"
Since my center only goes as low as 75hz I would want to send anything below 80hz to my fronts.

I think I got a handle on this.
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post #22 of 49 Old 07-22-2013, 12:24 PM
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SInce you set the sub to none, all your satellites should be set to large if your receiver even allows you to set it at anything other than large./QUOTE]
I'm able to set any of my 5 channels to either small or large
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post #23 of 49 Old 07-22-2013, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duc135 View Post

If you don't have a sub then that setting has no effect on anything.
I guess it is possible that the LPF of LFE is bypassed when the AVR is configured as having NO SUB, but I suspect that since the LFE channel is fully maintained and rerouted to the front channels in this configuration that the LPF of LFE would still have some effect upon the LFE channel material.

Quote:
Originally Posted by duc135 View Post

SInce you set the sub to none, all your satellites should be set to large if your receiver even allows you to set it at anything other than large.
The only channels which are "locked" to the LARGE setting when an AVR is configured as having NO SUB are the front 2 channels. But there is no reason at all why you can't configure the center and surround channels as SMALL if that is appropriate and/or desired. In this case, the bass below the crossover setting in those speaker channels which are set to SMALL is rerouted to the front channels.

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post #24 of 49 Old 07-22-2013, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DireSound View Post

Does the AVR crossover frequency mean "everything lower than this frequency will be directed to the front speakers?"

When configured as having NO SUB, yes.
If you had a subwoofer, though, those frequencies below the crossover setting from any channels set to SMALL would be routed to the subwoofer.

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post #25 of 49 Old 07-22-2013, 12:37 PM
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Very most likely. Without a subwoofer, I can see no reason why you would want to lower it. I assume you do have your AVR configured as having no sub connected so that the LFE channel is rerouted to your front channels.

LFE is never routed to the mains even if the sub is not hooked up; one rather loses all the LFE effects if a subwoofer is not in business. LFE is the dedicated .1 channel exclusively for the subwoofer. When no sub is present, mains default to Large setting i.e. Full Range. CC and Surrounds may or may not be set to large. In the later case, mains (in addition to playing back their own signal) act as subwoofers for CC and Surrounds and reproduce their re-directed bass depending on where the crossover is set.
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post #26 of 49 Old 07-22-2013, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

I guess it is possible that the LPF of LFE is bypassed when the AVR is configured as having NO SUB, but I suspect that since the LFE channel is fully maintained and rerouted to the front channels in this configuration that the LPF of LFE would still have some effect upon the LFE channel material.
The only channels which are "locked" to the LARGE setting when an AVR is configured as having NO SUB are the front 2 channels. But there is no reason at all why you can't configure the center and surround channels as SMALL if that is appropriate and/or desired. In this case, the bass below the crossover setting in those speaker channels which are set to SMALL is rerouted to the front channels.

Thank you for the corrections.
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post #27 of 49 Old 07-22-2013, 12:53 PM
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I guess what I dont understand is why crossover necessary for LARGE? Is the crossover frequency setting deactivated when the channel is set to LARGE?
Wouldn't the crossover do the same thing with the frequencies regardless of SMALL or LARGE?
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post #28 of 49 Old 07-22-2013, 01:12 PM
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I guess what I dont understand is why crossover necessary for LARGE? Is the crossover frequency setting deactivated when the channel is set to LARGE?
Wouldn't the crossover do the same thing with the frequencies regardless of SMALL or LARGE?

Some receivers disable crossover setting (greyed out) if a speaker is set to large. Some don't grey out crossover setting; but there would be no effect of changing the xo setting if a speaker is set to large. If all speakers are set to large, subwoofer will not play any signal if LFE is not mixed in the content. That is to say, in this case, subwoofer will play LFE if any; but wont receive any re-directed bass signal from AVR coz all speakers are set to Large.

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post #29 of 49 Old 07-22-2013, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by braveheart123 View Post

LFE is never routed to the mains even if the sub is not hooked up; one rather loses all the LFE effects if a subwoofer is not in business.

No, this is not correct. Almost every AVR routes the LFE channel to the main channels when specifically configured as having NO SUB connected.

If this is not desired, an AVR can be "tricked" into dropping the LFE channel by leaving it configured as having a subwoofer connected but simply not connecting one.

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post #30 of 49 Old 07-22-2013, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by DireSound View Post

I guess what I dont understand is why crossover necessary for LARGE?

This setting is still be available when the front speakers are set to LARGE because it controls the low-pass frequency that is applied to the front channel bass that is routed in duplicate to the subwoofer when the LFE+Main setting is used.

Why it would still be there when the AVR is configured as having NO SUB, though, I agree, doesn't really make much sense. Whether it really has an affect or not in this instance, I do not know.


But according to the 3310 manual (starting on pg.34), you shouldn't have the option of setting the front speakers to SMALL if the AVR is configured as having NO SUB and you shouldn't have the ability to apply a crossover to those LARGE front channels unless you are using the LFE+Main setting. And you shouldn't have access to the LFE+MAIN setting if the AVR is configured as having NO SUB. So, I do not know what is going on in your particular instance.

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