Originally Posted by mthomas47
Thanks for the visual confirmations, although I believed you in your last post. Without debating the merits of the decision, I am sure that it was a deliberate design decision in earlier Denon/Marantz models.
I never even knew that was an issue, so I didn't bother looking into it when I bought my Marantz. The only issue I remember was way back the lower end receivers had only one LFE crossover point at 80 Hz which couldn't be changed.
BTW, my Marantz SR5010 is a 2015 model. Your Marantz 7008 is a 2013 model. So I guess the change is recent. Perhaps the change happened in 2014 when Atmos was added to the SR7009? And then in 2015 the entire Marantz SR line got Atmos.
I don't know when that design philosophy changed. Perhaps it reflects a new interest among consumers in having full-range speakers in addition to subs. I understand your point of view on the subject. My own viewpoint is that regardless of available settings, even the best full-range speakers can't handle HT bass as well as high quality subs, such as the Ultra.
I've set my front speakers to full range with a sub since the early 2000s, so like 15 years. (My first sub was a passive Paradigm, then shortly afterwards a sealed lower end active Energy sub, but then I upgraded to an SVS PC-1000 for more volume.)
Remember, the 0.1 LFE channel has been around since the 90s, since even before DVD.
In order to qualify as a full-range speaker, Audyssey has to detect that the speaker is down 3db at some frequency under 40Hz. Presumably, an F3 point of about 38Hz would meet the Audyssey/AVR criterion of full-range, and the AVR would automatically set the speaker to "Large". That is an automated process not an endorsement of the speaker. It is a very rare speaker indeed that will go under 30Hz (I know. I have a pair that will.) By comparison, your Ultra has a quasi-anechoic response of 14Hz, with the 16Hz port tune setting. In-room, it is possible that the F3 point is 10 or 11Hz. And there are 3600 peak watts on tap to help the sub get to those frequencies.
I'm sure these Paradigm Studio 60 v2 front speakers do not have much output below 30 Hz, but they do have some output below 40 Hz as Audyssey indicates. Their paper specs indicate they are -2 dB down to 42 Hz quasi-anechoic, or 30 Hz DIN. So for these speakers I ideally would not want to use a 40 Hz crossover. 30 Hz maybe, but not 40.
For my Paradigm Studio CC v2 centre channel speaker the bass extension is much less, such that it is -2 dB down to 70 Hz quasi-anechoic, or 42 Hz DIN. So yeah I guess it could make sense just set that centre as small with a crossover of 40 Hz, but honestly I just as happy without that added bass. I get enough room shaking bass as it is with the LFE channel alone.
I'm curious what Audyssey measures for the output below 40 Hz though for that centre channel, cuz clearly it thinks it's "large".
BTW, the first time I ran Audyssey, it was without the sub. Why? Cuz I didn't know that the fuse had blown, and I figured the lack of the sub was just because Audyssey would run it after all the other speakers. The interesting part is it configured my left/right surrounds as "large" too, which surprised me, since they're bookshelf speakers. My height speakers were configured as "small" though without the sub. The surrounds are bigger bookshelfs than my height speakers though.
Heights are Paradigm Atom v2, which is rated at -2 dB at 70 Hz, or 55 Hz DIN.
Surrounds are Paradigm Titan v1 (I think), which is rated at -2 dB at 75 Hz, and also 55 Hz DIN, despite being physically bigger speakers than the Atoms.
However, in casual listening I felt the Titans had a slightly "fuller" sound than the Atoms, even though it doesn't compare at all to my Studio 60s.
When I got the fuse of the SVS PB13-Ultra replaced and re-ran Audyssey, not surprisingly it put both the Titans and Atoms to "small". I don't know if this is because the sub was added, or if it was because the Titan's bass response was very borderline and it would flip flop between "small" and "large" depending on the phase of the moon.
Running speakers that are able to go down to even 25Hz, much less 30Hz, much less 35 or 38Hz (which is all that's required for a "Large" setting) as "Small" with a crossover, is simply good practice, IMO, to protect your speakers, and to get maximum sub performance across all channels. (It's not only the LFE channel in 5.1 movies that has very low bass content encoded.) A "Small" setting with a 40Hz, or even a 60Hz crossover, probably wouldn't make a very audible difference, but it might help to protect your speakers, particularly if they happen to be ported. As long as your master volume isn't too high, you may be alright anyway, though. I just wanted to do a more thorough job of explaining the reasoning behind the more common practice of setting crossovers.
Yeah, I'm not concerned about protecting these speakers. I've been running them this way for over a decade. They are spec'd to be able to handle a maximum input power of 150 Watts for the mains and 130 Watts for the centre, which is way more than my receivers can output anyway in multichannel mode. I'm not using discrete power amps, just AV receivers.