AVS Forum Addicted Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Monument CO
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I'll just say in this instance I disagree with B&W. The largest signals are deep bass due primarily to the way we hear (we are much less sensitive to bass so need to turn it up for it to sound as loud as midrange signals -- Google Fletcher-Munson). That means a signal at say 50 Hz may need to be 100x or more louder than a signal at 1 kHz, and that means 100x the power. Setting the crossover lower means more power, more distortion, and all that jazz. I prefer to let the subwoofer do its thing and offload the mains (speakers and amplifiers). Other considerations are placement, since the best place for the mains in terms of imaging and such is rarely the best position for the sub(s) to reduce room modes/SBIR in the bass region, and for ported speakers (like the CM10) the drivers become "unloaded" and thus exhibit higher distortion below the tuning frequency. B&W's answer indicates a fairly low-Q system and/or port tune below their -3 dB spec (I do not know). Still, you have to dump more and more power into the speaker to get it to match volume as it rolls off; a 3 dB drop requires twice the power.
Given such a difference between B&W's opinion and that from an unknown internet poster (me), the temptation is to blow of the 'net guy, but I do encourage you to read about the subject a bit here and elsewhere before deciding. And you can always try both, though it is tricky since the added distortion in the bass often makes the speakers sound "fuller" even though it is distortion.
"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley