Originally Posted by OllieS
Need your advice. Are there any good reasons to use "Large" settings? I think I understand why Small is used for speakers that don't have deep bass, but let's say you have large main speakers that have 10 inch or 12 inch woofers. Would Large setting be beneficial over Small in that case? I was having a discussion with a buddy who tells me that ideally you want Large for all speakers but it's impractical given cost and size. But I don't know enough about this to comment. I don't know all the pron's or cons'.
First, let's start by re-setting the nomenclature. I try to avoid the use of "Large" vs. "Small" as they have connotations that go towards the male ego and pride. The whole concept of, "I've got BIG speakers. I'm settin' them to "Large"
, is thinking with the wrong head.
I prefer to use the terms "Bass Management" and setting crossovers. I previously linked to Paul Scarpelli's posts. They go a long way towards explaining why using Bass Management is beneficial, even if you have physically "large" speakers:
My own speakers are physically large. They have dual 10" woofers. Looking at them, most would say they fit the definition of "Large" speakers:
Still, I cross them over to my subs at 100 Hz. Why? Because my subs, (dual opposed 15" drivers in sealed cabinets with 2,400 watts driving them), are much more capable at the lowest frequencies than my speakers. Not asking the speakers to reproduce the lowest bass, (which is also the most power hungry part of the spectrum and demands the most driver excursion), just opens them up and allows them to reproduce the part of the audio spectrum they are given with detail, articulation and finesse.
Amplifier power is also used most efficiently with this setup. The main amps have significantly more headroom available to drive the speakers when the deepest bass is removed from the signal. More headroom means they can play back louder and with less distortion than if they were required to driver the bass frequencies also. The whole system is much more efficient.
Finally, I can place my subs where they interact best with the room and provide the best transfer of energy from the subs to the listening position. Speakers need to be placed where they present the best soundstage and imaging. Those placements are virtually NEVER the optimal placements for bass response. For this reason alone, even if you had physically massive, full-range speakers in every position in your theater, you would still benefit from using subwoofers and Bass Management. You can optimize the bass response separately from the rest of the surround field.
Some will argue that you lose directionality in the bass when you use Bass Management and re-direct the bass to the subs. I would argue against that for a variety of reasons:
* there is VERY little content with directional bass in the recording
* directionality comes from frequencies above 80 Hz.
* if you're using "Double Bass" any directionality of the bass from the speakers will be overwhelmed by the subs anyway.
If you're really concerned about directional bass, use a lower crossover. Don't give up on Bass Management for the sole purpose of trying to restore bass directionality. That would be a poor trade-off, IMO.
Bottom line, I can think of no reason why the "Large" or "Full Range" setting should even exist in a Home Theater System. "Double Bass" makes even less sense to me.