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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure this has been discussed to the infinite degree, but I could not find anything in the search. Maybe I wasn't searching on the right criteria.


Do most of you prefer setting your receiver to Large or Small for your Mains? I've always read that one of the standards for DD and DTS was the LFE and routing the bass frequencies to the Sub, skipping the mains, so you leave them at small. However, I've talked to a few people lately that set their Mains to Large. I've also read that when listening to music, most prefer to select their mains to Large.


So, for movies, Large or Small?
 

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It all depends on the enviroment and what kind of speakers you are using. The only reasons I can think of to run them as large is:

1. If the room has alot of problems sometimes it helps to have multiple bass sources

2. If your sub is not up to par running the mains as large helps sometimes.

3. For stereo listening, many people prefer to run thier speakers as "large"
 

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Entirely personal preference and setup.


In my case. My fronts (jmlab cobalt 826s) go down to 40hz -3 db. While my ultra crappy sub (polk 120) has a low end freq response of 37 hz. The towers put out more tighter and more accurate base while the sub is great for distorted loud explosions from dobly digital source.


I will probably set my settings to small and crossover from 60hz or so when I get a better quality sub.
 

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I like setting the mains to large because I get a better presense of sound at the screen. There's just tighter and better bass at the screen. You should try the two for yourself. The difference should be noticable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good deal. I purchased the Denon 2805 (have not installed as my HT room won't be finished for another month or two) and a friend of mine said he liked the Auto Calibration for the speakers excpet it selected Small for the mains and he likes his set to Large. I wanted to get an idea of what most enthusiasts thought about it.


I will definitely try out the two to determine which I like better.
 

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If you have a competent sub, set em small. Your system should be properly designed such that this is the preferred option, i.e. you should have a good sub.


There are only a few people, with almost absurd main speakers who should set those to larg, but for the rest of the population, the subwoofer can do a better job with bass and subwoofer placement is superior, such that small is the best choice.


Bass management on receivers can vary, so you should understand what your receiver does at its various settings with the bass from the various channels, and the LFE.
 

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If your receiver has a "direct" mode, you may be able to do a very simple a/b test.


When my Onkyo SR600 is in "direct" mode all processing is off and the full signal goes to my Ascend 340 mains. When I put it in "stereo", signals below 80hz (OK OK it is not a sharp cut-off) go to my SVS PB1-ISD. WIth these speakers (the Ascends are rated to 55Hz -3db, I think) it is night-and-day better with them set to small and with the sub (even though the "direct" mode in general does give a cleaner and better sound, other things equal).
 

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I set mine to* Large*...Why have large speakers and set them to *small*?


If you want to do that...save your money and buy small speakers. :confused:
 

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Quote:
I set mine to* Large*...Why have large speakers and set them to *small*?


If you want to do that...save your money and buy small speakers.
Because no speakers, except the most extreme and expensive ones that are probably a few hundred pounds a piece, have the bass capability of a run-of the mill dedicated subwoofer, let alone a really good subwoofer.


I don't care if you have floorstanding speakers, unless you are Mr. Poindexter with a front wall-sized 700lb each "speaker, you probably should set them to small if you have a quality subwoofer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have listened to mine in Small vs. Large before on my old JVC receiver in the family room and thought the 'small' setting was better for explosions and action scenese in movies. But, it wasn't a good receiver, nor a good room (16x16x8), so I wasn't sure just because Small sounded better with that setup, if that's what most people preferred.


Again, everything I've read always points to setting your mains to Small.


If you were meant to set them to large for movies, wouldn't Dolby Digital 5.1 be referred to as Dolby Digital 5? LOL!
 

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I think you'll like the speakers set to small better than large. Generally, the subwoofer can handle the bass better than your front speakers, plus the subwoofer usually has its own amplifier. When you set to large, your receiver (or external amp) must supply the power to drive the lower frequencies to your front speakers. This usually consumes much power and your sub will already have that power.


I have a Yamaha RX-V2400 (120W x 7 ch) and Paradigm Studio 60 fronts. Running YPAO set my fronts and rears (20's) to large. It seemed to be lacking in the bass. I subsequently set the fronts and rears to small and left the cross-over at 80 Hz. The bass is significantly more noticable now.


I think you'll find the same is true with the Denon 2805. Set them to large and listen for a couple days. Then set them to small and listen for a couple more days. I think you'll find the small setting better, but let your ears make the judgement.
 

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I've measured my mains at [email protected] (using RS meter, calibration corrections, and test tones) and have them set to small.


I run them large/full range for music, but run them small/80Hz x-over for movies.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
Because no speakers, except the most extreme and expensive ones that are probably a few hundred pounds a piece, have the bass capability of a run-of the mill dedicated subwoofer, let alone a really good subwoofer.


I don't care if you have floorstanding speakers, unless you are Mr. Poindexter with a front wall-sized 700lb each "speaker, you probably should set them to small if you have a quality subwoofer.
I don't think anyone is talking about having the mains play the LFE. That should always be played by the sub. I'm talking about having the mains play their full signal as opposed to having the bass part played by the sub.


I know that in theory setting the mains to small and having the sub play all of the bass below the crossover is more efficient, but what I am saying is that in reality I get much presense of sound at the screen when I set the mains to large. It just sounds like there is more action at the screen. It's more like the movie theater. The voices also sound more real (although, I do have my center set to small, which means it's bass is sent to my mains when they are set to large). That's why I am saying to try it out for yourself. Theory is one thing, reality can be another.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_r
I don't think anyone is talking about having the mains play the LFE. That should always be played by the sub. I'm talking about having the mains play their full signal as opposed to having the bass part played by the sub.


I know that in theory setting the mains to small and having the sub play all of the bass below the crossover is more efficient, but what I am saying is that in reality I get much presense of sound at the screen when I set the mains to large. It just sounds like there is more action at the screen. It's more like the movie theater. The voices also sound more real (although, I do have my center set to small, which means it's bass is sent to my mains when they are set to large). That's why I am saying to try it out for yourself. Theory is one thing, reality can be another.


This is exactly How I have mine set also.......Why have 12 or 15 inch woofers sitting there doing nothing?? Makes no sense to have big speakers set to*small*.
 

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I absolutely encourage people to try it out, but properly designed without too-high a crossover, and a good sub, a system should be able to set them small. There are a lot of mixes where HUGE amounts of bass that probably should be in the LFE are in the main channels.
 

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Why have 12 or 15 inch woofers sitting there doing nothing?? Makes no sense to have big speakers set to*small*.
This is a dangerous attitude to take approaching A/V. You should shed it fast. Your goal is the best overall system performance, you should *never* take the tact that you need to "take advantage" of everything in your system to its maximum just because it's there. This same attitude will lead people to turn up their subwoofers way too high because after all, a properly calibrated subwoofer "is just sitting there doing nothing" most of the time. The same goes for properly calibrated surrounds. Or for properly calibrated displays for that matter: "why not just crank the color saturation through the roof?"... well because of course it will destroy the performance of the system as you are "taking maximum advantage" of your display.


For HT, if you have an appropriate subwoofer to your system, I would have no problem letting 12 or 15-inch woofers just "sit there", as the subwoofer should be superior, and has more flexible placement options than the mains subs.


These statements ALL assume that you have a proper subwoofer. If of course, you don't, or your subwoofer is not up to the level of the rest of the audio system, then you have a design error, and you need to fix that or compromise the ideal performance that your system *could* give you if you had a proper subwoofer properly placed and calibrated.
 

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The "Perpetually Confused" ChrisWiggles is, in my opinion, absolutely correct on this. Scroll up and read his posts again.


Another problem with running mains full-range is the bass drivers in them are almost always bass-midrange drivers, not designed exclusively for deep bass. Their bass performance may not be very good, their position in the room is not optimum for bass reproduction, and the increased excursion required of deep bass will blur upper bass and lower midrange.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
This is a dangerous attitude to take approaching A/V. You should shed it fast. Your goal is the best overall system performance, you should *never* take the tact that you need to "take advantage" of everything in your system to its maximum just because it's there. This same attitude will lead people to turn up their subwoofers way too high because after all, a properly calibrated subwoofer "is just sitting there doing nothing" most of the time. The same goes for properly calibrated surrounds. Or for properly calibrated displays for that matter: "why not just crank the color saturation through the roof?"... well because of course it will destroy the performance of the system as you are "taking maximum advantage" of your display.


For HT, if you have an appropriate subwoofer to your system, I would have no problem letting 12 or 15-inch woofers just "sit there", as the subwoofer should be superior, and has more flexible placement options than the mains subs.


These statements ALL assume that you have a proper subwoofer. If of course, you don't, or your subwoofer is not up to the level of the rest of the audio system, then you have a design error, and you need to fix that or compromise the ideal performance that your system *could* give you if you had a proper subwoofer properly placed and calibrated.


You are assuming everyone doesnt know how their system sounds best.


Big speakers set to large sounds best.....small speakers set to small sounds best...and if you think this is dangerous........you need to get out more.
 

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Please keep this thread going. I have been wrestling with hits issue for some time. And i am learning....

Even after cal- AVIA/RS SPL... With my 5.1 ; I have set the fronts to large for music and move to smalls for DVD.

But I am having trouble getting the sound stage -perfect for music. SO it backs to experimenting

db
 
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