Thought many with capable mains... - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 18 Old 04-15-11, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thought many with capable mains...

are running them as "Small" vs. "Large" even when both are crossed over to 80hz for THX style listening??? I have always run them as "Large" even though I still cross them over at 80hz and they are tuned to 32hz. I was playing with the settings at lunch while wasting time at home and switched them to small still crossed over at 80hz. I heard a very different presentation of the sound with the same listening material and now really wonder what the measurable differences will be with the "Large" vs. "Small" both crossed over at 80hz?

Anyone want to take a stab?
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post #2 of 18 Old 04-15-11, 09:05 PM
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Re: Thought many with capable mains...

If set to LARGE, they run full-range regardless of the crossover setting. Depending on the processor and settings, the bass below crossover may also be sent to the sub resulting in double bass.

If set to SMALL, the bass below crossover is diverted to the sub and the main speaker is rolled off.

Very different, as you have heard.

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post #3 of 18 Old 04-15-11, 09:16 PM
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Re: Thought many with capable mains...

From what I understand, running small will prevent the larger driver on your mains from having to produce the lowest frequencies, theoretically improving the midrange.
Running full-range could sound better in the mid-bass if you've got decent mains.

It may also depend on your sensitivity to low frequency directionality. At 80Hz, we're not supposed to be able to tell, but I'm pretty sure that's not accurate for everyone.

Why not listen to both and see what you prefer?
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post #4 of 18 Old 04-15-11, 11:05 PM
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Re: Thought many with capable mains...

The difference will depend on a couple of things. I know my old Denon AVR had a setting that sent both LFE and main bass to the sub even if the mains were set to large. If the mains were set to small, crossed over at 80hz, the bass below 80 and the LFE went to the subs only. Of course, that made a diffrence. With a traditional 80hz crossover, the major difference would be the quality of sound from your mains below 80hz compared to that range from your sub.
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post #5 of 18 Old 04-16-11, 02:48 PM
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Re: Thought many with capable mains...

I think Kal summed it up pretty well.

I used to have Definitive's with 18" powered subs and a JL F113 subwoofer. The definitives were capable of producing down to 20hz, but the JL had much better bass and I could locate it for smoothest response. I was of the impression of the more woofers the better the bass.

I quickly learned that you have too much modal interaction by letting both 18's interfere with the JL and set them to small, crossed over at 80hz. This produced a much smoother response. I'd say in almost every circumstance that this will be the case. It's very difficult to get two subs that are not colocated to play well together. Without getting into the physics of sound too much, when sound waves of different lengths play at the same time at different locations, they meet together at certain frequencies at different phase angles and can either cause a peak, or a null.

I'd bet that your sound, although different, is now better that you set your mains to small with the sub.
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post #6 of 18 Old 04-17-11, 12:52 PM
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Re: Thought many with capable mains...

I am definitely a proponent of setting the Crossover to 80hz. In addition to the above excellent points is the fact that the best place acoustically for Speakers is almost never the best place for the Subwoofer and Bass.

The advantages of setting to 80hz are myriad including placing less stress on the AVR allowing it to focus on the Highs and Midrange. This allows you to have higher overall SPL's while running a much lower risk of the AVR of going into distortion.

Moreover, there are very few Speakers out there that are truly capable of going down to 20hz. And they are unbelievably expensive to boot. My Mains are rated down to the low 30's by virtue of having 200 Watt ICE Amplifiers in each Speaker to drive the Woofer, but I still use an 80hz Crossover. My Surrounds (MartinLogan Vistas) are rated down to around 40hz, but do not have built in Amplifiers for the Woofer.

Thanks to having very powerful Amplifiers, I could easily set the Surrounds to 40hz with no worries about distortion, but again where they are placed is not advantageous for Bass whereas my Depth Subwoofer is placed for the smoothest and deepest Bass Response.

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post #7 of 18 Old 04-21-11, 09:23 AM
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Re: Thought many with capable mains...

I have fairly large main speakers, Cerwin Vega M100 Towers. They make great party speakers, but can be a little bass heavy.

I've found that my favorite "range" to cross over is actually 50hz. my mains/surrounds are all capable of 50hz reproduction. I use a DCX2496 to cross over the mains that i leave set to "large" and put a 4th order filter on them at 35hz, this gives me a small overlap in the 35-50 range which is where my sub actually has a small dip in response. (about 1.5 db max drop) My center is set to small, as are the rest of the surrounds. But i find that for regular television or anything recorded in 2 channel. this really makes it sound cleaner, and since my mains are no slouch, they integrate with the big subwoofer without much hassle.

I use the behringer dcx as well to add a bit of boost at 50hz (3db) this helps bring the output of the 50+hz range to that of the subwoofer. and then it blends in nicely. Im a bit of a bass junkie.
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post #8 of 18 Old 04-22-11, 12:04 PM
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Re: Thought many with capable mains...

I have to agree with the others to a certain point. My L & R speakers are pretty capable down to 27Hz but with a little experimentation I find that my room and my ears prefer them to be run as small and crossed over at 60Hz. So my opinion is that 80Hz and small is not always the best for all rooms/systems.

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post #9 of 18 Old 04-24-11, 12:11 PM
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Re: Thought many with capable mains...

Interesting thread! When I ran Audyessy, my front 3 speakers were set to 40hz. After reading many posts I backed it off to 80hz, now at 60hz and still experimenting. How accurate is Audyessy in this regard? My speakers are Paradigm M-9s, appox 12+ years old.

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post #10 of 18 Old 04-25-11, 02:50 PM
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Re: Thought many with capable mains...

Why is the crossover "standard" at 80hz? Does it have to do with directionality (i'm sure somewhat), the point at which amp power starts to really get drained by low frequencies or what?

I'm just looking for the logic behind the standard. I will be revisiting my setup when I incorportate some AV123 Rocket 850 signatures into my system.
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