What is a large speaker

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  • pbone
    Junior Member
    • Apr 2003
    • 6

    What is a large speaker

    I have just bought my RSX-1055 and I am wondering is there am official explanation as to what a "large" or "small" speaker is. It says in the manual that it has more to to do with their bass range than their physical size. For example I have some Monitor Silver 3i which are physically very small but (to my ears) have impressive bass and a claimed frequency range down to 45kHz. The 10i centre has a frequency range down to 48kHz- can I call these "large speakers"?
  • Andrew Pratt
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 16507

    #2
    This topic is one that I should add to the FAQ. Basically what it boils down to is that vitually ALL speakers should be set to small when there's a subwoofer in the system and its being used for Home Theater. There simply are VERY few speakers that can reproduce the low frequency that's on todays DVD's. By setting your speakers to small what will end up happening is that all the bass from the LFE channel and that below the cross over point you choose will be redirected to the subwoofer. If you set a speaker to large the bass will not get redirected to the sub so if those speakers can't reproduce the bass with the same effect your sub can you should have set them to small.

    That said its not so simple if you want to listen to music from your mains with the sub off. If you're like most audiophiles that own decent sized main speakers you may not want to use for subwoofer for music. In that case I suggest setting the mains to large and set the sub to off for 2 channel mode.




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    • ZX 6R
      Member
      • Jan 2003
      • 64

      #3
      There isn't really a formal universal definition as such for what "large" constitutes with regards to all manufacturers. As the manual states the main criterion would be the speaker's ability to handle bass. Not only should the speaker be able to go down quite low but it should be able to do it without sacrificing much volume and without compromising other aspects of it's performance. Unfortunately most spec sheets for "consumer" grade electronics & speakers aren't that accurate.
      Unless you have access to a good real time analyzer I would just disregard the actual labels and trust your ears. Find a few scenes that you think tax the system quite heavily in all areas (lows, mid, high) and then cycle through logical permutations(eg. all large and no sub, all small plus sub with moderate crossover freq(80hz), front 3 large rears set to small plus sub crossover 80hz...etc) ......Ideally in a perfect world you'd have all speakers the exact same and then your sub/s. Then it just becomes a matter of finding the right point for the crossover to occur in the combo of that 1 speaker and your sub/s. This obviously cuts down on the number of permutations and that's the way soundtracks are actually recorded so therefore it also optimizes playback.......Before I blather on anymore the moral is just use the label "large" or "small" as a starting point. Mess around till you think it sounds good and there is a pretty seamless transition from speakers to sub/s cuz that's really what you're trying to set.

      Comment

      • Andrew Pratt
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Aug 2000
        • 16507

        #4
        Right but unless you set your speakers to small the cross over isn't a factor since each of the large speakers would get a full range signal. All this means is that unless your speakers can do as good a job as the sub set them to small and play with the cross over point. Since the cross over is global for all speakers take the weakest speaker you have (as far as bass response) and use that as your guide to setting the cross over. In most systems 80 hz works pretty well.




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        • Lex
          Moderator Emeritus
          • Apr 2001
          • 27461

          #5
          Large in my opinion is roughly equivilent to "full range". Consequently, that definition means capable of playing sub 40 Hz bass. Preferably down to 20-30 dB. But I don't think there's a golden number that completes the definition of full range, but rather, a general rule that a speaker would play most low bass information thrown at it in a fairly wide range of music or movies. My own new speakers Extrema while 2 way, do play down to 40 Hz, so I consider them fairly full range speakers, but I guess by the absolute definition, there's bass below them, so they are not technically full range. But that doesn't stop them from playing "most bass" in the music I listen to.

          but regarding the average speaker, your much better off crossing over your speakers just above their low point in the specs. So, if they say they play to 30 Hz, cross them over at 40. If they say they play to 60, cross them over at 80 Hz, effectively sending any bass below the crossover point to the subwoofer.

          Lex




          Cable Guy DVD Collection
          Doug
          "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

          Comment

          • Andrew Pratt
            Moderator Emeritus
            • Aug 2000
            • 16507

            #6
            If you're talking music then its a little different then home theaters since DVD's frequently contain bass down to 20 Hz but for music most of the time there's very little below 40 Hz. That's why for HT we recommend setting your speakers to small and let the sub take the ultra low bass but in music most decent sized speakers can do a very nice job with what bass there is there...plus you won't have to deal with getting the cross over seamless to the sub.

            For the cross over point actually the "rule" as I understand it is to set the cross over point at twice the F3 point of the sub. So if your speakers extend down to 40Hz move up one octave and cross them over at 60 or 80.




            Comment

            • JohnSC
              Member
              • Jun 2002
              • 77

              #7
              Alternately, you could set the sub to off for 2 channel listening, the mains to small and cross them over at one setting above their lowest possible frequency. That should give you the best of both worlds.

              Comment

              • jpossum
                Member
                • Jan 2003
                • 38

                #8
                Hey Andrew,

                stupdi question....how do I set my 1066 to have subwoofer on for DVD stuff but not go on for 2 channel? I decided that I would never really understand the whole bass mgmt discussion, so I have just put my main speakers to large and have the sub on. Then when I listen to 2 channel, I just get up off the sofa and turn the sub woofer volume right down. (this should give all you audiophiles a good laugh).

                Comment

                • JohnSC
                  Member
                  • Jun 2002
                  • 77

                  #9
                  jpossum,

                  If you have the latest firmware installed, you are able to turn the subwoofer off for different sound formats. Simply set the subwoofer to 'off' for music in the subwoofer setup menu.

                  John

                  Comment

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