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Setting Speakers to Large, would not this damage small speakers ?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by naturally, Mar 29, 2003.

  1. naturally

    naturally
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    Reading many of the threads in the forum, there are lots of discussions about small vs. large ... etc.

    As a non-expert, it seems to me that setting small or bookshelf speakers to large should damage something within the speaker when it tries to reproduce signals below 30 hz or so. Some of the small speakers are designed to go to 80 hz only.

    What is the effect of setting small speakers to large ?

    Wouldnt this damage them ?

    Sorry if this was asked before, but I could not find a similar thread.
     
  2. Squirrel God

    Squirrel God
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    I think speakers have band-pass/band-stop filters which discard frequencies outside the specified ranges.

    I'm guessing this based on the fact that I never seemed to damage my speakers when I set them to LARGE.
     
  3. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    Setting limted frequency response speakers to large should not damage them. They simpley won't reproduce the frequencies outside their range.

    There is no extra filtering required.
     
  4. EvilMudge

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    As Retro puts it, no extra filtering required - you won't kill them by sending them full range signals. But, your amplifier will run out of power earlier, because the power necessary for low frequency reproduction is much greater than that for higher frequencies.
     
  5. naturally

    naturally
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    Oh I understand. Thanks to all.
     
  6. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    If you think about it, a normal stereo music signal can contain pretty low frequencies. If you put on a CD of some organ music using just a stereo amp and a pair of speakers it would be pretty bad if you had to use extra filtering equipment to prevent the speakers from being damaged.
     
  7. daninthemix

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    Even bookshelf speaker move at 20Hz when music with information at that frequency is played through them - you just can't hear it because of the small drivers!
     
  8. naturally

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    So with bigger size of the driver and enclosure, you can get louder with lower frequencies. Makes sense when I compare the size and drivers of my KEF Q1 and SVS 20-39.

    But, if the drivers do produce sound but it is just lower volume, why can't I pump more power in to increase volume. I.e. will small drivers, small enclosures, produce good sound with more energy ?
     
  9. EvilMudge

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    Because the extra power needed will be much larger than the sonic benefits, and you will in the process kill your speaker.
     
  10. daninthemix

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    This is indeed possible physically - look at Velodyne's HGS-10 which has only 1 10 inch driver, yet goes flat to 20Hz - this is because of the enormous amplifier driving it (1250 watts RMS!).

    However, as Mudge says - simply driving the speakers harder results in more treble as well, and the crossover network and voice coil has only been designed to handle so much currant (hence the power handling rating on speakers).
     
  11. mattr

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    Actually you can damage the drivers if you pass a full range signal to a speaker not expecting it if there's no crossover involved. E.g. the Gallo Micro's manual has this to say ...

    "Before playing speakers make sure that your receiver is set to "small" or crossed over at 80, 100 or 120 Hz. These satellites can not handle full range or "large" settings. If you do not do this, you may destroy your speakers. Please follow all instructions in this manual"

    I bet this is what What-HiFI did when they gave the micros a crappy review.

    Cheers,
    Matt
     
  12. naturally

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    Totally and utterly confused :confused: :confused: :confused:

    I cannot understand if you agree or disagree with this.
     
  13. hunkiemunkey

    hunkiemunkey
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    What size speaker should Mission M73 be set to on my receiver, small or large?

    John
     
  14. nathan_silly

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    LF corner is 48hz. If you can set the crossover to 40 or 50hz, do that.

    What amp have you got? Got a subwoofer?

    I've noticed if you set to large, and enable subwoofer the amount of bass is much less to the mains- so it's OK to set to large.

    However if you disable subwoofer, all LFE goes to mains, and possibly cause too much strain on the speakers.
     
  15. hunkiemunkey

    hunkiemunkey
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    Will have Sony STR-DB780 in a few days.

    No I dont have a sub (yet), the mission produce enough bass for the moment!! (They really do make movies sound great)

    So, large or small?
     
  16. nathan_silly

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  17. hunkiemunkey

    hunkiemunkey
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    I read on a previous thread that you should set the amp to large if the speakers were floorstanders

    John
     
  18. nathan_silly

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    Like my other post a couple of mins ago, setting to large without having a subwoofer will send ALL bass to the floorstanders.

    Even Kef Q55's can't cope, with a £1000 poweramp.

    But once you get a subwoofer, enable subwoofer so most bass from the Floorstanders is redirected to the floorstanders, easing the strain on the floorstanders.
     

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