Small or Large amp setting

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by simonofischia, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. simonofischia

    simonofischia
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    Having read previous threads about what setting I should have my speakers on (Small or Large) I really would like to get to the bottom of this ever confusing discussion. Most people on here seem to say 'stick with small" it's safer. That's ok but not very precise. I have Paradigm speakers CC170 centre, floor standing front left and right, Paradigm surrounds and single centre back CC100 and NO sub woofer as I can't stand the things.. I decided to send an email to Paradigm themselves and this is the answer I received.
    Hi Simon,

    If you do not have a subwoofer in your setup you would want your speakers set as large.

    You would only want to set your speakers to small if you have a subwoofer.

    Jamie Z. | Technical Advisor | Paradigm/Anthem Support Team

    Seems a bit too straightforward to me. I expected a little more information. I have sent another email asking for just that.
    I understood that if my speakers were set to large they could be damaged by frequency change. I am fairly well up on technical stuff, but frequency's and the other technicalities on speakers does lose me.
    Anyone with any comments. Most welcome.
     
  2. simonofischia

    simonofischia
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    I should have added that I do not watch Marvel crap and any movies with cars and vans flying across the room. Mostly I watch 1930's, 1940's movies (I have lots of blu rays and a huge film noir collection). I do watch period dramas and well made tv series like Godless (Netflix), so my surround system IS used before anyone thinks otherwise. Cross overs, bi-wiring etc is not something that enthuses me, but I do want to sort out this small/large speaker problem. My system sounds great to me and other people who hear it and it is currently set on 'small'. What I don't want to hear is 'if it sounds good leave it alone'. I would like to know what is the CORRECT setting.
    Thanks all and happy new year
     
  3. DodgeTheViper

    DodgeTheViper
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    The advice you have already been given is CORRECT.

    And if it does sound good to you, why would you want to change that. What’s good to someone else, or CORRECT to someone else may not sound good to you. So why change something that sounds good to you just because someone else says differently.

    I’ve had people suggest certain settings with stuff to me but when I’ve listened to it I’ve thought otherwise. So I set stuff that sounds good to me, not someone else. A bit of science, yes, but then we use our own ears.
     
  4. simonofischia

    simonofischia
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    A nice sensible reply is always appreciated. I just wish I understood what this 'small and large' deal is. I am the type of person who at least likes to understand what is going on with the settings. Although I did not want to hear your opinion I do actually agree with your thoughts as to 'if it sounds good why change it'. Just makes me wonder why the manufacturers don't make things simple and have a single setting for the speakers. Nobody seems to have a real idea as to what is really going on including the simple reply from Paradigm themselves, who I don't agree with. Thanks a million anyway.
     
  5. simonofischia

    simonofischia
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    I have one main question over all of this though. Am i likely to damage my speakers on either setting?
     
  6. adam-burnley

    adam-burnley
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    Not sure how technical you want to get, but in simple terms the Large setting passes the full range of frequencies (low, mid and high), whilst the Small setting passes frequencies over the designated Crossover point, which usually excludes the low frequencies. In this configuration, frequencies below the Crossover point are sent to a subwoofer.

    As you don't have a subwoofer, you should use the Large setting.

    Having said that, you should run the room EQ software on your AVR (assuming it has the feature?), and let it determine the best configuration. I would, however, expect it to set your speakers to Large in any case.

    One caveat... if you don't want to hear low frequencies, then setting a high Crossover point (80Hz and above) would make them 'disappear'.
     
  7. Killak

    Killak
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    Agree with above! But i'll try saying in another way...

    Setting the speakers to "large" would send the full single to the speakers.

    Setting it to "small", the receiver would then ask you for a crossover frequency. If, for example, you choose 100hz as your crossover frequency, any sounds lower than 100hz, the receiver would redirect that sound to the subwoofer. Anything above 100hz would be sent to the speaker.

    This is useful if your speakers are not capable of producing lower frequencies, or if you just want lighten the load on your speakers.

    In your case, as you don't have a subwoofer, you do not want any frequencies to be redirected to the subwoofer, so I would recommend setting them to large!
    Your speakers will just have to play as low as they can (unless your speakers sound very bad at reproducing low frequencies)

    You should make sure your receiver also knows that you don't have a subwoofer so the subwoofer channel is redirected to your speakers.

    BUT as DodgeTheViper says above, it really is what sounds best for you. I've kind of learnt the hard way that room dynamics play a massive part in how your speakers sound. The advice we've given is correct for a perfect acoustic sounding room, your room will have its own characteristics for which you need to make adjusts for. One example, setting the speakers to large may make them sound too boomy in your room.

    Anyway hope that all makes sense...good luck in finding that perfect sound!
     
  8. Killak

    Killak
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    And not really likely to damage your speakers with either setting unless your your playing them very loudly or without the proper ampage...
     
  9. John7

    John7
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    When you tell your receiver (in the settings menu) that you don’t have a subwoofer, you should not be given the choice to set the speakers to small as no bass redirection is possible. Are you sure you have set your receiver up correctly?
     
  10. DodgeTheViper

    DodgeTheViper
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    You’re unlikely to damage your speakers either way if being sensible with volume levels.

    If a Subwoofer is in the system then the speakers are typically set to anywhere between 80 & 100Hz crossover. Meaning any frequency below this is sent to the Subwoofer. It’s not a brick wall though and is filtered.
    I notice your Paradigm centre is good down to 70Hz or so and I assume your Left and Right will be somewhat lower.

    If you set up as Large, you will be allowing the speakers to express their full frequency range. This would probably be the preferred setting without a Subwoofer in the system.
    If it was me, with your circumstances, I would be setting to Large.

    I hope that helps ;)
     

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