MY preference would be to leave them as 'full range' but why not flip the switch and see what you like.
9 responses Add your response
..."However at "loud" volume levels, I am concerned that I may be over driving them."
This is a common problem wiht audiophiles/enthusiests who run full range speakers as such for HT! Often your not only under-amping them, but your passive speakers have a hard time with control and dynamics for DD/DTS becuase of the inificiency of the system! Powered sub's, and setting PROPERLY SET UP SPEAKERS as "small" is a much more dynamic experience with passive speakers! Bass managment is a must! You will get much better authority and power handling with the Powered sub, and your speakers amps will only be handling upper bass on up, which is much more efficient! You're effectively partially ACTIVELY BI-AMPING your system when you do this! It's much stronger.
A good compare/contrast here, would be you driving your F30's full range side by side vs. a pair of either full range Def TEch BP2000's, Infinity Prelude MTS's, or NHT VT3 towers! The above mentioned other speakers will dynamically stomp your speakers!...especially on ultra dynamic Rock and DD/DTS movies!!! These speakers are using powered active woofers with large drivers and amps! Your passive set up method is less efficient, potent, dynamic, and strong. That's the way it is.
Many, many, many people simply plug their 2 channel full range passive system into a DVD player, and think they have the pinicle of great HT sound!...they're mistaken.
Heck, even large commercial theaters use massive ultra high sensitivity horn speakers and cross em over to big 15/18" powered subwoofers! There's a reason...it's more dynamic, and efficient!...not to mention potently powerful.
So, what do you want? Do you want, plolite, strained, muddy, blown out sounding bass for ultra demanding HT material?...then you run things "as is". Otherwise, my suggestion(making sure you have a good amp) is to make sure they're placed properly for best bass coupling with the room/your seats, cross em over as "small"(maybe even bi-amping would help greatly if you get radical), and let active powered subs handle the "dirty work"! You'll like what you get, trust me.
Another "test" is to run some very dynamic rockor Techno "your way" vs., "bass managed/subwoofer way!".
Another consideration, and STONG REASON why you should "bass mangage" is that standard audiophile speakers like yours are lower sensitivity compared to the much more dynamically effortless high sensitivity active, horn, pro audio, and similar spaeker designs!...so they need all the help they can.(I think they're like 89/89db or something, compared to high 90-115db speakers!) good luck
Wow!!! I sure do appreciate all of your input. I believe that the bass is "tighter" when I run the Revels "large". However, there seems to be a lack of deep bass for the DD/DTS movies.As far as amps go, I use a parasound with 220 watts into 8 ohms and about 320 into 4 ohms. Based on what I am hearing and what your saying, it sounds like I would be better off using the "Small" setting. Thus the question remains, am I not loosing low end when listening to 2 channel music? Once again, thx for your advice. ( I use an older Krell HTS processor that only allows LRG or SML settings, with no other bass mgmt)
i run them "large" through my cal audio ssp 2500/mCA 2500 set up and they sound great
i have experimented with them pretty extensively
i also have a rel storm iii whgich makes a huge difference.
i do not even use the sub with the .1 sub channel but have it integrated with my speakers and it sounds great
i recently upgrade to the revel studios so wont need the sub all the time and will likely use it as the .1 channel now
hope this helps
Here's the deal...
...Most subwoofers are designed with a lower "Q-factor", meaning they aren't as tightly controlled/damped as most speaker system woofers("as is"). some sub manufactures go out of their way to make musical "tight", well controled woofers. The trade off often is extension/output vs speed, musicality, accuracy(musically speaking, which is much less demanding dynamically mostly) and tightess.
There are many subs out there however that are more musically accurate, well damped designs, which favor an excellent musical experience, even world class if set up with care and precision, and integrated with your system properly! The problem there is, that most "user error" and lack of experience leads to less than perfect coherence, blending, balance, frequency response, phase alignement, level matching, etc with the rest of the system!..and thus ultimate musical/technical accuracy suffers. In that case, most audio enthusiests(even seasoned audiophile twsakes) end up with a more cohesive, well integrated and balnced sound(thus yeilding a faster, more well controled sound) driving their speakers full range. After all theres nothing there to screw up besides poor speaker placment ovearall. Basically the speakers are already well integrated. You couple that with he fact, again, that most sub's are made with parameters for maximizing output and power handling for HT dubties, and it's easy; to see why you'll most often find a better sound for music playing your speakers "full range", and maybe X'ing the sub there.
Still, when you get down to the heavy artilary of HT DD/DTS material and such, I think you need to kick in the dynamic effeciency quotient, and opt for the "small setting", and enlist the help of the sub(making sure of phase and proper coupling at the critical crossover between sub/speakers).
Of course, the best alternative is to indeed get a sub(or best yet, multiple properly placed/calibrated sub's) that is a more msically accurate, if larege enough for the job/room. OTher wise, multiple higher quality subs are the way to go. You'll run them much more effeiciently, within their operating range, increase dynamic output in the room, with less demand on the subs..thus you can get more musically "taut sub's", and bring the output level to where it's needed..no matter what volume you listen.
If you're room is not so large, there are some excellent/superb sub's out there, that I've foud make for a very audiophile listening experience when set up well, even approaching or at the control level of good audiphile full range speakers for music. Higher end sub's I like for double dubty for HT/music are the likes of M&K MX series, Paradigm's Servo 15(even the PS1000 is a solid little sub for small room applications), Revel B15(parametric EQ is great), Rel's offerings(yet mostly best for smaller spaces, unless you use multiple subs, as they're lower powered mostly), Infinity MTS's sub modules(pricy), Theil's expensive woofer, and similar! These sub's are designed with musicality and accuracy in mind, yet some of them are very potent and powerful for HT dubties in most modest sized spaces! Best results can be had by the trained expertusing multiple's of these subs in a room for more efficiency, dynamic output, lack of potential distortion, etc!. Otherwise, usually you'll find sealed box woofers to offer a higher damping factor and accuracy potential, but depends. There are some superb ported designs also, if that helps. As you notice, most HT sub's are ported, often slopier sounding, but offer great output! It takes a good design/engineer to make a tight, musical, accruate, fast, yet dyanmically superior subwoofer!..but they're out there
Bottom line, If you use a processor that isn't as flexible, and you want to run it one way all the time, I think you might ask yourself what compromises you're willing to make if need be. If you are more into movie perfection, definitely do bass managment! If you don't care as much for HT,listen to lower volume levels consistently by yourself, and overall bass impact and dynamic range isn't a factor, you can just run your speakers full range, be careful, and forget about it!...maybe kicking on the sub to fill in the bottom or whatever. Again, that's if you just want' to not hastle with controls or whatever, and runing your speakrs full range is more important for music reproduction(again, assuming less than ideal sub/speaker set up, like most end up with).
With better sub's, and poper care, you can achieve some tremendous results for your situation. You'll have to tinker. Still, I'd try picking up at least one of the sub's I mentioed above to try! For the money, the Paradigm Servo 15's are a stone cold bargain!...especialy used. If you can't get things to your liking still for music, then yes, just run em "large" for music at least.
Also, for the record, I love your Krell HTS for digial movies! That's one of the cleanest most deatailed digital pre/pro's I've heard for DD/DTS. I just wish those old pieces had dirrect pass through for analog inputs. But then I use a speparate 2 channel pre anyway myself. Still, from the digital in, the movies are really good on those HTS's!
Keep in mind also, that a speaker maker has perfected (relatively) his crossover points, which is most usually not going to be the case with a subwoofer crossed over to a pair of speakers, in time, phase, slope, level, etc. This also adds to the problems of PERFECT COHESION and blending.
Most would agree that a typical 4th order crossover from sub to mains is the best and easiest blend for transparency. I'm sure it's a case by case in some cases however. Still, the set up, speaker and seating possitioning, proper calibration, level matching, phase, crossover slop, etc, etc, yada, yada will be critical for best results in any sub/speaker setup.
So be warned all ye united audiopurists!