It depends. By design, the 2WQ subs cross over at about 80 hz, with a shallow slope, so your mini-moniter would need useful output about 1 octave below that.
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In the Vandersteen website, it is suggested when the wall-mounted VSM(-3db @ 60Hz) is used for left and right main or surround speakers that it be mated with a 2WQ but with the crossover set 2 below the input impedance rather than the customary 1. So it can work with smaller speakers. However, the 2W was originally designed to be used with full range speakers with response -3db @ 40Hz.
Jimburger, where are you getting this info about using the "customary 1" setting below input impedance? I just wonder how this sort of folk lore gets started. I see now how it gets spread around and then is accepted as truth if it gets repeated enough times. Use the setting that sounds best. There is no "customary" setting. It is most likley that if your speakers are for the most part full range and roughly the same sensitivity of Vandersteen 2's or 3's the the setting that is the same as you input impedance will offer the least colored sound.
Maxgain. Forgive me for oversimplifying. You are correct that the published input impedances of power amplifiers are imprecise and the proper setting of the subwoofer crossover is ultimately determined by experimentation. I was referring to a starting point for experimentaion that I thought I read in the owner's manual. I may have read it someplace else or perhaps even misread it. The main point I was trying to make is that the setting for the VSM would be different because its -3db point in the bass range is not the desired 1 octave below the internal 80 hz low pass crossover of the 2WQ. And although the setting would be different than that for a full-range speaker it would still work with it. Vandersteen does suggest in the owner's manual that an "ultimate" home theatre could use 2WQ's crossed over to VSM's for the rear channels.
Maxgain. I'll tell you where I got the folk lore. Straight from the Vandersteen 2WQ owner's manual. So I guess Richard Vandersteen is the guilty party in spreading such tall tales.
From page 3 of the 2Wq manual:
"Using the chart on the bottom of the WX-2, locate the value one setting below the actual input impedance of your main amplifier.(For example, if your amplifier had an input impedance of 100k, you would select the 50k value.)
Also in the 2WQ owners manual(page 5):
(When 2Wqs are used with Vandersteen VSM surround speakers, the crossover should be set two settings below the surround amplifier's input impedance. This will avoid interaction with the VSM series speaker's integral high-pass filter.)
Jimburger, Maxgain, and Swampwalker:
thanks for your inputs. To answer one of the question, micro utopia be low frequency response is -3db at 50Hz and -6db at 45Hz... so it is higher than the desired -3db at 40Hz.
Jimburger, the manual at page 5 pose a follow up question: why whould you want to avoid interaction with speaker's integral high pass filter? when you use the vsm speaker, do you also use the high pass filter supplied with 2wq? if not, that it would make sense...
Tried a sub/sat or sub/monitor (if you prefer) setup twice over the years. I always felt there was "something" missing. What was missing was half the presentation. I ended up going back to floor standers both times. I've never made the mistake of desiring mini speakers with subs again. If you don't have to go that route, don't. It's Bose-like. It's asking for problems in the sound. I would say that as a general rule, Harvesty is right. It just doesn't sound terrific to put puny speakers and subs together. What sounds terriffic is a great three way floor stander. Even better, those floor standers with 2W's!
Jimburger, that is interesting stuff. I'll look at my manual and see what it says. My dealer told me a while back that the "procedure" was to find the setting on the WX-2 that sounded best and when oddering fixed X-2 filters to buy them "one step below". This is total nonsense.I wasted my money using his advice and then needed to sell the filters he had me buy ay a loss so I could replace them with the filters that were of the same value as what I had determined sounded best on the WX-2. Even the dealers have been confused by some of the way this stuff in the manuals has been worded.
You are right that the lower input value filters will warm up the bottom end and this is also needed when using spekers of higher sensitivity than about 90db. There comes a point where the sensitivity of the mains can be too high for the 2Wq to work due to not enough output to cut it.