80hz versus large Speaker Small Speaker



Hi Everyone,
I have just upgraded from a Yamaha RXV-520 to a Pioneer VSX-LX302.
Got to luv all the features this amp presents and the microphone setup...But?
My front Mains are Wharfedale Atlantic 500s with a Down-firing Yamaha YST-SW320 Sub Woofer, rear Surrounds are Sansui 200W 8ohm Towers (yes i know, what a load of crap... BUT have served me very well with all of Angus Young and Eric Clapton Guitar Riffs) They look like the Yamaha NS-51 floor standing speakers, an almost clone.
My question is: The 80hz setting is very nice but does not fare very well to the Wharfedale power. So I dropped down to 50Hz and WOW what a difference, the Wharfedales make, they are alive and sound super great. By the way, the setting is to "Small" not "Large" and with "Main+Sub" The microphone test was not to my satisfaction and I used a Sound Tester we use at work for machine noise etc and set the speakers to 78db. The Surround speakers have lost their clarity a little due to the drop in Hz, should I change their setting from "Small" to "Large"? I have EQ the surrounds to have more treble (+4db) which has improved the sound quite a bit. Sadly I am unable to set the surround speakers Hz independently the hz is for all speakers. Also thought of Bi-Amp but the speakers only have 2 post connectors. I'm at work at the moment so I have not tried that other "Large" setting yet.
Ordered the Jamo ATM 50 Dolby Atmos Modules to place on top of the Wharfedales or to the top left and right sides of the room (dunno yet) Do I set the Jamo speakers to Large or Small being Atmos (Height) only?
Been waiting quite a while for the Jamos, 2 weeks now due to Lockdown restraining deliveries.
Some advice would be greatly appreciated.
PS: learned a lot from your YouTube videos you guys rock!
Cape Town
South Africa


Audioholic Chief

Setting your front speakers to Large will disable the sub. Even with big front speakers you have to set them as Small so that your crossover will be recognized.

(Now if some receivers behave differently, I can't say. I know my Yamaha was like this)

I didn't think you could set surrounds to large or small. But again, different units could have different settings.

80Hz is a popular frequency, but certainly not the best for every set up. If 50 sounds better for you, by all means stick with it.


Hi There,
Thank you for your the quick reply.
My apologies, I thought it possible to change the Surrounds to large. When I was using the MCACC the auto set found the Surrounds as Large? On the 2nd attempt it saw them as small so, if I did another Mic setup and place the mic further away from the money seat and it chooses large again, am I able to leave it Large and change the Mains back to Small as the mic will set them to large as well.
Much Appreciated


Audioholic Ninja
Something to keep in mind: the Large/Small setting aside, many speakers are not well suited to playing full range information. A speaker, for example, with an F3 of 50-60 Hz will not fare well with the extended dynamic peak of a 25Hz signal.
Common rationale in Bass Management could perhaps me simplified as: speaker protection and optimizing results.
By passing the Low Frequencies to the Subwoofer(s) at 80 Hz, you are ensuring that no signal below 40Hz will be strong enough to harm your speakers. Likewise, in doing so, the power being delivered to your speakers is more effectively and efficiently applied where it matters: to the Upper Bass, Mids, and Highs. My own experience showed me the payoff in that I found more clarity from my Speakers in the Mids and Highs, and the Subwoofers were delivering clean and impactful Bass.
Every system is different, and so are our ears.
Listening critically is a good skill to develop if this is more than just a passing pursuit. I always recommend starting with the XO at 80, OR, at 1 Octave above the F3 of your speaker. (Some recommend 1/2-Octave above.) Regardless, with that, experiment, up and down, with the setting. Listen to music you know with simple but good traits. Good recordings with a demand for Bass, Mid, and High-end detail. Jazz can be great for this, as orchestral, and some Pop. But hearing a clean articulate Upright Bass with a Tenor Sax or Ella Fitzgerald can be quite exposing of what is happening in the transition between Speaker and Sub, and how that effects the reproduction of the recording as a whole.
My speakers that perform down to the mid-20s are crossed at 80. Simply, it SOUNDS BETTER!

Regardless, if you are happy, then be happy and enjoy. If you want to experiment, do so with a critical ear, and open mind.



I recently added a large subwoofer to my home system. My mains are full range, Vandersteen 2Ce Signatures that reach flat down to 31 hz bi-amped by Parasound, and for the past year I had an SVS SB-2000 to fill in the bottom reaches. Well, I recently build a large subwoofer, 18" in 4 cu ft enclosure backed by a 1200 RMS amp and DSP to even it out. I moved the crossover on the processor for the Vandersteen from 40 hz to 80 hz and let this new big subwoofer handle what it is designed for.
well, the results are that the Vandersteens picked up noticeable gains in dynamics, clarity, nothing negative I have found, and the subwoofer easily bests the SVS and full range Vandersteens in the lower reaches. This new set up, bigger sub, raising the low cut off for the mains to 80 hz has taken the system performance to the next level.


Audioholic Warlord
You just discovered on your own one of the things we tend to advise folks when they come here asking questions. My towers are flat to 30 Hz as well and I use a 80 Hz crossover too. I also notice an improvement in dynamics and clarity when I offload the bass frequencies to a sub.


Full Audioholic
I tend to like my Towers set to small but crossover at 60hz versus 80. Do what sounds best to you.

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