I have always wondered about this and thougth I would ask here. I have large 3 way floorstanding speakers with 12 inch subs in them, powered by a HK stereo receiver. This receiver has treble, bass and balance controls. Now, my question is: if I turn the bass control all the way down will this put less stress on the reciver? Will I be able to play my music louder without clipping than if the bass control was turned all the way up?
Most audio enthusiasts forget about tone controls. They should be set at the flat position (normally 12 o'clock). Turning the bass back from the flat postion may save a little stress on the speaker at high volumes but the sound will most likely suffer.
Okay good point but i was just wondering, speaking strictly from a mechanical (or electrical standpoint) would there be less stress on the receiver itself if it did not have to amplify the bass notes as much?
Steve, yes, as most energy is in low frequencies, turning down the bass would lead to less stress but also less sound pressure. Cranking the volume up to gain the sound pressure will also restore the stress.
Okay thanks for the info. If I use a pair of subs for my low frequency and turn the bass all the way down on the reciver I can still have low freq. sound pressure but the receiver will be able to play the speakers louder without clipping, am I right?
If your receiver has proper bass management, hooking-up the sub and setting the speakers to small will send low frequency content to the sub (and relieve burden on both the receiver and the main speakers).
If it doesn't have bass management, then you'll want to route the signal through high level inputs and outputs on the sub (if it has them).
You don't want to reduce the bass level control because that will also affect the signal that goes to the sub.