HT Basics: Small Versus Large Speakers

HT Basics is a look at basic Home Theater setup and terminology. From
time to time I will post a topic and let the community have at it. The
goal is to come up with a meaningful discussion to help people coming
here for the basics. Eventually, each topic will get moved to the HT
Basics forum for easier searching.

The first topic, one critical
to getting the most out of your system, is setting up your speakers as
small versus large in your receiver.  Say, for instance, that you have a nice sub and a decent set of main speakers.  Is it better to configure your surround setup in the receiver to label the main speakers as "large" thus routing some bass to the mains rather than the sub, or should one configure the mains as "small" allowing the sub to do all the work?

Feel free to start the discussion in this thread.