Is anyone using extreme flea power?

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belle harbor

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Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« on: 16 Jul 2017, 11:54 am »
Virtually all of my listening is done with amps which can provide around 1 wpc or less (very easy when using 96 db/2.83V/m speakers and listening at low levels only 5 feet away).  Just curious as to whether there are many others following the same form of audio insanity.

opnly bafld

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Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #1 on: 16 Jul 2017, 02:50 pm »
I have a 2 watt EL84 set amp and 90dB Fostex FE107E speakers in a spare bedroom system.  :)
Most of my listening though is with double digit power into low sensitivity speakers in my main system.  :|

RDavidson

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Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #2 on: 16 Jul 2017, 05:38 pm »
I think there are many here using flea power, but not extreme. I also listen nearfield and probably use 1/2 a watt a lot of the time, but headroom is important for transients. Everyone's situation is a little different, but with extreme flea power I'd probably want 100db+ sensitive speakers with no power robbing crossover. I'm not being critical of your setup. Just saying that dynamics require power or more sensitive speakers or combo of both in order to be fully realized.

opnly bafld

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Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #3 on: 16 Jul 2017, 05:48 pm »
From belle harbor's introduction thread:
"My listening preference is in the near-field at fairly low levels (rarely above 72-73 db) as I find it provides the total immersion which I enjoy."

I doubt he needs more power or more sensitive speakers.

RDavidson

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Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #4 on: 16 Jul 2017, 07:09 pm »
Maybe not. It highly depends on how dynamic (or not) the music is that he typically listens to. Even just a 9db-12db dynamic swing may require several watts (if we assume 1/4 - 1/2 watt is nominal). A sudden drum snap might require this kind of headroom. But with only 1 watt available, the ceiling might be a bit low....if only for some music or if one decides to play music a little louder than normal. Also, 5 feet is nearly 2 meters. With speakers that are 96db sensitive at 1 watt at 1 M, this extra distance has to be accounted for also. There are a lot of factors, for sure. Food for thought.

belle harbor

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Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #5 on: 16 Jul 2017, 08:38 pm »
Thanks for the replies.  I didn't expect to be back on the computer until later in the week but, after working all day, a few minutes break is welcome!

For my needs, 1 watt is really more than enough.  I don't listen to as much classical music as in the past, so 20 db of headroom isn't overly critical for me.  Simply allowing the loudest crescendo to hit the low 80s db range (which is about the loudest I would want it) all is well.  And, as we all know, most other types of recordings don't have much dynamic range at all. 

For those who are interested in power requirements, Pano on the DIY Audio forum posted a very simple (and amazingly accurate) way of determining how much power one needs for a given level.  The thread has been running for years:

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/204857-test-voltage-power-speakers.html

I look forward to reading more responses on this subject. 




 

leica m3

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Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #6 on: 16 Jul 2017, 10:20 pm »
In my den I am using a Bottlehead SEX 2.0 with a pair of Foster FE103en bass reflex speakers.

Lefatshe

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Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #7 on: 24 Jul 2017, 01:01 pm »
During the summer I use a proto-type with 1.5 watts from 2 x 6UL8 tubes developed by David Berning (he lives a half hour from me). David developed it because the 6UL8 tube is ubiquitous, having been used in TVs, and he lowered the cost of owning a tube amp. I use it to drive WLM Divas rated at 97 dB with coaxial drivers in an 11 x 11 room; listening near-field at 5 feet with the system on the diagonal. I am a believer in the "first watt principle".

I'd love recommendations for other highly efficient speakers that would work in my 11 x 11 room.  (Note: the house is wood frame over a crawl space so the room is susceptible to bass boom nodes.)

Thanks.

rollo

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Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #8 on: 24 Jul 2017, 02:37 pm »
  Have you heard Rethm speakers yet. ? 1.5W Watts required, oh my !

charles

Rusty Jefferson

Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #9 on: 24 Jul 2017, 03:44 pm »
I've been demoing a (Berning) LTA Microzotl primarily as a preamp.  I bi-amp full range 102db monitors and passive subs.  The 1watt taps on the Microzotl can run the monitors reasonably  well, and the analogue outputs used to run the subs. Pretty sweet!

rollo

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Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #10 on: 24 Jul 2017, 03:46 pm »
  Rusty I'm a really big fan of David's designs. Gotta sound wonderful.


charles

roscoe65

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Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #11 on: 24 Jul 2017, 05:31 pm »
  Have you heard Rethm speakers yet. ? 1.5W Watts required, oh my !

charles

 I heard them a few years ago at THE Show driven by Red Wine Audio electronics.  The show music wasn't to my taste but the sound quality in a hotel room was fantastic.

rollo

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Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #12 on: 24 Jul 2017, 07:29 pm »
  Looking at the Berning Microzotl for the Rethms any other suggestions ?


charles

belle harbor

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Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #13 on: 24 Jul 2017, 09:21 pm »
During the summer I use a proto-type with 1.5 watts from 2 x 6UL8 tubes developed by David Berning (he lives a half hour from me). David developed it because the 6UL8 tube is ubiquitous, having been used in TVs, and he lowered the cost of owning a tube amp. I use it to drive WLM Divas rated at 97 dB with coaxial drivers in an 11 x 11 room; listening near-field at 5 feet with the system on the diagonal. I am a believer in the "first watt principle".

I'd love recommendations for other highly efficient speakers that would work in my 11 x 11 room.  (Note: the house is wood frame over a crawl space so the room is susceptible to bass boom nodes.)

Thanks.

The 6LU8 has been very popular with low power enthusiasts and there are many other TV type tubes around which some phenomenal sounding amps can be built.  Among them are the 6CY7, 6DR7, 6FD7, 6DZ8, and 6BX7.  Having spent countless hours servicing TVs and repairing/restoring radios I was always struck by how excellent the sound quality was from many of them.  This in spite of the single ended audio output stages and bandwidth limitations.  My obsession for the past 20 years or so has been to extract true high fidelity sound from amps using tubes designed for radio and TV service.

As to other speakers which work well in a near-field situation, many of the Klipsch speakers work extremely well.  I've had lots of experience with using La Scalas, Cornwalls, and older Reference Series speakers like the RF-15/25/35 in small rooms and these can often be found at reasonable prices here in the US.

Has anyone had experience with the Betsy baffle speakers?  I've thought about trying a pair for some time but haven't been able to find out the impedance curve for the driver.  If anyone has this info I will be grateful if you post it.

Did anyone try the power measurement test as presented in the DIY link I posted above?  Guys are often amazed at just how little power they require for a given listening level.

JLM

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Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #14 on: 25 Jul 2017, 11:41 am »
I tried for years to become a DecHead, but being a rather frugal speaker guy could never find a satisfactory high efficiency speaker to pair with the little low impedance Decware amps.  Along the way I bought a Radio Shack sound pressure level meter (before smart phones) and found out at just what volumes and frequencies I was listening to and that it seems that many audiophiles are clueless in both regards.  Also discovered how easily audiophiles can be conditioned to accept music without bass (to live with those tiny amps), a major proud papa syndrome that audio is full of.  Frankly it sort of scared me to realize after a demonstration of full bass music with such a crowd how they can live without, in fact where beyond dismissive of the whole experience of hearing the bottom 2 octaves of music (like living in a zombie movie).

IMO high fidelity sound reproduction has to start with full coverage of the frequency and sound pressure ranges of unamplified live music (30 - 20,000 Hz and 105 dB peaks).  Anything less may sound good and pleasing, but cannot be high fidelity.  Of course the reverse is even more true, just having full coverage certainly doesn't ensure good sound.  Another prerequisite where it seems many fail in obtaining good sound reproduction is having a decent room and setup within the room.  That, and the love for low powered amplification, is where headphones come in.

belle harbor

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Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #15 on: 25 Jul 2017, 12:36 pm »
I tried for years to become a DecHead, but being a rather frugal speaker guy could never find a satisfactory high efficiency speaker to pair with the little low impedance Decware amps.  Along the way I bought a Radio Shack sound pressure level meter (before smart phones) and found out at just what volumes and frequencies I was listening to and that it seems that many audiophiles are clueless in both regards.  Also discovered how easily audiophiles can be conditioned to accept music without bass (to live with those tiny amps), a major proud papa syndrome that audio is full of.  Frankly it sort of scared me to realize after a demonstration of full bass music with such a crowd how they can live without, in fact where beyond dismissive of the whole experience of hearing the bottom 2 octaves of music (like living in a zombie movie).

IMO high fidelity sound reproduction has to start with full coverage of the frequency and sound pressure ranges of unamplified live music (30 - 20,000 Hz and 105 dB peaks).  Anything less may sound good and pleasing, but cannot be high fidelity.  Of course the reverse is even more true, just having full coverage certainly doesn't ensure good sound.  Another prerequisite where it seems many fail in obtaining good sound reproduction is having a decent room and setup within the room.  That, and the love for low powered amplification, is where headphones come in.

I don't disagree with your premise.  However, there has been a great deal of debate about whether a live performance should be used as the yardstick against which recorded music is measured.  No matter the capabilities of a system, it is not possible to duplicate Carnegie Hall, Fillmore East, etc. in one's listening room. And, it's impossible for a recording engineer to create the same acoustic experience of front row center vs. some other location in the venue. 

As to bass response, low power amps are certainly capable of delivering the goods at 30 Hz if the output transformers can produce such a low frequency.  Attached below is a shot of the 320 Hz square wave of one of the 1 wpc amps which I use.

In near-field systems it is very easy to achieve a peak of 105 db or more with a combination of very high efficiency speakers and a low power amp.  For example, only around 20 milliwatts into a pair of Klipsch La Scalas will provide around 85 db at a 6 foot listening position.  So, an amp which can deliver a clean 2 W will provide 20 db of headroom to achieve the 105 db which you mentioned. 

What makes audio such an enjoyable pastime is that there are so many ways to achieve a desired goal (which, obviously, is different for each of us).

Wind Chaser

Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #16 on: 25 Jul 2017, 01:15 pm »
Decware amps... Radio Shack sound pressure level meter... 105 dB peaks...

Believe it or not, I was able to attain 103 db peaks (C weighted) @ 2 meters with a Decware Zen combined with The Hornshoppe Horns and a sub.
« Last Edit: 25 Jul 2017, 07:44 pm by Wind Chaser »

Dmason

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Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #17 on: 25 Jul 2017, 06:15 pm »
I too have heard the 108 Horns with a high passed 3 watt spud and a Serious Genelec sub and it was fabulous, dynamic, and unsettlingly full range.  Great results also with my Bentwood Angel horns w Pioneer PM16.  -Fantastic bass listening where the wave was allowed to propagate.

Moral: you don't use a half inch bit to drill a one inch hole.

Derockster

Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #18 on: 25 Jul 2017, 07:04 pm »
I too use a pair of Hornshoppe horns with a two watt decware amplifier. My system is a three way setup as listed below:

horns playing from 250htz up
a pair of 8inch woofers playing from 250htz down to 80htz
Muse model 18 subwoofer playing from 80htz down.

This system is clear, dynamic definitely not bass shy with good extension at the extremes.

JLM

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Re: Is anyone using extreme flea power?
« Reply #19 on: 26 Jul 2017, 12:35 am »
Yeah, never really liked The Horns, big Klipsch speakers, or most Fostex drivers. 

And using subs means using secondary/bigger wattage amps.

I had owned 7 wpc T-amp and paired it with my Fostex F200A (89 dB/w/m, 8 ohms, 30-20,000 Hz) based transmission line floor standers and got incredibly decent sound, but now run 70 watt Temple Audio mono-blocks, which really wakes them up (like going from a polite gentleman to a NFL linebacker in a tuxedo).