can someone explain this to me?

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fsimms

Re: can someone explain this to me?
« Reply #20 on: 18 Oct 2011, 03:47 pm »
My speakers sound dead at lower than 80db level.  I wondered why and on another forum I was told it was because recording engineers mix the sound to be heard at 83db.  My best friend was over and took a nap so I played the music very softly and he told me that he could tell I had good speakers because they could play so well at low volumes! :lol:  That really surprised me.  I guess everything is relative.  The speakers just sound so good at 83db that the other volume levels pale in comparison.  I think that is the case as when I play a concert piece at 83db the instruments still sound fantastic when they are playing softly.

Bob

rollo

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Re: can someone explain this to me?
« Reply #21 on: 18 Oct 2011, 04:06 pm »
 One would think that if demonstrating a system some sort of measurement is taken to determine the sound. Then room treatment to attack and solve the issues.
  With all the power  conditioners available out there one would think clean power can be had.
 or presentor. Synergy of associated gear as well. One would think evey parameter is considered. My guess is that a built in excuse is haunting the shows. Some issues may be warranted however it is my opinion that if the sound is lacking, the setup is lacking.
   At the Shows we have the experts showing their gear or a dealer showing gear. If they cannot get good sound my confidence in their experience or goods is in question.
   Lets take Magico for example. When we heard them with all VAC gear and a reel to reel playing master tapes I wanted them. When heard with different electronics I hated them. Same speaker, poor choice of associated gear. NOT the room. Same can be said for other demos as ya all have experienced.
  I have heard many great sounds at the shows. best sound in the Show is not the gear alone, it is the SETUP and synergy of such. Not "the dog ate my homework" excuse.
 





charles
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Wayner

Re: can someone explain this to me?
« Reply #22 on: 18 Oct 2011, 05:12 pm »
I believe it was Nelson Pass that once said "If the first watt sounds crappy, why do I need 199 more"?

I agree with that statement in many ways. If your speakers sound dull, lifeless and boring at low volumes, perhaps the truth is, they just plain suck. I have always held the belief that the true test of a speaker is not how loud it can play, but how softly it can play and still be exciting.

If you have to crank them to 80-90db, what are you looking for? Big dynamics? Are many speakers of today going to suddenly start to sound better?

I'm still listening to a little tiny pair of Advent Model 3s. At the lowest volumes, they are amazing. There's bass (and it's deep), glorious mid-range and a sweet high end that simply paints musical pictures all day long, doesn't matter if it's FM, vinyl or digital.

Of course, this was Henry Kloss's pet project. Making a $59(X2) dollar speaker sound fantastic with a 6 1/2" bass diver and a 1 1/2" paper cone tweeter that looks like the one in my AM radio.

But the sound is breath taking, and I'm in denial all the time. I shake my head in disbelief.

Apparently, we can design and cobble speakers together all day long, using the fanciest X-over software, but when it get's down to listening to the music, almost all simply fail, because they can't overcome the very first watt.

 

Wayner

audioengr

Re: can someone explain this to me?
« Reply #23 on: 18 Oct 2011, 05:25 pm »
I believe it was Nelson Pass that once said "If the first watt sounds crappy, why do I need 199 more"?

I agree with that statement in many ways. If your speakers sound dull, lifeless and boring at low volumes, perhaps the truth is, they just plain suck. I have always held the belief that the true test of a speaker is not how loud it can play, but how softly it can play and still be exciting.

If you have to crank them to 80-90db, what are you looking for? Big dynamics? Are many speakers of today going to suddenly start to sound better?

Unfortunately this probably will not change anytime soon.  a good analog IMO is the locomotive pulling the train.  In order to break the rolling friction, it needs a tremendous amount of energy, and the once rolling it needs a lot less. 

If you build a driver that can withstand very high power levels and break windows, it will probably take 10 watts to just get moving.  If you build an ultralight driver, it will only need 1mW to get moving, but will self-destruct with 1000 watt peaks.

the driver must be tailored to the power level being used.  Most are fairly inefficient.

The other consideration is the S/N level at low volumes.  With most volume technologies, it is a LOT worse than at high volumes.  I happen to have a volume control technology wherein the S/N actually decreases with lower volumes. IF you like to listen at low levels, this is really nice.

Steve N.

doug s.

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Re: can someone explain this to me?
« Reply #24 on: 18 Oct 2011, 06:41 pm »
a good point tyson (and doug i think was making roughly the same point also). some speakers may be "voiced" for larger rooms, much like your lambo is built to do 175mph and not 55. but to me it seems a little too convenient to think that all those bad sounding speakers tyson heard at RMAF would blossom into world champions if you moved them into a bigger room. maybe i'm wrong. i personally would want a speaker that can do it all well. seems to be a lot of speakers out there that can only do jazz, only rock, only big rooms, etc. of course, a little bookshelf cannot move enough air to fill a big room, which is no fault of the speaker.
i also like speakers that can do it all well.  it's easier, imo, to get there with dedicated outboard subwoofers - at least two - and an active x-over.  especially w/smaller rooms.  while this may seem counter-intuitive, it makes the main speakers' job in a smaller room easier, w/o the main speaker overloading the room.  and the subs can be tuned to the room.  and having at least two subs helps smooth out room anomalies.  of course, in a big room, having an active outboard subwoofer system allows even small speakers to perform well.  i have a pair of tiny proac tablette reference 8 signatures (even smaller than 1sc's) that can be overdriven with strong bass-content music, even in a medium-sized room.  but, when crossed over to subs, you can play as loud as you wish, even in a room as large as 26x38x8.5, opening to two rooms with cu/ft even larger - amhik.   8)

ymmv,

dooug s.

woodsyi

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Re: can someone explain this to me?
« Reply #25 on: 18 Oct 2011, 06:43 pm »
Fck, why isn't my lambo kicking butt in rush hour traffic?

Because you ain't got one.  :green:

I hear you.  It would still look nice in traffic.  I might even feel better sitting in it even in traffic.  8)

Wayner

Re: can someone explain this to me?
« Reply #26 on: 18 Oct 2011, 07:02 pm »
We have a pair of old Altec Lansing Santiagos back at the shop. They are run by a small Marantz 140 power amp. They will play very delicately at minimal volume, yet at 10 watts, will begin to command respect.

These speakers are highly efficient. Small amps are the perfect match for them. That is why so many people have poor sounding systems, because they match the wrong amp with the wrong speakers. Efficient speakers of the 90+db/m/w will play just fine with a modestly powered amp. A speaker with 85db/m/w will require more power to get it going. But, what limits there are at the top end of volume is certainly a gray area.

There isn't a system today that can actually play the dynamics of a live session. First, there is no recordings of such generous dynamic ranges. Then comes a speakers ability to make a whisper of a sound (that's musical in every way), then suddenly produce, say the dynamics of a thunderstorm. At this time in audio evolution, it can't be done, either because we have no way to record it, amplify it or reproduce it with the current driver technologies.

The perfect speaker would have diver elements that were super fast, have little to no mass, and not ramp the amp into full blow oscillation with huge dynamic swings, choking the power supplies to complete death. I think I just described a ESL speaker, but what the heck. 

For me, I'd much rather have speakers that can play from almost zero to moderately high volumes as opposed to one that only starts to sound good when your amp is already giving up some serious watts.

Wayner

OzarkTom

Re: can someone explain this to me?
« Reply #27 on: 21 Oct 2011, 03:59 am »
I have a theory that the room is just as crucial, if not more so then any of your speakers.  On top of that, this critical component is constant variable in our own rigs and we spend a painstaking amount of time choosing the associated equipment both the complement this room and voice to our preferences.

You are 100% correct. I could set up a 150K system in your basement with 7 foot ceiling, set a 1k system upstairs in your 24x30 foot living room with your 15 foot vaulted ceiling. Guess which one will sound the best?

AudioAddiction

Re: can someone explain this to me?
« Reply #28 on: 21 Oct 2011, 04:25 am »
It might be worth having a read of this - http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/showthread.php?777

I think it can explain a fair bit about why some speakers sound good loud and others sound good at more moderate levels.

JerryM

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Re: can someone explain this to me?
« Reply #29 on: 21 Oct 2011, 04:39 am »
For me, I'd much rather have speakers that can play from almost zero to moderately high volumes as opposed to one that only starts to sound good when your amp is already giving up some serious watts.

Being old must clearly suck. 


:lol:

cujobob

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Re: can someone explain this to me?
« Reply #30 on: 21 Oct 2011, 04:42 am »
There are many ways to take the room out of the equation with a good design. My Gedlee Abbeys are large speakers but work very well in a small room because they have constant directivity and are sealed, plus they roll off rather high for large speakers so the bottom end can be filled in with multiple subwoofers.

AJinFLA

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Re: can someone explain this to me?
« Reply #31 on: 21 Oct 2011, 12:38 pm »
There are many ways to take the room out of the equation with a good design.
Hi Bob,
I respectfully disagree (or perhaps misread your intent). A good design will use the room to it's advantage, not remove it from the equation. The data is there for any to see, if not accept. That's what Tooles compilation paper http://www.wghwoodworking.com/audio/loudspeakers_and_rooms_for_sound_reproduction.pdf showed.
Laurie Fincham briefly coalesces it here (FF to around 21:40) http://twit.tv/show/home-theater-geeks/80 in simple, easy to understand terms.

My Gedlee Abbeys are large speakers but work very well in a small room because they have constant directivity and are sealed, plus they roll off rather high for large speakers so the bottom end can be filled in with multiple subwoofers.
Bingo. :wink:. Actually, even if the Abbeys extended deeper, the same principle would apply. It's not the size (other than the extreme gargantuan variety) that creates problems.
It's the ignorance of acoustics and psycho-acoustics that creates maladies. And brass ball thingies. And hat rack looking widgets. And.... :wink:

cheers,

AJ
« Last Edit: 21 Oct 2011, 09:42 pm by AJinFLA »

JackD201

Re: can someone explain this to me?
« Reply #32 on: 21 Oct 2011, 12:45 pm »
I believe it was Peter Walker who said something to the effect that there's a perfect volume level for every recording. Hard to argue with that.