Replacement sub to go with Energy RC-Micro satellites? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 39 Old 02-08-2014, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all. I've been an occasional reader for some time and have learned a lot of useful information from all the knowledgeable people here. The ESW-CS8 subwoofer for my Energy micro system got destroyed and I'm looking to replace it. Originally, I was just going to get the same one, but then thought that something with more power would be better.

I was looking at the Energy ESW-C10, Polk PSW110/PSW111, or possibly BIC F12. Then I stumbled upon the Lava subs and the LSP10 & LSP12 are looking really nice for the price! I am leaning toward to LSP10 right now, but am hoping to get opinions on this, especially since the LSP12 is not much more. I have read through some of the Lava and the budget subwoofer threads, but any and all input or advice is welcome. Any other subs I should be looking at?

Basically, I am looking for something that has a large enough frequency range that will blend well with the RC micro satellites and their limited low end. The room is about 11x17 and I'm using a Denon AVR-1913 to power everything. Would like to keep price under $250 - $300.

Thanks for any input and suggestions!
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post #2 of 39 Old 02-08-2014, 09:49 PM
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For the little bit extra money, go with the 12" Lava over the 10". No reason not to get the little bit better sub.

If I'm not mistaken, the Energy RC-Micros required a pretty high crossover setting, don't they? What does the Denon want to set that at? 120hz? 150hz?

I would would want something with a fairly linear response up into the high end as well so that it matches up pretty well with where the Micros cut in. The Lava subs frequency response looks like a bell curve, with a peak in the midbass.

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post #3 of 39 Old 02-09-2014, 01:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

If I'm not mistaken, the Energy RC-Micros required a pretty high crossover setting, don't they? What does the Denon want to set that at? 120hz? 150hz?

Thanks for the reply. Can't check since I'm not home, but I think Audyssey set the crossover at 150Hz. Specs for the Micros list frequency response of 150Hz - 23kHz.
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post #4 of 39 Old 02-09-2014, 08:53 AM
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In that case, I'd go with the Polk PSW505 over the Lava sub. It's measured response seems to be a little flatter through a slightly wider range. It's hard to say. A lot of these big budget subs tend to be peaky in their response in the mid bass, and the roll off a lot on either end. That makes them match up with an 80hz crossover with bigger speakers OK, but much harder for Audyssey to EQ with small speakers with a high crossover.

Now if you wanted an 8" sub to replace the 8" sub that comes with the RC-Micros, the HSU STF-1 would be a good improvement. Or, if your budget were a little higher, I'd say grab the HSU STF-2 while it's on sale, which is a 10".

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post #5 of 39 Old 02-09-2014, 09:31 AM
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Oh, I forgot about these. The Mordant Short Aviano 7 subwoofers measure pretty well and would likely integrate with your RC-Micros much better than many of the budget 12" subwoofers in your price range. They are on closeout, so a great deal. And you'll see from this review that it is from a better speaker line than the RC-Micros. Should be a nice upgrade for you, and it comes in a choice of three different finishes.

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post #6 of 39 Old 02-09-2014, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again cel4145. I was looking at the STF-1 and STF-2, but I was concerned with the frequency response (32-140Hz & 25-100Hz respectively) not having enough range to cover the Micro's cutoff. I know I'll have to make some compromises due to budget and limited low end range of the Micros. Do you think the frequency gap would be too much with the STF's?

On the other hand, the Aviano 7's look really nice, thanks for suggesting that! One other question I had in case anyone wants to chime in, how does port location affect choice of subwoofer placement? Does rear porting necessitate more clearance away from walls? I had the Energy sub placed to the left of the front speakers with the back close to the front wall. The new one does not necessarily have to go in the same spot, so I'm not limited in that regard.
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post #7 of 39 Old 02-09-2014, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by time2shred View Post

Thanks again cel4145. I was looking at the STF-1 and STF-2, but I was concerned with the frequency response (32-140Hz & 25-100Hz respectively) not having enough range to cover the Micro's cutoff. I know I'll have to make some compromises due to budget and limited low end range of the Micros. Do you think the frequency gap would be too much with the STF's? On the other hand, the Aviano 7's look really nice, thanks for suggesting that!

Note that the HSU ratings are +/- 2 db. That's probably closer than how many other subs are rated. I looked at their frequency response plots (see them lower down the product pages). The STF-1 is easily beyond 150hz within +/- 3db, and the STF-2 looks to be pretty close. Not bad, when you compare their response plots to something like the Lava 12" sub which should be rated +/- 5 (or 6) db from 47 hz to 150hz (lol)



Audyssey MultEQ will be able to smooth out the differences with the STF-1 or STF-2 for integration with your speaker. But it wouldn't be able to help enough with something like the Lava sub.

The Aviano 7 extends a little better up high, but the HSU's will have much better low end extension for HT usage. The downside is that the Aviano 7 won't have much output below the mid 30hz range. The STF-2 is clearly the better sub of the two, but of course it costs a good bit more. Definitely worth the extra money in terms of better performance. The HSU STF-2 is highly regarded on AVS as one of the best 10" subs you can buy. To do better from here, you'd probably have to jump up to the SVS PB-1000, which has an incredible frequency response range of 19-270 Hz ± 3 dB and more output than the STF-2.
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One other question I had in case anyone wants to chime in, how does port location affect choice of subwoofer placement? Does rear porting necessitate more clearance away from walls? I had the Energy sub placed to the left of the front speakers with the back close to the front wall. The new one does not necessarily have to go in the same spot, so I'm not limited in that regard.

You don't want to jam it under a table up in a corner (or in a cabinet) with the port only a couple inches from the wall, such that it can't breathe very well. But a rear ported sub a few inches out from the wall otherwise is generally fine. People do it all the time smile.gif
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post #8 of 39 Old 02-09-2014, 06:07 PM
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On a whim, I just googled the Energy RC-Micro 5.1 speaker system. Turns out the Energy ESW-CS8 subwoofer has a measured frequency response very similar to the Aviano 7. So you should get similar performance in terms of frequency range out of the Aviano 7, only it's a 10" driver, which would be more volume output.

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post #9 of 39 Old 02-09-2014, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Once again cel, you have provided a tremendous amount of valuable info and I am grateful. The SVS PB-1000 (or SB-1000) would definitely be my top choice if I had the extra funds to spend at this point. The Outlaw M8 also looks promising in this price range. Thanks again for all the help, I now have several solid options to consider.
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post #10 of 39 Old 02-09-2014, 07:17 PM
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Glad to help smile.gif

I like Outlaw. I have an Outlaw EX. The only reason I didn't suggest the M8 is that it's a smaller sub than even the STF-1 with probably a good bit less output, too. An 11x17 room is stretching it for many 8" subs for HT usage. If your ESW-CS8 died on you, could be it was too much room for the sub. In fact, I suspect that many budget 8" subs that get bad reviews from failures are probably from unintentional abuse in rooms that were way too big for them. Audyssey doesn't know how big your room or your sub is when it sets things up.

Good luck on your search. smile.gif Be sure to share what you get and how it worked out for you.

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post #11 of 39 Old 02-09-2014, 07:29 PM
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Dayton sub1500. smile.gif

I directly compared a sub1200 vs a psw505 with music and the sub1200 won hands down in sound quality. 505 has more sheer output but it is not as accurate.
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post #12 of 39 Old 02-09-2014, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually, the Energy sub did not die from use. It was physically damaged, but that's a whole other story... smile.gif
Anyway, I will report back with what I eventually decide to purchase.
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post #13 of 39 Old 02-09-2014, 07:56 PM
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I use these speakers in my bedroom, I went with SVS SB12 for its liner response and wide FQ range. I have the subwoofer take over at 150hz. I started with a Bic PL200, went to an Epik Empire before the SVS SB12. If you can save a bit you can find a outlet SB1000 or PB1000 for $450 shipped. Worth it IMO.
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post #14 of 39 Old 02-10-2014, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by deepat04 View Post

I use these speakers in my bedroom, I went with SVS SB12 for its liner response and wide FQ range. I have the subwoofer take over at 150hz. I started with a Bic PL200, went to an Epik Empire before the SVS SB12. If you can save a bit you can find a outlet SB1000 or PB1000 for $450 shipped. Worth it IMO.

I keep hearing this linear response thing....most ID subs have linear responses at normal moderate levels. When performing cea-2010 max burst testing the SVS manages to maintain its response by using heavy limiting and dsp. That does not necessarily mean its better then other designs because when pushing the sub near its limits the dynamics are squashed. Meaning, the sub limiter kicks in at 105db and the sub is being ran at 103db, but there is peaks in the source content that call for 108db. All of that source content above 105db is lost. Take a sub that is not heavily limited and a good portion of that source content can be played back. That is why several companies allow the FR to bend when reaching thier true limits.

Now if neither sub is played below its limits then there is no advantage either way as both designs play flat and handle all source content the same. So that pretty much negates the whole "linear" response sales pitch.
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post #15 of 39 Old 02-10-2014, 08:38 AM
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Also remember most of those freq resp measurements are done OUTSIDE. Once you put the sub in a room everything about the subs freq resp changes according to the room its in.

Also the freq resp graph of a sub can change in the same room depending on where the sub is placed and where the MLP is located. Then if you get into dual, triple, or quad subs things can change even more.

Shawn
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post #16 of 39 Old 02-10-2014, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

I keep hearing this linear response thing....most ID subs have linear responses at normal moderate levels. When performing cea-2010 max burst testing the SVS manages to maintain its response by using heavy limiting and dsp. That does not necessarily mean its better then other designs because when pushing the sub near its limits the dynamics are squashed. Meaning, the sub limiter kicks in at 105db and the sub is being ran at 103db, but there is peaks in the source content that call for 108db. All of that source content above 105db is lost. Take a sub that is not heavily limited and a good portion of that source content can be played back. That is why several companies allow the FR to bend when reaching thier true limits.

Now if neither sub is played below its limits then there is no advantage either way as both designs play flat and handle all source content the same. So that pretty much negates the whole "linear" response sales pitch.

Note that deepat04 didn't say the SB12 was more linear than other ID subs. He stated he bought it for its linear response in comparison to the BIC PL-200 and Epik Empire, which are definitely not as linear. You might be choosing to fight where there was none wink.gif

Still, linear is a relative thing. The LFM-1 EX (two ports open), Epik Empire, and PSA XV15 each have basic responses that are a little less linear than the SB12-NSD. And here is the Rythmik FV15HP. Very linear up to 80hz, and then rolls off in comparison to the SB12 about that (which might matter to deepat04 with his 150hz crossover). Maybe there is an argument to be made that the difference is not important, but there is a difference.

As for the heavy limiter, it's a performance value choice, much like how auto makers put rev limiters on engines. Certainly there are those people who hot rod their vehicles that would like to squeeze out that extra bit of performance out of their cars, but it's advantageous to the car makers not to have the engine damaged while under warranty, which potentially keeps costs down for consumers (note that SVS offers a 5 year warranty). And the average consumer who doesn't care about squeezing out that extra bit is probably better off protected from accidentally damaging their engine/sub. So maybe a drawback to you; maybe a benefit to others smile.gif
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Also remember most of those freq resp measurements are done OUTSIDE. Once you put the sub in a room everything about the subs freq resp changes according to the room its in.

Also the freq resp graph of a sub can change in the same room depending on where the sub is placed and where the MLP is located. Then if you get into dual, triple, or quad subs things can change even more.

Agreed. But just to point out that does not discount the value of a sub with an anechoic linear response. A sub with an anechoic non linear response could exacerbate peaks or nulls due to room interaction. So unless one knows (through measurements) how the sub's response will interact with the room, a sub with a linear response can be the better/safer choice.

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post #17 of 39 Old 02-10-2014, 09:56 AM
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^^^Agreed. And I wasn't trying to argue I just wanted to add my 2cents to the convo.

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post #18 of 39 Old 02-10-2014, 09:58 AM
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^^^Agreed. And I wasn't trying to argue I just wanted to add my 2cents to the convo.

I was guessing you might agree smile.gif

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post #19 of 39 Old 02-10-2014, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Note that deepat04 didn't say the SB12 was more linear than other ID subs. He stated he bought it for its linear response in comparison to the BIC PL-200 and Epik Empire, which are definitely not as linear. You might be choosing to fight where there was none wink.gif

Still, linear is a relative thing. The LFM-1 EX (two ports open), Epik Empire, and PSA XV15 each have basic responses that are a little less linear than the SB12-NSD. And here is the Rythmik FV15HP. Very linear up to 80hz, and then rolls off in comparison to the SB12 about that (which might matter to deepat04 with his 150hz crossover). Maybe there is an argument to be made that the difference is not important, but there is a difference.

As for the heavy limiter, it's a performance value choice, much like how auto makers put rev limiters on engines. Certainly there are those people who hot rod their vehicles that would like to squeeze out that extra bit of performance out of their cars, but it's advantageous to the car makers not to have the engine damaged while under warranty, which potentially keeps costs down for consumers (note that SVS offers a 5 year warranty). And the average consumer who doesn't care about squeezing out that extra bit is probably better off protected from accidentally damaging their engine/sub. So maybe a drawback to you; maybe a benefit to others smile.gif
Agreed. But just to point out that does not discount the value of a sub with an anechoic linear response. A sub with an anechoic non linear response could exacerbate peaks or nulls due to room interaction. So unless one knows (through measurements) how the sub's response will interact with the room, a sub with a linear response can be the better/safer choice.

My post was not to looking for a fight...ill refrain from posting anything of that nature.I am not bashing SVS for its design choices. You can read up for a further explanation about what I was trying to say here.


http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/home-audio-subwoofers/60450-official-power-sound-audio-psa-thread-36.html

The XV15 is +/-3db from 21-200hz

The SB12NSD is +/-3db from 23-270hz

How is that less linear?
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post #20 of 39 Old 02-10-2014, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

Also remember most of those freq resp measurements are done OUTSIDE. Once you put the sub in a room everything about the subs freq resp changes according to the room its in.

Also the freq resp graph of a sub can change in the same room depending on where the sub is placed and where the MLP is located. Then if you get into dual, triple, or quad subs things can change even more.

I agree...nothing I posted goes against that. Matter of fact I have said this same thing many times.
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post #21 of 39 Old 02-10-2014, 04:30 PM
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My post was not to looking for a fight...ill refrain from posting anything of that nature.I am not bashing SVS for its design choices. You can read up for a further explanation about what I was trying to say here.


http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/home-audio-subwoofers/60450-official-power-sound-audio-psa-thread-36.html

The XV15 is +/-3db from 21-200hz

The SB12NSD is +/-3db from 23-270hz

How is that less linear?

Cool. Let's add the Lava LSP12 to that list, too: +/-3db from 44-100hz.

Just as linear? I suspect you'll say no because you are interested in a sub through a wider frequency range. After all, pretty much any sub is linear through some +/-3db range.

So some of us are interested in looking at how a speaker performs with a lower tolerance than you, which would be more linear by very definition of the term. The SB12--and indeed, many of the other SVS subs--are more linear with a +/- 1db tolerance until they start to roll off. Now as I already said, whether or not that difference is important is another discussion. But the SB12 does have a flatter response than many subs through much of its range.

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post #22 of 39 Old 02-10-2014, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Cool. Let's add the Lava LSP12 to that list, too: +/-3db from 44-100hz.

Just as linear? I suspect you'll say no because you are interested in a sub through a wider frequency range. After all, pretty much any sub is linear through some +/-3db range.

So some of us are interested in looking at how a speaker performs with a lower tolerance than you, which would be more linear by very definition of the term. The SB12--and indeed, many of the other SVS subs--are more linear with a +/- 1db tolerance until they start to roll off. Now as I already said, whether or not that difference is important is another discussion. But the SB12 does have a flatter response than many subs through much of its range.

Actually all I care about is what sounds good...fwiw I thought +/-3db was the standard as to what we can audibly distinguish. Did I strike a nerve with you? I sense for some reason I did...
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post #23 of 39 Old 02-10-2014, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

Also remember most of those freq resp measurements are done OUTSIDE. Once you put the sub in a room everything about the subs freq resp changes according to the room its in.

Also the freq resp graph of a sub can change in the same room depending on where the sub is placed and where the MLP is located. Then if you get into dual, triple, or quad subs things can change even more.

I agree with this, however, the room should have the same effect on all subs. Unless you are lucky and your spikes and nulls match the non linearities in your sub you are better off to start with a linear response.
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post #24 of 39 Old 02-10-2014, 05:29 PM
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Actually all I care about is what sounds good...fwiw I thought +/-3db was the standard as to what we can audibly distinguish. Did I strike a nerve with you? I sense for some reason I did...

No. Not a nerve. Just offering a perspective.

But I don't know that +/- 3db is that kind of standard. I have no idea where it came from. Normally, the idea is +/- 1db is the minimal discernible difference in volume amount, which is why in blind listening tests, they shoot for even finer calibration than that.

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post #25 of 39 Old 02-10-2014, 05:56 PM
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No. Not a nerve. Just offering a perspective.

But I don't know that +/- 3db is that kind of standard. I have no idea where it came from. Normally, the idea is +/- 1db is the minimal discernible difference in volume amount, which is why in blind listening tests, they shoot for even finer calibration than that.

Unfortunately, I can no longer find the reference document on the 'net. Under lab conditions, testing shows the smallest SPL change the average human can detect on complex material (music) is 3dB. Accuracy increases to 1dB increments on pure tones (sine waves).

-Brent
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Now if neither sub is played below its limits then there is no advantage either way as both designs play flat and handle all source content the same. So that pretty much negates the whole "linear" response sales pitch.


I wonder if Tom is rethinking his decision on limiters. A post like the one below may indicate he's getting too many phone calls from nutball AVSers "testing" their subs. wink.gif Like I said in another thread, I'd limit 'em just to protect the warranty.

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Hi Guys,

Just want to make a quick comment regarding test tones and our products(most/all HT subwoofers really).

Please be *very* careful with steady state tones like sine waves. I know these are available in REW and the use of these tones can quickly deform a voice coil. The coil will over heat and deform. Usually this will manifest itself as an audible "tick" as the driver moves in/out a good amount. Technically this stuff isn't covered by warranty so again, be very careful. My advice would be to avoid steady state tones completely and focus on low level(low volume) sweeps to see FR, decay and things of that nature.

Tom V.
Power Sound Audio
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I wonder if Tom is rethinking his decision on limiters. A post like the one below may indicate he's getting too many phone calls from nutball AVSers "testing" their subs. wink.gif Like I said in another thread, I'd limit 'em just to protect the warranty.

The PSA subs do have soft limiting and thermal protection. I believe he posted this because there was discussion in the PSA thread about max spl testing with REW. However you do have a very valid point. smile.gif
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The PSA subs do have soft limiting and thermal protection. I believe he posted this because there was discussion in the PSA thread about max spl testing with REW. However you do have a very valid point. smile.gif

I'm just picturing the look on his face when he gets "certain" phone calls. wink.gif

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post #29 of 39 Old 02-10-2014, 06:54 PM
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Unfortunately, I can no longer find the reference document on the 'net. Under lab conditions, testing shows the smallest SPL change the average human can detect on complex material (music) is 3dB. Accuracy increases to 1dB increments on pure tones (sine waves).

-Brent

Unfortunately, I don't have time to find the discussions that recommend < 1db for ABX testing. smile.gif

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post #30 of 39 Old 02-20-2014, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for everyone's input. I have it narrowed down to either the STF-1 or Aviano 7. Which of these do you think would offer better music reproduction paired with the Energy Micros? The HT system is used probably about 75% TV/movies/games & 25% music. It seems the STF-1 would offer the better low end for HT use.

cel4145, you mentioned that Audyssey should be able to compensate for the STF-1's frequency roll off around 150Hz. Do you think it would be enough to provide decent performance for music listening?
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