Originally Posted by BigCoolJesus
Not sure how you are coming up with these assumptions.....but I only listen to movies loud and the Series 7 are a huge step up in my room from the v6 Monitors I had.
When I had my v6 Monitors my room was treated and all I was using was an Integra DTR-70.3 receiver. The loudest I could listen in my room was -12dB and even than my ears would start to "fatigue" by the end of a longer movie like Tron Legacy or Transformers.
As soon as I put the Series 7's into my room it was night and day. They played just as loud WHILE sounding better. I didn't have to trade loudness for quality: I have both. My average listening level is now -8dB with absolutely no fatigue/harshness/clipping/audible distortion/etc. I just got done doing a Transformers marathon (all three movies in one day) at -8dB and by the end of it my ears wanted more, whereas with my old v6's my ears would have been screaming for a break.
They are generalizations, the science of acoustics, calculations, and some stated assumptions of conditions, like seating distance, desired SPL, etc.
- Speakers have limitations in their output, based upon how much acoustic energy they output and their limitations of power handling.
- Speakers start to experience power compression at around 1/10th their rated power handling.
Surely you agree that the v7 Mini Monitor has SOME finite amount of SPL? Wouldn't you say that 2dB of sensitivity is a tradeoff? All I was pointing out that giving up that sensitivity matters IF one is pushing one's system to where it matters, and I described conditions where it might matter. For instance, sitting 15 feet away, with an 87dB speaker, will require 135 watts to output 95dB peaks. Since that's more watts than Paradigm states the speaker can handle, then one will experience the Bad Things. If it's a poorer receiver, then the Bad Thing might be amp clipping. If one is using your beefy Integra, it might be whatever the speaker does that made Paradigm state the it won't handle that much power.
Assuming you are calibrated such that 0dB means 105dB peaks from each speaker...
With the v6, you'd need 34 watts per channel to achieve 93dB peaks (-12dBFS) from 12 feet away (I'm assuming your distance).
With the v7, you'd need 135 watts to achieve the 97dB peaks you should get from -8dBFS.
That looks to be close to the limit of your receiver, but of course that all depends on your seating distance and how heavily your room is or isn't treated.
I'm glad you experienced an improvement. It might be that the change in the tweeter and crossover rolls off the highs more, reducing the perceived level of distortion at high output. It may be that the tweeter previously, at any level, exhibited ringing and odd order distortion artifacts which were objectionable, and the upgrade removes that.
It could also be that Paradigm changed the nature of their measurements and ratings to be more stringent. Sensitivity can be an average over a frequency range, or it can be at just one frequency. Max amp power rating can be at some failure point of the speaker, or where distortion reaches some threshold of objectionable level.
I'll grant you that they may have reduced distortion without it affecting the power handling capabilities. Or they were too lazy to test and revise the numbers. Sure would be nice if more companies would actually tell us, "This is the point where this speaker distorts X%. This is the level of power compression at 1/10, 1/2, and full rated power."
Originally Posted by BigCoolJesus
though going by your logic one would never want to upgrade to Studio or Signatures, either, since their sensitivities are lower than the v6 Monitors and therefore "The above speaker will yield dynamic compression and harshness that FAR outweigh any of the other benefits from that line of speaker"
Again, I said it depends on one's goals. If one is listening at lower levels, then a tiny T-Amp will suitably power the speakers, and we don't care about efficiency, do we? In that case, the benefit is the aesthetics of the speakers, their dispersion characteristics (off-axis response), low levels of distortion, smoother frequency response, and lack of coloration due to drivers, crossover, cabinet resonance, and diffraction effects, etc. all are benefits that I don't discount.
And still there are several engineering ratings that are different between the Mini Monitor and the equivalent Reference speakers:
- The Mini Monitor v7 has a recommended amplifier range up to 100w and 86dB sensitivity.
- The Studio 20 has an amplifier range up to 180w, same 86dB sensitivity.
- The Signature S2 has an amplifier range up to 225w, 87dB sensitivity.
The Reference medium-efficiency speakers are capable of being driven by beefier amps, like a 200wpc XPA-3.
Going by your logic (or rather objection to my logic), one would never need a more sensitive speaker than 87dB with 100w power handling, because it can infinitely produce sound without problem at any level to any distance. I'm surprised I don't see them used in large outdoor concerts!