List of Reference Level, High Sensitivity & SPL Speakers - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 824 Old 01-14-2012, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Eyleron View Post

When you recommended it I checked out the site but didn't know where to beginning, and how to price it.

I'll take a look again and read your thread some more and probably have questions. Thanks!

Those are prices from my builder so it is not a DIY anymore but needs EQ(no crossover but I am sure they can be made). Don't forget the Klipsch KL-650 which is a better speaker than the KL-525 you have listed. The whole key to this is knowing what dB you need for your LP. I need 117 dB's peak at the speaker for reference levels.
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post #32 of 824 Old 01-15-2012, 08:16 AM
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Great idea!

Found an error...
The Klipsch Jubilee is rated at 108 dB sensitivity and the Klipschorn at 105 dB, yet they both list 13.7 W to reach 105 dB at 12 feet. The Jubilee needs half: 6.7 W

I guess you are not using formulas to calculate the number from sensitivity and power handling.

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post #33 of 824 Old 01-15-2012, 08:27 AM
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Let's not forget the JBL cinema speakers that are awesome. I still prefer the DR-200 with a dual 18 inch sealed bottom with a 150hz crossover.
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post #34 of 824 Old 01-15-2012, 08:52 AM
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I presume that when you are done you will sort/organize the spreadsheet in some form of logical fashion.....by brand perhaps... or by sensativity?

Since it seems to be primarily a sensativity database, that's probably how I'd do it. This way someone can find that column and quickly slide up/down to a point that might fit their needs. (disregarding all other criteria of course).
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post #35 of 824 Old 01-15-2012, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coytee View Post

I presume that when you are done you will sort/organize the spreadsheet in some form of logical fashion.....by brand perhaps... or by sensativity?

Since it seems to be primarily a sensativity database, that's probably how I'd do it. This way someone can find that column and quickly slide up/down to a point that might fit their needs. (disregarding all other criteria of course).

I agree, sensitivity and power handling to see how loud they can get. Of course some over rate and some are under rated.
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post #36 of 824 Old 01-15-2012, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Those are prices from my builder so it is not a DIY anymore but needs EQ(no crossover but I am sure they can be made). Don't forget the Klipsch KL-650 which is a better speaker than the KL-525 you have listed. The whole key to this is knowing what dB you need for your LP. I need 117 dB's peak at the speaker for reference levels.

OK, that makes it easier, thanks, I'll treat it as a "purchaseable" product.

I'm not adverse to including DIY builds. I think I'd want to wait until I could find (or people tell me) what the specs and price are. And then I could add another column for whether it's a DIY, link to flat pack / plans, etc.

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Originally Posted by psgcdn View Post

Great idea!

Found an error...
The Klipsch Jubilee is rated at 108 dB sensitivity and the Klipschorn at 105 dB, yet they both list 13.7 W to reach 105 dB at 12 feet. The Jubilee needs half: 6.7 W

I guess you are not using formulas to calculate the number from sensitivity and power handling.

Thanks for finding that.

Well, the more errors found, the closer I am to calculating sensitivity in the spreadsheet! : I guess I've reached that point. And then I can treat distance as a variable. It will be that much closer to being a web app (although this list has moved rapidly in a couple days, and I can't see this becoming a database-driven web app until maybe the summer).

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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Let's not forget the JBL cinema speakers that are awesome. I still prefer the DR-200 with a dual 18 inch sealed bottom with a 150hz crossover.

Yeah, I intended to add those at some point. Means a lot of reading through the JBL fans' posts. It seems to get a little complicated when there are several modules being stacked. Maybe in those cases I should treat them as one product, as an amalgamation of two or three models?

Can you make it easier on me and point me to the top three JBLs people would like to see (like a budget level for cheaper and smaller space, a mid-level, and overkill-but-not-IMAX)? If used are a common option, those are fine too (esp. since we have the discontinued Klipsch in there).

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Originally Posted by coytee View Post

I presume that when you are done you will sort/organize the spreadsheet in some form of logical fashion.....by brand perhaps... or by sensativity?

Since it seems to be primarily a sensativity database, that's probably how I'd do it. This way someone can find that column and quickly slide up/down to a point that might fit their needs. (disregarding all other criteria of course).

Good point. I realized last night that the "link to spreadsheet" I was publishing wasn't really a spreadsheet, but rather the HTML output of the sheet when I clicked "Publish." Today I'll link to the sheet as intended, and then (I imagine) everyone will be able to sort, etc.

Value Score
In my initial publications (prior to making the whole spreadsheet available), I have sorted alternatively by "Value Score," which takes several performance and subjective parameters into account, and by "SPL with 1/8 peak watts"

Performance Parameters (subjectively weighted)
100 watt decibels, peak power handling, sensitivity, % of peak to achieve 105db [always from listening distance], and db with 1/8 peak watts due to power compression. While these are objective numbers, the weighting one puts on them is very subjective. eg, a person who knows he'll only have a 100 watt receiver is very interested in what the speakers can do with 100 watts. Someone else who uses powerful amps is not as concerned with stratospheric sensitivity, and they do care about peak watts handling (which some of the pro speakers do well, even if their sensitivity is ho-hum).

Review/Sentiment, Price
Along with all the above, I included price ranking. I tried to weight the pricing so that it didn't matter as much if a speaker was $100 or $200, because at that low level the speaker is suspect anyway being so cheap. This is due to the economics even in an internet-direct model, where there are minimum baseline costs. ie, if a speaker is listed at $30 (and is supposedly high performance), there's probably something wrong.

However, price is something that is more important in the $200-$2,000 range. Above that, it'd less of an issue, and I didn't want to subtract massive points just because a fantastic speaker was $4,000, and to an even lesser extent if it's $16,000. Thus, the ratio of price increase versus points subtracted is not linear.

I also have a column for Review/Sentiment. Some speakers don't get reviewed that much, but there might be a powerful tide of fans. For instance, even if there was never a professional review of the JTR Triple 8, I'd still give that speaker a maximum rating for sentiment. I don't ever read anyone say, "Oh, yeah, JTR, that's okay if you want to get loud, but the imaging is sucky and its freq response is all over the place." Rather, it sounds like people rank it with the best of the best. Some speakers have a mixed following. Some have very little data. Some have negative.

More Granular Scoring
I realize now that lumping so much into a score might be satisfying in that it yields a magazine-like simple number. But the downfall is that it's either too general (weighting too many aspects equally) or too skewed.

I think the answer is to do what Ricci did with his data-bass: provide several types of scores (his "< 20hz," "10hz to 40hz," 20 to 80hz," etc.).
If I tack on to the end of each row a few columns I can put the scoring there.

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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

I agree, sensitivity and power handling to see how loud they can get. Of course some over rate and some are under rated.

Yes. I just have to unleash the sorting and it'll be more useful.

I also added a Directivity Index, but that data is available in the minority of the speakers. Hopefully people will be able to contribute other data to fill in the gaps.
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post #37 of 824 Old 01-15-2012, 08:57 PM
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The cheapest JBL cinema is the 3677, then I would say 3722. There are also the 3678 and 4722. The bigger ones are the 3732 and 4675!
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post #38 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psgcdn View Post
Great idea!

Found an error...
The Klipsch Jubilee is rated at 108 dB sensitivity and the Klipschorn at 105 dB, yet they both list 13.7 W to reach 105 dB at 12 feet. The Jubilee needs half: 6.7 W

I guess you are not using formulas to calculate the number from sensitivity and power handling.
Now using formulas for calculating all SPLs. Bume! This has eliminated copy-paste type errors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coytee View Post
I presume that when you are done you will sort/organize the spreadsheet in some form of logical fashion.....by brand perhaps... or by sensativity?

Since it seems to be primarily a sensativity database, that's probably how I'd do it. This way someone can find that column and quickly slide up/down to a point that might fit their needs. (disregarding all other criteria of course).
I'm now sharing the spreadsheet. However, people with read-only access also can't sort (annoying, I wish Google would make a distinction between data and data presentation!).

I read that List View does allow for sorting. And I changed the link to use List View, but when I browse to it not logged-in, I cannot sort.

It's getting there though!
Google spreadsheet link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...er=false&gid=0

 

Reference-Capable-Speakers-1_4.pdf 386.4306640625k . file
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post #39 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I had to find formulas for:
Given a speaker's program or peak watts, and D distance and its sensitivity: calculate SPL.

How many watts, with D distance, and this speaker's sensitivity does it take to reach X SPL?

And then....I noticed that on the oft-linked SPL Calculator, he lets one download his spreadsheet as an Excel. That woulda helped!
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post #40 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 04:35 AM
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"LaScalla II" -> "La Scala II"

Remember, it's called "AV Science"!

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post #41 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 05:07 AM
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The EX SX100 is nearly obsolete.

The larger members of the ZX series than the ZX-1 (ZX-3, ZX-4, and ZX-5) seem relevant.

AFAIK there is no EV ZX-2.

I've used ZX-5s in my living room and they are just fine. Smooth, clean, sized like larger bookshelf speakers, and with reasonable bass extension down to about 50 Hz.
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post #42 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 05:12 AM
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Showing my ignornace here...

When you calculate for 105db @ 12' LP is the forumla basically:

Speaker location (in meters) less 6 db loss for each meter distance?

This is what you seem to be using.

However, I thought that when you have a stereo pair of speakers you ADD 3db to the total output as well as the db loss because of distance.

In other words, I thought (and I certainly can be wrong) that if you have a single speaker playing 105 db at 12 feet away and then add another speaker playing at the same loudness, you will actually be experiencing 108 db at the 12' distance.

Is this true?

If it is true then would that column in the spreadsheet be off by at least one doubling of amp power for each speaker?
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post #43 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 05:24 AM
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Interesting list and project. A few flaws. For example, you are rating the Procella P8 (rather than the P815 or P860) and Seaton Catalyst along with "full range" speakers. Rather misleading and could lead a less experienced individual to making a poor selection.

Your rating criteria also assumes a lower sensitivity is bad, whilst a higher sensitivity is good. This is not necessarily the case.

So now, one can get a speaker that plays loud using an inexpensive (low output amp) without respect to speaker sound quality, polar response, FR, or appropriateness for the application at hand. (At a seating distance typical of a residential sized theater, many of the speakers listed will take your head off since the high frequency output has been designed for much greater seating distances.)

There are other "main line" speakers which have been ignored ... Triad and Genelec for example.

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post #44 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 05:38 AM
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Coytee...
You cannot take a manufacturer's rating (say 40Hz to 20kHz +/- 3dB @ 1 watt/1 meter) and simply extrapolate to 12'. Frequency roll off is not linear over distance.

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post #45 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Coytee...
You cannot take a manufacturer's rating (say 40Hz to 20kHz +/- 3dB @ 1 watt/1 meter) and simply extrapolate to 12'. Frequency roll off is not linear over distance.

I'll be the first to say/admit that I don't know what I'm talking about so I'll try to rephrase it a bit.

I've read various comments before and the gist of what I recall is, if you have a speaker measuring "X" db's at 1 watt/meter, then as you walk backwards from that single speaker to a listening distance, you subtract (I think) 6db's for each meter or maybe it was each doubling of distance.

However.... that's a single speaker.

To change the comment a bit... if you have a speaker with "X" db/watt in the room and add a second speaker you will add 3db of gain as perceived loudness.

My first question is, in a broad sense, is the above correct?

Clearly you have some drop off with distance. Clearly you have some addiditve properties when you add more speakers.

If the above isn't correct, then what is? This was the only thing I was trying to bring up as it appears to me the spreadsheet might be taking distance into calcuations but, not the 2'nd speaker which (I think) would cut down the net watts for a perceived loudness at that given distance.

no?
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Would you adjust the formula any to account for how a speaker presents the sound? SPL lost over distance might be different for a driver in one configuration vs. another. A driver mounted to a horn designed to "throw" sound might have less loss over distance than would the same driver with no horn? or, even different horns with different dispersions. I know when I moved to horns, the sound hit the back of my room differently, but there were many other variables that changed at the same time.

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post #47 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psgcdn View Post

"LaScalla II" -> "La Scala II"

Thanks! Fixed in the spreadsheet. Will show up in next published static versions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

The EX SX100 is nearly obsolete.

The larger members of the ZX series than the ZX-1 (ZX-3, ZX-4, and ZX-5) seem relevant.

AFAIK there is no EV ZX-2.

I've used ZX-5s in my living room and they are just fine. Smooth, clean, sized like larger bookshelf speakers, and with reasonable bass extension down to about 50 Hz.

I appreciate the input! The anecdotal information is critical when we're working in a relatively new realm of using pro speakers for home theater, and there is little to no internet "buzz" about a brand or model, or no reviews in the context of critical "medium-field" listening in a home.

Yeah, it struck me, too, that there was no ZX-2. Seems like a hole where there should be a 10" for $300.
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post #48 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coytee View Post

Showing my ignornace here...

When you calculate for 105db @ 12' LP is the forumla basically:

Speaker location (in meters) less 6 db loss for each meter distance?

This is what you seem to be using.

I used formulas here, some of which I needed to string together to combine distance and watts: http://www.live-audio.com/studyhall/dB_calculations.pdf
They involved logs. The numbers I got in the spreadsheet matched what I got here with this [rudimentary, in that it doesn't account for high freq roll-off with distance; see below] often-referenced calculator: http://myhometheater.homestead.com/s...l#anchor_13115. For instance, here's the formula for SPL at 12' with 100 watts: =F5+(20*log(3.3/Calcs!$B$2))+(10*log(Calcs!$B$3/1)).

Quote:
Originally Posted by coytee View Post

However, I thought that when you have a stereo pair of speakers you ADD 3db to the total output as well as the db loss because of distance.

In other words, I thought (and I certainly can be wrong) that if you have a single speaker playing 105 db at 12 feet away and then add another speaker playing at the same loudness, you will actually be experiencing 108 db at the 12' distance.

Is this true?

If it is true then would that column in the spreadsheet be off by at least one doubling of amp power for each speaker?

I'm so glad to get input on this and get feedback on assumptions, or mistakes I may have made, or the utility of the project or even specific numbers and calcs!

My understanding is that when one is aiming for "X" potential peak decibels capability at each of the 5/7 channels, one is not considering things like what the total dB will be when two, three, or five speakers are all playing at the same time.

For instance, going by your question of two speakers...why consider only two speakers? Wouldn't it be off by even more when you include the center? Or the right surround?

Besides, the speakers are often not playing sound that's correlated between channels. If there's a gunshot, it might be coming from hard right, and would be (at reference level) 100db front-right and 90db surround-right.

The specification is just per channel, so yeah, people will experience louder often than that. But I don't know that it matters here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coytee View Post

I'll be the first to say/admit that I don't know what I'm talking about so I'll try to rephrase it a bit.

I've read various comments before and the gist of what I recall is, if you have a speaker measuring "X" db's at 1 watt/meter, then as you walk backwards from that single speaker to a listening distance, you subtract (I think) 6db's for each meter or maybe it was each doubling of distance.

However.... that's a single speaker.

To change the comment a bit... if you have a speaker with "X" db/watt in the room and add a second speaker you will add 3db of gain as perceived loudness.

My first question is, in a broad sense, is the above correct?

Clearly you have some drop off with distance. Clearly you have some addiditve properties when you add more speakers.

If the above isn't correct, then what is? This was the only thing I was trying to bring up as it appears to me the spreadsheet might be taking distance into calcuations but, not the 2'nd speaker which (I think) would cut down the net watts for a perceived loudness at that given distance.

no?

Right, so we're not calculating for, say, hearing damage, or what one will read on an SPL meter when one, two, or five speakers are all playing at once.

This is more about, "Can this speaker do what I need it to do?"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Interesting list and project. A few flaws. For example, you are rating the Procella P8 (rather than the P815 or P860) and Seaton Catalyst along with "full range" speakers. Rather misleading and could lead a less experienced individual to making a poor selection.

Your rating criteria also assumes a lower sensitivity is bad, whilst a higher sensitivity is good. This is not necessarily the case.

So now, one can get a speaker that plays loud using an inexpensive (low output amp) without respect to speaker sound quality, polar response, FR, or appropriateness for the application at hand. (At a seating distance typical of a residential sized theater, many of the speakers listed will take your head off since the high frequency output has been designed for much greater seating distances.)

There are other "main line" speakers which have been ignored ... Triad and Genelec for example.

Could you or someone else go a little further into detail on higher vs lower sensitivity? I think it would be beneficial for those with less knowledge, like myself, and currently in the research phase and planning to upgrade.

I believe I understand the general concepts of sensitivity and the ability of the speakers to play at reference. But find it difficult to understand why one would play at reference levels? Isn't this incredibly loud?

Granted I never experienced a properly setup system to play these levels but I would assume most people don't have the space needed to consider reference levels. For a little background on my listening levels when everyone is up maybe as low as -20db's at night when I'm the only one up and playing MW3 it's at -58db's which is fine.
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post #50 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by s.myers View Post


Could you or someone else go a little further into detail on higher vs lower sensitivity? I think it would be beneficial for those with less knowledge, like myself, and currently in the research phase and planning to upgrade.

I believe I understand the general concepts of sensitivity and the ability of the speakers to play at reference. But find it difficult to understand why one would play at reference levels? Isn't this incredibly loud?

Granted I never experienced a properly setup system to play these levels but I would assume most people don't have the space needed to consider reference levels. For a little background on my listening levels when everyone is up maybe as low as -20db's at night when I'm the only one up and playing MW3 it's at -58db's which is fine.

If one speaker is rated at 88db/1watt/1 meter than it can play 88db with 1 watt of power (1m away). A speaker that is rated at 91db instead can play 91db with the same amount of power.

Obviously the higher rated one can reach higher volumes of reference level easier than a lower one. Remember for every 3db change requires double the power. Id give some examples but instead id recommend playing around with the crown amp power calculator. Google that and plug in 88/91 for sensitivity and set the lp db at 90 and see the power requirement differences.


As for reference level some folks here have well treated rooms that allow them to reach reference levels and not have any hearing issues.crazy few

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post


If one speaker is rated at 88db/1watt/1 meter than it can play 88db with 1 watt of power (1m away). A speaker that is rated at 91db instead can play 91db with the same amount of power.

Obviously the higher rated one can reach higher volumes of reference level easier than a lower one. Remember for every 3db change requires double the power. Id give some examples but instead id recommend playing around with the crown amp power calculator. Google that and plug in 88/91 for sensitivity and set the lp db at 90 and see the power requirement differences.

As for reference level some folks here have well treated rooms that allow them to reach reference levels and not have any hearing issues.crazy few

That being said for those without a treated room and looking for an above avg HT setup would sensitivity and reference be as important? When I say above avg I'm assuming approx five thousand for entire setup tv, receiver and speakers.

Fir example how would say the Ascend sierra's rate with their lower sensitivity? People seem to like them very much. I would be more interested in great detail like hearing a pin drop rather then shatter my windows or have the nails pop out of the house framing lol.
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post #52 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 11:07 AM
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I actually would like to try those exact same speakers too! Somebody on this forum recently did a comparison between Sierras,veritas ,and RCs and I believe he prefered the Sierras.

The sensitivity speaks nothing of the SQ of a speaker. Just shows you the power needed to play (higher sensitivity needs less power to go loudddd). I believe Ascend recommends 45wpc at least. If you got the amp to power em than go for em!

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #53 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 11:46 AM
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Reference level at home or in a big theater is still the same loudness, 105 dB peak is 105 dB peak. The difference is the stress on the speakers and subs.
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post #54 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Reference level at home or in a big theater is still the same loudness, 105 dB peak is 105 dB peak. The difference is the stress on the speakers and subs.

What about reveberance? Either way I still wouldn't listen at ref lol

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #55 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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While it might be a crazy few who have enough proper design/treatment to support the amps/speakers for reference level...

It's a "crazy-a lot" who approach reference levels at -15db or -10db and are experiencing a lot of distortion.

So the point isn't "Are you at reference level, or not?" but rather "Which speakers will do better at reference level, and thus also better near reference level?"

This realm of home theater has not made its way into popular knowledge. It's more difficult to discern than, say, the visual world.

One analogy might be video. Picture a television where it's nicely focused, with okay contrast, at low brightness levels. If you have the brightness down to 10 out of 100, and you watch it in a pitch-black room, it looks okay. But if you want a punchier picture, or have sunlight or light in the room, the picture's washed out, so you would want to turn up the brightness. But this TV gets blurry as it gets brighter. Instead of resolving 1080p, you get 480p. And the contrast gets terrible. The inky blacks become grays.

This is what happens with audio dynamics and speakers that can't reproduce them at higher levels. An 88db sensitivity speaker might do fine at -20 on your receiver, but turn it up to -10, it sounds terrible (like a blurry picture). Also, the speaker probably won't output 20db greater peaks, so now the dynamics are squashed (like the TV whose contrast got worse).

If you can't experience these dynamics, you're missing what makes the soundtrack exciting.

Take for instance the new Paradigm Series 7 Monitor 7. This is a floor standing speaker, and their Monitor line has been fairly well-regarded price-performance wise for years.

Sensitivity is 88db, peak watts are 180. Since power compression sets in at a fraction of the peak power (I've read 1/8th), one could say that any more than 23 watts being delivered to the speaker, you'll get distortion (what comes out doesn't match as well with the input). The more watts, the more distortion. 23 watts would yield 90db as a peak, which is 15db below reference level. If you're happy with -15 as a level in your room, and those 100 watts were truly not distorted, then you should be a happy camper. You should be getting clean, undistorted dynamics on the peaks of your movie soundtrack.

You'll be less happy if:
  • The receiver really puts out 70 watts, and why you try to put out 100 watts, you're just sending massive distortion to the speaker.
  • When you have two or three channels fully driven at the same time, the amp can't put out 100 watts, so it really puts out 50. Again, at best, the loudness will not be the peak it was intended to be. Worse, it'll be distorted (sound grating).
  • If you want to be closer to a good commercial cinema, like at -5db. That's 10db louder, and would require 10x the watts. I sure can't afford a 1000 w per channel amp!

If you did feed it 100 "good" watts from your receiver, you'd should get 97db, except due to power compression the speaker won't produce that level, and there'll be unpleasant distortion.
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post #56 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Interesting list and project. A few flaws. For example, you are rating the Procella P8 (rather than the P815 or P860) and Seaton Catalyst along with "full range" speakers. Rather misleading and could lead a less experienced individual to making a poor selection..

Thanks for stopping by. When Gamer suggested "Procella!" with a link I just spent a bit of time and included one speaker. I'll revisit and add more. Your contribution helps put them in context. Are you saying the P8 should not be included (as a speaker one would use with subs in a theater)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Your rating criteria also assumes a lower sensitivity is bad, whilst a higher sensitivity is good. This is not necessarily the case..

I think sensitivity is either more important, or more neutral. But it can't be a non-factor, because an 85db sensitivity speaker would require thousands of watts of power per channel. And could more sensitivity, all things being equal, be worse? I do score with sensitivity and watts being more equally weighted, and other columns where I rate more on price, more on watts, more on sensitivity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

So now, one can get a speaker that plays loud using an inexpensive (low output amp) without respect to speaker sound quality, polar response, FR, or appropriateness for the application at hand. (At a seating distance typical of a residential sized theater, many of the speakers listed will take your head off since the high frequency output has been designed for much greater seating distances.).

Great point, thanks. The speakers should be vetted for those with an up-tilt response intended to maintain high frequencies at distance. The speakers that are suitable for monitoring should not have this problem, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

There are other "main line" speakers which have been ignored ... Triad and Genelec for example.

These are on my mental list of ones to add. It's interesting how my perspective has me focusing on a lower budget level, with a sprinkling of some other speakers and price levels to start off with. Others have wanted certain speakers added either because they were ones they owned, or like to see them on the list like the "Top 500 Supercomputers List" etc. And your perspective, probably the best one for this list's purpose, is "Where are the main go-to speakers that should be on any short list of great theater speakers for dynamics."
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post #57 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Coytee...
You cannot take a manufacturer's rating (say 40Hz to 20kHz +/- 3dB @ 1 watt/1 meter) and simply extrapolate to 12'. Frequency roll off is not linear over distance.

However, most everyone does, either in online calculators, or back-of-napkin calculations.

This isn't a tool for, say, an acoustic designer to use to definitively tell the client, "This is how loud this channel will be, peak." It's a speaker comparison, it's an educational device to see, "Oh, here's how these speakers are stacking up." Which incidentally is why I've added speakers that clearly should not be on the list.

I understand sensitivity to be an average of a range, such as 300hz to 3,000hz. I can see how if high frequencies are attenuated more significantly as distance increases, a simple calculator might show a a 3db drop, but if you factored in, say, a 5db drop in frequencies 2,000hz to 3,000hz, the aggregate rating should rather be a 4db drop.

So, a question: is there a general rule of thumb on how much high frequencies are attenuated versus low frequencies? If so, can it be universally applied to all speakers? Or do some, like horns, attenuate the highs less than a direct radiator?
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post #58 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.myers View Post

That being said for those without a treated room and looking for an above avg HT setup would sensitivity and reference be as important? When I say above avg I'm assuming approx five thousand for entire setup tv, receiver and speakers.

I think you're saying,

'If their room isn't treated, so they don't lose as much volume; they keep more sound from reflections. So therefore, they shouldn't worry as much about sensitivity?'

While it's true that without treatment you can get the dB louder, I hear it's also more difficult to listen to as you get louder [without treatment]. The acoustic energy of the reflections swamps the direct sound more.

So, if they don't want to treat the room, it'll sound not-ideal when the volume isn't up, but it'll sound even worse when turned up.

In other words, they can't go very loud, and the ~$3k for audio equipment was wasted, to an extent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s.myers View Post

Fir example how would say the Ascend sierra's rate with their lower sensitivity? People seem to like them very much. I would be more interested in great detail like hearing a pin drop rather then shatter my windows or have the nails pop out of the house framing lol.

I've noticed in commercial theaters that were not that nice, definitely did not play at reference levels, that still the dynamics were much higher than at my house. The dishes clattering on the table. The sudden roar of the engine when it accelerates, the gun-shot, the yell to "Look out!" Everything seemed more alive, more exciting.

In actuality, all those dynamic peaks were probably lower than they would be in reality. The engine roar, the jet, the gunshot. The latter especially are 30db on up more than reference level peaks.

That's why the dynamics are more engaging...the sound, while still not perfect reality-fidelity, are more like life. Your adrenalin will response more. You grin and think, "This is how it's supposed to be." Just like moving from VHS to DVD to BluRay. Or getting that display that can portray inky blackness, instead of grays, of deep shadows, or outer space.

If you ONLY want to hear the micro dynamics of softer sounds, you should get equipment and a room with a very low noise floor, so you can turn down the volume and still have the dynamics peaks within capabilities.

But even then, room reflections will blur the accuracy of the sound. If you want the pin-drop accuracy, you need to treat the room to mitigate the reflections until after 20ms. If you can't, at least horn-loaded compression drivers can keep more of the sound pointed at your, and less at your walls.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

I actually would like to try those exact same speakers too! Somebody on this forum recently did a comparison between Sierras,veritas ,and RCs and I believe he prefered the Sierras.

The sensitivity speaks nothing of the SQ of a speaker. Just shows you the power needed to play (higher sensitivity needs less power to go loudddd). I believe Ascend recommends 45wpc at least. If you got the amp to power em than go for em!

I added the Sierra-1. There are always trade-offs in speaker design. I think a lot of the time the speakers are targeted for two channel music, where people are looking to play without a sub. For home theater, I would've much rather they sacrificed some extension I don't need, in return for more sensitivity. 85-86db is pretty low! 89dB (middlin' sensitivity) with extension to 60hz would've been fine.

This is more of a "play at -14" speaker. Which is fine if that's what one is after.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

What about reveberance? Either way I still wouldn't listen at ref lol

Well, the funny thing is, when people complain about "loud" (especially women, I hear), they're really complaining (without realizing it), "This system sounds terrible loud in this room." If Dennis Erskine had designed the room, it'd sound better, loud or not. And if the equipment was properly spec'd, it'd sound even better. The dynamics would be present, and you wouldn't be hearing the distortion.

Imagine you're driving in a car more suited for in-city driving. On a poorly-banked road that has some loose gravel over the asphalt. You try pushing it to 95 mph. You try to accelerate and it takes forever. It feels out of control, and when you hit some curves the car feels like it's about ready to fly off the road. It tilts dangerously. You pull off at an exit to end this nightmare, and exclaim, "I'll never drive even close to 95 mph again! It's so dangerous!"

Now try a try a sports car that has great handling, acceleration, and top speed. The same road is just as rough, but the car handles the acceleration, the curves, and 120 mph with aplomb. Completely different experience!

The first car may have had a great sound system, climate controls, insulated cabin, turning radius, and fine leathers from purpose-bred animals on a remote mountaintop. It does fine driving at less than 70 mph, and not accelerating quickly, which is 90% of your driving.

But for fun, adrenalin, excitement, isn't the second car more satisfying, for those other 10% occasions?
And how much better would it be with a great road (room)?

Remember, the point isn't "Can I reach reference level" or "Should I reach reference level." It's that most of us are probably listening to movies with lots of distortion, without dynamics that the sound designers intended.
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post #59 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 02:33 PM
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So do the Energy RC towers fit on this list, assuming Energy is accurate with their specs?

Energy RC-50

91db
225 watts RMS

Energy RC-70
92db
250 watts RMS

Your questions are answered:
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post #60 of 824 Old 01-16-2012, 03:29 PM
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Not directed to anyone yet, also directed to everyone...

I think this is a great idea, period. We might have different personal opinions as to what is important or what should or should not be on the list.

That said, I think we should applaude Eyleron's effort and intent, any mistakes included. This strikes me as a large undertaking with a lot of data to try to organize. There's going to be mistakes so let's just live with them and offer any constructive suggestions in the meantime.

For example, regarding a company being accurate with their specs.... if it's all we have to go on then it's all we have to go on. Should he test each speaker himself to double verify their claims?
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