Paradigm studio vs. Salk Songtower ! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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For a 5000 cubic feet room , an Integra 40.2 processor , with an outlaw 200 wpc power amp ,an Oppo Bdp -105 bluray player , WOULD you choose :

1- Paradigm studio 100 v.5 floorstanding + studio CC690 center .

OR

2- Salk SongTower fronts + Song center . ??

OR

Anything else .... smile.gif

I shall be telling this with a sigh..
Somewhere ages and ages hence..
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I took the one less-travelled by..
And that has made all the difference..
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post #2 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 01:19 PM
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SPL loss occurs by listening distance and room traits, not by overall room size (hence why you can hear sounds out doors)

Salk SongTowers will be considerably less expensive, and will sound better (within their response range).

Studio 100's will go lower and (I think) get louder.

I would chose a SongTower-RT and subs over the 100s (indeed: as an owner of Salk SCST's who has owned several members of the Paradigm Studio and Sig lines, I have done exactly that)

(EDIT: It should go with out saying that "sounds better" is an inherently subjective statement; and while I could show that it *measures* better; it should not be construed as something debatable beyond "this other thing sounds better to me")
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post #3 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

SPL loss occurs by listening distance and room traits, not by overall room size (hence why you can hear sounds out doors)

Salk SongTowers will be considerably less expensive, and will sound better (within their response range).

Studio 100's will go lower and (I think) get louder.

I would chose a SongTower-RT and subs over the 100s (indeed: as an owner of Salk SCST's who has owned several members of the Paradigm Studio and Sig lines, I have done exactly that)

Thanks for your reply ...

I've heard that these Song towers can much easily go louder with more SPL clarity than the Paradigms !!

Is this true ? .. And yo what extent can these differ in HT movies performance in particular ?

I shall be telling this with a sigh..
Somewhere ages and ages hence..
Two roads diverged in a wood and I..
I took the one less-travelled by..
And that has made all the difference..
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post #4 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Dayter View Post

I've heard that these Song towers can much easily go louder with more SPL clarity than the Paradigms !!
"Louder" and "more SPL" mean the same thing.

The SongTower is 88db@1w, the Studio 100v5 is 90-93db@1w and takes slightly more power. Unless Salk has been overly conservative, I would expect a 2-6db advantage in volume from the Paradigm Studio 100.

I own the SuperCharged SongTowers. I have critically listened to Paradigm Studio 100v4's (though not v5s). To me, the room integration (ease of placement) was better on the SCST. The off-axis performance was better. The voicing was improved. The 100's we a little "muddy" in comparison. I'm not sure of the cause. These difference remain (though less so) when comparing to the Signature S2 v1 (which is what I use in the bedroom).

I've pushed the SCSTs to mechanical clipping (which was at frequencies that it would not be asked to play with a sub) and it was too loud for my ears (I play a good 6-10db below that at loudest) at about 9' listening distance. At 12', I've found no problems using the SCST's for movies.

The studio 100s drop to 25Hz. This is well below even the SCST. I consider this a non-issue with a sub.

Of course, with any speakers, nothing I say trumps listening to them. Give them a try and hear for yourself.
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post #5 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 02:12 PM
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"The SongTower is 88db@1w, the Studio 100v5 is 90-93db@1w and takes slightly more power. Unless Salk has been overly conservative, I would expect a 2-6db advantage in volume from the Paradigm Studio 100."

If the paradigms have a higher sensitivity rating than the Salks, how would they play louder when fed the same amount of power? Shouldn't it be the opposite?
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post #6 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambesolman View Post

"The SongTower is 88db@1w, the Studio 100v5 is 90-93db@1w and takes slightly more power. Unless Salk has been overly conservative, I would expect a 2-6db advantage in volume from the Paradigm Studio 100."

If the paradigms have a higher sensitivity rating than the Salks, how would they play louder when fed the same amount of power? Shouldn't it be the opposite?

Uhhh because DB rating per watt of power implies volume or "Loudness". DB or SPL is the measure of sound pressure in the room. If you feed 1 watt to the Salk's you get 88 DB if you feed a watt to the Paradigm you get 90 to 93 (likely content dependent). Higher sensitivity means they respond better to a given level of power. Note: better doesn't mean clearer or better sounding, simply they put out MORE sound.
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post #7 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 02:30 PM
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Exactly

The Paradigms are listed 90db anechoic and 93db in-room. So let's call it 93db.

The Salks don't list whether they are anechoic or in-room sensitivities. That's why I listed a range for the paradigms (because I don't know what I'm comparing to). Let's call it 88db

@1w the Paradigm will be 93db and the Salk with be 88db
@10w the Paradigm will be 103db and the Salk will be 98db
@100w the Paradigm will be 113db and the Salk will be 108db
@200w the Paradigm will be 116db and the Salk will be 111db.

At that point we are functionally at max power handling for both speakers.

All of the above is, of course, at 1m distance. In a "normal" room, you'll loose 3db-6db everytime you double distance.

@200w @2m (6-7 feet) the Paradigm will be 110-113db and the Salk will be 105-108db.

Now that's all sustained volume. Both speakers can take spikes higher.

Reference (the standard for movie volumes in a home as defined by THX) is 80db continuous with 105db peaks.
This should be no problem for either speaker at reasonable (4m or less) distances in a normal room. This could be an issue in a highly damped room or at long listening distances, or above reference, or some combination thereof (in which case you would start looking at high sensitivity speakers)

All that said, I prefer the Salk (particularly the SuperCharged SongTower) to the Paradigm Studio 100.
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post #8 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 02:41 PM
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Ok, my understanding was correct just not my interpretation of the post. Just miss read it.
Though it'll be a year+ before I can buy any new speakers, I'm considering these two choices as well. I've listened to the 100s and liked them but they were in a really terrible listening space firing into the corner of a giant room with no wall behind them. So, tough to get a good eval. Would love to hear the Salks, but short of an owner inviting me over (don't know any) or a blind buy I have no other options to hear them in Atlanta frown.gif What's the price difference between the two? Last I heard the 100s were around $3600 and the Salks about $2200? That's put the Salks more in the ballpark of the studio 60s. Is this correct?
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post #9 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 03:17 PM
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If you reach out to Jim Salk he can arrange communication with an owner willing to let you come listen. I would expect there are some in and around Atlanta.
For non-custom veneers/designs, Salk offers a return policy that allows for an in-home audition.

The specific prices are on the Salk website. A pair of basic SongTowers is $2,000. Upgrading them to the Raal ribbons would make them $2,700. A pair of SuperCharged SongTowers is $3,500.

The size and frequency response on the standard ST's is similar to the Pardigm Studio 60. The SCST lowers the bottom end, reduces the enclosure size, and improves the sound quality (to a good extent because it includes the Raal tweeter). It still doesn't go as low as the Studio 100, but (IMO) sounds better at a similar price.

Also: Jim Salk is an extremely skilled woodworker. I consider the finish on his speakers far more upscale than the veneer currently on the Studios.

I don't want to come across as anti-Paradigm. I think it's a good brand, though I think that their value has been hurt by steadily rising prices. At the level of the Studio 100, I tend to recommend Sig S2's + subs for better sound. Again, that's my preference from my experience.

I'm in the process at my house of moving away from Paradigm in favor of Salk. I purchased my first pair (my SCST's) a few months ago and am extremely happy with them.
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post #10 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 04:10 PM
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Thanks Jerry, I'll look into that! I want to listen to the 100s and 60s in a better room. I think the price of the 60s would be easier to swallow since I want to get a matching center as well. I haven't seen a rosenut finish on salk's site but the cherry with deep red is nice and I understand he can customize the finish. I'd move my rosenut Hsu HB-1s to the rear and guess I could send him one to try and match it. Of course the price keeps rising...
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post #11 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

If you reach out to Jim Salk he can arrange communication with an owner willing to let you come listen. I would expect there are some in and around Atlanta.
For non-custom veneers/designs, Salk offers a return policy that allows for an in-home audition.

The specific prices are on the Salk website. A pair of basic SongTowers is $2,000. Upgrading them to the Raal ribbons would make them $2,700. A pair of SuperCharged SongTowers is $3,500.

The size and frequency response on the standard ST's is similar to the Pardigm Studio 60. The SCST lowers the bottom end, reduces the enclosure size, and improves the sound quality (to a good extent because it includes the Raal tweeter). It still doesn't go as low as the Studio 100, but (IMO) sounds better at a similar price.

Also: Jim Salk is an extremely skilled woodworker. I consider the finish on his speakers far more upscale than the veneer currently on the Studios.

I don't want to come across as anti-Paradigm. I think it's a good brand, though I think that their value has been hurt by steadily rising prices. At the level of the Studio 100, I tend to recommend Sig S2's + subs for better sound. Again, that's my preference from my experience.

I'm in the process at my house of moving away from Paradigm in favor of Salk. I purchased my first pair (my SCST's) a few months ago and am extremely happy with them.

My Sig2's sound insane. Can't say anything about the Salk since i have yet to ever hear them.

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post #12 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by CHASLS2 View Post

My Sig2's sound insane. Can't say anything about the Salk since i have yet to ever hear them.
The Sig2 is indeed a great speaker. I've been running a pair of Sig2 v1's for several years now as L/R mains.
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post #13 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 05:51 PM
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I would throw out Kef R series, R700 if going with a sub(s). Although I have not heard them Salks have a fantastic reputation and a fanatic following. I know of a couple that have moved from Salk to Kef but also many others who have moved from all sorts to Salk. Try to listen to as many as you can, what you like best is what matters.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #14 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

I would throw out Kef R series, R700 if going with a sub(s). Although I have not heard them Salks have a fantastic reputation and a fanatic following. I know of a couple that have moved from Salk to Kef but also many others who have moved from all sorts to Salk. Try to listen to as many as you can, what you like best is what matters.
I heard them on a couple of occasions back to back at RMAF...the Salk's crushed the KEF's, which surprised me. I went into RMAF planning to buy the R700s, came out completely rethinking my plans.
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post #15 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 07:17 PM
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Crushed them? In what ways?

I'm guessing they weren't in the same room, were they?

I'm always a bit skeptical when somebody says excellent speaker A crushes excellent speaker B. In almost all cases it's some other factor at play (room acoustics, setup, source material, listener biases, etc).

When comparing two good speakers, it's usually a close fight, and one's personal preference decides the outcome.

For every new thing I learn, I forget two things I used to know.
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post #16 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

Crushed them? In what ways?

I'm guessing they weren't in the same room, were they?

I'm always a bit skeptical when somebody says excellent speaker A crushes excellent speaker B. In almost all cases it's some other factor at play (room acoustics, setup, source material, listener biases, etc).

When comparing two good speakers, it's usually a close fight, and one's personal preference decides the outcome.

Well first of all, I was disappointed with the R900 and R700s. They were NOT bad but didn't meet my expectations. They lacked separation of instruments in comparison with the Salks. Vocals were decidedly better and more natural on the SCST's. The bass response was better on the Salks but the 900's were capable of "more" bass but it sounded a bit boomy in comparison.

Different rooms yes. The KEF's were in a smaller room the Salks were in a very large room, so room setup was at play. The sound of the KEF's just wasn't for me...
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post #17 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 08:14 PM
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Not everyone is disappointed, the R series seems to be getting pretty rave reviews. Here is the latest on R700 http://www.avforums.com/reviews/index.php?reviewid=440
I am certain Salks are something special. But just like the R series, they are not everybody's cup of tea.

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post #18 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 08:17 PM
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I have OWNED both, I give the edge to the studio 's by a wide margain, I fell for all the hype and bought the songtowers, my fault for buying before listening, I am not trying to start a argument, as I said, I have OWNED both and IMO the pradigm studio's are a much better speaker, good luck
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post #19 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

The Sig2 is indeed a great speaker. I've been running a pair of Sig2 v1's for several years now as L/R mains.
If you're using the sigs as your L/R what are you using the scsts for? Separate music room?
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post #20 of 73 Old 01-13-2013, 09:08 PM
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Let me add my opinion. I demoed the Studio 60 and the Kef R700 at the same store and heard the SCST at RMAF. I preferred the Kef over the Studio. It was not a landslide, but the Kef set had a fuller sound, better midrange, and played deeper (the Studio 100, though, would probably hang better with the R700. the R500 is really more comparable to the Studio 60, but they did not have a set of those on the floor). The studios did play loud, with power, and had clear highs and a nice soundstage. The Salks with the ribbon tweeter were really great, but that was a different room and a different day, so hard to compare. All three are good speakers, so it might be more a matter of which you prefer as opposed to which is "better".

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post #21 of 73 Old 01-14-2013, 03:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

"Louder" and "more SPL" mean the same thing.

I always used to know that "loudness" is not the same as "SPL" .. :
Doubling of the volume (loudness) should be perceived by a level difference of 10 dB .
Doubling the sound pressure (voltage) level corresponds to a measured level change of 6 dB.

Isn't this true ? ! tongue.gif

If Yes , then your calculations here wouldn't be accurate :
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

Exactly

@1w the Paradigm will be 93db and the Salk with be 88db
@10w the Paradigm will be 103db and the Salk will be 98db
@100w the Paradigm will be 113db and the Salk will be 108db
@200w the Paradigm will be 116db and the Salk will be 111db.

So , the new calculations instead of yours would be (by adding just 6 db when doubling the Spl not 10dB) :
@10w the Paradigm will be 99db and the Salk with be 94db
@100w the Paradigm will be 105db and the Salk will be 100db
@200w the Paradigm will be 111db and the Salk will be 106db

Which of these two methods is right ?

I shall be telling this with a sigh..
Somewhere ages and ages hence..
Two roads diverged in a wood and I..
I took the one less-travelled by..
And that has made all the difference..
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post #22 of 73 Old 01-14-2013, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayter View Post

I always used to know that "loudness" is not the same as "SPL" .. :
Doubling of the volume (loudness) should be perceived by a level difference of 10 dB .
Doubling the sound pressure (voltage) level corresponds to a measured level change of 6 dB.

Isn't this true ? ! tongue.gif

If Yes , then your calculations here wouldn't be accurate :
So , the new calculations instead of yours would be (by adding just 6 db when doubling the Spl not 10dB) :
@10w the Paradigm will be 99db and the Salk with be 94db
@100w the Paradigm will be 105db and the Salk will be 100db
@200w the Paradigm will be 111db and the Salk will be 106db

Which of these two methods is right ?
Neither. mad.gif
Doubling power gets 3dB.
Doubling voltage gets 6dB.
Doubling perceived loudness requires 10dB. Increasing power by 10x is also 10dB, electrically speaking.
BUT... increasing power by a factor of ten does not necessarily result in a 10dB increase in acoustical output, as there are other factors to be considered, mainly thermal and mechanical power compression. Manufacturers use a linear power to dB formula to arrive at their calculated maximum SPL figures, but since actual power to dB output isn't linear those figures are never accurate.

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post #23 of 73 Old 01-14-2013, 07:21 AM
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+1 on the Kef R series. I am curious as to how the salks can have as big of a sound as the R series since there is no special design for dispersion on them. Who ever said there was better separation of instruments i simply can not comprehend that. Never once did i not feel like i was actually watching an actual band. Were they being ran through the same source?

who do i talk to around here about changing my title from "advanced member" to "specialED member"
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post #24 of 73 Old 01-14-2013, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Neither. mad.gif
Doubling perceived loudness requires 10dB. Increasing power by 10x is also 10dB, electrically speaking.

So , If a speaker has in-room sensitivity of 93 dB at 1 meter , powered by 1 watt , powering it with 100 watt would yield 20dB or 12 dB increase in its output ..

In other words , Is this 93 dB produced by the speaker represent the "Loudness" level or the "SPL" level ? And ten times the watts on this case would add 6 dB or 10 dB step-up ?

I shall be telling this with a sigh..
Somewhere ages and ages hence..
Two roads diverged in a wood and I..
I took the one less-travelled by..
And that has made all the difference..
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post #25 of 73 Old 01-14-2013, 08:12 AM
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buy an amp and turn them up:D

who do i talk to around here about changing my title from "advanced member" to "specialED member"
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post #26 of 73 Old 01-14-2013, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panzer View Post

I fell for all the hype

This sentence fragment right here is why you've had to add " I am not trying to start a argument". It's an argument-starting phrase. It implies that the other speaker is "just hype" or "not what it's cracked up to be"; which is far more abrasive and confrontational than any amount of (far more appropriate) "are a much better speaker" language.
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post #27 of 73 Old 01-14-2013, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambesolman View Post

If you're using the sigs as your L/R what are you using the scsts for? Separate music room?
Yes. The Salk SCSTs are currently serving 2-channel music duty in my living room.

The Sig S2's are serving L/R HT duty in my master bedroom.
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post #28 of 73 Old 01-14-2013, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

BUT... increasing power by a factor of ten does not necessarily result in a 10dB increase in acoustical output, as there are other factors to be considered, mainly thermal and mechanical power compression. Manufacturers use a linear power to dB formula to arrive at their calculated maximum SPL figures, but since actual power to dB output isn't linear those figures are never accurate.

"are" = "may be"; and is likely to be the same between both speakers in question and so irrelevant to the comparison at hand.

Bill is correct when he repeats my numbers though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayter View Post

So , If a speaker has in-room sensitivity of 93 dB at 1 meter , powered by 1 watt , powering it with 100 watt would yield 20dB or 12 dB increase in its output ..
+20db
Quote:
In other words , Is this 93 dB produced by the speaker represent the "Loudness" level or the "SPL" level ? And ten times the watts on this case would add 6 dB or 10 dB step-up ?
10db

The only difference between loudness (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness) and SPL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_pressure) has to do with time-averaging.

A 0.1ms burst of 100db SPL will not be perceived as 100db loudness because it's too short.

Since the speakers can sustain the RMS-rated volume indefinitely, and since the rate of change in both relative to wattage is identical; they are interchangeable thusfar in this discussion.

You (as close as makes no difference) double power (wattage) for +3 db. All the rest of the math flows naturally from that figure.
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post #29 of 73 Old 01-15-2013, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

The only difference between loudness (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness) and SPL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_pressure) has to do with time-averaging.

Hmmm.. So , according to these measurements , my Paradigm MilleniaOne satellite speakers would suffer in reaching the 105dB reference SPL at 4 meters distance .

Here : It's sensitivity is rated at 89dBin-room , but most reviewers measure it at 88dB approximately (Paradigm overrated) .
So , 88dB powered by 1 watt , gives 108 dB (adding 20dB) powered y 100 watts , which is the maximum power handling of the speaker , and the average power output of my amp as well .
But this is at just 1 meter apart , and according to the Inverse square root law , doubling the distance form the speaker looses 6dB loudness.
And since the listening distance is 4 meters , then this 108dB is gonna be 102dB (at 2 meters apart) , and 96dB (at 4 meters apart which is my position) ..
The equation does not stop at this point , as all these calculations are made for just one (mono) speaker , but by adding the other front channel as working in stereo mode , would yield +3dB increase in loudness , therefore the final subjective Loudness level would e 99dB , which is far away from reaching the reference benchmark .

So , These MilleniaOne's won't have the dynamic headroom to meet most of the musical spikes and sound effects' climaxes in today tracks .

Am I right ? Or something missing ? or these numbers are just for sustained volume , and the spikes can be held easily even at higher levels unclipped ?
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post #30 of 73 Old 01-15-2013, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Dayter View Post

So , If a speaker has in-room sensitivity of 93 dB at 1 meter , powered by 1 watt , powering it with 100 watt would yield 20dB or 12 dB increase in its output ..
A 100x power increase is 20dB, not 12dB. With 93dB/w sensitivity 100 watts would result in 113dB output if the input power to output level relationship was linear. The problem is, it isn't. There are losses both mechanical and electrical that result in power compression, which can rob 3 to 6dB from output at the speakers maximum rated power. Further, the speakers maximum rated power is a thermal rating, which may be as much as twice what the drivers are actually capable of handing before they reach their excursion limits and distortion becomes unbearably high. For these reasons don't count on getting more than 20dB output above the 1w sensitivity, and that assumes the 1w sensitivity rating is accurate. Unless you see an actual measured response chart it probably isn't.

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