Sensitivity, impedance or recommended minimum amp. power? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-10-2013, 03:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I've got a Yamaha RX-673 and want to buy 5.0 speakers to listen to in a 13 square meters (11x11 feet) room, 50/50 musiv/movies (gonna buy a subwoofer too next month).


I will not listen loud (live in an appartment) so please tell me, which characteristics listed in the thread title are more important to look after in choosing the speakers? That is, in order to get the best/good enough sound quality at a low/medium listening in that room. So, I don't want speakers which need to be put out loud in order to get the music sound good enough (by good I mean getting to clearly hear all instruments, all frequencies being put out).


I am aware that the higher the sensitivity/efficiency in a speaker - the better (the speaker/music will sound louder at given volume knob position, as compared to a lower sensitivity speaker). I also know that an 8 ohms speaker will need to draw less power from the receiver - as compared to a 6 ohm speaker - in order to put out the same level in sound.


My question is: given the low musical possibilities of this receiver, should I first look for speakers with lower wattage recommended minimum amp. power? Or more important is to get higher impedance/efficiency speakers?

Of course, it would be preferably to get a mixture of these characteristics - unfortunatelly, the speakers I need to choose between (Tannoy Mercury V1 and Q Acoustics 2020i) have them parted (Tannoy are 8 ohms and 10 W recommended amp power, but are only 86 db; Q Acoustics, are 88-89 db, but only 6 ohms and have 25 recommended min. amp. power)


As for the speaker frequency - it's another matter, I will leave that aside.


Thank you.

Denon AVR-2113, Monitor Audio BX2/BXC/BXFX, Pioneer BDP-150K, LG 37LH5000, Sennheiser PC-350
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-10-2013, 08:03 AM
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I'd buy the ones I preferred the sound of.

Otherwise, if not using external amplification, you are better off with the easier impedance load. This should be the ones rated at 8 ohms, but some speakers might be rated at 8-ohms but still have a nasty sub-4-ohm dip at low frequencies, making them worse than a 6 ohm speaker with a benign impedance curve. It's hard to tell without full measurements, which you might find if both have been tested in a mag.

Sensitivity and maximum power handling won't mean that much to you in an apartment setting.

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post #3 of 6 Old 02-10-2013, 08:57 AM
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86 db/watt is a pretty low sensitivity rating; that might limit the loudness you can get without distortion.

I would try to find something closer to 90 if possible.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-10-2013, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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@psgcdn: I forgot to mention that there is no chance for me to listen to the speakers prior to buying them.
I remember reading such a test for the Tannoy Mercury V1 - I'll check again. Although I'm not qualified to interprete the such tests, I hope the explanation will be common sense enough. I will post the link to the test page, maybe you can give me some additional clues.
Unfortunatelly i didn't find such tests being performed on Q-Acoustics 2020i.

True, although in such a small room and with neighbours around I will never turn the volume too loud - more like, as i said, at low/medium levels. I know that loudness is a subjective measurement of sound.
In the Tannoys 5.0 set up only the centre speaker is 90 db. Of course I would have preferred the fronts/surrounds to be higher than 86 db.
I could choose among other speakers (matter of fact I've already returned a 5.0 MA Bronze and then a 5.0 Heco Victa Prime) but the choice is limited by the fact that I dont want the surrounds to be thick and also by money considerations.

Actually, regarding the recommended minimum amp. power, I was more interested in this: given the small room, my listening preferrences and the limited power of Yamaha RX-673, which one is more suited, the Tannoys (10 W minim recommended) or Q Acoustics (25 W minimum recommended amp)? Notice that, in my case, the speaker with smaller sensitivity is 10 W min, while the one with better sensitivity is 25 W minim.

I know the MA Bronze setup would have been better, but the minimum recommended amp power for those is 30 W. Also, they are the most expensive, and at first that was the reason for returning them (a change in the available money intervened)

@psgcdn: here's the page with Tannoy V1 measurements: http://www.stereophile.com/content/tannoy-mercury-v1-loudspeaker-measurements
By the way, should I be worried by that 'Fig. 3' problem they mention? In what more preciselly does that translate?

Thanks.

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post #5 of 6 Old 02-10-2013, 10:03 AM
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Thanks for the link. The tester was happy with the 8-ohm figure given that its impedance magnitude remains between 6 and 12 ohms for much of the audioband, with dips to 4.9 ohms at 200Hz and 5kHz, and a generally benign electrical phase angle. I don't know, dips to 4.9 ohms might be a bit much to handle for your receiver with five of them connected.

As for the minimum required power, I never understood what that spec means. It is pretty useless. Do they mean that the speaker needs to least 10 or 25W to open up and sound good? It can't, otherwise that would mean that you'd have to be cranking it all the time to listen to anything, and that only the peaks in the track would sound good. If I listen to a jazz trio that has no drums (piano and bass, for example), then I might have the volume dial at -40 dB and have peaks of 0.01W, with 0.001W more typical. My speakers have a 20 dB sensitivity advantage over the Tannoys listed here, but that would still put your volume dial at -20 dB and peaks of 1 Watt for the same output.

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post #6 of 6 Old 02-10-2013, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I see, good point. Maybe when I'll add the powered subwoofer it will relieve a bit the receiver.

Also, more worries come from the halving of Tannoy's price: from $320 (as mentiond in the article in oct. 2012), to $150 in Jan. 2013.
I mean, it's expected for the price to decrease, but that sharp and quickly?

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