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List of Reference Level, High Sensitivity & SPL Speakers - Page 6

post #151 of 820
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stormwind13 View Post

Thanks for taking the time to make this spreadsheet. I was considering popping $1500 on a pair of QSC Kw153 before I saw them ranked just slightly below the Klipsch KLF-30 that I already have. Maybe could just plunk down 75 bucks on a bob crites diaphragm upgrade and call it a day.

I'm glad you've found some use in the spreadsheet. But...

What are you trying to achieve in thinking about buying the QSC's? There's the amplification advantage that I mention below, a different horn that will sound different from the Klipsch, different directivity as far as how even the frequency response is at different angles off-axis (which may affect listeners on the sides, or how the sound reflects off of untreated walls, etc.). In other words, depending on your goals, there may be a number of factors to regard other than raw SPL.

And even that is difficult to judge... did I translate the max SPL of the QSC correctly (it's extrapolative when they don't give you sensitivity)? Check out their spec sheet and see what you think about their max SPL spec. It may work well for your needs. And where does power compression set in with each speaker? (see above posts) For all I know, one speaker exhibits compression at 1/5 power, and the other at 1/10th power. But we'd need 3rd party measurement, or at least anecdotal reports, to know that.

Active Amplification
To be fair, I read that active speakers that have separate amps for each of the drivers are more efficient with the power allocation than one amp driving all the drivers with an analog crossover.

I think I may have accounted for that when I can see what the low frequency amplifier puts out. But I may be under-rating a speaker where they only gave one spec for total amplification.
post #152 of 820
We can just run consecutive sine wave sweeps and see where each speaker compresses but the problem is that watching a movie or listening to music is an easier load than sine waves. I guess if it does not compress at 105 dB's with a sine wave you are set. You can really tell when a speaker compresses during Reference though as the speaker does not scare you like others and still sound great doing so.
post #153 of 820
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Read this one. You might want to nuke up a bag of popcorn first.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1353217

Yes, I can use MKTheater as a review / sentiment on your speakers, JTR, several JBL, CHT, eD, etc. I've read about a third of the posts in his thread and am subscribed. Maybe he will magically wave his magic wand and each of speakers he tried out will be indexed in the first post with the executive summary of his rankings?!
post #154 of 820
Well if I list my preferences for dynamics and list sensitivity it won't match up. That is because of one speaker, the M&K S-5000 but other lower sensitivity speakers compressed, these did not and scare the crap out of you.
post #155 of 820
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

We can just run consecutive sine wave sweeps and see where each speaker compresses but the problem is that watching a movie or listening to music is an easier load than sine waves. I guess if it does not compress at 105 dB's with a sine wave you are set. You can really tell when a speaker compresses during Reference though as the speaker does not scare you like others and still sound great doing so.

I've run tests on my sub and fronts before, raising the volume 3dB up at a time, seeing where the curves compress at certain frequencies.

I guess to really discern subtle differences, one would also want to run an A-B to see the delta between the curves? Or at least offset one curve 3dB so that they should overlay eachother perfect if there were no difference other than the input voltage.

I wish there was a way in REW to measure THD of an existing measurement, like a sweep? I've only seen the THD measurement when I fed it a sine wave in RTA mode.
post #156 of 820
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Well if I list my preferences for dynamics and list sensitivity it won't match up.

If sensitivity and your preferences don't align perfectly, that only underscores the need for more scientific, and subjective, data.

Some speakers might be sacrificing frequency range for sensitivity. Others might have more sensitivity but their power-handling is such that they distort at the highest levels. And you picked up on this, and this is good to know. It makes a list more than "a compilation of manufacturers' specs that can only be trusted so far."

Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

That is because of one speaker, the M&K S-5000 but other lower sensitivity speakers compressed, these did not and scare the crap out of you.

Not sure I'm parsing this correctly. Are you saying that the M&K was excellent and had high sensitivity, but didn't scare the crap out of you, and that's why you'd rank it lower than BF's, JTR's, CHT's, JBL's etc. speakers?
post #157 of 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyleron View Post


If sensitivity and your preferences don't align perfectly, that only underscores the need for more scientific, and subjective, data.

Some speakers might be sacrificing frequency range for sensitivity. Others might have more sensitivity but their power-handling is such that they distort at the highest levels. And you picked up on this, and this is good to know. It makes a list more than "a compilation of manufacturers' specs that can only be trusted so far."

Not sure I'm parsing this correctly. Are you saying that the M&K was excellent and had high sensitivity, but didn't scare the crap out of you, and that's why you'd rank it lower than BF's, JTR's, CHT's, JBL's etc. speakers?

No, the M&K's had 94 dB in sensitivity and did scare the crap out of you. I used to use them and when M&K went out of business I panicked and sold them. People were telling me that audio memory sucks(I had written notes) so I bought some more to refresh my memory and I was still right. The DR's are for sure the most sensitive and the most dynamic but they only go to 150hz in my room(flat anyways). I just happen to have subs that can play 150hz with authority to keep up so they are my favorite. If one wants a full range speaker they need bass bins or subs but I think all speakers need subs for movies. Part of the dynamics were having higher frequencies as well because glass breaking sound more startling when the speaker went higher in frequency. The JBL's had great dynamics but lacked that startling effect in the high frequency range but had it in spades throughout the midrange and Midbass. If I crossover at 150hz then all te speakers could have great Midbass so it depends what one wants. The JBL's can dig the deepest with dynamics on their own. My 4675's had the best Midbass dynamics but the smaller 3722 had better higher frequency dynamics because it extended higher.
post #158 of 820
just glazed through fast and saw no mention of cerwin vega speakers
post #159 of 820
Great thread...for home theater...I had aperion speakers, I liked them but switched to higher sensitive speakers (Ive owned three different set of high sensitive speakers and they were leaps better then my aperions for home theater use) and will never look back...the difference is truly unbelievable...perfect example is super 8 when the train derails...at reference...your gonna need speakers that can handle the holy crap that was crazy. Very dynamic, yet not bright...very hard to explain.

My aperions would sound like crap, compared to my newer speakers played at reference...when scenes demanded high spl...they just sounded bad...kinda like someone decribed earlier in the thread...a fuzzy picture when the high spl was needed on a demanding scene...maybe it was just my aperions, not sure.
post #160 of 820
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

just glazed through fast and saw no mention of cerwin vega speakers

I guess I knew in the back of my head that they were more sensitive, but that they'd fallen out of favor in the past 20 years. But that impression is probably pre-dynamics-awareness.

Glancing through their lines, in home audio, the VE line seems to have more sensitivity, the CMX less, and the XLS less (89dB in center channel). Looks like they're using wave guides, but with soft dome tweeters.

Their pro audio line like the Intense does better, but with 15" woofers. Not sure if those are a compression driver.

Can you give us a run-down on the lines and how they're positioned/intended? Any particular speakers you think should be added to the list?
post #161 of 820
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcoop View Post

Great thread...for home theater...I had aperion speakers, I liked them but switched to higher sensitive speakers (Ive owned three different set of high sensitive speakers and they were leaps better then my aperions for home theater use) and will never look back...the difference is truly unbelievable...perfect example is super 8 when the train derails...at reference...your gonna need speakers that can handle the holy crap that was crazy. Very dynamic, yet not bright...very hard to explain.

My aperions would sound like crap, compared to my newer speakers played at reference...when scenes demanded high spl...they just sounded bad...kinda like someone decribed earlier in the thread...a fuzzy picture when the high spl was needed on a demanding scene...maybe it was just my aperions, not sure.

Yeah, when I checked a year ago, I was disappointed to not see any high (or even medium-high) sensitivity Aperions, because I wanted to like them, and you can't beat a home audition with free shipping back! Maybe I should add one or to as [low] reference points?

Which high-sensitivity speakers did you try and what were your impressions of them?
post #162 of 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyleron View Post

I guess I knew in the back of my head that they were more sensitive, but that they'd fallen out of favor in the past 20 years. But that impression is probably pre-dynamics-awareness.

Glancing through their lines, in home audio, the VE line seems to have more sensitivity, the CMX less, and the XLS less (89dB in center channel). Looks like they're using wave guides, but with soft dome tweeters.

Their pro audio line like the Intense does better, but with 15" woofers. Not sure if those are a compression driver.

Can you give us a run-down on the lines and how they're positioned/intended? Any particular speakers you think should be added to the list?


like you said they really have fallen out of favor in the past. i figured they were not around any more until recently i came across a few threads mentioning them i'm like you i just had it in my head they where more sensitive from past experiences. in the mid 70's i had my first pair of real audio speakers a pair of large advents hooked up to a 50wpc marantz and my buddy had a pair of cerwin vegas dont recall model just remember red woofer and he had them hooked up to a 20 wpc fisher and his speakers always seemed louder and years after they where the choice at parties for thier loudness (the good ole days of audio )
post #163 of 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyleron View Post

Yeah, when I checked a year ago, I was disappointed to not see any high (or even medium-high) sensitivity Aperions, because I wanted to like them, and you can't beat a home audition with free shipping back! Maybe I should add one or to as [low] reference points?

Which high-sensitivity speakers did you try and what were your impressions of them?

Don't get me wrong, I liked the aperions, just not at reference where scenes demanded more...they just don't cut the mustard for movies or high spl music...they just hurt my ears.

I had klipsch kl-650's...loved them, then switched to ed c12's...liked them even more and price was much more attractive. I now have 1 jtr triple 12 (using as a center) with the ed12's as left and right. The jtr t12 is the best I have ever heard out of the three but comes at a higher cost. Gonna replace the the ed's to the jtr t12's shortly...thought about maybe just going with the t8's as left and right but probably will stay with the triple 12's.

they all excelled in dynamics...in your face sound without sounding harsh. IMO, I found the ed's slightly better the the kl-650's in the higher end...more dynaic and crisper yet not fatiguing.

The t12's, IMO, were leaps better then both, but pricier. They were as dynamic if not more with more of a nuetral sound. I wouldn't say the other 2 were bright, just the jtr's were able to deliver in your face sound while staying nuetral...not sure if that makes sense, but just my impression. I also found the low end far superior in the jtr's, but then again you got 2 12's in the low end and 1 12 in the middle.
post #164 of 820
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

like you said they really have fallen out of favor in the past. i figured they were not around any more until recently i came across a few threads mentioning them i'm like you i just had it in my head they where more sensitive from past experiences. in the mid 70's i had my first pair of real audio speakers a pair of large advents hooked up to a 50wpc marantz and my buddy had a pair of cerwin vegas dont recall model just remember red woofer and he had them hooked up to a 20 wpc fisher and his speakers always seemed louder and years after they where the choice at parties for thier loudness (the good ole days of audio )

I thought I'd look up more info about them.

Here's an AVS thread that talks about them in some detail: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1294683

DiamondDelts is pretty knowledgeable about them, and SecretSquirrel owns or owned some. In this thread there's more, and Paul Scarpelli of Triad says,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli@Triad View Post

I would much rather populate my theater with Cerwin Vegas than some little, froo-froo, 85 dB sensitivity weak sauce *audiophile* bookshelf speakers that couldn't reproduce the sound of a mouse fart at a realistic volume level.

Great comment about the value of dynamics!
post #165 of 820
I still have a pair of cerwin vega at-15 speakers, from 1987. From a dollar/watt/sensitivity ratio they cannot be beat. Best rock out speakers of all time in my humble opinion. Still in service out in the garage!
post #166 of 820
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Part of the dynamics were having higher frequencies as well because glass breaking sound more startling when the speaker went higher in frequency. The JBL's had great dynamics but lacked that startling effect in the high frequency range but had it in spades throughout the midrange and Midbass. ... the smaller 3722 had better higher frequency dynamics because it extended higher.

My High Frequency Roll-Off
This comment got me thinking about my frequency range across the full range. I had looked at it before but hand't paid it much attention because the response was so ragged unsmoothed, and the Pioneer MCACC was supposed to EQ it as best it could. Wow-- did I have problems that were under the radar!

It's the Pioneer 1014, the first of their non-Elite but still THX-Select receivers that was basically a clone of an Elite model. I think this was one of the first MCACC EQ softwares. The EQ frequency bands are only 40, 125, 250, 4k, and 13k.

I saw that I was missing mid-bass and I had a lot of high frequency roll-off. Even though the overall levels were correct in a sound meter, this was due to large peaks and bass that hasn't been damped yet with absorbers (much-needed project!).
By playing with the BFD on two subs with individual LCR channels, and lots of tweaking of the MCACC's very limited EQ, I was able to get a much more balanced response in REW and by ear. When needing to compromise between the center or front-left-and-right speakers, I weighted the center more heavily, as it's for mostly movies/TV.

What a difference this made! Dialog more intelligible. Effects much more startling. I did find myself wincing more, though, I think due to distortion, and I was only at -12dBFS.

Speakers with HF Roll-Off
I noticed some of the pro cinema speakers roll off at 16kHz. MKTheater, did you find that you didn't notice that too much (whereas 12kHz roll-off would be objectionable), or did you find that full 20kHz was needed for the last bit of "sparkle" or "air" in soundtracks? In other words, for cinema, what's the high frequency you found you needed?

Thank you for leading me to correct this problem! I may have to drop the volume down a couple notches now until a speaker upgrade, but at least the experience for the time being will be much more enjoyable!
post #167 of 820
My LaScala roll off at 16k and I've never found it to be detectable for theater use. I wonder if at reference levels it might even be preferred? That would be interesting to experiment with.
post #168 of 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyleron View Post

My High Frequency Roll-Off
This comment got me thinking about my frequency range across the full range. I had looked at it before but hand't paid it much attention because the response was so ragged unsmoothed, and the Pioneer MCACC was supposed to EQ it as best it could. Wow-- did I have problems that were under the radar!

It's the Pioneer 1014, the first of their non-Elite but still THX-Select receivers that was basically a clone of an Elite model. I think this was one of the first MCACC EQ softwares. The EQ frequency bands are only 40, 125, 250, 4k, and 13k.

I saw that I was missing mid-bass and I had a lot of high frequency roll-off. Even though the overall levels were correct in a sound meter, this was due to large peaks and bass that hasn't been damped yet with absorbers (much-needed project!).
By playing with the BFD on two subs with individual LCR channels, and lots of tweaking of the MCACC's very limited EQ, I was able to get a much more balanced response in REW and by ear. When needing to compromise between the center or front-left-and-right speakers, I weighted the center more heavily, as it's for mostly movies/TV.

What a difference this made! Dialog more intelligible. Effects much more startling. I did find myself wincing more, though, I think due to distortion, and I was only at -12dBFS.

Speakers with HF Roll-Off
I noticed some of the pro cinema speakers roll off at 16kHz. MKTheater, did you find that you didn't notice that too much (whereas 12kHz roll-off would be objectionable), or did you find that full 20kHz was needed for the last bit of "sparkle" or "air" in soundtracks? In other words, for cinema, what's the high frequency you found you needed?

Thank you for leading me to correct this problem! I may have to drop the volume down a couple notches now until a speaker upgrade, but at least the experience for the time being will be much more enjoyable!

At first I thought high frequency rolloff would not matter and for the most part it does not. However, after listening to the DR's which extend higher you can really hear the sizzle when swords collide like in LOTR trilogy. The JBL 4722 had better highs than my 4675 but the 4675 was better everywhere else. I guess it is a preference but using the DR's as tops with my subs as the bottoms you get the best of both worlds. Sensitivity is a funny thing because you can have high sensitivity and low sensitivity from the same speaker but just at different frequencies. My DR's are very high sensitivity above 120hz but at 80-120hz they drop off 10 dB's. If I ran them to 80hz they would be fine because that is still around 95 dB's at 1 watt. I can get away with running them to 80hz but then I would be missing that slam the JBL's provided with their dual 15 inch 100 dB sensitive bottoms. So I am using bass management and my 8 18's have a sensitivity of 106 dB's for the same region and it slams you with little power. I run tons of power though because of the lower frequencies(2100 watts per sub or 1050 per 18). When I replaced my 4675c's with my M&K S-5000's everyone noticed the extra dynamic high frequency section missing from the JBL's but also noticed the missing slam of the 15's. I guess I could have crossed those speakers at 150hz as well and got a better speaker overall. I still like the DR high frequencies better than the M&K as it as more detail and dynamics and of course 11 dB's more sensitive. I don't need massive speakers anymore because I solved the midbass by incorporating my sub system into it which is brand new for me as I always crossed over at 80hz so midbass would be lacking on any speaker compared to the awesome JBL's!
post #169 of 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by tony123 View Post

My LaScala roll off at 16k and I've never found it to be detectable for theater use. I wonder if at reference levels it might even be preferred? That would be interesting to experiment with.

I also get rolloff even from my DR's but I think it is a function of my room. Every speaker rolloff early in here and why I probably can listen at reference.

One more thing, with my elite SC37 I can not play at 0 MV as it is way over reference levels compared to my high end separates. -10FSdB MV is about reference on my Elite compared to my separates. I am not sure why there is a big discrepency but measure your peaks in your room at the LP and see when you hit 105 dB's with just A-weighting. Use a loud movie like Tron and then you know where reference is for a loud movie and then it will range down to 5 dBs lower than that.
post #170 of 820
to give an example of rolloff here are some specs

M&K S-5000- 20khz(in room 11khz)
JBL 4722- 19khz(in room 9khz)
JBL 4675-12khz(7khz in room)
DR-200-20khz+(12-13 khz in room)

This could be my room(tons of treatment) or my mic but my newer omnimic rollsoff early like my RS meter did. I have not taken a measurement with the new speakers and subs crossed over at 150hz yet so that and pictures will be my next step. The BFM wedge 6's work fantastic as surrounds. Again, they need audyssey or EQ to sound great at different seats.
post #171 of 820
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

measure your peaks in your room at the LP and see when you hit 105 dB's with just A-weighting. Use a loud movie like Tron and then you know where reference is for a loud movie and then it will range down to 5 dBs lower than that.

I know there are threads discussing bass peaks in movies, but I wonder how much of that is in the LFE channel?

You mentioned TRON, but is that just because it's loud, or do you know of specific scenes where, for instance, the center channel has a 0dBFS peak at a number of frequencies above the crossover?

Or even a -5dBFS would be good to know, as reference and for testing.
post #172 of 820
I would use A weighting on the RS meter so the subs are not being measured. I am not sure about full scale scenes so I just run a loud scene in a loud movie with explosions or screaming and see how loud it is. If -10 on the Elite measures 105 dB's peak then I know I won't go lower than -10 on any movie for reference. Most movies are a little lower so -5 to -10 will be reference for all movies. I try to find the loudest movie with vocals to set it up. I wish it was a easy as 0 MV for every movie but oh well. I can not take how loud the Elite is at 0 MV where my Ada separate system was awesome at 0 MV.
post #173 of 820
edit: nevermind, I am an idiot
post #174 of 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

I am not sure about full scale scenes so I just run a loud scene in a loud movie with explosions or screaming and see how loud it is.

I just listen to my wife screaming....

oh wait... wrong topic , wrong thread. Never mind & carry on.
post #175 of 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by coytee View Post


I just listen to my wife screaming....

oh wait... wrong topic , wrong thread. Never mind & carry on.

I don't think my meter goes that high.

Maybe one can buy a DVD with a 5.1 track with a -20 FSdB pink noise in any channel.
post #176 of 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

just glazed through fast and saw no mention of cerwin vega speakers

Their quality has gone down the tubes. An example:
http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=227210
post #177 of 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Their quality has gone down the tubes. An example:
http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=227210

Check out my speaker shootout thread and you will see something familiar. DR-200 front stage with wedge 6 surrounds and 4 double 18 sealed subs from 5-150hz! The most clear and dynamic system I ever owned and I owned $3000 JBL's! You guys want reference levels for the best bang for buck look no further! Also, Scott is an awesome builder! They look great.
post #178 of 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Their quality has gone down the tubes. An example:
http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=227210


There was a time where CV made some decent speakers, I loved my AT-15's and still do. They serve their purpose well. Even the CLS-215 and the XLS-215 are decent speakers from what I hear. DiamondDelts has many and seems to like them. I personally have not heard them, but have heard nothing but good things about them. CV quality took a huge dip during the 90s and early 2000s, I really thought the D series and AT series were monsters though in the 70s and 80s.

That being said, I do know that their quality in some of the lineups has gone to complete crap, the company has been bought and sold a couple times in the last few years. I'm surprised it hasn't been completely liquidated yet.
post #179 of 820
Thread Starter 
I added a few more Procella speakers (to the spreadsheet; haven't updated PDF yet):
  • P6: the little brother to the P8, which is suited for smaller rooms as it lacks the 10" woofer.
  • The P610, which is a P6 with their P10 sub underneath, requiring active biamp with DSP
  • P860, a megolithic LCR, super high output, suitable for cinema screening rooms
  • P6V: a more narrow version of the P6 that fits between studs, yet still with the shallow depth!

These are fantastic Swedish speakers that compare favorably with Genelec and are easy to fit behind screen wall baffles where depth is at a premium.
post #180 of 820
Thread Starter 
I hear you, I get it. You have a few thousand dollars to spend, and you want some high octane front speakers. You don't want to take a risk on gear made for the stage or a club. You want your dollar to buy you the same gear used in fancy stages: midfield monitors. Nearfield monitors are more intended for close listening by mixing boards or above a home workstation. Whereas these midfields are intended for 3m to 10m listening, and main monitors are the largest speakers for a large mixing / dubbing space or screening theater.

First up is a sample from Adam Audio, the S3X-V. It's an active monitor 3-way design with beefy amps and folded ribbon (for way more air movement) high frequency drivers. $2,750.


Next is one speaker from Dynaudio, a popular brand on AVS for their consumer line. The M2 is a passive speaker which handles gobs of power, so if you're looking for high-output using powerful amps...look no further. $3,000.


K&H is another popular brand for studio monitors. The O 410 is their largest one, and it's active with 400w peak power to the woofer. $4,899.


The KRK Expose is their premium active monitor. $2,500.


Lastly is PMC. With a name like Pro Monitor Company, I had to add three of their speakers at a time. The IB2S, MB2S, and BB5 are all passive designs with an increasing number of drivers, and they can take a LOT of power. 1000 watts wouldn't be out of the question by any means. $7,200, $9249, and $16,000 respectively.


Spreadsheet updated, PDFs not yet.
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