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HT: Has anyone ever moved from high sensitivity speakers BACK to low sensitivity?

post #1 of 675
Thread Starter 
After receiving my QSC K12 and comparing them to my old monitor audio RS6 i cant believe what ive been missing out on... having a speaker that can hit peaks of 120-125db in my room is a totally different movie experience.

My room is 19x13' sealed.

The question is if anyone has ever gone back to low sensitivity speakers in their theater after hearing high sensitivity? and why?

Im going to go out on a limb and say that the only people with low sensitivity speakers in their theater have never heard high sensitivity speakers or require high WAF. or maybe their room is 12x12
post #2 of 675
What do you consider to be low sensitivity speakers?
post #3 of 675
Well I went from Klipsch RB5's, to ACI Essence V's. The Klipsch just hurt my ears, and lacked mid bass. The ACI's are better at everything, but I do find myself between 0 and -10 on the avr just to have satisfying volume.

I'm working on some custom 93db speakers right now.
post #4 of 675
Has anyone ever moved from high sensitivity speakers BACK to low sensitivity?

I haven't and never plan to, having designed the room around the speakers.
post #5 of 675
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

What do you consider to be low sensitivity speakers?

My monitor audio RS6 are 91db for reference, so anything less than that i guess? Although realistically even 92-93db is still pretty low sensitivity.
post #6 of 675
I did, kind of. I had all (7) Definitive Technology speakers which are moderate to high sensitivity. I moved my main l/r speakers to the real channels, sold the 2 that were there, and replaced them with Carver alIII's which are a mother to drive. I listen to a lot of music and really like the Carvers for 2 channel. They use 4' ribbons which I drive with a 250wpc Mcintosh. I have the lf drivers (which are moderately sensitive) connected to a 150wpc B&K amp so that helps. They are in a moderate sized basement and pley plenty loud enough for me. db's are great and all but to me there is a lot more to consider.
post #7 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

Well I went fromKlipsch RB5's...The Klipsch just hurt my ears, and lacked mid bass.

A horn loaded tweeter doesn't a high sensitivity speaker make. They may claim 96dB, but an SPL chart would reveal something quite different.
post #8 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

A horn loaded tweeter doesn't a high sensitivity speaker make. They may claim 96dB, but an SPL chart would reveal something quite different.

My guess is they have zero BSC. I dont do wall placement, so being out a couple feet into a room would leave a 6db shelf in the lower midrange/mid bass, which of course highlights the highs even more. Klipsch's claims for bass extension are also highly inflated.
post #9 of 675
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by g_bartman View Post

I did, kind of. I had all (7) Definitive Technology speakers which are moderate to high sensitivity. I moved my main l/r speakers to the real channels, sold the 2 that were there, and replaced them with Carver alIII's which are a mother to drive. I listen to a lot of music and really like the Carvers for 2 channel. They use 4' ribbons which I drive with a 250wpc Mcintosh. I have the lf drivers (which are moderately sensitive) connected to a 150wpc B&K amp so that helps. They are in a moderate sized basement and pley plenty loud enough for me. db's are great and all but to me there is a lot more to consider.

I dont think definitive technology is even close to a true high sensitivity.

To clarify im not asking if people have gone from low sensitivity to lower sensitivity, but whether or not theyve had a truly high sensitivity speaker (95+ db) in their system and gone back to a conventional low sensitivity speaker (anything less than 94db)

As a general rule if your speaker doesnt have a compression driver chances are it wasnt high sensitivity.
post #10 of 675
I know someone who went from 98db sensitivity JTR Triple 8's LCR's to 89db Triad Gold Monitors. He wrote up a long subjective review and apparently was impressed with what he perceived as increased detail and soundstage with the Triads.

I have heard both speakers and at moderate volume would find it difficult to tell them apart. At high SPL, the differences (especially sensitivity) would be more noticeable.

Bottom line, it's fun to try new stuff ...
post #11 of 675
Can I ask why you think it really matters?
post #12 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMK! View Post

I know someone who went from 98db sensitivity JTR Triple 8's LCR's to 89db Triad Gold Monitors. He wrote up a long subjective review and apparently was impressed with what he perceived as increased detail and soundstage with the Triads.

I wonder if you mean me cuz I just went from Sealed Triple 8s (98db) sensitivity to Triad Gold LCR 92db (not Gold Monitors). Here's a link to the subjective review. Keep in mind my room is small (under 1200cf) and both of these are probably overkill for this closet of a room.
post #13 of 675
No, but moving twice in the last two years, I've wished for something a little more portable and easier to tear down and set up.

I sometimes wonder how much I'd be giving up going to something like those QSC's.

I find low sensitivity is just fine for back ground music, even in a pretty big space. But when you want to turn it up -->
post #14 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by omegaslast View Post

My monitor audio RS6 are 91db for reference, so anything less than that i guess? Although realistically even 92-93db is still pretty low sensitivity.

Stereophile measured them at 89.5dB.

http://www.stereophile.com/content/m...r-measurements
post #15 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by omegaslast View Post

My monitor audio RS6 are 91db for reference, so anything less than that i guess?

Spec'd or verified via measurement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by omegaslast View Post

Although realistically even 92-93db is still pretty low sensitivity.

Hmm, that would be considered high amongst the speakers measured over the years by publications like Stereophile. Note, measured.
Not surprised you like the QSCs. Very nice speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunga99 View Post

I wonder if you mean me cuz I just went from Sealed Triple 8s (98db) sensitivity to Triad Gold LCR 92db (not Gold Monitors). Here's a link to the subjective review. Keep in mind my room is small (under 1200cf) and both of these are probably overkill for this closet of a room.

Did you per chance attend Axpona when it was in Jacksonville earlier this year?

cheers,

AJ
post #16 of 675
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Can I ask why you think it really matters?

What is "it"?

I think most people on this forum have no idea what a proper home theater speaker sounds like because realistically most dealers simply dont carry it.

Theres a lot of recommendations for home theater that include brands like B&W, dynaudio, paradigm, salk, ascend, etc when NONE of these speakers are suitable for it in most rooms. Even if you were running behemoth amps the laws of power compression dont allow you to throw infinite watts at a speaker.
post #17 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by omegaslast View Post

What is "it"?

I think most people on this forum have no idea what a proper home theater speaker sounds like because realistically most dealers simply dont carry it.

Most dealers of mid to high end speakers recognize that many peoples first passion is music. SPL isn't everything. Detail, dynamics, flat frequency response etc. rule, not SPL. Give me pair of salks at 88 db over any klipsh at 95 db, anyday.
post #18 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by glangford View Post

Give me pair of salks at 88 db over any klipsh at 95 db, anyday.

I'll keep my 104 dB Klipschorns, thanks. They do music very well.
post #19 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by glangford View Post

Most dealers of mid to high end speakers recognize that many peoples first passion is music. SPL isn't everything. Detail, dynamics, flat frequency response etc. rule, not SPL. Give me pair of salks at 88 db over any klipsh at 95 db, anyday.

You mention the importance of dynamics and I agree with that, but how do you define dynamics? Dynamics is a product of sensitivity and power handling. It equates to a speaker maintaining a 1:1 ratio of input vs. output over a wide spl range. This happens to be where most high sensitivity speakers excel. It is one of their strongest suits. It cannot really be matched by speakers of low sensitivity as the average levels begin to rise.

At very low volume, the dynamics of virtually all speakers is the same.
post #20 of 675
You seem to be saying that because a speaker has lower sensitivity, that means that it will play louder.

That makes absolutely no sense at all.

The way to determine how loud a speaker will play is to calculate it from its sensitivity and maximum power rating.

For example, if a speaker is rated for 90 db/watt, and its maximum power-handling rating is 100 watts, then it will put out 110 db SPL maximum. If it can handle 200 watts, it will give a 113 db SPL at 200 W.

If a speaker is rated for 85 db/watt (LOW sensitivity), and it is rated for 100 watts, it will put out 105 db SPL maximum. If it is rated to handle 200 watts, it will give 108 db SPL maximum at 200 W. 400W would give 111 db SPL, IF the speaker can handle that much power.

Lower sensitivity means less sound per watt.

To get a 125 db SPL from a speaker with a low (85 db per watt) sensitivity) you would need 10,000 watts of power (and the speaker would have to be designed to handle it...seen any like that lately?).

It is ridiculous to claim that you are getting 125 db SPL from low-efficiency speakers; that isn't possible.


The QSC speakers are theoretically rated to put out 131 db SPL, but that doesn't mean you have anywhere near the power it would take to do it; IF they have HIGH sensitivity (95 db/watt), you MIGHT be able to get a 121 dba SPL , which would take 400 watts. (131 db would take 4000 watts).








Quote:
Originally Posted by omegaslast View Post

After receiving my QSC K12 and comparing them to my old monitor audio RS6 i cant believe what ive been missing out on... having a speaker that can hit peaks of 120-125db in my room is a totally different movie experience.

My room is 19x13' sealed.

The question is if anyone has ever gone back to low sensitivity speakers in their theater after hearing high sensitivity? and why?

Im going to go out on a limb and say that the only people with low sensitivity speakers in their theater have never heard high sensitivity speakers or require high WAF. or maybe their room is 12x12
post #21 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

You seem to be saying that because a speaker has lower sensitivity, that means that it will play louder.

That makes absolutely no sense at all.

The way to determine how loud a speaker will play is to calculate it from its sensitivity and maximum power rating.

For example, if a speaker is rated for 90 db/watt, and its maximum power-handling rating is 100 watts, then it will put out 110 db SPL maximum. If it can handle 200 watts, it will give a 113 db SPL at 200 W.

If a speaker is rated for 85 db/watt, and it is rated for 100 watts, it will put out 105 db SPL maximum. I it is rated to handle 200 watts, it will give 108 db SPL maximum at 200 W. 400W would give 111 db SPL, IF the speaker can handle that much power.

Lower sensitivity means less sound per watt.

To get a 125 db SPL from a speaker with a low (85 db per watt) sensitivity) you would need 10,000 watts of power (and the speaker would have to be designed to handle it...seen any like that lately?).

It is ridiculous to claim that you are getting 125 db SPL from low-efficiency speakers; that isn't possible.

He is saying his QSC's are playing louder and better than his lower sensitive speakers.
post #22 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

You seem to be saying that because a speaker has lower sensitivity, that means that it will play louder.

How did you get the impression that the OP was saying that? He went to what look to be 98 dB sensitivity speakers and was impressed by the dynamics he is now getting.
post #23 of 675
The problem that I have with most high sensitivity/high output speakers is that most of them lack good quality sound characteristics, (ie smooth, detailed and revealing top end and mid range). At least that has been my experience with the ones that I have heard, such as the JTR's, Klipsch reference, Chase SHO-10's, ect... If you could combine the smooth and detailed top end and midrange from the Salk Songtower with the high output, very dynamic JTR's, then you would have one hell of a home theater speaker. Unfortunately, speakers such as those, like the Seaton's, are very expensive. There just are not any affordable options for those people who like both good sound quality and high output/spl.

People raved about the JTR's, but to me, they sounded not nearly as good as my Ascends or Salks, which I keep in my very small listening room. Now granted, if I were to move my Sierra's or ST's to a large room and ask them to compete with the JTR's in terms of output and spl, then they would get hammered. But if you took the JTR's into my small room and asked them to give me the detailed top end and smooth revealing midrange, then they would totally fall short.
post #24 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

The problem that I have with most high sensitivity/high output speakers is that most of them lack good quality sound characteristics, (ie smooth, detailed and revealing top end and mid range).

I bought my Klipschorns (used) precisely because I had those qualities already with La Scala, as well as fantastic imaging, and wanted more. The midrange is better on the Klipschorns, as well as the low distorsion bass. So ability for high SPL and great dynamics doesn't have to exclude good sound.
post #25 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by psgcdn View Post

He went to what look to be 98 dB sensitivity speakers and was impressed by the dynamics he is now getting.

Dynamics is the key word. While high sensitivity speakers can play louder than lower sensitivity speakers that's not their main attribute. Being able to play loud without either the speaker or amp breaking into a sweat is. The result is effortless dynamic range.
Quote:


if you took the JTR's into my small room and asked them to give me the detailed top end and smooth revealing midrange, then they would totally fall short.

That's not because they're high sensitivity. One can find high sensitivity speakers that sound every bit as good, if not better, than low sensitivity, just as you can find low sensitivity speakers that should only be used as landfill.
post #26 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

At least that has been my experience with the ones that I have heard, such as the JTR's, Klipsch reference, Chase SHO-10's, ect...
People raved about the JTR's, but to me, they sounded not nearly as good as my Ascends or Salks, which I keep in my very small listening room. Now granted, if I were to move my Sierra's or ST's to a large room and ask them to compete with the JTR's in terms of output and spl, then they would get hammered. But if you took the JTR's into my small room and asked them to give me the detailed top end and smooth revealing midrange, then they would totally fall short.

You seem like an audiophile. Mind if I ask where and when you heard the JTR's (which model) as well as the Chase SHO-10's?
post #27 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJinFLA View Post

Did you per chance attend Axpona when it was in Jacksonville earlier this year?

cheers,

AJ

I did not even know this was going on earlier this year - I missed it
post #28 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by omegaslast View Post

The question is if anyone has ever gone back to low sensitivity speakers in their theater after hearing high sensitivity? and why?

98% music/2% movies, here. I switched from SHO-10's to WAF-1's for about a month. Switched back to the SHO-10's two days ago, I much prefer the the increased dynamics for movie and music listening, I am able to crank my subs back up (had to dial them way back for the less efficient speakers) and the midrange is among the best I've heard. My amp doesn't have to work as hard, either.

I really enjoy both speakers, but am partial to high efficiency after having lived with it. I'm sure directivity has something to do with this, too.
post #29 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by psgcdn View Post

Has anyone ever moved from high sensitivity speakers BACK to low sensitivity?

I haven't and never plan to, having designed the room around the speakers.

Touche'

or, was that Viola?

post #30 of 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJinFLA View Post


Did you per chance attend Axpona when it was in Jacksonville earlier this year?

I did. I was over all underwhelmed at the dynamics I was listening to however, the big room with the surround sound electrostatic type system sounded good for what it delivered.
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