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I recently deployed down to Djibouti with my workcenter, and we were having issues with the "Morale" portion of our tent. We have a nice 47" TV, but the speakers on it left much to be desired. Somebody also tried hooking up some PC speakers to it, but we were still having issues.


Our main issue was understanding people talking. We could hear music and effects ok (not great, just "okay"), but it was always hard to understand people talking in the "not loud" scenes. The root cause was likely the fact that we have two loud air conditioning units running into our tent. Ambient noise is 63db A-weighted, 73db C-weighted. (Yes, I did bring my SPL meter with me on deployment... along with various 3.5mm to RCA cables, 1/4" adapters... like my avatar says, I'm a Home Theater Nerd) The little speakers just couldn't push their little 2" drivers hard enough.


And so, since I plan to purchase new speakers once I get back home, I bought a pair of Klipsch RB-81 IIs, along with a PylePro PAMP1000 (60wpc stereo amplifier). I figured that given the RB-81 II's 97db sensitivity, it would be enough.


Got it in from Amazon, everything hooked up and... WOW!


Setup: Western Digital TV Live HDMI to TV, Stereo RCA from the back of the TV to the Input 2 side of the PAMP1000 (it is important to use input 2 of this amp because input 1 is auto sensing, and will shut off the amp if no signal (or a very quiet scene/passage) is present), 12GA speaker wire to the RB-81 IIs.


Our problem was solved! We found that even turning the speakers down, dialogue was still clear and intelligible, even in quiet scenes! Turning the speakers up, a "good" volume is halfway up on the volume control of our stereo amp. 3/4 up is getting to the point of "too loud".


Movies:

We tried it with a couple scenes, and watched Terminator 2: Judgment day. In the beginning of the movie, there is a "future battle". At one point, one of the flying machines is shot down. It crashed with a jarringly loud very metallic sounding crunch. These speakers definitely have the ability to play quiet, but can get loud yet remain composed when called for. (And this is with an amp rated at just 1/3 the power these speakers can handle!)


In a later scene, Arnold gets onto his newly acquired Harley Davidson motorcycle. Once the engine got going, we literally felt the signature Harley sound in our chests. Keep in mind, these speakers are hooked up in a 2.0 configuration - no subwoofer!


The best part is these speakers play loud enough to drown out the air conditioning units, yet they aren't so loud that they are unbearable. We can have them turned up to what would be a normal (not loud) listening level, and still hear everything but the most extremely quiet parts. Amazing!


Music:


I have a variety of music with me. It handles the classical music I throw at it well, again with a huge dynamic range that plays well both loud and quiet. However, I can't hear the quietest parts no thanks to the air conditioners. (recall an A-weighted 63db ambient noise level)


I also put some Aerosmith through them. I was able to track the bass line as it rose and descended, so these don't have "one note" bass by any means.


I have some Bassotronics with me also. Here I reached the limits, not of excursion, but extension. Playing a couple songs reveals audible port chuffing on the lowest notes (Bassotronics songs are known for going all the way down to single digit frequencies). So yes, if you go lower than the advertised 44Hz low frequency extension, you'll run into issues. One song I played I know has a progression of notes which starts at 40Hz and goes down to 16Hz. I'd say probably around 30Hz, chuffing became present.


Finally, one of the guys here has an electric guitar. I was able to hook it into the amp, and that worked very nicely also.


Overall, I'm not disappointed! These speakers do the job extremely well. I can't wait to get them into my acoustically treated theater room back home!

 
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