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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of planning my HT, and was hoping to get some advice on this particular issue. In a 5.1 setup, for my front, I'm planning on picking up a pair of Paradigm Studio 100s, and a Studio CC. I haven't nailed down the rears yet, but am considering the Axiom QS-4s or QS-8s.


I'm confident that I will like these speakers for loud action packed movies, etc., but I'm wondering if they will excell at normal TV watching, like news, etc. at lower volume levels. Even some nice music at softer levels while I'm reading, etc.


Is this something that anyone has opions on? Do you believe the Paradigms will perform well here? What kind of speakers have you found work well at lower volume levels? From what I've read on this forum, sensitivity doesn't sound like it plays a part in this equation. Does any spec. suggest how a speaker will sound at lower volume levels?


Thanks,

Dan
 

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Since you seem to like the Paradigms...

I'm using the Studios all around, and we often listen at low volumes, especially when the little guy has gone to bed. They sound good to me at any volume. My fronts are the 60's though, so I can't vouch for the 100's.
 

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dblloyd,


I was in the same boat as you. I have two kids, one is 4 (boy) and the other is 2 (girl), they both go to bed at 8:00p.m. I ended up going with the Divas 6.1, C3, and 2.1's. I am amazed of the ability to pick everything up while watching all programs in low volume. I have actually played stuff loud and then low to see if there was anything I was missing, I found that I wasn't missing anything at all.


I have also heard a lot of good things about Paradigms so I am sure they will also be able to pickup stuff at low volumes. Good luck on what ever you decide.
 

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Hi Dan-


I'm not sure if you are familar with Fletcher-Munson curves

http://www.silcom.com/~aludwig/image...her-Munson.jpg


But these represent human hearing sensitivities per frequency at various SPL's. Any full range speaker will be perceived as lacking in low and high frequencies at very soft playback levels. If you want to hear full range sound at these lower levels, external equalization would probably be the easiest way to accomplish this. This way you can buy what you like for the HT and adjust accordingly for low level listening.


Bruce
 

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I have Diva 6.1s with Anthem MCA5-II and I am not too happy with my system at low volumes, but I always thought that I have to upgrade my amplifier to improve the performance at low volumes. Isn't the amplifier a biggers source of improvement? (especially when we are talking about Paradigm Studio 100s or Diva 6.1s).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So I know that some car stereos have a neat (gimmicky?) feature that automatically adjusts the volume, and I think even the equalization, when you raise or lower your car window to compensate for the added road noise. It even knows how fast your car is going so it knows how much to compensate.


It seems like there is much to be gained by using an equalizer. I'm a novice, so I'd love it someone would explain to me why equalizers don't seem to be a component that people use much anymore (am I mistaken here?)


Based on Bruce's interesting info (Thanks Bruce!), this makes me wonder if the "best" preamps (or whatever component is best suited for this) would compensate for these different perceived volumes of different frequencies at different SPLs so that the sound produced by the speakers is relatively flat (or whatever response you desire) relative to our hearing as you turn up or down the volume.
 

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Dan,


The problem with doing this type of compensation in a preamp is that the volume control on a traditional stereo preamp isn't tied back to a specific loudness out of the speakers.


With HT processors, playing back DD and DTS material, you could accomplish this, assuming the user calibrated to reference.


CD/DVD-A/SACD don't have the same defined levels, so it would be harder to implement them for these sources.


It's a nice idea, but I suspect very difficult to pull off in room in the forseeable future.


Regards,
 

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Some receivers do include a "loudness" control, but that feature isn't very common.


Equalizers aren't used much because of the expense needed to do it right. High quality equalizers are expensive. People have rationalized this into saying that the resulting distortions are worse than the fixes they can apply, which certainly is true if you use inexpensive ones.


Equalizers have to go in between the preamp and the amplifier stages, so you need separate preamp and amplifiers.


With multichannel surround sound, they have to go in all 5 or 7 channels to minimize the phase differences among them, so you don't get unexpected cancellations when the same sounds are emitted by more than one speaker.


Audio control is one company that sells a mutlchannel digital parametric equalizer. I think it sells for about $8K or more. Their less expensive THX certified multichannel analog graphic equalizer wouldn't be appropriate for loudness compensation since it doesn't provide any control for the highest frequencies.


Another company (Rane?) makes a multichannel equalizer that includes parametric controls for the higher frequencies and graphic equalization for the lower frequencies, which might be usable. It seems to me that adjusting each speaker channel independantly would be a pain, however.


I hope these comments help in your considerations.
 
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