How important is sensitivity for near field at low volumes? How important is sensitivity for near field at low volumes? - diyAudio
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How important is sensitivity for near field at low volumes?
How important is sensitivity for near field at low volumes?
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Old 12th January 2006, 03:12 PM   #1
bluegti is offline bluegti  United States
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Default How important is sensitivity for near field at low volumes?

I want to build small speakers for my desk/computer. I will be using a pair of 2a3 tube amps that are around 2-3 watts. I will listening at very low levels - probably 60 dBs, no more than 70.

In theory, if I got a horribly inefficient speaker with a sensitivity of 75 dB, it would still be louder than I am looking for with my amps, right?

So, how important is sensitivity when deciding upon a full range driver for my application? People generally recommend drivers with a sensitivity of more than 90dBs for amps like mine, but that is generally to fill a small room with sound - I don't need that.

Finally, can you recommend a speaker for my application? I was originally looking at Fostex because of the sensitivity, but would a Jordan, Tang Band, FR125S be just as suitable? Which has the best mids and highs at low volumes?

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Old 12th January 2006, 04:04 PM   #2
BWRX is offline BWRX  United States
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You're right that sensitivity really won't be an issue even with a 2-3W amp for your situation. Still, that doesn't mean it will hurt to use sensitive speakers.

You would love a pair of Fostex FE103E (89-90dB) in the recommended bass reflex enclosure (it's only 7.5"x7.5"x11.75" externally which would be great for use on a desk). In the nearfield, on axis this driver has exceptional midrange and high frequency response and sounds quite good. I have a pair in open baffles on my desk right now paired with an amp3. Of course bass is lacking because of the open baffles but they sound great otherwise (very fast, detailed sound due to the strong motor and very light moving mass) and they're still breaking in.
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Old 12th January 2006, 05:10 PM   #3
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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the real issue is bass if you think you have plenty of excess volume capability.
As you lower sensitivity you get more bass extension for the cabinet volume.
And possibly run out of bass excursion capability.

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Old 12th January 2006, 05:34 PM   #4
Nordic is offline Nordic  South Africa
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I think logitech uses alot of Tang drivers in their PC speakers lately, but what I wanted to say, was that PC speakers normaly come with a subwoofer for the lower octaves as the small drivers are no good at that... So you will need another amp and subwoofer to pull it off.
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Old 12th January 2006, 09:17 PM   #5
Cal Weldon is offline Cal Weldon  Canada
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How important is sensitivity for near field at low volumes?
The FR 125 gets rave reviews from who have listened and I must say I was struck the first time I heard it as well. Actually is was the WR 125 I heard first but they are both quite nice. This is coming from a guy who has a pair of Foster 10F3's and a Coral equivalent. As much as I hate to say it, the 125's are better.
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Old 13th January 2006, 03:29 AM   #6
Taperwood is offline Taperwood  United States
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I was pointed to the Aurasound NS3-193-8A ($20 US) as a good choice for my computer speakers. They are only 80db efficient as I recall.

I drive them with a 10 watt Yamaha chip amp. They sound exceptional for the price. Anything above quarter volume is too loud. One nice thing about these 3" drivers is that they have a huge Xmax. I have not missed not having a sub with these speakers.

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Old 13th January 2006, 03:35 AM   #7
serengetiplains is offline serengetiplains  Canada
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You might investigate Gallo's line of mini-speakers. They've garnered excellent reviews, they're small and attractive looking, they're full-range and not too expensive, and at 87dB they're decently efficient .... lots going for them.
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Old 13th January 2006, 04:04 AM   #8
doorman is offline doorman  Canada
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FWIW: At a gathering last year, we tried driving wr/fr125's with several low powered set's. It was definatly a no-go, we thought something was broken! With a bit more power on tap, like a pp, they really came alive.
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Old 13th January 2006, 04:55 PM   #9
Jeb-D. is offline Jeb-D.  United States
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From experementing it seems. With low sensitivity speakers you will not really be able to hear characteristics that make a tube amp sound like a tube amp. Also some of the sound detail won't be as clear. I'm building a TangBand W4-1052 bassed set of speakers for an application similar to the one you need. The 1052's sensitivity is decent, there cheap, and from what I've been told the perfomance is good (even the bass).
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