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Old 19th May 2006, 08:55 PM   #1
JLL is offline JLL  United States
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Default Help with FR and lower volume

I have a small room and listen at a fairly low level (meter typically bouncing between 60 and 70 SPL). I was wondering if their is a correlation between FR driver attributes and musical involvement at these lower levels. Should I be looking at a 8" or 4" driver? Should I be looking at a high efficiency (+94spl), medium efficiency(+90), or low. Should I be looking at a driver that is designed to work best in a horn, TL, OB, or BR?

After reading a lot of posts, my WAG (that all it is) is that I might be better of with a larger, less efficient FR that is capable of moving a little air. Correct me or maybe their is no correlation! If it matters I mainly Rock with Bach although I occasional get it on with more aggressive characters. I am aware of the perceived loss of bass/ treble at lower volume.

Thank you in advance for your guidance!
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Old 19th May 2006, 09:11 PM   #2
Kensai is offline Kensai  United States
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I run a pair of Kenwood KFC-6496s in 16"x20" OBs hinge mounted to my desk in my office, running from an SI T-Amp, and frequently need to listen at fairly low levels. The Kens are (I think) 92dB sensitive, but they are larger drivers, able to move some air (6"x9" car drivers w/whizzer cone), like you say. I don't think sensitivity will have much to do with it as long as you have enough amp (which, at low levels, isn't much of a problem).

Now, I'm listening in the nearfield with these things, but without EQing anything, they're good from 60Hz on up to the top and are quite engaging, at any level. Of course, with old school music (by which I mean Bach, Beethoven, et. al.) its hard to stay involved at low levels unless you're compressing the pieces' dynamic ranges (i.e. they're generally mastered at a much lower level than metal or pop to allow for very emotive differences between quiet and loud passages). For example, if you've got your volume adjusted to where the quiet parts are playing at 60dB, the loud passages could peak at over 80dB (unlike most metal where if you're playing quiet parts at 60dB, the peaks rarely break 70dB; they just want it all to be loud).

Anyway, my impression is that to get acceptible involvement at low listening levels, you're best served by a larger driver so that you lose as little of the bottom end at low volumes as possible. That's really what gets you involved, in my experience, YMMV. You may also want to consider the more bass reinforcing configurations (OB is really nice sounding, but at low level, you really need to EQ some bass back in, which, not surprisingly, helps out at much higher volumes, too, until my amp starts clipping ;-p).

What drivers are you looking at? What space limitations do have in that room?

Kensai
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Old 19th May 2006, 09:30 PM   #3
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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How small a room, and to what degree can it be dedicated to just the audio system?

For example, if a pair of corners 8-10ft apart can be utilized, a rear mouthed horn with Fostex FE126 can sound much bigger than they look, and at 93dB sensitivity, power is not a huge requirement. ( think Hornshoppe Horns)

Another Fostex based design which gives up only a few dB efficiency, but still delivers a big time smile quotient is the FE127 folded monopole MLTL.

There are also some interesting wall-mounted or hugging designs, such as the Cornu Horn, or PAWO that can squeeze a lot of performance from small diameter, low cost drivers.


Larger FR drivers (i.e. 6-8") may have advantage of increased sensitivity and extended LF response, but generally at the requirement of increased enclosure size or working footprint required. Furthermore, the smaller the room, the easier for bass to get out of control.
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Old 19th May 2006, 10:23 PM   #4
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I currently have my highly-modified fostex FE108 sigmas (4") back loaded horns in my basement office of about 120 square feet. I listen at the same volume as you. There are no issues that I can point out regarding the room. They sound fine and fill the room effortlessly.

They do, however, sound much, much better in the living room upstairs.

Doug
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Old 20th May 2006, 03:13 PM   #5
JLL is offline JLL  United States
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Default Lower volume

Thanks for the replies!

My room is a spare bedroom, 12*13 ', and is dedicated so appearance is not critical. I do not have any particular drivers in mind. To put it another way I have read a lot but heard nothing! I am trying to select a general direction and then copy someones design that many like.

I think a driver/design that reinforces the bass has got to be a plus, and I most definitely want a speaker that is not fatiguing even at the cost of losing some sonic thrills. I suspect that I will be using a GC or T amp so I do not want something that has to be used with SET to sound right.
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