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Old 11th April 2009, 01:35 AM   #1
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Question High power Vs low power sound

My significant other just aked me a question I could not answer, I have searched but now I'm asking for some help.

The speakers we are using at the moment don't seem to come "alive"
and sound their best until they are cranked up a bit, Fletcher-Munson curves not withstanding, what is the actual cause of these phenomena?? is it the warming of the voice coil causing a raise in resistance that makes the amplifier work cleaner? or an effect of poor design ( always a possibility with me ) making the XO points change with temperature?
These are cheapish two way towers using a Ratshack 8inch woofer and a cheap surface mount tweeter in MTM bi-amped and a couple of CerwinVega ( Vega 12-4 ) car subs crossed at 100Hz.

When I say cranked up it means 1/3 of the volume on the pre-amp possibly 12 or 15 watts about 85dB.

Just an interesting aside as the house we have moved to is in a quiet area we now enjoy our music at a much lower setting, background noise here is lower than 55dB.

Regards
Ted
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Old 11th April 2009, 02:50 PM   #2
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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Default Re: High power Vs low power sound

Quote:
Originally posted by Moondog55
The speakers we are using at the moment don't seem to come "alive" and sound their best until they are cranked up a bit, Fletcher-Munson curves not withstanding, what is the actual cause of these phenomena??
IME, a couple things that might cause this phenomena:

Gross frequency response irregularities - I experienced this in a friend's car. After I EQ'd it flat up to ~3kHz with a RSSPL meter and test disc, and tailored the upper end by ear, he commented that it "sounded the same at all volumes", where he used to need to crank it up. I wish I had written down the rest of the settings, but IIRC he originally had a huge peak at ~80-150Hz.

A tilted up response (and/or very low distortion) can make a speaker sound less punchy, and for psychoacoustic reasons the bass catches up with the treble at higher volumes. You could also have a dip in the ~300Hz (lower midrange) that robs the music of "punch".

Dips and peaks in the 1k-2k region can make a system sound recessed or forward, respectively.
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Old 12th April 2009, 03:38 AM   #3
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I always figured it was room related. Likely wrong, but I always believed this "alive" sound was reached when a certain threshold was crossed. When the listener begins to hear substantial influence from the room due to increased reflections/vibrations of power response.

I have found the effect to be especially apparent in very "live" rooms. Of course, it may be placebo...

Thats my $0.02
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Old 12th April 2009, 09:38 AM   #4
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Thanx RonE,
low distortion perhaps, Ratshack did have some very fine drivers, and the tweeter is perhaps a little upwards biased.

High "Q" drivers in a low "Q" box

Fast1
Other people have commented on this, most especially when the speakers have been used outdoors, so while I am aware of the effect you mention I don't think that this is the case here.
BTW the room is fairly live as I've not yet got around to any wall or ceiling treatments yet, although the room is carpeted and the subs are sitting centered directly on the floor, if I change the sub position and the effect goes away then I don't need to do anything else.

It may be mid-bass loss, if so an excuse to build even more speakers.
Thanx for the input
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