A Test. How much Voltage (power) do your speakers need? - Page 52 - diyAudio
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View Poll Results: I measured the test tone at:
2 volts or less 144 37.40%
Between 2-5 volts 130 33.77%
Between 5-10 volts 51 13.25%
Between 10-20 volts 24 6.23%
Over 20 volts. 36 9.35%
Voters: 385. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 8th February 2012, 10:26 PM   #511
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Originally Posted by weltersys
Seems odd you have NEVER been near a stage with rock music, or a horn section, or a disco, where peak listening levels are frequently above what a 90 dB speaker with 200 watts can achieve .
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Originally Posted by 5th element View Post
Who said that? I meant I never listen to it at that level at home on my hifi system. Bringing up other venues doesn't make sense with regards to the threads topic.
You said, in post #495
"No not unusual, what's unusual though is his listening level as it is significantly above what this thread shows is probably the norm. I certainly NEVER listen, regardless of the music, at that level."
The thread is titled: ďA Test. How much Voltage (power) do your speakers need?Ē

I have speakers in my computer, car, travel trailer, shop, control room/office, outdoors on my patio, several portable systems, and ones I use in my studio/living room.

The voltage used by those speakers at 9 dB below a CDís full scale output, varies on those speakers from fractions of a volt to well over 20 volts just on the systems I use on a daily basis.

I did not take the thread to limit response to rooms only like yours, and donít find it unusual that someone reporting in this thread has a room or volume taste that varies significantly from the norm.

It is also doubtful that the typical dB meters most of us have register levels near what the instantaneous peaks actually are.

Art
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Old 8th February 2012, 10:37 PM   #512
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weltersys View Post
Originally Posted by weltersys
Seems odd you have NEVER been near a stage with rock music, or a horn section, or a disco, where peak listening levels are frequently above what a 90 dB speaker with 200 watts can achieve .

You said, in post #495
"No not unusual, what's unusual though is his listening level as it is significantly above what this thread shows is probably the norm. I certainly NEVER listen, regardless of the music, at that level."
The thread is titled: ďA Test. How much Voltage (power) do your speakers need?Ē

I have speakers in my computer, car, travel trailer, shop, control room/office, outdoors on my patio, several portable systems, and ones I use in my studio/living room.



The voltage used by those speakers at 9 dB below a CDís full scale output, varies on those speakers from fractions of a volt to well over 20 volts just on the systems I use on a daily basis.

I did not take the thread to limit response to rooms only like yours, and donít find it unusual that someone reporting in this thread has a room or volume taste that varies significantly from the norm.

It is also doubtful that the typical dB meters most of us have register levels near what the instantaneous peaks actually are.

Art
Well spoken...
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Old 8th February 2012, 11:10 PM   #513
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I find after doing the test that I dont listen at that level, that the -18 db level is more realistic, and it agrees with a concept of amp headroom that I bought into years ago. Too much is just right, "power envelope" notwithstanding. Now I'll have to put together a "loud at 5 watts" system and see what my old Ampex 6V6 pp mono pair can do with it. Gotta refurb first though.
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Old 8th February 2012, 11:23 PM   #514
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weltersys View Post
Originally Posted by weltersys
Seems odd you have NEVER been near a stage with rock music, or a horn section, or a disco, where peak listening levels are frequently above what a 90 dB speaker with 200 watts can achieve .

You said, in post #495
"No not unusual, what's unusual though is his listening level as it is significantly above what this thread shows is probably the norm. I certainly NEVER listen, regardless of the music, at that level."
This is just putting words into my mouth for the sake of creating some non existent argument. My post was obviously made within the context of this thread, it obviously didn't include live concerts etc. We are not discussing the max SPL that people have ever been exposed to in a foreign environment, this thread isn't really even about discussing SPL levels either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weltersys View Post
The thread is titled: “A Test. How much Voltage (power) do your speakers need?”



I did not take the thread to limit response to rooms only like yours, and don’t find it unusual that someone reporting in this thread has a room or volume taste that varies significantly from the norm.
No one is saying this and I certainly didn't I merely explained the way I listen to my system. I am well aware that a larger room would have greater demands. However I wasn't arguing with that, I just find it surprising that some people choose to listen at very loud (subjectively) levels, I end up with a headache if I do this and the music loses its clarity, this is most certainly not due to the system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weltersys View Post
It is also doubtful that the typical dB meters most of us have register levels near what the instantaneous peaks actually are.

Art
The figures I quoted were back calculated from the loudspeakers sensitivity based on the voltage level they were being driven at, no SPL meter was used. Granted they might be out by a 3-4 dB but I don't see that as being overly important.

If one has a sound level meter though they can listen to some music, set their volume control in place, then play the pink noise file through the system. The SPL meter should be able to average that out fine and then one can see what the peak SPL at that volume would be based off of that.
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Old 8th February 2012, 11:41 PM   #515
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Default The dynamic factor

Inherent (available - realizable) source and playback (mainly loudspeaker) dynamic capabilities have so much to do with this topic. All you have to do to gain a bit of perspective is take a low to medium watt amplifier (say 10-50 WPC) and a source with at least 20 db of dynamics and play the same track through a variety of speakers in the same room. Start with a low to mid 80's (db/watt) typical 6-8" two way with decent bass extension and work your way up to something approaching 100 db/watt. (Altec, Klipsch or similar) Keep the average level between somewhere in the mid to upper 80 db area at a typical listening position of 8'-12'. One 2-4 minute track is all that's needed. After the 100 db/watt class of speaker, go directly back to the first low to mid 80 dbw efficiency speaker maintaining the same average level. The dynamic differences are profound!! Granted, the higher efficiency speakers have a significant advantage. However, if you do the same test with a 200-400 wpc amp, the differences basically remain the same. Most playback systems can't even do a 20 db or so dynamic source justice. Also, as the room gets bigger, the differences become more obvious at the same listening distance.
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Old 8th February 2012, 11:58 PM   #516
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5th element View Post
The figures I quoted were back calculated from the loudspeakers sensitivity based on the voltage level they were being driven at, no SPL meter was used. Granted they might be out by a 3-4 dB but I don't see that as being overly important.

If one has a sound level meter though they can listen to some music, set their volume control in place, then play the pink noise file through the system. The SPL meter should be able to average that out fine and then one can see what the peak SPL at that volume would be based off of that.
As I said before, what is 3 dB between friends .

The problem is you are several orders of magnitude mistaken if you think a typical dB meter catches peaks.
As Tom Danley wrote:

ďThe fact is, to reproduce even everyday sounds, requires far more than home stereo speakers can produce. I have B&K sound level meter that can capture instantaneous peaks, just throwing a teaspoon on to a tile floor, produced a peak over 130 dB from about 8 feet. It didnít sound loud at all because your ears donít work like microphones and speakers and everything else in the chain and I guess thatís the problem in part, I am looking at the technical requirements not how short I can come and still sound ok.Ē

Using the dB meters I have, ( an analog Radio Shack, a Terra Sonde Audio Toolbox, and Smaart using a B&K 4004 mic) dropping a spoon in my bathtub, I only get a peak reading of about 96 dB, with the dB meter in the tub.

That is more than a 30 dB difference from what Tomís meter measured at 8 feet.
I think Meyers Sound must use the same meter to get the peak readings they claim for their speakers, but that is for another thread .

Granted, Tom may have a louder spoon, but perhaps you can see the point Iím making that most dB meters respond to average (even on dBC Fast) not instantaneous peaks.

At any rate, I notice my home stereo sub amp clipping at well below THX levels during movies like the 5th Element, I could use a lot more than the 125 watts or so it has.

Art
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Old 9th February 2012, 12:10 AM   #517
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Indeed. Ages ago I went back to an old design that I'd done around a peerless 850467 + scan speak d2905/95 tweeter, this sits at around 81dB and on the end of the 100 watt amps I could get them to clip without too much hassle, granted this was far louder then I'd actually want to listen, but the speakers themselves sounded crap compared to the mains. At low levels they sounded fantastic, but turn it up and things fell to bits. This is why I'm always puzzled by the people who want to listen loud but also want to buy/build a 2 way around a 6.5" midbass of crap end sensitivity.

Watts are one thing, but if you want it loud there is no substitute for a pair of speakers with high sensitivity.
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Old 9th February 2012, 12:19 AM   #518
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weltersys View Post
The problem is you are several orders of magnitude mistaken if you think a typical dB meter catches peaks.
I didn't say this -.- I said you'd use the SPL meter on a pink noise stimulus of a known average -dB level, such as Pano's -18dB one as provided before.

If you set your volume control by listening to music, then play back the -18dB pink noise, then your SPL meter will end up giving a certain meaningful average value. It might be 70dB for example, but because we know that on average the Pink noise sits 18dB below the maximum peak output, then for that volume setting, the peaks produced by your loudspeakers should not exceed 98dB.
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Old 9th February 2012, 12:25 AM   #519
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Yup. John, as usual, hit the nail on the head. It's all about how sensitive your speakers are, not how powerful your amp is. Although, the test you suggest John, is not possible for us mortals, because we don't have Altecs and Klipschs lying around the house (how I wish that were true!).
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Old 9th February 2012, 12:39 AM   #520
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Originally Posted by ra7 View Post
Yup. John, as usual, hit the nail on the head. It's all about how sensitive your speakers are, not how powerful your amp is. Although, the test you suggest John, is not possible for us mortals, because we don't have Altecs and Klipschs lying around the house (how I wish that were true!).
Actually you don't need to go to the extreme of having something with sensitivity that high. A comparison between a small bookshelf with a real world sensitivity of around 82-83dB, compared to a well designed three way of a real 90dB should be more then enough to highlight what John was talking about. We are after all talking mainly about power compression and splitting the signal up between three drivers helps to reduce this and the increase of 7-8dB reduces the amount of power required to reach the same average SPL by a factor of 5, so it's still quite significant.
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