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Old 8th April 2005, 06:56 AM   #1
mxv146 is offline mxv146  India
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Default Effect of high efficiency speakers

Hi Folks,

I recently purchased a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 8.3 speakers, a
2-way floor standing pair, with an advertized rating of 86 dB/W. I am using it with an LM3875 based gainclone that I built, and the source is an old Panasonic discman I had lying around.

Having never owned a better pair of speakers, I am quite happy with them, but I do wonder about how higher efficiency speakers might sound. I listen to a lot of western classical music, and in passages where there is a huge transition in volume, would a higher efficiency (say 95 dB/W) speaker be able to handle the range of loudness better? (I really don't know what I am talking about - so this may not be a speaker issue at all)

As an aside, any opinions on Pi speaker kits?

http://www.pispeakers.com/Prices.htm

They have a 95db/W Studio Two kit for $80...

Thanks

Mahesh
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Old 8th April 2005, 07:05 AM   #2
simon5 is offline simon5  Canada
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It always depends.

If your Wharfedale can take 100W and the high efficiency system can take 100W, then yes the high efficiency system will probably handle better huge transitions in volume if you're near the maximum volume of the Wharfedale because they will have 0 dB left versus 10 dB left for the high efficiency system.
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Old 8th April 2005, 07:09 AM   #3
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I wouldn't think that higher efficiency speakers would help at all.

For a given power in, your SPL will obviously be higher, but all sections of music will be louder by the same amount. If you have the overhead you would get the same effect from simply turning the volume up with your current speakers.

What you seem to be after is dynamic compression, which I have never seen used in a domestic setting. Plenty of compressors used in a pro/live audio though...
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Old 8th April 2005, 07:14 PM   #4
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If you don't have the overhead on you current system that you need, speakers with a higher sensitivity could do the trick. They would sound about twice as loud (to a human) with the same input, this corresponds too needing only 1/10 off the power your Wharfdales need. So if they have the same powerhandling and you won't play the music any louder it could benefit you. This could be also accomplished by using speakers with greater powerhandling but same efficiency.

Be sure tho that there isn't any trade off made. In most cases high efficiency speakers will trade the ability to reproduce low frequencies against getting that higher efficiency unless the overal quality is simulair as well.

I would use compression only as an last resource and I could imagine it would cost more then those other speakers (I know my compressor did).

Btw. Are the speakers or perhaps the amp the limiting component(s)?


Mvg Johan
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Old 8th April 2005, 07:49 PM   #5
tiroth is offline tiroth  United States
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There are two issues here

1. Would you have more dynamic range with a higher efficiency speaker?
2. Do high efficiency speakers sound better than low efficiency speakers?

The answer to #1 is obviously yes, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it would sound better--it may be that other factors in your setup affect the sounds more than dynamic range. However, all things being equal, I would say that with such a low power, low current amp, higher efficiency (and easily driven) speakers would probably sound better. Of course, if you build a more powerful amp, it starts getting harder to be so black and white.

The answer to #2 is subjective--there is no absolute reason for more efficient speakers to simply be BETTER. Indeed, some of the world's best regarded speakers have very low efficiency. But high efficiency designs have their adherents, and HE speakers often share positive traits like strong motors or low excursion (horns). Personally, I do think that there is something special about a HE setup.
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Old 9th April 2005, 01:14 AM   #6
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Also the quoted sensativity of the diamonds is likely to be wrong. I have not seen ONE review in hifi news of a speaker (appart from statement speakers) which comes close to the manufactures spec. They could be as low as 80dB, most two ways hang around that figure in HF news measurements.
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Old 9th April 2005, 02:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by tiroth

there is no absolute reason for more efficient speakers to simply be BETTER.
Actually, you can minimize thermal compression with HE speakers. That's a big plus if you listen loud.
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Old 9th April 2005, 10:25 AM   #8
Previously: Kuei Yang Wang
 
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Konnichiwa,

Quote:
Originally posted by tiroth
2. Do high efficiency speakers sound better than low efficiency speakers?

The answer to #2 is subjective--there is no absolute reason for more efficient speakers to simply be BETTER.
That is true, HOWEVER, if we wish to make to make a speaker that is substantially free from dynamic compression and from excessive distortion at realistic levels in domestic settings (please note all the qualifications) physics constrain us in the case of traditional moving coil systems to reqyiring an EFFICIENCY (not sensitivity) of > 95...97db/1W/1m.

Any speaker with an Efficiency LOWER than this benchmark MUST INHERENTLY suffer significant levels of compression and distortion. Of course, high efficiency does not garantee a speaker that is designed for low distortion and compression, but low efficiency guaratees a speaker designed for high compression and distortion even if the designer tried hard to reduce these issues.

So, there is no absolute reason that a higher efficiency speaker should be better because of being higher efficiency, BUT there is a material objection to considering speakers with an efficiency lower than a certain boundary as offering the so many times invoked "High Fidelity".

In other words, low efficiency speakers are compression and distortion effects and that the bottom line, 'cause Kuei Yang Wang said so!

Sayonara
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Old 9th April 2005, 11:27 AM   #9
JohnL is offline JohnL  United States
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I know this is only 94 DB sensitive, but this caught my eye a while ago. Anyone have any experience with this. I am intrigued at the idea of a HE driver with a faraday ring.





http://www.bcspeakers.com/download/p.../PDF/8PS21.pdf
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Old 9th April 2005, 11:34 AM   #10
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Konnichiwa,

Quote:
Originally posted by JohnL
I know this is only 94 DB sensitive, but this caught my eye a while ago. Anyone have any experience with this. I am intrigued at the idea of a HE driver with a faraday ring.
No experience, looking at the datasheet this driver appears best suited to use as lower midrange up to 1...2KHz, with a suitable upper midrange ribbon or horn.

As for faraday rings, they are not as uncommon as you seem to think and not always listed as feature....

Sayonara
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