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Speakers for low volume listening?

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  • Speakers for low volume listening?

    Hey everyone,

    I want to build really great sounding speakers for low volume listening. I generally like listening below 70 decibals.

    Do you have recommendations?

    Smaller is preferred.

  • #2
    We can help you better if we know your preferences for size and budget.
    For a small size, small price speaker, the Overnight Sensations (kit available here) sound really great at low to moderate volumes.
    Lots of choices if you want to spend more.

    I think I hear a difference - wow, it's amazing!" Ethan Winer: audio myths
    "As God is my witness I'll never be without a good pair of speakers!" Scarlett O'Hara

    High value, high quality RS150/TB28-537SH bookshelf - TARGAS NLA!
    SB13/Vifa BC25SC06 MTM DCR Galeons-SB13-MTM
    My Voxel min sub Yet-another-Voxel-build

    Tangband W6-sub

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    • #3
      Here's one that meets your needs: "The Oriole is designed for users that want a compact, quality speaker that can be listened to all day at low volume."


      http://ampslab.com/oriole.htm
      "Everything is nothing without a high sound quality." (Sure Electronics)

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      • #4
        Hopefully I am not hi jacking the thread, but I am also very interested in low volume listening.

        Any experience on how does the "Oriole" speakers work for L-C-R HT/movie duty?? Obviously paired with a SW.

        My listening distance is around 1.5 meters so it's almost nearfield. I am aiming for voice clarity and dynamics (hard to get at low volumes).

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        • #5
          That Oriole is about 0.45cf. There are TONS of designs that have been done here on PETT that approach half that size (if you want something smaller), some - even smaller.

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          • #6
            Any small speakers with an amp that has tone controls or loudness button, or failing that, a "night listening" function. In my opinion.

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            • #7
              That Oriole is pretty strange, in that it uses in-phase Butterworth filters instead of in phase quadrature. Why would you purposely have a 3dB peak at crossover?
              Francis

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              • #8
                My definition of small may be different than yours, but the new version with the Morel tweet and crossover revision would be top choice for this price range, but if I wanted to spend more I may pull my hair out trying to make a decision on systems that I haven't heard. Glenn.
                 

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                • #9
                  Lots of great small speakers on the forums. I love the quarks. You could even do a full range speaker. Ive built many full range speakers and they all seem to have a special quality about them.
                  The peerless tc9 in a small sealed box with bafle step is a great option, it would be hard to build a smaller, simpler, higher quality speaker for less money.

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                  • #10
                    Look at this.

                    The Mysterious Loudness Control: What Does It Do? | Extron

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                    • #11
                      I think it's a combination of speakers, amp and source material. For example, I had an ancient Rotel amp which sounded good after turning it up over half way; when I got a more powerful Rotel amp - all of 20 watts!! - it sounded much better at the same volume, through the same speakers, even though it was only set to about 1/3 volume/gain.

                      Then, there's the source: just today I was listening to Allman Brothers Band Live at Fillmore East, which sounds thin and miserable at low volume on any speaker/amp combination that we have, but really shines when turned up past half. Deep Purple's 'Highway Star' sounds great at any volume.

                      For low volume listening in a small package, I like the sound of a our DIY Peerless 830656/VIFA BC25TG speakers (about 0.25cu ft) , but they can't compete with the Classix II when given a bit of boot. There's a nice crispness to the mids of the Peerless at low volumes, but they do need a sub.

                      As Chris R mentioned above, there are many DIY designs of that size from which to choose, depends on our budget and desired cabinet size.

                      Just some thoughts, sorry if this confuses the issue!

                      Geoff
                      Last edited by Geoff Millar; 01-31-2019, 01:41 AM.

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                      • #12
                        If smaller is preferred then satellite speakers with a powered sub combo would work well.

                        https://www.parts-express.com/lepai-...pply--310-4003

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                        • #13
                          I like my single solstice tmm (dual 6" to morel dome) sitting 7' away.

                          With receiver i need +2 bass, but with powerfull sounding amplifier, no eq needed.

                          I've thought of getting a kit and making it half as tall with no slot porting to use as a center channel.

                          I think they would work well for under 90db listening for movies.

                          Another option is a full range driver with a floppy higher qms, lower qts for attack.
                          But then you run into dispersion, 8" barely covers a couch at 10'.
                          Last edited by norman bates; 01-31-2019, 03:43 PM. Reason: Full range driver idea

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                          • #14
                            So, what would make a speaker "better" for low-volume listening? I would assume that the designers of most speakers on this forum, whether the popular kits or one-off creations, would claim their speaker sounds good both at low volumes and high volumes.

                            Based on a similar thread, I think this thread might be motivated by a comment that a particular speaker sounds best at higher volumes. But, in general, are there specific quantitative variables one would look at for a better low-volume performing speaker?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by a4eaudio View Post
                              So, what would make a speaker "better" for low-volume listening? I would assume that the designers of most speakers on this forum, whether the popular kits or one-off creations, would claim their speaker sounds good both at low volumes and high volumes.

                              Based on a similar thread, I think this thread might be motivated by a comment that a particular speaker sounds best at higher volumes. But, in general, are there specific quantitative variables one would look at for a better low-volume performing speaker?
                              Good question here is my take on it....what I look for is the sound signature of the speakers....2 main types of sound signature is a speaker that is very forward sounding and one that is very laid back or diffused sounding.....IMO a laid back/diffused type of speaker will need higher volumes for ones ears to hear and retrieve more detail while a forward sounding speaker will need less volume since its more focused....For lower volume listening I would prefer a more forward type of sound signature....Also with forward types of speakers the back ground noises is less apparent then a laidback diffused type of speakers where even the hum of a fan can be audible....Of course there are speakers that are in between meaning they are not too forward sounding and not to laid back either but just right which can sound good in both high and low volumes.

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