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How much SPL do you really need?

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  • Deward Hastings
    replied
    Re: How much SPL do you really need?

    Originally posted by Pallas View Post
    In other words, you can't compare them to a set of high-efficiency speakers designed for high-fidelity in a small room.
    Correct. I cannot compare directly to the null set.

    Originally posted by Pallas View Post
    With all that diffraction from having such a giant box between your speakers, no doubt it's hard to hear subtle dynamic details!
    Well . . . "all that diffraction" is in your imagination. Placing the "giant box" in and a bit behind the dipole null all but eliminates any "diffraction" problem . . . which would have no effect on "subtle dynamic details" in any case. If it were a problem I'd fix it . . . but it isn't.

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  • Pallas
    replied
    Re: How much SPL do you really need?

    Originally posted by Deward Hastings View Post
    I don't know the "history" of the L26, or if it was even available when ORION was first introduced . . . and it is not "inexpensive".
    Not sure where that came from, but it's not that expensive, either. Though at four per speaker pair, it does seem to add ~$400 to the cost of the Orions compared to the old bass drivers. Not chump change, to be sure.

    Originally posted by Deward Hastings View Post
    The W/M crossover has been lowered by about 20Hz., more to acomodate the change from "H" frame to "W" than any deficiency in the driver, I suspect, and that change comes mostly to get the "force cancelling" mount . . .
    Interesting. I wonder if there will be an "Orion 4.1" that moves the xover back up a bit. The little Excel 8 seemed to be going awfully low for an unloaded driver at AXPONA.

    Originally posted by Deward Hastings View Post
    I can't comment on whether it results in the "poor little guys" (they are Seas W22EX for those not "in the know")
    Great car audio midbass, that little Excel...

    Originally posted by Deward Hastings View Post
    I've never heard even a hint of problem with them at the higher crossover, certainly no compression or "rounding-off" of peaks. Using the recommended 60 Watt midrange amplifier the amp would clip before the driver exhibited any stress, and that clipping would be easy to test for, and audible. It doesn't happen at realistic listening levels . . . and a properly gain-staged system will limit upstream from the crossover/amp/driver anyway.

    I have heard quite a number of "high efficiency" loudspeakers in pro applications . . . everything has it's place.
    In other words, you can't compare them to a set of high-efficiency speakers designed for high-fidelity in a small room. So you don't really have a leg to stand on here, now do you?

    Originally posted by Deward Hastings View Post
    As it is the 70" JVC HD-ILA sits neatly behind and between my ORION, and they (plus subwoofers) get as loud as I ever want when watching movies. Without "compression", I might add . . .
    With all that diffraction from having such a giant box between your speakers, no doubt it's hard to hear subtle dynamic details!

    Seriously, speakers of that caliber deserve better than to be subjected to a giant diffraction generator between them. Measure the speakers in room with and without the thing between them, and you'll see exactly what I mean. If anything, I'd expect an open-baffle to suffer even more from such diffraction than a monopole, let alone a good narrow directivity monopole!

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  • Deward Hastings
    replied
    Re: How much SPL do you really need?

    Originally posted by Pallas View Post
    Interesting on the woofers. I didn't know Seas made an XLS competitor. Where's the crossover now? Perhaps the new woofers are forcing the crossover to the relatively small (Seas Excel 8") and unloaded midranges down too far? I could often see the poor little guys moving.
    I don't know the "history" of the L26, or if it was even available when ORION was first introduced . . . and it is not "inexpensive". The W/M crossover has been lowered by about 20Hz., more to acomodate the change from "H" frame to "W" than any deficiency in the driver, I suspect, and that change comes mostly to get the "force cancelling" mount . . . ORION 4 doesn't "rock", where the original ORION sometimes did. Beyond that I wouldn't discount "business" reasons as much as performance in accounting for the change, there are . . . benefits . . . that derive from an "all Seas" driver lineup.

    I haven't completed the 3.3 "upgrade" on mine yet, so I can't comment on whether it results in the "poor little guys" (they are Seas W22EX for those not "in the know") "moving" noticably more than they used to . . . but I'm pretty sure that they are up to it. I've never heard even a hint of problem with them at the higher crossover, certainly no compression or "rounding-off" of peaks. Using the recommended 60 Watt midrange amplifier the amp would clip before the driver exhibited any stress, and that clipping would be easy to test for, and audible. It doesn't happen at realistic listening levels . . . and a properly gain-staged system will limit upstream from the crossover/amp/driver anyway.

    I have heard quite a number of "high efficiency" loudspeakers in pro applications . . . everything has it's place. In my house I have no desire or need for the sound levels they can produce, so I have no reason to deal with, or endure, their deficiencies. Re. another commenter's posts about HT installations . . . if I were installing a "dedicated high-end HT" in a 20x40 sound deadened room I'd probably put three Econowaves (or some commercial equivalent) across the front wall . . . (and listen to music elsewhere . . .). As it is the 70" JVC HD-ILA sits neatly behind and between my ORION, and they (plus subwoofers) get as loud as I ever want when watching movies. Without "compression", I might add . . .

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  • generic
    replied
    Re: How much SPL do you really need?

    Originally posted by penngray View Post
    Dogma

    Several facts.

    1. A common distance in custom HT rooms is 15 feet.

    2. Peaks in movies can be 25 to 30 dB.

    3. If you are listening at 15 feet and you want clean peaks when listening at 75 dB you will need speakers that can do 115dB. Not only the speakers but the amps have to handle the peaks cleany.

    Conclusion, lets just say HIGH END custom HT designs do not use low sensitivity designs ( <= 92dB) with wimpy 6.5" woofers. I know this isnt exactly what the majority here who support so many small/low sensitivity drivers meant more for 2 channel small room music but its just the simple fact that there is a scientific reason designs from Seaton, JTR, Danley are just superior for HT usage.


    Its up to each individual to do their own calculations to find out how much their drivers are distorting/compressing (bad SQ) and how much their amps are clipping (Bad SQ). They can then choose their compromise.

    For my custom HT, low sensitivity design simply sound like crap including B&W 802Ds!!!
    115db is LOUD! I personally don't know anyone who wants their movies to go that loud. Even so, those peak sounds aren't going to be coming out of 1 speaker, but the sub and probably the three main fronts for loud explosions(maybe even the rears).

    I'm not sure that you really need one speaker that can do 115db.

    I do agree that sensitivity is important, but the speakers you listed are not common and not really NEEDED for good home theater sound. For the people who demand sound pressure levels that will damage their ears and have extreme budgets, then they can shoot for the stars to reach 115db and beyond.

    I agree that some of the low 80db sensitivity speakers are not going to make very good HT speakers hooked up to a off the shelf AVR. Get near 90db, and most people will be happy with the results.

    Also, not everyone sits 15' back. Even Onkyo has a HTIB that is good for THX levels at 6' back.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pete Schumacher
    replied
    Re: How much SPL do you really need?

    Originally posted by penngray View Post
    I have never seen quality 110dB tests from any Dome tweeter.

    If this is an HT application you have to move beyond the limits of a dome design. They simply have limited directivity control and limited dynamics.
    Oh please.

    the range that a dome tweeter covers does not require it to hit 110dB. Music, AND movie content have a downward power curve as you go up in frequency. 110dB pink noise produced by a full range speaker has less than a third of the power concentrated in the high frequencies.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pallas
    replied
    Re: How much SPL do you really need?

    Originally posted by penngray View Post
    Besides in a full treated room with higher quality designs 90dB is not that loud at all. It must be all the crap rooms and limited driver choices that makes 90dB sound too loud for people
    Originally posted by tculverhouse View Post
    If 90 dB is "not that loud" to you, you probably already have some hearing damage or your background level is quite high.
    Penngray makes a good point that is, I think, distinct from a discussion of pure SPL.

    On a set of really good speakers with adequate power, music doesn't "sound loud," or at any rate doesn't sound louder at high actual SPL than it does at low actual SPL. There's just more of it. (I differ from him in that I'm not sure the room has much to do with it. A crap rooms sounds like a crap room at any SPL.) One learns to keep volume levels in check by speaking aloud and seeing how much effort is required to be heard over the music. Lesser speakers, by contrast, will audibly "sound loud." I don't know exactly what distortion components are involved, but it's trivial to hear if you have speakers with enough contrast in swept volume and sensitivity. Or really good headphones adequately powered. They likewise never "sound loud."

    The flip side of that is, yes, quibble about the numbers and thresholds but the undisputed fact is that prolonged exposure to high SPL will eventually degrade a person's hearing. If you don't trust yourself to keep levels in check, a less capable speaker is probably a good idea, because it will give you audible clues when levels are getting out of hand.

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  • Pallas
    replied
    Re: How much SPL do you really need?

    Originally posted by Deward Hastings View Post
    You're welcome to like or not like ORION, as you wish, and the same with the demo music used at AXPONA . . . but to allege "compression" or "rounded-off peaks" is simply false. ORION give you the dynamic range that is on the CD, intact and undistorted.
    Interesting on the woofers. I didn't know Seas made an XLS competitor. Where's the crossover now? Perhaps the new woofers are forcing the crossover to the relatively small (Seas Excel 8") and unloaded midranges down too far? I could often see the poor little guys moving.

    Actually, I liked them quite a bit, considering "Show Conditions." I can't say that about many other rooms. (In truth, the only thing I left AXPONA wanting was that McIntosh mini-system to put on display in my office!) I expected I would, of course. We're talking Siegfried effing Linkwitz here!

    The one thing I didn't like about them is that they did sound dynamically limited. Better than most of the speakers at that show, to be sure, but still a little rounded-off. Sorry, that's just what I heard.

    Have you used any genuinely efficient speakers, i.e. speakers that need 6dBW+ less power to reach the same levels, that are likewise designed with "hi-fi" priorities?

    Originally posted by penngray View Post
    For my custom HT, low sensitivity design simply sound like crap including B&W 802Ds!!!
    That's not really a fair comparison, unless you're trying to ape B&W's house sound. Those elevated upper mids get annoying to me after a short listen.
    Last edited by Pallas; 05-11-2011, 11:14 AM. Reason: replace subjective language ("over emphasized") with objective language ("elevated")

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  • tculverhouse
    replied
    Re: How much SPL do you really need?

    True. OSHA 1910 allows 90 dB for a period of 8 hours. However, prolonged exposure to sound greater than 85 dB will cause hearing damage according to the National Institute on Deafness. Here is another source (audio related) citing 90-95 dB causes permanent hearing damage.

    With regard to your comment about rock concerts, I would say that yes, anyone who has attended a rock concert likely has some hearing damage. From that second link, you will see a concert is around 115 dB. OSHA standards would say you could be exposed to this type of loudness for 15 minutes a day. Now, I'll admit OSHA probably has at least a 3x safety factor before any research would show that their recommended levels cause permanent damage, however a concert is usually 3-4 hours long.

    If 90 dB is "not that loud" to you, you probably already have some hearing damage or your background level is quite high.

    Originally posted by penngray View Post
    Simply not true. There are standards that you can google.

    Do you have a link that says 90dB for 30 minutes will damage hearing?? All my links and even work standards say 8 hours.

    With your opinion anyone that has been to a Rock Concert should have damaged hearing :rolleyes: It does not work that way.

    Besides in a full treated room with higher quality designs 90dB is not that loud at all. It must be all the crap rooms and limited driver choices that makes 90dB sound too loud for people

    Leave a comment:


  • penngray
    replied
    Re: How much SPL do you really need?

    Originally posted by spasticteapot View Post
    What kind of speakers are you listening to?

    Also, I've seen some high-SPL tests of the ScanSpeak 6600 tweeter and others. They measure very well even at high output.
    I have never seen quality 110dB tests from any Dome tweeter.

    If this is an HT application you have to move beyond the limits of a dome design. They simply have limited directivity control and limited dynamics.

    Leave a comment:


  • penngray
    replied
    Re: How much SPL do you really need?

    Originally posted by AMC View Post
    +1, sort of makes you reconsider current dogma on sensitivity.
    Dogma

    Several facts.

    1. A common distance in custom HT rooms is 15 feet.

    2. Peaks in movies can be 25 to 30 dB.

    3. If you are listening at 15 feet and you want clean peaks when listening at 75 dB you will need speakers that can do 115dB. Not only the speakers but the amps have to handle the peaks cleany.

    Conclusion, lets just say HIGH END custom HT designs do not use low sensitivity designs ( <= 92dB) with wimpy 6.5" woofers. I know this isnt exactly what the majority here who support so many small/low sensitivity drivers meant more for 2 channel small room music but its just the simple fact that there is a scientific reason designs from Seaton, JTR, Danley are just superior for HT usage.


    Its up to each individual to do their own calculations to find out how much their drivers are distorting/compressing (bad SQ) and how much their amps are clipping (Bad SQ). They can then choose their compromise.

    For my custom HT, low sensitivity design simply sound like crap including B&W 802Ds!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • penngray
    replied
    Re: How much SPL do you really need?

    Originally posted by fastbike1 View Post
    If you have 90dB at your ears for periods longer than about 20 - 30 minutes you're damaging your hearing.
    Simply not true. There are standards that you can google.

    Do you have a link that says 90dB for 30 minutes will damage hearing?? All my links and even work standards say 8 hours.

    With your opinion anyone that has been to a Rock Concert should have damaged hearing :rolleyes: It does not work that way.

    Besides in a full treated room with higher quality designs 90dB is not that loud at all. It must be all the crap rooms and limited driver choices that makes 90dB sound too loud for people

    Leave a comment:


  • Deward Hastings
    replied
    Re: How much SPL do you really need?

    Originally posted by Pallas View Post
    and then heard the Orions (a variant with different woofers I've never seen before, not the Peerless XXLS, but the upper drivers seemed to be the expected Seas Excel units) at AXPONA. Both of them had rounded-off sounding peaks.
    ORION never used Peerless XXLS woofers, through version 3.3 they used the XLS. The drivers you heard were Seas L26ROY, which in ORION 3.4 and the "commercial" ORION 4 will be replaced with a custom driver from Seas based on, but slightly different from, the L26. The drivers in ORION have "sensitivities" of 88-89 dB/Watt, so the speakers easily provide realistic concert levels at less than a Watt average power input, and 105dB "peaks" at less than 50 Watt input . . . all well below the driver's thermal and mechanical ratings.

    You're welcome to like or not like ORION, as you wish, and the same with the demo music used at AXPONA . . . but to allege "compression" or "rounded-off peaks" is simply false. ORION give you the dynamic range that is on the CD, intact and undistorted.

    Leave a comment:


  • spasticteapot
    replied
    Re: How much SPL do you really need?

    Originally posted by Pallas View Post
    You're making an assumption that I think is not valid in the real world. Namely, that small-signal behavior linearly translates to large-signal behavior. With more sensitive speakers, the vast majority of what one hears is (very) small signal behavior. When you start talking about 83-85 dB/W/m speakers, it starts not to be. And peaks require the drivers to shed quite a bit of heat.
    What kind of speakers are you listening to?

    Also, I've seen some high-SPL tests of the ScanSpeak 6600 tweeter and others. They measure very well even at high output.

    Leave a comment:


  • bkeane1259
    replied
    Re: How much SPL do you really need?

    Originally posted by Sydney View Post
    Presuming the 80 - 85db is avg. level and 103 - 104 peaks..
    That is a window of 18 - 24db.
    In doing normalizing and spectrum analysis that is in-line with the level differences I'm accustom to observing.
    Dependent on the source material of course and how far the dynamics are used.
    ( What was the track used? )
    I thought we were in the 80-85dB range more during loud passages. I'd put our range between 70-90dB, but there was a wide variety of program material.

    I'm pretty sure we hit above 100dB on Stravinsky's Firebird Suite more than once, but I also recall, at one point, the Dave Matthew Band - "Too Much" track being pumped up and hitting close to or above 100dB, and that was (no pun intended), TOO MUCH. Obviously depends on the program material with regard to ear sensitivity.

    I could not imagine for a second, listening to any of the new, awfully compressed crap at 90+dB for any length of time. However, isn't this exactly what our poor kids are doing?

    Leave a comment:


  • Pallas
    replied
    Re: How much SPL do you really need?

    Originally posted by Paul K. View Post
    Really?

    Sorry, I can't buy the above statement, either, as it seems to not be scientifically valid; a less sensitive/efficient speaker system simply needs more power to reach a specific SPL level, and if the drivers are capable of that and the driving amplifier has adequate power and headroom, then the sound should be essentially identical as compared to a more sensitive/efficient system driven with an appropriate amplifier. I must admit, however, I've never been able to do such a comparison.
    You're making an assumption that I think is not valid in the real world. Namely, that small-signal behavior linearly translates to large-signal behavior. With more sensitive speakers, the vast majority of what one hears is (very) small signal behavior. When you start talking about 83-85 dB/W/m speakers, it starts not to be. And peaks require the drivers to shed quite a bit of heat.

    I don't honestly know what it is - I had assumed the difference noted was dominated by thermal/power compression, but a paper by John K suggests otherwise - but there is something that seems to make a more efficient speaker simply better than a less efficient speaker driven by a massive amp. Having experimented both ways, there just isn't a compelling reason to go low-efficiency.

    I was struck most recently by the difference when I heard the Statements, which have 2 8" Dayton woofers, 2 4" (I think) TangBand midranges, and a Fountek (I think) ribbon tweeter, with a sensivitity in the upper 80s, and then heard the Orions (a variant with different woofers I've never seen before, not the Peerless XXLS, but the upper drivers seemed to be the expected Seas Excel units) at AXPONA. Both of them had rounded-off sounding peaks. And while I didn't get my choice of program material on the Orion, the Statements also "sounded loud" (~300W separate amp) whereas my reference speakers (which have less volume displacement but are 96dB/W/m sensitive, powered by a ~140W amp in an AVR) simply do not. They just get loud.

    But most people don't get a chance to experiment with more efficient speakers. Efficient drive units capable of high fidelity performance get expensive fast. Also, too many people are still fixated on getting "full range" performance out of their mains, despite the copious research into smoothing room modes with multiple subwoofers.

    Leave a comment:

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