How to get more at lower volumes?

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Beitrag
zhopudey
Stammgast
#1 erstellt: 05. Nov 2007, 11:19
Hi, I'm back

I got to really let loose with my system the other day, when my parents weren't home. I discovered that my speakers seem to "wake up" above a certain volume level. I don't think it was that "more dB = more enjoyment" thing.

But I'm not comfortable with that volume for a regular listening session. So, how to get the same enjoyment at low volumes? Do high sensitivity speakers help in this regard?
Arj
Inventar
#2 erstellt: 05. Nov 2007, 11:22
Active Pre-amp ! OR different source
to me at least that is what seems to be the problem in your system

since your Amp and your speakers are excellent, your source is compromised (It sounds like a spy movie dialogue)
either sell your amp and get an integerated or invest in an active preamp.
zhopudey
Stammgast
#3 erstellt: 05. Nov 2007, 11:33
Damn! PC restarted while I was typing

You read my other thread right? (I forgot which one). My problem is placement and room acoustics. I don't think thats related to this query. Or is it?

And I did try with an active pre. Surrealistix had lended me his Odeon Lite dac, which has an active output stage.
Manek
Inventar
#4 erstellt: 05. Nov 2007, 11:36
so did you like it better with the active pre.
zhopudey
Stammgast
#5 erstellt: 05. Nov 2007, 11:46
It was better, but I would say that was due to the DAC. I'd also tested my sound card at surrealistix's (dude you need a shorter nick) place. He's got the Odeaon Lite > Odyssey Tube pre > Odyssey Stratos amp > MA RS6. The dac and the tube pre were much better, but my card could drive his amp directly as well. I would say it held its own very well, considering it was up against competition costing 10x more


So, coming back to the topic...the foriegner dude at the Focal stall at AV show was saying that since the focal drivers are more sensitive than b&w drivers, they sound better even at low volumes. Is this true? (About higher sensitivity, not about JM LAbs vs B&W).
Amp_Nut
Inventar
#6 erstellt: 05. Nov 2007, 12:13


zhopudey said:

I discovered that my speakers seem to "wake up" above a certain volume level. I don't think it was that "more dB = more enjoyment" thing.


This is not an un-common characteristic with budget gear.

Not necessarily a Speaker issue... could be the amp & or speakers that contribute to this.

I agree its not a room issue...

I have been thru this, and my family is happy that I upgraded, and now listen at lower volumes ..
zhopudey
Stammgast
#7 erstellt: 05. Nov 2007, 12:17
So its not just about higher sensitivity speakers? There are other factors as well?
square_wave
Inventar
#8 erstellt: 05. Nov 2007, 12:19
Good reading on high-sensitivity and Set amps.
http://www.decware.com/newsite/mainmenu.htm

Does not mean that you have to go in this direction to achieve good sound at low volumes. Interesting reading though.
I had a similar issue when I was driving wharfedale speakers with nad electronics. With the AP 301 speakers with the Active tube valve preamp most of it is solved.
Arj
Inventar
#9 erstellt: 05. Nov 2007, 12:21
If you think it is placement related, do try playing around with the placements..ideally use the rives audio simulation to check out bass reponse in aeach position in your room and then try it out practically.(i think the link was given in one of your threads)

but i did not understand your statement
but I would say that was due to the DAC


IMHO the ONLY way you can check the impact of an active pre out is by having another Active pre between in your setup ieyour source, your amp and your speakers in your room ! is that what you did ?.. sorry that i am being so specific but not able to understand what you did with surrealistixs pre amp in your system and what was the result.

do tell the specifics of what tracks you played and what the results were otherwise it is very difficuot to even try to give you a solution.


Regarding

the foriegner dude at the Focal stall at AV show was saying that since the focal drivers are more sensitive than b&w drivers, they sound better even at low volumes. Is this true? (About higher sensitivity, not about JM LAbs vs B&W).

all that talk is really not pertinent to you since your power amp has enough juice by itself to drive your speakers. drivers are not the only components specifying sensitivity and high sensitivity does not really guarantee easily dirven speakers.
zhopudey
Stammgast
#10 erstellt: 05. Nov 2007, 12:24
Let me put on some music 1st, then I'll start typing
G_S_Madhav
Stammgast
#11 erstellt: 05. Nov 2007, 12:33

zhopudey schrieb:


So, how to get the same enjoyment at low volumes?


Have some BIG ears! and some
zhopudey
Stammgast
#12 erstellt: 05. Nov 2007, 13:21
I hate load shedding!

Now I think most of you are aware of my earlier problems - very little bass, poor or no soundstage, etc.

Now, I think everyone agrees that there's nothing wrong with either my speakers or amp. So, to remove the room from the equation, I tested my card at surrealistix's place. It drove his odyssey amp just fine. Got good bass, dynamics etc from his MA RS6. My ref track for bass is "Money for Nothing".

After that, I posted the thread "How important is impedance matching?", thinking it was an impedance issue between my card and my amp. Later on, however, I got a chance to move my rig to the living room, and the difference was startling Then, back in my room, I completely changed the placement, and got much better results than before. Main difference was that the boom in the bass reduced a lot.

When I tried with the DAC, I felt an overall improvement. Mids and highs were better, the bass "seemed" to be tighter, and I even felt there was more stereo separation. I can't say how much of this was due to placebo.

Coming back again to the topic for this thread, even with the dac I needed a certain volume level to "wake up" the speakers.
zhopudey
Stammgast
#13 erstellt: 05. Nov 2007, 14:16
From the decware article -



The problem here is resolution. If you can’t hit a listening level with the 1st watt, you’re not likely to hear what’s happening in that 1st watt. For a driver to achieve a high efficiency it’s moving parts must be low in mass. That makes it dramatically faster or more accurate than a speaker with heavier moving parts. If you like inner detail and want to hear all of the textures and layers of a good recording you need fast, efficient and coherent speakers.
Arj
Inventar
#14 erstellt: 05. Nov 2007, 15:56
well that is one school of thought.

all amps are not created equal..even if the ratings are the same the impedance offered by some are high and some very low and that to some extent determines the amount of juice need initially.
eg the First Watt F2 needs a very high current pre amp witout which it cannot function..
so just because your source drove some other amp it does not mean that it can drive all.

again since you did get a benefit in one room..all you can do is play around wiht the placings..
can you try to model your room on rives audio here. Dynaudio is already present as a selection for you

http://www.hunecke.de/en/calculators/loudspeakers.html

and read these
http://www.rivesaudio.com/resources/links/frame.html

i guess the solution lies in the maxim you can only lead a horse to the water
zhopudey
Stammgast
#15 erstellt: 05. Nov 2007, 16:09


I tried with both A52 and Contour 1.3mkII. Simlar results. Bad dip around 63hz.
Arj
Inventar
#16 erstellt: 05. Nov 2007, 16:34
click on the speaker in the top view and use the arrow keys to reposition them.

if you move them nearer you will see the dip becoming a bump

also try placing the speakers along the long wall ..

you will notice the changes in the simulation itself.

if you still dont have bass then it is either your definition of base ( ) or the amps not having enough juice to make the bass
Amp_Nut
Inventar
#17 erstellt: 06. Nov 2007, 05:20
Every room has nodes and anti-nodes, particularly for frequencies below 200 Hz.

There will be spots in your room where the Bass resonates and other spots where the bass dips.

Leave yr speakers where they are, and walk around the room. You will locate, by ear, many nodes and anti-nodes.

If you place your speaker at one of the Resonating spots, it will fill your rooms with Bass ( quantity, Not quality )

If you place your speakers at spots where there is little bass, you will feel that yr speakers have no bass...

Try the Reeves Audio CD that ARJ has recommended. It is INVALUABLE. Its a free download from their site.

Alternately, PM me, and I will courier you one for Divali !
Jeeves
Stammgast
#18 erstellt: 06. Nov 2007, 09:01
I have a simple solution for this.
Try listenening late at night. Works for me.
square_wave
Inventar
#19 erstellt: 06. Nov 2007, 09:11
For a change try a different speaker also……….We have to check all options right ?
square_wave
Inventar
#20 erstellt: 06. Nov 2007, 09:19

zhopudey schrieb:
I hate load shedding!

Now I think most of you are aware of my earlier problems - very little bass, poor or no soundstage, etc.

Now, I think everyone agrees that there's nothing wrong with either my speakers or amp. So, to remove the room from the equation, I tested my card at surrealistix's place. It drove his odyssey amp just fine. Got good bass, dynamics etc from his MA RS6. My ref track for bass is "Money for Nothing".

After that, I posted the thread "How important is impedance matching?", thinking it was an impedance issue between my card and my amp. Later on, however, I got a chance to move my rig to the living room, and the difference was startling Then, back in my room, I completely changed the placement, and got much better results than before. Main difference was that the boom in the bass reduced a lot.

When I tried with the DAC, I felt an overall improvement. Mids and highs were better, the bass "seemed" to be tighter, and I even felt there was more stereo separation. I can't say how much of this was due to placebo.

Coming back again to the topic for this thread, even with the dac I needed a certain volume level to "wake up" the speakers.


The odyssey-plus amp with surreal is known for its deep bass. There are people on AA and audio circle who have replaced krells with the odyssey monoblocks. I guess comparing it with the rotel is not fair.
abhi.pani
Inventar
#21 erstellt: 06. Nov 2007, 10:55
All said and done...I feel its just an issue of not having an active pre-amp. You can use even an entry level DVDP as a source, it will drive your pre-amp pretty well....but you need a active preamp for sure...you, your speakers and your neighbours, all will wake up .
zhopudey
Stammgast
#22 erstellt: 06. Nov 2007, 11:51

square_wave schrieb:

The odyssey-plus amp with surreal is known for its deep bass. There are people on AA and audio circle who have replaced krells with the odyssey monoblocks. I guess comparing it with the rotel is not fair.


Meesa got McCormack!


Abhi.Pani schrieb:

All said and done...I feel its just an issue of not having an active pre-amp. You can use even an entry level DVDP as a source, it will drive your pre-amp pretty well....but you need a active preamp for sure...you, your speakers and your neighbours, all will wake up


Ohh come-on, I tried with the dac already. Its specs -

Output Impedence: less than 2.5 kilo-ohms
Output Level @ 12 o'clock level: 500 mV RMS
Output Level @ Maximum: 3.2 Volts RMS (4.5 Volts peak)

This should be more than enough for any amp, right?

Ok guys, now, here's an announcement that'll make you all stick to the topic at hand Sold off my speakers today I'm quite broke atm, so won't be buying new spks for a few months at least. Having used the Dynes for a short while has given me some ideas that'll hopefully help me in my next purchase. I'll start my research from here itself.

------------------------------------------------------------

So, I got the EMU soundcard and the McCormack amp. Starting research for speakers. I listen mainly to rock, but lately I've been playing more hindi music. Recent stuff , like A. R. Rahman. I've also play tracks with female vocals (Dido, Sade, Kate Bush, etc).

Now, maybe since I didn't have a good system during my college days, I still haven't got my required bass dosage. So, one thing I want in my new speakers is more bass. Not JBL type bass though. I liked surreal's MA RS6. That bass was great. I want something like that.

Of course, I understand my room is my biggest problem. I'll be shifting next year, but there also, my room will be of a similar size. So I guess, first I need to check some simple and affordable means of acoustic treatments.

My second problem is the topic for this thread. I don't listen at loud volumes. I haven't checked with a SPL meter, but if I have to raise my voice to speak with someone in the same room, then the music is loud. So I need speakers which work well even at lower spls.

My soundcard will remain as the source. I would like to test it out in other setups. If anyone invites me, I'll bring my card over. If your PC is not nearby your music setup, then I can get my whole PC over You'll only have to bring out the monitor for sometime.

Thats all I can think of for now.
square_wave
Inventar
#23 erstellt: 06. Nov 2007, 13:05
Sorry…I thought you had the rotel RB1080 or something. Mc cormack is good.
Why don’t you check with Ronnie if he will sell you his MA RS6 ? I think he wanted to upgrade his speakers.If you like the MA RS6 bass just buy a pair and listen to them IMHO..The primary and really the only important goal to buying music reproduction gear is to LIKE and or ENJOY your system. All else is puffery and nonsense.
Just buy what entertains you at this point of time. There are hundreds of upgrade options. Believe me; you will know that it is time to upgrade when you mature in this hobby. You will hear something better and aspire for that sound. Till then, do not change. There are different shades / versions of audiophile grade sound. Only you will know what suits you. Listen to your own ears and believe in it only. Trying to live up to other people's views of what is better is usually counter-productive.

BTW: Try and get an active preamplifier while you are at it.
zhopudey
Stammgast
#24 erstellt: 06. Nov 2007, 13:12
That's very sensible advice

Now, my agenda for the next few months is -
a) Try to check my sound card in various systems to understand where it stands.
b) Try to build an active pre.
c) Audition more systems.
d) Check up on affordable room treatment solutions.
square_wave
Inventar
#25 erstellt: 06. Nov 2007, 14:37
See if you can get this preamp kit imported. 499$
Grounded grid by Transcendent Sound. Amazing preamp for the price. A friend of mine (George who is an avid diy person) owns this and it works like a charm. Full bodied, natural sound. He uses this with a DAC which is fed via a squeezebox.
http://www.transcendentsound.com/preampkit.htm
ani
Stammgast
#26 erstellt: 06. Nov 2007, 15:00
Dear Zhopudey,

I have been following your ride for some time and thought will share with you my thoughts.

1. You must look at a system as a whole ie. each component should be of similar grade else your better performing item may not be able to perform to its expected level.

2. Using PC sound card as source along with a Pre+Power amp and speakers may not be worth it.

3. I can enjoy music on a PC player through my 8yrs old Cambridge Soundworks plastic cased Sub+sat. It sounds better than a Onkyo 6CD changer played through my main system.

4. In short get a pair of good Sub sat for your PC or get CDP + integrated amp + BS speakers. This is from my heart

5. Collecting used Hifi gear at bargain price is possible but for that one has to be well experienced in hifi.

Regards
Ani


[Beitrag von ani am 06. Nov 2007, 15:38 bearbeitet]
zhopudey
Stammgast
#27 erstellt: 06. Nov 2007, 15:51

ani schrieb:

1. You must look at a system as a whole ie. each component should be of similar grade else your better performing item may not be able to perform to its expected level.


I realise that now. Though I think my room was the main culrit here.


ani schrieb:

2. Using PC sound card as source along with a Pre+Power amp and speakers may not be worth it.


And I would like to test this claim with a proper DB-ABX Hope some mumbai members volunteer. As I said, I can carry my PC over. We can test out my card both as a source, and if a dac is available, we'll test card vs cdp as transport


ani schrieb:

3. I can enjoy music on a PC player through my 8yrs old Cambridge Soundworks plastic cased Sub+sat. It sounds better than a Onkyo 6CD changer played through my main system.

4. In short get a pair of good Sub sat for your PC or get CDP + integrated amp + BS speakers. This is from my heart


See above


ani schrieb:

5. Collecting used Hifi gear at bargain price is possible but for that one has to be well experienced in hifi.


Hope I do better the second time around
hurricane_hojo
Ist häufiger hier
#28 erstellt: 10. Nov 2007, 14:01

zhopudey schrieb:
:P Sold off my speakers today :


Good move !
go DIY now! You will be light years better than that studio monitor.
zhopudey
Stammgast
#29 erstellt: 10. Nov 2007, 15:11

hurricane_hojo schrieb:

Good move !
go DIY now! You will be light years better than that studio monitor.


Yeah, I'm looking into that as well. A friend of mine suggested mini monitors, with a 3" full range driver, along with a small sealed sub. I've never heard full range drivers. Can anyone describe their sound?
hurricane_hojo
Ist häufiger hier
#30 erstellt: 11. Nov 2007, 12:05
Full range driver speakers are better left alone without any subwoofers. They are a different world altogether. They are best used with SET amps and such. Integrating with a subwoofer can be a pain.
Try a decent bookshelf speaker with a subwoofer instead. But remember that this is not a very cost effective option. A good sub and a pair of decent stands for the bookshelf speaker can set you back quite a lot.
From you posts, you seem to crave for bass. Remember that good quality bass is very expensive. Buying pair of high quality bookshelf speakers will give extension around 45 -50 hz. Then it rolls off. Now extending this bass deeper down with a subwoofer can get very expensive. A sub which matches the speed of your bookshelf speaker will cost you a lot. Adding an ok sub will just add boom to the sound.
For your small room, a bookshelf speaker should do. Try some other bookshelf speaker. Setup correctly, a DNA 125 with a good bookshelf speaker should give you great bass in your room.
Arj
Inventar
#31 erstellt: 11. Nov 2007, 13:01
I would agree with hurricane_hojo..try a sensitive speaker. you should get good results.

I use a 89dB/ 4ohms speakers and the quality of bass is very good..i use a sub only to augment it below 45 Hz..but the thump is all there even without the sub.
eric_clapton
Hat sich gelöscht
#32 erstellt: 12. Nov 2007, 11:59

hurricane_hojo schrieb:
Full range driver speakers are better left alone without any subwoofers. They are a different world altogether. They are best used with SET amps and such. Integrating with a subwoofer can be a pain.


*Ahem* is this true, and if so can you point me to a single source of authentic information that can justify that statement? Or even personal experience - even though if someone has failed doesn't mean he's done everything right.

Full range is not = SET speaker material. Sensitivity is a much better indicator of whether a speaker is suitable for SET amps or not. Maybe you mixed up 'full range' and 'high sensitivity'. There are low sensitivity full range speakers, and high-sensitivity multi-driver speakers. The former are not suitable for SETs, the latter are.

Look at Linkwitz's Pluto, which is essentially a full range project, with a woofer for each channel to extend the frequency response down. Essentially the Aura 2" takes over from 200 Hz upwards, till the top of the frequency range. Polar response and directivity are much better, not to mention crossovers are much easier to make, in speakers of this type, as long the drivers' sensitivity complies with the design goal. Watts are cheap, and I guess your amp is 125 watts/channel?

There is also the B3S project on Zaph's page, that is 85dB/w, definitely NOT a SET project, and definitely to be used with a sub. The ~87dB Tang Band speakers will go down to 86dB once a filter is applied (and you will need at least BSC and resonance control on those speakers, so a filter is compulsory) and will need both a solid state amp and a subwoofer.

Then there are the Davis acoustics drivers (96db/w woofers and 100db/w tweeters and mids) which are built to be part of high-sensitivity multi-driver projects, and the ultra hi-sensitivity Fostex speakers (up to 102 db/w) which are true full range high-sensitivity drivers. The two are true SET amp candidates, and are totally different in the way they achieve it.

It is very common to use a low and high frequency extenders on full range projects, and equally common to just have a single driver with or without a filter delivering the entire musical spectrum. The advantage of not using a crossover in the middle of the vocal range are many, not to mention that most bookshelves have compromised crossovers (not necessarily bad, but inherently flawed) unless you're spending decent amounts of money. Without knowing your exact situation, I hesitate to recommend anything at all, either small fullranges or bookshelf speakers.

As for sensitivity and frequency extension, the three variables that interact with each other when it comes to speaker design - Frequency extension, box size and sensitivity. You can have any two, but not all three. Unless you have a huge box (fb~fo necessitates a very large box unless you have a very low Q driver with a very small VAS, not a trivial thing to design or manufacture), you will not be able to get a sensitive speaker that goes very low. These are not realisable goals with the current fashion of small speakers with the baffle just wider than the driver. Excess depth creates its own issues, and is therefore not used. There are design techniques such as transmission lines that can be used to mitigate some of the issues, but the design of the line and its execution are complicated and be disastrous if left in the wrong hands.

The original question was: How to get more at low volumes? I'm sorry the only answer to that is you can't. The human brain knows how loud a drum sounds, and how long a guitar note lasts. At low volumes both of these suffer. You can use tone controls or an equaliser to boost some frequencies, but that's band-aid, and a poor one at that. I would not recommend to listen at anything below 80dB for reference listening (that's way below concert levels, but enough for psychoacoustics to be fooled), but for normal background music 60dB is enough. At 60dB your brain is not fooled, that's why we had 'loudness' controls, and more recently, equalisers. They introduce their own issues, but audibility is a question.

The only answer is to pump up the volume, and shut up and listen to the music. Sorry if that sounds brusque, but that's the way it is. The basic difference between high sensitivity and low sensitivity speakers is the amount of power it takes to reach a certain listening level. It is not indicative of the amount of enjoyment or frequency extension or any such thing. That can only be gleaned from listening to the speakers, preferably in your room with the rest of your equipment.

Good speakers in a good room will preserve their 'sound' from the lowest audible to the highest possible volume. If the frequency response changes as you increase volume, it is a problem with the acoustics - either the speakers, or the room, or the combination of the two. Most speakers will deliver their best performance at a certain reference level, and below and above that they will suffer in polar and power response. I have yet to hear/of speakers that will deliver their best at very low levels, but it is possible. One has to design it with that goal in mind.

About subwoofers and bass: I have no idea how big your room is, so read up a bit about room modes. Once 1/2 wavelength becomes longer than the longest room dimension, the bass will essentially disappear. That is the lowest frequency you will reliably hear in your room (assuming zero room treatment), and your combined system should be designed around that. Keep in mind that it's very difficult to preserve correct polar response in a very small room due to multiple reflections from furniture (unless the room is totally devoid of furniture) kept close together. The problem is exacerbated by cheap bookshelves with low attention to crossovers and cheap drivers (high crossover points and poor control over driver resonance).

Studio control rooms can be built in very small spaces (I've been in control rooms that are 2.5m on the shorter side) but use lots of diffusion, absorption and double-walled construction to become acoustically correct. Still they can't beat the laws of physics, and small/cheap studios generally have not a few problems in the bass. The real good studios have large control rooms for decent room response. I'm not sure you can use some of those techniques in your room, but it's a thought. There can be homebrew solutions to this sort of thing.

Over and out.
square_wave
Inventar
#33 erstellt: 12. Nov 2007, 13:46
Wow ! I think our poor zhopuday will run away if he reads all this

To add to your list of successful subwoofer integration with fullrange speakers, I can add the new rethm sadhana speakers.
http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/rethm3/saadhana.html

Subwoofer integration is possible but as hurricane said, it is a pain for newbies especially for someone on a budget.
zhopudey
Stammgast
#34 erstellt: 12. Nov 2007, 13:50
Thanks for the great post, eric

No, SW, I won't run away. But it'll take my weak brain a couple of attempts to absorb all that. But no worries! I got plenty of time, and no music to distract me
Voodoo_CHild
Stammgast
#35 erstellt: 12. Nov 2007, 14:42
Eric's provided good amount of info...as loud as it gets
eric_clapton
Hat sich gelöscht
#36 erstellt: 12. Nov 2007, 14:44
Sorry if that sounded complex. Really, there are three things:

1. Full range is not = SET so don't be so quick to judge

2. Bass depends on the room more than on any other component.

3. At low volumes, the illusion of the real event (musical performance) is weaker than the actual event, which causes the gap in audibility/enjoyment that you may be experiencing, and short of trickery there is no way to redeem that. There isn't a substitute for decibels.

When we talk about slow/fast bass, we are essentially talking about group delay (and it causes integration issues between subs and the rest of the gear). All these are Google-friendly terms if you put in context filters. Search for group delay, room modes and two references, one by Floyd Toole for Infinity/JBL (I think the file is called room acoustics, but a google search will put you right) and the other is the room acoustics section on Linkwitz site. Those two will familiarise you with the terms and the maths.
hifinovice1
Stammgast
#37 erstellt: 11. Dez 2007, 22:08
I believe,the answer is transformer based volume control.
(I'm also searching solution for the same problem and I have taken passive pre route.)The active-pre should also work as long as it uses transformer based volume control v/s resistor based.
Somehow(by keeping same power level of the signal) the transformer volume control keeps all the dynamics intact at very low volumes(read voltage),so you get slam,dynamics,soundstage etc at any volume..
Please go through the audiocircle discussion on Promitheus TVC.
I will post my results once I get my Promitheus TVC,from Nicholas Chua(Malaysia)sometime next week.
Thanks.
Music_Lover
Neuling
#38 erstellt: 26. Jan 2008, 12:02

eric_clapton schrieb:
The original question was: How to get more at low volumes? I'm sorry the only answer to that is you can't. The human brain knows how loud a drum sounds, and how long a guitar note lasts. At low volumes both of these suffer.

Hmmm..
Yes you can, as you described below
A good system going to "sound the same" on low levels as well as high.



eric_clapton schrieb:

Good speakers in a good room will preserve their 'sound' from the lowest audible to the highest possible volume. If the frequency response changes as you increase volume, it is a problem with the acoustics - either the speakers, or the room, or the combination of the two. Most speakers will deliver their best performance at a certain reference level, and below and above that they will suffer in polar and power response. I have yet to hear/of speakers that will deliver their best at very low levels, but it is possible. One has to design it with that goal in mind.
.

Ever heard ESL63 and other Quad stats?
Great at low levels!
Active speakers are also great.
Please try these alternatives.


eric_clapton schrieb:

About subwoofers and bass: I have no idea how big your room is, so read up a bit about room modes. Once 1/2 wavelength becomes longer than the longest room dimension, the bass will essentially disappear. That is the lowest frequency you will reliably hear in your room (assuming zero room treatment), and your combined system should be designed around that.

Not true.
Just a question...IF this was true, how do you get bass from an earplug?
Not THAT much space inside your ear is it
zhopudey
Stammgast
#39 erstellt: 27. Jan 2008, 06:56
Ohh, is this discussion on again? Please continue, its very educating for me.
bombaywalla
Stammgast
#40 erstellt: 28. Jan 2008, 16:11

Music_Lover schrieb:

eric_clapton schrieb:
The original question was: How to get more at low volumes? I'm sorry the only answer to that is you can't. The human brain knows how loud a drum sounds, and how long a guitar note lasts. At low volumes both of these suffer.

Hmmm..
Yes you can, as you described below
A good system going to "sound the same" on low levels as well as high.


wow! Tall claim, Mr! Any personal experience to back this up??
Theoretically it might be possible but cone drivers with (buytl) rubber sounds, ESL & magnetic planars all have limitations at lower SPLs.
Heard a system anywhere where you live OR in your travels that performed as you have stated above? I would be very interested to know. Please shed some light on this for us.


Music_Lover schrieb:


eric_clapton schrieb:

Good speakers in a good room will preserve their 'sound' from the lowest audible to the highest possible volume. If the frequency response changes as you increase volume, it is a problem with the acoustics - either the speakers, or the room, or the combination of the two. Most speakers will deliver their best performance at a certain reference level, and below and above that they will suffer in polar and power response. I have yet to hear/of speakers that will deliver their best at very low levels, but it is possible. One has to design it with that goal in mind.

Ever heard ESL63 and other Quad stats?
Great at low levels!
Active speakers are also great.
Please try these alternatives.


I read an extensive many part article written by Art Dudley in S'phile where he painstakingly went thru the restoration of his Quad ESLs. These were the ORIGINAL Quad speakers that made Peter Walker famous.
In one of the final episodes of that article he described the sound. You HAVE to take his work w/ a grain of salt 'cuz he made no bones in claiming that he was biased towards these Quad speakers. To my mind I interpretted this to me that he would be very forgiving of their short-comings (as any other human-being biased towards something would. The best part was that he was up-front with his disclaimer. So, he did not mislead).
Anyway, in that article describing the sound, he clearly stated that those Quad ESLs lacked bass & that majority of the crowd would not stand of their lack of bass & that for a Quad groupie like him they were just fine.

So, Quads might/must be good at low volumes but as Eric_Clapton wrote: these types of speakers preserve their "sound" at low volumes. Meaning to say that the sound balance across the audio spectrum remains in the same mix as it was at higher volumes but everything is reduced SPL-wise at lower volumes. This is in contrast to many other lesser speakers which change their sound balance at lower volumes (bass nearly disappears, highs recess & midrange becomes stand-out, etc).


Music_Lover schrieb:


eric_clapton schrieb:

About subwoofers and bass: I have no idea how big your room is, so read up a bit about room modes. Once 1/2 wavelength becomes longer than the longest room dimension, the bass will essentially disappear. That is the lowest frequency you will reliably hear in your room (assuming zero room treatment), and your combined system should be designed around that.

Not true.
Just a question...IF this was true, how do you get bass from an earplug?
Not THAT much space inside your ear is it :)


I believe that you can get bass from an ear plug & it is adequate w.r.t. to the overall balance of the sound being piped directly into your ear. From my experience, the sound thru headphones is best in a certain volume range where the sound spectrum has good balance. If you increase the volume too much, I've found the sound to become rather "tinny". The bass did not keep up with the mids & highs. OF COURSE, HOW COULD IT?? The diaphragm can only produce that much bass & no more.

In your listening room the SPL is much higher hence the bass SPL has to be much higher so that the overall sound balance can be correct. If you put a very large speaker in a small room it is very likely that the 1/2 wavelength of that speaker will be larger than the room & you will loose much bass response & the sound will be tipped up.
Music_Lover
Neuling
#41 erstellt: 29. Jan 2008, 00:58

bombaywalla schrieb:
wow! Tall claim, Mr! Any personal experience to back this up??
Theoretically it might be possible but cone drivers with (buytl) rubber sounds, ESL & magnetic planars all have limitations at lower SPLs.
Heard a system anywhere where you live OR in your travels that performed as you have stated above? I would be very interested to know. Please shed some light on this for us..

In total I have owned 5 active "full range" speakers.(=produce bass down to 20-30Hz).
How many have you owned?


bombaywalla schrieb:

If you put a very large speaker in a small room it is very likely that the 1/2 wavelength of that speaker will be larger than the room & you will loose much bass response & the sound will be tipped up.

Again, this is simply not true.
I've used them in all sorts of rooms. Small (=15m2) to big (=70m2)
And trust me, bass is not a problem, as long you feed the speakers with a good signal.


The Quads you talking about is the 57's, I suggest you actually HEAR some of the more recent models, instead of reading magazines.
And if you read my post again I wrote that the QUADs keep their sound balance even at low volume. Where did I mention bass?
They are not the most bass capable speakers around agree but the DO produce bass and the sound balance is same on low volume. Just as a GREAT speaker should!
Fyi, newer models are a good bit better than the old 57's in moving air.
Love to get you reports after hearing a pair!
eric_clapton
Hat sich gelöscht
#42 erstellt: 29. Jan 2008, 15:32
Good points, except there are a few misconceptions I'd like to correct.


Music_Lover schrieb:

Yes you can, as you described below


There are two effects at work except they are opposite. One is timbral accuracy, which suffers as the volume drops, due to natural transients decaying quicker at low volumes. This is measurable as distortion, though very sensitive microphones will mask the effect somewhat. Ears however, are not fooled, not if you listen to a lot of live music and know what instruments sound like in real life.

The second is power response, which suffers as the volume increases. Depending on the speakers' directivity and their placement in a room, speakers will beam as the power levels rise (due to increase in energy levels of the stopband frequencies in the crossover) and this causes the frequency response to change with increasing levels. Both these are measurable and real effects, and affect all electromechanical transducers to some extent.

Whether you can detect them or not, and whether you mind them or not, are a completely separate issue and a subjective opinion.


Music_Lover schrieb:

Ever heard ESL63 and other Quad stats?
Great at low levels!
Active speakers are also great.
Please try these alternatives.


I cannot and will not believe a sweeping statement like the one above. I have heard good and bad examples of all kinds of speakers, passive and active, electrostatics and planar. Topology of the speaker cannot be a thumb rule of the nature of their sound. Saying that all active speakers are great is your prerogative, but having heard some terrible active systems, and some great ones, I'm going to have to disagree with you.

Having said that the Quads sound best above 80dB, IIRC. I did not spend time measuring them, and do not care to depend on aural memory to offer a point of view. If a speaker at low volumes does not collapse the image, it is satisfactory in my book. It appears that the TS was looking for visceral impact, which is not achievable except at 'Live' levels or just below.


Music_Lover schrieb:

Just a question...IF this was true, how do you get bass from an earplug?
Not THAT much space inside your ear is it :)


No, not really, but you're thinking from (point) source to receiver. In reality sound doesn't work like that unless it's very high frequency. Low frequencies are omnidirectional and travel through the enclosures (they do this in all speakers). The bass response of headphones has its origin in the acoustical isolation offered by them and the close coupling of the diaphragm to the eardrum. The actual sound wave travels the exact same distance, it's just so low in level that no one except the wearer can hear it, being so close to the source and the blockage of other external sound.

I would only be too glad to point out theoretical references for all the effects I've spoken about, if you should ask (specific links, no less).

I appreciate the discussion, FWIW. However it does seem like there's not a single piece of hard evidence to back up anything you've talked about, and a dependence on your personal taste. Which is not incorrect or a bad yardstick, but it appeals only to one person (or a few people). Ownership or experience with different kinds of speakers will make you an expert at what you want and what you like. Which I personally have no problem with, but using that experience to prove expertise is uncalled for, IMHO.

We all have our own ways of looking at things, and I respect that you have developed a strong taste for what you consider good sound. I have no opinion on the subjective qualities of sound any more due an unfortunate incident in my life. I therefore come with strong objectivity to the table. Even a reduction in level of an instrument is distortion in my book.

The true answer, as always, lies somewhere in the middle, which is different for all of us. So if you're happy with your speakers at your listening levels, then all the best to you!
bombaywalla
Stammgast
#43 erstellt: 29. Jan 2008, 15:50

Music_Lover schrieb:

In total I have owned 5 active "full range" speakers.(=produce bass down to 20-30Hz).
How many have you owned?


My system goes down to 40Hz only. I believe that my room will not support a speaker that goes below this freq. The speaker manuf is also in agreement with me. So, we decided to not push the size of the speaker just for the sake of it.
Re. listening to full range systems - I have a couple friends who have full range systems (speakers that go down to 20-30Hz) & I have listened to their systems over the last 5 years many more times than I can count on my fingers (& toes). So, yes, I do know what a full range system sounds like at very low SPLs (75-80dB average at 9-10') & at much higher levels (95dB average at 9'-10'). Sure, not the same as owning a full range system but the next best thing, IMO. The amplification is very good in both systems with 1 system being a SET-based system.


Music_Lover schrieb:


bombaywalla schrieb:

If you put a very large speaker in a small room it is very likely that the 1/2 wavelength of that speaker will be larger than the room & you will loose much bass response & the sound will be tipped up.

Again, this is simply not true.
I've used them in all sorts of rooms. Small (=15m2) to big (=70m2)
And trust me, bass is not a problem, as long you feed the speakers with a good signal.


From my personal experience, I still find this hard to believe. My ears have told me otherwise - in both the above mentioned diverse full-range systems, the sound balance remained the same (using your parlance, the speakers "sounded the same") but lowering the SPL did lower the overall bass impact & reduce the overall listening pleasure. So, I could say that the "you-are-there" effect was reduced.


Music_Lover schrieb:

The Quads you talking about is the 57's, I suggest you actually HEAR some of the more recent models, instead of reading magazines.
And if you read my post again I wrote that the QUADs keep their sound balance even at low volume. Where did I mention bass?
They are not the most bass capable speakers around agree but the DO produce bass and the sound balance is same on low volume. Just as a GREAT speaker should!
Fyi, newer models are a good bit better than the old 57's in moving air.
Love to get you reports after hearing a pair!


True, hearing is better than reading magazines. However, I do not have any dealers in my area or the nearby vicinity that sell Quad ESLs.
Now, I did hear a pair at RMAF 2007. They were the smaller speaker from their latest releases of speakers. I happened to be in the room as soon as the show started that day at 9AM & there was nobody else in the room. So, I got to listen to them exclusively for 15-20 minutes at reasonable listening levels. They did sound good very coherent & they had excellent timbral balance. I did notice that the bass was present but it was not adequate for me. I'll have to dig into my notes to see whether or not I noted the amplification used. We did not lower the volume to 75-80dB.


From your response, I believe that you, Eric_Clapton & myself was essentially same the same thing (barring the bass response in a small room). We are just using different verbage.
bombaywalla
Stammgast
#44 erstellt: 29. Jan 2008, 19:46

eric_clapton schrieb:

Ownership or experience with different kinds of speakers will make you an expert at what you want and what you like. Which I personally have no problem with, but using that experience to prove expertise is uncalled for, IMHO.


Agree!
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