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Old 09-18-2009, 08:49 PM   #1
browndk26 browndk26 is offline
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Default Speaker sensitivity

Does a higher speaker sensitivity number mean a better speaker? What does sensitivity mean?
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:53 PM   #2
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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No it doesnt. To find out more, check this Big Daddy sticky!

John
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:39 PM   #3
browndk26 browndk26 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John72953 View Post
No it doesnt. To find out more, check this Big Daddy sticky!

John
Thanks. I don't know how I missed that sticky.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:10 PM   #4
Rob J in WNY Rob J in WNY is offline
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Some of the finest loudspeakers are certainly not the most efficient in terms of 1w/1m baseline testing.
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Old 09-19-2009, 03:50 PM   #5
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aside from an excellent sticky posted by Big Daddy, another thing to consider is that the sensitivity reflects how efficient a speaker is, instead of how better it is.

Horns are known to be quite efficient speakers, but i wouldnt call each horn a 'better' one comparitively.
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:05 PM   #6
Yeha-Noha Yeha-Noha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jomari View Post
aside from an excellent sticky posted by Big Daddy, another thing to consider is that the sensitivity reflects how efficient a speaker is, instead of how better it is.

Horns are known to be quite efficient speakers, but i wouldnt call each horn a 'better' one comparitively.
Yes, but those lucky son of a guns having efficient speakers with higher end magnificent sound will have a bit more headroom before their power amps start running out of juice.
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:09 PM   #7
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwojtalewicz View Post
Yes, but those lucky son of a guns having efficient speakers with higher end magnificent sound will have a bit more headroom before their power amps start running out of juice.
Which begs the question: How much power do you realistically need to drive inefficient speakers (say anything at 89db or less) before you run out of headroom?

John
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:58 PM   #8
jomari jomari is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwojtalewicz View Post
Yes, but those lucky son of a guns having efficient speakers with higher end magnificent sound will have a bit more headroom before their power amps start running out of juice.
i agree to a certain level, but this is once again subjective to the listener and his preference. i still love a good pair of horns. i wish i can afford true horns like Altecs voice of the theater ones.
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Old 09-19-2009, 07:31 PM   #9
mdabb mdabb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John72953 View Post
Which begs the question: How much power do you realistically need to drive inefficient speakers (say anything at 89db or less) before you run out of headroom?

John
I would think that will be determined by the speakers over-all design and what they are capable of handling. I do think, the less efficient a speaker is, the greater the need for a "quality" amp !!!

For instance my speakers are rated at 89db's, and even though my amp is capable of 300 watts x two. When I listen to music I hardly ever go out of 15 class A watts. Plenty loud, believe me !!!

Eventually when I do a dedicated two channel setup, I will only be looking at highly efficient single fullrange driver speakers because I want a low powered tube amp. Plus I like what these designs do for the music I love most !!!

I think most people are looking for the "wow" factor, and though very good for home theater applications. Not so for music, or at least what I listen to. I like realism and honesty, not in your face slam......... How can I describe it best ???

But in the end "all" designs have there compromises, and there is no such thing as "perfect". The best thing for him to do is research, and go out and audition everything he can !!! Even if you don't think you will like it just give it a listen Eliminate the unknown, and let personal preference decide !!!
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:03 AM   #10
callas01 callas01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdabb View Post
I would think that will be determined by the speakers over-all design and what they are capable of handling. I do think, the less efficient a speaker is, the greater the need for a "quality" amp !!!

For instance my speakers are rated at 89db's, and even though my amp is capable of 300 watts x two. When I listen to music I hardly ever go out of 15 class A watts. Plenty loud, believe me !!!

Eventually when I do a dedicated two channel setup, I will only be looking at highly efficient single fullrange driver speakers because I want a low powered tube amp. Plus I like what these designs do for the music I love most !!!

I think most people are looking for the "wow" factor, and though very good for home theater applications. Not so for music, or at least what I listen to. I like realism and honesty, not in your face slam......... How can I describe it best ???

But in the end "all" designs have there compromises, and there is no such thing as "perfect". The best thing for him to do is research, and go out and audition everything he can !!! Even if you don't think you will like it just give it a listen Eliminate the unknown, and let personal preference decide !!!
I very much agree with this statement.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:04 AM   #11
math-geek math-geek is offline
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Speaker sensitivity and sound quality have very liitle to do with one another. The sound quality of the speaker is based upon the design principles of the manufacturer.

I currently use Dynaudio Contour 1.3 SEs a small monitor(15"x10"x11") with a single 6.7" mid-bass driver and a 1.1" tweeter. Wth an impedance of 6 ohms and sensitivity of 85 db these are a tough load. A low sensitivity/impedance small monitor is more demanding than a large speaker due to a lack of gain from the larger enclosure. I am driving these with a Krell KAV 300iL integrated amp that produces 200 wpc 8 ohms and 400 wpc 4 ohms and I think that it is a perfect match.

If you choose a demanding loudspeaker be prepared to ante up for a powerful high quality amplifier. Clipping of an amplfier destroys more speakers than does "overpowering" them. Be realistic when making your choice and ask yourself some questions: 1) My budget for speakers and possibly an amplifier?, 2) What is the main intended useage?, 3) How loud do I like to listen to music/movies?, etc, etc.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John72953 View Post
Which begs the question: How much power do you realistically need to drive inefficient speakers (say anything at 89db or less) before you run out of headroom?

John
Most of your listening is done between 5-50 watts. Loud/demanding peaks do occur while listening to music or watching movies, but not as common as you would think.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:50 AM   #13
Rob J in WNY Rob J in WNY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sokrman14 View Post
Most of your listening is done between 5-50 watts. Loud/demanding peaks do occur while listening to music or watching movies, but not as common as you would think.
+1

Even a modest 6dB gain in volume asks approximately 4X the power from the amplifer. Dramatic peaks can far exceed this. Most of the time, under typical listening conditions, sokrman14's statement is completely true, with an amplifier heavily vacillating in that 5 to 50 watt range, or very close to it. Occasionally higher (at reference volumes) and occasionally less (during silent or super-quiet moments).

Also, the 1w/1m sensitivity ratings may not make so much of a difference at louder volumes, such as near reference loudness. Rarely, if ever, are speakers "linear" in a ratio of input to output. A speaker rated at 92dB at 1w/1m may not necessarily be 4dB louder than another rated at 88db, when both are hit with, say, 10, 50 or 100 watts of typical program material.
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