Can speakers be too efficient?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Ray_C, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. Ray_C

    Ray_C Stunt Coordinator

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    I was wondering if those in the know could shed some light on this subject. I'm sure many of us are very aware of some of the more efficient speakers out there (Klipsch comes to mind), and the whole ratio of power to loudness et al. But my question is: can high efficiency be a disadvantage to sound quality when using a relatively high-powered separate amp? Perhaps more to the point (and maybe this should go in the amp/receiver section), does a quality power amp have a certain 'sweet zone' of power that sound the best? I realize that certain Class A/B amps try to improve upon low-level performance by running class A at low volumes. Do amps want to be pushed to a certain level to be happy? Sorry if this sounds silly....I'm used to thinking in terns of tube guitar amps that generally want to be pushed pretty hard to sound good (even though that means distortion/compression).
     
  2. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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    Where it can be a problem is in signal to noise ratio. You may hear exaggerated hiss with a highly sensitive speaker (particularly with nothing playing). It has to do with gain structure. A power "sweet zone" should not be an issue.
     
  3. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Well, the efficiency itself isn't a problem, but efficient speakers tend to be more forward sounding and make distortion from the electronics easier to hear, and more bothersome sounding. It's nothing to worry about if you have a good quality amplifier and a quiet source component. Typical amplifiers do have distortion decreasing with increased power up to a certain point, but the distortion at low levels might not be worth worrying about. If they sound better at higher levels, that may just be perception, and not anything wrong with the equipment.
     
  4. Ray_C

    Ray_C Stunt Coordinator

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    Very interesting info. Thanks for the responses.
     

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