Efficient Speakers-4 questions

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by WendyS, Apr 9, 2004.

  1. WendyS

    WendyS Stunt Coordinator

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    1. When looking at speaker specs, what is the minimum number to indicate that a speaker is effiecient and easier to drive?
    2. How much of a difference does this spec make. ex. the difference between 93dB and 96dB. Is it significant?
    3. Which mainline manufacturers produce more efficient speakers?
    4. Which speakers would marry well with the Yamaha RX V-2400 receiver for music? HT is nice but crisp, clear, foundation rocking music is what I'm after. I'd like to stay below 2K for fronts, surrounds, and sub, but could be convinced to go higher.....just no 2nd mortgages OK? LOL
    Any advice is greatly appreciated. I'm going blind from reading specs and trying figure things out. [​IMG]
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    1) right around 90db is what I consider to start being pretty efficient, with speakers in the 87-88 range already becoming demanding, depending on the speaker.

    2) can make a big difference. a +3dB gain in efficiency means the speaker will be significantly easier to drive. Again, it depends on how much current the speaker need as well.

    3) Klipsch are very high sensitivity, but pretty much people either love them or hate them, so you would have to give them a listen. I am personally not a fan of them.

    4) Specs are not going to tell you what you want to know. You are going to have to go out and start listening and find what sounds good to you and what doesn't. It may take some time. Not sure exacly where the Great White is, but you might give Paradigm and B&W a listen.
     
  3. WendyS

    WendyS Stunt Coordinator

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    Canada
    Sorry.......just thought everyone knew Bob and Doug and Take Off Eh. [​IMG]
    Klipsch Reference are the speakers I listened to with the Yamaha 1400.......they blew my mind!!! Loved them. The sound was so defined and crisp.
    I haven't actually heard Paradigm, but I know they have a decent reputation, and since are manufactured just down the road from me (not literally, but in Canada I mean), they seem to be a deal.

    Taken from a newpaper ad.......
    Paradigm Monitor Series Package
    The Monitor Series Theatre
    package is as impressive
    looking as it sounds. The
    twin towers are Monitor
    7’s, another top selling
    speaker, with the matching
    CC370 center channel
    and a pair of ADP370’s
    for the surrounds, plus the
    PDR12, a 12 inch
    subwoofer, with a 150
    watt high current amplifier.
    All this for 2750CND (about 2000US)

    The Klipsch Reference would cost more than that just for fronts and centre.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Wendy,
    1. I personally would say anything above 95db is efficient but I'm probably biased since I'm used to speakers that are 104db efficient at 1 watt..
    2. The easiest way to figure it out is that for every 3db you need 2x the wattage. So if you a 93db speaker and a 96db speaker then 93db speaker is wanting 2 watts to do what the 96db speakers are doing with 1 watt. The bigger difference you need to look for is what OHM its rated. 4 ohm speakers need more current and will draw more from the amplifier.
    3. Klipsch and Cerwin Vega are the top 2 for mainstream stuff. There are some others that are super efficient but more expensive. I think Adire has a kit speaker that is fairly efficient otherwise you will see 91 db 8ohm being pretty normal for lines like Polk(although their higher end Polks are 4 ohm nominal).
    4. That all depends. I wouldn't really worry about specs so much. There aren't going to tell you much. Up in Canada you should atleast start with Paradigm and PSB which will give you the best value then you should go from there. B&W isn't out of your range either. I'm not a huge fan of Axioms which are another Canadian speaker and far too bright for my tastes. Totem Acoustic wouldn't be a bad brand to start with too.
     
  5. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    The Adire HE series are quite efficient.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Take off Eh, you hoser. [​IMG] Yep, know them well. Thought as much, just wasn't sure if it was near Canada US or really white Canada. [​IMG]

    If you liked Klipsch, you may want to give the Axioms a listen actually. They are brighter and, IMO, more detailed in the midrange, than the Paradigm Monitor series, while offering a slight improvement in vaule compared to the Monitors (as a former v2/v3 Monitor series owner).

    The speaker impedance (ohms) IS a factor you should be looking at as well, but this still doesn't tell you how much current a speaker is going to draw. The Paradigm Studios are 8 Ohm nominal, but they are still a pretty current hungry speaker.

    The Monitor series and Axioms will have no problem with the 2400. I wouldn't worry about the 2400 being able to provide enough power for any speakers in this price range.
     
  7. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Please keep in mind that most speaker sensitivity ratings, including Klipsch, are exaggerated by varying amounts. Klipsch's consumer speakers are rated 3 to 4 db higher than their actual anechoic sensitivity. Like many other manufacturers, their rating is an "in room" sensitivity which accounts (quite liberally) for room reflections. You'll also have to keep in mind that for 4 ohm speakers, normal sensitivity ratings correspond to 2 watts (3db higher) power input. So while you probably shouldn't rely on specified efficiency ratings to make a decision, I would say it's safe to assume the more efficient, larger speakers will be the most dynamic sounding.
     
  8. Bob K

    Bob K Stunt Coordinator

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    Shane,

    Don't mean to hijack Wendy's thread, but what 104 dB speakers are you using, and with what amps? I'm jealous!
     
  9. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    My Cerwin Vega VS 120's with a typical Sony 444es receiver. They are super efficient if you like the sound. They are 4 ohm nominal but dip into the 1 and 2 ohm stuff if you really push them but it would take a huge room to really do that. My room is big but I've used them in those large Hotel Conference rooms(the ones with 20 foot ceilings). They filled up the room nicely. They also have a built in fuse to protect the speaker in case of an overload.

    I'm moving away from them in the next week and to a lesser efficient speaker. This will take some getting used to. OTOH, I hope to add a new NAD reciever to the mix.

    Efficiency is not everything IMHO.
     
  10. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

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    Shane Martin says:

    Huh? Impedance changes with power applied? [​IMG]
     
  11. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

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    Michael R Price says:

    I thought that sensitivity was always measured in dB's per watt. This would make it independent of impedance.

    If it was measured in db's per volt then it would be a different issue. No?[​IMG]
     

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