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Newbie Q: I am excited about this forum but regret that i found this forum late. (1 Viewer)

chun howe

Stunt Coordinator
Apr 18, 2003
i have reading some of the discussions people comes up, i have myself a few doubts and yet have the chance to do a complete seach as i just have my permission to post.

i have also gone through the " A Primer for H.T Newcomers Page" by Vince Maskeeper, Michael Reuben, etc.
i learn a lot. and as i continue to spend time in here, a few Q come into my mind.

1) what's the purpose of a laser pen in audio calibration?
2) is it just point and shoot the SPL for dB measurements?
3) i love listening to soft music on weekend morning, so do i get a HT SAT (4 tiny speakers)/floor/bookshelf speaker? off course occationally some DVD movies.
4) how do you pros/folks rate these speakers:
a) polk R50 (~$400)
b) infinity IL40 (~$450)
c) JBL N-38II (~$360)
d) Wharfedale Diamond (~$500) this one has 6ohm impedence?
e) open to suggestions (i am in $500 max range main speaker)

PS: i said i am a little regret/sad cos i just bought a pioneer vsx-d711 reciever prior to HTforum discovery. reciever has 8ohm impedence (can diamond work with this reciever?)

sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for advices


John Garcia

Senior HTF Member
Jun 24, 1999
Real Name
Laser pointer would be used to determine the direction in which the face of the speaker (drivers) are pointing. IMO, it does not need to be that accurate. The laser has little to do with the actual SPL measurement, beyond getting the speakers oriented relative to the listening/measurement position.

I have not heard any of the speakers listed, but another to consider would be the Axiom M40Ti (www.axiomaudio.com). I am not a fan of Polk's less expensive speakers. The previous generation of Infinitys had good sound for the price, so I would expect the current ones to be as good or better. I've never heard the Wharfedales.

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
May 22, 1999
Hi Chun. Welcome to HTF!

Your receiver may publish power specs for 8 ohm speakers, but that does not mean it wont drive 6 or even 4 ohm speakers.

The danger with a 4 ohm speaker is that if you crank the volume way up, it will draw much more current causing heat and damaging the electronics.

So as long and you keep this in mind, 6 ohm or even 4 ohm speakers can be used. Just make sure to keep the volume moderate, and make sure your receiver has lots of space above it for venting.

(Note: your 8 ohm speakers actually vary from 2-3 to about 30 ohms depending upon the sound its putting out.)

SPL: get a copy of Avia or Video Essentials. These setup DVD's all have tutorials and test sounds for using the SPL meter.

Basically, put the SPL meter on a camera tripod in the listening position. Tilt the SPL meter about 45 degrees up from horizontal (so it's pointing above the center speaker). Then stand back and take measurements. (You may notice the SPL readings go up if you move close to the meter. This is because your body reflects some sound)

Music vs HT: Different speakers have different "flavors". Some speakers do well with hard-rock music, others are not as dramatic/in-your-face and do better for classical/jazz. You just have to take a favorite CD and listen to each and decide for your self.

A salesman gave me this advice:

"Music speakers are about accuracy, and HT speakers are about impact".

Music speakers tend to be more expensive, but accurate. For movies, there are many budget speaker sets (5 speakers) that do a great job. Movies dont tend to need the accuracy that music-lovers crave.

Music is a harder test for speakers than a DVD movie. A favorite CD will show flaws/issues with speakers that you never notice with a favorite DVD. So take some favorite CD's with you for auditions.

I'm afraid the speakers you listed are in the "budget, but good for HT" catagory. You may not be happy with them for music. If they are all you can afford, buy the set that sounds best.

Micro vs Monitor vs Full Size:

I dont like the micro-small speakers. But there are many fine music and HT systems that use monitor-style speakers and a external subwoofer. Some could argue that this type of system gives you the most flexability because you can put the speakers in the best place for the listener, and put the subwoofer in the best spot for low-frequency.

While full-sized speakers are still nice/traditional, you do tend to pay for the size and appearance.

Hope this helps.

chun howe

Stunt Coordinator
Apr 18, 2003
John Garcia: i have looked at the web provided, it's a very nice. thanks

Bob McElfresh: thanks for all the info. appreciated.

what's the diferrence between a 2 way and 3 way in terms of clarity and performance? i know 3 way is more expensive.

since i am very new to HT (with no experience) i don't want to spent too much. cos my ears would be able to tell the difference also.

i have looked at paradigm monitor 9, B&W 600, Axiom M40Ti. they are all in my budget. my question is with good speakers but not so good amp (pioneer vsx-d711) am i wasting my money on speaker?



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