Should I get new speakers or a new amp for techno music?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AaronNWilson, Jul 2, 2002.

  1. AaronNWilson

    AaronNWilson Second Unit

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    I have been listening to a lot more techno music lately, and I feel that my Klipsch RF3s seem to be straining a bit when I crank them. The Pardigm servo 15 has got oodles of headway left but the klipsch seem to be running out of steam when the servo just gets going.

    Would I be better off getting a new stereo amp to drive the RF3s or selling them and getting something like KLF 30s. The RF5 and RF7s are a bit out of my price range.
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    klipsch...straining? i suppose moving up the klipsch line would be beneficial getting a little more sound output. hmmmmmm...are you using a subwoofer?
     
  3. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    It's most likely the speakers running out of gas not the amp. The KLF-30s have much more undistorted output than your RFs and need very little power to achieve it, less than the RFs need.
     
  4. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    What are you running for an amp right now?
     
  5. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Just checked the RF3 specs again. How loud do you like it? They have a 98dB/W/m sensitivity. Won't take much power to get them to levels that can damage your hearing. Plus if you have them crossed over to a sub then you shouldn't be able to hit the limit of the 8" drivers and the tweeters don't change between the models (in other words running small with a sub you shouldn't be able to get any louder with the RF5 or 7).

    Roughly (this is probably a slight underestimate of levels as room gain will up it a bit from the loss encurred from being 4m from the speaker) if you were 4 meters from the speaker volume would go up with power as follows:

    dB : W
    86 : 1
    89 : 2
    92 : 4
    96 : 8
    99 : 16
    102: 32
    105: 64
    108: 128
    111: 256

    At over 100dB it takes about an hour a day to permenantly damage your hearing.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Location:
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  7. AaronNWilson

    AaronNWilson Second Unit

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    It's a Denon 3801, I think its 120wx2
     
  8. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    I fear for your hearing Aaron. Get an SPL meter and let us know what kind of levels you are hitting with your listening sessions. If you actually are getting into the 105dB+ range using the A scale (which the specs say your system is capable of) you are in serious danger of damaging your hearing. 90dB on an A scale is pushing the safety margin. I'd never listen to music at more than an average of 85dB on A scale for any reasonable amount of time.
     
  9. Mike Strassburg

    Mike Strassburg Second Unit

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  10. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Are you using the A weighting or C weighting Mike. Hearing is most sensitive to the A weighting (in other words you can take bass a lot louder than you can take the human speech frequency range which is what the A scale is mostly around).

    If you are in the 105-110dB range with A weighting you should be scared as it WILL eventually damage your hearing. How long eventually is depends on how long a session is and how frequently those sessions are at that level. But I have no intention of ever finding out what the exact math is.

    I don't know how you can stand it. My system can't do 105+ cleanly on the A wieghting, but it can definately do 95 cleanly and that is too loud for me, plus even 90 is dangerous if exposure is frequent and sustained for several hours at a time.

    A movie with periodic spikes into the 110+ range using a C weighting (the SPL is mostly from bass in this situtation) and spends the rest of it's time between 75-85dB is one thing. But music that sustains A wieghting SPL levels over 90dB IS dangerous to your hearing. I consciously make an effort to keep my music levels under this (except for the periodic occational single song where I'll get closer to 100dB on the A wieghting, but I don't do this often) as my hearing is something I don't want to damage.
     
  11. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Just thought of this too. Also keep in mind that every 3dB increase in SPL is a doubling of the intensity of the sound. Although it takes a 10dB increase for us to percieve the sound as twice as loud. So 108dB is 64 times as intense as 90dB.

    Also keep in mind that if after a listening session some one elses speech or normal sounds around you seem significantly reduced or muffled you just damaged your hearing a little bit. Adapting to the level is one thing, I'm talking about a hearing shift.

    And if you ever have a ringing in your ears after a listening session don't ever do that level again. You just did some damage and if you keep it up you'll end up with significant hearing loss that makes it hard to understand people or worse with tinitus. If you want to find out what tinitus would be like get a tone generator, set it to 3200hz and set the level to 50dB. Tinitus means you would here that 24/7 for the rest of your life.

    Hearing is precious, as fun as this hobby is, please don't risk it for it.
     
  12. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    First of all, just because the Klipsches are very efficient doesn't mean you can drive them proportionally loud without distorting. They have tweeter horns, but the midwoofers are just like what you'd find in any other speaker. Running heavy bass through them is guaranteed to distort the rest of the sound, especially the midrange. If I were you I'd upgrade the speakers.

    Regarding hearing loss, I measured the average SPL for a typical loud song passage using A and C weighting (as well as C-weighted peaks), for each volume "notch" on my amp (there are 10, but I only measured for the first 7). This way I know the approximate SPL I will be encountering. I never listen for extended periods above 6 on my amp, which is about 90-92db maximum continuous A-weighted. Luckily due to a cheapo amp my system doesn't sound quite as clean above this level, so I don't really listen at 95~100db for more than one song at a time. Anyway, just my 2 cents. You should definitely check levels to protect your hearing especially if you have Klipsch speakers. Mike S, I understand you can't pull yourself away from the absurdly clear and loud output of the KLF-30 and dual Tempest, but to be safe I would pull out the SPL meter and make sure you won't be exposing yourself to a dangerous level for extended time. It's more of a concern for music (especially the usual highly compressed music which is almost always within 10db of peak) than dynamic, bass heavy movies.
     
  13. AaronNWilson

    AaronNWilson Second Unit

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    I'm listening at about 105 dB on the c weighted scale and that is about 85 dB on the A weighter scale.
     
  14. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    A bit off topic, but I ran across this from the web...

    Ling Electronics of California makes a noise generator whose gigantic howl, loud enough to tear electronic equipment apart, is used to test the toughness of space-flight hardware. (1)
    Scientific tests..reveal that changes in the circulation of the blood and in the action of the heart take place when a person is exposed to a certain intensity of noise. Even snatches of loud conversation are enough to affect the nervous system and thereby provoke constrictions in a large part of the blood circulation system...(2)
    Professor Rudnick and his colleagues built the most powerful siren ever conceived to date. It made what was, as far as anybody knew, the loudest continuous sound ever heard on earth up to the time: 175 dB, some 10,000 times as strong as the ear-splitting din of a large pneumatic riveter. The frequency range of this enormous howl was from about 3,000 cycles per second to 34, 000 cps, in the ultrasonic range.
    Strange things happened in this nightmarish sound field. If a man put his hand directly in the beam of a sound, he got a painful burn between the fingers. When the siren was aimed upwards, 3/4 inch marbles would float lazily above it at certain points in the harmonic field, held up and in by the field, Prof. Rudnick could make pennies dance on a silk screen with chorus-like perfection while balancing another penny on its edge. A cotton wad held in the field would burst into flame in about 6 seconds. " To satisfy a skeptical colleague", reports Prof. Rudnick, " we lit his pipe by exposing the open end of the bowl to the field" (1)
    1) "The Sonic Boom", Max Gunther, Playboy Magazine, May 1967.
    2) "Noise and Health", Gunther Lehman, The Unesco Courier, July 1967.
     
  15. Daniel V

    Daniel V Auditioning

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    Hey.
    About this thing with SPL. I would like to know if somebody can tell me how many SPL, my system can manage?
    Here are my system:
    One pair of Jamo X870 (280w, 91db, 10" driver)
    One Cerwin-vega subwoofer LW 15! (200w, 15" driver)
    My reciever is just a small Pioneer 5*80w. 8 ohm.
    If you don't now how loud the CV can play, then I can tell you! VERY VERY LOUD!
     
  16. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Daniel, my estimate is if all those specifications are correct.. let's say you listen at about 7 feet from your speakers and have them somewhat near a wall so you get about 2 db of boundary gain...this would be a peak output of 109 db. Depending on what kind of music you're listening to and how much you clip your amp on peaks, you're looking at continuous SPLs in the 100 db range.
     
  17. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Hmmm, that's strange because according to Eminem, "nobody listens to techno!" [​IMG]
    (Sorry...I just couldn't resist!)
     
  18. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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  19. Daniel V

    Daniel V Auditioning

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    Thanks for showing me that site, with the calculater!
    I was amazed! It said that my speakers (Without the sub) could give me an spl of 111DB!! And I am sitting over 12 feet away!
     
  20. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    That would be with all of them going at the same time playing the same thing. Individual speaker will be capable of less.
     

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