I just replaced my mains with a new pair of JBL S38's. These speakers have an 89db sensitivity. What I immediately noticed was that it takes more volume to reach the same loudness level with the S38's than it did with the old speakers I replaced. The old speakers were given to me and they had no name on them so I don't know the brand. They (the old speakers) were floor standing with 12" woofers about a 4" midrange and maybe a 2" tweeter. They were "left overs" from a "1970's" component system. (They still work fine BTW...I just wanted to get a smaller pair) I'm guessing that the sensitivity db of these speakers are at least 92db as they played loud at a realtively low volume input level. Could it be since the JBL's have a lower sensitivy db which requires greater volume to achieve the same loudness level that this is a factor why the JBL's still remain clear when you pump up the volume (becaue the speaker's loudness level is lower to begin with)? For the record, the S38's are excellent speakers IMHO! P.S. I see where the JBL S-Center speaker has a 91db sensitivity...perhaps this is to compensate for the lower volume level for dialogue which comes through that center channel?