What Volume should I drive my speakers?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by kumar, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. kumar

    kumar Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a BW 603s for my front. HK7200 runs them. Both are probably little over a month old. So this question arises.... Often I wonder at what Volume I should listen to my music. I only have a two channel system right now. For example I play Eric Claptons, Pink Floyds at -25db to -20db sometimes I touch -15db but did not dare to go beyond that.
    When I watch movies, I keep the volume for most part of the movie at -15db. My Bass and Trebble knob are right at the center.
    I understand whatever sounds good to me I should be ok with, but at the same time I should also know my speakers limits. I have not done any fancy calibrations to them yet.

    Pls advice.
     
  2. Stephen Weller

    Stephen Weller Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    1
    This is a [rant]VERY[/rant] subjective question that only you can answer. The numbers you reference are attenuation values and are only useful for getting you back to some known point. Think of them as a "stake in the ground."

    Since everything gets amplified, we're at the mercy of the recording engineer's whim. Then there's the question of dynamic range.

    I used to think the "best" way to listen to music was at what I thought was a "natural" level.

    If that doesn't work for you, try cranking it until either:

    1. It causes pain.
    2. Your ears start to bleed.
    3. The neighbors call the cops.

    And then back it off by 1 dB. [​IMG]
     
  3. kumar

    kumar Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good point! but how do I know if I am going to blow my speakers when I turn it 1 db more? or would I have gone through one of the three points you have mentioned by then? [​IMG]
     
  4. Stephen Weller

    Stephen Weller Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    1


    You don't. But you didn't say how much power you're driving with. I'm pushing a measly 75 WPC and can *EASILY* meet number 1.

    Look at it this way, if your speakers can handle 100 WRMS, and you're only pushing 75, it's unlikely you'll harm you're speakers. Your hearing is a different matter.
     
  5. kumar

    kumar Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    0
    but isn't go from -80 to -15 in that case isn't it increasing?
    My HK7200 can do 115Watts per channel in Stereo(that is my setup). My B&W can take up to 150Watts.

    So can I keep more Bass and Trebble than the mid value in the receiver? I hope I will not blow up my tweeter or woofer I guess. Does the SPL reading tell me how much I am pushing my Speakers to from the reading in the SPL, when I play a song or the test tone?
     
  6. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    0
    As Stephen pointed out, this depends on alot:

    Room size/volume, how much power does that HK deliver per ch, did you calibrate your speakers and how, blah blah blah.... ok, enough of the disclaimer.

    I use 603S2s for my mains, but I am driving them with a Marantz SR7000 AVR. I have 100w/ch and have calibrated to 85db with the volume set to 0 using test tones fromStryke.

    I have a relatively small room that seems to get real loud/real quick.
    * I usually listen to 2ch music at -8 to -12
    * Multi-channel music (rarely) at -18 or so
    * I usually watch movies at -15.

    --Steve
     
  7. Stephen Weller

    Stephen Weller Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    1


    Sort of. SPL indicates the end result of the work your speakers and amp are doing to fill the area with sound.

    So you have a sound level meter?
     
  8. kumar

    kumar Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    0
    yes I do have a SPL.
    I understand quite a bit now, about the sound level. let me play around a bit during the weekend on this.
     

Share This Page