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what's more impt - hi output or distortion levels

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Len Cheong, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. Len Cheong

    Len Cheong Second Unit

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    Some subs have great output but distort (bag end 21 incher) while some have less output but distort less (velodynes). Is distortion that audible? Is it bad for your ears?
     
  2. Len Cheong

    Len Cheong Second Unit

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    Some subs have great output but distort (bag end 21 incher) while some have less output but distort less (velodynes). Is distortion that audible? Is it bad for your ears?
     
  3. StephenHa

    StephenHa Second Unit

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    distortion is audible, plus is the speaker doing things that a speaker just shouldn't do, not good for speaker
     
  4. StephenHa

    StephenHa Second Unit

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    distortion is audible, plus is the speaker doing things that a speaker just shouldn't do, not good for speaker
     
  5. Mike SJ

    Mike SJ Supporting Actor

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    1) it depends on how loud you need your system to go. remember if its calibrated, both subs will have the same output, just one will have less or more distortion.

    2) "Is distortion that audible?" YES
     
  6. Mike SJ

    Mike SJ Supporting Actor

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    1) it depends on how loud you need your system to go. remember if its calibrated, both subs will have the same output, just one will have less or more distortion.

    2) "Is distortion that audible?" YES
     
  7. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

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    Here's the skinny IMHO.

    Distortion in subwoofers is actually tolerable in ammounts considered excessive in a full range speaker system.

    A 30Hz note with 15% distortion is highly tolerable. You can probably hear it if the subwoofer only is playing but when played with the rest of the music it will be masked and very tolerable.

    Is it desirable. No. In any system more distortion is worse than less. On the other hand if your sub does not play as loud as you want then, again IMHO, it is worse than one that will play as loud as you want with some distortion.

    The distortion, specifically, is not physically bad for your ears. But very loud is. With or without distortion.

    Whereas a distorted midrange(or tweeter) in a full range system can sound like nails on a blackboard (sort of speak) in a sub is quite tolerable.

    Case in point. People are always surprised when their sub bottoms out. This is because bottoming appears to happen suddenly. But in actuality the woofer is already straining and producing high ammounts of distortion that must people fail to notice till the travel limits of the driver are reached.

    PLease don't interpret this as advise for the Bag End against the Velodyne. Take it in general terms. Velodyne utilize a servo feedback system that achieves very low distortion all the way to the limits of the driver.

    There are other choices that offer high output along with low distortion. Although(with few exceptions) probably not as low as the Velodynes.
     
  8. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

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    Here's the skinny IMHO.

    Distortion in subwoofers is actually tolerable in ammounts considered excessive in a full range speaker system.

    A 30Hz note with 15% distortion is highly tolerable. You can probably hear it if the subwoofer only is playing but when played with the rest of the music it will be masked and very tolerable.

    Is it desirable. No. In any system more distortion is worse than less. On the other hand if your sub does not play as loud as you want then, again IMHO, it is worse than one that will play as loud as you want with some distortion.

    The distortion, specifically, is not physically bad for your ears. But very loud is. With or without distortion.

    Whereas a distorted midrange(or tweeter) in a full range system can sound like nails on a blackboard (sort of speak) in a sub is quite tolerable.

    Case in point. People are always surprised when their sub bottoms out. This is because bottoming appears to happen suddenly. But in actuality the woofer is already straining and producing high ammounts of distortion that must people fail to notice till the travel limits of the driver are reached.

    PLease don't interpret this as advise for the Bag End against the Velodyne. Take it in general terms. Velodyne utilize a servo feedback system that achieves very low distortion all the way to the limits of the driver.

    There are other choices that offer high output along with low distortion. Although(with few exceptions) probably not as low as the Velodynes.
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Without some additional data, it remains to be seen just what the output of the Bag End is. It may very well be that it doesn't go as far down as other commercially available subs. It is entirely possible these days to have both high output and low distortion. If you're into DIY maybe that might be an attractive option.
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Without some additional data, it remains to be seen just what the output of the Bag End is. It may very well be that it doesn't go as far down as other commercially available subs. It is entirely possible these days to have both high output and low distortion. If you're into DIY maybe that might be an attractive option.
     
  11. Mark Seaton

    Mark Seaton Supporting Actor

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    Hi Len-

    Check out the Ultimate AV review. I'm not sure I would say the BagEnd gets all that loud down low; at least not without multiples. Speaking of the report by Keith Yates, take a look at the various aspects he covered. This article: Measurements & Meaning: Way Down Deep

    In the grand scheme of desireable characteristics, I strongly believe that compression is just as important as high output. Consider that while we can just keep cranking up the signal while testing, this doesn't happen when we are listening. In other words, when you get beyond about 3dB of compression, the system isn't tracking dynamics very well, and you can bet the response shape is changing. It is certainly true that compression can be intentional and useful the form of limiting where it protects the driver from damage, yet this is really only a safety margin, and certainly not accurate reproduction. The optimal useful range is where compression remains low. So next time you see a response with 5dB of compression displayed, think of the difference in setting your subwoofer level + or - 5dB and ask yourself if it makes a difference?

    The same holds true for your main speakers as well, yet again is something few measure or discuss.
     
  12. Mark Seaton

    Mark Seaton Supporting Actor

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    Hi Len-

    Check out the Ultimate AV review. I'm not sure I would say the BagEnd gets all that loud down low; at least not without multiples. Speaking of the report by Keith Yates, take a look at the various aspects he covered. This article: Measurements & Meaning: Way Down Deep

    In the grand scheme of desireable characteristics, I strongly believe that compression is just as important as high output. Consider that while we can just keep cranking up the signal while testing, this doesn't happen when we are listening. In other words, when you get beyond about 3dB of compression, the system isn't tracking dynamics very well, and you can bet the response shape is changing. It is certainly true that compression can be intentional and useful the form of limiting where it protects the driver from damage, yet this is really only a safety margin, and certainly not accurate reproduction. The optimal useful range is where compression remains low. So next time you see a response with 5dB of compression displayed, think of the difference in setting your subwoofer level + or - 5dB and ask yourself if it makes a difference?

    The same holds true for your main speakers as well, yet again is something few measure or discuss.
     

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