Why are my outdoor speakers softer?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joel Verinder, Feb 14, 2003.

  1. Joel Verinder

    Joel Verinder Auditioning

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    Let me start off by describing my system.

    Harman Kardon AVR 320

    speakers:
    Front - 2 Klipsch RCW 5s
    Center - Klipsch RC3 II
    Rears - 2 Klipsch RCW 3s
    Sub - Infinity IL20

    Outdoor - JBL NAW2II ?

    When I hooked up my ourdoor speakers, the volume was softer than the main listening room. I used a 14 gauge wire to connect them with a Monster 4 port switch box. Can someone tell me why the volume is softer outside? It is really annoying when I have to turn the inside speakers up really loud to get the outside speakers to sound good.

    Thanks!

    Joel
     
  2. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

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    The main reason would be that your outdoor speakers are less efficient than your indoor ones. If you have the spec sheets for them look as the sensitivity rating: a higher db number means more efficient. Every 3db is twice the efficiency, i.e. 93 db is twice as efficient as 90.

    Does your HK reciver have multi-room capability? If so, then properly set up you would an independent way of controlling the volume control for the outdoor speakers. That's what I do with my Integra receiver.
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    efficiency
    a very very long length of wire will decrease the available power to the speakers
    no walls so there's no sound bouncing off which increases a speaker's apparent efficiency.
     
  4. ToddS

    ToddS Stunt Coordinator

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    How far away are your speakers from the receiver? 14 gauge may not be good enough. When I used 16 gauge for my outdoor speakers I had the same problem but when I upgraded to 12 gauge it made a huge difference. My cable runs were about 50 ft so ymmv.
     
  5. Joel Verinder

    Joel Verinder Auditioning

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    Thanks for all the replys.. The run isn't very far for the outdoor speakers. I'm thinking 20 feet, possibly 30 feet.

    So I guess my best solution is to use my multi-room feature on my receiver and use an old as my 2nd amp. Just so I'm clear on this for the future... If I buy outdoor speakers that are 90db, I need to make sure that the effeciency matches the other speakers as well? I was hoping for a better solution, since I didn't want to spend mega bucks on the outdoor speakers to match the nice HT ones.

    I have also thought about getting a switch with volume control but those are $300+..

    Any other suggestions?

    Thanks for the input
     
  6. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    In addition to speaker efficiency, there's also room gain. Obviously "outside" is a bigger room than your living room, and so even the same speakers playing at the same volume would be quieter outdoors.

    Also outdoors is more likely to have other noises competing with the speakers, and psychologically noise of the same volume seems louder in a small space than it does in a large space.
     
  7. JayDaniel

    JayDaniel Stunt Coordinator

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    Joel - Rick was right. It has to do with your speakers' efficiency rating. Klipsch speakers are famous for their high sensitivity. Your specific Klipsch speakers are rated at 94 dB (1 watt @ 1 meter), while your JBL are rated at 86 dB (1 watt @ 1 meter). That's 8 dBs more efficient, which is very significant in volume terms. Also, Marc mentioned room gain, which would factor in as well.
     
  8. Joel Verinder

    Joel Verinder Auditioning

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    Jay - Thanks, I should of looked at this before I made the purchase. Oh well. Live and and learn!

    I appreciate the help..
     

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