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OT - Help me understand Hi-Fi speakers

EPAIII

Diamond
Joined
Nov 23, 2003
Location
Beaumont, TX, USA
I bought a pair of non-powered, bookshelf speakers at Best Buy a few years ago; far fewer than 25. They had a set up in the speaker isle where you could switch to about 15 or 20 different speakers to see how they sounded. Perhaps not the best area for such a test, but then, my ears are not 20 years old any more. I bought the least expensive pair that sounded to MY ears as good as the most expensive pair they had. Those speakers are here, in my office and I am happy with them.

For the shop I may have opted for a larger pair, but with my ears, that may have been a waste.

Of course, YMMV. Or perhaps I should say, YEMV (Your Ears May Vary).

Don't expect this at WalMart.



Have not seen a "Stereo Store" that you can walk into for at least 25 years now.
 

EPAIII

Diamond
Joined
Nov 23, 2003
Location
Beaumont, TX, USA
Oh, I am glad I had finished my coffee. I almost laughed myself into a coughing fit over directional arrows. Had not even heard that one before.

Next they will claim the electrons have an extra percentage of charge or they use teflon insulation to lubricate the electrons on their travel through the cable.



[lots of good info trimmed]

When I was more into this subject, I had fun asking the audio store salesman if speaker cable made a difference. They invariably said it did. I'd then ask, "Would it be better to spend $100 on speaker cable or $100 on better speakers?" The answer was always spend it on better speakers.

I was highly amused at the "unobtanium" cables that had directional arrows printed on them so you wouldn't hook them up backwards. :)
 

EPAIII

Diamond
Joined
Nov 23, 2003
Location
Beaumont, TX, USA
It may be a short transmission line. You will never get standing waves at audio frequencies. But it IS a transmission line and the basic power transmission math is still at work. The impedances should be matched as in any transmission line, if you want the best power transfer and if you want to avoid response problems.

Gold plated wires are "techie-bunkum". Matching impedances is NOT. It matters, even at audio frequencies.

And for longer distances, as others have suggested, just use a heavier gauge cord.



This is a huge example of "overthinking".

You have 170watts or so of output, which the amplifier can deliver. Get some speakers which you like the sound of, and which can take your 170 watts.

Check the speaker impedance, and be sure the amp can deliver full power into the speaker impedance.

Get some 16 or 18 ga zip cord for connecting the speakers, enough to reach from amp to speakers.. Try not to make that distance more than 25 feet or so. The longer you make it, the bigger the wire should be. System design DONE.



There is no speaker output in the world that is a transmission line, nor is it "matched". That's "techie-bunkum", pure and simple.


It's not a transmission line for the same reason that 1" of RG-58 is not a "transmission line"... Because the wavelengths used are much much longer than the line, and the characteristics of a transmission line do not develop.

As for the "matching"........which is not done.......

Have you ever heard of the term "damping factor" (DF) as applied to speakers?

That term is a measure of how much LOWER the amplifier output impedance is than the speaker impedance.

It is usual to have a DF of at least 20, meaning the amplifier output is 20x lower impedance than the speaker. A DF of 100 is not unknown.

By the way, while "matching" is sort-of done for open-back guitar speakers and amps, you would really hate how it sounds if the speakers were actually matched by the amplifier. Speakers are optimized for a low source impedance.

So much for matching...... and transmission line action.
 

thermite

Diamond
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Location
Sol, Terra
I was highly amused at the "unobtanium" cables that had directional arrows printed on them so you wouldn't hook them up backwards. :)

Wellllll.. You KNOW the BEST use fiber-optic links to powered speakers, yah?

And that MOST forms of'speaker" can also function as a microphone.

Why are you surprised some clever soul has done those up with ONE WAY glass so yer enemies cannot eavesdrop on yah?

I wish that was ALWAYS a joke, too, not just "mostly".
 

gustafson

Diamond
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Location
People's Republic
OK...here's my first speaker-specific question.


Looking at Cerwin Vegas....they now sell two lines, the SL and the (presumably) better XSL.

Why do the SL series have an 8 ohm rating and the XSL have a 6 ohm rating? Isn't 6 ohm kinda oddball?

Why do the SL series have 29hz low end and the XSL is higher at 43hz?View attachment 339658View attachment 339659

Notice the more expensive speaker actually has dB ratings on the frequency response, where the other does not. That is the difference.

In your case you have multiple actual amplifiers, rather than a stereo amp the A+B switch, so the impedance is not that big a deal other than matching one set to the other.
 

gustafson

Diamond
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Location
People's Republic
Funny I looked it up and my memory is correct, my ADS speakers, some 30 years old are 3dB down at 28 hz, I would have thought that they would make more capable speakers now. OF course these were like 1200 bucks 30 years ago, so there is that.

I think what you will find is that smaller speakers, and probably all ported speakers, jack up the mid bass, where, frankly most of the music is, and then the low bass drops like a stone. More expensive speakers will be much flatter, but may not 'sound' bassier to you.

This is where the shop vs house comes in. You may be less happy with truly flat[IOW expensive] speakers, than with speakers that are trying to fool you with jacked up mid bass.
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
Cerwin-Vega XLS-12

I have 6 of these equally spaces around the shop, 8 feet off the floor to the bottom of them, 4 feet out from the wall, without having it real loud I can hear it well most of the time in most places in the shop with 2-3 VMC's running.
 

GregSY

Diamond
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
Houston
6 XLS-12 speakers would be 'excessive'...in a good way.

If you found those for $125 each....that's a steal.
 

Tony Quiring

Titanium
Joined
Nov 5, 2008
Location
Madera county california usa
Remember the special speaker wire with heavy strands in center for bass and fine strands on outside for higher frequencies, they stated skin effect in play. ..for audio?

Sure, Andrew LDF4 is aluminum core with copper plate on center conductor, cheaper this way but that is radio frequencies.

Doubt it matters at frequencies the ear hears but marketing being what it is...

Sent from my SM-G781V using Tapatalk
 

dcsipo

Titanium
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Location
Baldwin, MD/USA
I have for my shop this fairly massive receiver...a Denon AVR 5800 which 62lbs. worth of relatively old school radio. I didn't buy it new but they were around $3800 20 years ago.



Denon AVR-5800 A/V receiver | Sound & Vision

I want to buy some speakers that will work well with it.

In looking at speakers...it seems nowadays a great many are 'powered'. That is, they appear to have their own 120v amp and also work off Bluetooth or some other wireless technology...so you don't have to run 'hard' wires to them.


That's great...but I like wires and don't mind running them. I also think the receiver should have enough power to drive speakers without the need for an amp in the speaker box. I also wonder if the amps located in the speaker box will compromise sound quality or have other negative effects.

So....do I ignore all of the powered speakers, or is there no harm in using them if I find a set I otherwise like?View attachment 339479

Do not buy any speakers that you did not listen to yourself in an environment that kinda resembles what you are going to put them into....All that said you are screwed no one will demo speakers in a space that large and reverberant. Go to best buy or some other local AV dealer. If you go to best buy go to one that has what they call a Magnolia room. Listen to all the speakers using music that you like and know well.

Set yourself a budget. You have a 5.1 amp designed for surround sound. so buy 5.1 speakers. I e a center two front two rear and a sub. If you listen to metal and stadium rock you will be in the Klipsch JBL Cervin camp, if you are into classical you may like things like Kef, B&W Vandersteen, Wilson....You want new, take a heavy check book
 

Screwmachine

Titanium
Joined
Mar 8, 2001
Location
Switzerland
Remember the special speaker wire with heavy strands in center for bass and fine strands on outside for higher frequencies, they stated skin effect in play. ..for audio?

Sure, Andrew LDF4 is aluminum core with copper plate on center conductor, cheaper this way but that is radio frequencies.

Doubt it matters at frequencies the ear hears but marketing being what it is...

Sent from my SM-G781V using Tapatalk

Some years back I was at a get together at a high end audio dealer's house. He was super excited about the new power cable he had on his amp, cost some hundreds of bucks, he could "totally hear the difference"; I asked about the Romex that went from the 5 buck outlet to the panel... that got a really blank look, haha.
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
6 XLS-12 speakers would be 'excessive'...in a good way.

If you found those for $125 each....that's a steal.

They were a good deal for the shop, we wouldn't put them in the house as they were not cared for all that well in a previous life so they are a bit banged up, however to me they sound great in a machine shop
IMG_3607 (1).jpg
 

GregSY

Diamond
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
Houston
Local guy has some CV E715's...I could buy these fairly cheap.

26HZ-20kHZ
400 watts peak
sensitivity 102dB

I read some reviews that say their great, and also a few from higher-end guys who say they're a bit harsh on the ears
 

tnmgcarbide

Diamond
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Location
N. GA- 33.992N , -83.72W usa
i like music in the warehouse...when i'm not machining. my place is 6000 sq ft , including
a 1400' office/kitchen and a 1700' freezer. i prefer not to play music while making chips
or just at very low volume . sound is critical to feed/speed situations . proofing a program...
my anus is in pucker-mode...i don't need surprises . sure , once everything's good -let the cnc do the job, crank
some ac/dc from say.. JBL L-112? , maybe just minimus-7 will do.

it's going to sound like a gymnasium . you don't need klipsch horns anymore . it used
to be that watts were expensive when Jensen Imperial was the king daddy of horn-loaded
behemoths . people used to redesign the walls and floorplan of their houses to accommodate
the size. a pair of EL-34s pushing 50w could make the roof quake, your neighbors hate you.

now- class D amps with switch-mode power supplies offer huge output and cost next to nothing.
200wpc ...way under $200 easy.

you can get any-old soggy ,88 db speaker to wake-up with that much juice .
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
In the finishing area of my shop I found I needed a bit more volume than the rest to cover our downdraft table, belt sanders etc so we laid one on its side and canted it down at us a bit, seems to do the trick.
IMG_4010.jpg
 

drcoelho

Stainless
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Location
Los Altos
I have for my shop this fairly massive receiver...a Denon AVR 5800 which 62lbs. worth of relatively old school radio. I didn't buy it new but they were around $3800 20 years ago.



Denon AVR-5800 A/V receiver | Sound & Vision

I want to buy some speakers that will work well with it.

In looking at speakers...it seems nowadays a great many are 'powered'. That is, they appear to have their own 120v amp and also work off Bluetooth or some other wireless technology...so you don't have to run 'hard' wires to them.


That's great...but I like wires and don't mind running them. I also think the receiver should have enough power to drive speakers without the need for an amp in the speaker box. I also wonder if the amps located in the speaker box will compromise sound quality or have other negative effects.

So....do I ignore all of the powered speakers, or is there no harm in using them if I find a set I otherwise like?View attachment 339479

Given that you have an amplifier, you should buy unpowered speakers. The amplifier you have will provide better performance than the built-in amps on powered speakers, and the speakers will be lighter/better for same price.
 

dcsipo

Titanium
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Location
Baldwin, MD/USA
Local guy has some CV E715's...I could buy these fairly cheap.

26HZ-20kHZ
400 watts peak
sensitivity 102dB

I read some reviews that say their great, and also a few from higher-end guys who say they're a bit harsh on the ears

Are you in a metal building? Drywall? Foam insulation with paint? The best thing you can do is walk around clap sing make noises listen to the echoes and reverberations. High-end guys are full of shit, they all tailor the acoustic environments where they put the speakers in their listening rooms and play with it till they like the sound. Trust me on this one I have speakers that are not easy to place in a room. If your space is non-reverberant you can get away with speakers tilted towards the high frequencies. If you have a metal box try something more polite sounding because your environment will make anything harsh-sounding. You may go listen to Cervins at some dude's house and will hate them when you put them in your shop. The good thing about the Dennon you got is that it can compensate for a lot of things...There is the RTFM factor that may save you.
 

dcsipo

Titanium
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Location
Baldwin, MD/USA
Given that you have an amplifier, you should buy unpowered speakers.

Yes


The amplifier you have will provide better performance than the built-in amps on powered speakers\
Maybe maybe not. Take something like a KEF LS50 and the answer is not really, you would need to fight real hard to make those cones sound better than the purpose-built amp in the speaker. All is a price point and performance balance.

and the speakers will be lighter/better for same price.

Lighter is not always better. The Wilson Puppies are tiny and weigh a ton. Wilson Audio - WATT / Puppy Series 8 but they are paired with the Watts for bass. I would avoid light speakers, they have a bunch of issues :). The same price...again it is a murky thing.


BAck to the original issue. Do not buy speakers you have not heard in a similar environment and setup :)
 

tnmgcarbide

Diamond
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Location
N. GA- 33.992N , -83.72W usa
i'd bet it sounds just fine. PA speakers are perfect for a shop environment . Magneplanars
vandersteens and wilsons ,cerwin vega?

will not sound any better than Peavey , Yamaha, or Yorkville in a factory building.
PA equipment is more robust and tolerant of temp extremes , humidity, whatever. and
less expensive .

unless you are in your home-basement shop, and not in your own building . use what you
have . it won't make any difference if you have $5k watt puppy or $200 powered peavey .
and if you do any welding in that building... good luck with sensitive materials.
 








 
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