Speaker sensitivity vs SQ


My first thread at AG.

Millercarbon continues to bleat on about the benefits of high sensitivity speakers in not requiring big amplifier watts.
After all, it's true big amplifiers cost big money.  If there were no other factors, he would of course be quite right.

So there must be other factors.  Why don't all speaker manufacturers build exclusively high sensitivity speakers?
In a simple world it ought to be a no-brainer for them to maximise their sales revenue by appealing to a wider market.

But many don't.  And in their specs most are prepared to over-estimate the sensitivity of their speakers, by up to 3-4dB in many cases, in order to encourage purchasers.  Why do they do it?

There must be a problem.  The one that comes to mind is sound quality.  It may be that high sensitivity speakers have inherently poorer sound quality than low sensitivity speakers.  It may be they are more difficult to engineer for high SQ.  There may be aspects of SQ they don't do well.

So what is it please?

C85b9041 52a0 4fa7 ac78 d902149a2d82clearthinker

Showing 15 responses by tomic601

Duke - IF you can say, are you 3D printing the waveguide ?

best to you in 2021

Jim
reread my post, i said zip about anything but absorption. take another run at finding a 6” absorber in nature. Its a hole in the acoustic space the brain is trying to reconstruct. I am a principal in a recording studio with a mobile location rack. You can catch up later.
Chasing flavors of distortion aka cone breakup or the focused constructive and destructive interference of a horn does not move accurate reproduction forward. Nothing wrong with picking baskin Robbins flavor #426 if that is your thing...

pistonic motion cuts 3db off sensitivity, ain’t no free lunch
do give some thought to the amp and speaker designer engineering an easy load and then further optimizing the amp for that load....just 5 parts in the signal path...

and for the measurement camp, both measured by JA

and for the flat earth science denial sect, he loved the sound.
So building a dead box.... cuts output..,,

shall we go on ?

the big baffle can be thought of as a 2D horn ....


Also the box flopping around also adds to output, just not in time with the note played ....
Also don’t confuse low sensitivity with a poorly engineered load ( bizarre phase angles, super low impedence, etc... 

or a bunch of series / parallel connections....
there is plenty of money in a $50k plus speaker for fine drivers with best available energy in the gap Ralph, actually make that $15 k for Vandersteen Quattro, throw in built in subs w 11 bands of EQ and an easy to drive load

One reason why Thiels don’t sound like Vandersteens, before the Mafia attack, I own both. BOTH. and Panels that store energy, electrostatics that sound like transformers....etc...

its a brutal truth, move the accuracy ball forward or flavorize. Just know what your religion is...ha.

enjoy the music....


nwres I could have said one designer at least gives you lower distortion with lower sensitivty as a byproduct AND an easy load. Since 1977.
the natural world is full of diffraction, most sterile audiophile rooms lack it bigtime...except for the forest of amplifiers blocking the path to the turntable ( which should be off to the side )
i spent a decent amount of my career in anechoic chambers testing advanced technology, simple stuff , some suborbital. my prefered vendor of loudspeakers ( since 1977 ) actually have and use a chamber for development and importantly production, doing the precise work of tuning to a standard and nulling. Do you have a chamber ?
an unnatural treatment of room will also cause your brain to work harder....just evolution...find examples in natural environments that display broad band absorption like a 6-8” deep panel.... they don’t exist.....

ES, you will eventually tumble to time and phase.....


voicing in a chamber would ignore room gain and reality, it’s a great tool for matching to a standard ( impulse, freq response, pair matching thru nulling ( hint ), etc.

For those dealing in the reality of listening in a room, RT 60 is the path to better sound.
a systems engineering approach should always compare the output with the input, including impulse response. Sure a hyper well executed high efficiency driver using best available materials, engineering, machining, etc are expensive. I think any reputable end speaker company designing own drivers, even semi custom w Scanspeak, are similar $$$$$. Some of those take into consideration that output is not a measure of quality.

I also believe, no designer should ignore ear brain. Many just sell distortion we like. Flavorizers.....

sure, the holy grail is low mass, breakup far from the passband, pistonic, with super high strength motors and high duty cycle....nothing has changed....

also, as an ESL owner, I think about the sonic impact of transformers and edge clamping distortion as well as energy storage in the panel....ain’t no free lunch

glad the conversation has returned to civility....