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
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.
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.
@lalitk,
Agree many worthwhile advantages to higher efficiency/sensitivity speakers. It does seem that to design and build this type of speaker requires a certain degree of effort, thought and implementation. Well worth it in my opinion. To be able to utilize a high quality but lower power amplifier (With simpler circuit/signal pathway)  is a very good option to have.
Charles
@phusis wrote:

"What’s particularly interesting with high eff. larger speakers, to me, is that simplicity can be maintained when incorporating horns or waveguides fitted to compression drivers, and thus avoid some of the complexity issues that face low(er) eff. larger speaker designs. A 2-way high eff. design can be had with fairly large woofer/mids crossed to a horn/waveguide with very nice power response in the XO-region, though needing subs augmentation. I use such a configuration myself, now awaiting new horns from ~700Hz on up with a mouth area of some 2 x 3 feet for controlled directivity if needed, down to 500Hz for a smoother transition to the dual 15" drivers below."

This is almost exactly what I’m working on, and had hoped to introduce in 2020 but... stuff happened that year...

Anyway I designed a large-format Oblate Spheroid waveguide using Earl Geddes’ equations, like you targeting a 700 Hz crossover to twin 15" midwoofers. That 700 Hz figure is consistent with the findings of David Griesinger which Geddes subscribes to, and is very close to the 800 Hz crossover that Greg Timbers uses in the JBL M2. Imo the ability to cover the spectrum from there on up with a single driver is a major advantage over more "conventional" approaches, in addition to the other advantages of large drivers and high efficiency.

And of course the way around the bass extension/box size/efficiency tradeoff relationship is to hand off the bottom couple of octaves or so to subwoofers.

I’m rather surprised by how similar our approaches are. I knew we were barking up trees in the same forest, but didn’t realize it was the same tree!

Duke