This is how rumors get started.
22 responses Add your response
Lack of dynamic punch sounds like power compression to me; for example, the signal going into the speaker calls for a 10 dB peak, and your speaker only delivers an 8 dB peak. As a result, the liveliness and emotion and impact are sucked out of the sound.
In general, high efficiency and/or high thermal power handling are predictors of good dynamic punch. Unfortunately drivers with these characteristics tend to be expensive.
I guess highly efficient, large drivers will have the potential to 'punch' more so, since they can move more air with less power.
What that translates to in terms of the quality of the punch is another matter.
Not sure you will get a lot of punch with 2 ways, especially monitors. You'll need a big box.
As always, big sound with big quality costs money.
Any ATC. All punch way above their size. As you correctly surmise, it boils down to large magnets with short coil in large gap and larger diameter voice coils that can cool effectively so that thermal compression is minimized. The other factors are a box tuned to be critically damped or over damped and a forward midrange (mids can effect our perception of punch).
"Do "pro" speakers and studio monitors tend to have more punch than those made for the domestic market?"
In general yes, but it depends on what you mean by "studio monitor". If you mean a 5" two-way, well the prosound versions are not necessarily much different from their home audio counterparts when it comes to dynamic capability.
As a general rule of thumb, a speaker has about 1 dB of thermal compression at 1/10th its rated RMS (not peak) power. At 1/2 its rated power, it has about 2 dB of thermal compression. At full power, it has about 3 dB of thermal compression. Beware of power handling specs that are based on "peak" power, because those can be two to ten times higher than the RMS power handling, which is what we want for making estimates of thermal compression.
If you want to avoid thermal compression, use speakers that are just loafing along on the peaks.
dealer/manufacturer (of home and studio speakers)
No one, not even reviewers, can possibly have heard every combination of speakers and amplification, so any answers to a question such as this will necessarily be based on limited experience.
However, given that PMC Loudspeakers import and distribute Bryston amplification throughout the UK and use it in designing their speakers, compatibility is pretty well assured. Bryston amplifiers are noted for their dynamic punch and PMC speakers afford them free rein to deliver it. Certainly, I've never found my combination of the two to be in any way lacking in the dynamics department. Take care with set up and your choice of cabling, though, if you want to get the best overall results.
I have very limited experiences to draw from, however, I do own a pair of Acoustic Research Rock Partner's that I bought new years ago, and they still sound great for smaller 2-way designs. AR is well-known for several models that keep both gloves laced up. The tweeters sound beautifully smooth and are very well matched to the very controllable and punchy bass drivers.
Mine are connected to a older 70's-80's Pioneer reciever with separate bass and treble and loudness controls. It's an addicting musical sound. Even with flat tone control settings, they're very capable of delivering the punches in a very musical way.