Real Newb Question

Posted by: Diamondog

Real Newb Question - 09/21/12 03:22 PM

My question is this: I have always had a problem blowing speakers by playing them too loudly. Can anybody tell me how loud I can play based on the hardware I am using. I am not technical at all when it comes to this stuff.

Setup
Denon 4308
M80 v2
VP150 v2
EP500 v2
QS8 v3
10, 12 or 14 gauge speaker wire, can't remember what I used, no length longer than 25ft

When I want to listen loud I stay at -8db, thats not to say I wouldn't want to play louder if I could...thanks!

Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/21/12 03:24 PM

If you blow those speakers with that setup, you're truly skilled. The only question I would ask is if you're running the M80s as large or full band.
Posted by: Diamondog

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/21/12 03:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken.C
If you blow those speakers with that setup, you're truly skilled. The only question I would ask is if you're running the M80s as large or full band.


Large or full band? Do you mean a setting within the receiver?
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/21/12 03:26 PM

Yes, as in you're sending all frequencies to any of your speakers rather than letting the sub handle stuff below, say 80Hz. Or 40 Hz, whatever.
Posted by: Diamondog

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/21/12 03:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken.C
Yes, as in you're sending all frequencies to any of your speakers rather than letting the sub handle stuff below, say 80Hz. Or 40 Hz, whatever.

Just had a quick look, looks like set to large for the M80's
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/21/12 03:31 PM

Yeah, so you're putting a lot of extra load on your receiver. I'd try it with the 80s set to 40Hz, the 150 to 80, and the QS8s to 80. See how that sounds.
Posted by: Diamondog

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/21/12 03:51 PM

Thanks
Posted by: Boltron

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/21/12 05:14 PM

The most common cause of blown speakers is clipping. Your speakers may be rated at way more (2x,3x) power than your amp and you can still easily blow them.

If you set you volume to high when playing content with high dynamic range typically action movies, the spikes will easily exceed the limit of the output stage and cause it to clip. When the signal clips, you get DC current. DC is fatal to speakers. An amplifier of say 80 watts can easily fry a 400 watt M80 if it clips excessively.

Because you say you have blown many speakers, you are setting the volume too high. With the sound dynamics movies produce today, if your receiver is set to full dynamic mode (i.e. not night, evening etc...), you should really not be setting the volume more than about 1/3 (just a guess). Your Denon has Audyssey, try enabling dynamic volume and set it to evening mode, which should tame the spikes so you can do a general volume increase.

Or you can be a maniac like me and get an ADA1000 or other good amp to drive the fronts and even center. I have a Denon 4311CI and I use 3 channel ADA1000 my M80s and VP150.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/21/12 07:45 PM


This.

Originally Posted By: Boltron
The most common cause of blown speakers is clipping...


If it sounds distorted, turn it down. The only way you're likely to damage the speakers is by driving your amp beyond its ability to play cleanly. Which should be loud enough to cause hearing damage.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/21/12 11:29 PM

DD, quality speakers such as your M80s can't be blown simply by playing them too loudly. Your ears would give out well before the speakers would. What could possibly happen would be damage resulting from the amplifier clipping if it couldn't supply the power needed.

Looking at your hardware, it clearly is capable of sound levels beyond what's safe to your hearing. If you're speaking of a movie at -8dB, if your setup is correctly calibrated that equates to about 97dB(the max peak in a movie channel is 105dB). This peak would require about 20 watts for the M80, so louder would be possible, but most listeners, including me, consider that to be loud enough for home listening.
Posted by: Diamondog

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/22/12 08:32 AM

Thanks all!
Posted by: Ian

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/23/12 12:32 PM

Hi Diamondog,

As mentioned earlier in this thread it is apparent that your Denon amp section is running out of juice before you are achieving the volume levels you desire; creating amp clipping. If you are experiencing an actual speaker part blowing, then you are nowhere near the power level you need. When your amplifier starts to run out of power it begins by revealing itself as a slight harshness. As you go up in volume from that point the harshness will get worse and eventually you will take out a component, generally the tweeter. The dynamic content of music and movies is very demanding on the amplifier. Even at moderate listening levels you need a lot of power in reserve to not experience clipping, or harshness, in these dynamic peaks. Your receiver has pre-amp outputs so you can easily add an external amplifier. I would suggest going all the way to the ADA1500-7 for your system. It has 650 watts per channel available for your M80s and lots of dynamic headroom ADA1500 . Loud and clean is a wonderful thing to experience. And you will not blow any components.

Again as mentioned earlier, be sure to change the setting for your M80s to small in your receiver. The crossover point is something you may want to experiment with but I would suggest starting at 80Hz for every channel.
Posted by: Boltron

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/23/12 01:14 PM

Ha, I referred to myself as a maniac for suggesting an ADA1000 (3 ch), Ian suggests a ADA1500 7 ch! I like the way that man thinks smile

Hmmm, with the possibility of a new trade up program... 1000 to 1500... when/if I get my second EP500.... the possibilities... how to get this one by the wife...
Posted by: fredk

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/23/12 01:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Boltron
Ha, I referred to myself as a maniac for suggesting an ADA1000 (3 ch), Ian suggests a ADA1500 7 ch! I like the way that man thinks smile...

Well, he does like to strap his M80s together in pairs and listen to them on his dock. smile

Diamnonddog. Just how loud to you listen? I've had my M80s cranked to way louder than I could possibly listen on a 90 wpc receiver and was nowhere near blowing anything.
Posted by: Ian

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/23/12 02:01 PM

Fredk,

For that live venue on my dock we were running 8 M80s with a total power of 5,200 watts. I had to put a 60 amp pony panel in the boathouse to power it all. Great party though.

The size of the space will make a big difference to the amount of power required. Every time you double the distance you are from the loudspeakers you lose 6 dB of output. It takes 4 times the power to make that 6 dB back up. As an example, if 90 watts per channel was sufficient but then you doubled the distance from the loudspeakers you would now need 360 watts per channel to get the same performance level.
Posted by: Boltron

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/23/12 02:49 PM

OK, I can pretty much guess that the answer to this question will ultimately hurt my wallet, but I'll ask anyway.

I sit 8' away from the screen (55'') and L/R fronts are 9' away from my position. My room is largish at 16 x 22. I have M80s, VP150 and an ADA1000 3ch. If I am in the mood to watch ear candy movies at near reference volume (say -3db), would you suggest a 1000, 1200 or 1500?
Posted by: Ian

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/23/12 03:22 PM

Boltron,

Actually I think you are good with the ADA1000. 8' is reasonably close to your loudspeakers.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/23/12 03:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Boltron
Hmmm, with the possibility of a new trade up program... {{SNIPPED}} how to get this one by the wife...


Axiom is going to offer a wife trade-up program?

Before you answer, let me spread that rumor on all the forums.....
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/23/12 10:10 PM

Boltron, it shouldn't hurt your wallet unless you want to hurt it. At that distance and at 3db below reference(i.e., 102dB max peak)about 50 watts at the peak would be necessary, so you already have more than is needed.
Posted by: Boltron

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/23/12 10:26 PM

Yeah, I just got lost in a "Yours is bigger than mine" moment with Ian and his 8 M80s and 5200 watts versus my 2 M80s and 500 watts. I think I'll be ok now though...
Posted by: Boltron

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/23/12 10:38 PM

Actually John, the 50 watts you refer too, would that include the dynamics of the sound? Take a modern action movie with lossless multi-channel sound. The peaks can go well over 50 watts I would think, no?
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/23/12 11:47 PM

No; as I stated, the 50 watts were for the max peak of 102dB. At more typical levels, about 1 watt is used.
Posted by: Boltron

Re: Real Newb Question - 09/24/12 07:31 AM

Ah thank you, I misread. That's good info.
Posted by: AdrianD

Re: Real Newb Question - 10/03/12 09:54 PM

Originally Posted By: JohnK
No; as I stated, the 50 watts were for the max peak of 102dB. At more typical levels, about 1 watt is used.


Quick question: I have 2 monoblocks (32 dB gain) rated at 350W RMS, and 2 M80 v3. I crank the volume on my prepro at half (I like it loud, what can I tell you grin); my SPL meter at 1 meter distance shows a peak of 98dB with music.
What am I missing? Either my math it's very bad, something is horribly wrong with my setup or my prepro outputs close to nothing.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Real Newb Question - 10/03/12 10:35 PM

AD, I don't know why you suspect that you may be "missing" something; what you report is fairly typical. That 98dB peak uses 10 watts or a bit less for the M80s. The overall volume attained at specific volume level settings varies with the strength of the input from the source materials. Pre-amps typically have a gain(fixed, as is the amplifier gain)on the order of 15dB.
Posted by: AdrianD

Re: Real Newb Question - 10/04/12 07:36 AM

Originally Posted By: JohnK
AD, I don't know why you suspect that you may be "missing" something; what you report is fairly typical. That 98dB peak uses 10 watts or a bit less for the M80s. The overall volume attained at specific volume level settings varies with the strength of the input from the source materials. Pre-amps typically have a gain(fixed, as is the amplifier gain)on the order of 15dB.

And right you are Sir; thinking about it a little bit, I remember sometime ago I did a little test. I plugged in my old Carver C2 preamp (which I now use as a phono amp only via my prepro) directly into the amps. The volume control knob has a scale from 1 to 10; at 3, it was MUCH louder then then half volume on the prepro. Needless to say, so was the noise.
So I dug up the specs on the Carver: MM Gain is 35 dB, while I suspect my prepro is in the range you suggested: around 15 dB.
Thank you!