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#354988 - 09/18/11 10:06 AM Safe Audio Volume?
da-drifter Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 30
I have 4QS8's and have blown the woffers recently so I need advice on the max safe volume I should not exceed (in absolute NOT dB's.) Currently my QS8's are at -5dB and my volume is set to absolute. I like to watch my movies at about 85 absolute volume but when serious surround kicks in I'm afraid it's to much. My receiver outputs 125W/channel.
Thanks.
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Samsung 65" 3D LCD TV, Samsung 3D Blu-Ray Disc Player, Denon AVR 3311CI, EP800, M80's, VP150, 4QS8's

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#354991 - 09/18/11 10:56 AM Re: Safe Audio Volume? [Re: da-drifter]
J. B. Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1291
Loc: Quebec, Canada
those QS8 can take much more power than your receiver puts out.
first guess is you overdrove (to clipping) the amps feeding the QS8's.

if your system is well setup with no bass/treble boost, and if you listen to music or movies at realistic levels, then you should not be overdriving the amps/speakers.
when you overdrive an amp, the output power can be much more than what the specs say, but this overdriving produces distortion in the sound, and it can blow up speakers very easily.
As soon as you hear some distortion, that indicates you're overdriving the amp; you should then lower the volume enough that there is no distortion at all.
If you hear speaker bottoming, that's even worse.

What's the size of your AV room? If it's a very large room, then maybe you don't have enough power to get realistic levels without clipping the amps.

I've never used "absolute", so i can't comment on that.


Edited by J. B. (09/18/11 10:59 AM)
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#354992 - 09/18/11 11:24 AM Re: Safe Audio Volume? [Re: J. B.]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6878
Loc: It's all about the location.
I agree with JB. It's likely your amp has been driven into clipping as the QS8s can handle considerably more power than you are giving them.
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#354993 - 09/18/11 11:33 AM Re: Safe Audio Volume? [Re: Adrian]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4116
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
My first thought is to check your bass management setting, specifically the large/small settings on your QS8's. If you have them set to large, set them to small with a 80hz or 90hz crossover point. Having them set to large could surely stress the woofers and perhaps blow them if you are watching movies at close to reference level. You are also wasting a bit of amp power as any content sent to the surrounds below 80hz could be amplified by the subwoofer.

If it's the receiver that is clipping badly, it's the tweeters that will generally get fried.
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#355020 - 09/19/11 07:35 AM Re: Safe Audio Volume? [Re: BlueJays1]
J. B. Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1291
Loc: Quebec, Canada
if you would like to know exactly when your amp is clipping, without having to guess, get amps that have LED clipping lights; for me, it's the surest way i know of.
another way is to hookup your amp output with an oscilloscope in parallel with one of the front speakers. then you can see very clearly when clipping happens.
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#355040 - 09/19/11 11:57 AM Re: Safe Audio Volume? [Re: J. B.]
Argon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/24/04
Posts: 1443
Loc: Oak Ridge, NC
You DO have an oscilloscope?
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#355042 - 09/19/11 01:01 PM Re: Safe Audio Volume? [Re: Argon]
J. B. Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1291
Loc: Quebec, Canada
i used to have one, since the 70s up to a few years ago;
it was always connected to my audio system.
this is how i discovered that my Hafler 500 amp had an instantaneous
power output on music peaks of 735 Watts/ch.; pretty good dynamic headroom. Rated continuous power was around 250W/ch/8 Ohms.

sometimes, as a show to some people, i used to connect the LF and the RF each to an oscilloscope input; that would show phasing between the 2 channels, and it made for an interesting visual rendition of the music that was playing
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#355104 - 09/20/11 10:55 AM Re: Safe Audio Volume? [Re: J. B.]
da-drifter Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 30
My AV room (living room) is about 25' x 18' but opens up into an office and kitchen. I think I need an amplifier but the Axiom A1400-8 is to expensive for me. Any suggestions on a cheaper amplifier? I'm thinking half the price of the A1400-8. Also, I'm not trying to make my ears bleed, just want my surrounds with more safe overhead.

I have left the surrounds at -5 dB because that is where the auto calibration set them. I have set the M80's at -12dB (the lowest channel volume) and then raised the overall volume to see if the surrounds would have more effect but the M80's still seem to over power them. Is there a way to lower the channel levels on the m80's even further?

Thanks
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Samsung 65" 3D LCD TV, Samsung 3D Blu-Ray Disc Player, Denon AVR 3311CI, EP800, M80's, VP150, 4QS8's

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#355114 - 09/20/11 12:25 PM Re: Safe Audio Volume? [Re: da-drifter]
SBrown Offline
aficionado

Registered: 11/16/10
Posts: 901
Loc: Victoria,BC
Raise the QS levels until you like it! Experiment

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#355129 - 09/20/11 02:31 PM Re: Safe Audio Volume? [Re: da-drifter]
Brent Offline

buff

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 59
You would be best to re-calibrate your system manually. Start from the intial set up, select small or large for the mains, small for the center and small for the surrounds. Depending on your main selection, chose the appropriate setting for your subwoofer; I would suggest using 80Hz as your default crossover point. Adjust the distance levels of each speaker to the listening position. Using the test tone, set the system manually to the listening position. Using 0db as your reference, adjust the output of each speaker so that each speaker presents the same output to the listening position. On playing a movie you may find that you might want to increase or decrease the output of your speakers to your preference.
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