Speakers not loud enough - Page 2 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #11 of 26 Old 07-14-14, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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And I believe one of my surrounds has blown something. At it's crossover frequency (90hz) it makes almost like a warping sound.
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post #12 of 26 Old 07-15-14, 01:21 AM
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Re: Speakers not loud enough

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harihalst2014 wrote: View Post
It has 50 RMS, and 100 peak. I don't think I have ever had a receiver rated in dB. So I'm used to never having the receiver past 50%. I was just concerned as this is a commercial grade receiver.
Actually, while there are various specifications that are stated in dB, a receiver isn't rated in dB. A dB is not a fixed unit of measurement, it's the log of a ratio of two values. Confusing, I know, but that's life. In the case of your AVR, the reference is roughly the threshold of hearing, or 0 dB SPL. So when you dial up 75, that would mean it should correlate to a reference test noise signal playing back at 75dB SPL, as referenced to the threshold of hearing. Your AVR probably doesn't follow those rules exactly, but that's the idea. It all came from having an actual reference volume level in film sound production. You wouldn't have seen any of that in an old stereo receiver because the music industry has no such fixed reference level.

All AVRs today have their volume controls scaled in dB because it does actually make more sense than the "old way", which was a knob on a variable control that may have a linear control characteristic, or it may have a log characteristic, or a hybrid "audio taper" characteristic. Regardless, "50%" or half way up on the knob really mean radically different things on different devices, so the standard became a digital volume control scaled in dB. Your old Optimus for example may have played quite loud at 35%, but that's a percent of knob rotation only, nothing more.

You can't readily compare a percent of knob rotation to a dB ratio.

Things work differently these days!
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post #13 of 26 Old 07-16-14, 12:36 AM
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Re: Speakers not loud enough

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harihalst2014 wrote: View Post
Hi everyone. I purchased a Tascam PA-R100. It is rated for 80 WPC, but the speakers I have hooked into it have a rating of 50 RMS. The receivers max volume level is 80, and I have to turn it up to 55 to get a good surround sound effect, at 35 I can barely hear it. It seems like my receiver volume shouldn't need to be that high to get good sound from it. My question is, if I get more powerful speakers, will this help my issue? Any speaker recommendations?
There is no issue, you have an expectation that you shouldn't have to turn the volume control up more than 50% for you to hear sound. I have the Tascam PA-R200 and I can switch between Absolute (yours is 0-80) and Relative:

Quote:
Absolute:
Displayed range is Min, 1 to 99, Max.
Relative (THX):
Displayed range is –∞dB, –81dB to +18dB.
I use Relative. While the "scale" is different between the 2 receivers on mine for regular TV shows I have to have it at -30 to hear it at a normal kind of level or so and that's about 50% on the volume dial so to speak. For movies I have to boost it by another 5 to 10 more steps so it's kinda close to your 55 out of 80 (factors like speaker sensitivity/efficiency, room size, and listening distances makes this more complicated to compare our setups accurately). Don't worry about the "position of the dial", as long as you can get it to the volume level you want who cares if it's 70 out of 80 or 30 out of 80.


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gazoink wrote: View Post
I've read the manual and completely understand your confusion. The volume control is scaled in 0-80, and is scaled in dB. The manual talks about "film reference" level, which after Audyssey calibration, occurs at a volume control setting of "0". Except it doesn't. Because, I'm betting, when your volume control displays "0", that's the minimum, not "film reference" at all. Your maximum is 80.

Basically, Tascam blew it. The volume control reading makes little sense on the surface, and they don't explain it in the manual at all. However, I'll bet that "film reference" happens when the control is set for 75. In fact, if you played a reference noise test signal (from THX Optimizer or similar) and measured your sound level with an sound level meter, you'd probably read 75dB SPL with the volume control set for 75.

Shame on Tascam for doing such a shoddy job of explaining this, and making a serious error in their manual.
FWIW The Tascam receivers are rebadged Onkyo/Integra receivers. The PA-R200 is an Integra DTR-30.4 and the PA-R100 is an Integra DTR-20.4. The manuals for the Tascam's reference Onkyo WRAT, Onkyo iPod docks, and Onkyo/Integra RIHD compatibility. Also I find it amusing that my PC says the EDID for my Tascam PA-R200 identifies it as an Onkyo PA-R200. The Audyssey Calibration references to 0 as film reference is a mistake made in both the Tascam PA-R100 and Integra DTR-20.4 manuals since they don't offer the Relative (THX) modes for volume scales, it's just a sloppy copy and paste job from the shared features of the PA-R100/200 and DTR-20.4/30.4. :/

Last edited by |Tch0rT|; 07-16-14 at 12:44 AM.
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post #14 of 26 Old 07-16-14, 12:38 AM
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Re: Speakers not loud enough

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|Tch0rT| wrote: View Post
There is no issue, you have an expectation that you shouldn't have to turn the volume control up more than 50% for you to hear sound. I have the Tascam PA-R200 and I can switch between Absolute (yours is 0-80) and Relative:


/
The' OP's AVR doesn't have the "relative" option. Verified that by checking the RS-232 code list.
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post #15 of 26 Old 07-16-14, 03:01 AM
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Re: Speakers not loud enough

It would be a small miracle if the sensitivity specs on the OP's Optiimus speakers
were correct or near 91 db.

The Tascam based on Integra/Onkyo - has power to drive less sensitive speakers,
I also own the PA-R200. I drive speakers rated 86/87 db sensitive and have nice
room left on the volume dial.

The receivers do have some headroom and can get loud.

Who or Where, is The Way, Truth and Life?

Speakers - MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer - Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver - Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #16 of 26 Old 07-16-14, 03:11 AM
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Re: Speakers not loud enough

Quote:
harihalst2014 wrote: View Post
I was concerned, because the old Optimus receiver I replaced was rated about the same and I could never turn it put past about 35%.

It has 50 RMS, and 100 peak.

And I believe one of my surrounds has blown something. At it's crossover frequency (90hz) it makes almost like a warping sound.
The older receivers - were not calibrating the volume level correctly.
They would get too loud early - and the power would not be as clean
as you continue to turn up the volume.

You now own a nice receiver - with good clean power and some headroom.

However, there is only so much that your speakers can take - 100 watts is
short term peak power. There is also limited crossover protection on those
Optimus speakers. Most only have a high pass filter on the tweeter. The
woofers are really budget-friendly quality, and can easily burp.

However the speakers you have can hold you, till you upgrade.

Who or Where, is The Way, Truth and Life?

Speakers - MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer - Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver - Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30

Last edited by zieglj01; 07-16-14 at 03:30 AM.
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post #17 of 26 Old 07-16-14, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
gazoink wrote: View Post
I've read the manual and completely understand your confusion. The volume control is scaled in 0-80, and is scaled in dB. The manual talks about "film reference" level, which after Audyssey calibration, occurs at a volume control setting of "0". Except it doesn't. Because, I'm betting, when your volume control displays "0", that's the minimum, not "film reference" at all. Your maximum is 80. Basically, Tascam blew it. The volume control reading makes little sense on the surface, and they don't explain it in the manual at all. However, I'll bet that "film reference" happens when the control is set for 75. In fact, if you played a reference noise test signal (from THX Optimizer or similar) and measured your sound level with an sound level meter, you'd probably read 75dB SPL with the volume control set for 75. This means that your normal listening level will probably be between 65 to 70 on the volume control. This is completely normal operation, as most people find "film reference" volume too loud at home. But when you want to hear what the sound mixers heard during the creation of a film soundtrack, wang that baby up to 75. You won't hear much at 35 or 40, which is also normal. Shame on Tascam for doing such a shoddy job of explaining this, and making a serious error in their manual.
Great job with that assist. Explained it perfectly.
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post #18 of 26 Old 07-16-14, 03:28 PM
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Re: Speakers not loud enough

In the old days (20 years ago) the volume at about 50% was max and at distortion levels, today the volumes are not set up in the same way. If you have run the auto room correction at its maximum level so in your case 80 would be pushing the receiver to output above reference levels (I also agree Tascam messed up the display readings as it makes no sense) How large is your room your using this system in?

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #19 of 26 Old 07-16-14, 05:39 PM
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Re: Speakers not loud enough

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zieglj01 wrote: View Post

However, there is only so much that your speakers can take - 100 watts is
short term peak power. There is also limited crossover protection on those
Optimus speakers. Most only have a high pass filter on the tweeter. The
woofers are really budget-friendly quality, and can easily burp.

However the speakers you have can hold you, till you upgrade.
The OP said he had an old Optimus receiver, but hasn't mentioned the brand or model of the speakers. (OP? We're dying to know!)

And all warnings as to over-powering speakers are reasonable, and worth heeding.
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post #20 of 26 Old 07-16-14, 05:52 PM
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Re: Speakers not loud enough

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tonyvdb wrote: View Post
How large is your room your using this system in?
Good question, but room size, while interesting, isn't really the key. More important would be how far away from the speakers is the listening position? And, if we could verify the speaker make/model, and then the actual efficiency, it's quite easy to predict if there's a power handling issue or not.

Remember, in most cases, average power at 20W is pretty loud. Just considering one speaker and a single channel, if system max is 80W, and reference levels are -20dB below system max, then reference level would play at under a watt. Loud averages would be under 20W. Only peaks would ever come close to full output. If the speaker is 91dB/w/m, and he sits two meters away (6.5 feet), his reference levels would still be at a very loud 84dB SPL. With both speakers running, the peak SPL would be over 107dB SPL. And for normal listening, nothing would burn up, out, or down.
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