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

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post #1 of 26 Old 07-14-14, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Speakers not loud enough

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?
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post #2 of 26 Old 07-14-14, 02:21 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?
Your Tascam PA-R100 has Audyssey 2EQ in it for calibration. If you haven't done so, run through that procedure, it may straighten things out.

As to speakers, the power rating on a speaker has nothing to do with how loud it will play. It has to do with how much power they can take before some form of destruction occurs. 50W rated speakers are a bit light for most HT applications, as AVR power begins at 80wpc, with many models well over 100wpc.

The figure you need to look for is "sensitivity" or "efficiency", specified typically in a dB figure at 1 watt and at a distance of 1 meter. For HT, the high 80s to mid 90s is about right. Old home HIFI speakers in the low 80s just won't play that loud for you.

But do the first suggestion first, run Audyssey, follow the directions carefully. Put the mic where your ears would be, and those of several others who might enjoy your system with you. Don't do just one mic position, and don't set the mic on the seat of your couch or chair.

Oh, and a read-through of the basic setup instructions is a good idea.
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post #3 of 26 Old 07-14-14, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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I have ran Audyssey. My speakers are rated for 91db. Their average output is 50 watts and their max is 100. I don't have a subwoofer yet. Would that factor in? Maybe too much stress on the mains?
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post #4 of 26 Old 07-14-14, 03:02 AM
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Re: Speakers not loud enough

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I have ran Audyssey. My speakers are rated for 91db. Their average output is 50 watts and their max is 100. I don't have a subwoofer yet. Would that factor in? Maybe too much stress on the mains?
No, not likely. "Normal" volume setting would probably be about 70. Is that about what you get?
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post #5 of 26 Old 07-14-14, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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Are you saying the volume should be closer to max level (80)?
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post #6 of 26 Old 07-14-14, 05:06 AM
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Re: Speakers not loud enough

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.
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post #7 of 26 Old 07-14-14, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Wow. Thank you! I would have never figured that out. So what you're saying, is there's no damage by playing it that loud.
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post #8 of 26 Old 07-14-14, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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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%.
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post #9 of 26 Old 07-14-14, 10:31 AM
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Re: Speakers not loud enough

mmmm....well, sort . If your speakers are really 91dB/1w/1m, then you should not have a problem playing loud and not toasting them. But you can over power them by 160%, and there's always a bit confusion as to how a manufacturer rates the speaker's power handling. Is it RMS/continuous, is it "music power", what? Responsibly manufacturers will state a continuous power rating and a peak, or "music power" rating, the former being usually substantially lower than the latter.

So, no guarantees. Just take it easy at first. Tweeters blow fast, woers cook slowly, crossovers smoke.
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post #10 of 26 Old 07-14-14, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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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.
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