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Old 02-03-2013, 12:04 PM   #21
woad_yurt
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....so there is no effective way of making the amp quieter using conventional guitar speakers.


I disagree. I have a 25 watt Champ 25 SE (2 6L6GCs.) Being a tube breakup freak, I took the original speaker out and replaced it with a MOD 12-50 rated at 94.5 db, the most inefficient affordable speaker I could find. Way back, with the original speaker, I did sound checks with the neighbors to find out what was ok. I put little tape markers on the amp next to the volume knob so I wouldn't accidentally go over. Now, with the new speaker, I can turn it up a couple of notches more before anyone hears it. I had to move my tape over a bit. If I use the same settings and play through one of my JBLs (102 db,) it's way louder, a huge difference.

BTW: I don't use my amp more quietly, really. I just turn it up more now to get the same volume I had before. I'm not playing more loudly but I am getting some nice break up that was absent before.

On topic: This is a good sticky request. It'd make a good spread sheet.

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Old 02-03-2013, 12:14 PM   #22
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^ i don't think anyone is saying speakers make no difference- of course they do. It's that they won't drop a raging 100 watter down to bedroom volume (lol they don't bring a 5 watter down to bedroom volume). if you're very slightly too loud (and can find a less efficient speaker which does the tone you want) then speakers are definitely worth considering.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:54 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by woad_yurt
I disagree. I have a 25 watt Champ 25 SE (2 6L6GCs.) Being a tube breakup freak, I took the original speaker out and replaced it with a MOD 12-50 rated at 94.5 db, the most inefficient affordable speaker I could find. Way back, with the original speaker, I did sound checks with the neighbors to find out what was ok. I put little tape markers on the amp next to the volume knob so I wouldn't accidentally go over. Now, with the new speaker, I can turn it up a couple of notches more before anyone hears it. I had to move my tape over a bit. If I use the same settings and play through one of my JBLs (102 db,) it's way louder, a huge difference.

BTW: I don't use my amp more quietly, really. I just turn it up more now to get the same volume I had before. I'm not playing more loudly but I am getting some nice break up that was absent before.


you disagree but your reasoning still supports the sentiment of my argument.

besides, my argument was not for 'cutting notches' on the volume knob. my statement was more about cutting your volume multiple orders of magnitude.


Quote:
Originally Posted by woad_yurt
On topic: This is a good sticky request. It'd make a good spread sheet.


it sounds like you went out of your way to find an inefficient speaker and the most inefficient speaker you found was 94.5 dB. let's say there is a 105 dB speaker out there and we'd have a list ranging from 94.5 dB to 105dB.

the first thing you'll find is most the speakers are around the 97 dB to 101 dB range with unusual speakers going above or below.

next you should note that there is no standard for the source signal when rating speaker sensitivity. the sensitivity rating is how loud the speaker is @1 m @ 1 watt, but what sort of signal is the speaker given? different companies use different techniques for how they get that sensitivity rating.

so there is some disconnect with comparisons using different companies testing methods? well there is also a big disconnect with testing conditions and real life conditions. most tests use simple wave forms that sweep through a freq range (or just play frequency and they test at that one frequency). when you play real instruments through an amp the sound will be complex waveforms, which make the speaker act much differently.

so there is also a big disconnect between test conditions and actual user playing conditions? well there are also limitations to the users hearing, your hearing is most sensitive at a particular frequency, higher or lower frequency sensitivity tapers off. these speaker sensitivity tests usually take none of that into consideration when giving a sensitivity rating.

so really, sensitivity ratings aren't overly useful. it may be able to you tell fairly quickly off a stat sheet that one speaker may be too quiet to match with another speaker... but it is hard to tell how 'loud' the speaker will actually sound.

take the K-100 and the V30 for example, both have the same sensitivity but the V30 is much louder sounding speaker and the sensitivity rating would give you no clue to that being the case.

so, going through all that:
-there is a fairly small spread in speaker sensitivity ratings
-different companies use different techniques to acquire ratings
-comparison between ratings is not accurate
-sensitivity does not reflect how loud your ear perceives sound

frankly, i don't trust sensitivity ratings. i'd prefer to see a freq response curve any day over a questionable sensitivity rating, you get a much better idea of how the speaker will sound.



this speaker really tapers off in the low end. that little hump around 1K will help that speaker stand out (that is right around where our ear is most sensitive) but the high end may sound a bit sizzly. even if this speaker has a lower sensitivity rating it will still sound pretty loud cuz of where the curve shows the freq content.



this speaker has quite a different response, it is scooped in the mid frequencies and has quite a bit of low end. this speaker will sit back in the mix more and will sound quieter than the speaker above.

i find these much more usable as a resource for seriously researching speakers.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:34 PM   #24
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lowest i kno of is the eminence FDM speakers all the way down to like 91.5 or something. that makes a big difference.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:57 PM   #25
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Good info Gumbi! (as always )

If anything, the most useful a spreadsheet could be is listing the sensitivities in addition to a gross approximation of levels of bass, treble, and mids of various speakers. that would still have it's limitations in usefulness, though.

Really, there would be no good way to make a sticky out of this. What we need to do is convince companies to make ineffecient versions of the speakers they have for the purpose of getting tube breakup at reasonable volumes, but really, even that is extremely unlikely.

It WOULD be interesting if they could make a V30 rated at about 70db, though or I guess for the styles of music that usually want Power Tube breakup, a Greenback might be more appropriate.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:57 PM   #26
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i can get some kinda idea what a speaker is about looking at some stats, but i much prefer to actually play the speaker. i am kinda against the idea of replacing playing experience with stats, i have seen speakers that looked awesome on paper and never worked out.

i'd had to mislead anyone that picking out speakers is just in exercise in number/chart comparing. this numbers are better for and engineer designing a hi-fi than a guitarist choosing a speaker.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:12 PM   #27
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I think most people that want lower volume don't specifically want breakup at lower volume.

I think the issue we're all skirting around is getting proper tone at low volume. Most tube amps don't "kick in" until about 1 or so. I think people want to be able to get that tone at .5 or so.

I know next to nothing about circuits or design - so I don't know if that happens because of the way the amp is designed, or unavoidable limitations, or if it's simply the perception of volume by our ears (though I doubt the latter, as it's a pretty dramatic change).
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:41 PM   #28
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right, and part of what those FDM speakers allow you to do is at the same volume, run your amp at 2 instead of 0.5 or something. i guess that depends on the amp....
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:43 PM   #29
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Have you used them yourself?
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:17 PM   #30
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Gumbi:

There's a big difference in volume between the two speakers when the settings are left the same. I hear it, my neighbor heard it and my friends hear it. I was and am not quantifying the difference with numbers and measurements; I know that the db ratings were from the manufacturers, not from an independent testing lab. I don't know the amount of difference exactly but it's definitely noticeable. I was and am speaking relatively, not quantifiably.

Quote:
....so there is no effective way of making the amp quieter using conventional guitar speakers.

Except in my living room, I guess. That was my only point.

Seriously, you never heard that ceramic JBLs are really loud? It's common knowledge. That's what they were famous for.

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Old 02-04-2013, 04:28 AM   #31
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^

What Gumbi is saying is that the small difference in efficiency isn't enough for what most people want. For most applications, it's pointless to bump you volume up slightly, but more like half of the volume knob.

For example, my 120w doesn't really hit it's full potential for tone until the Master is about at noon, with the channel volume for the drive channel at about 10:30. However, decent bedroom volume for me is usually with the Master no higher than about 8:00

That's a GIANT difference, and just a slightly less efficient speaker isn't going to come close to that difference. Sure, it might help, but it won't turn gig volumes into bedroom volumes, and that's what most people need.

In your case, you were already cranking your amp, but needed just a little more juice from the tubes to get the breakup you want. The less efficient speaker did exactly that for you, and that's about the most they can do.

He was also explaining that having a spreadsheet about the efficiency wouldn't necessarily tell you what speakers are louder or quieter. The frequency response plays just as big of a role, not to mention the way it was measured. Basically, a spreadsheet would still be wildly inaccurate.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:08 AM   #32
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In my truck, I have a 19 gallon gas tank. I bought a new tank and sending unit & the sending unit they sent me was the wrong one. I didn't know it until I had the whole mess installed. If I fill it up, the gas gauge needle won't budge from full until I've used up about 10 gallons. Then, the needle will move quickly. I know it's not quantifiably accurate but it's relatively accurate. It's "wildly inaccurate" yet it still tells me something, like when I'm getting low.

A single source of manufacturer's speaker specs would serve the same purpose. You wouldn't need to ferret it all out from dozens of websites and you could at least start with what the makers say is their efficient or inefficient end of the spectrum. A spreadsheet with makers' stats all in one spot with be a good starting point in one's search for a speaker.

BTW, if a spreadsheet made up of manufacturer's specs would be useless, then those same specs sprinkled in bits and pieces separately all over the place would be inconvenient in addition to being just as useless. That's why the library has a history section or a science section, so you can find what's available in a single place. You guys are saying that it's better to look all over instead of in one place. That makes no sense.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:15 AM   #33
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^ That is a good point, and kind of what I was thinking initially. Even if the ratings don't mean much, we could at least state that here in some kind of disclaimer. Better then letting less knowledge people think/assume the ratings were all done on the same scale.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:16 AM   #34
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Thank you! Someone gets it! I was beginning to think that what I wrote was someohow different from what people saw. Thank you!

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Old 02-04-2013, 10:25 AM   #35
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That's all well and good but if it's such a great idea someone should actually do it. No need for this argument.
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