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High Sensitivity Speakers Issues

Silgalias

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Hi there, I have been looking to get a set of high sensitivity speakers to pair with a low power output valve amp. I was looking at the Klipsch Reference R51M`s as they advertised 93dB. However on further research I discovered that apparently Klipsch are lying SOB`s and their speakers are no where near as sensitive :

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...vs-measured.14072/#lg=attachment69087&slide=0

On this list I noticed that the Polk T15`s seemed to run as advertised at 89dB sensitivity. These are one of the few on the list in my sub £300 price point.
Does anyone know these bookshelf speakers? Would they pair well with a tube setup?
 
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Silgalias

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Thanks, unfortunately I`m not finding any price listings for the UK.
 
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Silgalias

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Another 2 options I was looking at were the Triangle Borea BR02 which states 89dB and the Mission LX3 mk2 at 88dB.
 

richard12511

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Hi there, I have been looking to get a set of high sensitivity speakers to pair with a low power output valve amp. I was looking at the Klipsch Reference R51M`s as they advertised 93dB. However on further research I discovered that apparently Klipsch are lying SOB`s and their speakers are no where near as sensitive :

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...vs-measured.14072/#lg=attachment69087&slide=0

On this list I noticed that the Polk T15`s seemed to run as advertised at 89dB sensitivity. These are one of the few on the list in my sub £300 price point.
Does anyone know these bookshelf speakers? Would they pair well with a tube setup?

Klipsch definitely "lie" about their sensitivity specs. The Polk seems like maybe a decent option. At that budget, you're going to be limited to mostly bookshelf speakers, where 90+ db sensitivity is pretty rare.
 

raindance

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In the UK I'd give some Missions a try. Or some Q Acoustics (3030i). It really depends on your goals. They're a bit above average sensitivity wise. I'd avoid Wharfedale. What are the room dimensions and amplifier power and listening goals?

We're still not talking high sensitivity speakers here, so don't waste your money on an 8x8 watt SET. It'll produce sound but will likely not be in its happy operating range.
 

Mart68

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have you considered some 1970s 'Kabuki' speakers? High efficiency, high impedance, ideal for low power valve amp

Always some on eBay from Pioneer, Sansui, Akai etc
 
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Silgalias

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I have a Vieta VR610 digital A/V receiver with NEO 10 surround speakers and powered sub woofer here with me in the UK. That has been my living room surround system and I have just received the Dared MP 5BT hybrid valve amp/DAC which has 16W at 8Ohm and 25W at 4Ohm. The people at Dared recommend speakers with minimum 87dB sensitivity. I was however thinking of getting a full valve amp at a later point so was looking to find some speakers with around 90dB sensitivity.
My main listening setup has always been my Mission Cyrus 2 with the PSX power supply paired with my Epos ES14`s but they are in Spain and I am stuck here in the UK for at least another year so I have been playing with some new gear.
I listen mainly to Jazz, Rock, Punk, Metal and Prog with some Dance and Ambient and the volume is usually cranked quite high.
Its for a living room 4x4.5m with an arch to a 3x3m area carpeted but not over heavy on furniture.
 

Jim Matthews

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Pick speakers you love. Then get whatever amp is needed to make it happy. Doing it the other way around is....well........backwards.

This holds a kernel of deep truth about necessary compromise in selecting gear. The "gate" your music must pass is set by the device with the highest distortion and most shallow signal to noise ratio.

Speakers tend also to be the largest expense and visibly dominate a room.

"Fleawatt" amps that generate less single digit output require very efficient horn loaded speakers which must be large : refrigerator size large.

I would suggest that if you're still young enough to consider moving again in the next few years; smaller, less efficient designs are more portable.

I recommend the A26 kit offered through US Madisound is an honest approach to your search with broad compatibility with many amps.

The Devore two way designs are built on this approach as are Audio Note AN-E. These use conventional drivers carefully selected for optimal response. They're also ridiculously expensive for the parts used.

https://www.vandomburg.net/audio/do-it-yourself-speaker-project-seas-a26/

Drop me a PM for a more involved exploration of your search, and why I came to embrace more contemporary designs.
 

raindance

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At 89-90dB sensitivity you'll need a push pull amp of 15x15 watts at least and it will need a 4 ohm tap (because most modern speakers dip fairly low). And yes, before anyone asks, valve watts are exactly the same as transistor watts. So you'd be looking at push pull EL84, EL34, KT88/6550, 6L6, that kind of amp.

FYI regarding Dared (or any non-western market gear), I'd make sure it has the relevant certifications to satisfy my insurance in case it burns my house down. They're pretty badly made and typically not designed for the correct mains voltage (220 instead of 240 volts) which causes the power supply to run hot. And yes, I've repaired amps made by them, so this is not hearsay.

Another poster suggested a solid state amp. You'd be doing yourself a favor, trust me, as it opens up the market to a much wider selection of speakers. With tube amps, you can't have cheap AND safe AND reliable.
 

HooStat

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Some of the KEF speakers are relatively high sensitivity. The Q950 is 91 db (floor stander, https://us.kef.com/speaker/stereo-speakers/q950-floorstanding-speaker.html). The Q350 is 87 db (bookshelf). There may be some other choices too depending on budget and actual sensitivity needs. Of course, manufacturers sometimes exaggerate, but KEF seems to be more objective than most.
 

raindance

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More Dynamics Please

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MakeMineVinyl

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With any speaker other than a very large horn based speaker where you can get away with a 7W SET amp, you'll need something like 25W, usually from EL-34s or something else in that class. It also depends on the music you typically listen to and how loud. A speaker doesn't really qualify as having high efficiency unless its honestly rated above 90dB.
 

SKBubba

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How Klipsch measures:

"Klipsch measures sensitivity on home loudspeakers in the following manner:

1. We place the speaker to be tested in our anechoic chamber and do a free space measurement (no boundary gain or room gain) at a distance of 3 meters. This distance is chosen in order to be in the far field of the speaker. The test signal used is wide band pink noise.

2. Starting with this result in dB, we add 9 dB to obtain a one-meter equivalency, as the industry standard for expressing sensitivity is one meter. The 9 dB difference is all inverse-square gain. Move half as far away and gain 6 dB etc.

3. To this we add 4 dB for room gain and boundary gain to translate the measurement to a typical listening environment. Speakers are not operated in free space in any normal application. An increase in sound pressure comes from proximity to nearby walls, floor and ceiling. Theoretically, a maximum of 18 dB increase is available through corner placement but that is rarely the position chosen for full range loudspeakers; and the increase is also frequency dependent, being prominent at low frequencies. Additional measurable increase comes from room gain wherein the room is pressurized by low frequency information. Again, this is frequency dependent impacting only the low end of the spectrum. We have verified the 4 dB figure we use in numerous empirical measurements and believe it to be quite accurate."

According to an employee on their forum.

https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/8860-sensitivity-rating/
 

MakeMineVinyl

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How Klipsch measures:

"Klipsch measures sensitivity on home loudspeakers in the following manner:

1. We place the speaker to be tested in our anechoic chamber and do a free space measurement (no boundary gain or room gain) at a distance of 3 meters. This distance is chosen in order to be in the far field of the speaker. The test signal used is wide band pink noise.

2. Starting with this result in dB, we add 9 dB to obtain a one-meter equivalency, as the industry standard for expressing sensitivity is one meter. The 9 dB difference is all inverse-square gain. Move half as far away and gain 6 dB etc.

3. To this we add 4 dB for room gain and boundary gain to translate the measurement to a typical listening environment. Speakers are not operated in free space in any normal application. An increase in sound pressure comes from proximity to nearby walls, floor and ceiling. Theoretically, a maximum of 18 dB increase is available through corner placement but that is rarely the position chosen for full range loudspeakers; and the increase is also frequency dependent, being prominent at low frequencies. Additional measurable increase comes from room gain wherein the room is pressurized by low frequency information. Again, this is frequency dependent impacting only the low end of the spectrum. We have verified the 4 dB figure we use in numerous empirical measurements and believe it to be quite accurate."

According to an employee on their forum.

https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/8860-sensitivity-rating/
Sounds like they're making a lot of assumptions which may not hold up in the real world despite their 'Kentucky windage' compensations.
 

escape2

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Sounds like they're making a lot of assumptions which may not hold up in the real world despite their 'Kentucky windage' compensations.
And to make matters worse, it is not how other companies measure sensitivity, therefore, it makes comparisons impossible.

With that said, is there an official standard for measuring/reporting speaker sensitivity? I've found this older article from Audioholics, but how do we know which speaker manufacturers actually adhere to this?

https://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/loudspeaker-measurement-standard/sensitivity
 
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