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Why does my music start sounding crappier once I go past 70db on my AVR ?

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Seany

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So about 7 months ago I bought my first two channel setup a AVR Onkyo TX-NR6100 for $600 I got on special it does 100 watts per channel into 8 ohms with 2 channels driven according to the specs, it doesn't mention anything about how many watts into 4ohms. I also bought ELAC Debut Reference DBR62 speakers which are well reviewed but they are 6ohm speaker and even Andrew Robinson has said and others that they need good power some say 100W+

So I listen to all types of music rock, metal, dance, pop. So for example any Metallica black album or before pretty much sound good up to 72db. But higher volumes around 75-78 things start to fall apart/shouting same as for a lot of music but not always. Also no music so far sounds good at 80db. By the way I stream using Spotify connect at best quality settings.
I've checked all the settings and everything is set right. By the way I use my setup 50/50 between music and TV.

Option A, I'm thinking it's the AVR is just not up to par and can't tame/control the speaker, but I could be wrong. Is it that much to ask to play music clearly at 78-80db, am I asking too much here ? I have a normal sized living room also no abnormal setup everything is spaced correctly. If you guys agree and also think I need to upgrade my electronics I was thinking about Yamaha R-N2000A but $4000 is a lot money. But I want something that has WI-FI, so my options are limited. There's also the new Rotel S14 WI-FI for $2500. But is the Yamaha worth the extra $1500 though. The Yammy only does 90watts into 8ohms and the Rotel 80watts 8ohms but both do like 150w'ish into 4ohms though.

Option B, sell my speakers and get different speakers with a average impedance 8 ohms so my AVR will work better with the speakers, this would be the cheaper option. But here's the thing I like how my current speakers sound. It would seem silly to replace them ??

Option C, get the Rotel A14 MKII ($1700) with the Bluesound NODE streamer ($500) ? At this point I might as well get the S14 Rotel for $2500 ? There's also the Bluesound POWERNODE for $1000 and it has 80w into 8ohms it doesn't mention 4ohms at all not even in manual, probably not a good choice.


I would be very curious to hear my current speakers with the Yamaha or the Rotel to see if I notice a sound quality diff almost right away and be able to play at higher levels 78-80db solidly.


Thanks
 
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antcollinet

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First - the db display on your amp says nothing about the SPL in your room, or the power out of the amp. I'm not a fan of amps that give an increasing dB reading with increasing volume - it means little without knowing what it is relative to. (or is it a 0-100% type of reading?)

Depending on the input level to the amp, and the gain of the amp you could:

1 - be running into clipping in the amp (hitting the limit of power output)
2 - creating distortion in your speakers to to excessive power or clipping from the amp.
3 - Exciting room modes/resonances in your room.
4 - triggering resonances in your hearing (I have a tinnitus in one ear that objects to lout sounds at a particular range of frequencies)

Any combination of the above.

Before throwing money at the problem you need to understand what is going wrong.

I don't think your speaker impedance is the problem.

The amp has 200mV sensitivity - which means it will be very easy to drive it to full power. What is your source?
 
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Astrozombie

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$4000 on electronics does make much sense to me on $700 speakers mate :oops: You're just streaming right? Haven't tried using a good CD Player?
You should have gone for the "end game" tier in the $1500 range from the start IMO.
 

restorer-john

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Metallica is not going to sound remotely realistic on a small 6 1/2" two way bookshelf speaker. And no, throwing more power at such a speaker only serves to burn it out prematurely.

Get amplifiers and loudspeakers suited to the music type and level you want to play at.
 

DVDdoug

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So yeah, are you actually using an SPL meter? They should go louder than 70dB SPL, but maybe not in the bass.

I'd guess you are "overloading" the speakers, probably in the bass range. They are "smallish". You probably have enough power. You might want to add a subwoofer. More bass can give a "feeling" of "power".
 
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EPDR at 110 Hz or so is 3 ohm. It's asking quite a lot of the amp.
With these sharp phase angles at low frequencies you only get half the watts in your speakers you expect from the amp. -Or in other words the speaker load is much harder for the amplifier than the nominal impedance would make you believe.

It's quite possible you amplifier is clipping and / or your speakers are compressing or distorting.
You've found the limitations of small speakers in combination with low current AVR's and dynamic music/high SPL.

Also we don't know how far you are seated from your speakers?
 
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Seany

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Okay so somebody mentioned what is my source I don't have no idea what you're talking about I've already mentioned my speakers and my AVR and I'm streaming music. I just know that it doesn't sound as clear and loud as it should. I just want to fix what I have and then leave it be like forever kind of thing. So somebody mentioned something about clipping well I can tell you right now the sound isn't coming in and going out kind of like gaps in the sound, it's constant but the sound is misbehaving/shouty.

By the way I'm sitting about 9-10 ft away from my speakers.
 
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Seany

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Buy an UMIK-1 and measure. Guessing leads nowhere and buying more stuff to maybe fix something makes no sense.

No I'm not buying a SPL meter and just use it once. I'm hoping with people who have a lot of experience can give good educated guesses I'm not expecting anything more than that.
 

Sgt. Ear Ache

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First - the db display on your amp says nothing about the SPL in your room, or the power out of the amp. I'm not a fan of amps that give an increasing dB reading with increasing volume - it means little without knowing what it is relative to. (or is it a 0-100% type of reading?)

Depending on the input level to the amp, and the gain of the amp you could:

1 - be running into clipping in the amp (hitting the limit of power output)
2 - creating distortion in your speakers to to excessive power or clipping from the amp.
3 - Exciting room modes/resonances in your room.
4 - triggering resonances in your hearing (I have a tinnitus in one ear that objects to lout sounds at a particular range of frequencies)

Any combination of the above.

Before throwing money at the problem you need to understand what is going wrong.

I don't think your speaker impedance is the problem.

The amp has 200mV sensitivity - which means it will be very easy to drive it to full power. What is your source?

I'd be willing to bet number 3 is a big part of the problem.
 
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Seany

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$4000 on electronics does make much sense to me on $700 speakers mate :oops: You're just streaming right? Haven't tried using a good CD Player?
You should have gone for the "end game" tier in the $1500 range from the start IMO.

I know I just didn't know anything about it 8 months ago, people were saying that decent cheap AVR is good enough and spending 1000s on a amp, isn't worth it. Well to be honest I didn't know if I was going to go with the full 5.1 so it was a learning process I had bought other speakers. I know now that I'm definitely only interested in a two channels system. Yeah if it was to do over I should have bought a more of an end game electronic in the $1000-3000, so I wouldn't be questioning it now. I think personally the speakers are are not the problem.
 
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Seany

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download a free db meter app for your phone and hold it up in the air at your listening position. Not perfect by any means but it will give you a decent ballpark.

Well that's a good idea I can try that tonight
 
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Seany

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EPDR at 110 Hz or so is 3 ohm. It's asking quite a lot of the amp.
With these sharp phase angles at low frequencies you only get half the watts in your speakers you expect from the amp. -Or in other words the speaker load is much harder for the amplifier than the nominal impedance would make you believe.

It's quite possible you amplifier is clipping and / or your speakers are compressing or distorting.
You've found the limitations of small speakers in combination with low current AVR's and dynamic music/high SPL.

Also we don't know how far you are seated from your speakers?


I'm sitting 9-10 feet away. But what your saying does seem to make sense.
 

ZolaIII

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No I'm not buying a SPL meter and just use it once. I'm hoping with people who have a lot of experience can give good educated guesses I'm not expecting anything more than that.
That's a measurement microphone not a SPL meter (which you will still need to calibrate REW one way or another but app will be sufficient enough for that purpose for now).
Which kind of phone (OS) do you use if I can ask? It's possible you have bass boosted to much so it sounds good on lower SPL but gets overwhelming on higher SPL levels. I use proper calibration to my knowledge (white noise - 20 dB mono 83 dB @ about 2.3 m distance) and equal loudness normalisation and it sounds good on different loudness levels (with pair of sub's of course and 100W @8 Ohms power amplifier).
 
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Seany

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That's a measurement microphone not a SPL meter (which you will still need to calibrate REW one way or another but app will be sufficient enough for that purpose for now).
Which kind of phone (OS) do you use if I can ask? It's possible you have bass boosted to much so it sounds good on lower SPL but gets overwhelming on higher SPL levels. I use proper calibration to my knowledge (white noise - 20 dB mono 83 dB @ about 2.3 m distance) and equal loudness normalisation and it sounds good on different loudness levels (with pair of sub's of course and 100W @8 Ohms power amplifier).

I got an Android phone can someone suggest a good free app? By the way what volume level am I supposed to put my AVR at, when checking with the app. Am I supposed to put it at the highest volume without distortion ?
 
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Sgt. Ear Ache

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I got an Android phone can someone suggest a good free app? By the way what volume level am I supposed to put my AVR at, when checking with the app. Am I supposed to put it at the highest volume without distortion ?

Well, you're just trying to figure out what the SPL is when you're finding the sound to be bad. So whatever volume that happens at is where you want to check the levels with the DB meter. Any of the apps that have good ratings are likely fine...
 

ZolaIII

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I got an Android phone can someone suggest a good free app? By the way what volume level am I supposed to put my AVR at, when checking with the app. Am I supposed to put it at the highest volume without distortion ?
Works good regarding SPL readings, tho adds are a little aggressive but you won't use it to often anyway.
Won't do accurate readings but will be good enough to see what is happening in bass region which shouldn't be more up then 20 dB (in music) to 700~1000 Hz region and should be a slight slope down upwards from there.
Now do a screenshot or two with second one on level where it sounds normal and on level when it doesn't.
 

Sgt. Ear Ache

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blast some pink noise out of your system for the spectrum analyzer measurments...

You could also try and run a frequency sweep at the problematic volume level. You're looking for problems in the bass region. If you listen to the sweep it should be nice and smooth from low to high in terms of volume. If you hear spots where it sounds like the bass goes crazy - kind of explodes or blooms in volume compared to the frequencies around it - that's a problem.
 
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