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Singslinger's picture
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CnoEvil wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:

Vladimir wrote:

We all know the real challenge is making a system sound good at loud listening levels where things fall apart. 

Dolby Volume does a good job at low listening levels, but it's an AV solution:  http://www.dolby.com/us/en/technologies/dolby-volume-tech-paper.pdf

For 2 channel, a good Class A amp (Valves or SS) with sensitive speakers is a good way to go.

 

Absolutely right. My bedroom system is a Sugden A21SE class A amp into ProAc D2 speakers with PS Audio DAC/transport as the source - excellent detail and enjoyment at low volume.

To answer the OP - yes, it's very important to me that the system sounds involving at low volume. It's easy to impress when you turn the wick up but IMHO the true test of how good (or bad) a system is comes when you listen quietly.

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Vladimir wrote:

Vladimir wrote:

Human hearing loudness curve. The speakers and the amp don't really need that much a welly up. Our hearing does. Speakers that are not FR flat and have a coloration, may favor lower listening levels (frowny face) or louder listening (smiley face). If a speaker sounds detailed and clear at lower listening, it may be too bright and harsh when turned up louder.

It's the Goldilocks dilema.

Eh?! What?! I've got squiffy hearing!

More seriously, there are squillions of these hi-fi graphs/studies, and very few IMO can be backed up in a normal living environment -- no doubt have a lot credence in a controlled environment, such as a lab.

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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Possibly to do with frequency sensitivity...

I expect some part of this has to do with the ear's sensitivity to different frequencies - at around 90dB (reasonably loud in the home) we hear frequencies in a pretty balanced fashion, at lower volumes the ear becomes less sensitive to bass in particular, if you have a warm sounding or bass heavy system (or just one with speakers placed near a wall, giving them a LF boost) then it will probably sound quite pleasant and balanced at slightly lower volumes while it may get a little heavy or congested when turned up. If the system is perfectly balanced then it may sound a little lightweight at lower volumes etc... Simplifying a little of course but it could well be a factor.

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This may be the reason that

This may be the reason that PMC  speakers sound equally good at low listening levels . Smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=683FoCDilOE#t=1m04

 Electrocompaniet EMC 1 UP , Monarchy Audio DIP, Electrocompaniet ECD 1 dac , EC4.8 preamp , 2x AW180 monoblock power amps , PMC PB1i speakers . Thousands of Cd's .

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AEJim wrote:

AEJim wrote:

I expect some part of this has to do with the ear's sensitivity to different frequencies - at around 90dB (reasonably loud in the home) we hear frequencies in a pretty balanced fashion, at lower volumes the ear becomes less sensitive to bass in particular, if you have a warm sounding or bass heavy system (or just one with speakers placed near a wall, giving them a LF boost) then it will probably sound quite pleasant and balanced at slightly lower volumes while it may get a little heavy or congested when turned up. If the system is perfectly balanced then it may sound a little lightweight at lower volumes etc... Simplifying a little of course but it could well be a factor.

Yup, pretty much subscribe to your sentiments. Also believe room topography plays a part, the type of furniture etc etc; have to say that PMC, from the speakers I've heard, manages, somehow, to hit the ideal compromise.

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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Audiophiles enjoying at low listening levels

B&W CM1 + FS-700/CM + Roksan Kandy K2 BT + Native Instruments TA2 + Commodore 64 LPSU + Audioquest Type 4

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When funding allows & my

When funding allows & my ‘fully independent offspring’ ? that have moved out (and the one still here) impose less of a strain on my ever dwindling disposable income, PMC's from my reading on here recently are going to be top of my list for auditioning. (assuming by that time I'm not totally deaf or daft)

The music comes out of the speakers ~

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plastic penguin wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:

Vladimir wrote:

Human hearing loudness curve. The speakers and the amp don't really need that much a welly up. Our hearing does. Speakers that are not FR flat and have a coloration, may favor lower listening levels (frowny face) or louder listening (smiley face). If a speaker sounds detailed and clear at lower listening, it may be too bright and harsh when turned up louder.

It's the Goldilocks dilema.

Eh?! What?! I've got squiffy hearing!

More seriously, there are squillions of these hi-fi graphs/studies, and very few IMO can be backed up in a normal living environment -- no doubt have a lot credence in a controlled environment, such as a lab.

The phenomena these curves illustrate is very well known and the reason for all those ill-named 'loudness' buttons that were so common on amps in the 1970s and 80s. Obviously people just pressed the button and left them on permanently along with maxed out bass and treble and some quite bizarre shapes on their graphic equalizers (the 'Brontosaurus back' * was a popular one).

If they'd been called 'quietness' buttons instead (and designed to cut-out automatically above a certain volume) things might have been better.

The Naim Unitiqute has a switchable contour for low level listening that adjusts to volume and cuts out automatically in this way.

* Apatosaurus for all those under 40.

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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chebby wrote:

chebby wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:

Vladimir wrote:

Human hearing loudness curve. The speakers and the amp don't really need that much a welly up. Our hearing does. Speakers that are not FR flat and have a coloration, may favor lower listening levels (frowny face) or louder listening (smiley face). If a speaker sounds detailed and clear at lower listening, it may be too bright and harsh when turned up louder.

It's the Goldilocks dilema.

Eh?! What?! I've got squiffy hearing!

More seriously, there are squillions of these hi-fi graphs/studies, and very few IMO can be backed up in a normal living environment -- no doubt have a lot credence in a controlled environment, such as a lab.

The phenomena these curves illustrate is very well known and the reason for all those ill-named 'loudness' buttons that were so common on amps in the 1970s and 80s. Obviously people just pressed the button and left them on permanently along with maxed out bass and treble and some quite bizarre shapes on their graphic equalizers (the 'Brontosaurus back' * was a popular one).

If they'd been called 'quietness' buttons instead (and designed to cut-out automatically above a certain volume) things might have been better.

The Naim Unitiqute has a switchable contour for low level listening that adjusts to volume and cuts out automatically in this way.

* Apatosaurus for all those under 40.

Yes, but from memory, those 'loudness' buttons or switches only worked at low levels. Once you got over  approx 9-9.30 on the volume dial they didn't work. You couldn't tell if it was pressed in or out.

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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plastic penguin wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:

chebby wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:

Vladimir wrote:

Human hearing loudness curve. The speakers and the amp don't really need that much a welly up. Our hearing does. Speakers that are not FR flat and have a coloration, may favor lower listening levels (frowny face) or louder listening (smiley face). If a speaker sounds detailed and clear at lower listening, it may be too bright and harsh when turned up louder.

It's the Goldilocks dilema.

Eh?! What?! I've got squiffy hearing!

More seriously, there are squillions of these hi-fi graphs/studies, and very few IMO can be backed up in a normal living environment -- no doubt have a lot credence in a controlled environment, such as a lab.

The phenomena these curves illustrate is very well known and the reason for all those ill-named 'loudness' buttons that were so common on amps in the 1970s and 80s. Obviously people just pressed the button and left them on permanently along with maxed out bass and treble and some quite bizarre shapes on their graphic equalizers (the 'Brontosaurus back' * was a popular one).

If they'd been called 'quietness' buttons instead (and designed to cut-out automatically above a certain volume) things might have been better.

The Naim Unitiqute has a switchable contour for low level listening that adjusts to volume and cuts out automatically in this way.

* Apatosaurus for all those under 40.

Yes, but from memory, those 'loudness' buttons or switches only worked at low levels. Once you got over  approx 9-9.30 on the volume dial they didn't work. You couldn't tell if it was pressed in or out.

A few of the more expensive Yamaha amps did*, but most didn't. Some had 'variable' loudness controls (but these were manually adjustable not automatic).

*There might have been some other exceptions apart from upper range Yamahas.

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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chebby wrote:

chebby wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:

chebby wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:

Vladimir wrote:

Human hearing loudness curve. The speakers and the amp don't really need that much a welly up. Our hearing does. Speakers that are not FR flat and have a coloration, may favor lower listening levels (frowny face) or louder listening (smiley face). If a speaker sounds detailed and clear at lower listening, it may be too bright and harsh when turned up louder.

It's the Goldilocks dilema.

Eh?! What?! I've got squiffy hearing!

More seriously, there are squillions of these hi-fi graphs/studies, and very few IMO can be backed up in a normal living environment -- no doubt have a lot credence in a controlled environment, such as a lab.

The phenomena these curves illustrate is very well known and the reason for all those ill-named 'loudness' buttons that were so common on amps in the 1970s and 80s. Obviously people just pressed the button and left them on permanently along with maxed out bass and treble and some quite bizarre shapes on their graphic equalizers (the 'Brontosaurus back' * was a popular one).

If they'd been called 'quietness' buttons instead (and designed to cut-out automatically above a certain volume) things might have been better.

The Naim Unitiqute has a switchable contour for low level listening that adjusts to volume and cuts out automatically in this way.

* Apatosaurus for all those under 40.

Yes, but from memory, those 'loudness' buttons or switches only worked at low levels. Once you got over  approx 9-9.30 on the volume dial they didn't work. You couldn't tell if it was pressed in or out.

A few of the more expensive Yamaha amps did*, but most didn't. Some had 'variable' loudness controls (but these were manually adjustable not automatic).

*There might have been some other exceptions apart from upper range Yamahas.

Well my JVC receiver did, as did the Pioneer SA-706.

When I first met Mrs. P she had a Pioneer mini (midi) system which had a 'Bass Boost' button. That constantly worked and there was just a welter of boomy bass. Whereas the 'loudness' buttons on my amps didn't just boost the bass but the midrange and treble.

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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My Unitiqute 2, NAP 100 and

My Unitiqute 2, NAP 100 and LS50 sound great at low to mid volumes (99% of my listening).  It's higher volumes that I can have bass issues with certain tracks.  Not totally sure whether it's entirely the amp, speakers, suspended floor or the plasterboard walls behind them.  Probably a combination of all of them but the bass at certain moments on some tracks seems to reinforce itself and can occasionally turn into a bass drone.  It happens too infrequently to be much of an issue.

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Jota180 wrote:

Jota180 wrote:

It's higher volumes that I can have bass issues with certain tracks. 

Similar here, basically my system was setup with speaker placement to sound good with most music at moderate levels, if I listened to music at high levels (but only with some albums) I might need to drag to speakers out a little further - IMO it's always a bit of a balancing game as few systems sound just right with all music & or at all levels? For me it's setup for how its played most of the time.

The music comes out of the speakers ~

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Musical Fidelity M6-500

I have since buying my M6-500i found a new level of low volume detail which I didnt know was there I have also found at normal volume levels bass which you can feel and at higher volumes things fall off shelves which dosn't go down to well with the good lady wife  Biggrin

Musical Fidelity M6500i Musical FidelityM6 CDP ATC SCM 40s Cord Chameleon plus XLRs Tellurium Q Black speaker cables

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Neptune_Twilight wrote:

Neptune_Twilight wrote:

Jota180 wrote:

It's higher volumes that I can have bass issues with certain tracks. 

Similar here, basically my system was setup with speaker placement to sound good with most music at moderate levels, if I listened to music at high levels (but only with some albums) I might need to drag to speakers out a little further - IMO it's always a bit of a balancing game as few systems sound just right with all music & or at all levels? For me it's setup for how its played most of the time.

 

Mine are 80cm away from the back wall at present. (the rear of the speaker is 80cm) I tried them closer and with the outer bungs then closer still with the inner bungs too but prefer them with no bungs at all which means a good distance from the back wall.

Next time the neighbours are out I'll see if I can power through the drone with some extra volume!

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