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Vladimir's picture
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How about Naim amps?

How about Naim amps? They are practically Class B with only 0.0032W in Class A. People still love them, call them fast and exciting. How well they do at quiet levels?

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I'm happy with my system at

I'm happy with my system at low levels.  Living in an apartment I can rarely have it on loud.

Chris

Marantz PM8005 / SA8005 / KEF R700s / AKG K702

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All of my systems (2 active,

All of my systems (2 active, one passive with an active sub) sound OK at low volumes, but really come to life when the volume starts to climb, but that is the way with any system. Low level listening is important, but I find myself listening on headphones once circumstances demand that others not be disturbed (sleeping babies, consideration for neighbours due to apartment living).

Woke up at 5:30 am and have been listening to my little speakers in my living room, and I think that out of all of my systems, the little Fostex actives seem to be the most engaging at lower volumes.

Stuff.

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matthewpiano wrote:

matthewpiano wrote:

I'm sat here listening to music at a very low volume and thoroughly enjoying it and feeling really pleased with how far my system has come, particularly the huge pleasure that the Dynaudio speakers have given me since I bought them back in February.  So often I've found amps and speakers to be good at medium volumes, but hopeless at low ones, but this combination still has depth, good soundstaging, detail and that engaging quality.

How good is your system at low levels?  How important is it to you?

Having a youngster and neighbours on one side, the system needs to be wonderful at lower volumes. At this juncture it is essential. Hits the bullseye pretty much at all levels.

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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iceman16 wrote:

iceman16 wrote:

My bedroom system is really very good at low volume listening. I can still clearly hear minute detail and separation of instruments.

A couple of people had posted here that the LS50 didn't perform so good at a lower volume. I meant to ask if it could be the amplifiers they used, but didn't get to it.

My own Arcam A19 and Kef R100 sound superb to me at very low volume. And the volume control of the A19 is a pleasure to use.

Naim DAC-V1 • Arcam P38 • Kef R100

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it’s of greater importance

it’s of greater importance for me that my system sound good at lowish volumes than high, there is often various relations & offspring & their children & I need my system to sound good at reasonable levels - I used to listen to music quite loud but now I rarely feel the need (though at times I do turn the wick up) - I know the RX2’s are inexpensive compared to many members speakers but with the K2 amp they sound really dynamic at quite low levels, at times even when they seem loud it’s still possible to hold a conversation which shows the actual SPL must be quite low - I intend to upgrade the speakers maybe in the next few months but I don’t want a system I have to play loud to enjoy - I think good stands & attention paid to solidity of the position enables the speakers to be dynamic.

The music comes out of the speakers ~

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Low volume is very important

Low volume is very important to me.YAMAHA A-S2000 is very good at low volume.

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unsleepable wrote:

unsleepable wrote:

iceman16 wrote:

My bedroom system is really very good at low volume listening. I can still clearly hear minute detail and separation of instruments.

A couple of people had posted here that the LS50 didn't perform so good at a lower volume. I meant to ask if it could be the amplifiers they used, but didn't get to it.

My own Arcam A19 and Kef R100 sound superb to me at very low volume. And the volume control of the A19 is a pleasure to use.

I have no idea what other component(s) they use with the LS50. But in my system, they really shine with plenty of detail and still getting better even at low level volume. "Synergy" might be the right word for it wink

Main system: Musical Fidelity AMS 35i / Focal 1028be / Electrocompaniet EMC 1UP / MIT AVt MA / Matrix 12 xlr cables

Bedroom: Laptop(Qobuz) / Chord gem / Rega Brio-r / KEF LS50 / TQ black

 

 

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Yes, low volume capability is

Yes, low volume capability is far more important to me than high.  Like some others here, we live in a flat so have to consider the neighbours above us, and also I don't actually like music blisteringly loud at home anyway.  I would never have it as loud as some dealers seem to insist on having it during dems or at shows.

I think it is something that could become an issue for more and more people.  Homes are getting smaller, it is getting more and more difficult to be able to afford a house rather than a flat, and even in houses sound insulation can be pretty poor.  Being able to enjoy music in high quality at low volume levels is probably a bigger need now than it has ever been.

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I totally concur with that.

I totally concur with that. And it's such a pleasure when you just play some music and don't have to bang it all up to feel it and joy it. 

Not that banging every now and then hurts either. 

Naim DAC-V1 • Arcam P38 • Kef R100

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matthewpiano wrote:

matthewpiano wrote:

I think it is something that could become an issue for more and more people.  Homes are getting smaller, it is getting more and more difficult to be able to afford a house rather than a flat, and even in houses sound insulation can be pretty poor.  Being able to enjoy music in high quality at low volume levels is probably a bigger need now than it has ever been.

Something that's not mentioned much in tests though? I was thinking about this after a conversation about systems sounding good at low volumes a few weeks ago, maybe it's something What Hi-Fi could pick up on is how speakers & selected systems sound at low volumes as not all of us have neighbour free environments & I'm not much of a headphones fan - This thread shows some like or need to listen at low volumes, maybe a feature on such systems? - Just a thought? ~

The music comes out of the speakers ~

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Excellent idea

Have micro and macro dynamics as part of the reviews as well. Smile

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Think there also needs to be

Think there also needs to be modicum of realism; though some systems do excel at low volumes, every system (amps and speakers in particular) need a bit of welly to hear it at its best -- that's just the nature of the beast.

Although I love Totem Arros, they tend to be more welly-reliant than some other makes, including PMCs IMHO. That, in all truth, was a major deciding factor in not buying.

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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Since updating my Cambridge

Since updating my Cambridge Audio amp from the A1 to the C500 and P500 and adding the Chord Company cables there is a much more even playback at all volumes.

Having it loud still yeilds more but it always will. With the A1 at low volume the balance would move to one side. To be honest I haven't really tried the C+P500 that low but it can go lower than the A1 without the balance being effected.

I'm going through a phase where I want things about 2/3s the way to reference level. Obviously listening at that volume for to long will damage my hearing but the I'm not usually in the same room as the system. My flat os only about 28x28ft square so I don't go far.

Hi-Fi: Campridge audio D500 SE, DACMagic 1, C500, P500.. Monitor Audio BR1 speakers.

H-T: Pioneer; Kuro LX5090, BDP LX71, SC LX73. CA P500. SKY+HD. Rel Q50. Mordaunt Short Avant.

Vladimir's picture
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Human hearing loudness curve.

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.

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