I had some B&W 686s for a while and they are 84dB too. They were a nightmare to drive properly. I'd have to be really convinced before buying anything that inefficient again.
Rega RP3/Elys 2, Roksan K2 CDS, Squeezebox Touch, Denon PMA720AE, Q Acoustics 2020i, Sennhesier HD595, Beyer-Dynamic DT770PRO, Chord Crimson/Chord Rumour 2
What is considered to be a 'safe' level?
I have always had the pleasure of being able to crank up the volume quite often... but I tend to listen at lower levels now as I'm a bit paranoid about damaging my hearing.
PC / ASIO -> Chord USB SilverPlus -> Rega DAC -> Chord Chameleon Interconnect -> Naim Nait XS / Flat Cap XS -> Chord Epic Speaker Cable / Chord Signature Links -> B&W 683
It is just as much the durationas it is the volume. If one or two tracks take your fancy for some loud listening and then you turn it back down again, that is relatively safe. Do it for an hour or so, that is dangerous.
Take a look at the table on this link. Do you have access to an SPL meter so you can know for certain?
Paul's BR/805 system thread
(where the photos live) Paul's Flickr page
Thanks for that. I don't have one, but I'd be interested in buying one to know for certain. Are they expensive?
They start at around £15, but I think the semi decent ones are £35-50 ish.
Have a read at this over on another forum which goes into this in detail with an easy test you do yourself,
Hi Downandout. I also have to suffer the curse of low volume listening which has driven my choices of speakers and amps.
I have both the Focal 706V's and Rega RS1's and each perform exceptionally at low volumes. The Focal's are extremely faithful speakers and are pretty ruthless with bright/harsh recordings, as indeed are the Rega's, but there sheer size provides additonal fullness and richness which perhaps a smaller speaker (such as the Rega) can't match. Most definitely worth a listen but be warned, they are very big and heavy! Their size became too overbearing for the size of my room which is why I switched back to my Dali Lektor 1's, which again perform extremely well at low volumes despite only having a sensitivity of 84db
Putting out fire with gasoline
Hmmm. Normal for me is too loud to have a conversation, I'm sure the M2 is operating well into 10s of watts RMS during a normal session, but even that is not "loud" loud. I haven't tried cranking up to my system to the equivalent of my guitar amp at about 25% master volume (a marshall dsl 401 which a single speaker 40W valve amp), as I suspect it will probably lose its composure.
On an OT point, the D18s are not as composed as the Spendors when you crank the volume up, it gets a bit harsh and it gets a bit muddled in comparison. The S6es were better I think in that respect, upshot is the upgrade isn't quite as satisfying as I hoped / originally thought.
JRiver MC17 -> Cambridge Audio DACmagic+ -> Roksan Caspian M2 -> ProAc D18
I play my music at what is probably considered a low volume - max of about 40% on a unitiqute. Anything above this is not necessary in my size of room , and , just as important, is highly likely to be annoying to the neighbours.
I bought some 84db sens small speakers - which I now feel was a bit of a mistake. they look lovely but I now think that I need bigger and/or higher sensitivity on my speakers to get better detail & richness at low volumes. maybe rega rs1 or focal 705/706v.
so, I have a couple of questions:
How loud do you all have your music playing?
How does WhatHifi review the kit for low volume use? does it do this at all? if so, what is the volume?
With houses getting smaller im sure im not the only one in this situation. Am I really ever going to truly benefit from the sound that my unitiqute is capable of? or should i really have saved some money and gone to Currys?
thanks for your time.
Right - you're Qute will benefit from PMC, Focal*, MonoPulse**, or Epos M12.2i. I'm pretty familiar with Naim stuff, especially the Nait 5i (your Qute is based around this amp) and the XS.
Depending how far you can stretch your budget, these aforementioned makes would be top of my list.
*Not heard with Naim gear, excellent speakers, however.
**Only heard the 32S floorstanders. Brilliant with Naim though. Strange looking, weird colours, but get past that and you are in for a treat.
Leema Pulse MKII-S; Naim CD5i MKII; Denon TU-260L MKII; MA RS6 speakers; Pro-ject Xpression 1; loads of different cables...
Formerly known as plastic penguin
My caspian amp sounds nice with low volumes, it really shines with a bit of juice, dynamic shifts are great, light precussion to slamming drums, i listen at low volumes mostly, every now and again i turn the wick up.
Musical fidelity m1 - Nad c352 - Dali lektor 2
Although I do listen to music at fairly low levels most of the time. There are the odd times with certain music where its just crying out to be cranked up. I have to be pretty restrained as I'm not in the buisness of annoying my neighbours. When they go out, its a different story though!
Low levels being 60-70db with spl meter. So basically near to civilised conversation level.
Marantz CD63KI-sig mkII - Rega Planar 2 (mods; white belt, 24v upgrade kit, ortofon 2M blue) - NAD C370 - Chord cables - IPL M1tlm Transmission line speakers - LG 50PX990 - Panasonic DMP-BDT210 - HTPC - Tehcnomate 6900HD - Canton Movie 125 - Yamaha RX-V800 - Sennheiser RS120
Thanks everyone for your help here - for explaining the db to watt relationship and advising me on speakers.
I've ended up getting a 2nd hand set of Naim N-sats and the difference is astonishing. I know they're £900 speakers new- Im guessing the naim badge accounts for a little of that - but the sound is just so different. Being 2nd hand they didn't cost me anymore than those they replaced.
After listening to these I know understand what I was after - it's simply 'clarity' and 'openess' - I am able to follow the different instruments throughout the track and Im hearing sounds that I didn't know existed on some tracks. The old speakers just sounded 'closed' and 'muddy' .
The base isn't strong on the n-sats - but it is definately there when required and is punchy.It is simply another aspect to the music and doesn't overpower.
I can now listen a much lower volume and still experience hifi quality sound.
I understand and agree 100 percent.
(Fellow 'moderate volume' listener* who owned nSATs for almost two years.)
My ones cost me £450 (mint condition and in Maple) and sold for £420 +p&p. So they hardly cost me anything.
*By choice rather than necessity.
Marantz M-CR603 + AirPlay • Rega R3 loudspeakers • iPhone 5 32GB • iMac • Apple Airport Extreme 802.11n • Panasonic TX-L32D25B • Sony BDP-S390 • Ruark Audio R1 Deluxe • Humax HDR-Fox T2
Steve, off topic, but do you find the Proac harsh? I hate bright and harsh sound. I now have MA RX 6 and will be looking at the Proac D18 and Dynaudio exercite x32.
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