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  1. #1

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    Question Damage Possible?

    A few nights ago I watched a movie with the volume set up higher than I normally have it set to. I was surprised at the sounds I was missing at the lower volume which I usually watch movies at. I didn't have it set to "ear bleed" level but it was louder than (my) normal listening level. My set up is a Denon 887, RM6801 and RM6901 speakers, and a DVD player.

    I've read here that the distortion damages speakers not the wattage. Should I be worried about damaging my speakers or does the Denon put out enough "clean power" (or whatever it is) so I don't have to worry?

    Is distortion easy to hear or does one only hear it after a speaker is blown? If a speaker is blown will it be noticable at lower volumes?

    I don't detect any problems with my speakers right now. I'd just like to be aware of possible problems (if any).
    Be gentle, I'm new to all this...

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  2. #2

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    Are you saying, that after watching the movie that the speakers are now missing something or that you heard something clearer at higher volume? Your Denon should not be a problem. I would think that the speakers are the difference.
    engtaz

    I love how music can brighten up a bad day.

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    Just be careful with the volume control,if you "clip", you may smoke something in your speaks.;)
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by engtaz View Post
    Are you saying, that after watching the movie that the speakers are now missing something or that you heard something clearer at higher volume? Your Denon should not be a problem. I would think that the speakers are the difference.
    I'm hearing sounds in the movie track that were supposed to be there that I didn't hear at a lower volume. Nothing "weird".
    Be gentle, I'm new to all this...

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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by george daniel View Post
    Just be careful with the volume control,if you "clip", you may smoke something in your speaks.;)
    And what causes that? Distortion or too much power that the amp has avalilable? I thought the speakers only took the power they need from the amp and if the amp doesn't have enough to give then the distortion comes into play.
    Last edited by Sansui; 04-23-2007 at 07:14 AM.
    Be gentle, I'm new to all this...

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  6. #6
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    Clipping is just another name for distortion. The sine waves output turn into square looking waves and it looks like the top and bottom have been "clipped".
    Brian Knauss
    ex-Electrical Engineer for Polk

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    I think you were watching movies too low to begin with, if you were missing some of the soundtrack.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakelm View Post
    I think you were watching movies too low to begin with, if you were missing some of the soundtrack.
    I began to wonder that myself. It was "little sounds" that I started hearing. It was like if someone shut a refridge door closed hard I would be able to hear the rattle of bottles in it instead of just the door closing with the volume up.

    What specs (in speaker and amp manuals) should I look at to see if my amp can blow my speakers if the volume was turned up too much? Shouldn't they tell me? Not that I'd turn it up that loud, don't want to do a "try and cry" test if they blow. I guess I don't understand the relationship between volume and what the speakers take or demand(?). Still trying to learn here.
    Be gentle, I'm new to all this...

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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by bknauss View Post
    Clipping is just another name for distortion. The sine waves output turn into square looking waves and it looks like the top and bottom have been "clipped".
    That part I now understand. What causes the clipping? The amp or the speakers not being able to handle the volume? Or am I still missing "something"?
    Be gentle, I'm new to all this...

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  10. #10

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    The amp sends out the sine waves to the speaker to reproduce. If the sine waves clip (turn into square looking waves) that is pure distortion being sent to your speakers, which they don't like.

    If the sound you're hearing becomes harsh, compressed and edgy, that's a damn good sign it's time to turn it down. In short, trust your ears, specs aren't going to tell you, too many variables. One rule of thumb, lower powered gear will damage your speakers faster than having a 500 wpc amp driving speakers that are only rated to handle 200 watts max.

    The reason you couldn't hear the finer details at lower volume levels is because your system doesn't have enough resolution.
    Last edited by F1nut; 04-23-2007 at 11:00 PM.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    The reason you couldn't hear the finer details at lower volume levels is because your system does have enough resolution.
    Or potentially your background noise in your house was loud enough to mask them. If your system is calibrated with DVE or AVIA, you should be able to go to -20 with no problem, -15 depeding on your AVR. Without an amp I would not go much louder than that unless you are familiar with the movie and know there are no big explosions coming up. (i.e. - if you watch War of the Worlds for the first time at -10 you may be purchasing some new speakers)

    Of course that is based on many assumptions on my part, but should be pretty close. at -20 you should be able to hear most of the details and still carry on a conversation while the movie is going on. At -15, you would have to speak up to talk to someone sitting near you.

    Either way - the best advice was to trust your ears. If something starts to sound wrong, turn it down first and then try and figure out was went wrong. Don't listen more first to decide if there is really a problem and then try to figure out what is going on.

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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    The amp sends out the sine waves to the speaker to reproduce. If the sine waves clip (turn into square looking waves) that is pure distortion being sent to your speakers, which they don't like.

    If the sound you're hearing becomes harsh, compressed and edgy, that's a damn good sign it's time to turn it down. In short, trust your ears, specs aren't going to tell you, too many variables. One rule of thumb, lower powered gear will damage your speakers faster than having a 500 wpc amp driving speakers that are only rated to handle 200 watts max.
    Thanks for the info! So if my amp has 100 wpc and my speakers can handle up to 125 watts max then I should be careful not to *really* crank the volume up?

    The reason you couldn't hear the finer details at lower volume levels is because your system does have enough resolution.
    Oh great! Never saw this word before on the forum. Resolution means?
    Be gentle, I'm new to all this...

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  13. #13

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    Your system does not have the ump (watts) to bring out the details at lower volumes.
    engtaz

    I love how music can brighten up a bad day.

  14. #14

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    Quote:
    The reason you couldn't hear the finer details at lower volume levels is because your system does have enough resolution.
    Geez, I didn't get that sentence out correctly. Should read, doesn't have enough resolution. Anyway, Engtaz nailed the answer.

    Thanks for the info! So if my amp has 100 wpc and my speakers can handle up to 125 watts max then I should be careful not to *really* crank the volume up?
    Almost every system has it's limits, so learn what they are and stay within those parameters.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  15. #15

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    Cant really say "trust your ears". My buddy plays his music so loud there is nothing but distortion and he thinks it sounds great. Then he wonders why he has to change speakers every month. So not everyone can spot clipping or distortion.

    The best way, if you dont trust your ears, is to get a radio shack analog sound preasure meter. Put it on 90 dbs, Run pink noise or "test" tones on your system. Turn up the volume until the meter reads zero at 90dbs. Look at your setting on the avr, and dont go any higher than that when watching a movie.
    Monitor 7b's front
    Monitor 4's surround
    Frankinpolk Center (2 mw6503's with peerless tweeter)
    M10's back surround
    Hafler-200 driving patio Daytons
    Tempest-X 15" DIY sub w/ Rythmik 350A plate amp
    Dayton 12" DVC w/ Rythmik 350a plate amp
    Harman/Kardon AVR-635
    Oppo 981hd
    Denon upconvert DVD player
    Jennings Research (vintage and rare)
    Mit RPTV WS-55513
    Tosh HD-XA1
    B&K AV5000


    Dont BAN me Bro!!!!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by engtaz View Post
    Your system does not have the ump (watts) to bring out the details at lower volumes.
    Understood...
    Be gentle, I'm new to all this...

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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Almost every system has it's limits, so learn what they are and stay within those parameters.
    Thanks for the advice. I'll do that.
    Be gentle, I'm new to all this...

    The mind blowing speed of the BRAIN TRAIN...

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakelm View Post
    The best way, if you dont trust your ears, is to get a radio shack analog sound preasure meter.
    My son got me a digital one for X-mas so I'll use that. When I first read your sentence I thought it read "sound pleasure meter". :D

    Put it on 90 dbs, Run pink noise or "test" tones on your system. Turn up the volume until the meter reads zero at 90dbs. Look at your setting on the avr, and dont go any higher than that when watching a movie.
    Thanks for the tip! I'll do that! When I set my speakers using 80dbs it was louder than I'd play movies (or music) at. At least now I'll know how loud I can put the volume without causing any damage.

    Thanks for the info!!
    Be gentle, I'm new to all this...

    The mind blowing speed of the BRAIN TRAIN...

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