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Interesting comments from REL regarding Klipsch speakers


muel
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Seems as though REL has decent respect for Klipsch speakers.

I believe this REL blog is written by John Hunter

https://rel.net/blog/2022-04-27/system-thinking/klipsch-and-high-efficiency-explained/

 

I find it interesting that he mentions at the end that you need to commit to low level inputs due to the high efficiency of Klipsch speakers. 

Funny that I went with REL, in part, because of the high level inputs.

I always wondered about the speakers efficiency making the "dialing in" of the sub more tricky and that there would a volume sweet spot where things would sound the best (most balanced)

I wish he had said more... I'm really wanting more explanation on the subject.  

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/3/2022 at 3:14 PM, muel said:

I find it interesting that he mentions at the end that you need to commit to low level inputs due to the high efficiency of Klipsch speakers. 

Funny that I went with REL, in part, because of the high level inputs.

He doesn't explain why he says that, so I think your configuration is just fine.

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On 5/18/2022 at 11:07 AM, Khornukopia said:

He doesn't explain why he says that, so I think your configuration is just fine.

I mean I thought he explained it pretty well in the article. 

 

From the article: "Because we can then decouple from the efficiency of the speaker. More correctly, we no longer are trying to get our sub a decently loud, dynamic signal from a power amp that is barely breaking 1 watt. By running Low Level Inputs you still get ALL the benefits of a REL"

 

The point he's making is that REL subs will do better on high level inputs with a strong signal from the amplifier, and high efficiency speakers like Klipsch Heritage models don't require many watts to get loud, so it's unlikely the sub will get the strong signal it requires. 

 

If you are running REL subs on high level inputs right now, I'd swap over to RCA and see how it sounds, at the very least. May surprise you. 

 

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11 hours ago, CoryGillmore said:

If you are running REL subs on high level inputs right now, I'd swap over to RCA and see how it sounds, at the very least. May surprise you.

 

Yes, it would be one less component in the signal path and I believe you may hear a difference but, if the manufacturer provides the high level input option on their fairly expensive subwoofer, one would hope that the circuit doesn't degrade the input signal at low voltages.

 

Personally, all my subwoofer amps only have pre-amp level inputs so, I can't perform a comparison test. I would be interested to see someone's test results

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The sub’s amplifier needs a decent level of input voltage to “wake up” and start really working.  However, with super-efficient (yes, over 100-102 dB/W/m is beyond the “very efficient” category) speakers like La Scalas, Belles, Cornwalls, Jubilees, and of course Klipschorns, they’re often running on fractions of a watt at typical home listening levels, so to balance that, the voltage that the pre-amp/receiver/AVR sends to the subwoofer is too low to get the sub working in its optimum range, so that’s why the REL man suggests using the low level input when matching a REL sub with our favourite speakers.

 

It may be similar to how some guitar amplifiers have low and high level inputs, and/or a Trim knob.  This lets the amp get the voltage it needs, regardless of the output of any particular guitar, so the guitar/amp team can sound their best together.  If any actual musicians think I’ve got it wrong, please speak up.  That’s just my impression of how that works.

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This is the conversation I was hoping would start!
I confess I'm weak on my electronics knowledge and my experience with my "101 electronic projects" kit from Radio Shack has been mostly forgotten.  I get confused pretty quick when we start talking about signal, voltage or current, impedance, resistance, differential, Balanced or Single ended.

 

I've never understood how subwoofers maintain a volume that is balanced to the main speakers at different volumes.  
I don't really understand it with low level OR high level but I'd like to stick with high level inputs for now.

 

Say I've got some La Scalas (with 105 db efficiency) playing at around 85db and I've dialed in the gain on the subwoofers so they mesh perfectly.   Say the pre-amp volume is around 9:00... If I crank the volume knob up the La Scala's are going to get louder in volume a lot faster than any speaker that has 90db efficiency for example but the subs are going to see the same signal from the amp and same rate of increase no matter which speakers I have connected.  OR does the setting of the gain on the sub woofers change this in a way that I'm not understanding?   If I disconnect the LaScalas and install some 90db speakers I'm pretty sure I'll have to lower the gain of the subs to match to the lower efficiency speakers.  With the lower gain would the volume increase slower with the turn of the volume knob... matching the rate of volume increase of the lower efficiency speakers?

 

Isn't that balance of sub to main speakers volume going to be off at different volume levels?

 

Unless the subs respond in exact the same way to the turn of the volume knob isn't it going to be off (the bass getting louder faster or slower than the mains)?  
That said, my experience with the subs isn't really like that... the sub might be getting a little bit leaner as I turn it up but I don't hear it that way.  On the contrary I'm still pretty happy with the results!  I suppose I could test the db with pink noise and  AudioTools at different frequencies as I raise the volume.   The only way I can tell that I have subs running is by turning them off so I notice their absence.   I'm happy with the results!  
I'm trying to understand something logically (not very well) that might be better to understand electrically.  

 

Anybody want to try to clear up any of my misconceived notions?   Sorry if I'm missing something simple... I like to think a dumb question is one I don't ask :)

 

 

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On 6/20/2022 at 11:52 AM, Islander said:

The sub’s amplifier needs a decent level of input voltage to “wake up” ...  so that’s why the REL man suggests using the low level input when matching a REL sub with our favourite speakers.

 

Yes, so if @muel needs to use the high level inputs and the subwoofer has an On/Auto On/Off switch, then it should be set to On when in use, to avoid falling into sleep mode during quiet music passages. 

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On 6/21/2022 at 3:03 PM, muel said:

 

I've never understood how subwoofers maintain a volume that is balanced to the main speakers at different volumes.

 

Once you adjust the gain of the subwoofer to match your La Scalas, changes in output should track at similar rates, but the subwoofer will need much more amplifier wattage the whole time.

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3 hours ago, Khornukopia said:

 

Yes, so if @muel needs to use the high level inputs and the subwoofer has an On/Auto On/Off switch, then it should be set to On when in use, to avoid falling into sleep mode during quiet music passages. 

 

Generally, subwoofers have a delay period, so that after they stop receiving any low bass signals, they stay On for several minutes, precisely to avoid going into Sleep mode during long passages with no deep bass notes.  Among subs that I’ve owned, the delay could be as short as 7 minutes or as long as 17 minutes.  My subs are always in Auto mode.  In any case, they do click back On quickly enough when needed, so it’s never been necessary to leave them in On mode.  That would just be an unnecessary step to need to remember when powering up or shutting down the system.

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I did find that I would need to turn the volume up a bit to get the subs to kick on when set to "auto."    They would also click off if I had the volume too soft.  It was interesting because it wasn't just the click of the subs turning off but you'd audibly lose the bass as well.  Even at low volume they had a bit of bass output but not enough to keep them on.  Turning them away from Auto to "ON" avoids the issue fine.  

 

Glad I have solar panels to help offset leaving this stuff powered up so much of the time.  

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