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Author Topic: Will this speaker be louder than that one?  (Read 524 times)

Bruce Wallick

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Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« on: June 10, 2020, 03:17:34 pm »

With both being 8 ohm impedance, and assuming the same input power, I think speaker 2 will be only marginally louder than speaker 1 below. #2 is physically larger, but I don't think that matters here. The higher SPL will make it louder, with a larger input signal, but they will be driven by the same amp and power level.

SPEAKER 1
Sensitivity: 90 dB2
Max SPL (calculated): 109 dB (115 dB Peak)
2Half space (on wall) averaged 100 Hz – 10 kHz, 1 W.

SPEAKER 2
Axial sensitivity1: 91 dB (1 W/1 m)
Max. calculated SPL[SIZE="1"]1[/SIZE]: 120 dB
1Full-space measurement.

The background is we just had a new install at church and the front fill speakers aren't loud enough. We put the smaller ones at the front fill position and the larger ones for the balcony, but may want to reverse their locations. But only if speaker 2 will be louder by 3dB or more.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2020, 04:17:37 pm »

You need help from a good install company.

If those measurements can be trusted (doubtful) and if they are accurate, (also doubtful), at what frequency have they been measured at? Speaker 2 might be twice as loud as speaker one, but only at one frequency. Otherwise it may be the same or worse in the speech range.


According to those measurements speaker 2 will be slightly more than 50% louder than speaker one given the same input. But we don't know at what frequency or anything about directivity or a dozen other things that are more important than "how loud is it".


If your front fill speakers aren't loud enough. The installer should come back and fix the problem. You shouldn't start playing legos with all your new stuff.
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2020, 04:18:44 pm »

With both being 8 ohm impedance, and assuming the same input power, I think speaker 2 will be only marginally louder than speaker 1 below. #2 is physically larger, but I don't think that matters here. The higher SPL will make it louder, with a larger input signal, but they will be driven by the same amp and power level.

SPEAKER 1
Sensitivity: 90 dB2
Max SPL (calculated): 109 dB (115 dB Peak)
2Half space (on wall) averaged 100 Hz – 10 kHz, 1 W.

SPEAKER 2
Axial sensitivity1: 91 dB (1 W/1 m)
Max. calculated SPL[SIZE="1"]1[/SIZE]: 120 dB
1Full-space measurement.

The background is we just had a new install at church and the front fill speakers aren't loud enough. We put the smaller ones at the front fill position and the larger ones for the balcony, but may want to reverse their locations. But only if speaker 2 will be louder by 3dB or more.

Who did the install?  Sounds like an issue they missed and need to fix, or if something changed they need to fix and send a bill.  At the very least, since they have all the speakers/amps/DSP info - what did they say? 

If they did a poor job - why were they hired?  Cheap? If they did a great job - why not let them sort it out? 

Who is going to re-align the system and update the DSP program? 

What are the exact speakers, amps, and DSP involved?

 Assuming the amp gain is set - a 1dB difference in sensitivity is meaningless, as frequency response likely has much more than a 1dB difference. 
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2020, 04:21:08 pm »

Who did the install?  Sounds like an issue they missed and need to fix, or if something changed they need to fix and send a bill.  At the very least, since they have all the speakers/amps/DSP info - what did they say? 

If they did a poor job - why were they hired?  Cheap? If they did a great job - why not let them sort it out? 

Who is going to re-align the system and update the DSP program? 

What are the exact speakers, amps, and DSP involved?

 Assuming the amp gain is set - a 1dB difference in sensitivity is meaningless, as frequency response likely has much more than a 1dB difference.


One speaker is measured in half space and the other is measured in whole space. Big difference there.
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Bruce Wallick

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2020, 04:27:21 pm »


One speaker is measured in half space and the other is measured in whole space. Big difference there.

Can you explain that please, Tim? I know it has something to with a wall mount, but more background is needed. Thanks in advance.
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Bruce Wallick

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2020, 04:38:09 pm »

Who did the install?  Sounds like an issue they missed and need to fix, or if something changed they need to fix and send a bill.  At the very least, since they have all the speakers/amps/DSP info - what did they say? 

If they did a poor job - why were they hired?  Cheap? If they did a great job - why not let them sort it out? 

Who is going to re-align the system and update the DSP program? 

What are the exact speakers, amps, and DSP involved?

 Assuming the amp gain is set - a 1dB difference in sensitivity is meaningless, as frequency response likely has much more than a 1dB difference.

Thanks for your great questions and suggestions. There's a political situation where the installer was paid early, the installation was delayed several times and we didn't get the A team. Also, the church member who managed the install never specified any speaker management (DSP) at all, and the system was never tuned. The installation was completed a few days before lockdown. Now there's no way we can go ask for more money, or even admit it needs more work. I'm just trying to solve a few small problems before we gather again. My next step will be to manually adjust the amp presets for the 3-box line array and front fill speakers in order to achieve the needed balance. The front fills just need to add a little energy on each side at the very front where the mains fall off. I'm considering moving the balcony speakers down and the front fills up to the balcony (swapping locations), especially since the line array covers the balcony pretty well now. But is it worth the effort, given the small improvement in sensitivity? And I do appreciate all the other factors which may come to bear on perceived loudness.
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Bruce Wallick

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2020, 06:29:10 pm »

Can you explain that please, Tim? I know it has something to with a wall mount, but more background is needed. Thanks in advance.

OK, I see now it's referring to the potential 6dB gain a speaker may experience when placed against a wall or floor, depending on the wall's material and construction.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2020, 06:46:04 pm »

OK, I see now it's referring to the potential 6dB gain a speaker may experience when placed against a wall or floor, depending on the wall's material and construction.

Yeah sorry I just got to work. Youth night tonight.


It sounds like ya'll really screwed the pooch on this one. It happens. Just take a deep breath and realize that you'll have to do it the right way now, and all that money you just "saved" is basically going to be flushed down the toilet.

Hire a pro. And better yet LISTEN to what he says.

There's only two ways to do a thing. Either do it right or do it again. Only you can decide when you'll do it right. And until then you are wasting tithe money which was given in good faith that the church would do things properly.


What is your general location? Most of the guys here are currently out of work and would probably love to come help consult on your project.

Also, tell us what you have. speakers, amps, console, etc.
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2020, 06:46:43 pm »


One speaker is measured in half space and the other is measured in whole space. Big difference there.

Correct, missed that. 

The second speaker verbiage seems Tannoy-esque.
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2020, 06:49:57 pm »


Also, tell us what you have. speakers, amps, console, etc.

This.

You literally can never give us enough information, and yes I'm serious. Feel free to include a plan of the venue.

Chris
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2020, 08:17:28 pm »

It sounds like your system was thrown together, turned on and when sound came out it was called good, hopefully not to that extreme!!!

All that aside and assuming the installers even thought about this in the first place there are kind of two schools of thought on front fill speakers, one is that the front fill is clearly heard and sort of hitting you in the face, the other is that the level is brought up just enough to fill in the void of sound from the mains but not draw attention to the speaker as being the sound source.

An easy test would be to have the system on and playing some music and while your in the front row have someone turn off the front fill amp and see what that does to the perceived sound.
When turned off if there is a big hole in the sound coverage then the front fills are doing their job without drawing attention to themselves.

Jeff Lelko

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2020, 09:57:00 pm »

Hi Bruce.  Just to ask the question, what were the actual requirements for this project that were given to the installer?  I’m not trying to defend them as I too think you got the short end of the deal on this, but if the contract only said something along the lines of “install new speakers” or “speakers must be line array elements” then you’re not going to have any contractual mechanisms to make the contractor fix this.  What did your contract and/or Statement of Work prescribe?
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2020, 06:48:32 am »

Also, the church member who managed the install never specified any speaker management (DSP) at all, and the system was never tuned.
 ( 3-box line array)
The front fills just need to add a little energy on each side at the very front where the mains fall off.
No DSP to control the system is a big oversight and a result of someone making decisions that doesn't have the experience required.
3 box "line array"...not so much...
Seems like your front fills are where they need to be.

Forget about speaker "sensitivity"...let it go.
Changing the levels on the amps would be a place to start with lowering the volume of the main system and raising the master on the mixer. This would have the effect of "raising" the level of the front fill.
Do this in small increments to see if you can get the results you need.
Level and EQ adjustments are an important part of getting a system to work well and a system DSP is a good way to achieve that. It locks in the appropriate parameters and keeps it safe from those who " think" they know better. ;)

While I understand your "political" situation, as noted in other replies, get a pro in there and get it sorted out. There is no value in spending some money and not getting the results required!
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Bruce Wallick

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2020, 10:15:26 am »


All that aside and assuming the installers even thought about this in the first place there are kind of two schools of thought on front fill speakers, one is that the front fill is clearly heard and sort of hitting you in the face, the other is that the level is brought up just enough to fill in the void of sound from the mains but not draw attention to the speaker as being the sound source.

An easy test would be to have the system on and playing some music and while your in the front row have someone turn off the front fill amp and see what that does to the perceived sound.
When turned off if there is a big hole in the sound coverage then the front fills are doing their job without drawing attention to themselves.

I agree a fill should be just enough to supplement what's coming off the stage and clarify the pastor's voice when preaching. Thanks for your helpful idea on how to gauge fill level.
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Bruce Wallick

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2020, 10:18:18 am »


Changing the levels on the amps would be a place to start with lowering the volume of the main system and raising the master on the mixer. This would have the effect of "raising" the level of the front fill.
Do this in small increments to see if you can get the results you need.


Thanks for your helpful idea to bring down the other speakers until the fill sounds right. That was my plan too. We have excess output signal available from the console, which also has sufficient capability to EQ all the amp sends.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 10:20:43 am by Bruce Wallick »
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2020, 12:14:35 pm »

I agree a fill should be just enough to supplement what's coming off the stage and clarify the pastor's voice when preaching. Thanks for your helpful idea on how to gauge fill level.

To take front fills to another level is to have the front fills on a separate post fade mix so can only send to the front fills what is truly needed in them like vocals and unamplified stage instruments, ect.

Caleb Dueck

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2020, 01:25:46 pm »

To take front fills to another level is to have the front fills on a separate post fade mix so can only send to the front fills what is truly needed in them like vocals and unamplified stage instruments, ect.

How is this better?  Lip fills are an integral part of the overall speaker system to ensure even coverage, not an extension of the instruments.  I've seen this (separate lip fill mix) mentioned a few times, but have never found any (well-designed, well-implemented, installed church system) real world examples where it worked better.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2020, 01:57:05 pm »

How is this better?  Lip fills are an integral part of the overall speaker system to ensure even coverage, not an extension of the instruments.  I've seen this (separate lip fill mix) mentioned a few times, but have never found any (well-designed, well-implemented, installed church system) real world examples where it worked better.

I agree, but my fills are driven via a matrix which has the "base" level sent from the LR master fader. I then can add any instruments or vocals to that base level via an aux which can also feed that matrix. This has some upside, and some downside.

I can raise and lower the volume of the entire room via my master fader. I can't (easily) keep those extra sends in perfect relationship with my master level though. (I actually could with the CL5's fader groups, but not every console has this feature)



OP, please list some details of your system and room! You literally have some of the best audio talent in the world sitting here twiddling their thumbs! This place has been so slow lately we need a mystery to sleuth upon!
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Re: Will this speaker be louder than that one?
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2020, 01:57:05 pm »


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