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Do speakers put out the same volume?

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Posted on May 21, 2020 at 09:55:05
AudioDwebe
Audiophile

Posts: 1554
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: November 12, 2001
One thing led to another and now I'm measuring the output decibels of my speakers (single driver speakers in a cabinet) to see if there's anything wrong with them or the internal cabinetry.

I'm measuring with an app on my iPad so I don't know how accurate it is, but at the speakers there's a difference of about four decibels, but weirdly, at the listening position the differences were roughly a decible, which I'm sure is not discernable to the human ears.

Has anyone done something similar?

What did you find?




"Man, that mouse is Awesome." - Kaemon (referring to Jerry, of Tom and Jerry fame)

 

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RE: Do speakers put out the same volume?, posted on May 21, 2020 at 12:25:43
mlsstl
Audiophile

Posts: 315
Location: Midwest
Joined: September 1, 2015
Describe your testing setup in greater detail. How far is the iPad's microphone from the speakers when you test them? Is the position of the microphone relative to the speakers the same for both sides? How far is the mic from the speakers? (Room boundries and the signal frequencies involved may be affecting the results.) Are you suing a mono signal so that both speakers are receiving an identical signal (your test is meaningless if run using a stereo output since the left/right signals are inherently different.) How was the measurement at the listening position done?

More info will probably get you a better answer.

 

RE: Do speakers put out the same volume?, posted on May 21, 2020 at 17:49:40
RGA
Reviewer

Posts: 12120
Location: Hong Kong
Joined: August 8, 2001
It comes down to pair matching - Ken Kessler used to do reviews and found that speakers were often "off" their partner by as much as +/-5.9dB - and these were $10,000+ loudspeakers.

It may be even worse as I have not read most of his reviews. So at any given frequency a left speaker could be 5dB higher than the right speaker. Some speaker makers are very good in this regard. My speakers are a maximum 0.2dB full bandwith off their partner - KEF advertises they are within 0.5dB.

BUT - you should also make sure it is not a poor recording or the amplifier - flip the speaker connections so as to ensure it is not the amplifier balance being off.

 

+/- 6db... heck of a case for balance controls. -t, posted on May 22, 2020 at 06:39:17
The Killer Piglet
Audiophile

Posts: 4289
Location: FL
Joined: January 2, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
February 5, 2002
KP

 

My big stats vary depending upon humidity, posted on May 22, 2020 at 06:55:17
E-Stat
Audiophile

Posts: 29370
Joined: May 12, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
April 5, 2002
You set each for (almost) maximum bias before arcing which also determines level control. I keep a dehumidifier in the room and try to maintain <60%.

Sometimes, I'll need to adjust one to match the other in terms of output.

 

RE: Do speakers put out the same volume?, posted on May 22, 2020 at 11:14:50
6bq5
Audiophile

Posts: 3158
Location: SF Bay
Joined: August 16, 2001
make sure you are using the same channel of the amp to ensure that the imbalance is not coming from the AMP-
Happy Listening

 

Thanks, all, for input/suggestions. nt, posted on May 22, 2020 at 21:35:29
AudioDwebe
Audiophile

Posts: 1554
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: November 12, 2001
.
"Man, that mouse is Awesome." - Kaemon (referring to Jerry, of Tom and Jerry fame)

 

RE: Do speakers put out the same volume?, posted on May 23, 2020 at 04:09:45
vinnie2
Audiophile

Posts: 4477
Location: North Carolina
Joined: September 28, 2013
Just make sure you have a volume pot on each channel and don't worry about it. Another plus for DIY!

 

What I found..., posted on May 24, 2020 at 05:03:38
samstone
Audiophile

Posts: 349
Location: midwest inner city
Joined: August 11, 2002
Loudspeakers with attenuators/L-pads. All of my systems are now equipped with speakers with these essential adjustments. Ain't no other way!

 

RE: Do speakers put out the same volume?, posted on June 14, 2020 at 20:27:36
jrlaudio
Industry Professional

Posts: 73
Location: New York
Joined: November 2, 2012
Contributor
  Since:
December 0, 0000
Relative SPL differences of loudspeakers as measured are not always causally the loudspeakers in isolation. The cause can be a combination of multiple or other factors; relative output of the source, relative output of the system components, relative output of any passive XO system, loudspeaker driver differences, and most importantly room acoustics.

Even if you use a mono source, there can be differences in any part of the audio chain, from the source cabling all the way to the drivers in the loudspeakers. Also they all tend to act cumulatively. Simply adding volume pots on loudspeakers does not correct for the imbalance, since stereo signals can incur balance (not panning) differences, which cannot be resolved with simple volume pots since doing so would create a skewed stereo image where the "center" is no longer that. In my experience, most system imbalances between one channel and another occur at the major gain stage ... the amplifier. Power supply, transistors (tube) components and many other aging aspects of an amplifier can create gain differences between channels; and due to the high-gain involved the differences are more readily noticeable. This is particularly common when using monoblocks.

Room modes especially tangential type anti-nodes can reduce the apparent output of one loudspeaker, however most times these are frequency dependent and rarely effect the total bandwidth aurally. However, those lost (cancelled) frequencies can show up on SPL measuring devices as a reduction in total output, since they are part of the whole. This is one of the main drawbacks of using broadband SPL measuring devices to measure loudspeaker performance.

Without testing the relative levels at all points in the audio chain and by not taking proper room measurements using more complex analysis methodology, assuming the loudspeakers are to blame is just that ... an assumption.

 

RE: Do speakers put out the same volume?, posted on July 1, 2020 at 01:15:06
KanedaK
Audiophile

Posts: 1708
Location: Brussels
Joined: April 27, 2010
6dB??? sounds like a lot. Sure of the numbers? there's no way to get even a vague sense of stereo image with a 6dB unbalance

 

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