Debut Speaker FAQ – Andrew Jones

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    Chris Walker
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    Q1. What speaker stands do you recommend?

    A1. The speaker stands should bring the speaker to a height such that the tweeter is at roughly ear level. This means a stand height of between typically 24-28”. The stand itself should be rigid and have a base area large enough so that the speaker will not easily tip over. It can help to spike the stand to the floor for better security.

    Q2. What is the proper placement for the speakers?

    A2. The $64,000 question! This is so difficult to answer with any certainty. It is so dependent upon the particular circumstances of your listening room. There have been some attempts to give rules of placement, such as the rule of thirds. This however in practice is just so limiting. Very few rooms are of a regular shape, and added to that are the different acoustic properties of the walls, the floor, the windows and of openings into other rooms, that blanket rules are largely wishful thinking.

    Some clear pointers are that:
    1. Putting the speakers closer to walls and corners will give you more bass, and quite possibly too much bass
    2. Location the listening seat will give you more bass, and maybe too much
    3. Listening dead center in the room will likely give you a big null in the bass at some frequencies and result in uneven reproduction of bass notes.

    The simple answer is that there is no simple solution. Start by placing the speakers about 10’ apart, listen around 12’ away, keep the speakers around 3’ from rear and side walls, listen around 2/3rds of the way down the room, then just keep experimenting. Listening to some music with good, consistent bass that explores the full range of the bass frequencies, and then keep moving the speakers inch by inch and listening for the most even reproduction of each bass note. It can be a long involved process, but is worth it in the long term.

    Q3. What if I have to place the speaker closer to the wall?

    A3. Putting the speakers closer to walls and corners will give you more bass, and quite possibly too much bass. In such situations, you could try changing your listening location to one that minimizes the effect of this boost. Alternatively, a simple tone control might help alleviate the problem. Alternatively, if you are using a subwoofer, the setting a high-pass filter to the main speaker at around 80Hz will eradicate the problem. If all else fails, sometimes stuffing the rear vent of the speaker will help reduce the amount of bass. An old sock or foam ball can work quite well!

    Q4. What amplifier do you recommend with the Debut Series Speakers?

    A4. The Debut speaker range all have an easy impedance level, so are an easy load for most amplifiers to drive. An amplifier with a minimum of around 40W/6 ohms should be adequate for normal listening levels in smaller rooms with up to around 140W/6 ohms for larger rooms and higher listening levels.

    Q5. Can I use the Debut A4 Atmos speaker as surround speaker?

    A5. We do not recommend the A4 as a general surround speaker. The Atmos requirements are quite specific in terms of restricted directivity and bass response. As a result the Atmos speakers are designed to be used no lower than 180Hz and therefore require the receiver to limit the low frequencies going to the Atmos speakers to 180Hz. Feeding low bass to the speaker could result in damage.

    Q6. Can I mount your Debut Bookshelf speakers on the wall?

    A6. With wall mounting, the rear vent ends up being in very close proximity to the wall. You are not likely to choke of the bass coming out of the vent, but you will strongly modify the sound of the bass, and it may be overwhelming. Two solutions can be used:

    1. If using a subwoofer in a home theater setup, set the xover point to no lower than 80Hz. This will then eliminate frequencies that would normally come from the vent and reduce the problem.
    2. If all else fails, sometimes stuffing the rear vent of the speaker will help reduce the amount of bass. An old sock or foam ball can work quite well!

    Q7. Why is the sensitivity low on the Debut Series speakers?

    A7. All speakers are governed by the laws of physics. There are in particular three parameters that are inter-linked : Box size, low frequency response and efficiency. This limits your choices. You cannot have both a small box and a high efficiency and an extended bass response. If you want low bass and a small box you cannot have high efficiency.
    If high efficiency is a goal, then the speaker can play loud with only a modest power amplifier, but will not have good bass response. However, the number of opportunities for playing loud music at home tend to be limited. Most of the time we listen at only modest sound levels. As such, we sacrifice bass response for all our music, for the trade-off that occasionally we can play loud.
    The Debut series priority was to be able to have extended bass and so we gave up somewhat on efficiency, recognizing also that higher power amplifiers are lower cost than ever, if one needs the ability to play loud!

    Q8. Are the Debut speakers easy to power?

    A8. The Debut speaker range all have an easy impedance level, so are an easy load for most amplifiers to drive. Although we have limited the efficiency in order to get an extended bass response, an amplifier with a minimum of around 40W/6 ohms should be adequate for normal listening levels in smaller rooms with up to around 140W/6 ohms for larger rooms and higher listening levels.

    Q9. What speaker wire do you recommend with the Debut Series Speakers?

    A9. There is a lot of controversy surrounding choice of speaker cables. We leave the choice of brand and cost up to the individual customer. However, regarding the gauge of wire to be used, we recommend the following: A minimum of 16 gauge for runs of up to 20 feet.

    Q10. Do I need a subwoofer with these speakers?

    A10. You may well get away without using a subwoofer at all, even with our bookshelf speakers. All our speakers are designed to have an extended bass response, giving up some efficiency in order to achieve this. If your listening habits are predominantly with music that doesn’t have super low bass recorded, or not at high levels, then you can enjoy the simplicity of just the main pair of speakers. However, if you have a large listening space, like to listen to music very loud or to music that contains lots of low bass or want to use the speakers as part of a home theater setup then a subwoofer would be advantageous.

    Q11. What are the spikes for that came with the F5 and F6 speakers?

    A11. The purpose of the spikes are to increase the cabinet stability to prevent them being knocked over, particularly when they are used on carpeted floors. In the case of wood floors or floors that may be easily damaged by the spikes, we recommend that you place something under the tip of the spikes to prevent damage.

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