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Config Help. 700 Watt Amp not compat with 900 Watt Speakers?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by ltolman, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. ltolman

    ltolman New Member

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    Ok heres the story, years and years ago I started to build my own entertainment system. I bought one thing at a time. I bought 2 huge floor speakers, then I bought 2 (by the way 2 meaning 1 pair lol) desk speakers; followed by a surround package which contained 1 center and 2 speakers for the rear. And all this was completed by 1998 I think.

    Since then I have only updated my Pro Logic Receiver

    Of course speakers start to fade over time so I was thinking of getting an actual 5.1 speaker setup. I'm a huge Sony fan and noticed their 5.1 speaker package was like 699 dollars and was like OMG.

    Then I was looking at the "Home Theatre in a Box" ~ 300 dollars. However I recently (2years) bought a new receiver so all I really need is a set of new speakers. I have been with Sony Live Chat asking if certain speakers or components was compatible with my receiver before I bought it and each time I heard 'no, sorry it isnt" but I guess i can understand because I was trying to use a 1000 watt speaker setup on a 630 watt amplifier.

    Ok I can understand that.

    So I was still searching Sonys products and found an ES receiver, first off, OMG so expensive but I guess I can understand; afterall its Sony. Ok so 799 dollars for a receiver so I was looking at the 5.1/7.1 speakers and vefified that it was compatible on the product page, which it said it was. So I wanted to be 100% sure by asking a representative and he said no; a 990 watt speaker setup cannot be well played thru a 700 watt amplifier. He said that it would effect the speakers by diminishing the sound over time. I asked well how long would that be; he said it would depend on the volme and a few other factors. So what doesnt make sense is that above, I cannot use a 1000 watt speaker set up on a 630 watt amplifer NOR can i use a 990 watt speaker setup on a 700 watt amplifer.

    What gives?

    How do these people do it? How do they build their own home theatre? As mentioned above I basically have 3 different brand names for speakers and probably, maybe producing different outputs, I dont know.

    I dont want the "Home Theatre in a Box" setups cause they dont have many inputs for one.

    As far as what I currently have hooked up......HA well here goes.


    *5 Disc CD Changer
    *Standard DVD Player
    *HD DVD Player
    *Sony Playstation 3
    *Tape Player


    Of course I have a TV but no cable, so no point in a hookup there

    I also have a Nintendo Wii but no specific support so I have the sound coming to the TV not thru the receiver

    So I get to call Sales tomorrow at Sony and ask about this so called "incompability" but I'd also like to get an opinion here.

    If I had to venture a guess, my center speaker is gonna give out on me first. Now I did see on Sonys webpage for 99 dollars I get 1 center speaker and 2 additonal speakers (which I use for the rear) oddly enough its the same price as I paid 11 years ago lol So at least I'm safe there.

    I just want to upgrade someday. As it stands if Sony tells me that a 990 watt speaker system can play just fine on a 700 watt amplifier then theres at least 1700 dollars Id have to pay :(
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Well-Known Member

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    Hi Larry. Welcome to the forum.

    Based on what you have written in your post, I would hold off on calling Sony for awhile. If I'm following you correctly, they are telling you some lies and leading you in the wrong direction.

    Please post some details (brand/model) on your current speakers and receiver so that we can better assist you.

    One thing that is important to know is that a wattage rating on a speaker is essentially irrelevant. Your volume, or sound pressure level, is determined by the power of your receiver, the sensitivity of your speakers and the room that they are placed in.
    As far as compatibility goes, the only way that speakers would not be compatible with your current receiver is if you have some sort of HTiB receiver that has proprietary connections on it.
     
  3. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    As Seth said, the wattage ratings on speakers are basically useless. They are more propaganda and BS than anything else. The Sony people are feeding you a line, nothing more. Take a look at efficiency and the power of your amp. Lower powered amplifiers (80 W rms or so) will be louder when powering more efficient speakers. Less efficient speakers need more power to reach the same volume levels. More importantly, pay attention to the way they sound, because you have to listen to them, not stare at the spec sheet.
     
  4. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Well-Known Member

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    I thought the resistence of the speakers had to match that of the receiver? (I.e., driving 4 ohm speakers with an 8 ohm receiver would eventually fry the receiver.)
     
  5. SethH

    SethH Well-Known Member

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    Al -- that's a valid point. Most speakers in the consumer market are 8ohm with the exception of a handful of brands. Also, several HTiBs have an odd ohm rating.

    Either way, if the OP can post some additional detail I think we can do much more to help than his friends at Sony.
     
  6. ltolman

    ltolman New Member

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    Large set of speakers:

    MCS Series 3 way passive radiator speaker system
    Frequency response: 40hz-30,000hz
    Impedance: 8ohms
    Input: 100 watts
    Crossover frequency: 4,500hz-11,000-hz

    Smaller set of speakers:

    Venturi V52
    Frequency Reponse: 60hz-20kHz
    Recommended Amplifier Power: 5 to 75 watts
    Impedance: 8ohms
    Crossover Frequency: 5000hz


    Surround speakers

    Sony SS-CR150

    2 Small speakers
    SS-CN15
    Frequency Range: 85-20,000hz
    Impedance: 8ohms
    Power Handling Capacity: 120 Watts
    Sensitivity: 89db (1W, 1m)


    Center
    SS-SR15
    Frequency Range: 85-20,000hz
    Impedance: 8ohms
    Power Handling Capacity: 70 Watts
    Sensitivity: 87db (1W, 1m)


    Receiver

    Sony Multi Channel AV Receiver STR DG710

    Audio Power Specs:

    With 8ohms loads, both channels driven, from 20-20,000hz; rated 95 watts per channel minimum RMS power, with no more than 0.09% total harmonic distortion from 250 milliwatts to rated output

    Minimum RMS Output Power (8ohms, 20Hz-20kHz, THD 0.09%)
    95 W + 95 W

    Stereo Mode Output Power (8ohms, 1kHz, THD 1%)
    105 W + 105 W

    Surround Mode Ouput Power (8ohms, 1kHZ, THD 10%)
    140 W/ch



    Ok well is that the information you needed? Now these stats are my current configuration but perhaps I'm confused here. Were you needing the specs on my upcoming speakers or were you just needing my current ones?
     
  7. JohnRice

    JohnRice Well-Known Member

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    As the guys have already said, virtually all of those specs are pretty much meaningless. Oh yeah, also like they said, the information you have been told (by Sony or whatever "representative") is total BS. What generally matters. Speaker impedance. if it is 8 ohm, you know you any receiver is safe. Sensitivity. The higher, the easier it is to play the speakers loud. Sometimes there will be a maximum output, also in dB, which tells how absolutely loud you can play the speakers. For sensitivity, anything around 93 dB or higher is considered fairly sensitive. Some are over 100. This has nothing to do with quality or sound, just how easy it is to play them loud.

    Just a personal opinion. Don't commit yourself to Sony, especially with speakers. You can do FAR better for less money. I've purchased many Sony products through the years, and the result is, I won't be giving them any more of my money. You will find that sentiment fairly common here.
     
  8. JohnRice

    JohnRice Well-Known Member

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    One other important thing. Speakers do NOT necessarily fade over time. At least not any amount of time less than maybe 40 or 50 years. If you don't abuse them and the surrounds don't deteriorate, speakers are absolutely usable for decades. The problem is, depending on where you live and the construction of the surrounds, that one item can fall apart, but it is also very fixable. I have speakers that are probably 30 years old, and my main ones are closing in on 17. I expect they will be my primary speakers for most, if not all of the rest of my life.
     
  9. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Well-Known Member

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    [More on speaker "fade"] On the other hand, as you add more load to the amplifier, the amplifier might be pushing it's internal limits. I know I had an amplifier that allegedly had more power than anyone would ever need. Turns out, well, it didn't. Maybe the amplifier circuits could, but the power supply couldn't feed enough power to do so.

    To reiterate other people, speakers, if not abused, can last a life-time. Actually, so can a lot of the other equipment. What's more important is, "how does it sound?" Do you like how it sounds?

    As far as receiver/amplifiers, you'll find a lot of people here have favorites. Perfectly reasonable, that. My take on the number of inputs is, generally, it's hard to have too many, even though I've gone down over the last few years as I support fewer and fewer devices (like the VCR. It died, I never noticed. The last time I did a re-arangement, it disappeared, too. No big loss.) Likewise, haven't run the laserdisc player much recently, either. But none of that is "here or there," either.

    As far as "can this amplifier drive my speakers," a more telling set of specifications to look at is on the plate that has the serial number. Somewhere, it'll say something like "120VAC 550 Watts," or, with the same sort of example, "120V 4.6A". If it says this, and then on the front says 900 watts, then you know they're blowing smoke. Yes, individually, the channels might add up to 900 watts. But it's not going to drive all five channels at full power -- it can't. The fuse protecting the power supply won't let it.

    It won't be a straight linear conversion, of course -- I'm adding this 'cause I know someone's going to point and say, "wrong!" -- but if the power rating on the serial number plate isn't anywhere close to what is the sum of the amplifier channels, then there's something smokey going on. If it's more like a 900-watt set of amplifiers, and the power supply says, say, 800 watts, then that's a whole lot more reasonable than 500 watts.

    Then, of course, is how loud do you run your system? If you're trying for "reference levels," which are seriously loud, then you're going to need an amplifier that can drive a whole lot of power into your speakers.
     
  10. ltolman

    ltolman New Member

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    So my original goal as well was to buy a

    Sony DAV-HDX285 Bravia Theatre System and just use the "speakers" for my current pro logic receiver.


    However if I remember correctly the speaker setup wasnt compatible. Meaning I think my current pro logic uses wire for hooking it up whereas the other may not? The Sony rep that day told me it wasnt but perhaps it is?


    Again it would be a 1000 watt speaker system in a 600 watt amplifier; or whatever the max is; 105 per channel.
     
  11. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    Otolman, did you read the thread? Virtually every person in here told you the following:

    A) Wattage ratings on speakers are useless.
    B) What the Sony rep says is useless, do your own research.

    Now you come back with yet another post talking about what the Sony rep told you and asking about the wattage ratings on your speakers. I believe the answers you want are either already posted in the tread or require more research above and beyond what the Sony rep has stated.
     
  12. michaelg589

    michaelg589 Active Member

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    Not that i'm a big expert but, I would never spend $700 on any piece of Sony sound equipment. I think Sony is decent bang for buck, but at those price levels you can do better. Sony has always been about big wattage. Theyre constantly advertising how theyre various speakers can handle a zillion watts of power. Most of their new "Home theater in a box"s are labeled with something like 1000 watt. It alll B.S.. Like others have said, stop talking to these Sony reps and do your own research. Its about efficiency, not necessarily wattage. Look at the sensitvity ratings and the frequency response more. I'd rather pair a powerful amp to less powerful speakers than have it the other way around.
     

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