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Pushing Receiver's Limits

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Tim O..., Oct 24, 2004.

  1. Tim O...

    Tim O... Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm having a big party to celebrate my doctoral graduation in two weeks. I've been planning and looking forward to it for almost 2 years, and in fact it's one of the reasons I bought my audio system. I'm running an H/K AVR 525 with Athena Technologies speakers in a 7.1 configuration. All speakers have a sensitivity ranging from 90 - 92 db/W/m. I'm also using an SVS PB2-ISD sub. This is all set up in an unfinished, 4000 cu. ft. basement. The music will be trance and techno and I'm expecting 40-50 people (15-20 or so will be dancing in the basement). I want lots of volume. I just tested it at volume levels of 0 to +10 (with 0 calibrated to 80 db), and while the fan came on several times, the amp didn't shut down or noticeably clip. I plan to add extra fan ventilation during the party. I had it in 7 channel stereo mode and will be doing the same during the party.

    I'm wondering if any of you has done something similar with your 525 (or 510, 520, or 630) - i.e. played it at or near its limits for MANY hours on end, all channels driven, with challenging material, in a system of moderate sensitivity. Any of you damage or hurt your receiver doing something like this? How did it perform?
     
  2. mark rush

    mark rush Stunt Coordinator

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    I dont think you will have any trouble, just remember with 40 plus people and equipment, it might get a little warm, so some A/C and a fan or two for your amp, will help.
    Also most D.J.'s start off the night with the music volume on the down side and turn it up a notch every hour. good luck with your party and have a drink for me[​IMG]
     
  3. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Hate to be a wet blanket but while selling home audio for three years, we found that parties were one of the biggest causes for burned-out speakers. Receivers, while less prone to this, also experienced their fair share of problems during these times.

    A system may get loud with no one in the room, but once it's filled with all those sound-absorbing people, the acoustics will be a lot different.

    Tweeters will usually be the first to go at times like these. They seldom give warnings of their demise even in a quiet room, much less at a party. And trance and techno?? Oh man, with all those high-frequency synthesizer effects you had better be careful. Woofers, even in a speaker set to "small" can still receive a good chunk of bass (ever watched a woofer set to even a 100Hz xover? I have, on my own system and they can get "blurry" quite fast).

    Over-powered woofers banging against their frames (in the satellites) also might be hard to detect in situations like this, and knowing that dance music many times contains some strange sound effects, if heard this banging could be mistaken for the music instead.

    Another frequent cause of a fried system: people that keep inching up the volume control thinking it's not loud enough but this is only because their hearing has been dulled by sustained high volume levels (concert-goers can attest to this effect).

    Lastly, high power levels for sustained periods can be a bad thing for home equipment. Voice coil adhesives, wiring and crossover components that are made for short bursts of high power just don't do well with longer periods of high power.

    All the above is why P.A. equipment is built differently than home stuff: amps with huge heat sinks; large fans that are always operating; tweeters/woofers with over-sized voice coils that are made of fire-proof materials & many times replaceable in the field just in case; even woofer frames with built-in cooling fins; woofer surrounds made of thick treated cloth (foam or rubber might tear); etc.

    And watch out for people using speakers as drink holders, including the subwoofer. I've also seen speakers get kicked or knocked over at parties and tweeters dented from errant elbows.

    So basically, I would be very observant during this time.

    Other than that, have fun! [​IMG]
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Congratulations are in order, Dr. Tim!

    Hate to further rain on your parade, but Lance nailed it 100%: Home equipment is simply not built to endure the kind of punishment you are proposing. The only time I ever[/i] had failures in my system was when some idiot relative did the full-blast party thing. Blew a woofer and a tweeter both. A few months later one channel of my receiver mysteriously died – the one and only time I’ve ever had an amplifier go south on me.

    It would probably be worth your while to spend a few hundred and rent a DJ system for the night.

    If not, I suggest running your system as straight-up stereo. With fewer amplifier channels operating, the receiver will run cooler. And the two operating channels will have more headroom than they would if all channels were going.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. Tim O...

    Tim O... Stunt Coordinator

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    Yikes! I guess I'm going to rethink the sound for the party a bit. I didn't know that home systems were that fragile/susceptible to damage, but it makes sense upon further reflection. Thanks for the warnings guys.
     
  6. jinW

    jinW Extra

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    be careful...

    look at al lout's story
    you can see in the thread with thread id=215135

    (I can not post a link now)
     
  7. al lout

    al lout Stunt Coordinator

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    Congrats Dr. Tim O...

    Have a great party, I hope what happened to me won't repeat on you. I fried my receiver for cranking up the volume too loud. Or it's just to my bad luck that the receiver is about to go. Whatever reason it is... have fun and congrats...

    Al,
     
  8. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    If you HAVE to have some loud tunes for a long time and you think you might do this on a regular basis, I've heard the following "DJ" speakers and they sounded pretty good for what they're intended for: bass had very good punch & highs were clear, but a little sharp (it uses a horn tweeter, so......) and don't cost much:

    MTX DJ 12" speakers
     
  9. JohnDG

    JohnDG Stunt Coordinator

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    Any recommendations for self-powered speaker(s) to directly connect to a karaoke machine?

    jdg
     
  10. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Just to give you some ideas:

    Basic "everything" system

    Actual powered P.A. speakers (not inexpensive though & need a separate mixer)

    From Peavy

    From JBL

    BTW: I do have one speaker I DON'T recommend connecting to such a machine--a pair of Mirage OM-7s!

    A couple years ago I was at a local Tweeter browsing around & a couple came in and asked for the manager. After a couple minutes you could tell things weren't going very well because of the taut facial expressions and animated hand gestures. I finally asked one of the sales guys I knew from previous visits about what was wrong: he told me another salesman had sold the Mirages to this couple but the couple had supposedly neglected to tell him they would be used for their restaurant's karaoke bar. Turns out both speakers quickly got fried & the couple wanted their money back. For example, can you imagine the torture the woofers would go through if someone simply blew on the mic to test it or even worse, dropped it? Ouch!!!

    Those poor omnipolars, trying to fill an entire bar room with shaky versions of "Margaritaville" & "Ain't No Mountain High Enough". [​IMG]
     
  11. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Quite a story -"ouch" indeed!

    Mackie also makes some decent powered speakers. It's best to shop for this kind of stuff at a local musician's store, like Guitar Center.
     
  12. Tim O...

    Tim O... Stunt Coordinator

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    Just a quick note to say that I had the party, and all my equipment survived (so far). Once again I've realized that the 525 was a great buy. It handled the night with no problems - although the fan did run quite a bit. My primary DJ brought over an older, massive Yamaha power amp but one of the channels was faulty, so we only had my 525 and it did the job. I never raised it past +3 all night, calibrated to about 80db at 0.

    My SVS PB12-ISD/2 also kicked major ____. Everyone there *could not believe* it's output and how it shook the place, even the bassheads. The sound system was in the basement, and a lot of people came up to me and said they loved the foot massage they got from standing on the main floor. I love doing my homework and making incredible buys.

    Thanks for the advice everyone.
     
  13. mark rush

    mark rush Stunt Coordinator

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    sounds like you had a great time, I thought you would have no problems with your system as long as you are not pushing it to hard, remember anything can break so enjoy it and have a little fun
     
  14. Nan H

    Nan H Agent

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    next party you could try using a pair of mackie SRM-450's, there active speakers so you could connect them to a headphone jack (or any other output) and control the volume with the receivers volume knob
     

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