Correlation between volume and power

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ricky***C, Oct 29, 2002.

  1. Ricky***C

    Ricky***C Extra

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    All things being equal, does more wpc result in better or clearer sound at low volumes (i.e., you can still carry on a conversation). In other words, at the same low volume level, will a 120 wpc receiver sound better than say a 80 or 60 wpc receiver.
     
  2. Pete Gia

    Pete Gia Stunt Coordinator

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    I would say,only if the 120 watter is a better quality machine.
     
  3. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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  4. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Usually with more power comes better current reserves and better control. So if one unit is more powerful then the other then all things cannot be equal. So saying that 'all things being equal will a 120W receiver sound better than an 80W receiver', is an oxymoron. So with all things not being equal, that is one unit having more power output than the other, it will infact sound better than the less powerful unit, even at low volumes.

    Hope that answers your question.
     
  5. Ricky***C

    Ricky***C Extra

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    Sure does. Thanks. Asked because of the wife.
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    I had an old Technics 120 wpc stereo receiver. I hooked it up to my VCR and the results WERE better than the stock TV speakers.

    For Christmass, my wife gave me a modern Yamaha receiver. The salesman sold her a RXV-793 with 80 wpc. Bravely, I opened the box being careful to retain the packing so I could return it in a few days for something better. I hooked the unit up, fired up a tape and my jaw dropped. That lowly 80 wpc unit made a huge difference with my old, power-hungry speakers. It started my love of HT and I now own two 793's and a DSP-A1. (And the 793 receivers sound nearly as good as the flagship A1 for movies.)

    So trying to compare receivers based on a single number is not a good way to judge.

    The more experience members have figured out the mystery. The old 120 wpc receiver had a gross capacity of 2 x 120 = 240 watts. But the new Yamaha was designed with a gross capacity of 5 x 80 = 400 watts. Even though each channel was limited to about 80 watts, the device had power to spare.

    So, watts is important, but so is the frequency range, stereo vs 5 channel mode, and very important: what resistance is used to measure that power.

    Ex) My 80 wpc receiver should really be defined as: "80 wpc, 20-20,000 hz, all 5 channels driven into 8 ohm, non-inductive loads"


    If they used 4 ohm speakers, the power rating would be honestly reported nearer 160 watts per channel. Some manufacturers use 6 or 4 ohm speakers to make the numbers look bigger.
     
  7. MikeBisch

    MikeBisch Auditioning

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    I will share my experience. I brought home a Yamaha RX-V1 for a few weeks with the thought that I would downsize my separates based Hi-Fi system for the new apartment. I have B&W Matrix 803sII speakers and am using a 30 wpc Pass Aleph 3 amp to drive them. To put it bluntly, the Pass SMOKED the Yamaha. There was not one thing I can say the Yamaha did even as good as the Pass. The Yamaha's 110 wpc didn't even seem to be any more powerful than my Pass's 30 wpc. So much for more watts being better! Needless to say that the Yamaha went back to the store! So much for clearing the living room of a stereo rack.
     
  8. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    And when you bring Tube amps into the mix with only 7 watts per channel, it's a whole new ballgame. The tube amp will burry nearly any normal 100W/ch receiver.

    For the most part, usually a higher end unit will carry more power therefore with built quality and added power should sound better.
     
  9. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    When I say all things not being equal I dont mean the brands and design and implementation and all of that good stuff is different too. All that has to be equal to make a fair comparison. So if you are comparing a PASS aleph 30 with a Yamaha then the PASS would sound better even at low volumes because it is a better design, better implemented with better build quality components and not because of it being lower power than the Yamaha. Now if you were to compare a Pass Aleph 30 with a Pass Aleph 50 then I would think (because I didnt actually hear it) the Aleph 50 would sound better than the Aleph 30 even at low volumes.

    So to be a fair, compare the Aleph 30 with the Aleph 50 and compare a Yamaha 793 with a DSP-A1.

    Hope that makes my point clearer.
     
  10. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  11. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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  12. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    This was just an expression to illistrate that you can't measure sound quality in terms of measured power in Watts.
     
  13. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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