How can I tell if i'm not getting enough power for my hometheater?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AaronNWilson, Nov 2, 2001.

  1. AaronNWilson

    AaronNWilson Second Unit

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    Well apart from my lights going dim, when the servo 15 gives a bass hit, what other ways is there to be sure?
    When I was listening to the song "Almost Famous - I've seen all good people" the first kickdrum hit is much louder than the successive kick drum hits. Does this mean that the sub isnt getting enough power?
    Aaron
     
  2. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    Very likely - The only real solution to clear any debate is to run a dedicated AC line to your sub (and to your reciver or amp). There are many sonic benefits if you run more than one set of AC wires to your HT system and keep them isolated from other AC lines in the house. It also helps to isolate your digital components from your analog as well. Worst case scenarios are if your HT gear is on the same AC circuit as other digital equipment, such as a computer, or high current appliances and electronics such as refrigerators and hair dryers. These sources "pollute" ac current as well as draw high amounts of electrical power, which DEFINITELY has an adverse affect on your HT gears' performance.
    Think of your amp as a power resevoir. Everytime there's bass, the resevoir's power dips dramatically. A decent amp could "refill" this resevoir rather quickly, but it requires a healthy flow of AC current. If there is enough AC power going to it, you may minimize the "refill" time.
    Regardless of whether you "Technically" have enough power to your sub and amps, you WILL DEFINITELY hear a noticable improvment by running the dedicated AC lines. You can either do it yourself or hire an electrician, which is still a cheaper alternative to purchasing a high grade power conditioner with isolation transformers and won't provide you with the stead stream of ac current you may require. Good luck
    Elbert
     
  3. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    Sounds like the same thing that happens to car audio guys when their headlights dim every time the bass hits hard. They use stiffing Caps(huge Capacitor) to help with the power. Does anyone know if they make these for HT and if they would work?
     
  4. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    Jeff- I think the closest thing is the PS AUDIO powerplants but like the power stiffeners for auto sound, they are relatively expensive. Again, most of this is avoided by running dedicated ac lines and haveing a fresh pair of AC wall outlets entirely dedicated to the amps and sub. It's much cheaper and most effective than even purchsing expensive power conditioners. Of course, the PS Audio powerplants will clean up the sound even more, but I doubt the power stiffening benefits will make much of a difference on dedicated ac lines. I ran about 125 feet from my fuse box to my room in the ceiling crawl space. Total cost was under $80. Had I hired an electrician, cost would have been close to $500, but still worth it IMO.
    Elbert
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Aaron,
    I wouldn’t break a sweat over one instance in a single song. It may be the way it was recorded. For example, if the kick drum is the first thing in the song, then you would expect it’s level to diminish when the other instruments kick in.
    Why don’t you try out this recording at a friend’s house, or in your car before you get worried?
    And really, people shouldn’t be recommending dedicated circuits without first asking about your equipment and situation. For instance, if you have your rig in a 12x12x8 room and your sub is a 150-watt 8-incher, it would be silly to install a dedicated circuit, wouldn’t it?
    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
    ------------------
    My Equipment List
    [Edited last by Wayne A. Pflughaupt on November 02, 2001 at 10:47 PM]
     
  6. AaronNWilson

    AaronNWilson Second Unit

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    Well the room is 5250 cubic feet and I am driving the equipment pretty hard.
    However I do note that the lights go dim whenever the bass in pounding in a techno song or something.
    edit:wayne in the first post it says the sub is a servo 15, correct me if i'm wrong but i think it has a 500 watt amp.
    Aaron
    [Edited last by AaronNWilson on November 02, 2001 at 10:57 PM]
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Okay, now we’re getting somewhere! Did you include all areas opening to the HT room in your total? You need to.
    But even with a room this size you obviously need a lot of power to get the volume needed for HT. If the lights are dimming, then you could definitely benefit from a dedicated circuit or two.
    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
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    My Equipment List
     
  8. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    I pretty much always recommend dedicated circuits to anyone when HT equipment causes lights to dim, regardless of equipment. I would even recommend it even if it's not concerning HT equipment. If it's directly related to AC current, dedicated AC lines is a viable solution. As stated, cost permiting, in addition to limited current shortage, there are always other sonic benefits to running more than one set of ac lines. Purchasing power regulating components is invariably expensive. After many inquiries, I've averaged costs anywhere between $150-$400 for most homes and apartments. The only real situation that I would probably not bother is for Home Theater Box set ups, small bedroom or secondary systems, or if its a the HT system is in a temporary residence.
     
  9. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Say i ran two dedicated lines to my HT, would it be okay to hook the reciever, amp, sub to one and TV, DVD to the other? Or should I have one dedicated to reciever/amp, sub and tv/dvd?
    Kevin
     
  10. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    I would definitely keep my dvd player on a separate ac line than my amp. I have my DVD player, TV/Display and subwoofer on one. My Amp is on another. My receiver, vhs, LD is on a third. However, if I only had 2 ac lines, I wouldn't mind just isolating my amp and TV, depending on much current is drawn from my amp.
    Elbert
     

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