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HT receiver abilities/settings... I need your help

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Mr. Shelly, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. Mr. Shelly

    Mr. Shelly Auditioning

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    I am changing my speakers which require more power to be all they can be. They will need to be bi-amplified. On my Sony STR-DA3ES receiver does the second room (or B) speakers split the front "A" channel in stereo mode? Or does this use say the rear speaker channels to drive them? The reason I ask is, if I were to run the "B" speaker outputs to the second set of inputs on my front speakers, will it just split the same channel between A and B 50/50 and thus not benefit me at all to connect the B spkr wires? Or does the A speaker outs still have the full 100 watts and the B speaker another 100 watts thus enabling me to bi-amp the fronts in stereo mode?

    Second, I am getting a new center as well and found out it is a 6 ohm speaker while the fronts and rear will still be 8 ohm. The manual says that it if any of the speakers are less than 8 ohms, the receiver should be set to 4 ohms. Is that correct? That doesn't seem quite right to me. Should I still keep it set at 8 ohms even if the center ch spkr is rated at 6 ohms?
     
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  2. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    Bi-amping with an AVR is pointless. The only way to get any (even if barely noticeable) performance improvement is with separate power amps.

    What speakers do you have currently? Are you sure you really need "more power"? What aspect of your system performance is unsatisfying? There may be other things that can be done instead of bi-amping.
     
  3. ArmSC

    ArmSC Supporting Actor

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    I'm really curious to see what speakers you're moving to that you'll need 200 watts to run correctly. How large is the room that you're using these in?

    I don't think that you'll need to change the AVR to 4 ohm mode for a single 6 ohm center speaker. I could be wrong but I just don't think a single 6 ohm speaker is going to require that.
     
  4. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    The "rated" 100w per channel is not indicative of real world performance. Even in the manual, it states that the 100W per channel was for 2-channel mode.

    The receiver pulls 410 watts off the wall. Some of that power has to go to running everything OTHER than the amplifiers. If we estimate 20-30 watts consumed for processing, etc. That leaves 380-390 watts for the amplfiers. Split 6 ways that's a best case scenario of about 63-65 watts per channel.

    If you have reasonably efficient speakers (89dB or higher), that should be enough "power" to produce satisfying SPL in anything other than a pretty large room.

    1W --> 89dB
    2W --> 92dB
    4W --> 95dB
    8W --> 98dB
    16W --> 101dB
    32W --> 104dB
    64W --> 107dB

    Keep in mind, it takes a doubling of power to increase SPL by 3dB, so to really improve performance you'd need a top of the line receiver that actually produces a real-world per-channel output of >120W.

    Alternatively, if you increase your speaker efficiency by 3dB, you need HALF the power to produce the same SPL.

    This is the reason that we always reiterate that quality speakers have by far the biggest impact on the performance of your system.
     
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  5. Mr. Shelly

    Mr. Shelly Auditioning

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    I had my beloved old Energy Connoisseur C-6 speakers in the shop for quite a while. So, I had got some lame JBL E60s with matching center really cheap, that I used while waiting. I can't wait to get my system back to it's former glory soon. In anticipation, I just got an Energy AC-300 center.
    Anyway, I do remember with the C6 spkrs (which are great all around but) the low end was weak. I had researched this and many, many people said these speakers love power and really shine when bi-amplified and for the low end to be strong it requires a second amp.
    Now, I have always known that running A and B speakers just splits the front channels power, but I was hoping that my nicer Sony ES might have done things a bit differently to run the second room speakers not by splitting the power from the front channel in stereo mode but used the rear channels or something. One can always hope and is worth asking, in case they were smart enough to do it the way I would have designed. But I never got the answer from Sony, so I thought I ask you folks. I had been looking at a power amp for this but am out of room in my cab which is just about maxed out with components at this point. If I do need to go that way, is there a cost effective, not too think, quality amp you can recommend to bi-amp the fronts?
    And yes, the manual does say that if any of the speakers are below 8 ohms that it should be set to 4 ohms on the amp. But really doesn't sound right, that I would do that with a 6 ohm center and the rest being 8 ohms.
    Thanks guys
    PS, I hate the flubbery JBL sub I have now after giving my older high-end sub to my pastor when I set him up with a nice system. So, can anybody recommend a tight, musical, front firing sub that can still pull off HT well enough? I was thinking of one with a 10" driver and in the ballpark of 200 watts, but I am open to anything if it sounds right and I can get it for a reasonable price used. Thanks again
     
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  6. Jason Charlton

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    I really does sound as if a better subwoofer is the solution you should consider pursuing, rather than bi-amping. In a home theater setup, your mains should be set to "small" so that you can utilize the receiver's bass management and crossover to relieve your mains of the low end burden and leave the heavy lifting to the subwoofer. Just because your speakers can go low doesn't mean they have to - particularly if you're planning on really pushing the system and are concerned about performance. Capable mains like the C6's (which apparently have an efficiency of between 89 and 92dB) provide you with much more flexibility in choosing a crossover that works in your room and provides the best overall performance.

    Back to biamping - the reason it's pointless with an AVR is that you're dealing with a finite amount of power that it's pulling from the wall - regardless of how you connect it (even with AVRs that have extra binding posts for bi-amping - it's downright silly). I can't really provide specifics on power amp recommendations as that's not something with which I have any firsthand experience.

    Technically, the impedance of a speaker is variable - depending on what is being played at the moment. If everything else in your system is 8 ohm, I would stick with the 8 ohm setting unless you're planning on REALLY pushing the system. Your receiver will shut down or go into protect mode if things get out of hand - then you'll know and can set it to 4 ohm (but all that really does is limit the gain).

    As for subwoofer recommendations, it depends on budget. The best subs in the $100-$200 range include the Dayton models from PartsExpress and the Bic F-12 and similar models that are available from Amazon. If your budget is closer to the $500 or so range, there are additional options, and other members will chime in with suggestions.
     
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  7. Mr. Shelly

    Mr. Shelly Auditioning

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    Thanks you, I appreciate your response. I did have a great sub when I had the C6s as my mains but can't remember what it was like with them together, just that on their own they had weak low end, but tight and accurate.And that when I researched these a bit many of the owns were saying to bi-amp them.I might be best off just getting the quality sub first and then worrying about bi-amping if needed later.

    As far as the sub goes, as with everything electronic and cars and whatever possible, I try to go with quality I can't afford new and get well proven stuff with great reviews used. This way getting something better that will last and I will be happy with as opposed to people who get the next and most popular thing new and get crap and then call me over...
    I will say that I have ruined my back and will never work again, so being able to get what I want takes patients in saving or searching. So, any suggestions of a sub that is tight and musical that can handle HT which I can get used for under the $250 or less would be great.

    It's funny, Sony did get back to me this by happenstance and they said I must set the receiver to 4 ohms if I have a 6 ohms center. Then said, I should get an 8 ohm center instead. But I am not planning on replacing my new (to me center) which is supposed to be killer.
     
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  8. ArmSC

    ArmSC Supporting Actor

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    I would stick with the 8ohm too. I also agree with him that a sub seems to be solution to the lack of low end. I would definitely add one into the mix.

    It looks like you're looking for a sub that is on the small side, tight, and can pull HT duty. I would look at these.

    • Energy ESW-C10 $150 / Energy ESW-C8 $100 These will match everything else if you're into being all matchy-matchy. The 10" will probably do better for HT as it reaches a bit deeper.
    • Dayton Sub 800 $100 / Dayton Sub 1000 $120 - Good all around subs. I don't know that they will excel at either roll but they will do well at both. (Larger versions are also available if you want a larger sub)
    • Polk PSW111 $180 - Great little sub with 150 watts RMS. This guy is tight and musical but can do HT.
    • Martin Logan Dynamo 300 $150 - Supposed to be very musical and good for smaller HT rooms.
    • Klipsch SW-112 $250 - Top of the budget and more HT oriented than others I thought I would include it.
     
  9. Mr. Shelly

    Mr. Shelly Auditioning

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    Thanks for the short list. I will check into those for sure.
    I just found somebody on craigslist selling a Definitive Technology Prosub 100 for $100. Anybody have any thoughts on these? It has a 10" driver and boasts of very frequencies while being very musical. I know it has something like 10 years on it but the guy says it still in great shape, other than marks on the white finish (which I think I would spray paint black).
     
  10. Salacious Ackbar

    Salacious Ackbar Supporting Actor

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    I would go for a BIC F12 over those, except maybe the Klipsch, though it seems like it's out of stock everywhere but Amazon, where the price has gone up. I believe I only paid around $180 for each of mine a couple of years ago.

    http://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-F12-475-Watt-Subwoofer/dp/B0015A8Y5M/
     
  11. ArmSC

    ArmSC Supporting Actor

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    Maybe you can comment on how "tight" or musical the F12 is. I don't have one and I've heard mixed reports on how it sounds for music. I've heard it's a great HT sub but does it do well for music too?
     

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