My First Question!!!! Will my amp be sufficient for the speakers I'm planning to buy

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Shion_ca, Aug 18, 2002.

  1. Shion_ca

    Shion_ca Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello All,
    I'm an extrordinary beginer in the realm of home audio, however I do have a reasonable background as an electrical engineer in signals, theoretical design of class AB power amps (at one time, not that I can remember much),etc. Unfortunately I do software now.
    In any case I have an HK AVR 320 (I'm not sure if you audiophiles would consider it a good amp but it sounds very nice to me [​IMG] ) and I was thinking of investing a lot of money (relatively speaking) for upgrading my speakers. So my questions were as follows....
    1) I am looking at the Stratus Gold speakers from PSB but want to know if my amplifier would be able to do them justice? Even were it not, would they at least sound decent so that I could keep them until I upgraded my receiver/amplifier.
    2) I believe my amplifier has preamp outputs, would I see any advantage in using them and adding two amplfiers so as to drive both speakers?
    3) What is a good center channel for the stratus gold and in the price range what are other comparible speakers to look at before I spend the money?
    4) Your going to laugh but I currently run Nuance Spatial grand 3's and as bad as everyone says they are, I actually did prefer them to bi wired infinity IL40's, as well as the $1400 (canadian) bose and polk offerings. I was particularly not impressed with the bose. I thought for 1200 canadian they actually aren't that bad a speaker and I intend to use them for my rears, does that seem reasonable?
    Thank you all your help would be very much appreciated.
    Regards,
     
  2. Bob Marker

    Bob Marker Stunt Coordinator

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    Based on my experience, I'd say your HK would do the PSB's justice. I've used a very inexpensive ($100) Pioneer receiver to drive a pair of PSB Stratus Bronze's as well as Thiel cs.5's and believe both speakers sound just as good with the Pioneer as they do with my Luxman integrated amp that costs several times more than the Pioneer. Based on these and other comparisons I've done I just don't think one needs to spend a lot on electronics to achieve excellent sound.

    If you are a little hesitant about your potential speakers/amplifier cost ratio, you might want to check out the current edition (issue 28) of The Audio Critic where David Rich reports on the outstanding quality of sound rendered by a 5.1 configuration of the Monitor Audio Gold Reference 10 speakers Retail price for the 5 speakers is about $4,000. What electronics did Rich use to achieve such a high level of sound quality? A Sony receiver(STR-DE675) that he purchased for $275.

    Bob
     
  3. Shion_ca

    Shion_ca Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for the response. Are there any other thought regarding the four questions I posed.

    Regards,
     
  4. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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  5. Jason_Me

    Jason_Me Stunt Coordinator

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    The 320 is a fine receiver, but I think it would have trouble driving the Stratus Gold's. They have an impedance of 4 ohm, and a sensitivity of 88-90db, in a full range tower. Adding a powerful 2 channel amp (or a couple mono blocks) would offer a significant improvement.
     
  6. Aaron_Smith

    Aaron_Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with Jason. I think the quality of amplification has a profound effect on the sound quality, an I don't know if the amps in a 320 will truly do the speakers justice. The low impedance is definitely an issue. However, it probably will sound pretty good compared to what you have now as long as you're not looking for ear-bleeding volume, and you have a clear upgrade path with a new amp.
     
  7. Lee Daza

    Lee Daza Agent

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    Something else to consider... I don't know how many watts the amps in your reciever can put out, but if you over-extend them you could get serious distortion and possibly damage your speakers. Having more powerful amps will not only clean up the sound, but would be safer for your new investment IMO.
     
  8. Shion_ca

    Shion_ca Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for the suggestion Aaron and Jason. I bought the AVR 320 for it's home theater capabilities and I'm not very good with how all the components interact, so to be sure that I've got what you are saying correct I should setup in the following way ...

    Buy an amplifier such as an HK PA4000. Run the 7 preamp outs to the input of the PA4000. Then connect to outputs of the PA4000 to the various speakers. Is this sort of a setup how it's "commonly" done?

    So my questions are,


    1)Is the "quality" of my AVR 320's decoding of the various audio inputs going to "waste" the potential of the 1000 dollar amplifier and the 2500 (Canadian) speakers?

    2)would a PA4000 or PA2000 be a good choice of amplifier for the money and is it wise to match component brands?

    3) Would I be better served to sell my HK AVR320 and take the money I would make (say $700 Can) plus the 1100 I would have to spend on an amplifier and buy some other integrated Home theater Amp/reciever?
     
  9. Jason_Me

    Jason_Me Stunt Coordinator

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    Shion

    I would say NO to the PA4000. Its a multi channel amp, and all you need is nice 2 channel amp. The quality of the amps aren't as good in the PA4000, since there are so many of them at such a low cost. Matching brands doesn't really matter. I think you should look into something like the NAD C270. Its $600, has 120W x 2 @ 8ohm, and around 200W at 4 ohm. This amp will make your Stratus Gold's sing, while turning your 320 into a 7 channel receiver.
     
  10. Shion_ca

    Shion_ca Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello Jason,

    I was under the impression that my reciever supports 7.1 and thus is a 7 channel receiver currently? Am I mistaken?

    In any case, you are suggesting to have just the front two floor standing speakers driven by the 2 channel amp, and leave the recieve powering my center and my two nuance floor standing rears.

    Regards,
     
  11. Shion_ca

    Shion_ca Stunt Coordinator

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    Ah, I see. While it can decode 7.1, a quick look at the outputs reveals only 5 channels, you have to use the pre-amp output through an amp to drive two more channels for 7.1 Thank you for the tip.
     
  12. WillieM

    WillieM Stunt Coordinator

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    Just a couple of cents worth of my opinion.
    1) The speakers are a good choice. for center and surrounds i would match with PSB's. Sound, tonal quality etc should have the same characteristics all around (you don't want a car roaring across the screen to sound different in the middle than it does on the left or right).
    2) Upgrading could then start with adding an amp or two, using the reciever as a pre-pro. Future upgrading could then go to a separate pre-pro.

    Each move in future upgrades will improve your overall system, it's power, and sound quality. but starting with a good balanced speaker system is a key.
     
  13. Shion_ca

    Shion_ca Stunt Coordinator

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    Right then, since I won't be able to afford rears the plan is the following ....
    PSB Stratus Goldi,
    Preamplification through HK AVR320,
    Amplification through Acurus A200,
    rear channels driven by AVR320.

    Now what center channel is a good one to match with the PSB speakers and is the output from the AVR320 going to be able to drive the center during HT?

    Also is the Acurus A200 one of the better amps in that price range? Which other ones would you all consider?

    And as my Amp will outcost my receiver, am I going to be a victim of weakest link in this setup? If the 320 is the limiting factor then it doesn't make a lot of sense to spend a bundle on the AMP at the moment. Does anyone have something close to this setup or know if this would be the case?

    Finally given the quality of the receiver does anyone have a guess as to whether I would notice a big difference between lower cost options such as Klipshe RF7's which also seem to have good Rock/Alternative/Hip Hop capabilities?
     
  14. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    1) yes
    2) possibly, depending on the selected amplifier
    3) Get the matching PSB center
    4) yes, you can use them as rears

    For your next step I would go with option #3 (sell receiver and get a top-end receiver). Something like the Denon 5xxx series has excellent amplification and great DACs / decoding. The video switching & advanced control options are significantly better than an entry level pre/pro. Once you get into the $3k+ pre/pro range (+$2k amp) then things change...
     
  15. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    The Stratus Goldi's are great speakers for the price. I myself own a pair. However, they do need ample amplification, and they are rated at 4ohms nominal impedance, so it might be quite a strain for your HK AVR340 to drive them. Check and see if your receiver even suports a 4ohm load. If you were to upgrade, I'd recommend around 200Wpc or more for them.

    A good center to match the Stratus Goldi is obviously PSB's own Stratus C6i. I'd recommend it over the C5i as its quite a bit better, and uses similar drivers.

    Alternatives in the same price/performance range are the Paradigm Studio/100, Dynaudio Audience 82 and probably the Diva by Swans 6.1 and the new Onix Rockets. I've personally auditioned the Studio/60, Studio/80 and Audience 80(older model) and prefered even the PSB Stratus Silveri to any of them, but that's just me.

    What exactly is your budget were you to get a new amp?
     

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