Need some help choosing

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by david wilson, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. david wilson

    david wilson Auditioning

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    I've never owned a home theater and am ready to take the plunge. I'm not going big bucks but not quite the bottom of the barrel either. Basically I'm trying to decide between 2 systems. My biggest question is concerning the wattage and its distribution. If you happen to know any thing about the other specs then feel free to enlighten me. The first is a Sony DAV-DZ100. It has 700 watts total. 120w x 5 and 120 to the sub. The other system is a Panasonic and I don't know the model number. It has 600 watts total but the distribution of power is considerably different. It has 55w to the 4 satelite speakers, 160w to the center channel and 220w to the sub. So what would be the acoustic differences? Because of the higher output to the center and sub would the panasonic have a clearer speech channel and more bass? Or is the Sony the more preferred way?
     
  2. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Links?

    Power output alone isn't the best way to determine which system is correct. Go by absolute sound quality, ergonomics, build quality first.

    Power relates to absolute acoustic output and you must include speaker charachteristics to determine how loud and clean it will play.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    David, if this discussion can be limited to how companies determine power ratings, then it can remain here. If, on the other hand, you are seeking purchasing advice, the thread will be moved to the proper location. The Basics area is strictly for beginner-level general information.

    As to your question, the power ratings provided for so-called home-theaters-in-a-box are hugely misleading. There is no way that the Sony, for example, puts out "120 watts" per five channels -- top-of-the-line AV receivers reach that level, but HTiBs?

    For the true power ratings you have to read the fine print. It is best expressed as X-number of watts per channel into 8 ohms at a given level of THD and IM across 20 Hz to 20 kHz with all channels driven. I bet that little HTiB barely pumps out more than around 30 watts per channel (can't say for sure as I have not read about it).

    Even still, with more "legitimate" components (AVRs, separates, etc.), in this new day and age of five to seven channels, the manufacturers' power ratings are often based on just two channels being driven and, hence, the power rating is higher. But who would purchase an AVR or a separate pre/pro and power amps just to run two channels?

    It's all a bit complicated at first, I know.
     
  4. david wilson

    david wilson Auditioning

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    Colin I'm not allowed to post links yet since I don't have 15 posts.

    Jack. I really have no idea where this thread belongs. I don't care how they determine their wattage ratings, I know from car audio experience that most are way over stated. I know the panasonic system was rated at 10% THD. Not exactly a level of distortion that your going to listen to it at. My basic question was (assuming equal levels of overstatement) what difference should I expect to hear with those widely different levels of power distibution. If you feel this needs to be moved then please do and message me with the new location. Thanks.

    P.S. Jack, after doing a lot of looking for the particular models at different sites I did find what you were talking about. The Panasonic was in the area that you were talking about. The Sony all I could find was a seperate DIN rating.
     
  5. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    The Panny's center would have 4.5db more headroom at center. So playing the signal used to derive these numbers, into all channels to the point of distortion, the center amp wouldn't break a sweat, if we consider only the published numbers.

    However, that is probably oversimplified since there's one power supply for all channels, and to have them all draw power at once would likely lower the actual rated output. Real world you should cut these numbers in half.

    So now you have an idea about the powet output. Now what about the speakers?
     
  6. joseph westcott

    joseph westcott Second Unit

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    I think it would be easier if you gave us a budget and the dimensions of the room so we could help you select the best components that fit within it.

    Recievers are part of a sound system, without any data on your components and the room it is going in, it is hard to recommend anything with any reasonable authority.
    .
     
  7. david wilson

    david wilson Auditioning

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    Colin thanks, that way of explaining clears some things up. The speakers? I'm afraid I don't have much information to go on for them.

    At this point I should probably repost in the correct area to ask for recomendations. Thanks for the help!

    P.S. What area is the correct place to ask for recomendations?
     

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