Overload with Infinity Beta 50s

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by ChrisTes, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. ChrisTes

    ChrisTes Agent

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    A friend of mine just replaced his old cerwin vega fronts with a pair of open box betas that he got for a good deal despite the damaged case and missing grills. He's very excited about the new sound. However, when he turns it up the receiver (Pioneer D814) goes into overload. I'm sure that it is due to the fact that the receiver can't supply enough power to these new speakers. My question is what receiver will drive these monsters? I've looked for some receivers but they all seem to come up short. I'm not really sure what specs to look for to find out what can drive these. The stats from the Infinity website are 10-250W, 8ohms, 91 dB sensitivity. Any advice would be great regarding powering these speakers.
    Thanks, Chris
     
  2. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    The 10-250 watts rating is a amplifier range spec. It means they recomend using an amplifier with power in that range there are many receivers that should be able to handle the load of the betas. Not to offend but the pioneer is overated in power and is only good for small room applications. I will come back to this thread in an hour or so with more info.

    I'm not sure what price bracket you have been looking in but Denon, Harman Kardon, Onkyo, Yamaha (not their cheap stuff) are all good mid price range brands that would drive the Betas. The overload protect circuit serves two main purposes. First it protects you speakers from being overdriven. Second the circuit protects the amplifier from shorts and clipping (A.K.A amplifier working harder than it can safely do without frying transistors).

    Harman Kardon for instance has more power in their entry-level equipment than the Pioneer in question. While the Pioneer claims to have 100 watts per channel it more than likely doesn't. The Pioneer website has the Specs and the unit is rated at 100 watts to 6 channels (1khz at 1.0 thd).
    This means the amplifier is capable of delivering 100 watts of power at a solid frequency tone (and not a very demanding tone). The Harman Kardon receivers will look mor like this 65 watts rms per channel all channels driven (20hz-20khz at .07 thd). Not only will the Harman Kardon likely sound better but its power rating is more true to form. The Pioneer may have maybe 50 watts rms (20hz-20khz) not sure on the rms rating of the pioneer because I don't have th eproper equipment to test this it is merely speculation so don't quote me.

    You might advise your friend to look on ebay if their budget is tight.

    Seth=L
     
  3. Tom Donaghue

    Tom Donaghue Stunt Coordinator

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    One quick (and cheap) check on this is to make sure the speakers are wired correctly, both polarity and connections. In addition to this, if 12 or 14 gauge wire is not being used, I would strongly suggest this as well.

    While the CV's may not have needed this, they are very sensitive speakers and do not usually require as much power to drive them. While the Infinity's aren't terrible in this capacity, they are typically close to 90dB, give or take a few dBs, whereas most of the Cerwin's I'm familiar with were in the upper 90s, giving you quite a bit more SPL for the wattage.

    Cheesy speaker wire or wire that may not be properly seated can easily cause the scenario you described. If you find the wire is fine and is of decent gauge, they may want to consider a receiver upgrade... -TD
     
  4. ChrisTes

    ChrisTes Agent

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    Ok the prognosis doesn't look good. I know for sure that the wires are tight. However, I also know that they are of the thin variety (18-16 guage). So an upgrade in this area may be in order. We were overloading way before reference (-30). Looking at the stats of that receiver though it just doesn't have the muscle, which is what he was told at the store too. I imagine a Yamaha RX-V1400/1500 or Denon 2802/3 would do the trick those are in a higher performance bracket, but old enough to be had at resonable prices.
     
  5. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    That would probably help a lot. Those older yamahas and denons have true rated power, not that crappy stuff that pioneer, sony, and kenwood try to pull.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The first thing I would do is check for any stray wires and shorts. Loose wires will not cause something like this.
     
  7. ChrisTes

    ChrisTes Agent

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    Would the yamaha HTR-5960 be powerfull enough? In the specifications it says power consumption 400W. The best buy ad says 805W. I'm assuming this comes from 115W max per channel and multiplying it times 7. I think it's still a little on the weak side. let me know. Thanks Chris.
     
  8. Tom Donaghue

    Tom Donaghue Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Chris;
    I would consider an HTR-5890 or RX-V1500/2500 as the slight increase in price would likely give you the power you'll need.

    You may also want to consider the older Denon models you mentioned, the 3803 worked great in my dedicated HT for a few years w/an Infinity IL50/IL36/OWS1/IL10 speaker package. This was run in a 27' x 14' x 8' room with 12-14 GA wiring and there was little straining whatsoever of the Denon unless it was close to reference level for extended periods.

    For Denons, You may also want to consider an 885/2105, 886/2106, 2805 or 3085 any of these will likely give you decent performance for the money, the budget obviously being the limiting factor here.

    If your friend would consider used or refurbished, there's great deals to be had in the Classifieds here, on Audioholics, Audiogon as well as over from uBid. While used isn't everyone's cup o' tea, the best bang for the buck is to be had via this route. The refurbs from uBid and some other manufacturer/factory authorized direct outlet dealers are also great deals, but usually come w/a shorter warranty (60-90 days).

    Lastly, another option if your friend likes the receiver and its features but would like more power or amplification, would be to purchase a new or used 2 or 3 channel amp to power the mains or L/C/R. This would "open up" the Betas and ease the load on the Pioneer's internal amps powering the rest of the speakers. I guarantee you this would be one of the least expensive upgrades and would provide one of the more noticable differences. Even if the amp is only 2 x 100w, it would be substantially more powerful than the Pio's on-board amps. Also, try some new 12-14 AWG wire first, but I've got a feeling you're going to be looking for a new receiver or external amp shortly.... -TD
     
  9. ChrisTes

    ChrisTes Agent

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    Thanks for all of your responses. A quick recap on all of the recent developments. First, we couldn't sustain any level of volume before an overload would occur. We started the hunt for a new receiver. In the meantime, I went back through the system. I found a short in the back right channel. We replaced the 18 guage with 12 guage in the front. After making these modifications we were able to sucessfully watch a movie with only one overload. We won an auctoin for a Denon 2805. I think that this set this system up for the next couple of years. Oh and the rear surrounds were connected to the 2 back channels. My friend experienced surround sound for the first time the other night durring resevoir dogs when one of the charachters walked in from behind us. Thanks again for all the help.
     
  10. Tom Donaghue

    Tom Donaghue Stunt Coordinator

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    Good to hear, Chris. Bummer about the short, but good to hear you were able to get through most of this. The 2805 is a solid receiver that should keep your friend pretty pleased for some time. Now you'll have to get them to re-watch all those movies w/good 5.1 soundtracks to get the full effect! [​IMG]

    Suggestions:
    Gladiator
    Hunt For Red October
    Lord Of The Rings (any of those three)

    Not only are these decent movies, they're also pretty good demo material for the system... -TD
     

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