question: cranking the volume on my H/K

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Shaun Graham, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. Shaun Graham

    Shaun Graham Agent

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    I have a question about an older receiver I have, the Harmon/Kardon AVR 225, which I bought a few years ago and which I have enjoyed immensely. It's powering 5 JBL Studio Series speakers (S38s, S-center, and S26s) and a Parts Express 120w sub.

    I've never heard the thing clip, despite running it sometimes as high as 5 below reference (almost all the way up) for a couple hours, and it doesn't get hot thanks to a fan in my cabinet.

    But in comparison, an older Sony receiver my dad has only needs to be turned up to about a quarter of its volume knob to achieve the same volume level as mine turned up nearly all the way.

    My question is: Could it potentially be harmful to run my receiver at a volume that high, even if there are no apparent ill effects and even though it seems to be handling that level of volume fine? This thing is my baby and has been a trooper, but I'd like to know from you all who know far more than me whether I'm in danger of hurting it. Thanks much in advance.
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Is your setup calibrated using an SPL meter and calibration disc? You mention reference, so I would think that it is . . . but if your setup and your dad's setup are both calibrated then the SPL should be similar at similar settings.
     
  3. Ben Nelson

    Ben Nelson Extra

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    ^^^

    I don't think so.

    Pre-Amp/Amp performance varies model to model, brand to brand.

    Calibrating two different receivers the same way doesn't suddenly make them identical.

    The Harmon Kardon probably has an easier job of pushing the speakers than the Sony. HK's generally have pretty decent "high current" Amps in them.

    As for the original poster,


    Keeping it cool is great but it won't save you when your burning out your power transistors if you have it up to high. I guess I'd advise you to monitor it with not only with your touch and hearing but with your nose as well. Of course if you can smell your receiver burning, then it's probably too late.
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    If both receivers are calibrated to 85dB and you play both at -10 they should be very close. Any two receivers calibrated to the same level and both played at reference (-00) should play at almost the exact same level. They could sound different, but as far as SPL goes they should be very, very close.
     
  5. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    I think it's mostly the position of the volume knob he's curious about.

    Different companies use different scales. Different pre-amp sections are more or less sensitive than others. (This is a common source of problems - some equipment puts out as "weak" a signal as -10dB; some as hot as +6dB (though it shouldn't really be higher than +4dB.) Mmixers have "trim" or "gain" knobs for the inputs to adjust for these differences. Some home receiver/pre-amps also have trim adjustments (so I've heard.)


    Leo
     
  6. MikeNg

    MikeNg Second Unit

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    I think the position of the knob and the number that's displayed don't matter a whole lot. If you're wanting to crank the thing, you're going to want CLEAN power when the amps are running full tilt. I can say that the HK's I've owned can easily run loud without audible (to me!) distortion. I can't say the same with some other receivers I've had and worked with (including some Sony's).

    If the amps are built well, running them at high volumes for extended periods should not hurt them.
     
  7. Shaun Graham

    Shaun Graham Agent

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    Thanks to everyone for your replies.

    Mike is getting to the heart of what I was asking, and I think that might have been a little unclear in the original post. I was worried that because it seemed I was having to turn up my receiver much more than the Sony to achieve the same SPL (this I was judging by ear, since my dad's receiver is not calibrated) whether that could be damaging to the receiver, even if the receiver seems to be handling it like a champ.

    From what Mike's telling me, H/K amp sections are built well and I shouldn't be worried if I'm not hearing it clip. That's a bit of a relief. Thanks again for all the replies.
     
  8. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Yeah, if you don't hear any sounds of distress, smell any signs of distress, or worse, see any signs of distress (flames shooting out the top,) then you're generally okay.

    Leo
     

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