Some Questions For the Speaker Pros:

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by KennyHo, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. KennyHo

    KennyHo Auditioning

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    Hello, I have some questions for the speaker pros. Please bare with me as I am new to the home theater scene. My name is Ken by the way. I just joined yesterday and this is my first post. [​IMG]

    Ok, here's the situation: I bought 2 Pioneer speaker sets. Each set comes with 2 tower speakers, 2 rear speakers, a center speaker, and a sub. The reason why I bought 2 of these is because I wanted 4 tower speakers (2 in the front, 2 in the back strictly for enhanced looks).

    Problem 1:
    The speaker set does not come with a receiver. I will have to buy one, most likely a Pioneer 1000 watt receiver. After looking in the speaker set manual, it does not indicate how much power it can manage. It does have specifications listed in the manual, but no word on wattage. I have been told by the salesperson that it is 1000 watts. I contacted Pioneer USA myself to double check, and they say that each speaker is 100 watts? Will a 1000 watt receiver be compatible with my speaker set? If not, then how do I find out which one will work? Also, just to let you know that I live in an apartment, so there is no way of fully utilizing 1000 watts without any noise complaints, meaning I probably won't use that high of a wattage.

    Problem 2:
    Knowing that I bought 2 speaker sets, I now have 10 speakers total. I would like to wire 7 of them into the receiver: 2 front towers, a center speaker, 2 rear towers, and 2 rear surround speakers mounted on the ceiling pointing down. My question is if the receiver has only 5 outputs (2 front, 2 rear, 1 center), would it be possible if I could double wire 2 speakers to 1 input? Will this downgrade the sound quality?

    Thanks for all the replies guys! Glad to be here [​IMG]
     
  2. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    1000 watts per channel? You'll need a a good set of power amplifiers for that. My my my. Beginning with separates...

    ahem.

    Look for specifications for "Recommended Amplifier Power" and "Nominal Impedance"

    My front speakers, for instance:

    Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohm (minimum 4.3 Ohm)
    Recommended Amplifier Power: 25W -- 100 W into 8 ohm unclipped program.

    My old fronts
    Nominal Impedance: 4 to 8 ohms
    Suggested for use with amplifiers or receivers of: 20 through 75 watts per channel RMS.

    Notice, for both speakers, a range was specified.

    Pick an amplifier that fits inside those ranges.

    In my case, I have a receiver that's rated at 75 Watts per channel (8 Ohm, 20 Hz---20 kHz, FTC).

    Now, I could have multiplied the 75 by the 6 amplifier channels, and called it a "450 Watt receiver". But I don't. Why focus on a "total power" measurement that's likely to be very optimistic (cheaper receivers may be able to push x watts through one channel, but fail when asked to do so through multiple channels simultaneously), when the main consideration is how powerful each amplifier channel is?

    Don't try to connect more than one speaker to each binding post. Unpleasant things are likely to happen.

    Perhaps you could enlighten this forum with the model number of the speakers you have.
     
  3. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    see answers directly under the questions in red:
    Reading what you purchase, pay attention to the two subs if you are using them in the HT setup, it can cancel each other out if the frequency is not set properly for each sub.
     
  4. KennyHo

    KennyHo Auditioning

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    My first problem has been solved. I was at Walmart just now and I saw the same home theater system on sale. It came with a 1000 watt receiver. I checked the model number on the speaker and it is the same as mine, so it is confirmed that the speakers are meant for 1000 watt receivers.

    As for my second question, I pretty much have my eyes on a Pioneer receiver 1000 watts, but it is only 5.1. So if I wire 2 speakers into 1 output, will I get any complications?
     
  5. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    It seems I was mistaken. Even Pioneer's S1EX is not graced with a power recommendation, though it's maximum is 200 Watts.

    The Home theater in a box setups use every trick in the book to inflate their watts, so in the end, the number isn't terribly useful.

    What is the model number of the speaker? Look it up on Pioneer's website. Find a the maximum power rating, and then shop for a receiver that does not substantially produce more. I have a feeling, however, that the maximum wattage is about 100, and receivers that are truly capable of driving more than 100 watts per channel with low distortion are somewhat expensive. In which case, any 7.1 receiver will do.

    6.1 receivers are slightly cheaper, but should you pick one up (something akin to the Onkyo TX-SR502), don't try to wire more than one speaker to each output. You'll run the risk of damaging your amplifier and your speakers.
     
  6. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    NO. Don't Do It. You can start a fire (in a worst case scenario), or more likely ruin your reciever. You can get a decent 7.1 receiver from a number of manufacturers starting at $300.
     
  7. jimLi

    jimLi Auditioning

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    HTIB systems definately over rate their power. They'll claim n watts total system power and when you look at the case you realise they couldn't get a power transformer much bigger than a hampster in there. Then you look at a Denon with the same total power and it has a transformer the size of a buffalo and costs four times as much. There couldn't be any difference, right.

    Here is what I would do. I would get a Denon (or similar) 7.1 receiver that meets your budget. Hook up the front main towers, surround towers, center channel and use two of the surrounds as rear surround speakers. I would hook up one sub to the LFE (assuming they are powered subs) and the other sub to the center channel and place it as close to the center channel speaker as possible. The receiver should have a line level center out for this but the sub will need a built in crossover control.

    If your subs are passive hook one to the front mains and one to the surrounds. If the subs are powered but have no crossover then use a Y adapter and hook both to the LFE. If you put one at the front and one at the back you may find them out of phase.

    The extra speakers I would sell or mount (unwired) for extra placebo effect. (Insert suitable smiley here.)
     
  8. KennyHo

    KennyHo Auditioning

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    The model number is: S-FCRW4500
    I tried to look everywhere on the Pioneer website, as well as Google and got nothing, so I called Pioneer. They said that it is 100 watts per channel. I'll look for a 7.1 on Ebay.
     
  9. EricB

    EricB Agent

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    One way of doing a rough estimate is to check your unit's power consumption rating (W). Then, subtract something like 10% (or more?) since it uses power for other functions, and for sure, it is not 100% efficient.

    Divide the resuling difference by the number of channels and you'll get a rough estimate of how much each channel would put out simultaneously.
     
  10. KennyHo

    KennyHo Auditioning

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  11. jimLi

    jimLi Auditioning

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    That THD (total harmonic distortion) is where the big difference is. Pioneer will make amps similar to the Denon but you're looking at a bigger budget. You'll likely find that the 7.1 amps under $300 bucks will all spec out similar to the Pioneer you're looking at. If that is your budget then they look fine.
     
  12. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Onkyo TX-SR503
    75 watts x 7 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.08% THD
    $249

    Power Consumption: 590 Watts (I think the 5.9 A spec is probably a typo)

    It will be replaced, soon enough by the TX-SR504 (which adds something called neural surround, and upgrades the 5.1 multichannel input to 7.1). No HDMI.



    The Denon-1706 is probably a better system (something about discrete amps) but honestly, at some point, there's still a budget to consider.
     
  13. Jimi C

    Jimi C Screenwriter

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    Any particular reason why you need it to be a Pioneer? That receiver will make the speakers work or sound no better than a similar one from a different manufacturer.
     

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