Suggestions on Power Amps

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by John-Miles, Oct 7, 2003.

  1. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    ok here is the deal, how much power do you really need for tower speakers, the speaker manufacturers say they take 150-200 watts depending on the speakers.

    now I am planning to upgrade my bookshelf (80w) speakers to towers all around (150-200w)

    I currently have a Yamaha RX-V1300. So i figure a good power amp will be necessary. My local dealer carried NAD and Rotel, but they both seem to top out at 5 channels, and im running a 6.1 system so what do i do? how much power do i really need?
     
  2. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Need is a subjective topic when it comes to power amps. Basically though the more power you have on top the better the dynamics will be providing you send a full range signal to the towers. There's not much point sending 300 watts to a speaker that will be crossed over to a subwoofer. Both NAD and Rotel make very nice amps so either would likely do you well...I'm obviously partial to the Rotels though[​IMG] does that Yammie receiver allow you to redirect channels at all? The Rotel 1055 for example allows you to use the front channels to power the back surround speakers which means you can just add a 5 channel amp to power the rest of the speakers. If that's not something the yamaha can do (or it doesn't already have 6 on board amps) you could buy a 5 channel amp and use it to power the fronts rear surround and the sides and let the receiver power the centre channel...or better yet let the receiver power the sides and let the power amp do the rest which would keep your front speakers all powered with the same sonic signiture. You wouldn't notice the lack of power on the side speakers unless those were running full range for DVD-A or SACD.
     
  3. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Well honestly one of the main reason I will be going full range all around will be for DVD-A and SACD.

    Off the top of my head I do not believe the Yammie can redirect channels, but if it can i might go for a 5 channel power amp and let the yammie take care of the rear center. that way for dvd-a and sacd there will be no sonic difference.

    I have another question now though, if i did that wouldn't i then have to adjust the volume control on both the power amp and the receiver and try to match them? or is the volume still controlled through the receiver when you use a power amp? I am still new to this so i dont know.

    as far as my power requirements go I mainly want to avoid clip[ping and hence frying my speakers. I still plan to run a Sub in my system, but i am thinking i will cross it over at 30 or 40 hz. let the SVS take care of the deep low stuff and the towers dot he rest. of course i will have to play with these settings a bit to see how it all works out.
     
  4. Clark F

    Clark F Agent

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    If you will settle for a 5 channel amp, you might consider a Marantz MM9000 at http://www.ac4l.com 5x150w for $700 delivered. Marantz has discontinued the MM9000 - these are new amps with a 3 year warrenty.
    I bought one to go with my Yamaha RX-V630 driving various Paradigm speakers.
    I just got it last night and only listened for a short while. I immediately noticed a big improvement to the soundstage, bass, and highs. I think I will be very happy with it.
     
  5. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    John,

    You would use the volume control on the receiver...What you would need to do is get an SPL meter to adjust the volume of each channel if you are mixing a separate amp and the receivers internal amp...

    as for how much power do you need, well thats a questions that has to be answered by first answering other questions...

    how sensitive are your speakers?
    how big is the room you are powering?
    what volumes do you like to listen?
    whats in the room (plush carpets and furniture or nothing but glass windows)?

    not until those questions are answered can you really get an idea of how much you "need"...

    not sure if you know this or not....but if you take a speaker with a sensitivity of 89, and power it with 1 watt, at approximitely 1 meter away, the volume should be roughly 89 decibels...hence, most stuff is played between 1-5 watts...most people don't really need a lot of watts...having said that, more is always better [​IMG]

    Rich
     
  6. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Think 150-200 wpc to avoid clipping if you play stuff loud. Bigger is better to avoid clipping. The rated wattage of speakers is pretty irrelevant. With the big amps, those first couple of watts, the ones you really use, are cleaner. 200 wpc amps usually lend a bit more detail to music, IMO. Best wishes!
     
  7. Tom Grooms

    Tom Grooms Second Unit

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  8. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    I see two points of view here. From my view point, high quality speakers capable of handling large volumns of power will sound better at high and low volumn if powered by an amp that approches the upper limit of the speaker. Inexpensive speakers may not benefit from the higher powered amps regardless of how high the power rating of the speaker is.
     
  9. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    It might be helpful to know the sensitivities, nominal impedances, room size, and your listening habits.
     
  11. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Well room size i cant tell you cause i dont know... the place im in now (my parents) i cant fit any more gear into. so im waiting till i get a place of my own, hence the research now.

    I am leaning heavily towards PSB's which have a nominal impedance of 6 ohms, minimum of 4.... except their center channels which for some reason a re 8 ohms nominal.

    Listening habits are mostly home theater, ie movies and the like, but when music is played it is critical listening usually SCD or DVD'a
     
  12. Scott Hine

    Scott Hine Stunt Coordinator

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    Anyone know more about the Marantz MM9000? they seem like a good deal?

    - Scott
     
  13. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Wayne,

    I agree with your point regarding Rachael's terse comments.

    Rachael is right on, IMHO. She is just to the point. No wasted verbiage. A literal read always begs for more.
    Go big on amps, but not so big you need your cousin to come over to help you carry it into the house..... and if it IS a big room, then call your cousin ;^)

    BOK
     
  14. michael stro

    michael stro Auditioning

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    I have a yamaha 2095 with a rotel 1075 true biamped with the other channel going to the center. the amp is 120 watts per channel WOW WOW WOW , what a difference in sound it really sounds great. rotel is a great amp.
     

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