Too Much or Too Little Power?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Quentin, May 23, 2003.

  1. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    My center is rated 6 ohm with max wattage of 400, and fronts are rated at 8 ohm with max wattage of 200. My surrounds are 8 ohm with max wattage of 150. I'll be using the AVM 20 as my processor.

    I'm looking at 7 channel amps now, but I'm not sure if I should get a 200 watt amp (sherbourn or b&k) or 105/125 watt (PVA 7). None of the top amps are rated at 6 ohms...they're all 8/4/2.

    I'm wondering which way to go? Would the 200 watt amps overpower my surrounds? Would a 105 amp be too little for my center channel?
     
  2. Mark Dickerson

    Mark Dickerson Stunt Coordinator

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    Quentin:

    If the amps you are looking at are rated 8/4/2 ohms, you are looking at a very high quality amp that can drive any speaker out there. It will have no trouble driving a 6 ohm. Heck, 6 ohms is a very easy load that even the mass market receivers can handle. It is when they drop below 6 ohms that they begin to choke.

    Pick the amp that sounds best to you. Use your pre/pro to balance the sound levels and you won't have a problem with either amp or any of the speakers.

    Enjoy! [​IMG]
     
  3. MikeTz

    MikeTz Stunt Coordinator

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    Quentin:

    Sounds like you are looking at some quality amplifiers. Mark is right about your speaker impedance (dynamic speakers with 6-8 ohms impedance should be easy for these amps to handle). So now the questions are how big is your room, how loud do you listen, and do you intend to play a 5.1 music format (SACD, DVD-A)? For large rooms a more powerful amp may be better. Same goes if you like to listen at loud volume. Remember that in most movie tracks the side/rear speakers do not require much power to reproduce ambiance and surround effects.

    If you are serious about 5.1 music and you intend to have 5 large speakers then the larger amps may be better.

    If you listen in a modest size room, mostly to movies, at reasonable volume with efficient speakers, then an amp like the Anthem PVA-7 will make you happy.

    MT
     
  4. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Quentin:

    The reason that I recommend amps with more watts per channel is the headroom that they give you from the input signal from the preamp. Having a 200 watt amp doesn't mean you are going to be putting 200 watts out all the time. It does give you the ability to play really soft and loud passages in the music or dialogue without strain or distortion.

    Since you obviously care about the quality of the sound that your system has I would go with a good quality 200 watt per channel amp. Another power amp to look into is the Outlaw 770 that is 200 watts per channel x 7. At $1,799 is a real bargain.

    Parker
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Short answer: go for the 200 wpc or larger amp.

    A few things to keep in mind:

    - the same speaker changes it's impedence with the frequency. A "8 ohm" speaker actually varies from about 3-30 ohms as it creates sounds from 20 - 20,000 hz.

    - Most of the time, your speakers pull 5-10 watts. There are wild swings in volume/power for action movies, but the average power draw is still about 5-10 watts.

    - Your rear speakers (the ones you are worried about over-powering) are only producing sound less than half the time.

     

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