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Morgolus
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More power needed.... I think.

I am new to these forums, but from what I've seen so far the community seems very supportive to newbies posting in this section. Here is a question for you guys... I am currently running a home theatre set up with an old Yamaha HTR 5560 (60W per ch.) driving all my speakers. This is fine for the center and surrounds but my mains are a pair of JBL ND-310II, with 10" woofers rated for 250w. Along with my subwoofer I'm fine and dandy for watching movies. When I switch over to stereo mode on the receiver to listen to music however, the system is lacking to say the least. The big problem is trying to get a well defined low end. I find now the bass is muddy and if at a higher volume, distorts quite easily. What I would like to do is boost the power going to the mains in an effort to achieve a smoother more defined sound. I was thinking of a stereo power amp but I have no experience with separates of any kind (I just purchased a DAC for my CD player to help as well but I have not connected it yet) If a power amp would help me, how would I go about incorporating it into my system. If not what do you suggest?

Thanks

wkhanna
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Re: More power needed.... I think.

A 2-ch power amp can easily be integrated into you system with the use of two RCA interconnects and an available wall outlet.
I am not familiar with your speakers, but I am sure they would benefit from the increase in power.
Since you said you have invested in a DAC, I get the impression you are quite serious about your music. If this is the case adding a decent 2-ch amp is a V good first step in building a nice system.
My next recommended course of action would be to upgrade your speakers and then possibly your receiver.

Morgolus
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Re: More power needed.... I think.

Thanks for the response. I guess I was on the right track. Just wondering how much per channel would be sufficient? I was thinking about 200 watts per channel; I would assume that would be enough. Is there a rule of thumb with respect the amount of power going to a speaker verses the wattage rating of the speaker?

wkhanna
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Re: More power needed.... I think.

The wattage rating on a speaker is a misnomer in most cases, IMHO.
Under powering a speaker will cause harm more often than over powering.
If you had a speaker with a 150 watt rating and were using a 300 watt amp, in most cases you would damage your ears before you would the speaker.
Trying to drive a speaker to high SPL levels with an under powered amp causes the amp to work at its limit. This is were it starts adding distortion to the signal. This distortion is very harmful to your speakers. It doesn't usually sound all that good either.

bobedaone
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Re: More power needed.... I think.

The amount of power you need is going to depend on how the manufacturer measures wattage and how honest and realistic they choose to be with you. All watts are NOT created equal. The ratings for receivers are usually very overblown and do not accurately represent the capabilities of the amplifier. Hi-fi stereo amplifiers typically are rated in a more useful fashion. I recently replaced an old Sony receiver ("100W") with a Rega Brio, rated at a comparatively puny 49W. The Rega SMOKES the Sony. My ears say uncle well before the amplifier starts to distort.

Your speakers also have more to do with the loudness capability of a system than many people are aware of. Specifications such as sensitivity (dB/W/m, usually listed simply as "dB") and impedance can give you an indication of how hard your amplifier has to work to produce at a given intensity.

I advise you to find the specifications for your speakers and visit a dealer. Tell them how you like to listen, and it's likely that they'll be able to recommend an amplifier that will be an adequate power match for your loudspeakers.
200 good, clean watts would be more than enough. In fact, you can probably get away with significantly less power than that. As always, let your ears decide.

The sooner you stop driving your mains with a receiver, the better.

wkhanna
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Re: More power needed.... I think.


Quote:
I recently replaced an old Sony receiver ("100W") with a Rega Brio, rated at a comparatively puny 49W. The Rega SMOKES the Sony. My ears say uncle well before the amplifier starts to distort.

OT, But I love how Rega 'Rated' that little jewel.
The fact that they went with 49 rather than 51 makes me smile when I think about it.

Glad to here you are enjoying it.

bobedaone
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Re: More power needed.... I think.

Yeah, Rega engineers sure do have a sense of humor! "Those Americans think anything under 50 Watts is rubbish. Let's rate it for 49!" I love that quirky little box.

jackfish
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Re: More power needed.... I think.

The Yamaha HTR 5560 has audio preamp outputs for main R & L, surround R & L, center, rear center and subwoofer so hooking up external amplifiers is easy.

The Outlaw 2200 M-Block amps for $624/pair are very good. You'ld need two for a right and left channel.

There are a lot of two channel power amps on AudiogoN that would fill the bill.

Otherwise, you could look at Audiosource amps or even some of the pro sound amps.

wkhanna
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Re: More power needed.... I think.

I have heard good reports from people I know on the new to the market Emotiva Audio brand.
But only on their multi-ch amps. Their RPA-1, a 200 watt 2-ch design of theirs looks V interesting. I would love to get one just to see how good it sounds.

http://www.emotiva.com/rpa1.html

jackfish
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Re: More power needed.... I think.

The JBL ND-310II loudspeaker has an 1 watt/1 meter SPL efficiency rating of 91 dB which means your speakers don't need a lot of power to get pretty loud. However, I like the idea of having more power than really needed, I guess its called dynamic headroom. I'm running 200 watts per channel into speakers with an 88 dB 1 watt/1 meter SPL and wouldn't want anything less.

Depending on the type of music you listen to, you actually have a lot of choices. I'd check out power amplifiers in your price range on UnderwoodHiFi or AudiogoN. There are a lot of good buys there. For example:
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?ampstran&1189795402
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?ampstran&1191117712
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?ampstran&1190942216
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?ampstran&1190827771
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?ampstran&1190779469
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?ampstran&1190710301
http://www.underwoodhifi.com/specials.html

Morgolus
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Re: More power needed.... I think.

Thanks for all your help and suggestions, especially Jackfish for all the research. I just joined AudiogoN, so those links are a great help. Just have to save up a bit of cash and grab something in the $400-$500 range.
Thanks again.

59mga
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Re: More power needed.... I think.


Quote:
I have heard good reports from people I know on the new to the market Emotiva Audio brand.
But only on their multi-ch amps. Their RPA-1, a 200 watt 2-ch design of theirs looks V interesting. I would love to get one just to see how good it sounds.

http://www.emotiva.com/rpa1.html

I never heard of this brand, before, so I looked it up. Looks nice, reminds me of a McIntosh, with the blue lights and VU meters. It got some good reviews, too. And for that price...I'm considering auditioning it for 30 days.

But if you only want "one" button forget it.

wkhanna
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Re: More power needed.... I think.

What got my attention is the fact that it seems to have a topography of much higher priced equipment.
It is basically Two mono-blocks in one chassis.
The fact that it is quite new and I have no clue as to the quality of the individual components makes me a bit leery, but still, it does look quite impressive for the money.

cyclebrain
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Re: More power needed.... I think.

Might be good, but....
Nice website, but uses a bit too much hype. Much of the ad speaks of how cool it looks.
Does anybody know what tiffany style RCA connectors are?

Elk
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Re: More power needed.... I think.

Great question!

I have seen lots of references to "Tiffany RCA" and "Tiffany style" but they all look look like any other RCA connector to me.

59mga
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Re: More power needed.... I think.

Check out these 2 reviews:

www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_14_2/emotiva-rsp-1-preamlifier-rpa-1-power-amplifier-5-2007-part-1.html

www.audioholics.com/reviews/amplifier/emotiva-rpa-1-amplifier

Both right-ups gave these units excellent ratings. The power amp is a Class H...not familiar with the specifics as to how a Class H amp functions but the reviewers enjoyed it.

cyclebrain: I agree on your "hype" comment...but then again, a number of quality items (NHT for one) have less than impressive verbage on their websites.

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