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wooderson250wcg
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Will my new speakers benefit from DAC or more power?

Just purchased a set of PSB Imagine T2 towers.  They sound great but don’t have the clarity they did when I demoed them.  They were using a Rotel amp in the store.  I have been told putting more power to them will make a huge improvement.  They are rated for 20-300 watts.  Right now Im pushing them with a Denon 2802 which is only 90watts.  Im questioning whether my next purchase should be a power amp to use with the pre outs on the Denon or if Id benefit more from a outboard DAC.  They are used as the L&R channel of my home theater setup also so a complete separate amp is not an option.

Any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks!

commsysman
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SOUND QUALITY

(delete)

Any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks!

[/quote]

commsysman
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SOUND QUALITY

Rotel makes some good-sounding amplifiers; so do a number of other companies.

Denon is not one of them. Also, you should be aware that the 90 watt spec is derived from a lab test with an 8 ohm resistor for a load. ANY amplifier will give very low distortion with a resistive load, but the distortion will be much much higher with a real speaker for a load. Real speakers are a much more complex and demanding load than a mere resistor. This is why power ratings essentially useless in telling you anything about sound quality.

There are lots of 40 watt or 50 watt integrated amplifiers that would sound good with your speakers, and that is plenty of power for them. There are also lots of AVRs from Denon, Yamaha, Sony etc. etc. that have poorly designed amplifiers. Many of them have power ratings of 150 watts or more, and they still sound like crap.

The issue is NOT power; it is the SOUND QUALITY of the amplifier. Almost any amplifier or receiver has plenty of power for your speakers, but most AVRs have very cheaply designed power supplies and amplifiers that produce quite a bit of distortion. You have obviously already noticed this, according to your comments.

The only AVRs on the market that have good sound quality IMO are Cambridge Audio, NAD, and Arcam.

I suggest that you either get a NAD T757 receiver or a Cambridge Audio 651R.

They both have very good sound quality, and plenty of power for your speakers.

I think that Cambridge is the best-sounding, but either one will be a huge improvement over any Denon.

 

 

 

 

wooderson250wcg wrote:

Just purchased a set of PSB Imagine T2 towers.  They sound great but don’t have the clarity they did when I demoed them.  They were using a Rotel amp in the store.  I have been told putting more power to them will make a huge improvement.  They are rated for 20-300 watts.  Right now Im pushing them with a Denon 2802 which is only 90watts.  Im questioning whether my next purchase should be a power amp to use with the pre outs on the Denon or if Id benefit more from a outboard DAC.  They are used as the L&R channel of my home theater setup also so a complete separate amp is not an option.

Any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks!

commsysman
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Last seen: 3 days 9 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
SOUND QUALITY

(deleted)

 

wooderson250wcg wrote:

Just purchased a set of PSB Imagine T2 towers.  They sound great but don’t have the clarity they did when I demoed them.  They were using a Rotel amp in the store.  I have been told putting more power to them will make a huge improvement.  They are rated for 20-300 watts.  Right now Im pushing them with a Denon 2802 which is only 90watts.  Im questioning whether my next purchase should be a power amp to use with the pre outs on the Denon or if Id benefit more from a outboard DAC.  They are used as the L&R channel of my home theater setup also so a complete separate amp is not an option.

Any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks!

audiophile2000
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PSB Loudspeakers

I personally think you would benefit from both. I currently have the PSB Synchrony ones and can tell you that an external amp and DAC made a huge difference on the speakers (i would say the DAC has done the most).

Not 100% sure what your full set up is, but you may look into an integrated amplifier as it is a nice a clean solution that will let you upgrade later. I started with an integrated amp / DAC from Sim Audio and added in a external dac from them when i was ready for that upgrade.

The reason i recommend an integrated amp is that it will let you completly by-pass your receiver for streo listening, which you will want to do.

Will also highlight that a number of companies are making integrated amp with Home theater by-pass that pass the gain staging on from a HT recevier to the amp so you can use it as a amp for HT purposes with your recevier and still have a dedicated stereo system for your two channel.

There seems to be more companies doing this now so it might be a good way to look at as you get the best of both worlds and the ability to upgrade. the only major upgrade is if you outgrow your integrated amp and need more power which will require you to buy a pre-prp and an amp but if you get a good integrated it will last you a long time. (i likely wont upgrade mine untill i change speakers). 

Catch22
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Give them at least a couple of hundred hours

Try this. Leave the amplifier turned on and playing music for a week straight. If you can, leave it playing relatively loud when you leave the house and turn it back down low if it bothers the wife when you are home. New speakers need to be worked before they sound right and the pair at the store has probably been playing a long time and are fully broken in.

It could also be the way the speakers are positioned in the room. Most audio stores will have them (or at least the listening position) placed in a decent relationship with the speakers and room. That makes a big difference in how speakers sound.

In any event, try not to spend money on something else until the speakers have fully broken in and then work on a proper placement in relation to your sitting position. THEN consider evaluating their strengths and weaknesses.

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