Paradigm Surrounds and Wattage - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I'm upgrading my current HT set-up that is a little over 10 years old.

I have Monitor 5's as my mains, cc-370 and a PW-2200 sub (These I'm happy with and plan to keep)

for my surrounds I have a used pair of ADP-150's (these were used ten years ago so i want to upgrade the surrounds.

The receiver I'm buying is the Denon 3312 which is rated at 125 watts per channel x 7 channels.

I found some v6 ADP-190's on sale (that would be in my price range) but the speakers are rated 20-100 watts.

Will the 125 watts damage a surround speaker? I doubt I'll really be pushing a full 125 watts continuously.

Do you think the Denon's 125 Watts will damage the ADP-190?

Thanks for any advice.
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 08:27 AM
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Well, first of all the 3312 receiver can't put out 125 watts per channel when driving seven channels; it doesn't have anywhere near that total power capability. It should be able to put out 60 or 70 watts per channel with all 7 channels driven, but that is about it. Any specs that imply different are complete BS.

The total maximum power supply capability of that receiver is maybe 600 watts, and 150 watts of that is for the main receiver circuits, not the amplifier circuits, so what you have left for the amplifier circuits is around 450 watts divided by 7; do the math.

If you want a receiver with much better power and sound quality, you should look at the Cambridge 650R, which actually delivers 100 watts per channel with all seven channels fully driven, and has a 1400 WATT power supply!! Its sound quality puts all the other receivers on the market to shame, even many costing $3000.

Check out the Home Theater magazine review if you don't believe it.

In any case, a satellite speaker with an 80 watt continuous power rating is not going to be overdriven in any system. No one with the brain of an ant drives them that loud.

The Cambridge S20 speakers are good satellite speakers, as are the PSB Alpha B1.



Quote:
Originally Posted by scofal View Post

Hi,
I'm upgrading my current HT set-up that is a little over 10 years old.
I have Monitor 5's as my mains, cc-370 and a PW-2200 sub (These I'm happy with and plan to keep)
for my surrounds I have a used pair of ADP-150's (these were used ten years ago so i want to upgrade the surrounds.
The receiver I'm buying is the Denon 3312 which is rated at 125 watts per channel x 7 channels.
I found some v6 ADP-190's on sale (that would be in my price range) but the speakers are rated 20-100 watts.
Will the 125 watts damage a surround speaker? I doubt I'll really be pushing a full 125 watts continuously.
Do you think the Denon's 125 Watts will damage the ADP-190?
Thanks for any advice.
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scofal View Post

The receiver I'm buying is the Denon 3312 which is rated at 125 watts per channel x 7 channels.

This represents how much clean power the receiver is capable of outputting (supposedly, although Denon's specs are more realistic than those of many manufacturers). It only puts out as much power as you ask it to, however--no more than a 10-watt receiver would at the same volume.
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Originally Posted by scofal View Post

I found some v6 ADP-190's on sale (that would be in my price range) but the speakers are rated 20-100 watts.

This is how much power the speakers can take without melting down or burning up, although it's not necessarily how much they can take before they start to sound bad. They only draw as much power as the volume level requires, regardless of their power handling specs.
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Originally Posted by scofal View Post

Will the 125 watts damage a surround speaker? I doubt I'll really be pushing a full 125 watts continuously.

Probably yes, but as you suspect, you won't be putting that much power out continuously.
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Originally Posted by scofal View Post

Do you think the Denon's 125 Watts will damage the ADP-190?

You could damage the ADP-190 by playing it too loudly, but if you don't, then the Denon's 125 watt rating (just a maximum rating, not how much power it will actually put out) is not going to hurt it.
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for answers. That really helps.

I'm still learning a lot.
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 12:01 PM
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In typical usage, the surrounds will see a fraction of one Watt.

Remember, it's called "AV Science"!

My HT
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psgcdn View Post

In typical usage, the surrounds will see a fraction of one Watt.

That is true, but for perspective the same is true of the front speakers, as well, during non-action scenes--they'll average higher wattage than the surrounds, to be sure, but still frequently use less than a watt in most home theaters. Then you have your action scenes that can literally use 100 times more power; the surrounds will still generally require less power during these scenes, but they can occasionally get real loud, too.
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert Cook View Post

That is true, but for perspective the same is true of the front speakers, as well, during non-action scenes--they'll average higher wattage than the surrounds, to be sure, but still frequently use less than a watt in most home theaters. Then you have your action scenes that can literally use 100 times more power; the surrounds will still generally require less power during these scenes, but they can occasionally get real loud, too.

I just upgraded to Studio CC-490, fronts Studio 20's, and rears Studio 10s... all with a Denon 3312ci. I read a "professional review" that said the Studio 20s "could" perform well with as litte as 2 watts per channel. With my HSU subwoofer having its own amplifier, I have assumed the Dennon 3312ci will have plenty of power (and is an upgrade over my current AVR). Should I be comfortable using the Denon with this set-up?... fingers crossed. smile.gif
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 01:27 PM
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Actually, I listen to jazz trios (no drums) at around -40 dB on my volume dial, or peaks of 0.01 Watt or so, so no doubt speakers sound good way before 2 Watts.

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post #9 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok thx
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-30-2012, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anhydro View Post

I just upgraded to Studio CC-490, fronts Studio 20's, and rears Studio 10s... all with a Denon 3312ci. I read a "professional review" that said the Studio 20s "could" perform well with as litte as 2 watts per channel.

Without a more complete context, I can't be sure of what the reviewer might have meant--it could be one of several different things. For example, some speakers perform better at louder volumes, and he might have been saying that these Paradigms sound good even when played quietly (but with full dynamics) with only 2 watts. It could also have been a reference to their efficiency, or both characteristics at once. Whatever he meant, it's not anything that goes against your choice of receiver or typical home theater usage.

This does, however, bring up the general subject of having too little amplifier power for a given set of speakers and volume, which can potentially damage speakers just like putting too much power into them. This is because the amp will "clip" the signal, effectively putting a lot of DC power into the speakers (in the extreme case), which can burn them up quickly. The conventional wisdom, if you look it up in forums, is that having an abundance of amplifier power is safer because it won't clip the signal, and there is some truth to this in some cases. However, in practice, you can clearly hear the nasty distortion that results from the clipping of an underpowered amp (you'll know it when you hear it), and most people with any sense would immediately turn down the volume to spare both their speakers and ears (usually before either are damaged permanently). On the other hand, with more than enough amp power available, the speakers may sound fine right up until smoke starts pouring out of them, as there is sometimes little warning of speakers reaching their limits of power handling (you may hear them distort and compress, but it's more subtle than clipping). So arguably having an abundantly powerful amp/receiver is more dangerous than an underpowered one, despite the popular belief in the opposite. It depends on whether you're the type of person who would keep cranking up the volume despite how bad and painfully "loud"--usually a result of clipping distortion as opposed to actual loudness--a speaker sounds, and unfortunately it seems that plenty of people are.

That being said, there is nothing to worry about as long as you operate both the amplifier and speakers within their limits, and for most people most of the time, this is not an issue.
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Originally Posted by Anhydro View Post

With my HSU subwoofer having its own amplifier, I have assumed the Dennon 3312ci will have plenty of power (and is an upgrade over my current AVR). Should I be comfortable using the Denon with this set-up?... fingers crossed. smile.gif

Sure, unless you want to really crank the volume up very high, in which case you'd want to consider more powerful separate amplifiers and speakers that are designed expressly for high output. For most people, though, a setup like yours could play as loudly as they'd ever want in a typical home theater.
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post #11 of 11 Old 06-30-2012, 09:46 AM
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I have the same surrounds as you (ADP150's) I Looked around and asked questions as you are but will be getting the new Monitor Surround 3's. After talking to my friend who has sold me most of my EQ, he said the new version of the Monitor surrounds are an outstanding speaker. I have an Integra DTR 40.2 that is rated at 110 wpc.

Jeff
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