Watts and speaker sound quality - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 10-18-2012, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
bcarroll01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
Posts: 118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
How big of a difference does the amount of watts you have going to a speaker make?

While looking to choose what speakers I want for my front three I have came across some speakers. I have listened to Paradigm Studio 100's with about 50 Watts and PSB Synchrony One's on a 250 Watt mchintosh amp. I really liked the PSB speakers. I don't know if its just because they are a more expensive speaker and with a lot better amp?
Elihawk likes this.

bcarroll01 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 Old 10-18-2012, 05:29 PM
Member
 
Khaos's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 196
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 12
You're comparing apples to oranges in a sense.

Both speakers have different sonic qualities, regardless of watts. Pricing is never a great way to judge a speaker, it's all about your ears.

In answer to your question though, wattage does not = better sound. As long as you have clean power, and it's enough to drive it at adequate volumes, more watts become irrelevant.

To explain better, assume you have two amps, both of which deliver clean energy. If a speaker at the desired volume only requires 50watts, the extra 200 aren't even used. They are more for headroom (peaks) in case the volume of the source spikes and more power is required.

Amps can give you better sound, although subtle. For instance, I personally believe an Emotiva amp compared to a $15k amp will sound virtually the same. The emotiva already delivers perfect energy. However, it is safe to say that both amps will allow speakers to sound better than most built in AVR amps. Even if the Emotiva was only outputting 50watts and the built in amp was outputting 150watts, there is no doubt that the Emotiva would probably sound cleaner and clearer.

More watts allows you to drive your speakers louder without distorting. That's the most common reason for getting high power amps. HT requires loud volumes and therefore more watts. Otherwise the speakers would distort and possibly break. Which is why it's possible that the 50 watts powering the studios wasn't enough at the volume you were listening.

Quality>Quantity

 

Please tell me what happened in this night.
It's like the cat inside the box.
 
Please tell me what happened in this night.
You don't know if the cat in the box is dead or alive.
 
Please tell me what happened in this night.
The cat in the box was dead.
Khaos is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 10-18-2012, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
bcarroll01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
Posts: 118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khaos View Post

You're comparing apples to oranges in a sense.
Both speakers have different sonic qualities, regardless of watts. Pricing is never a great way to judge a speaker, it's all about your ears.
In answer to your question though, wattage does not = better sound. As long as you have clean power, and it's enough to drive it at adequate volumes, more watts become irrelevant.
To explain better, assume you have two amps, both of which deliver clean energy. If a speaker at the desired volume only requires 50watts, the extra 200 aren't even used. They are more for headroom (peaks) in case the volume of the source spikes and more power is required.
Amps can give you better sound, although subtle. For instance, I personally believe an Emotiva amp compared to a $15k amp will sound virtually the same. The emotiva already delivers perfect energy. However, it is safe to say that both amps will allow speakers to sound better than most built in AVR amps. Even if the Emotiva was only outputting 50watts and the built in amp was outputting 150watts, there is no doubt that the Emotiva would probably sound cleaner and clearer.
More watts allows you to drive your speakers louder without distorting. That's the most common reason for getting high power amps. HT requires loud volumes and therefore more watts. Otherwise the speakers would distort and possibly break. Which is why it's possible that the 50 watts powering the studios wasn't enough at the volume you were listening.
Quality>Quantity


I guess what I am trying to decide is it the PSB speakers that are better atleast to my ears compared to the Paradigm's or is it what is powering the speakers? The PSB speakers sounded really tight and you could hear every little detail I felt more that with the Paradigm's.

bcarroll01 is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 10-18-2012, 07:18 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 9,318
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 1213
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcarroll01 View Post

How big of a difference does the amount of watts you have going to a speaker make?
None, other than the volume the amp is capable of driving the speakers to.

Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design

The Laws of Physics aren't swayed by opinion.
Bill Fitzmaurice is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 10-18-2012, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
bcarroll01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
Posts: 118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

None, other than the volume the amp is capable of driving the speakers to.
If that is the case it is going to be a hard decision to decide what speaker to get. I was at the top of what I would like to spend for the studio 100's but the PSB are only about $500 a speaker more so far from the prices I have gotten.

bcarroll01 is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 10-18-2012, 07:52 PM
Senior Member
 
Paraneer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 37
A lot comes down the efficiency of the speakers. The Synchrony One's are world class speakers, the top of PSB's line. They are also 4 Ohm speakers with sensitivity of 90 db making them more difficult to drive. This is probabaly why they were mated with the McIntosh. The Paradigms are far more efficent - 8 Ohms and 93 db sensitivity. They need less watts to acheive the same volume level as the PSB's. But this doesn't mean you need 250 watts for the Synchronys - they should perform very good at far less power. Provided its clean, high current power and the amp is not overdriven into clipping.

Were both speakers you heard at the same dealer? If so, why don't you re-listen to the Synchronys with the 50 watt amp. Providing the the amp is 4 Ohm stable and will not clip, this should be adequate to get the PSB's up there in an averaging listening room. If you still think the PSB sounds better, then you know it is this speaker you have a preference for. There are many higher end 4 ohm speakers being driven by 50 watt amps in folks homes all over the world. My speakers, Vienna Bach Grands are rated the same as the Synchrony's - 4 Ohm and 90 db. I drive them with 125 watts per channel and never have to push the volume control to achieve satisfying volume. This is only half the power of the McIntosh you auditioned. Good luck in your speaker search.

Parasound 5125, Parasound 2100, Pro-ject RM 5.1SE, Dynavector 10x5, Pro-ject Phono Box S, Pro-ject Speed Box II, Arcam FMJ CD17, Pioneer Elite VSX-52, Pioneer Elite BDP-52FD, Vienna Acoustics Bach Grands, Vienna Acoustics Theatro Grand, Wharfedale Diamond 9.2s, REL T-1 & Panasonic TC-P54S1
Paraneer is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 10-18-2012, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
bcarroll01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
Posts: 118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paraneer View Post

A lot comes down the efficiency of the speakers. The Synchrony One's are world class speakers, the top of PSB's line. They are also 4 Ohm speakers with sensitivity of 90 db making them more difficult to drive. This is probabaly why they were mated with the McIntosh. The Paradigms are far more efficent - 8 Ohms and 93 db sensitivity. They need less watts to acheive the same volume level as the PSB's. But this doesn't mean you need 250 watts for the Synchronys - they should perform very good at far less power. Provided its clean, high current power and the amp is not overdriven into clipping.
Were both speakers you heard at the same dealer? If so, why don't you re-listen to the Synchronys with the 50 watt amp. Providing the the amp is 4 Ohm stable and will not clip, this should be adequate to get the PSB's up there in an averaging listening room. If you still think the PSB sounds better, then you know it is this speaker you have a preference for. There are many higher end 4 ohm speakers being driven by 50 watt amps in folks homes all over the world. My speakers, Vienna Bach Grands are rated the same as the Synchrony's - 4 Ohm and 90 db. I drive them with 125 watts per channel and never have to push the volume control to achieve satisfying volume. This is only half the power of the McIntosh you auditioned. Good luck in your speaker search.

The Synchronys were at a different dealer. He just sold his Image speakers and B&W CM9's. I am going to go back in about a week or two and listen to all of them again and also try it on a receiver like mine(Yamaha RX-A710).

bcarroll01 is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 10-19-2012, 05:32 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 9,318
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 1213
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcarroll01 View Post

If that is the case it is going to be a hard decision to decide what speaker to get..
It shouldn't be. The differences in sound between different speakers can be major, that between different receivers is slight.
Quote:
I am going to go back in about a week or two and listen to all of them again and also try it on a receiver like mine(Yamaha RX-A710).
Not only do you need to try both with the same receiver you need to try them in the same room at the same session. Every room sounds different, and your ability to 'remember' what a speaker sounded like in a different listening session is limited.

Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design

The Laws of Physics aren't swayed by opinion.
Bill Fitzmaurice is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 10-19-2012, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
bcarroll01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
Posts: 118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I think im going to narrow the psb, b&w downs to obe and then also try to take those and the paradigms home for a couple of weeks if i can.

bcarroll01 is offline  
Reply Speakers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off