Speaker size/power questions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-13-2013, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, so this may be the weakest question ever asked in this forum, but I'm confused, so I'm going to dump it on the group anyway smile.gif

I have an older set of 5.1 Paradigm Cinema v.3 speakers. They have served me reasonably well for the last 10 years or so, but I'm having an issue that I need some clarification on.

I recently purchased a new TV and have been really getting into Blu-Ray movies. I've been cranking up the sound more than usual (on an also-new Denon 1913 AVR) and I'm seeing the receiver kick into protect mode (shut down) at higher volumes. I've checked my cabling and the speakers are rated a 8 ohms. It's not "wall shaking loud" when this happens - it tends to kick at between 60-70 volume. At 25 it's barely audible, so it doesn't "feel" like 60 is unreasonable. It sounds great at 60 or so - about where I'd like to set it for most movies - but it will invariably kick off at that level. The receiver itself is fairly warm, but not so hot I can't touch it. Ventilation is decent above and behind that AVR (it is in a cabinet).

My stupid question is this: how can I get more sound at lower power/volume levels on the Denon??? Part of me thinks it should be obvious: buy larger, 8 ohm, efficient speakers - maybe I'm pushing the little Cinemas too hard. Alas, the other part of me fears that the AVR will work harder to drive these speakers and I'll have the same problems regardless. Still, at the end of the day, I have to think that people are getting more sound out of larger speakers with the 1913, but I wanted to ask before I did anything drastic.

Again, I apologize in advance; I should know this but I'm struggling. Thanks much and look forward to getting schooled on this issue!!! biggrin.gif

- Eric
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-13-2013, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by thestumper View Post

Part of me thinks it should be obvious: buy larger, 8 ohm, efficient speakers -
Not knowing exactly what your current speakers are I can't say for sure, but I'd say you're probably on the right track. Big sound from small speakers does not come.

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post #3 of 16 Old 06-13-2013, 08:56 PM
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yeah...you are on the right track. that is called not having enough rig for the gig. :-)

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post #4 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Not knowing exactly what your current speakers are I can't say for sure, but I'd say you're probably on the right track. Big sound from small speakers does not come.

Second paragraph. Paradigm cinema v3
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Not knowing exactly what your current speakers are I can't say for sure, but I'd say you're probably on the right track. Big sound from small speakers does not come.

While I completely agree, why would it go into protection mode? I run a Denon 1709 with Paradigm cinema 90's and I can turn it up to max ( well I have set max to 0db) but the receiver has never gone into protect mode.
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Awenta View Post

Second paragraph. Paradigm cinema v3
Searching Paradigm cinema v3 comes up with at least four different versions, including 90, 110 and 300.
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While I completely agree, why would it go into protection mode? I run a Denon 1709 with Pariadigm cinema 90's and I can turn it up to max ( well I have set max to 0db) but the receiver has never gone into protect mode.
A receiver goes into protect mode when the current demand is more than the receiver can safely deliver. That can be caused by an impedance load that's too low, playing at a volume that's too high, or a combination of the two.

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post #7 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 05:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HFXguy View Post

While I completely agree, why would it go into protection mode? I run a Denon 1709 with Pariadigm cinema 90's and I can turn it up to max ( well I have set max to 0db) but the receiver has never gone into protect mode.

That is part of my concern. I guess my other question becomes this:

Can an AVR overheat by trying to drive small speakers too hard? ( which appears to be answered above smile.gif)

Note that it happens in complex, loud scenes in BR/DVD movies (I never crank TV up very loud). Starting to get concerned that perhaps it is heat/space related in some way. I measured and it has three inches on top, wide open in the back and front, but tight on the sides.

Thanks!
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Searching Paradigm cinema v3 comes up with at least four different versions, including 90, 110 and 300.
A receiver goes into protect mode when the current demand is more than the receiver can safely deliver. That can be caused by an impedance load that's too low, playing at a volume that's too high, or a combination of the two.

They are 90's. Pretty small for mains.
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 06:11 AM
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They are 90's. Pretty small for mains.
Pretty small for surrounds too. Like I said, you can't get big sound from small speakers. IMO the smallest mains worth considering are loaded with two 4 inch woofers. Mine are loaded with eight fours, and my receiver never even gets warm.

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post #10 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Pretty small for surrounds too. Like I said, you can't get big sound from small speakers. IMO the smallest mains worth considering are loaded with two 4 inch woofers. Mine are loaded with eight fours, and my receiver never even gets warm.

Again, I agree with you but the OP's receiver is going into protect mode and I don't think everyone with cinema series speakers (or other small speakers eg: Orb) goes into protect mode when they turn up the volume. Or am I just wrong?
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post #11 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HFXguy View Post

Again, I agree with you but the OP's receiver is going into protect mode and I don't think everyone with cinema series speakers (or other small speakers eg: Orb) goes into protect mode when they turn up the volume. Or am I just wrong?

Well, they are old-ish, and maybe I'm one of the few dumb ones that tries to push too much power through them because I'm expecting too much ??? smile.gif

The room is appx 23'x16' - not huge, but I'm not trying to push to "theater levels" where your ears almost bleed. I need to change the volume display to dB to get a better idea of where things get ugly.
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post #12 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by HFXguy View Post

Again, I agree with you but the OP's receiver is going into protect mode and I don't think everyone with cinema series speakers (or other small speakers eg: Orb) goes into protect mode when they turn up the volume. Or am I just wrong?
That depends on the volume. Lets just assume he goes from a single woofer speaker to dual woofer. He gets an additional 3dB of sensitivity, and that cuts the power demand for the same volume in half.
He didn't mention a powered sub, and if he doesn't have one that really limits the system.

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post #13 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thestumper View Post

Well, they are old-ish, and maybe I'm one of the few dumb ones that tries to push too much power through them because I'm expecting too much ??? smile.gif

The room is appx 23'x16' - not huge, but I'm not trying to push to "theater levels" where your ears almost bleed. I need to change the volume display to dB to get a better idea of where things get ugly.

That might be a large room for that system. My den is 12x11'

& thanks for the info Bill. By the way the subwoofer is •Cinema 90 CT Subwoofer
• 10" Driver
• 120 watts RMS/360 Watts Peak
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post #14 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 01:21 PM
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Make sure you don't have a whisker short on your speaker cable. The effect you are describing can be caused by one.

It is *possible* that you are just asking more than the speaker / amp combo can deliver; but given your description, that would not be my first guess.
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post #15 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

Make sure you don't have a whisker short on your speaker cable. The effect you are describing can be caused by one.

It is *possible* that you are just asking more than the speaker / amp combo can deliver; but given your description, that would not be my first guess.

No whisker shorts. I've tripple-checked it. Everything except the surrounds are locking banana-jacked into the receiver so theres not a lot of margin for error for L/C/R. I am starting to think that I am simply asking too much of the little Cinemas. I tested it today, and all was well until I got up into the higher volume levels and complex dynamic passages. Receiver started heating up at that point so I backed off a little and all was well. It may be time to bite the bullet and buy some larger speakers; especially up front...

And thank you ALL for your help. I'm still open to suggestions, but I REALLY do appreciate your insight into this. Just when I start to thinking I'm getting pretty smart, it's good that there are always those that can cut me back down to size. smile.gif Seriously, thanks guys!
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post #16 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

Make sure you don't have a whisker short on your speaker cable. The effect you are describing can be caused by one.

It is *possible* that you are just asking more than the speaker / amp combo can deliver; but given your description, that would not be my first guess.

Yeah - this sounds like something wrong with either the speaker or the receiver. It should start sounding really junk before protection kicks in.
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