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josebaba
07:06 PM Liked: 0
post #1 of 21
07-21-2014 | Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2014
I have a set of old Magnat needle tower speakers which is rated with 200/360 watts, 4ohms, 20-3000HZ 90db. How many watts RMS per channel amp will i need to get the best of these speakers.
Right now i am using a 80 watts into 8 ohms amp (onkyo TX 866) which i think is not powerful enough to to drive those speakers, because as i try to increase the volume its clarity or sweetness goes off...there is distortion or clipping(not sure what it is)
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar Bill Fitzmaurice
07:55 PM Liked: 1684
post #2 of 21
07-21-2014 | Posts: 10,210
Joined: Nov 2009
If your speakers are rated 200w RMS then powering them with between 100w and 400w RMS is appropriate. Be aware that AVRs tend to have optimistic ratings that don't reflect what they're actually capable of with all channels driven.
89grand's Avatar 89grand
08:02 PM Liked: 87
post #3 of 21
07-21-2014 | Posts: 388
Joined: Mar 2013
There is no one number. It all depends on a number of things. You're typical volume level requirements, the size of the room, the distance you sit from the speakers.

Some amps don't do too well with 4 ohm loads, although having never seen measurements of that speaker, I have no idea how close to 4 ohms it really is, nor how sever the phase angle is. It's probably an overall good idea to get an amp that can easily drive a 4 ohm load, and you can usually spot those because they'll have a 4 ohm power rating well above the 8 ohm rating. I do not however subscribe to the idea it has to be exactly double as most amps can't actually do that, and many manufacturers just simply lower the 8 ohm rating to make it seem as though it is double.

There are many good, reasonable priced older amplifiers on the market. I use a B&K EX442 Sonata for instance that is rated for 200wpc @ 8 ohms, and 350wpc @ 4 ohms. It's pretty stout, and I bought it for $350. I also have an AudioSource AMP Three that I like quite a bit as well, and I bought that for $100, it's rated at 150/200wpc @ 8/4 ohms.
psgcdn's Avatar psgcdn
07:00 AM Liked: 258
post #4 of 21
07-22-2014 | Posts: 4,696
Joined: Sep 2006
To bonify what 89grand is talking about... The only time I ever heard an amplifier make a large difference on speakers is on Magnat Needle speakers a friend has. He had an Onkyo receiver (manufactured 15 years ago or so; this was 10-12 years ago) and they sounded dull and lifeless with no dynamics even at lower volumes. We swapped-in an HK AVR-325 receiver of mine, which handles 4-ohms with ease, and they sounded great! He first switched to a NAD receiver, which had other problems. He eventually switched the speakers to Klipschorns, which aren't very fussy about amps.

You might try using an external amplifier on your Onkyo (removing the jumpers); something rated for 4-ohms.
fatbottom's Avatar fatbottom
07:15 AM Liked: 202
post #5 of 21
07-22-2014 | Posts: 3,890
Joined: May 2003
Being 4ohm buy a amplifier that has a beefy power supply/
commsysman's Avatar commsysman
07:32 AM Liked: 257
post #6 of 21
07-22-2014 | Posts: 5,298
Joined: Dec 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by josebaba View Post
I have a set of old Magnat needle tower speakers which is rated with 200/360 watts, 4ohms, 20-3000HZ 90db. How many watts RMS per channel amp will i need to get the best of these speakers.
Right now i am using a 80 watts into 8 ohms amp (onkyo TX 866) which i think is not powerful enough to to drive those speakers, because as i try to increase the volume its clarity or sweetness goes off...there is distortion or clipping(not sure what it is)


Onkyo amps are noted for being harsh-sounding and not delivering their rated power without distorting, especially with 4 ohm speakers. You need around 100 watts or more of HONEST power per channel (not the inflated BS ratings of cheap receivers and amps).

The NAD C375BEE Integrated amp would probably be your best bet; it runs $1500 and puts out 150 watts per channel at 4 ohms.

Arcam and Cambridge also make some good higher-powered amplifiers, but they are closer to $2000.
smurraybhm's Avatar smurraybhm
07:43 AM Liked: 558
post #7 of 21
07-22-2014 | Posts: 2,009
Joined: Jul 2007
There are plenty of amps you can buy that won't cost $1500 to $2000 when you only need a couple hundred watts for 2 channels. The only difference between a few mentioned above and those available at a lower price MAY be the length of the warranty. Well made amps should sound the same
You can start with Emotiva or some mono blocks from Outlaw. Pro amps would also be a great option at a much better price.
commsysman's Avatar commsysman
07:48 AM Liked: 257
post #8 of 21
07-22-2014 | Posts: 5,298
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smurraybhm View Post
There are plenty of amps you can buy that won't cost $1500 to $2000 when you only need a couple hundred watts for 2 channels. The only difference between a few mentioned above and those available at a lower price MAY be the length of the warranty. Well made amps should sound the same
You can start with Emotiva or some mono blocks from Outlaw. Pro amps would also be a great option at a much better price.

The oats are much cheaper after they come out of the back end of the horse, too.

Cheap pro amps are for public-address systems; not home audio.
smurraybhm's Avatar smurraybhm
07:53 AM Liked: 558
post #9 of 21
07-22-2014 | Posts: 2,009
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We are all entitled to our opinions my friend, that's the great thing about this hobby. Just mentioning the options, you never know the OP's budget. A new receiver may even achieve what they need, just one with valid specs. There are more than a few that will drive 2 channels easily at 100 watts or more per channel. I have never used a pro amp myself, but based on what a lot of others say on this forum about using them and their sound, I have to believe they aren't crap as your post implies. Guess I am a little more open minded
psgcdn's Avatar psgcdn
08:24 AM Liked: 258
post #10 of 21
07-22-2014 | Posts: 4,696
Joined: Sep 2006
No need to spend $1500 on a amp that handles a 4-ohm load.
Reefdvr27's Avatar Reefdvr27
09:18 AM Liked: 555
post #11 of 21
07-22-2014 | Posts: 3,227
Joined: Dec 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
The oats are much cheaper after they come out of the back end of the horse, too.

Cheap pro amps are for public-address systems; not home audio.
Most of the time I agree with what you say, however most of the guys I know and the theaters I have been in use pro amps and they sound fantastic to me. We have listened for hours upon hours of music with multiple speakers all driven on pro amps and I have never noticed any difference. I actually just bought an inuke 3000 dsp for my new JTR 215's, but not for the amp, but the dsp. It was a cheap alternative to EQing these beast. I have a new Emotiva amp I could use to drive them, but again the dsp was a great alternative. I will probably switch up sooner than later to a good quality SS amp and mini dsp, but for the time being I have no problem running the pro amp.
89grand's Avatar 89grand
09:33 AM Liked: 87
post #12 of 21
07-22-2014 | Posts: 388
Joined: Mar 2013
I'd have no reservations with using a pro audio amp of decent quality, although I don't currently. I'd wager no one could pick one out over any $1500 + amplifier if level matched and neither was driven into distortion.

I think it's ludicrous to suggest one needs at least a $1500 amp to get decent performance. Granted, my B&K was probably $1200 or so new, but that's why I bought it used, because I wouldn't have paid that price.
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar Bill Fitzmaurice
09:41 AM Liked: 1684
post #13 of 21
07-22-2014 | Posts: 10,210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smurraybhm View Post
I have never used a pro amp myself, but based on what a lot of others say on this forum about using them and their sound, I have to believe they aren't crap as your post implies.
+1. You can certainly find cheap pro-sound amps that have lousy specs, but once you get to the $299 price point most pro-sound amps spec out considerably better than the amps contained in AVRs, and they spec no worse than, if not better than, similarly priced consumer grade amps. Most claims to the contrary can be chalked up to ignorance of the facts and/or gear snobbery.
FMW's Avatar FMW
12:39 PM Liked: 830
post #14 of 21
07-22-2014 | Posts: 5,334
Joined: Jun 2007
My pro audio amp, a Yamaha S3500, is rated at 350 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 450 watts into 4 ohms with 0.1% THD 20-20khz. It has a 102 db signal to noise ratio and a ruler flat frequency response up to over 40khz. It weighs 56 lbs. The new ones are lighter at only 33 lbs and have the distortion spec at half power. Where do you see specifications that would lead you to believe it would make poor quality sound in a home environment? I sure don't see it and I sure haven't heard it. I think Bill described it pretty well as gear snobbery.


But nevertheless, OP, your problem is not amplifier power. It rarely is. You need to upgrade your speakers.
commsysman's Avatar commsysman
02:50 PM Liked: 257
post #15 of 21
07-22-2014 | Posts: 5,298
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post
My pro audio amp, a Yamaha S3500, is rated at 350 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 450 watts into 4 ohms with 0.1% THD 20-20khz. It has a 102 db signal to noise ratio and a ruler flat frequency response up to over 40khz. It weighs 56 lbs. The new ones are lighter at only 33 lbs and have the distortion spec at half power. Where do you see specifications that would lead you to believe it would make poor quality sound in a home environment? I sure don't see it and I sure haven't heard it. I think Bill described it pretty well as gear snobbery.


But nevertheless, OP, your problem is not amplifier power. It rarely is. You need to upgrade your speakers.



The thing that non-technical people who have never designed and thoroughly tested an amplifier do not understand is that an amp may test 0.1% distortion into a resistor on a test bench, and then produce 20 to 50 times as much distortion when driving the much more complex load of a real speaker. A quality amplifier, which has a much larger power supply, and of course costs a lot more to make, will distort a lot less.

Anyone who thinks that specs from a bench test with a load resistor tells you about real sound quality is extremely ignorant of the complex interaction between an amplifier and real speakers.

The reason REAL audio pros spend $4000 for a Bryston amp or Boulder amp instead of $500 for a Yamaha or some other cheap crap amp, is because they know that the cheap ones distort like heck when they have to drive the inductances and capacitances found in REAL SPEAKERS. Their livelihood depends on that amp sounding good on a stage or in a recording studio, and they CAN HEAR THE DIFFERENCE. They don't throw money around for nothing. They know that the cheap amps can't handle the difficult loads due to much smaller power supplies that won't deliver the peak currents required. Cheap is cheap is crappy sound; ask a REAL professional audio person.

If YOU can't hear the difference, then it is clear that you lack the experience of the real professionals.

Bryston, for one, has been selling large numbers of amplifiers to true audio professionals for over 40 years, and they are not cheap. The true audio pros and roadies I know regard the kind of cheap "pro" amp made by Yamaha and Beringer etc. as worthless trash and wouldn't use them if they were free. Bryston works with true audio pros and builds the kind of amp they want and need; that actually sounds good when driven very hard. That is why their very expensive amps are one of the music industry standards, and junk like Yamaha and Beringer is NOT.

Comparing the bench test power specs of amps is like comparing sports cars solely on a dynomometer power result. It tells you very little about what performance is like when the rubber actually hits the road. It is only a small part of a much larger and more complex picture.
89grand's Avatar 89grand
03:09 PM Liked: 87
post #16 of 21
07-22-2014 | Posts: 388
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A little $50 SMSL T-Amp sounded just like my B&K except obviously it ran out of gas sooner, but even then it got a lot louder than I expected, and sounded identical up until the point it ran out of steam. People buy $500 speaker cables too, but that doesn't prove a single thing to me. Well it does prove "something", but not that it cost more for a reason or has any sonic benefit.
smurraybhm's Avatar smurraybhm
03:31 PM Liked: 558
post #17 of 21
07-22-2014 | Posts: 2,009
Joined: Jul 2007
So those of us who have heard the "expensive" and the "budget" brands that are well respected in both categories who can't hear a difference are unprofessional or unable to hear? Priceless. By the way besides some $500 cables I have a $500 power cord to sell you that has a warm but clear sonic signature to it
89grand's Avatar 89grand
03:43 PM Liked: 87
post #18 of 21
07-22-2014 | Posts: 388
Joined: Mar 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by smurraybhm View Post
So those of us who have heard the "expensive" and the "budget" brands that are well respected in both categories who can't hear a difference are unprofessional or unable to hear? Priceless. By the way besides some $500 cables I have a $500 power cord to sell you that has a warm but clear sonic signature to it
I wonder what would happen if I used that $500 Audiophile approved power cable on a cheap Behringer pro amp?
67jason's Avatar 67jason
11:07 PM Liked: 794
post #19 of 21
07-22-2014 | Posts: 2,906
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
The thing that non-technical people who have never designed and thoroughly tested an amplifier do not understand is that an amp may test 0.1% distortion into a resistor on a test bench, and then produce 20 to 50 times as much distortion when driving the much more complex load of a real speaker. A quality amplifier, which has a much larger power supply, and of course costs a lot more to make, will distort a lot less.

Anyone who thinks that specs from a bench test with a load resistor tells you about real sound quality is extremely ignorant of the complex interaction between an amplifier and real speakers.

The reason REAL audio pros spend $4000 for a Bryston amp or Boulder amp instead of $500 for a Yamaha or some other cheap crap amp, is because they know that the cheap ones distort like heck when they have to drive the inductances and capacitances found in REAL SPEAKERS. Their livelihood depends on that amp sounding good on a stage or in a recording studio, and they CAN HEAR THE DIFFERENCE. They don't throw money around for nothing. They know that the cheap amps can't handle the difficult loads due to much smaller power supplies that won't deliver the peak currents required. Cheap is cheap is crappy sound; ask a REAL professional audio person.

If YOU can't hear the difference, then it is clear that you lack the experience of the real professionals.

Bryston, for one, has been selling large numbers of amplifiers to true audio professionals for over 40 years, and they are not cheap. The true audio pros and roadies I know regard the kind of cheap "pro" amp made by Yamaha and Beringer etc. as worthless trash and wouldn't use them if they were free. Bryston works with true audio pros and builds the kind of amp they want and need; that actually sounds good when driven very hard. That is why their very expensive amps are one of the music industry standards, and junk like Yamaha and Beringer is NOT.

Comparing the bench test power specs of amps is like comparing sports cars solely on a dynomometer power result. It tells you very little about what performance is like when the rubber actually hits the road. It is only a small part of a much larger and more complex picture.
bias is a powerful thing to over come.

just once i'd love to see the face of folks like this guy during a proper amp level matched DBT.

the fact of the matter is that in most cases amps will be utterly indistinguishable from one another as long as they are being driven within their operating range (ie - not turned up to the point of clipping and mass distortion). Also if you only need around 5-15 watts average for example, to achieve your desired spl level and with upwards of 50 watts for certain peaks, a 100 watt amp will serve you just as well as a 10,000 watt amp, assuming both are competently designed and do not add any color to the signal.

if by chance a high end krell for example, that is claimed to be audibly different/superior then a run of the mill $399 pro-amp, please show me the frequency response measurement identifying where the audible difference exists. if you cant do this, then the claimed supposed audible difference/superiority is nothing more then anectodal at best....and anecdotes are the last thing i want to base my purchases on.
FMW's Avatar FMW
04:45 AM Liked: 830
post #20 of 21
07-23-2014 | Posts: 5,334
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
The thing that non-technical people who have never designed and thoroughly tested an amplifier do not understand is that an amp may test 0.1% distortion into a resistor on a test bench, and then produce 20 to 50 times as much distortion when driving the much more complex load of a real speaker. A quality amplifier, which has a much larger power supply, and of course costs a lot more to make, will distort a lot less.

Anyone who thinks that specs from a bench test with a load resistor tells you about real sound quality is extremely ignorant of the complex interaction between an amplifier and real speakers.

The reason REAL audio pros spend $4000 for a Bryston amp or Boulder amp instead of $500 for a Yamaha or some other cheap crap amp, is because they know that the cheap ones distort like heck when they have to drive the inductances and capacitances found in REAL SPEAKERS. Their livelihood depends on that amp sounding good on a stage or in a recording studio, and they CAN HEAR THE DIFFERENCE. They don't throw money around for nothing. They know that the cheap amps can't handle the difficult loads due to much smaller power supplies that won't deliver the peak currents required. Cheap is cheap is crappy sound; ask a REAL professional audio person.

If YOU can't hear the difference, then it is clear that you lack the experience of the real professionals.

Bryston, for one, has been selling large numbers of amplifiers to true audio professionals for over 40 years, and they are not cheap. The true audio pros and roadies I know regard the kind of cheap "pro" amp made by Yamaha and Beringer etc. as worthless trash and wouldn't use them if they were free. Bryston works with true audio pros and builds the kind of amp they want and need; that actually sounds good when driven very hard. That is why their very expensive amps are one of the music industry standards, and junk like Yamaha and Beringer is NOT.

Comparing the bench test power specs of amps is like comparing sports cars solely on a dynomometer power result. It tells you very little about what performance is like when the rubber actually hits the road. It is only a small part of a much larger and more complex picture.

You have no idea how many audiophiles like you insult me, thinking they are making a valid point in a debate. I've heard so much of it I just grin and ignore it. But I'll respond. Tell me about the comparison you made between a Bryston amp and a Yamaha S3500. I'm particularly interested in the bias controlled listening test you conducted where the rubber meets the road. If you don't have that, perhaps you have measurement that shows the THD increasing 20 times where the rubber meets the road. I'm willing to bet you have never seen or listened to a Yamaha S3500 amplifier. Am I right?
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar Bill Fitzmaurice
07:35 AM Liked: 1684
post #21 of 21
07-23-2014 | Posts: 10,210
Joined: Nov 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post
You have no idea how many audiophiles like you insult me, thinking they are making a valid point in a debate.
Required reading:
http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/10-01-06#feature

BTW, the number one amp in pro-touring sound by market share is Crown; they've held that position for decades. Bryston isn't all that popular on tour, they're mostly used in studios. The current top of the heap in desirability on tour are Lab.gruppen and PowerSoft, but even pro-touring outfits aren't made of money, so their market share isn't that high. You mainly see them used by top tier outfits like Clair, who can afford them when they typically charge $100k and up per night for their services. $5-10k power amps aren't all that expensive compared to $250k and up mixing consoles.
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