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post #1 of 19 Old 07-21-2014, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Need help!

Hey guys,

I'm thinking about changing my LCR speakers in my HT, I want to get the Monitor Audio Silver 10 and the Monitor Audio Silver Center, which have nominal impedance of 4 ohm and 8 ohm respectively, now my problem lies with the receiver which is a Pioneer VSX-921, can it power this speakers? I listen at moderate levels. This receiver can Bi-amp the Silver 10s, would that help drive the speakers and make it slightly safer?

Thanks guys.

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post #2 of 19 Old 07-22-2014, 01:54 AM
 
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@Nanaea , your Pioneer will be perfectly fine powering the MA's at moderate levels (and higher). Those MA's Silvers have a reasonable sensitivity of 90dB/1W/1m. This means, for example, that a 40W burst/peak of power will on average drive them to around 106dBSPL peak, measured at 1m from the speaker baffle. At a typical listening distance of say 10', that translates to around 100dBSPL peak at the listening position in a typical domestic room. Add a second speaker and you're back to around a 103dBSPL peak. This is to most people subjectively quite loud. The VSX-921 has a continuous power rating of 75W (20Hz - 20kHz, 8Ω, 0.2%, 2 channels driven), so will have no problem producing the 40W peaks of power required. If you turn it down 10dB to 93dBSPL peaks (perhaps your moderate level), the Pioneer will only be called on to produce 1/10th of the power or 4W peak per speaker. In addition, if you run a sub the power demands on the AVR will be substantially reduced as the lower octaves require progressively greater displacement and therefore greater power demands.

Don't trouble yourself with the (passive) bi-amp feature on the AVR. It's basically a gimmick that makes no actual difference electrically and therefore zero difference sonically.

Hook those Silvers up and enjoy them... you have nothing to worry about!
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-22-2014, 03:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been researching and I've seen so many different opinions and finding hardcore facts is so hard! and I must say the one opinion I have found the most is that you shouldn't hook up speakers with lower nominal impedance to a higher rated amp.

Btw, where did you find those specs of "continuous power rating of 75W (20Hz - 20kHz, 8Ω, 0.2%, 2 channels driven)", on my manual I found these:
Rated Output (20 Hz to 20 kHz, 8ohm, 0.09%) .... 105W per channel
Rated Output (1kHz, 6ohm, 1%) .... 150W per channel


I also found a "Guaranteed Speaker Impendance .... 6ohm to 16ohm"
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-22-2014, 06:47 AM
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The published speaker ratings, and the actual measured speaker ratings are usually referencing different scenarios. That 105W per channel is likely with 2 channels driven, however driving all 5 channels is more demanding and lowers the output. If you check out HTLabs, they measure receivers and that 75W figure sounds about right.

As was pointed out, the good sensitivity of the Monitors should help offset the lower impedance. You won't need to turn up the volume quite as much and therefore will be putting less strain on the receiver. Adding a sub will also increase your headroom because the receiver will not need to send low frequencies to the speakers, which require more power.

All speakers have varying impedance, so an 8ohm speaker may dip down to 4 or 6 ohms at certain frequencies, as long as you don't plan on blasting your music, everything should be fine. As GIEGAR pointed out, you will probably decide it's too loud before your receiver does.
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post #5 of 19 Old 07-22-2014, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanaea View Post
Hey guys,

I'm thinking about changing my LCR speakers in my HT, I want to get the Monitor Audio Silver 10 and the Monitor Audio Silver Center, which have nominal impedance of 4 ohm and 8 ohm respectively, now my problem lies with the receiver which is a Pioneer VSX-921, can it power this speakers? I listen at moderate levels. This receiver can Bi-amp the Silver 10s, would that help drive the speakers and make it slightly safer?

Thanks guys.
The receiver I would recommend is the NAD T758, which runs $1000.

It has much better-designed amplifiers and power supply than anything from Pioneer, Onkyo, Yamaha, etc.

It will deliver the peak current those speakers need, while keeping the distortion low, which the others WILL NOT do, due to their wimpy designs and inadequate power supplies.

Anyone who says different is simply unaware of how much distortion those Japanese receivers produce when they are driven hard and connected to REAL SPEAKERS (not a resistor on a test bench). The power ratings of those things are a joke. They are derived only from testing with an 8 ohm resistor for a load. An amplifier works 20 times as hard driving a real speaker, and poorly designed ones produce a LOT of distortion when they have to work hard.

Those ARE excellent speakers, by the way, but don't try to drive them with a crummy receiver that can't do the job.
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-22-2014, 07:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanaea View Post
I have been researching and I've seen so many different opinions and finding hardcore facts is so hard! and I must say the one opinion I have found the most is that you shouldn't hook up speakers with lower nominal impedance to a higher rated amp.
That's probably fairly cautious generic advice, but how many with those opinions actually worked out a few rough power figures based on your listening preferences? The thing is if you're listening at moderate volumes, at the power levels required, the Pioneer should have no issues swinging the required current into the 4Ω load. If on the other hand, you'd stated that you like to "pour the coal to it" and blow the windows out when you listen, my advice certainly would have been more cautionary.

Another aspect to the opinions you refer to is that they may pre-date the widespread use of subs to carry the low frequency burden. It's playing these low frequencies at louder levels on full range low impedance speakers that tends to be very taxing on an amp.

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Originally Posted by Nanaea View Post
Btw, where did you find those specs of "continuous power rating of 75W (20Hz - 20kHz, 8Ω, 0.2%, 2 channels driven)", on my manual I found these:
Rated Output (20 Hz to 20 kHz, 8ohm, 0.09%) .... 105W per channel
Rated Output (1kHz, 6ohm, 1%) .... 150W per channel
I pasted your AVR name into Google and chose the top hit: http://www.pioneer.com.au/au/product...-921/page.html. The User Manual under the Support & Media tab links to this: http://docs.pioneer.eu/Manuals/VSX_9...SX1021_manual/. I took the power rating from the specifications section. I've noticed now this a European site, so I went back and picked the third hit and it takes me here: http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...vers/VSX-921-K. The Owners Manual under the Manuals & Brochures tab gives this in the specifications section:
Quote:
Amplifier section
Continuous average power output of 80 watts* per
channel, min., at 8 ohms, from 20 Hz to 20 000 Hz with
no more than 0.08 %** total harmonic distortion.

Front (stereo) ..........................80W+80W
Power output (1kHz, 8Ω, 0.05%) ......110W per channel
Guaranteed speaker impedance.............. 6Ω to 16Ω

Will the real power rating please stand up?!

I suspect there's different versions of the VSX-921(-K) around the globe, but I know little about Pioneer. Nevertheless, if your manual gives a higher power rating it simply strengthens my contention that there's no real concern with the Pioneer powering the MA's, especially given your listening preferences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanaea View Post
I also found a "Guaranteed Speaker Impendance .... 6ohm to 16ohm"
My interpretation of this is that the unit can be driven hard near the limits of its capability all day long without overheating, shutting down or otherwise misbehaving, provided that it's hooked up to speakers that are at least 6Ω nominal impedance. To me it does not mean that the unit cannot be hooked up to 4Ω nominal impedance speakers and play them satisfactorily at moderate levels.
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-22-2014, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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@commsysman , I do want to replace this receiver I just want to avoid doing it now so I don't have such a huge expense in one shot and to allow the market to stabilize a bit (HDMI 2.0, 4k stuff, dolby atmos).

I want a 11 channel receiver and at least a dedicated amp for the front speakers (something like the NAD C 275BEE or a Emotiva XPA-3), unfortunately the VSX-921 doesn't have pre-outs , I am asking here if this Pioneer can handle these speakers at moderate levels without endangering the speakers, I prefer not to risk it!

So far from what I've read I'm inclined not to risk it but I still have to ask

I already have two subs.
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post #8 of 19 Old 07-22-2014, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
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@GIEGAR , you make a very convincing post and for now I do listen at moderate I don't know if this helps but the maximum I tend to reach is -20dB on the volume knob, which allows me to talk to whoever is next to me at a normal voice, even across the room.

I'll be maintaining these levels of volume until I move house which will only happen in about a year and a half, give or take a couple of months then these speakers will have quite a room to fill which by then I'll already be swapping the receiver etc etc
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-22-2014, 08:37 AM
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I had a pair of Monitor Audio RX8's and drove them for a short period of time with my Denon 4520, but to me they sounded better with a nice shot of power. I did not keep them very long, but for the short time I had them, I really enjoyed them.

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post #10 of 19 Old 07-22-2014, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanaea View Post
@commsysman , I do want to replace this receiver I just want to avoid doing it now so I don't have such a huge expense in one shot and to allow the market to stabilize a bit (HDMI 2.0, 4k stuff, dolby atmos).

I want a 11 channel receiver and at least a dedicated amp for the front speakers (something like the NAD C 275BEE or a Emotiva XPA-3), unfortunately the VSX-921 doesn't have pre-outs , I am asking here if this Pioneer can handle these speakers at moderate levels without endangering the speakers, I prefer not to risk it!

So far from what I've read I'm inclined not to risk it but I still have to ask

I already have two subs.

There is absolutely no danger to your speakers; that is not an issue; especially if you turn it down if any distortion becomes obvious.

The issue is that you might have amplifier distortion at higher levels, which won't hurt the speakers one bit; just your ears...lol.

If you just need a power amplifier, rather than an integrated amplifier, the Marantz MM-7025 is a good one to look at. It can drive those speakers well, and it runs $800.

The ratings on most receivers are a joke. The Marantz claims 80 watts per channel, and I will guarantee you that it actually has more truly available REAL power than most receivers that claim twice as much power into an 8 ohm resistive load.

Take most of the receiver power claims and divide by two, and you will be close to what they can really deliver....maybe.

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post #11 of 19 Old 07-23-2014, 04:47 AM
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Yes, while most manufacturers overstate their power ratings, it's not to the tune of double. Soundandvision is a great resource to get measurements on receivers. I find that Denon is pretty accurate with their ratings, my AVR-1713 is rated at 80 watts/channel, and real world performance is right around 70 watts.

Most people think they need a lot more power than the actually do. Most of the time you aren't using more than 20 watts with an average sensitivity speaker.
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post #12 of 19 Old 07-23-2014, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I just went to that website "Soundandvision" just to check it out and they just published a review on MA Silver 10 speaker system. What are the odds!?!?!
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post #13 of 19 Old 07-23-2014, 08:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
The receiver I would recommend is the NAD T758, which runs $1000.

It has much better-designed amplifiers and power supply than anything from Pioneer, Onkyo, Yamaha, etc.

It will deliver the peak current those speakers need, while keeping the distortion low, which the others WILL NOT do, due to their wimpy designs and inadequate power supplies.

Anyone who says different is simply unaware of how much distortion those Japanese receivers produce when they are driven hard and connected to REAL SPEAKERS (not a resistor on a test bench). The power ratings of those things are a joke. They are derived only from testing with an 8 ohm resistor for a load. An amplifier works 20 times as hard driving a real speaker, and poorly designed ones produce a LOT of distortion when they have to work hard.

Those ARE excellent speakers, by the way, but don't try to drive them with a crummy receiver that can't do the job.
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
There is absolutely no danger to your speakers; that is not an issue; especially if you turn it down if any distortion becomes obvious.

The issue is that you might have amplifier distortion at higher levels, which won't hurt the speakers one bit; just your ears...lol.

If you just need a power amplifier, rather than an integrated amplifier, the Marantz MM-7025 is a good one to look at. It can drive those speakers well, and it runs $800.

The ratings on most receivers are a joke. The Marantz claims 80 watts per channel, and I will guarantee you that it actually has more truly available REAL power than most receivers that claim twice as much power into an 8 ohm resistive load.

Take most of the receiver power claims and divide by two, and you will be close to what they can really deliver....maybe.
I thought long and hard about whether or not to respond to these posts but decided to, for OP @Nanaea ’s and others benefit (maybe). Generally, while containing kernels of correct advice, the above posts are broad sweeping statements of opinion with no basis in fact. I haven't got time to address all these one-by-one, but I'll make the following points:

  • Nanaea indicated that he only listens at moderate volume levels. Therefore, little power is required to drive his chosen speakers to his preferred levels. Even if listening twice as loud as he normally prefers, the Pioneer will still only be required to produce about 40W peak bursts. Jumping to a recommendation of a new $1000 AVR on this basis is bordering on irresponsible in my opinion.

  • NAD, Cambridge Audio and the like, although beautifully engineered, do not have a mortgage good amp and power supply design. Solid state amp design is now a mature science that can turn out economical products that, when used as intended, operate at levels of distortion and deviations from a flat frequency response that are orders of magnitude below what the human hearing system can detect.

  • In addition, even when being “driven hard” to power consumer speakers of typical sensitivity to high volumes, the levels of distortion exhibited by modern solid state amps is still 100’s if not 1000’s of times smaller in magnitude than the distortion being produced by the speakers. To illustrate, here are measurements of the PSB Image T6 tower (a commsysman favourite): http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/mea.../psb_image_t6/. If you look at Chart 3 (bottom); at 95dBSPL (2m) the THD+N peak at 60Hz is at 70dBSPL, or 25dB down. This equates to 5.6% THD+N. At the same time, the amp is tasked to push 18.7V into a 16Ω (0º phase) load at 60Hz (see Chart 5), which produces 22W. At this output power level most AVR’s are operating at under 0.02% THD+N and as low as 0.005% THD+N. (See the measurements below.) So in this case, at quite reasonable SPL's, the distortion produced by the amp is 280 to 1120 times less than that being produced by the speaker. (And the PSB Image T6 is a bloody good speaker!) Also note that this does not even begin to account for the distortion (or coloration) caused by the speaker’s interaction with the room. As an aside, this example is also a good lesson in the advantages of crossing over to a sub, even on a largish 3-way tower.

  • The "Japanese receivers" are designed for the mass market and are highly optimised to perform at, or above, their claimed power specifications. Paste this: ht labs measures receiver into your favourite search engine and browse through the top hits (or the lot if you wish). You will find that the vast majority of, if not all, measured test results will meet or exceed what is documented by the AVR manufacturer in the owner's manual. Take my top hit as a random example: http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...-labs-measures and compare the results to page 71 of the owner's manual: http://www.intl.onkyo.com/downloads/...8_manual_e.pdf. What are your observations? Minute deviations from a flat frequency response across the audible bandwidth; rated power easily exceeded; minimal distortion below clipping; low crosstalk and a large signal to noise ratio that's right on specification are among the things I see.

  • AVR power ratings are not a joke. Power ratings themselves are a consistent, measurable way of comparing the power output capabilities of different units. The regime for obtaining power ratings is mandated in NA by your FTC. What is a joke is the way the ratings are represented by manufacturers in their marketing and advertising materials. This includes adding all "single channel driven; 1kHz" power figures together and headlining the total sum, and/or cleverly formatting product data sheets to make it appear that power figures are for "all channels driven", amongst other shenanigans. This is why the smart AVR customer always, always consults the printed specifications contained in the owner's manual.

  • Continuous full bandwidth power testing driving dummy loads isn't intended to be a definitive indicator of how a unit will play program material/music through "real speakers". It is simply a way to generate power figures that can be readily compared across different units. Even though the speaker does present a complex load, the continuous power testing regime is actually more taxing on an amplifier than driving speakers playing music, not the reverse. This is a myth perpetrated by the high end industry to dupe the gullible into unnecessarily buying ever more powerful amps. As evidence of this, check out any of the Audioholics reviews that contain measurements and compare the power output results of continuous full power testing versus CEA-2006 burst method testing, which: "... is a dynamic power measurement adopted from the car industry similar to IHF method only a bit more difficult for an amplifier and more representative of real musical content”. In all cases that I’ve seen, the amps can generate significantly more power in these tests than the corresponding continuous full power test. This puts paid to the notion that amplifying music to play it well through speakers is somehow as difficult as a camel passing through the eye of a needle.


OK it’s late here now and I’m buggered. I may think of more to add tomorrow. I've linked a selection of "crummy receiver" measurements below for your inspection in the meantime.

Goodnight.


http://www.audioholics.com/av-receiv...0-measurements

http://www.audioholics.com/av-receiv...s-and-analysis

http://www.audioholics.com/av-receiv...ments-analysis

http://www.audioholics.com/av-receiv...nalysis-report
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post #14 of 19 Old 07-23-2014, 08:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanaea View Post
@GIEGAR , you make a very convincing post and for now I do listen at moderate I don't know if this helps but the maximum I tend to reach is -20dB on the volume knob, which allows me to talk to whoever is next to me at a normal voice, even across the room.

I'll be maintaining these levels of volume until I move house which will only happen in about a year and a half, give or take a couple of months then these speakers will have quite a room to fill which by then I'll already be swapping the receiver etc etc
It sure helps! Off the top of my head, the answer is 1W !

I'll respond to this more fully tomorrow.
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If anyone heard how load a little 8 watt T-Amp was able to drive various different speakers in my 13x19' listening room, they're probably re-think the whole notion of just how much power one really needs. I typically use a 200wpc amp, but it never gets driven to anywhere near it's limits. I was almost going to just keep the T-Amp in there, but when push really came to shove on very loud passages, it would run out of gas, but it was shocking how loud it got before it did.

The other day I was playing music at a level I considered pretty loud, and it was only averaging about 83db, with it peaking around 90db on occasions. I really expected I was listening to higher SPL's than that, but I was measuring it with two different meters, REW and a an Andriod app, that was surprisingly very close to what the Umik-1 and REW was measuring.
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post #17 of 19 Old 07-23-2014, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by 89grand View Post
If anyone heard how load a little 8 watt T-Amp was able to drive various different speakers in my 13x19' listening room, they're probably re-think the whole notion of just how much power one really needs. I typically use a 200wpc amp, but it never gets driven to anywhere near it's limits. I was almost going to just keep the T-Amp in there, but when push really came to shove on very loud passages, it would run out of gas, but it was shocking how loud it got before it did.

The other day I was playing music at a level I considered pretty loud, and it was only averaging about 83db, with it peaking around 90db on occasions. I really expected I was listening to higher SPL's than that, but I was measuring it with two different meters, REW and a an Andriod app, that was surprisingly very close to what the Umik-1 and REW was measuring.
Yes great points. Reference levels are 85dB with 20dB of headroom, and reference is loud. A jackhammer across the street is 95dB and I would consider that uncomfortably loud.
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post #18 of 19 Old 07-24-2014, 02:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for that response @GIEGAR , it was quite a read but with a lot of information and helped shed some light !

I'd like to take a quick moment to express my likes as well as my situation in order to clarify a bit my situation.

Before anything else I want to mention I'm from Portugal, so getting certain equipment can be a bit hard (Emotiva doesn't even sell here, or most other US brands).

For the time being I'm stuck in an apartment therefor I can't go berserk on the volume knob and the room that I'm using is a bit on the small size so I really don't need a lot of volume to make it sound loud, to better paint the picture I'm sitting about 6~7 feet from the TV/front speakers, so a small room for which these Silver 10 are way to big , however I know this is temporary and I already have my house waiting for me in which I have a big basement that I want to transform into a home theater/media room which has about 17 x 25 feet, I'm sure I'll be cranking up the volume big time when I get this done

As far as my listening goes, I really love bass and that's why I choose the Silver 10 to get that little extra bass. I also use this system for music listening from my vinyls and I want to listen in stereo without the aid of the subs (not that they work much with music, but still....), although that suggestion for the Silver 8s will be considered

GIEGAR, your post did pop up a question in mind though, a while ago I grabbed my dads Mourdaunt-short ms340 speakers to try out a 7 channel surround (I'm currently only using 5) and in the midst of all my different try outs I noticed that this AVR never sounded as good as the integrated amp from Sony my dad uses even though it's old and rated at 45W, class-d, if my memory is correct (I don't remember the rest of it's specs, not even the model) it always felt like it didn't have the power for those speakers, why does the Sony sound better if it probably has less power?

So to summarize, I'm basically building/re-building my system now and for the time being I want to get the speakers and wait until I can actually use all the different channels before I swap AVR (for now I only have space for 5 channels).
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