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post #1 of 36 Old 11-06-2012, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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As we all should know, your only as good as your weakest link. And we also all have a budget, some bigger or smaller than others.

Knowing this, I would to know the best Receiver that quality wise would be up to the Sonus Faber speaker level. Sonus Faber doesn't make receivers, so, I obviously need to get a brand that is equivalent in build and quality as these speakers. I got the Floor Tower models for the main front left and right. EVENTUALLY will have a entire 7.2 surround system all with Sonus Faber speakers.

I would like the receiver to support the wattage, power, etc.. for 7.2 and again, all doing so on the Sonus Faber level. At least 3 HDMI's at least one with ARC, 1 to 2 Optical inputs.

Being that HDMI, optical and the ways we get sound from our sources is digital, and the receiver pumps out sound through analog speakers, that means inside these receivers is a D to A converter. This converter and the way it is implemented in the analog circuitry, and the way the analog circuitry is built along with most importantly the power supply is built REALLY effects the end result of quality when it comes to these build designs. I know this, so I ask, which receiver out there is built like I request and at a perfect quality match to the Sonus Faber speaker level of quality ?

I'm trying not have to buy something above or below that quality standard, as to not have to waste unnecessary money, BUT make sure my receiver is not the weakest link in my chain either.

Thanks in advance -
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post #2 of 36 Old 11-06-2012, 12:44 PM
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What Sonus faber speakers have you purchased? Also, what is your budget.

In my opinion, due to the quality of the SF speakers, your options are limited to only the best receivers on the market. Anthem, Marantz, Pioneer Elite, high end Denons, or high end Integra/Onkyo. To keep the sweet sound of Sonus faber, I would personally recommend a Marantz unit. I would also highly recommend the combination of the Marantz AV-7005 (or brand new AVM-7001) with a separate amplifier. You could get away with a class D amp like Wyred for Sound or D-Sonic, but your best sound would come from a traditional class A/B amp from a company like Parasound (their classic line would be a good fit).
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post #3 of 36 Old 11-06-2012, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Influence View Post

What Sonus faber speakers have you purchased? Also, what is your budget.

In my opinion, due to the quality of the SF speakers, your options are limited to only the best receivers on the market. Anthem, Marantz, Pioneer Elite, high end Denons, or high end Integra/Onkyo. To keep the sweet sound of Sonus faber, I would personally recommend a Marantz unit. I would also highly recommend the combination of the Marantz AV-7005 (or brand new AVM-7001) with a separate amplifier. You could get away with a class D amp like Wyred for Sound or D-Sonic, but your best sound would come from a traditional class A/B amp from a company like Parasound (their classic line would be a good fit).

Thanks so much for the reply, help and input.

Ha ! Yea I guess I forgot to mention the exact ones I got. The Sonus Faber speakers I got are not the super ones, but their lower end ones (or maybe mid end). I got them at Magnolia Design Center and they are listed as Sonus Faber Venere Model 2.5 2-Way Tower. $2,500 for the pair.

Budget on the receiver is pretty open, as I know between it and the 2 front main speakers, they are the most important components. Which is why I went for these Sonus Faber's. My guy at Magnolia is suggesting a Arcam AVR400 or the AVR600. But I was unsure about that, cause I never heard of Arcam. Have you ? Can you give some input on them ? I noticed you didn't mention them, so I guess Arcam is no good ?

Marantz ! Ha ! Man, are they still doin it ? I remember my mom had a old tube Marantz back in the late 70's.... that thing was awesome ! But as with every company, I thought they fell off ? For this set up, currently I don't want to do the separate amp (mono block Bi Amp) thing, just for certain reasons I will leave out to not make this a very long post.. lol.

But I did want like I said, a good simple receiver type of system (bi wired) just matched quality wise to the speakers I have with the above criteria I mentioned in the original post. Definitely looking for the Class A/B circuitry. I don't want to throw a budget number out there, cause I don't want to be confined to that. BUT the limit should come from not needing quality above the level of speakers I have (and intend to get more of for surround), and definitely not wanted quality below them. SO I wanted to use that as the "range" criteria.
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post #4 of 36 Old 11-06-2012, 09:45 PM
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Get a Pioneer Elite avr. They will have no problem with your speakers.
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post #5 of 36 Old 11-06-2012, 10:10 PM
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I have the 2.5 sonus faber veneres using a pioneer elite sc-61. Had them for three weeks and are getting broken in. I absolutely love the setup. I have them bi-amped and the caveat with the sc-61 is you can't run and 7.1set up and are limited to 5.1. You could always bi-wire and run a 7.2. The sc-61 doesn't disappoint either.
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post #6 of 36 Old 11-06-2012, 10:42 PM
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In my view, you shouldn't pair SF speakers with Marantz or Denon unless you like super warm sound. For HT, I would suggest a brighter and more dynamic receiver for the slightly warmer and more romantic SF signature sound.

I personally pair my SF Liuto floorstander with Pioneer Elite SC receviers and I feel that they give a good balance. Onkyo may be ok as well.
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post #7 of 36 Old 11-07-2012, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey, thanks alot guys for the info and help and input.

I was kinda staying clear of Pioneer, don't know if I like the class of their amps... (but unsure really as I want to learn more about it for CED).

I am only familiar with pro audio gear, and we like things all Class A. Any other class don't cut it. But maybe recording demands a different stringency on quality than listening does ? I would think not, but I can't seem to find any Class A receivers. Either way, I need to learn more about them, cause I then thought class AB would be the next best bet, but there is Class D (Pioneer) Class G, etc... And if you read up on them, it seems they all have their good and bad points.

I definitely don't want a overly "warm" sound. Or should I say phony fake "warm" sound. Warmth is important, yes, but the problem lies within each persons description of "warmth". These are terms with no actual technical standard or anything. I remember "warmth" used to only be used by us musicians and recording engineers, but now the consumers have caught onto the word and it is getting abused like hell.

Put it to you this way, I've heard TUBE gear sound cold and brittle and digitized (Avalon). And I've heard a all solid state path sound warm, and so honest and perfect it would blow your mind (GML). The real idea of warmth is not always low end and this muddy sound beginners seem to identify with warmth. A hi hat can be warm. Warmth is more of a "ear fatigue" thing. Honest thing. No jagged edges thing. Doesn't sound digitized around the edges, etc.. A song with warmth can be heard on full volume all day long.

Most people hear lots of low end and say, but its warm !!! Ha ! No. Low end is not warmth. Extra/too much low end CAN though give the perception of warmth due to it making the highs perceivingly tucked in more, therefore = warmth. But no.

That said, man, real deal warmth is important to me, BUT I haven't tested all these newer digital and SS (solid state / no tubes) devices to know where they stand in the "real warmth" department. Cause I definitely don't just want a "darker sound" slightly muffled out with a slight boosting slope in the 80hz-120hz range passing off as "warmth". Warmth is also something that has to be recorded, not just played back. The playback path can not "warmify" a bad recording, BUT it can ruin a good one. So I want to be careful with that.

I'm looking for definition mainly, depth, and a extremely well designed converter and analog circuitry path. After researching and looking over the specs on Pioneer, I am unsure if I want to go that route, though I will give them a listen I guess when I am doing my final purchase since 2 of you guys have recommended it. I just want to narrow down my choices and come up with new ones with you guys here, cause I am new to the consumer audiophile world.

No one answered me, so I guess I will ask again, what does anyone think of Arcam ? http://www.arcam.co.uk/products,fmj,av-amplifiers,AVR600.htm I'm just uncertain I like their class of amp either. I think they use G ?
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post #8 of 36 Old 11-12-2012, 01:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelxD View Post

No one answered me, so I guess I will ask again, what does anyone think of Arcam ? http://www.arcam.co.uk/products,fmj,av-amplifiers,AVR600.htm I'm just uncertain I like their class of amp either. I think they use G ?

Anyone ?
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post #9 of 36 Old 11-12-2012, 05:11 AM
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personally, i think you need to re-examine some of the things that you "know"...

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post #10 of 36 Old 11-12-2012, 11:33 AM
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I am not sure I have ever seen an "all class A" pro amp. When I was involved in the biz size, weight, heat, and performance all led to class AB, and then later G, H and finally class D amps for their much higher efficiency in delivering gobs of power with fewer thermal management problems. I think it was Crown that released the first mainstream line of class D amps (K-series) and they worked great. Still do, for that matter; our church uses a K2 I installed about 14 years ago. Sound-wise, they all sound pretty similar to me, but YMMV.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #11 of 36 Old 11-12-2012, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

personally, i think you need to re-examine some of the things that you "know"...
I didn't said I "know" anything about CED's. Thats why I'm asking you guys. My field is Pro Audio Gear. I'm a professional musician/producer and recording engineer/song writer performer. Own a independent record label and professional recording studio. Have been for 15+ years now. BUt I personally will admit I know nothing about HT or this CED field, so thats why I ask.

BUT, I have been recording/producing and making some of the various stuff we all listen to in this HT field, so I do have a bit of a understanding if you just help me, I would soak it up faster than the normal average Joe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

I am not sure I have ever seen an "all class A" pro amp. When I was involved in the biz size, weight, heat, and performance all led to class AB, and then later G, H and finally class D amps for their much higher efficiency in delivering gobs of power with fewer thermal management problems. I think it was Crown that released the first mainstream line of class D amps (K-series) and they worked great. Still do, for that matter; our church uses a K2 I installed about 14 years ago. Sound-wise, they all sound pretty similar to me, but YMMV.

Thanks Don for the help, input and info.

Now do you mean you haven't seen a all Class A amp in this HT CED world ? Or in the Pro Audio recording world ? Cause believe me, they exist. I have a 40+K collection of boutiquey ones ranging from Tube to SS. And they are the only ones a real recording audiophile who cares about his recording quality would get/use. FYI, its different though, in my field they are all called "Preamps" (microphone preamp, line level preamp, DI Preamp, etc..) we really have no need for "Amps" other than the live Guitar type stuff for gigging. And for those, we don't go overboard for quality at a live show, cause the venue's building itself is the worst enemy. No one can hear the difference in "best quality" vs "good quality" at a live show. Its splitting hairs at that point due to the acoustics.

No I admit I am a artist, not a tech dude that builds the stuff, so I only buy it and use it, I don't know what is going on inside other than what my audiophilist mind brought me to know about the certain things I look for when buying the gear for my studio. This is from trial and error over years of buying gear that sounded like cardboard. Going to AES conventions and asking the makers of the best gear I like exactly what is causing your gear to sound like this vs the cheaper stuff. (hence, what I wrote a few posts ago).

ANYWAY........ (lol)

Maybe this is the difference I am getting confused at ? In this field of CED in HT, it is all about AMPS and not PreAmps ? And with Amps, Class A don't work due to efficiency issues ? With that said, I really appreciate you helping me with understanding these classes. I tried to read about them, but its just confusing. It seems like every one has it advantages and disadvantages. Man, for this HT I'm doing, it really is not that important, like I originally said, I just want something that is of the same level as Sonus Faber speakers. Cause one thing I know translates from my field to this field is "your path is ONLY as good as its weakest link". And I do not want any "link" weaker than Sonus Faber. I just hope that doesn't mean needing to get McIntosh level gear, cause I really don't want to spend that kind of $$ on this particular system. I thought the level of Sonus Fabers I got was a perfect balance of awesomeness vs price.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


I sure wish Sonus Faber made Receivers, or recommended the best "matching" ones for their speakers.

That said, I still seem to be getting no answers from anyone on Arcam. Are they good ? Or no ? Are they Sonus Faber level ? Or no ? And what else is out there ? Sorry I just have a hard time believing Pioneer makes that (Sonus Faber) level of gear. But please set me straight and explain why they do if they do. Cause through my years of experience, Pioneer has always been a mediocre company at best. What happened since I last checked that made them a decent audiophile competitor ?

Thanks for any and all help guys - I am not claiming to know about your field, I am asking to help me learn about it.
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post #12 of 36 Old 11-12-2012, 02:03 PM
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@joel...

the 4th paragraph of your initial post is what you need to re-examine... wink.gif for all the noise that goes on, even a very modestly priced piece of equipment passes the "threshhold of audibility" test for everything you listed...

any "good" avr should drive any of the sonus faber offerings... personally, i would lean towards something with audyssey xt32... an xt32 equipped avr will also have pre-outs, should the avr prove not to be "powerful" enough... something like a denon 4520 wouldn't be the worst choice in the world, it hits all your bullet points...

"price" is not a technical spec...

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post #13 of 36 Old 11-12-2012, 03:27 PM
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I haven't seen anybody mention it yet...

The Vener 2.5's are 89db speakers with a 6ohm rating.

It's going to take quite a bit of juice to get them reference level.
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post #14 of 36 Old 11-12-2012, 03:34 PM
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^^^

If you haven't yet defined a budget, I'd surely go the separates route. No compromise.
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post #15 of 36 Old 11-12-2012, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the help and feedback guys ! Much appreciated -

__________________________________________________________________________________________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

@joel...

the 4th paragraph of your initial post is what you need to re-examine... wink.gif for all the noise that goes on, even a very modestly priced piece of equipment passes the "threshhold of audibility" test for everything you listed...

any "good" avr should drive any of the sonus faber offerings... personally, i would lean towards something with audyssey xt32... an xt32 equipped avr will also have pre-outs, should the avr prove not to be "powerful" enough... something like a denon 4520 wouldn't be the worst choice in the world, it hits all your bullet points...

"price" is not a technical spec...
Ahhh, I see your point. Thanks for the clarification. Though, I stand behind the fact that anytime your hearing a digital source, the D to A conversion is a critical thing. It can make or break the original sources intended sound image, depth, definition, etc.. (that and what a lot of people don't know is also how the power supply is built in conjunction with the D to A chip, analog circuitry, etc..) - So I was just pointing out this and asking if any company happens to be known for using and building top end conversion, power supply and analog circuitry.

BUT, what your saying is, all the "noise" a HT makes and the sounds in general are so much less critical and definable than instruments, that possibly what I am saying doesn't matter and wouldn't be noticed in this environment like it is in a super silent recording studio environment ? Is that what your getting at ? If so, I could totally buy that. It does make sense. But man, Conversion IS the make it or break it in how our ears hear the digital source, so it seems so important no matter what. I've heard conversion make a awesome source sound like cardboard (stiff, stale, sterol, fake, stereo image just went FLAT, no front to back depth, etc..) with all its digital "jagged edges". But I've also heard proper conversion keep the stereo image, and present such front to back depth and kept it so organic sounding (smooth rounded natural edges) with all its original color and freshness... Super buttery. So with all that possible difference, I swear I'd still hear poor conversion in a HT environment.

Though I admit, in a HT environment, since I never knew how the "source" sounded in the first place, would I even ever know to tell a difference ?

Hey, I never heard about this Audessey thing. Thanks ! This is what I mean, I need to know these things. So at first, I thought it was a Receiver itself, lol, then on the research I realize it is a thing/feature/ability/technology that is built into some receivers. Is this right ? So ultimately I should find a receiver that has this built into it.

Man, that Denon 4520 does look nice. But the statement "wouldn't be the worse choice in the world" kinda scares me. Does that mean the 4520 is not even a "medium choice" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

I haven't seen anybody mention it yet...

The Vener 2.5's are 89db speakers with a 6ohm rating.

It's going to take quite a bit of juice to get them reference level.

If you haven't yet defined a budget, I'd surely go the separates route. No compromise.

Very good point NorCalJason. Thanks for finding them specs for me. Ha ! I didn't even know that yet. Though I would look into before a purchase. Mainly for the power reason. But to my understandment, (in my field), usually matching ohms is only critical when dealing with Tube amps. Solid State amps can be paired with anything, it just will change what the watts does to the speakers. But with no damage at all either way.

Is this not true for CED HT stuff ? On most receivers I do not see a "ohms switch" to change ohms, so I was imaging it was cool.

To get right to it, I might as well save time and ask you directly, with those specs, could you tell me what wattage per channel of receiver I should be looking for to make sure I get these Vener's exercising their muscles ?

And yes, I do know for sure you are 100% right about the "separates" thing. And I would love to. But without getting into a HUGE long story, right now I can not go that route. So for now, I want to the best receiver I can get. Believe me though, I know your right.
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post #16 of 36 Old 11-12-2012, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelxD View Post

Thanks so much for the help and feedback guys ! Much appreciated - But to my understandment, (in my field), usually matching ohms is only critical when dealing with Tube amps. Solid State amps can be paired with anything, it just will change what the watts does to the speakers. But with no damage at all either way.
Is this not true for CED HT stuff ? On most receivers I do not see a "ohms switch" to change ohms, so I was imaging it was cool.
To get right to it, I might as well save time and ask you directly, with those specs, could you tell me what wattage per channel of receiver I should be looking for to make sure I get these Vener's exercising their muscles ?
And yes, I do know for sure you are 100% right about the "separates" thing. And I would love to. But without getting into a HUGE long story, right now I can not go that route. So for now, I want to the best receiver I can get. Believe me though, I know your right.

Matching the resistance of the driver isn't the issue.

It's having an understanding for how much power it's going to take, in a 6ohm rating, to achieve your desired SPL.

How loud do you listen to your speakers?
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You'll find this helpful.

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

Once you know how many watts you'll need, start looking for receivers that meet/exceed this requirement.
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post #18 of 36 Old 11-12-2012, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post


Matching the resistance of the driver isn't the issue.

It's having an understanding for how much power it's going to take, in a 6ohm rating, to achieve your desired SPL.

How loud do you listen to your speakers?
Got'cha. Figured as much. Or should I say hoping as such... lol

I would like the ability to go pretty frickin loud. I'm a audio guy, what can I say. At the same time, like I said, I just want the ability to get loud loud. I wouldn't rock it at that volume every time I watched a movie. Or listened to a CD. But I would like the capability to get loud. I have been known as the type of person to really pump up the volume. biggrin.gif This is another important aspect, as I don't want a receiver that begins sounding more crappy the louder it goes (heard this before). Which bleeds into the next post reply....

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

You'll find this helpful.

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

Once you know how many watts you'll need, start looking for receivers that meet/exceed this requirement.

Thanks so much for this informative link. Gonna go over it now and use the calculator.

You mentioned a very important piece of the puzzle for me, something I forgot to mention in my original post. And this picks up from the above paragraph. But I do feel it is important to get a amp/preamp/receiver/things like that, etc.... that exceeds your wattage/loudness/power requirements. Though this is dangerous, (for having the ability to blow your speakers - lol eek.gif ) what I notice it causes from my experience is a much cleaner sound, cause at your loudest desired listening volume, the amp isn't even working its hardest and its in its "sweet zone". Just be careful to never push the available power past your speakers ability.

This said, I do know some designs actually sound better being pushed, and this causes a harmonic distortion that is not only desired, but sought after for different pallets of "color". To me, I do use that approach a lot in my recording, but this only applies to Tube gear and/or a all analog path. And of course only when you want that. (hence my large collection of gear for different tonal pallets)... But For my desires in this set up, I am going for a more clean, transparent sound. Source=all you hear. So any kind of "break up"/"color"/change from source, etc.. is not desired for me in this particular set up. So all this is coming to, yes I want to figure out how many watts I need to meet my requirements and taste of loudness, etc.. then go beyond a reasonable amount so that at my personal loudest point of listening desire, the receiver is still not being "pushed" even close to its limits.

Do you feel that way too about harmonic distortion and break up at louder volumes with gear and stuff ? Or is this another aspect that doesn't carry into this HT field ?
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post #19 of 36 Old 11-12-2012, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelxD View Post

Got'cha. Figured as much. Or should I say hoping as such... lol
I would like the ability to go pretty frickin loud. I'm a audio guy, what can I say. At the same time, like I said, I just want the ability to get loud loud. I wouldn't rock it at that volume every time I watched a movie. Or listened to a CD. But I would like the capability to get loud. I have been known as the type of person to really pump up the volume. biggrin.gif This is another important aspect, as I don't want a receiver that begins sounding more crappy the louder it goes (heard this before). Which bleeds into the next post reply....
Thanks so much for this informative link. Gonna go over it now and use the calculator.
You mentioned a very important piece of the puzzle for me, something I forgot to mention in my original post. And this picks up from the above paragraph. But I do feel it is important to get a amp/preamp/receiver/things like that, etc.... that exceeds your wattage/loudness/power requirements. Though this is dangerous, (for having the ability to blow your speakers - lol eek.gif ) what I notice it causes from my experience is a much cleaner sound, cause at your loudest desired listening volume, the amp isn't even working its hardest and its in its "sweet zone". Just be careful to never push the available power past your speakers ability.
This said, I do know some designs actually sound better being pushed, and this causes a harmonic distortion that is not only desired, but sought after for different pallets of "color". To me, I do use that approach a lot in my recording, but this only applies to Tube gear and/or a all analog path. And of course only when you want that. (hence my large collection of gear for different tonal pallets)... But For my desires in this set up, I am going for a more clean, transparent sound. Source=all you hear. So any kind of "break up"/"color"/change from source, etc.. is not desired for me in this particular set up. So all this is coming to, yes I want to figure out how many watts I need to meet my requirements and taste of loudness, etc.. then go beyond a reasonable amount so that at my personal loudest point of listening desire, the receiver is still not being "pushed" even close to its limits.
Do you feel that way too about harmonic distortion and break up at louder volumes with gear and stuff ? Or is this another aspect that doesn't carry into this HT field ?

You're on the right track.

Typically it's distortion that blows speakers. Distortion results from clipping at the amp, where you're demanding more than the amplifier can give. This will result in blown speakers (very commonly, tweeters).

"Reference" level is 105db. And that is very loud.

Your best bet is to invest in a good power amplifier that happily drives your speakers to 105db in room, without breaking much of a sweat. Something else to keep in mind... A good subwoofer handling all the bass tasks will really free up an amplifier. It's the bass frequencies that are most demanding...

Since going separates isn't an option for you, the next best thing is high-end Receivers...
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post #20 of 36 Old 11-12-2012, 08:03 PM
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@JoelxD: You said "I am only familiar with pro audio gear, and we like things all Class A." So, I was talking about pro audio gear, the type used in sound reinforcement live sound) and some studios. That is what most people mean when they use the term "pro audio", though some at least give a nod to the studio (I have done live sound and studio work) in the primordial past). I am not sure I have seen a pure class-A pro audio amp (probably forgotten, but they are certainly not common). I have owned and heard plenty of pure Class-A audio gear (of course, how long it stays in class A with a low load is another story). Most such units are now well out of my price range. Most higher-power amps are biased enough into class A that I seriously doubt you could tell when they slide in to class B, and a lot of class D gear has gotten amazingly good.

Tube amps generally have much higher output impedance than SS amps, which makes them much more sensitive to the speaker load.

Starting today, I would buy a Denon 4311 or 4520 with Audyssey XT32 and see how it does, then get an amp only if really needed. By far the highest distortion in any system comes from the speakers, and by far the largest frequency variations are caused by the room. Preamp and amp distortion (whether combined in an AVR or separates) is pretty much in the mud.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #21 of 36 Old 11-13-2012, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

You're on the right track.

Typically it's distortion that blows speakers. Distortion results from clipping at the amp, where you're demanding more than the amplifier can give. This will result in blown speakers (very commonly, tweeters).

"Reference" level is 105db. And that is very loud.

Your best bet is to invest in a good power amplifier that happily drives your speakers to 105db in room, without breaking much of a sweat. Something else to keep in mind... A good subwoofer handling all the bass tasks will really free up an amplifier. It's the bass frequencies that are most demanding...

Since going separates isn't an option for you, the next best thing is high-end Receivers...

Yes, I have a powered sub (temporary brand one till I can get a Sonus Faber quality level sub, but thats another thread, as again, I can not find a Vener series sub). In any case, the Sub being used and that will be used will be powered.

So unless I am doing this wrong, that calculator said it will take 24 watts to give me a 105db SPL at my listening point with these 89db speakers. But it did not ask me for ohms, which I thought is weird. Also, it asks for how many speakers, I put how many for all the speakers, not just the 2. Because in the end, I will have 7.1 speakers and I want to be prepared. I'm just unsure if this is causing bad readings for my wattage need. BUT according to the specs chart at Sonus Faber, all the Vener series I will be adding are around 89db as well (the Vener 1.5's and Center), so maybe this is accurate. UNLESS, I decide to go with different speakers as my surrounds - as the 1.5's are kinda large for surrounds IMO.

In any case, I find it strange that as I grew the wattage, the Db SPL listening point did not grow much at all... from 24 watts to 1,000 watts the difference was 105db - 120db approx.. ha ! Funny. So basically I am still confused as to the wattage needed for it. On the Sonus Faber specs page, it says recommended wattage for these 2 speakers are 40-250 watts without clipping. For the 1.5's and center I may be getting down the road it is 30-150 watts without clipping. But is this for each speaker ? Or the pair ? Without clipping ?? Whats that suppose to mean ? And do I want to go towards the high side or the low side of the recommendation ? And to the amp side, does this mean per channel ? Or total ?

If I add it all up as "per speaker" and use the highest side of the recommendation, it equals to 1,250 total watts (this is not including sub, but if its powered, I can leave it out of the equation ? no ?). 1,250 watts is a lot more than 24 watts lol - So what is going on here. And on top of all that, what is the general rule of thumb for after you find your needed wattage, what do you add to that for the "not breaking a sweat" addition rule ?


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Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

@JoelxD: You said "I am only familiar with pro audio gear, and we like things all Class A." So, I was talking about pro audio gear, the type used in sound reinforcement live sound) and some studios. That is what most people mean when they use the term "pro audio", though some at least give a nod to the studio (I have done live sound and studio work) in the primordial past).
Thanks for clearing that up Don,
Yea, sorry for me not being more clear, I did mean Pro Audio gear in the Recording Studio realm. Not Live gigging Pro Audio gear. They are quite different. Live stage gear is less into audiophile level sonic quality BUT a ton much more ruggedly built for moving and stuff. Those are the 2 main differences in the 2 fields. I do deal with both quite commonly. I just refer to the recording studio gear when I get into anal audiophile listening/recording level stuff.

Good to hear your a fellow recording/live show guy :-) May be in the past, but probably gives you forever lasting great memories --
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I am not sure I have seen a pure class-A pro audio amp (probably forgotten, but they are certainly not common). I have owned and heard plenty of pure Class-A audio gear (of course, how long it stays in class A with a low load is another story). Most such units are now well out of my price range. Most higher-power amps are biased enough into class A that I seriously doubt you could tell when they slide in to class B, and a lot of class D gear has gotten amazingly good.

I guess I better clear this one up too, sorry, but I did mean "PreAmps", not "Amps". As lame as it sounds, I still really don't know the difference. They both amplify sound - lol. I know "Pre" means before, but... yea.. Anyway, I admit, I've seen little to no Class A Amps, but all our PreAmps we buy for our signals (Microphone, Line, Direct In Guitars, etc..) are all guaranteed Class A circuitry. Again, I apologize, I meant to say PreAmps. Though, my non-tech mind just figured whats good for PreAmps must be good for Amps - no ? Ha !

Either way, thanks for the great information on the classes and stuff. I see your point. If its built right, would anyone even hear the slide into the other ? Hmmm... I like it, I understand.
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Starting today, I would buy a Denon 4311 or 4520 with Audyssey XT32 and see how it does, then get an amp only if really needed. By far the highest distortion in any system comes from the speakers, and by far the largest frequency variations are caused by the room. Preamp and amp distortion (whether combined in an AVR or separates) is pretty much in the mud.

Looking at it now and reading all the specs. Pretty impressive. Do you know what Class its amp(s) are ? Oh and when it claims 170 watts per channel and has 9 channels, is this a 170 watt amp total ? Or a 1,530 watt amp total ? How do they calculate that ?

Man, very good point about amp/preamp distortion not being a factor in a set up like this. I can see that being true to a degree as long as it wasn't ugly. And I do agree, room acoustics and treatment is the largest noticeable thing, bar none.
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post #22 of 36 Old 11-13-2012, 04:41 PM
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3 dB increase in power is a just noticeable step in volume for most people (try it on your board) and takes twice the power.
10 dB increase in the midrange sounds twice as loud to most people and takes 10 times the power.
It is logarithmic, dB (power) = 10 * log(Wout/1W), so grows very slowly. Look up Fletcher-Munson loudness curves.

The peak-to-average power ratio in music has been documented as around 17 dB (50:1 power ratio) and so I prefer to have at least 20 dB of headroom in an amp. The number appears to be closer to 30 dB for movies these days... Note that average power in a home system is often only a few watts. You might also enjoy this link: http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

Virtually all preamps are class A. Class A means the buffer has enough standing current so that it never turns off. Class B means when one side, say the upper half of the signal, is being amplified, then the other (lower) half of the buffer is turned off. Saves power, but there is distortion when switching from upper to lower, at the crossover point where one device turns on as the other turns off (it does not happen instantaneously). So, it is called crossover distortion. Class AB keeps both devices on around the crossover point, only transitioning to class B as the signal level increases and so the "other" device no longer matters. In theory.

Studio chain: mic -> preamp (may be in the mixer, sometimes called a pre-preamp) -> mixer -> power amp (PA) -> speakers. Voltage is increasing as you go from left to right.

170 W/channel x 9 channels

HTH - Don

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #23 of 36 Old 11-13-2012, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JoelxD View Post


So unless I am doing this wrong, that calculator said it will take 24 watts to give me a 105db SPL at my listening point with these 89db speakers. But it did not ask me for ohms, which I thought is weird. Also, it asks for how many speakers, I put how many for all the speakers, not just the 2. Because in the end, I will have 7.1 speakers and I want to be prepared. I'm just unsure if this is causing bad readings for my wattage need. BUT according to the specs chart at Sonus Faber, all the Vener series I will be adding are around 89db as well (the Vener 1.5's and Center), so maybe this is accurate. UNLESS, I decide to go with different speakers as my surrounds - as the 1.5's are kinda large for surrounds IMO.
In any case, I find it strange that as I grew the wattage, the Db SPL listening point did not grow much at all... from 24 watts to 1,000 watts the difference was 105db - 120db approx.. ha ! Funny. So basically I am still confused as to the wattage needed for it. On the Sonus Faber specs page, it says recommended wattage for these 2 speakers are 40-250 watts without clipping. For the 1.5's and center I may be getting down the road it is 30-150 watts without clipping. But is this for each speaker ? Or the pair ? Without clipping ?? Whats that suppose to mean ? And do I want to go towards the high side or the low side of the recommendation ? And to the amp side, does this mean per channel ? Or total ?
If I add it all up as "per speaker" and use the highest side of the recommendation, it equals to 1,250 total watts (this is not including sub, but if its powered, I can leave it out of the equation ? no ?). 1,250 watts is a lot more than 24 watts lol - So what is going on here. And on top of all that, what is the general rule of thumb for after you find your needed wattage, what do you add to that for the "not breaking a sweat" addition rule ?
Thanks for clearing that up Don,
Yea, sorry for me not being more clear, I did mean Pro Audio gear in the Recording Studio realm. Not Live gigging Pro Audio gear. They are quite different. Live stage gear is less into audiophile level sonic quality BUT a ton much more ruggedly built for moving and stuff. Those are the 2 main differences in the 2 fields. I do deal with both quite commonly. I just refer to the recording studio gear when I get into anal audiophile listening/recording level stuff.
Good to hear your a fellow recording/live show guy :-) May be in the past, but probably gives you forever lasting great memories --
I guess I better clear this one up too, sorry, but I did mean "PreAmps", not "Amps". As lame as it sounds, I still really don't know the difference. They both amplify sound - lol. I know "Pre" means before, but... yea.. Anyway, I admit, I've seen little to no Class A Amps, but all our PreAmps we buy for our signals (Microphone, Line, Direct In Guitars, etc..) are all guaranteed Class A circuitry. Again, I apologize, I meant to say PreAmps. Though, my non-tech mind just figured whats good for PreAmps must be good for Amps - no ? Ha !
Either way, thanks for the great information on the classes and stuff. I see your point. If its built right, would anyone even hear the slide into the other ? Hmmm... I like it, I understand.
Looking at it now and reading all the specs. Pretty impressive. Do you know what Class its amp(s) are ? Oh and when it claims 170 watts per channel and has 9 channels, is this a 170 watt amp total ? Or a 1,530 watt amp total ? How do they calculate that ?
Man, very good point about amp/preamp distortion not being a factor in a set up like this. I can see that being true to a degree as long as it wasn't ugly. And I do agree, room acoustics and treatment is the largest noticeable thing, bar none.

I know, it's not very clear cut.

A few basic concepts.

Ohm = a measure of speaker impedance.
Speaker impedance is resistance to electrical flow. A 4ohm speaker will have half the electrical resistance as a 8ohm speaker.
Since it's an amplifier's duty to power the speaker, a 4ohm speaker will DEMAND 100% more from the amplifier (although typically not receive it). This is why you see amplifiers rated into a variety of Ohm loads. 8ohm, are the most common in Home Theater.
All amplifiers will work with a non-difficult 8ohm load. Some amplifiers have trouble with 4ohm loads.

WPC = Watts Per Channel.

Simple, right? Not so fast...
There's no standard way in which amplifier manufactuerers are required to advertise/test/rate their products. There's a HUGE amount of variation in this number, for this very reason. Lets look at a good receiver, and amplifier to illustrate my point.

The Denon 1913 ($580msrp) is a nice mid-range receiver. Denon advertises it as a 90 watt receiver, with 7 channels. NOT 90watts INTO 7 channels. See the distinction?

SO... If you look at the fine print, it can only pump out 90 watts into 2 channels continuously. So it's really a 90 watt x 2 receiver. This is what's advertised. Lets see how it actually tests. Luckly HTmag.com just tested it recently, so we have the actual data. http://www.hometheater.com/content/denon-avr-1913-av-receiver-ht-labs-measures

2 channels driven it actually exceeds it's rating from Denon, at 102watts.
5 channels driven it can muscle up 70 watts of clean power.
7 channels driven it can go 50 watts of clean power.

If you look further, when asked to drive a 4ohm load (100% more demand at the speaker) it actually outputs LESS than it's 8ohm rating...

So what does this really mean? From this budget receiver, in a 5.1 system, it would be happy driving 70 watts x 5. Using your SF speakers, It could produce a continuous 101.5db. This is short of reference level. If you were pair this Denon with your SF's, and listen to things very loud... you could have trouble on your hands. The Denon would happily push your SF's at a more modest sound volume.

We can compare this data to a high end power amplifier. Parasound Halo A51 ($4500msrp). Parasound rates it as 250watts x 5, into 8ohms (and 400 x 5 into 4!)

Luckily, it also was tested my HTmag.com. Here's the review: http://www.hometheater.com/content/parasound-halo-p-7-multichannel-preamplifier-51-multichannel-amplifier-amp-jc-1-single-chan-1

2 channels drive it exceeds the rating from Parasound, at 301watts
5 channels drive it can output 198watts of clean power.

Again, what does this really mean? From this high end 5 channel amplifier, in a 5 channel system, it would be happy driving 200 watts x 5. It could produce a continuous 105.8 db from your SF speakers in a smallish room. It would be happy driving 8ohm, 6ohm, or 4 ohm loads. You could listen to reference level 5.1 surround sound all day, every day without a problem.

I know what you're thinking... Wait a minute... This high end amp only gives me 4.3 db of extra sound? Yes! It takes about double the output to increase the spl by 3db.

That's the rub with 89db / 6ohm speakers. You really need lots watts (due to 89db rating) with a stout amp (due to 6ohm impedance) if you want reference level.

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post #24 of 36 Old 11-13-2012, 05:53 PM
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speaker wattage ratings are per speaker. A multichannel amp uses multiple internal amps. You just cannot make one monophonic channel of amplification magically send different signals outof it to different speakers, because it's just one amp and can only take whatever is input into it, amplify it and output it. So a receiver or multichannel amp has multiple amps. Modernly, they are all exactly the same. As indicated above, reality (mostly of power supply) for amps in receivers is that they cannot put out full rated power cleanly into more than 2 or three channels at once. Does it matter? Quite possibly not. If the movie or music never calls for max output from all channels at once, the fact that the amps all can't put out their max rated power at the same time doesn't matter. AFAIK, except MAYBE with some games, you just don't see real source material that is at maximum output all at the same time. If you need, say 120 watts from the front three and the surround channels are only 6 dB quieter, the surrounds need only 30 watts each.

One last little thing to think about when assessing power needs is how the speakers are rated. IDK if this is described above, and I don't remember how my old SFs were rated. Bottom line is they might be rated at one watt at one meter, or they might be rated at the voltage that yields one watt into eight ohms at one meter. If the latter, and the speakers are 4 ohm speakers, that's really a rating at two watts at one meter . . . .
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~ see original Post #22 for full content ~
Great info Don. Them Equal Loudness Contours are some deep stuff. I see now why the increase in Db's is so minimal compared to the growth in wattage. Sorta. lol. This is getting kinda techy for me, but is interesting.

20db of headroom sounds about right. If I do the 30db thing, after I learnt what you just explained to me, I'm afraid I'll need about 10,000 watts of pure unadulterated raw Jiggawat power !!! eek.gif (lightning bolt anyone ?)
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~ see original Post #23 for full content ~
Wow Jason, just wow ! Thanks so much for this serious info. This stuff all you guys are giving me is priceless. And this info is not going to waste. Very appreciated.

Ok, just long story short, --DAMN !!-- It seems as if I need to find the Receiver I am thinking about getting, then post all its spec sheet to you, then you tell me if it will run my final set up. That involves me telling you what I will be having at final. LOL, god man, I thought it was going to be easier than all this. Sorry.

Also, I will come up with a exact db level plan I will want at listening point, everything. This will make it more direct and simple to calculate and tell me if the receiver is gonna do it or not.

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speaker wattage ratings are per speaker. A multichannel amp uses multiple internal amps. You just cannot make one monophonic channel of amplification magically send different signals outof it to different speakers, because it's just one amp and can only take whatever is input into it, amplify it and output it. So a receiver or multichannel amp has multiple amps. Modernly, they are all exactly the same. As indicated above, reality (mostly of power supply) for amps in receivers is that they cannot put out full rated power cleanly into more than 2 or three channels at once. Does it matter? Quite possibly not. If the movie or music never calls for max output from all channels at once, the fact that the amps all can't put out their max rated power at the same time doesn't matter. AFAIK, except MAYBE with some games, you just don't see real source material that is at maximum output all at the same time. If you need, say 120 watts from the front three and the surround channels are only 6 dB quieter, the surrounds need only 30 watts each.

One last little thing to think about when assessing power needs is how the speakers are rated. IDK if this is described above, and I don't remember how my old SFs were rated. Bottom line is they might be rated at one watt at one meter, or they might be rated at the voltage that yields one watt into eight ohms at one meter. If the latter, and the speakers are 4 ohm speakers, that's really a rating at two watts at one meter . . . .

These are good points, thanks for chiming in to help JHAz. Even when playing games, I am unsure that I have ever heard all 7 speakers playing at the same time yet. Let alone, the same volume demands at the same time, that is just not gonna happen. (??maybe?? lol)

I do not know how these SF Vener's are rated, but I will post the specs page on them, and on my planned near future rest of the speakers (4 surrounds, center and sub =7.1 SF glory) biggrin.gif
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post #26 of 36 Old 11-14-2012, 11:35 AM
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You brought up amplifier classes of operation then claim dB is too techy? Hmph... smile.gif

Decent SPL calculator with reference sounds in the table below: http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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You brought up amplifier classes of operation then claim dB is too techy? Hmph... smile.gif

Decent SPL calculator with reference sounds in the table below: http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

Ha ! tongue.gif I know, I'm such a wimp biggrin.gif When it comes to this stuff, I love it and want to know, but I guess once it begins to get difficult to remember or understand at first, I freak out a touch. Its ok, just ignore that statement of mine and keep the knowledge flowin. I'll handle it. Just need time to soak parts of it in. Other parts I get quickly.

Spec sheets and direct questions coming soon !

Oh, and what is a good SPL Meter to get, cause I imagine I need one for proper adjusting and calibration/testing of my set up once I get there.
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Radio Shack makes a $50'ish SPL meter that many use and I have one (got it on sale for $35 a couple of years ago). Search and you will find many in the $50 - $100 price range. However, starting out, if you purchase a decent AVR it will calibrate for you.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #29 of 36 Old 11-15-2012, 02:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

Radio Shack makes a $50'ish SPL meter that many use and I have one (got it on sale for $35 a couple of years ago). Search and you will find many in the $50 - $100 price range. However, starting out, if you purchase a decent AVR it will calibrate for you.

Really ? As in, I do not need a SPL Meter then if I get a good enough AVR ? Cause I indeed plan on getting a dang decent AVR. Like the Denon you suggested, a Arcam, or something of that caliber.

Looking for the specs now on the Denon and my speakers... post back tomorrow, I need some sleep.
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post #30 of 36 Old 11-15-2012, 11:21 AM
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Really ? As in, I do not need a SPL Meter then if I get a good enough AVR ? Cause I indeed plan on getting a dang decent AVR. Like the Denon you suggested, a Arcam, or something of that caliber.
Looking for the specs now on the Denon and my speakers... post back tomorrow, I need some sleep.

Yes. Today's receivers have mics included and run an automated setup. Audyessy, ARC, Ypao, etc. They're all different methods of auto calibration.
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