Originally Posted by Mmasterg314
Hey guys I have so many Questions and know with the help of you audiophiles I will make the right decision. First off This will be a one time deal for me and will do this only one time. I went to listen to Paradigm studio 100, and focal 826 The guy misunderstood I wanted to listen to 836 but thats another story. Speaker budget is 5 k 2 towers,cc,2 rear bookshelf or suround with sub to come in a few months.The speakers Iistened to today 92/93 db.
I have about 3 k to spend on amp/prepro and would like to get the best in that range. I know AVR came a long way over the years but to my understanding seperates will get me the cleanest sound. The guy frorm the Audio store was tellin me about the parasound THX Ultra 2 certified 5250. Please stear me in right direction staying around 3 k, how does parasound 5250 THX compare to say outlaw and emotiva. Is there a big difference in THX and no THX as I see outlaw /emotiva does not have.
Also please explain to me If a speakers power handling said say 200 watts and you have a 200 watt amp are you going to surpass 200 watts handling at some peaks during a song or say a movie to where you can blow a speaker.
Today we blew speaker on focal 826 using a 100 watt reciever when we hit a peak listening to Pink Floyd ( Hey You ). Should this happen or could the speaker have been faulty. I belive volume said - 13 db if that sounds right which makes me belive the volume could have been turned up alot more. Ihope to learn alot from this thread. Thanks fellas.
Addressing your last question first, Mmarsterg. It would depend on the system's calibration, but master volume -13dB would equate to theoretical max. 92dB peaks at the seat (is that the 92/93dB you mentioned in your first paragraph?) and require around 100dB at 1m from the speaker depending on listening distance and room characteristics. If that's the case, yes it could have been turned up a lot more. The Focal 826's are about 90dB+/W/m sensitivity IIRC, so should only need 10W to hit that 100dB at 1m and thus 92dB at the seat. Say a maximum of 20W. So, it does look like a faulty speaker if it blew at properly calibrated -13dB MV. Perhaps the dealers calibration was off? Pink Floyd is responsible for blowing a lot speakers
because it's very dynamic material... but at louder volumes than that.
What else? Don't sweat trying to match the speakers published power handling specs to the power specs of an amp. The important thing is to find a few speakers you love the sound of. Go home and look up the sensitivity specs of the candidates (careful - some are overstated). You should be looking at high 80's to low 90's (dB/W/m) sensitivity for mainstream floorstanding speakers. Then jump onto a handy online SPL calculator and have a play around with the values, bearing in mind your listening distance and volume preferences. The main thing to remember is that each doubling of power only yields 3dB increased SPL* and SPL drops 6dB each time you double the distance from the source in free space
but is probably closer to 3>4dB per double distance in normally furnished rooms at home. You then get an idea of the power you need for your candidate speakers, at your listening distance in your room, for the loudest volumes you are likely to listen to. Then shop for the power you really do need.
* The flipside being that a 3dB/W/m more sensitive speaker only requires half the power to reach the same volume as the less sensitive speaker. I could say: just buy the most sensitive speaker you love the sound of - but that's extreme.
Manufacturers, marketers and spineless ad-men would love you to believe; and the dealer will swear on a stack of Bibles that buying separates will get you better/cleaner/more open/blah/blah/blah sound! Unless you actually need the extra power provided by a separate amp over what an AVR can cleanly supply, there will be zero noticeable difference. Save your money for things that do make a difference like a quality subwoofer or two. Proper speaker placement and speaker interactions with the room and furnishings will totally swamp any "improvements" in audio quality promised by purveyors of high priced separates. If your power requirements fall within the ratings of AVR's (which I suspect they might), then shop for AVR's that are rated for the power you need, remembering that you can rely a bit on the "dynamic power" specs to deliver the highest of program peaks. If you think there's ever a possibility that you'll NEED a separate amp (say a move to a bigger room or you discover you like music very, very loud) ensure the AVR has pre-amp outputs, to keep your options open.
Your budget split looks OK, but depending on your real power needs, I would probably spend less on the AVR if it allowed you to step up a level in speakers, for example get the "monster" matching centre channel or save it for the subs. These are things that really make a difference.
THX Ultra2 power amp?
Complete waste of money IMHO. I have nothing against the idea of THX certification in general and I bought an Ultra2+ AVR for the assurance that it could drive a multi-channel system to reference level cleanly, had known bass management processes and some additional surround processing modes that appealed. BUT the THX brand on a power amp makes zero difference. An amp is an amp and this is the sort of obvious marketing schtick that gives THX certification a bad name IMHO [End rant].
Good luck with your research and have fun!