Amplifier investment? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-23-2013, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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So i posted the below thread in audio theory without much response, and then upon further research of my speakers, thought I might see major benefits if i purchased a stereo amplifier. It appears that an Adcom 545 would fit my budget. I was thinking that I would get some Polk RTi A9's down the road, but I feel this might be a sound investment for the time being, and help the polks to sound great, when I get them. Any thoughts or suggestions? If you are wondering why my gear is so mismatched, I picked my receiver up at a steal of 300 bucks, when my old one took a dive.

My wife and I Just purchased our first house, and I have set up my system into a place that is our own for the very first time! It always was plenty loud when I needed it to be in its previous 2 environments. I never measured airspace, or did any treatments. Now that I have it setup in our new living room it just seems to be a little weak. I would say my listening habits are 65% Movies and gaming 35% music. Granted I haven't been able to run the wire and hook up the rear bookshelves yet. I subscribe to the 80/20 principal on most things in life (20% of the effort gets you 80% of the results) I don't have any other friends in the area with similar interests, so I don't have much to compare my systems sound to. Just buying the new place and all we are on a bit of a budget. So I don't have a whole lot of extra cash to pour into this right now, maybe 200 tops.
I guess my question is am I missing anything simple that would make a great difference in the sound quality/volume of the system. I know there are a lot of factors, and what I am asking is a lot, but maybe I am missing something. I will list my setup below.

This is what I currently own. Most of my audio signal comes from my HTPC via HDMI
Fronts - JBL E90's
Surrounds - JBL E30's
Subwoofer - Klipsch RW-12d
AVR - Denon 4806ci
Display - Samsung pn60e550
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-23-2013, 06:56 PM
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Doubt if an amplifier will do anything for you and they're not "investments" in any case. You already have an amp sufficient to drive those speakers well to quite loud levels. I'd wait until you have more money and upgrade your sub first (and I'd look beyond Polk). I'm not sure what you mean by mismatched gear; your speakers if anything are the only things that should be "matched" and they already are....

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post #3 of 8 Old 12-23-2013, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I have read the power ratings on receivers are far lower than what is actually stated, and the wattage from a dedicated amp is much higher. Is this accurate? A few reviews say my speakers need quite a bit of power to "come alive", some claimed they experienced clipping with a receiver at high volumes, and that an amp took care of this. I am happy with my sub.

A guy at a local stereo shop said I had a good receiver, but crap speakers. Hence, I assumed mismatched.
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-23-2013, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakerichards View Post

I have read the power ratings on receivers are far lower than what is actually stated, and the wattage from a dedicated amp is much higher. Is this accurate? A few reviews say my speakers need quite a bit of power to "come alive", some claimed they experienced clipping with a receiver at high volumes, and that an amp took care of this. I am happy with my sub.

A guy at a local stereo shop said I had a good receiver, but crap speakers. Hence, I assumed mismatched.

Your local shop probably doesn't sell JBL... rolleyes.gif
Since electronics vs. loudspeakers have less profit, he will push some speaker brand that he makes more $ on..

Just my $0.05... 👍😉
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-23-2013, 08:18 PM
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You always listen to sales pitches so seriously? Your sources of information need improvement, keep reading AVS threads instead of reading reviews or listening to salesmen.

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post #6 of 8 Old 12-23-2013, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakerichards View Post

I have read the power ratings on receivers are far lower than what is actually stated, and the wattage from a dedicated amp is much higher. Is this accurate? A few reviews say my speakers need quite a bit of power to "come alive", some claimed they experienced clipping with a receiver at high volumes, and that an amp took care of this. I am happy with my sub.

A guy at a local stereo shop said I had a good receiver, but crap speakers. Hence, I assumed mismatched.
Buying an amp or receiver based on power alone is like buying the car with the most HP and ignoring the other details. Yeah - it might go fast but will it do everything else you want it to do? Buying an amp is often a disappointment that is often masked by the new amp owner out of sheer disappointment. While it might make the music louder at -10db than the AVR did more often than not little or nothing was gained other than a few db.

I've owned the E50's and E30's so I know a few things about that line of JBL. And there is nothing wrong with the JBL speakers you have. The last time I bought speakers that I auditioned was in 1999. I haven't lived close enough to any establishment to be able to audition them. I've found that what sounds good to 95% of the reviewers is usually good enough for me. Its how I decided on my current speakers.

If I were you I'd be tempted to drag my E90's into that audio shop and have a listen in their space with their equipment - and take a hard listen to those speakers he's trying to peddle off onto you. With an SPL meter. FWIW I doubt many audio shops would let you do that.

What brand speakers are they trying to sell you?

When all else fails - RTFM!

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post #7 of 8 Old 12-23-2013, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
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That is really helpful feedback. It was a stereo shop about an hour away. I walked in for the first time, I explained that I wanted to demo some speakers, that I had just ordered a reciever, and I wanted to do some side by sides. I explained what I had, and before I could get the words out of my mouth he was going on about how awful my equipment was. Long story short, I am not stopping back in.

So more power would not equate to less distortion at higher a volume, and more bass at a lower volume?
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-23-2013, 10:51 PM
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Power is useful to the point of meeting your needs, and amps have ratings to compare with. Consider it takes a doubling of power to gain 3dB, many avrs come with sufficient power for most needs and your avr amp is meatier than many. Your speakers are relatively sensitive so you can get quite loud within your current amp's capabilities....do you run into clipping now when playing loud? Your sub should be taking care of most of the bass amplification needs now in any case (and your avr's amp load has been lightened too as a result). Only so much you can do with the electronics, so when you want to spend money consider better speakers/sub and make sure you've optimized performance in a big part of the equation, your room.

Ever use an spl calculator like this? http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

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