Difference in power between high and low end receivers barley perceptible? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-16-2017, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Difference in power between high and low end receivers barley perceptible?

Hi guys, I'm rather confused right now... So I just purchased a set of cm10s plus centre, and obviously want to upgrade my denon x1200w. An entry level receiver, apparently outputs 112.8w with two channels driven at 8ohm with 0.1% distortion.

Now, marantz flagship 7010. Again according to sound and vision, 128w under the same scenario. Now in terms of actual volume, that's a barley perceptible difference. In terms of cost, we're looking at about $600 to $4000 (aud)

I realise there's more to a receiver than wattage. However when people tell you you need to have at least a Denon 4xxx or marantz 6xxx to avoid under powering the speakers... The actual numbers seem a bit arbitrary?

Can anyone help explain this to a newby?
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-16-2017, 10:29 AM
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I'm currently using Yamaha 3050, Yamaha 681 and Harman Kardon 247 receivers. I had a Marantz 8500 before. The difference between them is not small. 3050 is miles ahead in performance and features vs the rest. Marantz 8500 was close second, but I'm now loving the Yamaha sound more.

I don't know the scientific reasons, but I clearly hear the difference. Level matching does not improve things and I have tried it. There is more than subtle difference in the noise level and detail between these receivers.

If you are referring to B&W CM10s, I would suggest you go for a better model AVR, if you can afford it.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-16-2017, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driftrs View Post
Hi guys, I'm rather confused right now... So I just purchased a set of cm10s plus centre, and obviously want to upgrade my denon x1200w. An entry level receiver, apparently outputs 112.8w with two channels driven at 8ohm with 0.1% distortion.

Now, marantz flagship 7010. Again according to sound and vision, 128w under the same scenario. Now in terms of actual volume, that's a barley perceptible difference. In terms of cost, we're looking at about $600 to $4000 (aud)

I realise there's more to a receiver than wattage. However when people tell you you need to have at least a Denon 4xxx or marantz 6xxx to avoid under powering the speakers... The actual numbers seem a bit arbitrary?

Can anyone help explain this to a newby?
Firstly, one should never pay any attention to the large wattage numbers emblazoned in three colors on the box...or any other marketing for that matter. Consumer AVR manufacturers IMO grossly mislead the public as to how much real wattage the unit is capable of. However, this is quite a rabbit hole since speaker loads are reactive, real world listening seldom has more than two or three channels "peaking" simultaneously, etc.

The better way to compare is to look at the maximum current draw (wattage) spec for the unit. Take out maybe 10% for processing duties, and then divide the rest by the number of amplified channels. So for instance, because you mentioned the 7010 (which is a great unit BTW), it's specs call for 125wpc for each of its 9 channels at 8 ohms with reasonable distortion at full bandwidth. Digging a bit deeper into the specs shows that the rated wattage for the unit (current draw) is 710 watts. So theoretically, if ALL channels were firing equally at the same time (very unlikely), the most you would be able to muster would be 78.8wpc, less any processing power required. Of course there are a HUGE amount of variables (content, speaker resistance, channel levels etc) that will affect this, but 125wpc in the real world...you'll never see it. Its going to be closer to the 70wpc.

Now, whether you will notice any difference between the ability of different receivers to power your CM10's to loud levels is debatable. The CM10 is a very efficient speaker, so in reality you don't need a whole lot of power to get it loud. If you are crossing the bottom end over to a sub(s), you'll need even less. If you really want them to crank though, buy an external amp. There IS a big difference in power and grip with outboard amps that receivers just cant match, but most of these gains will only be seen at quite loud levels.

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post #4 of 9 Old 08-16-2017, 12:58 PM
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The made-in-Japan built Denon receivers are reportedly more stable into 4 ohm loads than the lower end models and able to deliver more current. My 4311 and 6300 drive my B&W 804N speakers just fine, especially when crossed over at 80Hz using subs. You can also look at external power if you really need it (but you need preouts). The Monoprice Monolith's are ATI OEM amps and a fantastic value if you think you want or need external power.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-17-2017, 11:25 AM
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Also worth to mention. Your CM10 have a minimum of 3 ohm. That means it will draw a lot of power. You should really have a power amp on them.
My friend have the biggest Yamaha Receiver and the CM9. We kind of fought it was ok. Until we heard it with a small 150 watts power amp. The difference was very big. He later on bought a Coda CS amp. And wow. Needless to say. He was hooked.
It's not enough to look at the 92 db efficiency. Not when the impedanse get as low as 3 ohm.

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post #6 of 9 Old 08-17-2017, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, got the gear delivered yesterday, I got the receiver at half price, and can add an extra amp if needed

Regarding power, I've run through some calculators:
http://www.crownaudio.com/en-US/tool...power_required
https://geoffthegreygeek.com/calcula...p-speaker-spl/

The general consensus is, including some headroom to breath, this system requires around... 2-3 watts of power... So what does giving it 120w, let alone adding an extra amp do? Won't the speakers never actually use that much power?
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-18-2017, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driftrs View Post
Thanks guys, got the gear delivered yesterday, I got the receiver at half price, and can add an extra amp if needed

Regarding power, I've run through some calculators:
http://www.crownaudio.com/en-US/tool...power_required
https://geoffthegreygeek.com/calcula...p-speaker-spl/

The general consensus is, including some headroom to breath, this system requires around... 2-3 watts of power... So what does giving it 120w, let alone adding an extra amp do? Won't the speakers never actually use that much power?
You are correct: they won't actually use all that power unless you really want to deafen yourself and your guests.

The additional power is needed if you have inefficient speakers in a large, "dead" room, since that situation needs significantly more power than efficient speakers would need in a small room in order to produce the same sound level at the main listening position.

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post #8 of 9 Old 08-19-2017, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
You are correct: they won't actually use all that power unless you really want to deafen yourself and your guests.

The additional power is needed if you have inefficient speakers in a large, "dead" room, since that situation needs significantly more power than efficient speakers would need in a small room in order to produce the same sound level at the main listening position.
Haha thanks, so probably no reason to bi-amp? I had a chat with an engineer who was pretty confident bi-amping would only contribute to worsening the sound due to extra electrical interference and differences between the signal sent be the separate amps, which seems feasible?
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-19-2017, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Driftrs View Post
Haha thanks, so probably no reason to bi-amp? I had a chat with an engineer who was pretty confident bi-amping would only contribute to worsening the sound due to extra electrical interference and differences between the signal sent be the separate amps, which seems feasible?
In general, the bi-amping which can be done using just a receiver (or pre/pro) plus a multichannel amp and speakers does nothing useful. This type of "passive bi-amping" is just a marketing ploy. The receiver (or pre/pro) provides exactly the same signal to both outputs, the power going to the speaker's drivers is limited by the single shared power supply (so no additional headroom is available), and the same passive crossovers in the speaker are used for each of its drivers whether or not the speaker's jumpers are removed.

To get the most benefit from bi-amping requires "active bi-amping": removing the passive crossovers from the speakers, putting active crossovers with appropriately designed filter slopes (tailored to the individual speaker drivers) in between the receiver's (or pre/pro's) line level outputs and monobloc amplifiers, wiith a separate amp driving each of a speaker's drivers. In this case calling it bi-amping often is a misnomer, since many quality speakers have more than two drivers.
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