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Do I need more POWER!!!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Current set up:
AVR: Onkyo HT-R960
Front left / right: Polk Audio Monitor 70
Center: Polk Audio CS2
Sub: Klipsch Reference RW-12d
Surround left / right: Jamo S426
Surround back left / right: Pioneer BS21

I was listening to music and watching some movies, and the sound is good. I am very satisfied, but I turned the volume all the way up, and the sound was still good and clear. However, I noticed that my receiver wasn't really driving my current set up higher. It seems like my AVR doesn't have enough juice to excel at least my front 3.1 set up to its full potential.

I was thinking of may be upgrading the AVR, but now I'm thinking of may be getting an external amplifier.

Any suggestions?
post #2 of 22
Sounds as if your satisfied with the sound but have an itch to get an amp. Save your money.
post #3 of 22
Would you normally listen at the volume "all the way up"? If not, you don't need more power. Also note that the volume level will increase much slower the more you increase the master volume as it takes 2x the power to increase the volume by only 3db which is just barely noticeable by most folks. The HT-R960 is likely comparable to the 309 in power (ie. 65W) so increasing from 65W to a 130W AVR would only increase the audio by 3db, so connecting to a more powerful external amp (ie. 200W+) would be more appropriate if you want more power, although the HT-R960 must have at least FL/FR pre-outs in order to connect to the external amp.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
This is the HT-R960 specs:

Rated Output Power
North American:
130 watts minimum continuous power per channel, 8 ohm
load, 1 channel driven at 1 kHz, with a maximum total
harmonic distortion of 1% (FTC)
European:
7 ch×130 W at 8 ohms, 1 kHz, 1 ch driven (IEC)
Dynamic Power 210 W (3Ω, Front)
180 W (4Ω, Front)
110 W (8Ω, Front)
THD (Total Harmonic
Distortion) 0.08% (Power Rated)
0.08% (20 Hz to 20 kHz Power Rated)
Damping Factor 60 (Front, 1 kHz, 8Ω)
Input Sensitivity andImpedance 200 mV/ 47 kΩ(LINE)
Output Level and
Impedance 200 mV/ 2.2 kΩ
(REC OUT)
Frequency Response 5 Hz–100 kHz/ +1 dB–3 dB (direct mode)
Tone Control ±10 dB, 50 Hz (BASS)
±10 dB, 20 kHz (TREBLE)
Signal to Noise Ratio 106 dB (LINE, IHF-A)
Speaker Impedance 8–16Ω
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
I was thinking of updating my receiver to something newer, which has Pandora (since my wife likes that) and it has its own phone / ipad app for control. I was looking at the Denon 2113ci or the Yamaha 720.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa View Post

Sounds as if your satisfied with the sound but have an itch to get an amp. Save your money.

I am satisfied, but if it can get better with an external amp or new AVR, I wouldn't mind doing it.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

This is the HT-R960 specs:
Rated Output Power
North American:
130 watts minimum continuous power per channel, 8 ohm
load, 1 channel driven at 1 kHz, with a maximum total
harmonic distortion of 1% (FTC)
European:
7 ch×130 W at 8 ohms, 1 kHz, 1 ch driven (IEC)
Dynamic Power 210 W (3Ω, Front)
180 W (4Ω, Front)
110 W (8Ω, Front)
THD (Total Harmonic
Distortion) 0.08% (Power Rated)
0.08% (20 Hz to 20 kHz Power Rated)
Damping Factor 60 (Front, 1 kHz, 8Ω)
Input Sensitivity andImpedance 200 mV/ 47 kΩ(LINE)
Output Level and
Impedance 200 mV/ 2.2 kΩ
(REC OUT)
Frequency Response 5 Hz–100 kHz/ +1 dB–3 dB (direct mode)
Tone Control ±10 dB, 50 Hz (BASS)
±10 dB, 20 kHz (TREBLE)
Signal to Noise Ratio 106 dB (LINE, IHF-A)
Speaker Impedance 8–16Ω

Right, so in actuality, when comparing to a stand alone AVR, the 960 is really only rated at about 65W.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Right, so in actuality, when comparing to a stand alone AVR, the 960 is really only rated at about 65W.

So, would there wouldn't be much "power" difference if I was to update to a Denon 2113CI ?
post #9 of 22
For power to amke even a noticeable difference, you have to double it. See JHsmoothie's response above. It is right on.

If you listen at moderate levels, you may never use more than 20 watts a channel. IMO and IME, contrary to whta I wanted to believe, 20 watts coming from a 65 watt amp sounds exactly like 20 coming from a 200 watt amp, if both are operating lineraly.

If you won't use the power, the only difference it will make will be to reduce your bank account. If you are dying to do it, there's no sense seeking approval here. Do what you want. You mae even experience a difference. It just won't be because the amp is causing a difference in what the speakers do (assuming you are not distorting your amp currently)
post #10 of 22
Real men understand that more power is always a good thing. Do you always need it?? SURE, of course you do. How could you not. Enjoy and turn it up till you are totally satisfied. wink.gif. As the Black Eyed Peas said. "Pump it! LOUDER!
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Got it. I was looking at the Pioneer SC-1222 on sale for $600, which has pre-amp outputs. I'll give some hints to my wife for my 2nd xmas gift.

I like the saying, "it's better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it."
post #12 of 22
Unless you have some super efficient speakers, 20 watt is not enough for Home Theater per channel as stated above, and for some music . If you are questioning you SPL in your room, you need bigger speakers, more efficient speakers or more power. For me, big power is not needed most of the time but, when I needed it, I want to have it availabe, Use a spl meter and see what your system produces in your sitting position. The thing about watts is that they get used up fast once you go beyond 1-2 watts. For example:1 watt = 90dB

10 watts = 100dB

100watts = 110dB,
To hit reference level the main speakers in the home should go 85-105 db and the sub up to 115 db.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by derrickdj1 View Post

Unless you have some super efficient speakers, 20 watt is not enough for Home Theater per channel as stated above, and for some music . If you are questioning you SPL in your room, you need bigger speakers, more efficient speakers or more power. For me, big power is not needed most of the time but, when I needed it, I want to have it availabe, Use a spl meter and see what your system produces in your sitting position. The thing about watts is that they get used up fast once you go beyond 1-2 watts. For example:1 watt = 90dB
10 watts = 100dB
100watts = 110dB,
To hit reference level the main speakers in the home should go 85-105 db and the sub up to 115 db.

I am confused with your math.

10 watts = 100dB
100 watts - 110dB
post #14 of 22
^^^

"double the power" gives a 3db increase...

so... if a hypothetical speaker produces 100db given 10w...

10w = 100db
20w = 103db
40w = 106db
80w = 109db
160w = 112db

and so on...

it's a logarithmic, not linear, relationship...

realistically, in the GREAT majority of home settings, the user never "needs" more than a couple watts, and is idling along at less than 1 watt almost all the time... as you can see from the above, even listening at 10db off of reference (which is "louder" than that majority listen) GREATLY reduces your power needs...

20wpc will be sufficient for almost all home users, unless they have some ridiculously difficult to drive speakers... people tend to overestimate (by a significant amount) how much power they really need...
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^
"double the power" gives a 3db increase...
so... if a hypothetical speaker produces 100db given 10w...
10w = 100db
20w = 103db
40w = 106db
80w = 109db
160w = 112db
and so on...
it's a logarithmic, not linear, relationship...
realistically, in the GREAT majority of home settings, the user never "needs" more than a couple watts, and is idling along at less than 1 watt almost all the time... as you can see from the above, even listening at 10db off of reference (which is "louder" than that majority listen) GREATLY reduces your power needs...
20wpc will be sufficient for almost all home users, unless they have some ridiculously difficult to drive speakers... people tend to overestimate (by a significant amount) how much power they really need...

Gotcha. Thanks for the explanation.
post #16 of 22
The numbers that I used assumed a distance of 1m from the mic. Most people sit further back than 1m. but due to the use of multple speakers in a room there is not much of a drop in spl at 10-12 ft. The Power issues is most important for people running bookshelf or small tower speakers in their HT setup. If 20 watts is sufficient, why are most modern avrs at least 100 watts. Also, if the avr dose not use discrete amp power for the different channels, then most likey it is not delivering it's rated output. I am not trying to convience the OP one way or the other, just putting out some fact. He is the one who wondered if he needed more power. An SPL meter will quickly answer his question based on his room.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by derrickdj1 View Post

The numbers that I used assumed a distance of 1m from the mic. Most people sit further back than 1m. but due to the use of multple speakers in a room there is not much of a drop in spl at 10-12 ft. The Power issues is most important for people running bookshelf or small tower speakers in their HT setup. If 20 watts is sufficient, why are most modern avrs at least 100 watts. Also, if the avr dose not use discrete amp power for the different channels, then most likey it is not delivering it's rated output. I am not trying to convience the OP one way or the other, just putting out some fact. He is the one who wondered if he needed more power. An SPL meter will quickly answer his question based on his room.

Well, I did a factory reset on my AVR, and re ran the Audyssey because I added the Klipsch sub...I played a few movies, and all I can say WOW. I guess having a better sub does make a difference. Now, I don't think I need more power at all. It sound much much better. However, I do feel that I need a newer and better AVR. Currently doing some more research as to what I might get. I'm thinking Denon.....I was looking at the Pioneer SC-1222, which is currently on sale!
post #18 of 22
Last year's Denon XX12 models are on clearance at low prices.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

This is the HT-R960 specs:
Rated Output Power
North American:
130 watts minimum continuous power per channel, 8 ohm
load, 1 channel driven at 1 kHz, with a maximum total
harmonic distortion of 1% (FTC)
European:
7 ch×130 W at 8 ohms, 1 kHz, 1 ch driven (IEC)
Dynamic Power 210 W (3Ω, Front)
180 W (4Ω, Front)
110 W (8Ω, Front)
THD (Total Harmonic
Distortion) 0.08% (Power Rated)
0.08% (20 Hz to 20 kHz Power Rated)
Damping Factor 60 (Front, 1 kHz, 8Ω)
Input Sensitivity andImpedance 200 mV/ 47 kΩ(LINE)
Output Level and
Impedance 200 mV/ 2.2 kΩ
(REC OUT)
Frequency Response 5 Hz–100 kHz/ +1 dB–3 dB (direct mode)
Tone Control ±10 dB, 50 Hz (BASS)
±10 dB, 20 kHz (TREBLE)
Signal to Noise Ratio 106 dB (LINE, IHF-A)
Speaker Impedance 8–16Ω

Right, so in actuality, when comparing to a stand alone AVR, the 960 is really only rated at about 65W.

Where do you get that?

Are you assuming that since it puts out 130 watts with 1 channel driven, every time you double the number of channels, the power is cut in half?
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

Current set up:
AVR: Onkyo HT-R960
Front left / right: Polk Audio Monitor 70
Center: Polk Audio CS2
Sub: Klipsch Reference RW-12d
Surround left / right: Jamo S426
Surround back left / right: Pioneer BS21

I was listening to music and watching some movies, and the sound is good. I am very satisfied, but I turned the volume all the way up, and the sound was still good and clear. However, I noticed that my receiver wasn't really driving my current set up higher. It seems like my AVR doesn't have enough juice to excel at least my front 3.1 set up to its full potential.

It is not unusual for volume controls to fail to increase loudness very much over the last 10-20% of their clockwise rotation.

I interpret your comments as indicating that you'd like your volume control to be a bit more responsive.

http://www.intl.onkyo.com/downloads/manuals/pdf/ht-s9100thx_manual_e.pdf

BTW the HT-R980 is the receiver component of the s9100THX HTIB.

If you check out your owner's manual p 83 you find how to adjust your individual speaker level controls.

First examine the current settings for every active speaker in your system. Pay particular attention to the current highest setting for any of your speakers. If it is less than +12, you can add the difference between the highest setting and 12 to all of the speaker level controls and obtain an increase in the responsiveness of the main volume control on the receiver.

For example if the highest setting is negative or zero then your system could be up to 12 dB louder for the same main volume control setting, which is subjectively about twice as loud and electrically more than 10 times the power, as long as you don't drive your receiver's amplifiers into clipping. I might limit my initial adjustment of these settings to 6 dB if larger increases are possible, just so the volume control doesn't become over-sensitive all of a sudden.
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

It is not unusual for volume controls to fail to increase loudness very much over the last 10-20% of their clockwise rotation.
I interpret your comments as indicating that you'd like your volume control to be a bit more responsive.
http://www.intl.onkyo.com/downloads/manuals/pdf/ht-s9100thx_manual_e.pdf
BTW the HT-R980 is the receiver component of the s9100THX HTIB.
If you check out your owner's manual p 83 you find how to adjust your individual speaker level controls.
First examine the current settings for every active speaker in your system. Pay particular attention to the current highest setting for any of your speakers. If it is less than +12, you can add the difference between the highest setting and 12 to all of the speaker level controls and obtain an increase in the responsiveness of the main volume control on the receiver.
For example if the highest setting is negative or zero then your system could be up to 12 dB louder for the same main volume control setting, which is subjectively about twice as loud and electrically more than 10 times the power, as long as you don't drive your receiver's amplifiers into clipping. I might limit my initial adjustment of these settings to 6 dB if larger increases are possible, just so the volume control doesn't become over-sensitive all of a sudden.

Thanks, I've been messing with those already. However, I did a factory reset and did the Audyssey set up again, and it sound much better after getting the new sub. However, I want a newer AVR that has online apps. That way I can listen to online music without having the TV on. I am currently using my Squeezebox Radio for this purpose. It sound okay for now.
post #22 of 22
Subs certainly add a lot of impact for HT and music. Good to hear you are satisfied with everything for the most part. Lots of avr's out there, happy hunting.
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