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Speakers with differ amp power reccomendations?  

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I've got a question for all you audio brainiacs out there. If you look at the new Veritas speakers from Energy:

http://www.energy-speakers.com/veritas/index.html

You will notice that the following speakers have reccommended Amplifier Power: 100 watts.

V2.1 Bookshelf
V2.0R Rear Surrounds

However, the center channel:

V2.0C Center

Has a reccommended Amplifier Power: 150 watts.

The question is, how will this affect my surround experience if I go witht eh Denon 3801 which can only drive 105W/channel? Will the center sound quieter than the rest because it is less efficient or will this only be a problem at max volumes wherein the satellites will start clipping or blow before the center has maxed out?

Also, while I've got your attention, does anyone have an opinion on whether to use the bipolar surrounds if you're in a living room with no rear wall to bounce the sounds off of? I could go with 4 bookshelves for the same price. Or get the surrounds. Opinions?

reaper
post #2 of 2
I'm by no means an expert, however I have been trying to learn about this particular subject recently.

The V2.2 bookshelf speakers have a 150W recommendation. This however is not really all that important.

From what I understand, a given speaker has the ability to deal with a certain amount of sonic energy. If you were able to hook the speaker up to say a 400W amp, and then play it really loud such that the average power hitting the speaker was in excess of 100W you'd cause the speaker to fail.

The harm you might do by underpowering a speaker is running your amp (a solid state amplifier) to the point of clipping. This causes the amp to put out squared off waves (instead of smooth sine waves)and this type of signal can damage your speaker.

At 105W per channel, unless you've got a really big room -- or like to listen to movies at ear bleeding volume you're probably ok. You might be a little short of "reference volume", but I certainly don't listen to movies that loud.

A summary:

The recommended amplifier power is just a recommendation. You can go lower (as long as you don't push the amp to clipping) and you can go higher (as long as you don't over power the speakers).

I'm personally considering a 200W x 5 channel setup for speakers that have a power handling of about 120W. I don't intend to use the 200W of the power amp, but its nice to have a lot of headroom to help ensure that I'm getting a clean signal -- amps tend to get less precise as you near their max output.

As for the other question(s)..

I have 5 identical speakers for my surround setup. The idea is to perfectly match the sonic characteristic of the 5 speakers. The center channel you have _will_ sound different than the bookshelf speakers. How different? That's really up to you to determine by listening.

How much does this matter? Only as much as you want it to. I'm certain that the setup you have described will sound pretty great. If you invest in a RadioShake SPL meter and AVIA or VE to setup your system you'll be able to get the speakers to balance nicely.

As for surround speakers, I believe that direct radiating speakers should be used for surround. If the sound engineer wants to make the rear diffuse, they can mix that into the soundtrack. If they want a nice directional bullet, that's ok too. This is of course a topic where everyone has their own opinion.

Roo
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