Originally Posted by sigpig
I have seen a video of a pair of Noesis 212's playing above reference levels at the MLP being driven by a Lepai 20W/c T-amp. A normal AVR will be able to power them just fine. No need to have anything over 200W/c to drive them. You will get permanent hearing damage before you "run out" of amp power...
I believe this... at least I want to.
However... the 2 systems that I have experienced that you could listen to movie clips all day long at or above reference both have one thing in common. Very efficient speakers AND lots of power feeding them.
have the 2 HT's that I've experienced this lack of fatigue above reference. I have been to David's awesome theater a few times dating back 4 years and I always assumed that the reason my ears never had any fatigue was 100 percent due to how great the room is treated. I'm sure that's part of it, but after recently going to Luke's place I'm wondering if there is something else going on here. Luke has a few panels on his walls, very similar to most theaters I have been in. However, we were watching clips like American Sniper at 5 over reference with absolutely no problem.
It makes me think that
may have been right the whole time when he says that you want to have as much headroom as possible (especially in the LRC speakers) for the dynamic/quick hitting peaks in movies that need a lot more power/output than we think. If we don't have quite enough power our ears and brain don't register distortion, instead they register fatigue (or, ouch it's too loud - turn it down).
I haven't made my mind up, because there could be other variables going on. It could be that the reason +5 in Luke's room sounded fine is because we were destroying our ears with 150 db's earlier in the day. However... I had ear plugs in the whole time for that demo so... I don't know.
I know for certain that the combination of the size of David's room (especially the ceiling height) combined with how great the treatments are give the best/smoothest HT sound I've heard to date. It really sounds like you are in a much larger space than you really are and the speakers just disappear. The room size and treatments along with great speakers account for this great sound quality, but what if the H.E. speakers combined with lots of power account for the lack of harshness at and above reference...
I don't want to believe that you need lots of power for very sensitive speakers, because I have very sensitive speakers and I like using just the AVR to power them. I do not want to have to spend 2-3 grand minimum for the kind of power we are talking about along with being dead quiet. Cheap power = hiss.
So... I hope DD is wrong for those reasons - well, that and I have to think it's bad for our hearing to effortlessly listen above reference so maybe it's in the best interest for both our hearing and our bank accounts to believe that speakers like the 212's don't need a powerful amp!