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post #1 of 46 Old 04-03-2018, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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how much power do I need?

Hi all, i'm going to be finishing my basement this summer and building a 7.1 audio home theater. the size of the room is going to be about 22x24 feet. how much power should my AVR have (8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven)? right now I have 5.1 setup, using a 100W AVR (see signature below) in my current family room, but its about 13x17 feet. How many watts do you think I would need for a 22x24 foot room?
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post #2 of 46 Old 04-03-2018, 04:23 PM
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Depends on the speakers you buy and their sensitivity rating.
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post #3 of 46 Old 04-03-2018, 04:27 PM
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i needed 300 watts with 92db focals to hit 105db at 12 feet away in very large room(30x50)

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post #4 of 46 Old 04-03-2018, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baneling View Post
Hi all, i'm going to be finishing my basement this summer and building a 7.1 audio home theater. the size of the room is going to be about 22x24 feet. how much power should my AVR have (8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels
Depends...

Choose speakers first
Settle on how loud you are going to listen to music
Give us your budget

Room that size I'd use a 125w+ to run front three only. Another amp or receiver (100w) for sides and rears.

But that's just me.

Insert pithy comment here
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post #5 of 46 Old 04-03-2018, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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lets say I use the Paradigm Monitor 7 or 9 floor standing speakers. they are both 91db. my budget for the AVR is for the typical 100 watt like the one I have in my signature. or maybe 110 watt. but anything more than that and the price would be way to high. and I will use it mainly for movies. do you think 100 or 110 is too low for 7.1? or would I be better off just having 2.1 or 3.1?
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I gave you a personal preference. There are many who happily run Atmos 9.2 setups with 100W receivers.

IMO if you are going to listen loud 100W would just be good enough for front three. Most 100W receivers quickly drop to 75wpc or lower if more than two channels are driven. Make sure your new receiver has pre-outs. Your Onkyo could drive the surrounds and rears. They don't get a lot of content anyway so 100w for all four should be ok.

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post #7 of 46 Old 04-03-2018, 08:09 PM
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this is the bazillion dollar question isn't it? Over the years I've learned to add at least 25% more than what I think I need.. sometimes it comes to 100% more depending on what kind of deal I can find on a given piece of equipment that will adequately fit the bill .. which also fits within my set budget (this typically isn't written in stone either).

Add the above with aesthetics .. WaF, and your gut feeling ... its really anyones guess. Personally, I wouldn't be locked into the set mindframe of x power or x type of speaker. Go searching until you are totally satisfied. Your HT will be one of your best friends ..much like a good pair of high quality boots or shoes.. or your bed. You wouldn't skimp on those would you?

Don't think you have to do it all at once either.. or have matching brand components (a little more important with speakers and their series).

Research a little - certain price ranges have a much better resale value than others ... people don't typically buy cheap used shyt .. nor will you get top dollar for your uber wilson audio thors hammer subwoofers... there is a definite sweet spot price range for pre-owned gear .. which is much easier to trade or sell in the resale marketplace.

processors typically take a nosedive in 2-3 years and are near worthless. A good set of speakers will last a lifetime and hold their value well. Good amplifiers are the same way.

In reality - you're after the honda or toyota of home audio .. not the chevy or cadillac if that makes any sense. Its perfectly fine to buy the Audi or BWM, but you will NEVER get close to what you paid for it.

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post #8 of 46 Old 04-03-2018, 08:47 PM
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Here's a calculator to help your in your quest.

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

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post #9 of 46 Old 04-04-2018, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by love_that_sound View Post
this is the bazillion dollar question isn't it? Over the years I've learned to add at least 25% more than what I think I need.. sometimes it comes to 100% more depending on what kind of deal I can find on a given piece of equipment that will adequately fit the bill .. which also fits within my set budget (this typically isn't written in stone either).

Add the above with aesthetics .. WaF, and your gut feeling ... its really anyones guess. Personally, I wouldn't be locked into the set mindframe of x power or x type of speaker. Go searching until you are totally satisfied. Your HT will be one of your best friends ..much like a good pair of high quality boots or shoes.. or your bed. You wouldn't skimp on those would you?

Don't think you have to do it all at once either.. or have matching brand components (a little more important with speakers and their series).

Research a little - certain price ranges have a much better resale value than others ... people don't typically buy cheap used shyt .. nor will you get top dollar for your uber wilson audio thors hammer subwoofers... there is a definite sweet spot price range for pre-owned gear .. which is much easier to trade or sell in the resale marketplace.

processors typically take a nosedive in 2-3 years and are near worthless. A good set of speakers will last a lifetime and hold their value well. Good amplifiers are the same way.

In reality - you're after the honda or toyota of home audio .. not the chevy or cadillac if that makes any sense. Its perfectly fine to buy the Audi or BWM, but you will NEVER get close to what you paid for it.
So what is the Honda and Toyota AVRs?
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post #10 of 46 Old 04-04-2018, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by baneling View Post
So what is the Honda and Toyota AVRs?
avrs don't typically hold much value .. because of the processing part. I'd go the separates route. Buy the amplifiers you need separately.

you can't really go wrong with a Marantz or an Integra processor - although Integra doesn't presently have anything that compares to whats being offered today by Marantz.

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post #11 of 46 Old 04-04-2018, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I notice Marantz prices are about double that of other AVRs, at the same wattage. why is Marantz better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by love_that_sound View Post
avrs don't typically hold much value .. because of the processing part. I'd go the separates route. Buy the amplifiers you need separately.

you can't really go wrong with a Marantz or an Integra processor - although Integra doesn't presently have anything that compares to whats being offered today by Marantz.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baneling View Post
I notice Marantz prices are about double that of other AVRs, at the same wattage. why is Marantz better?
ive asked the very same question. again .. i was making the point of resale value and the sweet spot. when you purchase separates .. you can sell off and replace the processor. Good amplifiers will last a lifetime and likely never need replacing.

Anyway ..the general consensus is a numbers game. Marantz is likely the most budget friendly (honda/toyota) preamplifier. it does pretty much what everyone wants it to do without all the somewhat gimmicky bells and whistles. They also sell thousands instead of perhaps hundreds from say another brand like Trinnov or Storm.

Take a gander at the audiogon website.

Like i said - this is something you'll likely enjoy for many years to come and like nearly everyone else - will add to it at some point. with a current AVR you will be limited to what you can do. As the processing technology changes (every 2-3 years) as in a different HDMI spec (think 8k here, HDR+, Dolby Vision, Atmos, Auro3d, or whatever else) you can simply sell off the processor and get an updated one.

if you go the avr route ... youre stuck with what you have .. and its unlikely anyone will be interested in buying it.


if you can't see yourself ever wanting to upgrade anything whatsoever .. pick up an AVR from wherever and be done with it sort of thing.

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post #13 of 46 Old 04-04-2018, 05:55 PM
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I am running a 5.1.2 system from a cheap receiver and I have huge 15 inch woofered mains.....gets plenty loud, maybe not reference, but still crazy loud. 135 watts per chanel x`s 2....so 270 watts divided by all the speakers.


My brother just picked up a new receiver and some of the new ones have separate internal amps for each channel so they will do over a 100 per channel........I think his was 110 per channel`s 7 and it said it would sustain over 500 watts continued into all channels. Since most of the time all channels do not get full power it should give whatever channels that are active and receive a full signal over 100 watts each.

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post #14 of 46 Old 04-04-2018, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by love_that_sound View Post
ive asked the very same question. again .. i was making the point of resale value and the sweet spot. when you purchase separates .. you can sell off and replace the processor. Good amplifiers will last a lifetime and likely never need replacing.

Anyway ..the general consensus is a numbers game. Marantz is likely the most budget friendly (honda/toyota) preamplifier. it does pretty much what everyone wants it to do without all the somewhat gimmicky bells and whistles. They also sell thousands instead of perhaps hundreds from say another brand like Trinnov or Storm.

Take a gander at the audiogon website.

Like i said - this is something you'll likely enjoy for many years to come and like nearly everyone else - will add to it at some point. with a current AVR you will be limited to what you can do. As the processing technology changes (every 2-3 years) as in a different HDMI spec (think 8k here, HDR+, Dolby Vision, Atmos, Auro3d, or whatever else) you can simply sell off the processor and get an updated one.

if you go the avr route ... youre stuck with what you have .. and its unlikely anyone will be interested in buying it.


if you can't see yourself ever wanting to upgrade anything whatsoever .. pick up an AVR from wherever and be done with it sort of thing.
I doubt i would buy a seperate amp and processor as im sure it is more expensive. But out of curiosity, give me an example of an average model for each one.

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I doubt i would buy a seperate amp and processor as im sure it is more expensive. But out of curiosity, give me an example of an average model for each one.
any amplifier from outlaw audio or emotiva

http://www.us.marantz.com/us/Product...Id=AVSeparates

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post #16 of 46 Old 04-04-2018, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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so on outlaw audio, I see amp model 5000 and processor model 976 7.2 HDMI AV Surround Processor. I combine those together to get the equivalent of a typical AVR but with more power right?
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post #17 of 46 Old 04-04-2018, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baneling View Post
so on outlaw audio, I see amp model 5000 and processor model 976 7.2 HDMI AV Surround Processor. I combine those together to get the equivalent of a typical AVR but with more power right?
Perhaps more power, but how much power do you really need?
Food for thought, it takes a doubling of power to gain 3db.
Knowing nothing about your room, speakers, listening habits, etc, I'll give you this as an example.

If your current AVR puts out a true 100wpc and all you can get out of your speakers is 95db, it will take 200wpc to hit 98db.
Most AVR makers fudge with the numbers a bit. You will see 120wpc, but that could be 1 channel driven, 2 channels driven, it could be 20hz to 20khz or it could be 1khz. Sometimes the numbers are almost meaningless.

The Outlaw M5000 is a decent amp, it puts out 120wpc, 20hz ~ 20khz all channels driven.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by baneling View Post
Hi all, i'm going to be finishing my basement this summer and building a 7.1 audio home theater. the size of the room is going to be about 22x24 feet. how much power should my AVR have (8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven)? right now I have 5.1 setup, using a 100W AVR (see signature below) in my current family room, but its about 13x17 feet. How many watts do you think I would need for a 22x24 foot room?
Get 98+dB sensitive speakers and big powerful subwoofers and don't sweat the receiver watts.
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post #19 of 46 Old 04-04-2018, 09:20 PM
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Paradigm Monitors are very efficient and easy to drive speakers (if thats what you are going to use)
I use to have a full 5.1 set up (V5). In that size room you won't need external amps.
Any good AVR will drive them very well. Buy the AVR that has the features you desire.
If you want to play it safe get an avr that has pre-outs so you could add external amps
Later if you want.

Spend the money you saved on a very nice subwoofer. Too often this is where people short themselves.

PS-if you are going with NEW Paradigm Monitors they are being discontinued and are on
Sale at Paradigm.com. Don't wait too long though...they won't be around long.

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Get 98+dB sensitive speakers and big powerful subwoofers and don't sweat the receiver watts.
I can't afford 98db speakers. the 91db paradigms i'm looking at are out of my price range already. Hopefully they are still available when I finish my basement.
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Perhaps more power, but how much power do you really need?
Food for thought, it takes a doubling of power to gain 3db.
Knowing nothing about your room, speakers, listening habits, etc, I'll give you this as an example.

If your current AVR puts out a true 100wpc and all you can get out of your speakers is 95db, it will take 200wpc to hit 98db.
Most AVR makers fudge with the numbers a bit. You will see 120wpc, but that could be 1 channel driven, 2 channels driven, it could be 20hz to 20khz or it could be 1khz. Sometimes the numbers are almost meaningless.

The Outlaw M5000 is a decent amp, it puts out 120wpc, 20hz ~ 20khz all channels driven.
That's the big question. but I now learned that there is no way i'm going to get an AVR that's much more than 110 watts. when I say 100 watts, I always mean 20-20khz 2ch driven. even the M5000 is not going to be enough. an extra 20 watts doesn't make much of a difference.
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PS-if you are going with NEW Paradigm Monitors they are being discontinued and are on
Sale at Paradigm.com. Don't wait too long though...they won't be around long.
the problem is that my basement isn't finished yet. it will be finished mid to late summer. I can't buy them now and have them sit for months doing nothing.
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the problem is that my basement isn't finished yet. it will be finished mid to late summer. I can't buy them now and have them sit for months doing nothing.
Why not? I bought my projector before even framing went up because it was a great deal. Sure enough I fired it up as soon as I received it to check everything but after that a month or two in the box won't harm your electronics. (Actually I couldn't resist and started using it part time table-mounted as soon as drywall went up .

If you're sure those are the speakers you want.. then it's an even easier decision to buy now before they run out.

Insert pithy comment here
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Put the money into better speakers and subwoofer(s) rather than a more powerful AVR. Unless you need newer features, I'd at least try your current AVR.

For a 7.1 system, anymore, any half decent AVR will be just fine power wise, unless you need something crazy, in my opinion. I've been using a bottom line Pioneer (VSX-521-k? Maybe?) from 2010 in my 5.1 system with fairly inefficient speakers. Upgrading my speakers throughout the years and getting their positioning correct has helped immensely. I'll probably upgrade my receiver in a bit, but that is just so I can get an extra few processing/amp channels for atmos - not due to power concerns. If you really are worried about needing more power, choose an AVR with pre-outs for the front stage. You can always get a nice amplifier for your front three speakers down the road when budget allows.

The sound processing in the better units helps out, but in the end, if you are buying a high end unit... may as well fix your room up a bit nicer so you don't need the processing as much. The bottom line units still seem to have decent processing to fix your big ticket issues.

In a nutshell:
Buy your AVR to suit the features you require. Some concerns to keep in mind:
-Do you need 4k w/ HDR10+ or Dolby Vision? look for one that has decent support for it right now.
-Do you need 1, 2, or 12 different zones?
-8 HDMI inputs? 4?
-How many channels do you want to be able to expand to? 7.2.4? Sticking to 5.1? 7.1? Some receivers have can process more channels than they can amplify - so you'd have to get an extra amplifier to add on to the system. However, that flexibility at least lets you add on to it if you want without forcing you to get a whole new AVR.
-Are you attached to any wireless speaker systems? Some AVRs interface with certain systems directly.
-Pending a display upgrade, if you are a big PC gamer, its worth considering holding out a year or two to see what comes of the new HDMI spec. Some cool active refresh rate details (at higher resolutions and frame rates) are included in there. If not, I wouldn't worry much about it, as your sources and displays for that stuff are off quite a ways, anyhow.

I really think that you'll be happy with any AVR that's current (I'd even try the one you have before upgrading!). Just get your nice speakers that you were describing and take some time to position them correctly... and enjoy =).
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post #25 of 46 Old 04-05-2018, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baneling View Post
I can't afford 98db speakers. the 91db paradigms i'm looking at are out of my price range already. Hopefully they are still available when I finish my basement.
https://www.diysoundgroup.com/home-t...aker-kits.html

If you have any Diy skills whatsoever yes you can. Heck I'd go as far as saying yes you can even without any Diy skills if you are at all handy. The DiySoundGroup kits are designed to be put together by even the most novice of hobbyist and all but fall together. These kits are designed by members of the forum here and are truly insane value for money but more than that are extremely high quality high fidelity regardless or price.

The part of the process that requires the most thought and care is the finish of the cabinets exterior, but even that can be as easy or complicated as you wish. Today you can find how-to videos online for all kind of simple faux finishes or you can go the route I did and use Duratex cabinet coating. Duratex if you don't know is the type of finish that comes on guitar amps and roadie cabinets. It is a textured finish by design but one can use a smooth foam roller and achieve a smooth almost non-textured finish if you wish.
As for faux finishes there are several that entail staining the bulk of the cab then using black spray paint on all cab edges giving a beautiful final look. This finish is easy to achieve and cheap but the looks are anything but. As with any finish the prep work and sanding are the most important part but the SoundGroup flat pack kits are laser precise and require very little sanding compared to building cabs from scratch. I'll include a few pics of some finish options that can be achieved cheap and easy at the bottom of this post.

DiySoundGroup has kits in all shapes and sizes and most are high efficiency designs, except for a few of the "Home Audio Kits", that will reach reference on under 60watts up to a 12' listening distance. I just built 3 Htm's and 4 Volt's after selling my all NHT 5.x.4 speaker setup and the upgrade in all metrics is simply staggering. I can say with 1000% certainty that a system built out of all Volt's, for instance, would compete with or outperform almost anything you can buy retail for under $10k and would leave the Paradigm's in the dust for music and movies. Don't get me wrong I love Paradigm's and even had them on my short list since purchasing my first HT gear back in 1998, but after hearing what ultra high quality, purpose designed, high sensitivity pro-sumer speakers can do with compression drivers(CD) I couldn't go any other route.

The CD's are super smooth but are very detailed without being bright. This when paired with the extreme quality drivers and integrated with an audiophile quality crossover design, form a speaker that will give even the best a run for their money. I for one love the CD sound and could not go back to dome tweeters of any design or material. The CD's allow you to listen at higher volume with less distortion all while never sounding strained or harsh. And if you happen to go with one of the SEOS designs you get the added benefit of controlled directivity which can aid in the need for heavy room treatment or lack thereof. Also by using heavy toe-in with waveguide speakers, like any of the SEOS designs, you can also take advantage of "time intensity trading" and create a massive sweet spot across an entire row of seats instead of a single MLP dead center of the 2 speakers. I have my Htm's setup this way and it has reignited my love of music listening simply because of how good they sound. I just can't spend enough time in front of them.

I could go on and on but don't want to prattle. I have assembled an all Diy system and finally couldn't be happier. I spent loads of money and over 10yrs looking for the performance I wanted from retail designs and never achieved it until building the SoundGroup kits. They offer a crazy value, extreme performance and are a blast to build. You also have the satisfaction of saying I built that.

If you are interested and need more info please feel free to PM me and we can discuss further. I can't recommend them enough and know you would be overjoyed with the performance as myself and countless other Avs members are. The high efficiency would allow you to focus on the features you want in a receiver instead of power ratings because even the cheapest of receivers will have plenty of power and then some to power any of the high sensitivity DiySoundGroup designs.
The money saved could also allow you to buy more speakers and better subs(of which the importance can't be overstated) from the beginning instead of having to piece together your system over time if budget is a concern, or even allow you to go with immersive audio like Atmos/Dts:x instead of only 5/7.1. But don't let the low price of the kits fool you, if sold assembled, at retail pricing, by someone looking to make a profit instead of helping fellow enthusiast like Erich at SoundGroup, they would easily be priced 3x-5x higher and still be worth every penny. To get a speaker from the JBL line equal to the Htm-12 for example would approach the $1000-1500ea. range new, and the Htm's have been found to measure and sound as good if not better than the JBL's by members here at Avs.

There are also loads of build threads that can be followed and even some videos that show step by step assembly of some of the DSG kits. There are also plenty of members, like myself, that would happily help you along the way if you need too. It all comes down to limited time or personal aesthetic preference as the only reasons not to go with DSG kits and I would urge you to make the time or find a finish you like if those are the only reasons.

Give them a serious look and do some forum research. You will quickly find I'm not the only person to wholeheartedly recommend the DSG kits. Erich the owner of the company is a joy to work with and is always an email away. I have sent Erich an email and received a reply in less than 20mins at least 4 times and never waited more than 2 days for a reply even around the holidays. The kits are masterfully packed and ship all over the world without damage. The designs and kits are all top notch and are backed by Erich's staggering customer support. He really has thought of everything and made it easy for even the most novice to build their own reference quality speakers.

If you are on the fence and don't know if you can build them, you could start with just a pair of Volts and see how easy to assemble they really are. If for some crazy reason you don't find them right for you, which is highly unlikely, you could always just sell the here on the forums(possibly even for a profit) and only be out your time.

Here is an example of one of the faux finishes that can be done cheaply and quite easily.


Feel free to PM me if I can answer any questions or just to go over which kits would be the best option for your use case. No matter which route you go don't skimp on the speakers or the subs, especially the subs. High quality speakers and subs can last a lifetime and through several receiver/processor upgrades. The speakers and subs are the biggest deciding factor, other than the room itself, in the sound you hear. All modern receivers and processors under $3k with room correction are within a small percentage of each other from a sound quality perspective so spending the bulk of your budget on the speakers and room treatments is usually the best course. Smart speaker choices can help you control the room acoustics and get the best performance from your system in your room.

Finally don't get caught up in power ratings on receivers no matter the speakers you choose. If you spend a few minutes playing with an spl calculator, like this one, http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html you will see that small differences in power once over say 50watts wont make large differences in overall spl. It takes a doubling of power to achieve a 3db increase in volume.

So let's say you have a 94db sensitive speaker and a 50watt amp, that combo with the speaker less than 6ft away from 1 wall, at a 12ft listening distance will reach 102db peak. Now increase the power to 100watts and the same speaker will reach 105db peak but increasing power further to 125watts only raises peak spl by less than 1db to 106db. 1db difference is near completely imperceptible because it takes a 3db difference to sense a volume change.
The spl cal. I linked breaks down every metric including dispersion loss and boundary reinforcement. Spend the time to play with the calculator and you can get a good handle on spl in relation to power and speaker sensitivity.

Good luck on your journey and building your system. Let me know if I can help in anyway.
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post #26 of 46 Old 04-05-2018, 10:22 AM
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I supposed I could buy them now and test them out on my current home theater in my family room. But I also need approval from my board of director. and i'm sure she'll say no.

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Originally Posted by RiverSide View Post
Why not? I bought my projector before even framing went up because it was a great deal. Sure enough I fired it up as soon as I received it to check everything but after that a month or two in the box won't harm your electronics. (Actually I couldn't resist and started using it part time table-mounted as soon as drywall went up .

If you're sure those are the speakers you want.. then it's an even easier decision to buy now before they run out.

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post #27 of 46 Old 04-05-2018, 10:58 AM
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But I also need approval from my board of director. and i'm sure she'll say no.
I don't think this forum can help you with that.. but you could always point to so many married men spending thousands on a strange "hobby" as precedent..

Insert pithy comment here
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post #28 of 46 Old 04-05-2018, 09:16 PM
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That's the big question. but I now learned that there is no way i'm going to get an AVR that's much more than 110 watts. when I say 100 watts, I always mean 20-20khz 2ch driven. even the M5000 is not going to be enough. an extra 20 watts doesn't make much of a difference.
What I noticed in going from AVR power, Yamaha RX-A2020, to the Outlaw M-5000 power:
For 2 channel music...Nothing.
For multi-channel music or movies, it didn't seem any louder, but it did have a more dynamic sound.
The reason, the AVR power supply can't push enough voltage to drive all the speakers to the same level as it can with only 2 channels. What you lose is headroom, power for dynamic swings/transients.
While the extra 20 watts won't produce much in the over-all volume, the M-5000 can add to the over-all sound for some source material due to the fact that it can supply enough power to drive all the speakers to its max rating.

If your main focus is 2 channel music, an AVR should do just fine. If your focus is movies, an amp may be worth it, even if the wpc spec isn't much more than an AVR.

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post #29 of 46 Old 04-06-2018, 02:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceh383 View Post
What I noticed in going from AVR power, Yamaha RX-A2020, to the Outlaw M-5000 power:
For 2 channel music...Nothing.
For multi-channel music or movies, it didn't seem any louder, but it did have a more dynamic sound.
The reason, the AVR power supply can't push enough voltage to drive all the speakers to the same level as it can with only 2 channels. What you lose is headroom, power for dynamic swings/transients.
While the extra 20 watts won't produce much in the over-all volume, the M-5000 can add to the over-all sound for some source material due to the fact that it can supply enough power to drive all the speakers to its max rating.

If your main focus is 2 channel music, an AVR should do just fine. If your focus is movies, an amp may be worth it, even if the wpc spec isn't much more than an AVR.
My focus is TV and movies. Looks like im going to have to settle for a typical 100 watt AVR. I'll make sure to get one with pre-outs.
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post #30 of 46 Old 04-06-2018, 04:23 AM
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Looks like im going to have to settle for a typical 100 watt AVR. I'll make sure to get one with pre-outs.
You can always upgrade a few years down the road if you need, but I don't see it being an issue for you. Enjoy!
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