Amplifer? Which one? Or a receiver? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 18 Old 10-23-2018, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Amplifer? Which one? Or a receiver?

So I've been slowly turning my PCs 2.0 system into a 5.0 system (I live in an upstairs apartment and don't want a subwoofer). I started with pair of old awesome pair Art Studio BA-402s which are only 7 inches tall but may be my favorite speakers because of the quality they output for they size. They have nominal rating of 50W and max of 100W. I was running them on a Kinter 2020A+ for a while. I then upgraded from my motherboard sound to an Audigy Sound Blaster FX, which made clear difference. I ran on this setup for a while. A week ago I finally hooked up my center and its mono amp that's been sitting around for a while and it too sounds great, and the Audigy software makes it easy to control.

Now a few days ago I picked up a pais of Boston Acoustics HD9s for 40. Now I want to make this 5.0. I have two options. I can get a receiver, ditch the amplifiers and the sound card since it has no opitcal in (I don't really want to do this) but my motherboard does. Or I can get another amplifier to finish it off, which is less bulky. The HD9s are rated at 75W and I am thinking about the Fosi Audi TPA3116, which has 100W RMS for each channel, and would allow me to upgrade in the future.

Right now the Kinter is on the HD9s and the Art Studios are disconnected. Will I see that much of an improvement with this Fosi? I could also hook a subwoofer onto later if I wanted. Or should I just get another Kinter or go for the receiver. What do you think?
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post #2 of 18 Old 10-23-2018, 03:40 PM
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Well obviously a receiver is going to have some advantages over all those mini amps. 1 electrical plug for one thing.
Plus room correction, several different surround modes, ability to add more sources, and many other features depending on what you invest. But even entry level receivers have extras that used to be on top models only. Even a cheap receiver is going to have the same power as those amps.
As to which of those mini amps is better you'd probably get better feed back on Amazon.

Music, more music.
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post #3 of 18 Old 10-23-2018, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I am actually thinking about sub capabilities now:

Fosi Audio TB20A TPA3116D2
ONEU Audio Amplifier, Separated Subwoofer Volume Controlled Stereo Amplifier 2 x 45-Watt and 1x68W Sub Output,

I can't link yet because I don't have enough posts, but you can look these up on Amazon. The second is half the price of the first. Would I honestly notice a difference?
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post #4 of 18 Old 10-23-2018, 09:21 PM
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I am actually thinking about sub capabilities now:

Fosi Audio TB20A TPA3116D2
ONEU Audio Amplifier, Separated Subwoofer Volume Controlled Stereo Amplifier 2 x 45-Watt and 1x68W Sub Output,

I can't link yet because I don't have enough posts, but you can look these up on Amazon. The second is half the price of the first. Would I honestly notice a difference?
The sub out is for a passive sub. Are you really considering one of those? (Somewhat unusual.)
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-23-2018, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
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What do you mean passive sub? It doesn't amplify the sub? Well, my sub plugs in, so that should be fine.

What about the sound quality difference between the two?
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post #6 of 18 Old 10-23-2018, 10:49 PM
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1x68W Sub Output,
I must observe that is very little power for a subwoofer. If you are sitting very close, or playing not too loud, it could be OK. Now, you could find a used receiver on Craiglist perhaps more convenient and more powerful. AVRs will have subwoofer highpass filtering; stereo units mostly cannot properly accommodate a subwoofer unless they are older and have pre-out/main-in jacks. I wouldn't mess with all those kit amps...unless you like fiddling with them, which is cool if you do.
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post #7 of 18 Old 10-23-2018, 11:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Forget about the woofer. What about the sound quality between the two I listed?
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post #8 of 18 Old 10-24-2018, 02:39 PM
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What do you mean passive sub? It doesn't amplify the sub? Well, my sub plugs in, so that should be fine.

What about the sound quality difference between the two?
Am active sub is one with a built-in power amp. It usually wants a mono line-level input.

A passive sub is just a speaker in a box. I've seen them in HTiB (home theater in a box) systems, but other than that, they aren't as common as actives. 68W isn't a lot for a sub, even an 8" one.

I can't speak from experience on the sound quality of the inexpensive Chinese amps that you list. I'd expect them to be good, for the price.

My main PC audio is from a pair of Kef Eggs. They're a little pricey, but they offer a variety of inputs (I'm using USB; no sound card required). They also have an RCA subwoofer output. They are available as factory refurbs at accessories4less at a substantial discount.
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post #9 of 18 Old 10-24-2018, 05:36 PM
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altpensacola said, "Even a cheap receiver is going to have the same power as those amps."

I am still trying to figure out where this sudden belief that the power of audio amplifiers is the same, no matter what the quality of the design or manufacturer. This just boggles the mind as to it's inherent inaccuracy as a statement. Let me just toss out an example of why this statement that many posters here are so eager to repeat, is so very wrong, in a sense. I know that you were just using what you said as a generic example, and I'm just using that comparison as well, as an example that some posters may be under the impression that a class D amp is a class D amp is a class D amp. But it seems to me that, by the gist of some of the threads on here, is that this generic sentence could be misconstrued to be taken in a context that is misleading. I guess that I am talking about someone who isn't familiar enough with audio gear to actually believe that the component that has the same specs, but is a lot more expensive, is simply overpriced. Typically that is a main fault of the consumer to act as though a cheap amp can sound the same as an expensive one, sans the high cost. To be clear, I am just using your statement to make a point, nothing to do with you personally. It is probably the same one that you were making. I just want to expand on it.

There is a company called Accuphase that currently sells an audiophile amplifier that is rated at 30 Watts per channel that is a Class A solid state amplifier, that retails for $12,000. You can most certainly get a much more powerful one for much less. This is just exemplary to the point that wattage ratings are not a good description of the quality of an audio component. The rating does matter, through the right context, but it had been a typical marketing gimmick back in the late 1980's. I have been dealing with this for decades now, and it's always brought up as a generic comparison. I just picked that out as an example. The wattage phenomenon is a typical pitfall that a consumer all to often may find attractive at first, until they do an A/B comparison. The other example I can give is the time I went into a mobile audio store back in the 80's. I had a Nakamichi power amp running my rear speakers, and the salesman who was trying to help me out asked me what the wattage rating was on the head unit of my car audio system. I answered, "None". I had a Blaupunkt Houston head unit that was just a preamp/tuner hooked up to the Nakamichi amp driving the back speakers in my car. I said, "Seventy five watts". He immediately said, "That's not enough!" with an intended authority in his voice. "It should be at LEAST two hundred". What he did there was to reveal that he was not so knowledgeable in the audio sound system arena.

My Nakamichi PA-300 II seventy five watt power amp was putting out super clean sound that was plenty of CLEAN power to drive my Blaupunkt speakers. The salesman heard "seventy five watts", and it immediately raised a red flag. My point is that some folks are driven by the wattage rating as being the be all and end all of how good a power amplifier was/is. He tried to sell me some off brand amplifier that said in huge letters on the side, "200 WATTS". That was my first experience with this "wattage salesman" who just used the claimed power rating of an amplifier as his guide to it's value, both as being powerful and cost effective. I knew that I was in the wrong store, and promptly found another.
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post #10 of 18 Old 10-24-2018, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
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So can someone address the two questions and compare the two amplifiers?

Also, if my subwoofer plugs in, that m akes it active, right? Is that gonna cause and problems plugging it into the amp?

Last edited by Well Said; 10-24-2018 at 11:32 PM.
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post #11 of 18 Old 10-25-2018, 07:53 AM
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(snip)

Also, if my subwoofer plugs in, that m akes it active, right? Is that gonna cause and problems plugging it into the amp?
Depends. Powered subs can support a variety of inputs.

Some can take speaker level inputs, two line level inputs, or a single (mono) LFE input.

Some only have the single mono input.
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post #12 of 18 Old 10-25-2018, 10:32 AM
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I am still trying to figure out where this sudden belief that the power of audio amplifiers is the same, no matter what the quality of the design or manufacturer.
Where did anybody say that all audio amplifiers have the same power?

Quote:
There is a company called Accuphase that currently sells an audiophile amplifier that is rated at 30 Watts per channel that is a Class A solid state amplifier, that retails for $12,000. You can most certainly get a much more powerful one for much less. This is just exemplary to the point that wattage ratings are not a good description of the quality of an audio component.
$12,000 for a 30W per channel A-36 probably buys you a bunch of quality and beauty, especially from Accuphase. At least you get a big 50 pounds of it, so the output FETs don't get too hot. And she's got features, some unusual, that might be useful.

But the consumers on this forum are more inclined to believe that extraordinary claims (price) demand extraordinary proof (repeatable measurements under controlled conditions). An amp that performs the same or better for much less money is a better value, and appearance is relatively unimportant.

Speaking of Accuphase, I'll bring it full circle and suggest that the ancient, rare, expensive Trio Supreme 1 could replace six of those kit amps...

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post #13 of 18 Old 10-25-2018, 11:44 AM
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Where did anybody say that all audio amplifiers have the same power?



$12,000 for a 30W per channel A-36 probably buys you a bunch of quality and beauty, especially from Accuphase. At least you get a big 50 pounds of it, so the output FETs don't get too hot. And she's got features, some unusual, that might be useful.

But the consumers on this forum are more inclined to believe that extraordinary claims (price) demand extraordinary proof (repeatable measurements under controlled conditions). An amp that performs the same or better for much less money is a better value, and appearance is relatively unimportant.

Speaking of Accuphase, I'll bring it full circle and suggest that the ancient, rare, expensive Trio Supreme 1 could replace six of those kit amps...
Who said anything about appearance? I quoted someone who said that, and I quote (again), "Even a cheap receiver is going to have the same power as those amps." You could take that comment in a number of ways, but one of the ways would be to conclude that, "Even a cheap receiver is going to have the same power as those amps." I don't know why you even asked that, as it is just wanting to dissect the context of someones statement to question it's meaning. Clearly, I am not going to go around and around about what the poster meant when he typed that, but one way I took it was verbatim.

Your question, "Where did anybody say that all audio amplifiers have the same power?" had been answered by the quote "Even a cheap receiver is going to have the same power as those amps." I know that the author of that statement I quoted didn't mean for the reader to mean that all amplifiers have the same power, but at the same time, I didn't mean for the reader to take what I said in the same way. It's a non starter.

The purpose of my bringing up the Accuphase was to illustrate a simple point, not to be dissected to add, or take things away from it.
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While you guys were arguing amongst yourselves I went ahead and got the Lepy. It's pretty great, drives the Boston Acoustic HD9s pretty well, and is slightly better than the Kinter Tripath 2020A. I do not know how it would have compared to the more expensive one but I am satisfied.

As far as my subwoofer, Harmon/Kardon HK365, meant to have to satellites. Therefore the output is a 9 pin din connector, and the 9 pin din to 3.5mm cords are on eBay for a ridiculous $25. There are some DIY projects posted online to turn it into a legit speaker, but would require a lot of learning and would be otherwise beyond my skill level.

I'll just wait at the thrift stores, where I get most of my audio equipment, for a small, good quality passive sub. I don't want too much sub as I am in an apartment.

Last edited by Well Said; 10-25-2018 at 05:50 PM.
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post #15 of 18 Old 10-25-2018, 10:06 PM
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While you guys were arguing amongst yourselves I went ahead and got the Lepy. It's pretty great, drives the Boston Acoustic HD9s pretty well, and is slightly better than the Kinter Tripath 2020A. I do not know how it would have compared to the more expensive one but I am satisfied.

As far as my subwoofer, Harmon/Kardon HK365, meant to have to satellites. Therefore the output is a 9 pin din connector, and the 9 pin din to 3.5mm cords are on eBay for a ridiculous $25. There are some DIY projects posted online to turn it into a legit speaker, but would require a lot of learning and would be otherwise beyond my skill level.

I'll just wait at the thrift stores, where I get most of my audio equipment, for a small, good quality passive sub. I don't want too much sub as I am in an apartment.
I see that the HK365 is a 2.1 set of computer speakers. That would typically mean that it's connected to a PC using 3.5 mm audio plugs. I don't find a manual for it, but I imagine that the 9 pin DIN is to connect the satellites. You wouldn't need anything like that if you just wanted to use the amplifier/subwoofer. (Maybe not a great idea. It's probably not a good stand-alone sub.)

Looking back over the thread, I don't see a mention of a specific Lepy model. What did you get?
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post #16 of 18 Old 10-26-2018, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bootster View Post
altpensacola said, "Even a cheap receiver is going to have the same power as those amps."

I am still trying to figure out where this sudden belief that the power of audio amplifiers is the same, no matter what the quality of the design or manufacturer. This just boggles the mind as to it's inherent inaccuracy as a statement. Let me just toss out an example of why this statement that many posters here are so eager to repeat, is so very wrong, in a sense. I know that you were just using what you said as a generic example, and I'm just using that comparison as well, as an example that some posters may be under the impression that a class D amp is a class D amp is a class D amp. But it seems to me that, by the gist of some of the threads on here, is that this generic sentence could be misconstrued to be taken in a context that is misleading. I guess that I am talking about someone who isn't familiar enough with audio gear to actually believe that the component that has the same specs, but is a lot more expensive, is simply overpriced. Typically that is a main fault of the consumer to act as though a cheap amp can sound the same as an expensive one, sans the high cost. To be clear, I am just using your statement to make a point, nothing to do with you personally. It is probably the same one that you were making. I just want to expand on it.

There is a company called Accuphase that currently sells an audiophile amplifier that is rated at 30 Watts per channel that is a Class A solid state amplifier, that retails for $12,000. You can most certainly get a much more powerful one for much less. This is just exemplary to the point that wattage ratings are not a good description of the quality of an audio component. The rating does matter, through the right context, but it had been a typical marketing gimmick back in the late 1980's. I have been dealing with this for decades now, and it's always brought up as a generic comparison. I just picked that out as an example. The wattage phenomenon is a typical pitfall that a consumer all to often may find attractive at first, until they do an A/B comparison. The other example I can give is the time I went into a mobile audio store back in the 80's. I had a Nakamichi power amp running my rear speakers, and the salesman who was trying to help me out asked me what the wattage rating was on the head unit of my car audio system. I answered, "None". I had a Blaupunkt Houston head unit that was just a preamp/tuner hooked up to the Nakamichi amp driving the back speakers in my car. I said, "Seventy five watts". He immediately said, "That's not enough!" with an intended authority in his voice. "It should be at LEAST two hundred". What he did there was to reveal that he was not so knowledgeable in the audio sound system arena.

My Nakamichi PA-300 II seventy five watt power amp was putting out super clean sound that was plenty of CLEAN power to drive my Blaupunkt speakers. The salesman heard "seventy five watts", and it immediately raised a red flag. My point is that some folks are driven by the wattage rating as being the be all and end all of how good a power amplifier was/is. He tried to sell me some off brand amplifier that said in huge letters on the side, "200 WATTS". That was my first experience with this "wattage salesman" who just used the claimed power rating of an amplifier as his guide to it's value, both as being powerful and cost effective. I knew that I was in the wrong store, and promptly found another.
"Even a cheap receiver is going to have the same power as those amps."



"But it seems to me that, by the gist of some of the threads on here, is that this generic sentence could be misconstrued to be taken in a context that is misleading."



You are correct that my statement was too generic and could be misconstrued. It was written in haste.

I did not mean for someone to buy any old box.



I was looking at the power available from those amps he has and assumed that his system was not needing hundreds of watts for each speaker in his room. And that most receivers, even entry level ones, have at least 50 watts.I did not intend for that statement to mean that just any old cheap receiver would do. I am all about quality and proper amonut of true power. I beleive all watts are not the same. But I am not about to get into a debate about which receivers are better than others. Because I've only owned a few. But I've owned a Yamaha 45 watts, NAD 45, Kenwood 100, Marantz 120 and Emotiva 200 x 5. I also have an entry level Sony at 100 watts listed that I would not compare to any of those.

Music, more music.

Last edited by altpensacola; 10-26-2018 at 08:28 AM.
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post #17 of 18 Old 10-29-2018, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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While you guys were arguing amongst yourselves I went ahead and got the Lepy. It's pretty great, drives the Boston Acoustic HD9s pretty well, and is slightly better than the Kinter Tripath 2020A. I do not know how it would have compared to the more expensive one but I am satisfied.

As far as my subwoofer, Harmon/Kardon HK365, meant to have to satellites. Therefore the output is a 9 pin din connector, and the 9 pin din to 3.5mm cords are on eBay for a ridiculous $25. There are some DIY projects posted online to turn it into a legit speaker, but would require a lot of learning and would be otherwise beyond my skill level.

I'll just wait at the thrift stores, where I get most of my audio equipment, for a small, good quality passive sub. I don't want too much sub as I am in an apartment.
ONEU Audio Amplifier, Separated Subwoofer Volume Controlled Stereo Amplifier 2 x 45-Watt and 1x68W Sub Output

Look on Amazon. It sounds slightly better than the Kinter with the Tripath chip which surprised me. But would I get that much better sound going with the Fosi 2.1?
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post #18 of 18 Old 11-01-2018, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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