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post #1 of 21 Old 07-30-2019, 04:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Receiver Power and Sound Quality Output

HI.


I assume receiver power to be watts driven to a channel.

I am wondering if a more powerful receiver produces/drives better sound quality from the speakers. I will try to elaborate...

If I watch movies at X decibel level, that is, a reasonable volume level AND my current AMP/receiver (specs below) provide Y power.

If I upgrade to a more powerful receiver and continue to listen at X decibel level, does having more power produce a better sound from the speakers?

Or does better sound quality only come in to play when increasing the volume?

I guess it's a question about how speakers work. I will keep searching through the forum as well. Just throwing out my variation on this type of question. Thanks.



Channel 5.1
Rated Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven) 115 W (6ohms, 0.9% THD)
Rated Output Power (20Hz-20kHz, 2ch driven) 80 W (6ohms, 0.09% THD)
Maximum Effective Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven) (JEITA) 135 W (6ohms, 10% THD)
Dynamic Power / Ch (Front L/R, 8/6/4/2 ohms) - / 110 / 130 / 160 W
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post #2 of 21 Old 07-30-2019, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diex View Post
HI.


I am wondering if a more powerful receiver produces/drives better sound quality from the speakers. I will try to elaborate...

If I watch movies at X decibel level, that is, a reasonable volume level AND my current AMP/receiver (specs below) provide Y power.

If I upgrade to a more powerful receiver and continue to listen at X decibel level, does having more power produce a better sound from the speakers?

Or does better sound quality only come in to play when increasing the volume?

I guess it's a question about how speakers work.
The short answer is no.

More power does not give you better sound quality--this would be much easier if it did!

OK, you are on the right track--it has to do how speakers work.

For example, say you have Speaker X that is rated at 92dB one watt/one meter or 92dB at 2.83V at one meter and it is nominallly 8 ohms. To calculate watts from volts, you square the voltage (2.83 X 2.83 = 8) the divide the impedance or 8/8 = 1 or one watt. Be aware if the speaker is 4 ohms and rated at 2.83V that would be 2.83 x 2.83 = 8 and 8 divided by 4 = 2 or two watts. If you see a 4 ohm nominal speaker rated at 92dB, you need to convert it back to roughly 1 watt or drop the sensitivity rating by 3dB or 89dB. Yeah, it can get weird but some speaker companies (JTR for instance) rates their 4 ohm speakers at 2.00V of sensitivity or 2 x 2 = 4 and 4 divided by 4 equals 1 or one watt of power. Just a little basic math thrown in to better understand the difference between XX dB at one watt/one meter and 2.83V at one meter. Pretty close to the same thing if it is 8 ohms but you need to adjust down if it is 6 ohms or 4 ohms. The pro sound guys use 16 ohm drivers so if rated at 2.83V, you would have to adjust it up +3dB if rated at 2.83V. Generally, the 16 ohm drivers are rated at 4 volts for this reason.

Back to the game! OK, assuming your speakers are nominal 8 ohms and 92dB at 2.83V--and you listen at a distance of around 13 feet with peaks at around 100dB. 13 feet = 4 meters and as distance doubles, power required goes up by 4 times to maintain the same SPL. That applies to outside with no walls (boundries) for rock concerts or beach parties--it is different in a room. Your decline in SPL in rooms common in a house actually drops from around 3 to 4.5 dB as the distance doubles. This is because the corners/walls and reflections...loading etc. To make this simple, I'll go with 4.5 dB drop as the distane doubles and assume you are in a large living room or basement.

So you want 100dB at 13 feet in a large toom and the speakers produce 92dB at 2.83V/one watt. Assuming the distance doubles twice from one meter, you "lose" 9dB. Add the 9dB to the 100dB you require and your speakers need to produce 109dB at one meter to give you 100dB at 13 feet/4 meters of distance. This requires an amplifier of 17dB of "gain". That would be approximately 50 watts to acheive your goal. There are other factors at play but you get a rough idea.

So you need 50 watts of output at your seated position in your room. Say your amp pushes 100 watts, you are fine. If you threw say a PowerSoft K20 arena sound amp that pushes many thousands of watts into 8 ohms, it will still use only 50 watts. You gain nothing but those PowerSoft amps are pretty cool!

You need the power you need for the SPL, distance and what size room you are using. However! If you have low efficiency speakers (say 85dB) and want 105dB (THX reference levels) then you will need a lot of power! Add the 9dB drop for distance to the 105dB you want and that is 114dB at one meter. This would require amplification of +29dB which is 800 watts. Assuming your speakers can handle tha kind of power of course... If you did that, an AVR is not in your future but some powerful PA amps or amps the side of window AC units would do the trick.

This leads to the speakers, more power does not make a speaker "sound better", it makes it sound worse. The more power you apply to a speaker to meet your SPL demands, the farther the parts move and that creates non-linear movement (distortion) There is also something called "powercompression" or when in rockstart mode or pushing the speakers to their limits, the voicecoils heat up and get hot--the impedaanc rises with heat and power going in drops because of rising impedance. This is common in things like woofers and some speakers can compress at 3dB when driven hard which changes the frequency response. Say the tweeter is not power compressing but the woofer is, it would sound like the bass became less because it did--compared to the tweter output it does. If you are using a passive crossover, commonly found in consumer speakers you can also get problems with the filters "slipping" because the impedance rise shifts the crossover power upward (for woofers) The tweeter, if it is not getting hot will remain roughly the same frequency point buu the woofer slips upward creating a hump in frequency response at the crossover point. Thiis creates havoc as power compression shifts crossover points, creates humps in the frequency response AND cuts the bass level down a touch. At that point, you will proably not like the sound of the things and will turn it down. If you have been drinking while in rockstar mode--hopefully you can smell the distinctive odor of cooking voice coils--they stink when hot.

Now if a speaker sounds better when you turn it up vS at more of a reasonable volume--that is not the speaker sounding better--it has to do with the way you hear. Louder sounds better to human hearing, up to a point. Also, how we perceive bass depends on SPL as very deep pipe organs need to be loud enough for humans to even notice. I think for you to hear 16 Hz, it needs to be at 75 to 85dB (something like that) For this reason, recordings with really deep bass sound better at higher volume because you can now hear the deep bass notes. This does not apply if you are an alien or lizard people (for external use only)

Basically, if the amp you use know provides enough power to the speakers to give you the SPL you require at your listening distance--more power won't make it sound better. This assumes the amplifier is not clipping, overloading or going into current limiting because of a very low impedance speaker. If you are clipping, the amp shuts down from thermal overload or does anything weird, you need more power at that point. You think this is borning now? It gets worse so for folks that are not exactly sure, I offer this advice. Assuming a typical room and they want a home theater, I advise them to get an AVR that has pre-amp outputs so they can drive more powerful or amps that have more current if they run veyr low impedance speakers. Give it a go with the AVR and if they have issues, then they can go with more powerful amplifiers if/when needed. Some people get new sound gear and they want to play it much louder than before, have a new toy you have to play with it!

For you, since you never mentioned any problem with your receiver with your existing speakers and have no desire to go higher in SPL that you are now--you are golden! Enjoy your system and spend your money on movies, popcorn or more subwoofers. If you are desiring upgrading your receiver for new features, throw in having pre-amp outs just in case things change you'll have a much, much easier way to upgrade with pre-amp outs. If you are happy with what you are running now, just roll with it as long as the amps are not clipping. If you want to buy something to improve the sound, if you are running one sub a second one will give more even bass respone across multiple seats, higher SPL capability and lower distortion. If you already have 2 subs, go with 3 subs (Earl Geddes alignment) or even 4 subs because this is the AVS Forum--two subs are good, four subs are better and 16 to 32 subs is incredible!

Welcome to the forum and I hope this cleared things up for you--or not.
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Last edited by 18Hurts; 07-30-2019 at 01:21 PM.
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post #3 of 21 Old 07-30-2019, 02:54 PM
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Thanks @18Hurts . I think @Diex only has 1 post, his first and last LOL!

So that explains why my c-notes sound quieter on my Integra amp, compared to my more efficient and larger woofer JBL Arenas? I knew something was amiss, but it's really that inefficient speakers need more power to sound the same at my 12ft listening distance?

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post #4 of 21 Old 07-30-2019, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by eriksells916 View Post
Thanks @18Hurts . I think @Diex only has 1 post, his first and last LOL!

So that explains why my c-notes sound quieter on my Integra amp, compared to my more efficient and larger woofer JBL Arenas? I knew something was amiss, but it's really that inefficient speakers need more power to sound the same at my 12ft listening distance?

3 channel amp for the LCR is now on the bday list!
Correct. If you leave your amp at the same volume but swap the C Notes for the Arenas they will immediately be louder, as the Arenas are (per the specs) 2 decibels more efficient, meaning they produce 2 decibels more with the same amount of power.
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post #5 of 21 Old 07-30-2019, 11:13 PM
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Thanks @KSpan . I am a semi-professional diyer and novice electrician, so I could not figure out what the hell was going on. I thought I did the crossover wrong since i did added the .22uf cap but when the wife kept telling me to turn it up, I knew something was amisss. The c-notes really sound good so I am just going to get a 10,000,000 watt amp and let my neighbors enjoy Cody Johnson, On my way to you instead!
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post #6 of 21 Old 07-31-2019, 06:36 AM
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One thing I would add however while more power may not improve or change your sound quality it may make a difference in dynamic headroom and the ability to provide adequate punch to sudden spikes in volume.
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post #7 of 21 Old 07-31-2019, 10:18 AM
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Good explanation 18Hurts. Let's make that a sticky!
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post #8 of 21 Old 07-31-2019, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by buggers View Post
Good explanation 18Hurts. Let's make that a sticky!
Thanks buggers!

I seem to recall in the late 80's/early 90's there was a concept thrown around with amplifier ratings. They would rate the typical watts per channel but wanted to make it much easier for consumers to understand what that wattage provided. They called it the "decibel watt" or dB/W rating of the amplifers. That way the consumer could simply add the dB/W rating to (assumed accurate) efficiency/sensitivity rating and you were gold. They could also rate it in dB/W at 8 and 4 ohms to make it even easier. Some amps can double their power output into 4 ohms (+3dB/W) while others would do an increase of +2dB/W and many multic-channel could squeeze out +1dB/W.

Of course, this would also require the speaker manufacturers to agree what "sensitivity or efficiency" means AND rate their speakers accurately. For the dB/W rating to work, that would mean everyone would have to rate things accurately (no "in room" "on wall" 1/2 space measurements etc.) As you know, the dB/W concept never took off but something different is rolling up on the horizon. Give the output voltage of the amp across 2/4/6/8/16 ohms running full bandwidth (not just 1 KHz) On pro-sound gear, you can set liimiters to voltge and some concert speakers are rated maximum voltage--very accurate way to set up concert speakers that run 6 yo 8 digits in price. There is heavy resistance to that for consumer audio as it "might confuse the consumer" Then again, I see high power consumer speakers costing over $10,000 withh thousnd watt ratings with five-way binding posts--but th pro sound speakers went to the superior Speakon (twist-lock) water-proof sealed connections many years ago. Personally, once something goes past around 200 watts or so, I use Speakons as all my subs use them and kids don't know how to pull them out, put the cables in their mouth and such things that kids do. Since my subs are on the floor, don't want someone to knock off silverware off the sub and land on those conductive banana plugs--that won't end well.

However, this does not mean the consumer can't learn how all those specs work, what they mean and how to use them to get closer to what they want in the design stage. I noticed back in the day when dinosurs roamed the earth (before the internet) that my old hand-me-down receiver with power output meters and the A/B speaker switch (remember those?) You get that mighty 50 watt per channel reciver belting out close to the 50 watts on the meters in the 87dB bookshelves with small sub and it was fairly loud. You click over to "Speaker B" which was a pair of 100dB one watt/one meter PA speakers and it would blast your ears to ruin! Turn it way down or meet the police with a noise complaint. It became very obvious to most people that some speakers were fairly quiet while other speakers were really, really LOUD (Klipsch horn speakers, Cerwin-Vegas, PA speakers etc.)

Seems that most of the big monsters from back in the day are gone--at least the really high efficiency ones at least. You can still get them, purchase actual theater monitors from JBL, QSC and others or the large speakers from JTR, Saulk Sound, Klipsch or build your own DIY version--they all will be big which is not "in style" these days. High efficiency speakers must be large and that costs money across the board--shipping will kill you! Amp power is very cheap these days so speakers were able to become smaller and produce the same SPL with more power (or add subs) Some people will use actual theater speakers, the JBL 4722N comes to mind at 104dB one watt/one meter--you could hit THX reference levels at 10 to 12 feet with less than 10 watts of power. At least you'll never worry about power compression, blowing the speaker up, having enough power etc. because they will bake your ear drums in a traditional living room!

My HT speakers are "large bookshelf speakers" of less than 2 cubic feet each. They are rated 98dB one watt/one meter or higher into a solid 8 ohms. Although I need less than 40 watts to hit reference levels on my couch for each channel--I require 3 subwoofers with over 1,000 watts to get smooth response. My wife was not into 21 inch subwoofers in a 15 cubic foot box to gain high efficiency--then have 2 or 3 of them strewn around the room. It might seem odd for a basic AVR to have the ability to get your ears ringing yet a beefy PA amp drives the subs to keep up--just the way it is. Figure sometime in the future if I end up in a house with a full basement, I can build the 21" mega-subs with concert drivers in thm and go full high efficiency but I'm not there yet. It makes it more of a challenge to figure out the maximum size and number of speakers and make them work in your living room than to have unlimited size and quantity in a basement.

Basically, get a good idea of the power you need with whatever speakers you desire and have a good idea of the distance and SPL loss in your room. It is actually fairly simple to do with an SPL app on your phone, a few test tones (youtube or whatever) and a one meter (39.4 inch) measuring device. Play a tone (1 KHz is good to start) measure the SPL dB level at 39.4 onches or one meter from the one speaker (only one speaker--not 2 or 7 of them) Say you get 85dB at one meter from the one speaker at X volume setting. Then move your phone or meter to where your ears are located in your listening space. Take that measurement (say it is 77.5 dB) and you now know your SPL drop due to distance is 7.5 dB. This means you need 112.5 dB max to get 105dB reference levels.

If you are really OCD, you can measure the voltage at your speaker terminals when running that test tone. Raise the volume to 2.83 V using a true RMS multi-meter and measure at one meter on one channel. That way you can get the actual SPL level in your room at around one watt. Different rooms will have different SPL levels depending on total size of the room, how reflective each surface is, distance the speakers are from walls/floors and corners and so on. If you enjoy hauling speakers outside (who does not?) You can also measure them sitting on a stand out in an open field to see what effect your room has over being out in the open without reflective surfaces around (except the ground) If you do that, might as well get the REW program so you can run frequency sweeps to see what your room is doing to your frequency response--it will make a mess out of it!

All depends on how deep down the rabbit hole you wish to go. Sound is energy and acts like light/ radiation etc. so folllows rules. Electricity also follows rules so having a decent understanding how it all works will make your system much easier to spec, much easier to set up properly and sound much better. I'm not saying I've always made the correct purchase for my needs (far from it!) but I did read a few books once I got into the hobby in my early 20's. It is only magic until you know the trick!

I think we scared the OP away--my jibber-jabber does tend to have that effect.

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post #9 of 21 Old 07-31-2019, 09:31 PM
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It seems like most of the informative replies are all based around SPL.

But doesn’t a better amp provide a better sound? Improved soundstage, dynamics, headroom, etc.?

It can’t always be about simple power and output, no...?
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-01-2019, 02:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 355F1 View Post
It seems like most of the informative replies are all based around SPL.

But doesn’t a better amp provide a better sound? Improved soundstage, dynamics, headroom, etc.?

It can’t always be about simple power and output, no...?
The sound you hear comes from the speakers, not the amp. Amp just boosts a signal...it doesn't provide things like imaging, clarity, detail, air, crispiness, or any other made up audiophile adjectives. The reason SPL is brought up is because a more powerful amp *will* make a difference *if* more power would be beneficial...either for dynamics, headroom, etc. However, if a 100w/channel AVR is only being called on to produce 30 watts, peak, an expensive audio jewelry amplifier won't make a difference, unless it is intentionally inaccurate as some audiophile amps are designed to be.
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post #11 of 21 Old 08-01-2019, 04:50 PM
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After my onkyo 818 died I switched to a Yamaha 2080. I was never satisfied with it, bass seemed thin in comparison by quite a bit and top end was a bit much. I recently went back to Onkyo and regained the bass management the Yamaha was lacking. Point being that you main gain something and doesnt necessarily have to be spl, everybody processes dsp a bit different so all avr's aren't going to sound the same just because the amp rating is the same.

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post #12 of 21 Old 08-01-2019, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Gorilla Killa View Post
After my onkyo 818 died I switched to a Yamaha 2080. I was never satisfied with it, bass seemed thin in comparison by quite a bit and top end was a bit much. I recently went back to Onkyo and regained the bass management the Yamaha was lacking. Point being that you main gain something and doesnt necessarily have to be spl, everybody processes dsp a bit different so all avr's aren't going to sound the same just because the amp rating is the same.
No argument here at all that different versions of room correction will undoubtedly change the sound. My current method is Audysey XT32 with room correction limited to low frequencies with the app. I think I am eq'ing up to about 600 Hz, probably a bit higher than recommended. Above that point though, I am prescribing to the train of thought that the speakers should be allowed to play as designed above that point.

Also, I *am* considering a powerful three channel amp for my LCR someday, but not for a sound quality improvement per se, but rather for an increase in headroom and dynamics. Although I suppose we could say that an increase in dynamics and headroom without distortion or clipping is indeed a sound quality improvement. But I don't expect anything different at low to moderate volume.
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post #13 of 21 Old 08-01-2019, 06:14 PM
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I am going for a different answer to the OP’ question and say yes that a higher power amplifier can and often will produce a better sound. The reason is that we listen to music or sound effects that are dynamic, not a sine wave at a constant rms voltage. Real music has spikes and transients that can easily be 10 times the voltage of the average level. If these transients are not reproduced accurately the music will sound flat or compressed. A more powerful amplifier will allow these transients to be reproduced more accurately than a weaker amplifier and make the music sound more like “live” music does.

Let’s do some math. If a transient has 10 times the voltage then the needed power to reproduce that voltage is 10 squared, i.e. 100 times or 20 dB more power. Many experts say that for accurate music reproduction you need 20 dB of what is called headroom for to handle the transients in music accurately. You can read about headroom here. https://www.psaudio.com/pauls-posts/...droom-matters/

There is a useful, amplifier power calculator on the crown audio website: https://www.crownaudio.com/en-US/too...power_required

Using that calculator with a distance of 12 ft from the speaker to the listener, an 85 dB (movie theater loud) listening level and 20 dB of headroom with 88 dB sensitivity speakers, and it calculates you will need 802 watts per channel! Drop it down to a more reasonable 75 dB listening level and you still need 80 watts per channel. Boost the volume a bit and even more power will be needed, but not all the time, just for the transients.

Of course, this analysis ignores that fact that more than one speaker, including the subwoofer, is contributing to the overall sound level, but it is illustrative of the need for more power to reproduce transients, especially as the listening levels go up.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear123 View Post
Also, I *am* considering a powerful three channel amp for my LCR someday, but not for a sound quality improvement per se, but rather for an increase in headroom and dynamics. Although I suppose we could say that an increase in dynamics and headroom without distortion or clipping is indeed a sound quality improvement. But I don't expect anything different at low to moderate volume.
This is what my current mental issue is in designing my home theater in my new home being built.

I am going to do an amp because I listen to quite a bit of loud multi-channel music and it sounds a tad grainy at higher 0db on my current Denon, which is 125x7.

I've narrowed my selection to:

Outlaw Audio 5000 (120x5)
Monolith 5x200
3 Outlaw Audio 2200 monoblocks for the LCR.

Price between those three doesn't affect my budget.

I have Energy RC70's, RC-LCR, and doing RC-10 Bookshelves for rears mounted on the wall.
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post #15 of 21 Old 08-01-2019, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 355F1 View Post
This is what my current mental issue is in designing my home theater in my new home being built.

I am going to do an amp because I listen to quite a bit of loud multi-channel music and it sounds a tad grainy at higher 0db on my current Denon, which is 125x7.

I've narrowed my selection to:

Outlaw Audio 5000 (120x5)
Monolith 5x200
3 Outlaw Audio 2200 monoblocks for the LCR.

Price between those three doesn't affect my budget.

I have Energy RC70's, RC-LCR, and doing RC-10 Bookshelves for rears mounted on the wall.
I'd subtract the 5000,and add the Emotiva XPA gen3 3 channel or 5 channel, which is 300wpc x2, 275 wpc x3, I don't remember what it is times 5, probably about 225. The monoblocks were actually my choice originally, but I was able to get my Emo less than any of the other options on sale a few years back.
Sounds like you have the same or similar Denon as mine, and with the XPA running the front 3, and the Denon the rest, I can play my multi channel music at paint peeling levels. It looks like your Energy measure about 3 db less than my Klipsch, so slightly more paint will stay on your walls than mine.
I don't think the 5000 will help that much with your multichannel music, a little, as your Denon is probably only able to output about 70 wpc into 5 channels.
If you are only open to the choices you listed, I'd get the Monoprice. Same power as the mono blocks, but to all five "important" speakers. I like my Emo, has never gotten hot or in anyway hiccuped, so I'd get a 5 channel version if that's budgetable. Up to 300 wpc, depending on program material.
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post #16 of 21 Old 08-01-2019, 11:40 PM
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Amp suggestion primarily for 7.1 movies

I'm also wondering: in my approx. 10x12 room (one side open) sitting 4-6' away from speakers (2 lsim 705s, 706) martin logan freemotion 2i sides & currently (temporarily) 2 bose cubes in the back with a Yamaha rx-a3080 (150w/2ch), should I get the Outlaw 5000 (120w/5ch) and have the center and surrounds driven by the avr (or will the center sound better connected to the 5000 in 1ch, given it's a clean dedicated 120-140w) OR should I go with the Outlaw 7000x (130w/7ch) and bi-amp F/L/C for uniformity (and assuming the center might require more power than 150-165w the avr provides or 120-140 the 5000 would)? Thanks for the incoming advice!
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post #17 of 21 Old 08-02-2019, 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted by 355F1 View Post
This is what my current mental issue is in designing my home theater in my new home being built.

I am going to do an amp because I listen to quite a bit of loud multi-channel music and it sounds a tad grainy at higher 0db on my current Denon, which is 125x7.

I've narrowed my selection to:

Outlaw Audio 5000 (120x5)
Monolith 5x200
3 Outlaw Audio 2200 monoblocks for the LCR.

Price between those three doesn't affect my budget.

I have Energy RC70's, RC-LCR, and doing RC-10 Bookshelves for rears mounted on the wall.
IMO, going from over 100w/ch to only 200 watts is not a big enough upgrade to justify the cost. It's less than 3 dB. If I upgrade, I will make it worthwhile and go with an amp from D-sonic and get 1)more power than I need, 2)enough power to cover any future upgrades I may end up doing.
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post #18 of 21 Old 08-02-2019, 03:22 PM
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Same here, the accueq in general on mine is a joke tbh. The higher I turned the gain up the higher the levels went, set the distance and turned it off.

I found that what seems like a lateral move may not be the case. I did a A/B with the Yamaha and Onkyo hooked up at the same time. It was enlightening the difference between the 2 in how they managed the bass frequencies. The Onkyo has quite a bit more oomph.

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post #19 of 21 Old 08-14-2019, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 18Hurts View Post
The short answer is no.

More power does not give you better sound quality--this would be much easier if it did!

OK, you are on the right track--it has to do how speakers work.
...

So you want 100dB at 13 feet in a large toom and the speakers produce 92dB at 2.83V/one watt. Assuming the distance doubles twice from one meter, you "lose" 9dB. Add the 9dB to the 100dB you require and your speakers need to produce 109dB at one meter to give you 100dB at 13 feet/4 meters of distance. This requires an amplifier of 17dB of "gain". That would be approximately 50 watts to acheive your goal. There are other factors at play but you get a rough idea.

So you need 50 watts of output at your seated position in your room. Say your amp pushes 100 watts, you are fine. If you threw say a PowerSoft K20 arena sound amp that pushes many thousands of watts into 8 ohms, it will still use only 50 watts.
Thanks @18Hurts for the awesome reply.

I knew I was going to need time to understand all of this finally got a some time to go through it. Like you said I suppose it's obvious that more power does not equal better sound because that would be easy!

This is going a long way in understanding exactly what the receiver is doing in regards to the output specifications. Do I have this right ?


Rating 92dB
This means the speaker will produce sound at the volume of 92 dB, measured by a microphone placed 1 meter away when it’s given the input power of 1 watt.


LOSS - 1 watt @ 4 meters
1 watt @ 1 meters = 92dB
1 watt @ 2 meters 92dB - 3dB = 89dB
1 watt @ 3 meters 89dB - 3dB = 86dB
1 watt @ 4 meters 86dB - 3dB = 83dB

I'm down 9dB to 83dB and want 92dB at 4 meters

(You have to double the input power to produce a 3 dB increase in sound output)
1w x 2 = +2 watts = 86dB
2w x 2 = +4 watts = 89dB
4w x 2 = +8 watts = 92dB
And so on ...
8w x 2 = +16 watts = 95dB
16 x 2 = +32 watts = 98dB


Thanks again!

j
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post #20 of 21 Old 08-14-2019, 11:42 AM
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Very roughly Dex,

The big question is how much loss in your room happens from one meter to whatever you listening distance actually is. You can find that out (for the most part) by using an SPL meter, measuring tape and some test tones or sweeps. In room sensitivity depends on your room--how absorbant or reflective it is, smaller rooms are more reflective than larger rooms, how close your speakers are to the walls or corners--lunar phase and if you are holding your mouth right. OK, the last two won't happen but you get the idea.

Say you want to test it--to know what happens just because--it is an audio OCD thing so this is how you do it (roughly, for the most part, generally speaking yada, yada, yada....aim away from face) Take your SPL meter or phone with SPL app and put it on a stand (tripod, 2x4 etc.) and measure out one meter or 39.4 inches and get your reading at say 1 KHz test tone. You don't need to blast the speakers but it needs to be loud enough to prevent the AC unit, fans or background noises from screwing up your readings. Say 80dB would be good. Once you get a good reading of say 80dB at one meter--then move your meter/phone back to where your ears are located and don't mess with the volume. If you get a reading of say 72dB, then subtract that from 80dB at one meter for your loss over distance or 8dB. You can also do sweeps from 400 Hz to 3,000 Hz or whatever you like just because you can.

EDIT Do not hold the sound level meter in your hand with your body behind it. The sound will reflect off your body and throw the reading off--generally a higher SPL than actual. This is why it is a good idea to use a tripod, stick, piece of wood or rod to hold it in position. Don't want reflections of the thing holding the meter to make a mess of things. Learned that one the hard way...

Now that you know the loss, then you can calculate back to one meter with simple math. Just add your loss to the maximum SPL you want--for fun say it is THX reference level of 105dB at your seated distance. Subtract the 8dB loss (or whatever you read) to the sensitivity/efficiency of the speaker--or 92dB in your case to make 84dB at one watt/one meter (or 2.83V one meter) Change watts to dB/W so you need 21dB of gain to get 105dB at your seated position which is around 128 watts peak. Generally speaking (if you hold your mouth right) Dolby recommends 3dB of headroom over your peak wattage demands so around 250 watts just to be "safe". If you want 100dB peaks with your speakers (each channel, not together) that would demand 5dB/W less so instead of 128 watts, you would need only 40 watts. Do the Dolby 3dB of headroom thing, that would be 80 watts just to be safe.

This is why it is so hard to throw a standard wattage out there--depends on the room, your seating distance and the efficiency of the speakers. Say you have 87dB speakers that can handle 200 watts (for instance) your dB loss is 8dB and you desire 105dB peaks for THX reference. This means you are starting at 79dB due to lower speaker efficiency and would require 26dB of gain--400 watts of power. Throw in the desireable amount of headroom to make that 800 watts and if you ever clip the amp from drinking a few too many, you might wake up the next day with blown speaker drivers. The speakers are rated at most of 200 watts--not a good idea to run 400 or 800 watts into them--at least not using highly compressed EDM and really putting the screws to them. For this reason, for that useage--I'd go with higher efficiency speakers as each 3dB gain in efficiency nets power demands cut in half.

Back in my mis-spent youth, I had two systems--the "A speakers" were small, very good sounding bookshelfs with subwoofer at 87dB efficiency but would start to distort at around 60 watts of input which is around 105dB at one meter. My "loss" due to distance was around 7dB so I could get around 98dB at my seated distance without sound quality dropping off too much. What I did was add my "B speakers" which were PA speakers at 100dB one watt/one meter and they handled 350 watts without issues. My gain of +13dB of efficiency AND +7dB of power handling gave me 20dB more output--including ringing of the ears and visits from law enforcement. I would listen to the low efficiency bookshelf/sub system for sound quality at lower levels and kick i the PA beast speakers when going into rock star mode--keep drinking until it sounds good!

After that educational experience, I did strive to get the smooth and clean response of the bookshelf/sub system with the efficiency of the PA system in one. I can do that but I lose the small bookshelf size immediately--to make the main speakers smaller, I threw away deep bass response and let the subs take care of that. My mains are 20"H X 12.5"W X 12.7"D (51 cm H X 31cm W X 32cm D) and weigh 36 pounds (16.3 KG) Not exactly small but manageable--and at 98dB one watt/one meter I have no problems with THX reference levels at 3 to 4 meters on 100 WPC AVR power. It would be fun to have something like JBL 4722N movie theater speakers at 104dB, I'd use 75% less power but the size/weight of the things would get my idiot butt thrown out of the house--but it would be fun to play with. Of course, getting enough subs to "keep up" with the 4722N would get huge, multiple subs and some dedicated electrical lines to feed monster amplifiers but a guy can dream!

If you ever find a speaker that can punch out 100dB at one watt/one meter while being less than 10 KG of weight and less than 30 liters in side--let me know! It could happen, maybe an 8 inch mid-woofer with graphene construction along with one of those horn loaded Beyma AMTs (102dB one watt/one meter) might make it to 80Hz on the low end while giving massive efficiency to match the AMT. Cost? Well... you really have to pay to play when dealing with neodymium motors and I'm sure once graphene hits the scene--just the parts will run easily 4 figures Euro/$ or pounds. Alas, that is just the parts, the crossover filters, box, grills, input terminals etc. are extra. No, graphene is not available in speakers yet--give it some years and it might become available--eventually.

I call it the built in approval from my spouse, she won't complain (much) if I can get the same efficiency with a speaker half the size--at least I have that going for me. Now I wait--and wait--hope I live long enough.

In summation, use the SPL measuring at 1 KHz or whatever to determine the actual loss in your room at your preferred seating distance. Write it on the bottom of one of your speakers if you have to...but it is a good number to know when doing rough calculations of what power or speaker efficiency requirements you need when/iff you do upgrades in the future. Always good to have a rough idea of what you need before you start burning up the bank account. My wife actually trusts my calculations now, at least I have her fooled. My LCR is done, now to build some new surrounds to replace the older, less efficient ones so I can go into rock star mode in Atmos--just because.

Glad my babble helped you out--sure beats having 5 sets of speakers laying around to figure out what works. Life is too short to be throwing speakers all over your room and shipping is a serious time sucker that can be better used doing something (almost anything) else. Have a great day and keep it between the curbs.

Last edited by 18Hurts; 08-14-2019 at 11:46 AM.
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post #21 of 21 Old 08-14-2019, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diex View Post
Thanks @18Hurts for the awesome reply.

I knew I was going to need time to understand all of this finally got a some time to go through it. Like you said I suppose it's obvious that more power does not equal better sound because that would be easy!

This is going a long way in understanding exactly what the receiver is doing in regards to the output specifications. Do I have this right ?


Rating 92dB
This means the speaker will produce sound at the volume of 92 dB, measured by a microphone placed 1 meter away when it’s given the input power of 1 watt.


LOSS - 1 watt @ 4 meters
1 watt @ 1 meters = 92dB
1 watt @ 2 meters 92dB - 3dB = 89dB
1 watt @ 3 meters 89dB - 3dB = 86dB
1 watt @ 4 meters 86dB - 3dB = 83dB

I'm down 9dB to 83dB and want 92dB at 4 meters

(You have to double the input power to produce a 3 dB increase in sound output)
1w x 2 = +2 watts = 86dB
2w x 2 = +4 watts = 89dB
4w x 2 = +8 watts = 92dB
And so on ...
8w x 2 = +16 watts = 95dB
16 x 2 = +32 watts = 98dB


Thanks again!

j
The receiver and loudspeakers would probably be able to do close to the calculated sound pressure levels in a typical domestic setting. The numbers should be considered peak, but not sustained, output capability. If there is a powered subwoofer in the system to handle the mid to low bass, the headroom is probably even greater because the bass is responsible for most of the power consumption in movies and music. The high pass filter used for the satellite loudspeakers, typically set in the 80-100 Hz range, increases the power handling ability of the loudspeakers, decreases distortion and lowers the receivers burden. All of this assumes that the loudspeaker sensitivity is actually the rated 92 dB/watt/meter, and that is often an optimistic number...
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