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That's nothing but a cop out and that mentality is exactly what's wrong with the consumer AV industry and community. Some people have spent thousands or tens of thousands on their setup and when faced with data that says that their money was essentially wasted, they get emotional. there's been plenty of bling testing around amplification. The end result is that whenever you take bias away and you compare different amps that are level matched and frequency matched there's no audible difference.
I said this topic will lead to bickering and arguments, and I couldn't have begged you to illustrate my point any better. Belittling, nonsensical and strident all at the same time.

Aside from that, perhaps you could put up some facts on how what I said is some kind of cop out. I recommended he buy pro audio amps.
 

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Thanks Mike & Lovin'...


But which amp would best be suited for speakers (Polk RTi12s in this case as mains) that can handle 500 watts RMS each?
A search at Polk's site yields nothing for that model; ads for the speaker indicates the 500 watts figure is a peak figure, not rms, and usually those types of specs are somewhat meaningless anyways. For a more meaningful spec use the sensitivity rating, I found 90dB in an ad. Use an spl calculator to see how your power would translate into your spl needs. http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html Since you don't listen very loudly I don't know what you expect to get from a more powerful amp? Unused watts are unused watts....
 

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I stumbled upon this thread over at Blu-ray.com:


http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=210902


and it now has me second-guessing going with something like an Emotiva with regard to adding external amplification...


It seems the "renowned" mod there, one "Big Daddy" -- don't get me started on this one -- is of the staunch belief that once one hears a pro amp perform it's easy to understand why consumer-grade amps (Emotiva, et al) are "so overpriced"...does anyone agree with this? Are pro amps from the likes of Crown, QSC, etc. the way to go for external home theater amplification? And would these make tremendous audible differences over using an AVR in a typical 5.1 setup?
I'm using a Yamaha RX V1600 to run my JBL N-Center, Energy .5 pro back surrounds and using it as a pre-amp. A Realistic..yes I said it. An SPA-100 to run my JBL N-310ii fronts and an Adcom 2535 to bi-wire my Polk RT 800 surrounds. The Yamaha was carrying the load and got a little too warm for my liking. So I picked up the Adcom and I prefer the sound and reduction of work for the Yammie. The SPA-100 was a find for $35 and I don't turn it up past 3. The amps run slightly warm but that's to be expected. The Yamaha has the fan set to continuous. I never hear it and the others are silent. The combination for me at least is acceptable for my applications. Preference? Neither. The Yammie has the decoding, soundfields etc. and the amps carry the load.
 

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Alright so let's put aside the "achieving desired SPL" factor for a moment -- I understand the pro amps boast the fan noise, as I have read up extensively on this, but what about sheer performance...would there be a reason to choose a pro amp over a consumer amp? Would a Crown, for example, put out more raw power as compared to an Emotiva?
never ever ever has the fan been an issue with mine. i can't even tax the amp enough to turn it on.
at my loudest desired spl levels i'm at -5 below clipping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
A search at Polk's site yields nothing for that model; ads for the speaker indicates the 500 watts figure is a peak figure, not rms, and usually those types of specs are somewhat meaningless anyways. For a more meaningful spec use the sensitivity rating, I found 90dB in an ad. Use an spl calculator to see how your power would translate into your spl needs. http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html Since you don't listen very loudly I don't know what you expect to get from a more powerful amp? Unused watts are unused watts....

I believe the 500 watt spec is for RMS (continuous), but I see and understand your point regarding "needing" a more powerful amp -- I will definitely take that into consideration; I just wanted to "see" what these Polks "could do" with some heavy wattage behind 'em...;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 · (Edited)
I'm using a Yamaha RX V1600 to run my JBL N-Center, Energy .5 pro back surrounds and using it as a pre-amp. A Realistic..yes I said it. An SPA-100 to run my JBL N-310ii fronts and an Adcom 2535 to bi-wire my Polk RT 800 surrounds. The Yamaha was carrying the load and got a little too warm for my liking. So I picked up the Adcom and I prefer the sound and reduction of work for the Yammie. The SPA-100 was a find for $35 and I don't turn it up past 3. The amps run slightly warm but that's to be expected. The Yamaha has the fan set to continuous. I never hear it and the others are silent. The combination for me at least is acceptable for my applications. Preference? Neither. The Yammie has the decoding, soundfields etc. and the amps carry the load.

Thanks, Jay, for sharing that info and for the pics -- it's appreciated!


If you had to say, would you say your Yamaha AVR could have carried the load for all the speakers in the system...or could have continued doing so, realistically (no pun intended with regard to your Realistic amp -- I remember those I think, when I used to DJ and bought some Realistic stuff from RadioShack back in the day!) without really "needing" any external amps?


What I'm trying to ascertain is if my one AVR is just fine enough to drive this whole system -- two Polk RTi12s up front, a Polk CSi30 center, two SpeakerCraft in-ceiling surrounds and a powered Polk PSW350 -- on its own without any help from added amps, being that the system NEVER shuts down or gets high enough in volume that even approaches the receiver's maximum output...


Keep in mind, as well: I have the receiver crossed over at 60Hz for the RTi12s and 80Hz for the rest, so the amps inside the AVR aren't working hard because they're not driving any of these full-range...the sub is taking care of low bass duties...in this way, we have not experienced ANY audible distortion, breakup, clipping or ANYTHING...
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
never ever ever has the fan been an issue with mine. i can't even tax the amp enough to turn it on.
at my loudest desired spl levels i'm at -5 below clipping.

Thanks, airgas!


And love the pic of your pup in your avatar!


Do you have any pics of your system?
 

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I believe the 500 watt spec is for RMS (continuous), but I see and understand your point regarding "needing" a more powerful amp -- I will definitely take that into consideration; I just wanted to "see" what these Polks "could do" with some heavy wattage behind 'em...;)
Dunno, this time I also googled for the manual and it just gives an amp power range with no information. It seems to be a peak figure. If the speaker has a 90dB sensitivity (assuming a 1w/1m spec, but there is no spec mentyioned) that would mean on that basis:
90 dB at 1 watt
93 dB at 2 watts
96 dB at 4 watts
99 dB at 8 watts
102 dB at 16 watts
105 dB at 32 watts (this is peak reference movie level)
108 dB at 64 watts
111 dB at 128 watts
114 dB at 256 watts
117 dB at 512 watts

That's awfully damn loud....good luck with your ears. I think the 500 is a peak level, though, doubt these speakers can perform at 500w continuous without breaking down.

One way to find out....:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Dunno, this time I also googled for the manual and it just gives an amp power range with no information. It seems to be a peak figure. If the speaker has a 90dB sensitivity (assuming a 1w/1m spec, but there is no spec mentyioned) that would mean on that basis:
90 dB at 1 watt
93 dB at 2 watts
96 dB at 4 watts
99 dB at 8 watts
102 dB at 16 watts
105 dB at 32 watts (this is peak reference movie level)
108 dB at 64 watts
111 dB at 128 watts
114 dB at 256 watts
117 dB at 512 watts

That's awfully damn loud....good luck with your ears. I think the 500 is a peak level, though, doubt these speakers can perform at 500w continuous without breaking down.

One way to find out....:)

LOL...yeah, there's no way we'd even approach that kind of output in our living room but I was just curious as to what these bad boys could put out based on all the stuff I read online regarding their ability to "really, really open up" and "sing" when fed gobs of raw power from an external power amp...


Still, back to reality, we don't even crank the system up that much now, so...
 

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LOL...yeah, there's no way we'd even approach that kind of output in our living room but I was just curious as to what these bad boys could put out based on all the stuff I read online regarding their ability to "really, really open up" and "sing" when fed gobs of raw power from an external power amp...


Still, back to reality, we don't even crank the system up that much now, so...
Those comments are made by people who have no idea of what they are talking about, they're just excited about their gear. Kinda like listening to guys talking about sex....lotta BS.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Those comments are made by people who have no idea of what they are talking about, they're just excited about their gear. Kinda like listening to guys talking about sex....lotta BS.....

Point taken, lovin', and thank you...;)
 

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Thanks, Jay, for sharing that info and for the pics -- it's appreciated!


If you had to say, would you say your Yamaha AVR could have carried the load for all the speakers in the system...or could have continued doing so, realistically (no pun intended with regard to your Realistic amp -- I remember those I think, when I used to DJ and bought some Realistic stuff from RadioShack back in the day!) without really "needing" any external amps?


What I'm trying to ascertain is if my one AVR is just fine enough to drive this whole system -- two Polk RTi12s up front, a Polk CSi30 center, two SpeakerCraft in-ceiling surrounds and a powered Polk PSW350 -- on its own without any help from added amps, being that the system NEVER shuts down or gets high enough in volume that even approaches the receiver's maximum output...


Keep in mind, as well: I have the receiver crossed over at 60Hz for the RTi12s and 80Hz for the rest, so the amps inside the AVR aren't working hard because they're not driving any of these full-range...the sub is taking care of low bass duties...in this way, we have not experienced ANY audible distortion, breakup, clipping or ANYTHING...
Yes I'm saying that I believe the Yamaha could carry the entire system. As a matter of fact, it was. But I like the ability to have sustainable " in your face" volume at my disposal which is more often than not. BUT if I wasn't so much this type, it would be more than enough. But the way I have it, the system sounds great and nothing is being overworked including the speakers. The Adcom is only 4x60 but it's good power if not modest power and the Polks prefer bi-wiring imho. Just my two cents.
 

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Dunno, this time I also googled for the manual and it just gives an amp power range with no information. It seems to be a peak figure. If the speaker has a 90dB sensitivity (assuming a 1w/1m spec, but there is no spec mentyioned) that would mean on that basis:
90 dB at 1 watt
93 dB at 2 watts
96 dB at 4 watts
99 dB at 8 watts
102 dB at 16 watts
105 dB at 32 watts (this is peak reference movie level)
108 dB at 64 watts
111 dB at 128 watts
114 dB at 256 watts
117 dB at 512 watts

That's awfully damn loud....good luck with your ears. I think the 500 is a peak level, though, doubt these speakers can perform at 500w continuous without breaking down.

One way to find out....:)
sensitivity specs are usually 1M/1W at 1kHz.

With music/movies from 80-20kHz at 4M I'm sure that 90dB spec doesn't hold up well.
So you could easily take those power requirements and multiply by 4. (6db lower at listening level dependant on freq)

So that 105dB level at the listening position across the audio band (I don't like listening at 1KHz sine waves) may require more like 128W on average.
 

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I've owned the following brands of consumer audiophile amps: Parasound, Carver, Adcom.

At one point I owned two Parasound HCA 1000A's. On a whim I purchased a Crown XLS 402D for $179 on closeout. That Crown was actually cleaner than my 1000A's.

So much so that for three years I offered any one that wanted free Parasound Amp's PLUS $500 to come on over and in 10 coin flips, single blind and stone cold, pick out the Audiophile Parasound out vs the Crown.

One thing I will say is that I actually made $$ on selling my Parasounds. The fact remains the Crown was ink black in it's noise floor vs the Parasound.

My setup will drive either RCA or XLR level inputs which is the thing to be concerned with when using XLR inputs on RCA outputs.
 

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Interestingly enough, the Dolby Atmos thread has been talking about amps recently. This is because only Onkyo sells an AVR that has 11 amps in it (and does Atmos), so all others will need an external amp to get the 7.1.4 Atmos setup. Here is one of the better posts:


Here's a review of the Behringer amp that Scott [Simonian - added for clarity] mentioned, together with exhaustive objective tests (if only all amps were put through these paces):

http://www.theaudiocritic.com/plog/index.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=22

Reviewer's conclusion: "The Behringer A500 is an amazing phenomenon at the price. There is nothing else like it. "

I’d say this was a fantastic bargain for anyone looking for an affordable amp to power Atmos speakers.
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-re...ad-home-theater-version-534.html#post29961874
 

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A search at Polk's site yields nothing for that model; ads for the speaker indicates the 500 watts figure is a peak figure, not rms, and usually those types of specs are somewhat meaningless anyways. For a more meaningful spec use the sensitivity rating, I found 90dB in an ad. Use an spl calculator to see how your power would translate into your spl needs. http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html Since you don't listen very loudly I don't know what you expect to get from a more powerful amp? Unused watts are unused watts....
Only problem with the calculators, they do not account for power compression, which can be 3 to 9db, which is a lot. Also if the room is treated, you will usually get more drop off for distance than what the calculators give. Manufactures specs for sensitivity can often times be pretty far off from actual spec, so take with grain of salt. If you want to have a room that can do clean reference levels, it takes more than what the calculator tells you, much more.
 

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Power compression is speaker-dependent. And I am not sure adding a bunch of power beyond compression will help much?
Using the calculator referenced above, select "away from walls" to ignore the room. This is what I use in my heavily treated room as well.
Sensitivity specs are usually provided as a number; wish they would provide a curve!
Depending upon the system and room the SPL calculator may be low or high in its estimates.

One additional caveat is that the 105 dB reference level is per speaker, not for the whole system. Again referencing the SPL calculator linked above, set to one speaker and away from walls to see what you might need to reach reference. I normally listen at well under reference level, need my ears for making the music as well as listening to it.

I strongly suspect the majority of speakers most of us have would be very unhappy trying to reproduce reference levels. Pushing 300 W or more into a speaker that limits (compresses) at 100 W isn't really going to help much...
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Yes I'm saying that I believe the Yamaha could carry the entire system. As a matter of fact, it was. But I like the ability to have sustainable " in your face" volume at my disposal which is more often than not. BUT if I wasn't so much this type, it would be more than enough. But the way I have it, the system sounds great and nothing is being overworked including the speakers. The Adcom is only 4x60 but it's good power if not modest power and the Polks prefer bi-wiring imho. Just my two cents.

Thanks.
 

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Power compression is speaker-dependent. And I am not sure adding a bunch of power beyond compression will help much?
Using the calculator referenced above, select "away from walls" to ignore the room. This is what I use in my heavily treated room as well.
Sensitivity specs are usually provided as a number; wish they would provide a curve!
Depending upon the system and room the SPL calculator may be low or high in its estimates.

One additional caveat is that the 105 dB reference level is per speaker, not for the whole system. Again referencing the SPL calculator linked above, set to one speaker and away from walls to see what you might need to reach reference. I normally listen at well under reference level, need my ears for making the music as well as listening to it.

I strongly suspect the majority of speakers most of us have would be very unhappy trying to reproduce reference levels. Pushing 300 W or more into a speaker that limits (compresses) at 100 W isn't really going to help much...

Correct, it is speaker dependent and that is why they can't account for it in the calculator, but it is there. I also agree that reproducing reference levels takes a lot.
 

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Got it, agreed. I would also assume distortion is heading through the roof as the power compression region is entered. Your speaker may say it handles 1000 W peak but if that is 10 dB into compression it's probably pretty ugly coming out... For movies if it is an explosion it probably doesn't matter. If it's on a drum or musical (organ, bass guitar) tone and you just added a whole bunch of THD/IMD, it might.
 
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