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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My speakers are rated for 5-100 watts. I'm looking at getting a new 5.1 receiver and am currently considering the Pioneer VSX-518-K which is rated for a 120 watts. I'm considering it because of past experience with Pioneer and the cost. I'm just wondering if there's a possibility that the receiver will damage the speakers, even at medium or high volumes.


I searched, but couldn't find a clear and simple answer, just a lot of techno babble, no offense. Thank you in advance for any help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the response. My current receiver is rated for 80 watts per channel, so I take it that's a good amount of power for speakers with a max rating of 100 watts?
 

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watt ratings can be a little deceptive (hell, a lot deceptive !). It really comes down to watts vs. total harmonic distortion (THD). Many quality manufacturers show a lower watts/per channel but with extremely low THD, like 0.08% Others will show the same watts/per channel - but at 1.0% THD....in other words the amplifier section is driven much harder to produce the rated wattage.


all that said (I know, you really did not want to know all this crap) your 100 watt max. speakers will co-exist very happily with a receiver rated for 120 watts output. If your ears don't bleed, the speakers will probably survive just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by m_vanmeter /forum/post/15424687


watt ratings can be a little deceptive (hell, a lot deceptive !). It really comes down to watts vs. total harmonic distortion (THD). Many quality manufacturers show a lower watts/per channel but with extremely low THD, like 0.08% Others will show the same watts/per channel - but at 1.0% THD....in other words the amplifier section is driven much harder to produce the rated wattage.


all that said (I know, you really did not want to know all this crap) your 100 watt max. speakers will co-exist very happily with a receiver rated for 120 watts output. If your ears don't bleed, the speakers will probably survive just fine.

Thanks for the valuable information.


The Pioneer I'm looking at lists the following: "1kHz w/O.O5% THD @ 8 ohm". So that means that the amplifier is driven quite hard it would seem to get the max wattage?


Also, if I could get a couple of opinions between a couple of receivers. I'm trying to decide on the Pioneer VSX-518K and the Yamaha RX-V363 . Which would be the better match for my speakers? I'm assuming that the Yamaha would be a better match given the specs, but it costs a $50+ more without any real benefits aside from the lower wattage rating that goes along better with my speakers. HDMI for video only is useless, IMO. Both are reputable brands, so which would you recommend?


Do you have another link, mms3? The one you posted doesn't work.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_vanmeter /forum/post/15424687


watt ratings can be a little deceptive (hell, a lot deceptive !). It really comes down to watts vs. total harmonic distortion (THD). Many quality manufacturers show a lower watts/per channel but with extremely low THD, like 0.08% Others will show the same watts/per channel - but at 1.0% THD....in other words the amplifier section is driven much harder to produce the rated wattage.


all that said (I know, you really did not want to know all this crap) your 100 watt max. speakers will co-exist very happily with a receiver rated for 120 watts output. If your ears don't bleed, the speakers will probably survive just fine.

What?
 

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"espo77"

your question is ????


I probably did not do a very good job of saying that an amplifier driven to 1% distortion at 50 watts is working much harder than an amplifier with enough reserve power to only produce 0.08% distortion at the same stated wattage. How else could cheap little HTiB's claim 100wpc, but in the small print show 10% total harmonic distortion


"quigonjosh"

0.05% distortion is quite good
 

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I think it could be clarified some by saying distortion will damage your speakers long before power. As stated already this distortion comes when you have to run your receiver/amp really hard to get the desired volume. Don't ever "downgrade" your receiver to intentionally make it have less power. Here's an example: suppose you have a speaker rated for 100W. Now hook it up to a receiver that can push a max of 100W. If you try to supply that speaker with 100W constantly, you'll destroy the speaker with distortion and the receiver/amp will wear itself out running at max capacity. Now take the same speaker and hook it up to a receiver/amp that can provide 200W constantly. You'll be able to run your receiver/amp at less than half power to get the desired listening levels. The result is that the receiver isn't working nearly as hard. This means the receiver will last a lot longer, because its job is now easy, and the speaker will also last a lot longer because it will be fed nice, clean power with little/no distortion. Obviously, you could overpower your speaker now, but it would be at insanely loud dB levels. The point is it's better to have more power than you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So it would be better to have a receiver with a higher watt rating than the the speakers? That makes a lot of sense. Thanks. Looks like the Pioneer for me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoB/335 /forum/post/15429962


I agree with everything stated so far. One also needs to be concerned with burning out the voice coils when too much wattage is applied to speakers. I think the OP is quite safe in this instance.

A good point. I didn't mean to suggest you would want to feed the entire 200W into a 100W speaker in my example above, but rather that by having sufficient headroom, all of your components would be under a lot less strain.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuiGonJosh /forum/post/15418049

  1. My speakers are rated for 5-100 watts.
  2. I'm just wondering if there's a possibility that the receiver will damage the speakers, even at medium or high volumes.
  3. I searched, but couldn't find a clear and simple answer, just a lot of techno babble.
1. It's not just the "power handling" ability of the speakers that figures into the equation. The other things that are important are how "efficiently" they USE that power (dB rating) and how hard they make it for the amp to supply that power (ohm rating). So all three should be taken into consideration.



The efficiency listed on the speaker pertains to how loud the speaker plays (dB = decible level) when driven with ONE watt of power is applied to the speaker. The measurement is normally done at one meter away. Since it's a fact that it takes double the power to raise the dB level by three dB's, here is a quick example of two speakers with different efficiencies:

Speaker A with an efficiency of 86 dB.

1 watt = 86 dB

2 watts = 89 dB

4 watts = 92 dB

8 watts = 95 dB

16 watts = 98 dB

32 watts = 101 dB

64 watts = 104 dB

128 watts = 107 dB

256 watts = 110 dB

Speaker B with an efficiency of 92 dB

1 watt = 92 dB

2 watts = 95 dB

4 watts = 98 dB

8 watts = 101 dB

16 watts = 104 dB

32 watts = 107 dB

64 watts = 110 dB

128 watts = 113 dB

256 watts = 116 dB

Both vastly different in their output levels with regard to the amount of power provided.

2. This is the part that gets a little more sticky. Receivers in general (low and mid-fi receivers specifically) go to huge lengths to make it appear that they are producing that all magical 100 wpc or more, which seems to be the rage today. What they don't tell you is what kind of performance the particular receiver has when driven into a more difficult 4 ohm load (verses a relatively easy 8 ohms load). That's one of the reasons they have protection circuits today. When they get too hot (a receiver gets really hot when it's working harder than it's designed to do), or are called upon to supply more power than they are able, they try to shut themselves off before frying your speakers or themselves.

Look at the published specs of any low or mid-fi receiver and you will see performance ratings at 8 ohm loads and they look spectacular. Look at the 6 ohm load specs and they typically look marginal. But you never see what happens to the distortion ratings when the receiver is driven into a 4 ohm load because they don't publish them.


The reason?.... Receivers have typically small transformers and power supplies as compared to stand alone amps. I'm not talking about the WPC rating.... but the power supplied to the individual amplifiers that supply the watts per channel. Remember, the higher the load on the amp.... the more POWER and CURRENT HANDLING ability it requires to produce it's 100 wpc. They simply have to work harder than a stand alone amp because they don't have the "reserve in the tank" so to speak to draw on.


At low listening levels for something like soft jazz or chamber music, this isn't a problem. But for HT, where folks may have the volume running a little louder than usual and the HUGE spikes of power required to handle the transient peaks (gun shots, explosions doors slamming, glass shattering etc) in HT which might hit 140 dB's or more (check the tables above and figure what would be required in power for the speaker to reproduce the sound cleanly) and a receiver presented with a 4 ohm load simply doesn't have the reserve power and current handling ability to produce that amount of power. So, you get distortion and clipping all over the place. Frankly, many of them don't have the reserve power even into easier higher ohm loads. So you end up getting small amounts of distortion and clipping all the time and may not even realize it if you don't have the volume cranked.


It's just part of the compromise when you use a receiver. They are manufactured to price points and are only so big. They simply can't from a cost or size stand point, stuff huge toroidal transformers and gargantuan power supplies inside a box that needs to do everything and only cost ~$750 - $1500 there just isn't the room, nor margins available to do so.

3. Well, this is the Audio Video SCIENCE Forum.



Seriously, some want to actually learn what's going on with their system and why it performs the way it does or doesn't. It's not all just about the rated numbers, but what they actually mean and how they all relate and interact together in the pursuit of HT nirvana and long well performing equipment life.


Good luck!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by quadriverfalls /forum/post/15430512

Speaker B with an efficiency of 92 dB
1 watt = 92 dB

2 watts = 95 dB

4 watts = 98 dB

8 watts = 111 dB

16 watts = 114 dB

32 watts = 117 dB

64 watts = 120 dB

128 watts = 123 dB

256 watts = 126 dB

It seems that you added an extra 10 dB when going from 4 to 8 watts. In any case, suffice to say that Speaker B uses 1/4 the power of Speaker A for any given level of loudness, which is a large difference.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Cook /forum/post/15431705


It seems that you added an extra 10 dB when going from 4 to 8 watts. In any case, suffice to say that Speaker B uses 1/4 the power of Speaker A for any given level of loudness, which is a large difference.

Oops.... my bad. I THOUGHT when I typed that.... that it looked a little off, but I didn't double check it. Sorry all.



Thanks for the heads up, I fixed the original post.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuiGonJosh /forum/post/15429754


So it would be better to have a receiver with a higher watt rating than the the speakers? That makes a lot of sense. Thanks. Looks like the Pioneer for me.

I think it would be best to just ignore the watt ratings. For all practical purposes with your speakers those two receivers (and anything else you look at in that price range) make the same power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by quadriverfalls /forum/post/15430512


[/list]1. It's not just the "power handling" ability of the speakers that figures into the equation. The other things that are important are how "efficiently" they USE that power (dB rating) and how hard they make it for the amp to supply that power (ohm rating). So all three should be taken into consideration.



The efficiency listed on the speaker pertains to how loud the speaker plays (dB = decible level) when driven with ONE watt of power is applied to the speaker. The measurement is normally done at one meter away. Since it's a fact that it takes double the power to raise the dB level by three dB's, here is a quick example of two speakers with different efficiencies:

Speaker A with an efficiency of 86 dB.

1 watt = 86 dB

2 watts = 89 dB

4 watts = 92 dB

8 watts = 95 dB

16 watts = 98 dB

32 watts = 101 dB

64 watts = 104 dB

128 watts = 107 dB

256 watts = 110 dB

Speaker B with an efficiency of 92 dB

1 watt = 92 dB

2 watts = 95 dB

4 watts = 98 dB

8 watts = 101 dB

16 watts = 104 dB

32 watts = 107 dB

64 watts = 110 dB

128 watts = 113 dB

256 watts = 116 dB

Both vastly different in their output levels with regard to the amount of power provided.

My speakers are all rated between 80 and 89 db's and 8 ohms, if that means anything.


Also, practically everything you just wrote went right over my head!


Quote:
3. Well, this is the Audio Video SCIENCE Forum.



Seriously, some want to actually learn what's going on with their system and why it performs the way it does or doesn't. It's not all just about the rated numbers, but what they actually mean and how they all relate and interact together in the pursuit of HT nirvana and long well performing equipment life.


Good luck!
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricM407 /forum/post/0


I think it would be best to just ignore the watt ratings. For all practical purposes with your speakers those two receivers (and anything else you look at in that price range) make the same power.

It would appear so.


I meant no offense. I'm pretty knowledgeable about home theater, especially with regards to televisions and DVD players, but speakers and audio I'm not as knowledgeable about, despite owning a 5.1 system for nearly 7 years. A lot of folks on this forum can tend to get a little long-winded and too "detailed" with their explanations is all.
 
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