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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Two quite different questions here...



1. In terms of amplification are watts just there for more volume? I am interested in getting a T amp, but they only have 15 watts per channel. Will that just affect the volume, or quality as well?


2. Correct me if im wrong, but don't hurtz just resemble either deep to high sound? like 1hz-100hz? How do people set hz anyways?


thanks
 

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Quote:
Correct me if im wrong, but don't hurtz just resemble either deep to high sound? like 1hz-100hz? How do people set hz anyways?
Hertz, is the unit of measure for frequency.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xinith
Two quite different questions here...



1. In terms of amplification are watts just there for more volume? I am interested in getting a T amp, but they only have 15 watts per channel. Will that just affect the volume, or quality as well?


2. Correct me if im wrong, but don't hurtz just resemble either deep to high sound? like 1hz-100hz? How do people set hz anyways?


thanks
Wattage and sound quality can be mutually exclusive. A good quality 60 watt integrated amp can sound much better than a 100 watt low quality receiver. Hz is cycles per second.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Apparently people are saying the Tamp is quite good compared to much more powerful and expensive amps, so I know what you mean when you say that wattage isn't everything, because it obviously isn't in this situation.


So does wattage have an effect on sound quality or just volume?
 

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Think of watts much like horsepower for a car..


To go 100 MPH...

One can get there in a 50HP VW...

Or a 500HP Viper..


The differences are..

How long did it take?

and How much did each cost?


Adequate, clean watts (low distortion) are required for a good sounding system, but How much watts are required? This depends upon room size, loudspeaker brand/type, source material and average expected playback volume level...
 

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I'm using a Tamp to drive Klipsch bookshelf speakers for the computer. They are 4 ohm so they get the best power range out of the Tamp. Since Klipsch are very sensitive speakers, this amp can play them very loud. You have to see what the sensitivity of your speakers are. The are listed as the SPL at 1 watt of power, so if you provide 1 watt to the speaker it can create the sound pressure level (SPL) specified by the speakers ability. In general you only need a couple watts for general audio listening. Only if you have very high dynamic range do you need a lot more power, and when you do you will need a lot more than a couple watts.


However, this Tamp drives speakers pretty well at moderate levels.
 

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Hertz aren't anything that can be "set." Hertz is the frequency of sound (e.g. high, middle, low/soprano, alto, bass) in cycles per second. Sound is merely moving air, and how fast the air vibrates determines the pitch (frequency) of the sound.


Human hearing theoretically ranges from 20 Hertz per second to 20,000 hertz per second, although that's probably on a healthy 20-year-old. The ability to hear the high end drops off a lot as you age. Luckily, most speech is in the 500-6000 hertz range, and most musical material is below 12000 hertz. However, you will notice the loss if you listen critically to a good system.


Sound pressure, or volume, is measured in decibels, or db. 95 db is pretty loud, and 125 db is painful. Here's a chart: http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/loudness.html Remember, for each 3db increase, it takes twice as much power, and each 10 db increase is a doubling in apparant volume. That's why amplifiers are so powerful - it takes a lot to get loud. All other things being equal, a 100 watt amp will only be a little louder than a 50 watt amp. Read this: http://www.axiomaudio.com/archives/power.html


Dynamic range, as mentioned by keeinitcool, is the difference in volume between a soft and loud passage. You may be listening to something comfortably, but when that loud part comes, the amp needs a lot of power to reproduce it. If it can't supply the power, it clips, and your speakers can blow. 99% of the time it's the LACK of power (and the concomitant distortion) that blows speakers, not too much power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Damn good info. What I was refering too when I said setting the Hz was...I always here people saying yeah...I tuned my sub down 20hz, and my mains to 150 or something...its just an example. Do they set them with software?



much appreciated, thanks
 

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When you blow a speaker because your low-watt amp clipped, it hertz.


Watts will tell you how LOUD you can play your stuff. Sensitivity indicates how much of that power is converted into sound energy. Watts * sensitivity = SPL. You can find out how much SPL by visiting the Peak SPL Calculator . Assuming your speakers have an 89db sensitivity, 15 watts will get you to around 94db. Expect the sonic output of a lawn mower to be about 85-90db. Although you won't be listening to most program material at that volume (at least, I truly hope you do not), transient peaks can easily run up to and over that figure.


When an amp runs out of juice, that is to say you've turned up the volume high enough that it can't make any more watts to keep up, it clips. Clipping is when the nice, smooth waveform of the analog audio signal starts going squarish, causing your drivers to run themselves into oblivion trying to reproduce what is essentially a non-audio signal.


Thus, take into account the maximum sound level (SPL) you wish to achieve when choosing an amp. The 15 watter you want may sound blissful, but don't try to watch 'X-Men' with it, unless you keep it turned way down.


Quality versus wattage also intrudes into the realm of various amplication classes, a discourse on which is outside the scope of this post. I'd recommend this wikipedia article on amplifier classes .


As a brief aside, when people mention tuning their speakers, they really mean tuning the port on a ported speaker, to resonate at a given frequency, allowing the speaker system to play lower frequencies (typically the lowest octaves) with less power. You wouldn't usually tune a port unless you either built the speaker yourself, or bought a speaker that allowed you to plug up one or more ports to alter its tuning frequency.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xinith
Damn good info. What I was refering too when I said setting the Hz was...I always here people saying yeah...I tuned my sub down 20hz, and my mains to 150 or something...its just an example. Do they set them with software?



much appreciated, thanks
Sure you're not thinking of DB? Or possibly setting the crossover frequency?
 

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Originally Posted by scottlr
Human hearing theoretically ranges from 20 Hertz per second to 20,000 hertz per second, although that's probably on a healthy 20-year-old.
In the interest of accuracy, the term "Hertz" already means "per second", actually "cycles per second". In fact, as a unit you can represent it by 1/s. So there's no such thing as "Hertz per second" unless you are referring to a frequency change.


Xinith, when people "set" the frequency on their subs and crossovers, they are choosing the crossover point. This is the frequency where sound gets electronically redictected from the main speakers to the subwoofer. In practical terms, it's more of a "ramp" or slope rather than a sudden brick wall. If you set your crossover to 80 Hz, that means that the slope just starts at 80 Hz. A considerable amount of 75 Hz material is making it through. A lot of 70 Hz material is getting through. A little 65 Hz material is getting through, and even some 60 Hz material, depending how "steep" the slope is.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottlr
Hertz is the frequency of sound (e.g. high, middle, low/soprano, alto, bass) in cycles per second.
OK, it was redundant, but I got it right the first time.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottlr
OK, it was redundant, but I got it right the first time.
Sorry scottlr, I didn't mean any offence.:(
 

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None taken!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
alrighty, that'll about do it :)



So to sum it all up in layman terms, the ideal setup is with ample and quality watts, not too few quality watts, and not too much low quality watts.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xinith
So to sum it all up in layman terms, the ideal setup is with ample and quality watts, not too few quality watts, and not too much low quality watts.
More or less. A Watt is a Watt, but what's meant by quality Watts versus non-quality Watts is that one actually exists.:D


For example, a 7 X 100 W Sony recevier won't put out anywhere NEAR 700 W. A Bryston 9B SST will put out 5 X 140 W/ch with all channels powered, probably more than that, but admittedly at 25X the cost.;)


Almost always, receiver amps provide less power than separate amps regardless of what's specified on the receiver, and among receivers, some manufacturers are better than others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
that makes perfect sense :) are there standalone amps in the $200 range that can best a receiver in the same price range? I've look all over, and just seem to find some really high priced stuff...
 
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