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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have an Onkyo TX-R705 and would like to add an amp. The reason is that I am trying to drive a pair of Paradigm Studio 100s I've had for a while. The Onkyo is 100wpc and while it does drive the speakers it does have to work at it and as a result they sound slightly thin to me. Not bad mind you, as they are fabulous speakers and very efficient. It's just that I have to kind of click up the receiver more than normal to get to listening level (and I don't like it loud) and there are time when they just sound a little thin to me.

I figure something I can hook into my system while still using the Onkyo would do. I'm thinking something in the 150 to 200 WPC range would be the ticket.

My budget is $500 give or take $100.

I already looked at Anthems and I don't like them, but I have not looked at anything else yet. I'm kind of hoping you guys could narrow it down a bit so I can look at maybe 10 to 15 instead of 40 amps.

I was thinking maybe mono blocks, but I have no room for them, so it has to be a stereo amp.

I'm 85% music and 15% movies if that means anything.

Any other advice on amps is also welcome.

Thank you.
 

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I wonder if acoustics is playing any role in what you hear? The tonal balance could be affected by acoustics, and contributes to this feeling you are missing something, so you turn up the volume? Just a thought, I could be off base.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie /forum/post/20809338


Do you have a sub in your setup? If yes, do you have the 100's set to SMALL with 80hz crossovers which will give the 705 more headroom to power them?

Yes, I do have a sub, but it's almost never used for music. I prefer 2.0 for music. The 100s are set to "full" at present. I might try this suggestion if it doesn't require the constant use of the sub.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/20809451


I wonder if acoustics is playing any role in what you hear? The tonal balance could be affected by acoustics, and contributes to this feeling you are missing something, so you turn up the volume? Just a thought, I could be off base.

Ya know, you could have something there as well. I did audition these speakers for hours in a controlled environment knowing that my acoustics in my place were not the best. Turns out that they actually sound slightly better in my place than I anticipated. I should also note that I need to turn the volume up about 12 ti 14 clicks higher than with my old speakers to arrive at a clean listening level, but it ends up being just under 3/4 of the way from max (clipping). That said, some acoustical treatment might be the ticket which may releave me from having to get an amp. However, I do know these 100s like power to operate at their full potential and here I am feeding them a puny 100 watts. So an amp in that case could still offer some improvements. On the flip side, not having to spend $500 is a huge plus. That money cna be used towards other things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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Originally Posted by jdsmoothie /forum/post/20810412


You're not likely going over 5W or 10W let alone anywhere near 100W.

I don't think I understand. What are you saying? Are you saying that Onkyo lied to the highest order in their specs on the receiver and that it's really only a 10 watt unit? I'm confused because if that were the case I would not be hearing any sound out of the 100s I would think, as they require a minimum much higher than 10 watts.

I thought that at least in different modes that certain amounts of power were being sent to the speakers relative with what is needed. In other words, if I'm listening in 2.0 mode than most of the power is routed to the L/R mains for example. Or am I trying to read the Chinese version of the manual?

Or are you saying that since volume is not relative to wattage, that clipping would occur much sooner than reaching the 100 watt mark? I understand that volume is not relative to wattage, but more wattage equals more headroom which equals cleaner more efficient sound and a farther reach to clipping. Clipping doesn't worry me as I never play anything that loud, but cleaner, more efficient sound and headroom are kind of important...or so I thought.


Please explain. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Originally Posted by jdsmoothie /forum/post/20811170


Those speakers have a 92db efficiency rating so if seated 12' away will put out roughly the following:1W @ 82db; 2W @ 85db; 4W @ 88db; 8W @ 91db. Audio above 85db is loud for most people.

Uh ok, I still don't know what your saying. There seems to be a lot of missing info. This is like an algebra test, (not that there's anything wrong with algebra).
 

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Here's how power and SPL work, briefly.


Your speakers have a spec called sensitivity. If it's 90 dB, that means their SPL measured from 1 meter away is 90 dB with one watt of input. The spec can be a bit misleading, because they could measure in a chamber that absorbs sound (anchoic,) or in a normal room. Expect a 3 dB difference between those two ways of measuring. In room response gives the manufacturer a better number, so they often do it that way



When you are playing movies, music, games, etc, there's an average signal level and a peak signal level. For movies, average signal level is very low (consider all the quiet scenes in most movies.) For movies the peak level is dramatically higher than average. An oft quoted figure is 20 dB. For stuff like modern pop music, expect a much lower dynamic range (they compress the heck out of modern music so it sounds better, except it sounds like s**t* - google "loudness wars")


You are not sitting one meter from your speakers most likely, or not all of them. You will get signal loss from distance. Let's just call it 6 dB. To have an average level of 75 dB SPL (this is quite reasonable, IMO,) you need 81 (75 + 6) dB at the speaker. If your speakers are 90 dB sensitive, you need less than watt of power on average. But you need 100 times that power for peak levels (for movies, assuming a 20 dB dynamic range.)


Hopefully that was not too confusing.


Now if you followed all that, I will add that you need DOUBLE the power for each 3 dB change in SPL. And 3 dB is not much of a difference in loudness. You rapidly hit the law of diminishing returns. Which is why your typical receiver is good enough - if you had 1/2 the power of someone else with your same speakers, you would be able to play almost as loudly, and probably with less money spent.


* If the compression did not ruin the music, not the lack of talent involved in so much pop music, the overuse/abuse of autotune puts the nails in the coffin - I want to run screaming out of rooms where current pop music is being played...those people need to go listed to the quality stuff that was made in the 1970s (Damn I am getting old)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/20813523


Here's how power and SPL work, briefly.


Your speakers have a spec called sensitivity. If it's 90 dB, that means their SPL measured from 1 meter away is 90 dB with one watt of input. The spec can be a bit misleading, because they could measure in a chamber that absorbs sound (anchoic,) or in a normal room. Expect a 3 dB difference between those two ways of measuring. In room response gives the manufacturer a better number, so they often do it that way



When you are playing movies, music, games, etc, there's an average signal level and a peak signal level. For movies, average signal level is very low (consider all the quiet scenes in most movies.) For movies the peak level is dramatically higher than average. An oft quoted figure is 20 dB. For stuff like modern pop music, expect a much lower dynamic range (they compress the heck out of modern music so it sounds better, except it sounds like s**t - google "loudness wars")


You are not sitting one meter from your speakers most likely, or not all of them. You will get signal loss from distance. Let's just call it 6 dB. To have an average level of 75 dB SPL (this is quite reasonable, IMO,) you need 81 (75 + 6) dB at the speaker. If your speakers are 90 dB sensitive, you need less than watt of power on average. But you need 100 times that power for peak levels (for movies, assuming a 20 dB dynamic range.)


Hopefully that was not too confusing.


Now if you followed all that, I will add that you need DOUBLE the power for each 3 dB change in SPL. And 3 dB is not much of a difference in loudness. You rapidly hit the law of diminishing returns. Which is why your typical receiver is good enough - if you had 1/2 the power of someone else with your same speakers, you would be able to play almost as loudly, and probably with less money spent.

Ah, yes, got it now! Throwing the SPL measurements helped make it clear relative to the rated efficiency. It also alligns with the fact that I have only needed to turn the receiver up 12 to 14 notches to get to listening level that I am used to. So even with that I still have enough headroom seeing that I never go loud enough to bother me. I knew those speakers were efficient, but that's crazy efficiency!

It appears that room acoustics are the biggest factor.

This changes the game plan entirely. I can forget the amp (at least for a while) and turn my focus to acoustics, a center channel and a decent pair of cans.

Thanks again for helping me lessen the effect of the law of diminishing returns which I hate equally with Murphy's law.


I think I should maybe pick up an SPL meter one of these days, they seem to be handy.
 
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