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Any good amp to drive 2 four ohm speakers @ 600watts rms+ each?

 

Bronze Member
Username: Jodavis

Toronto, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 43
Registered: Apr-09
Hello. My speakers had been upgraded and repaired so now the specs of them changed drastically. In the end each speaker comes to 4ohms and the once was existing woofer, now technically called ("sub"-woofer) is 500watts rms alone, obviously not counting the other drivers. My shop stressed that I drive these with a 4ohm stable amp that can put out 500-600 rms per channel. Right now they are hooked up to a Yamaha receiver for easy listening at 6 ohms being careful. Would anyone have any ideas on a power amp that can drive these properly and at low frequencies?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17231
Registered: May-04
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Why did the shop stress 500-600 watts? At average listening levels you won't be using more than a few watts.


Haven't we already been through all of this, Julien? These are old D9's, right?


Why would you OK a repair if you knew you were going to have to buy a 600 watt amplifier afterwards?




"Right now they are hooked up to a Yamaha receiver for easy listening at 6 ohms being careful."


If the speakers are a 4 Ohm nominal load, then they are not hooked up to your receiver at 6 Ohms. The speaker system presents a complex load to the amp, not 4 Ohms or 6 Ohms but different loads at different frequencies. You don't get to select what load the amp sees, that's determiend by the speaker's impedance curve. Do you understand that? You may need an amp that can drive a four Ohm load but the speakers are different impedance loads at different frequencies and there's no way for you to select a single impedance for the amp.


So, why did the shop tell you to buy a 600 watt amp?



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Bronze Member
Username: Jodavis

Toronto, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 44
Registered: Apr-09
Yea, these are the old D-9 cabinets, finally got them done and I'm very happy with the way they installed everything. I had a listen and they sound much better than before. Looks like an entire different brand...and more modern looking which is not important to me. What do you mean why the shop stressed that much? I told them I was really into heavy bass and loud music in general. I then picked out a pair of decent subs from the catalog that were suitable in specs and satisfied my wants which after everything was finished between repairs/upgrade, each speaker could handle 600 watts rms if I WANT to drive them the way i want to safely. Not "a few watts". They suggested I should get an amp to match it's rms rating per channel. Not drive them with a potato. Makes sense right? Don't most people know you should match your speakers and amps? I just don't know of any good brands that sound good. As far as ohms go, I realize the impedance changes at different frequencies since my decently modern A/V yamaha tends to shut off when the bass hits at an easy listening level.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17232
Registered: May-04
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"Don't most people know you should match your speakers and amps?"


Well, by "match your speakers and amps" I assume you mean the power rating of the speaker should match the output of the amplifier. My guess would be that would be what some people think but more people with more experience understand that this is a ridiculous spec. As I explained in the other thread, speakers simply cannot be rated at "X" amount of wattage when the discussion is about power handling. Bass requires more power to achieve equal acoustic output than will mid or high frequencies. But a percussive midrange signal might require far more power than a non-percussive bass note. And a very percussive bass note with a spiking attack will in general require possibly ten to twenty times as much power as would a similar frequency with a less percussive attack. Yet a sustained low frequency signal will require constant power which will be far more damaging to the driver's voice coil due to the build up of heat over a very short time. Therefore, power in and of itself is not easily defined as damaging loudspeakers since it is either the very percussive signal which drives the voice coil beyond its limits (thereby knicking the edge of the coil as it returns to its center position or banging the rear of the voice coil into the speaker's motor assembly) that does damage with such a signal. Or it is the sustained power (which heats up the voice coil thereby distorting its shape which causes it to rub the motor assembly which will eventually fuse the voice coil in place) that does in a driver. Either situation is rather easily avoided by listening to what the driver is putting out and turning down the volume when distortions or driver related noises are first noticed.


You state, "I told them I was really into heavy bass and loud music in general." Is that how you damaged the original drivers? By overdriving the speaker with bass and a clipping amplifier? Because you replaced the midrange drivers too, right? So this sounds as if you simply wanted the speakers and amp to play louder and with more bass than they were capable of producing.


You never cleared up one aspect of this driver replacement which I would like to have an answer to just to satisfy my curiousity about what you have said.

"I really don't know what you've been told or what you're trying to say with '2x4 ohms single voice coil'. Normally, I would take '2x4 Ohms' to mean the driver has two voice coils with each being a 4 Ohm load. But you say these are 'single coil' drivers", not dual voice coils. So explain what you're trying to say. Did the shop use a dual voice coil driver and connect the two voice coils together in series to make an 8 Ohm load? If so, then you still have a dual voice coil driver but you have a nominal eight Ohm load for that driver. That doesn't sound to me like the shop actually replaced the original driver with a driver with similar specs."

Could you explain that please?



I don't know what you consider to be a "potato" when it comes to amplifiers. I'm guessing you think 500-600 watts is slightly above "potato-ish". Here's the problem we have; this forum is mostly about "home audio". Home audio isn't really about 500-600 watt amplifiers. In our case home audio is about the best sounding gear, not just the loudest stuff. And that is generally the trade you are going to have to make in audio gear, to get better sound quality you will either sacrifice total watts (as they tend to be a very ineffective way to achieve quality or volume), or you will pay quite high prices for those few high end components which can actually achieve 500 watts. By "high prices" I mean $5, 000, or maybe even $10,000 to $20,000 for a good amp with that sort of power. High end amps with that sort of power are more about driving difficult loads than they are about just playing loud. That means they are built to a different standard than a sound reinforcement amplifier which is mostly about loud and not much else. But the sound reinforcement amps don't tend to sound as "good" as the home gear. And the home amps aren't as reliable when you constantly push them to their limits as most sound reinforcement amps. So cheaper high watts that can play fairly loud for a longer time or more expensive good sound quality in an amp that doesn't produce the same amount of watts and is more fragile when abused. Those are just the rules of the game. You either buy a car for driving around town comfortably or you buy a truck to haul heavy loads. Or you pay lots of money to have something somewhere between both.



Power by itself is a very ineffective way to achieve high volume. As I explained in the previous thread, you have to have ten times the amount of power to play at a level most people would consider to be twice as loud when you are simply buying power. In home audio gear, that gets very expensive very fast. The better option is to buy a speaker system with higher output for each watt put into it. That is what the speaker "sensitivity" spec is telling you. For every three decibels of increased sensitivity in the speaker you will have accomplished the same result as buying an amplifier with twice as much power. One issue here is, if loud is your prime objective, the amp will eventually overdrive the speaker and you will need new speakers. So first buying speakers with a very high sensitivity spec is the better option. But your D9's are already a fairly high sensitivity speaker at something like 99dB for a single watt of power into the speaker. Compared to an average speaker's sensitivity spec, that would make a 50 watt amp sound more like your desired 500 watts. You are running out of room for more to happen. Drivers have a physical limit - not in some made up power handling spec but in terms of physical capacity. In other words, the laws of physics eventually have to rule. More volume begins to require larger and large cabinets and more bass at louder volumes will require very large cabinets with very large drivers. This would be the sort os speaker used in sound reinforcement systems but seldom in home systems due to their very large cabinet size and weight.

Your "500-600 watt woofers" are really bogus, Julien. That spec means nothing. You can buy volume levels either by buying high wattage (which is very ineffective and which will eventually overdive most home speakers) or by buying speakers which produce higher output for each watt put into them.


"I just don't know of any good brands that sound good", is also relative to what you consider to be "good sound". When someone came into my store asking the questions and stating the preferences you have, my advise to them was to give up on home gear. You essentially want your system to sound like the club where you hear bass heavy, loud music. Therefore, you really should be looking at the same gear those clubs use and they don't use home audio components. If you try using home audio to sound like club gear, you end up abusing home audio simply because home audio is not designed around the requirements you desire. You will burn up home gear on a regular schedule by asking it to do something it wasn't designed to accomplish.

Cerwin Vega sells amplifier which claim high wattage, why not buy one of their amps? Their 600 watt amp sells on the street for around $550. But here's the deal, that 600 watt amp won't play any real amount louder than a 300 watt amp and it won't really even play that much louder than a decent 150-200 watt amplifier. The laws of physics are not bendable in this respect, you will gain 3dB of additional headroom for peaks each time you double the wattage. The average volume will remain fairly constantbut the amp will just provide cleaner power on the very highest peaks. Going from 10 to 20 watts is 3dB and from 1,000 to 2,000 watts is still just 3dB. A high quality home amp that can actually produce 150 watts will run you about $700-1100. This excludes receivers as they can't produce that sort of real world power and you'll blow up a receiver trying to get the sound you claim to want. There simply isn't the heat sinking capacity or the quality of power supply in a receiver to deal with the heat build up and current demands high wattage requires.

You need a basic power amp. And, if you have a basic power amp, you'll also need a pre amp to plug your source players into. This is a fact whether you buy home gear or sound reinforcement gear. Sources plug into something (a pre amp) which controls which source you are using and also controls volume (along with bas and treble and balance in most cases). Most systems of the sort you are trying to have will require both a pre amp and a basic power amp. So expect to buy both pieces - a pre amp and a basic power amp - or you probably will have to further compromise your system. Further, when you begin to look at sound reinforcement gear, the common cables you have for your home system don't work in most cases. So expect to be buying some new cables to make everything work together.

Otherwise, you need to look at sound reinforcement pre amps and amps; Crown, Peavey, QSC, Behringer, Cerwin Vega, etc., and then you will have less than great sound quality but it will play slightly louder on peaks than would a good sounding 200 watt home audio amp.

Does that make sense to you?

If it does, most shops that sell sound reinforcement gear will probably have a trade in amp you might consider for a few less bucks. But if you insist on having a 600 watt amplifier, home audio is not where you should be looking unles you have very deep pockets



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17233
Registered: May-04
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Why not just buy a separate powered subwoofer? A powered sub can be had more cheaply than a full basic power amp. And you can adjust the amount of bass output more easily than you can with your speakers and a single amp. Also, placing your speakers or a subwoofer on the floor and in the corners will provide a good bump in the apparent amount of bass coming from the system.




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Bronze Member
Username: Jodavis

Toronto, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 45
Registered: Apr-09
Yes, it's starting to make some sense. I don't have the money for most home amps though. I've checked out Adcom and hell no for the price. By the way, I do have a preamp. It's my A/V receiver which has pre-outs for power amplification. So I looked around and I've found a couple good power amps I'm considering on getting and one of them is surprisingly categorized as a "home amp" in the Cerwin Vega department which appears to look similar to their line of PA amps. I'm assuming this amp is higher refined in sound since its specs are close to their "non-home audio" gear. I came across the CXA-8/CX-10's found here:
http://www.cerwinvega.com/home-audio/power-amplifier/cxa-8.html

What do you think?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17234
Registered: May-04
.

I can't say yes or no to any component for anyone other than myself. And right now I'm using a highly refined two watt amplifier in my main system. You and I are after completely different types of sound, Julien.

The CV stuff is what it is, alot like Peavey is what Peavey is. It's not great sounding gear if you're after the sort of sound I pefer. "Garage band" comes to mind when I think about either line because they are meant for the guy who thinks watts are the most important thing and high quality comes waaaay down the line of requirements. They are both companies who realize that my tastes are not what all people want and they build gear for those who have the requirement of loud and bass heavy.

Just consider that it takes a certain amount of cash to achieve any end result. Take a look at a line such as QSC who also build sound reinforcement amps that are quite a bit more expensive than the CV gear when you compare cost per watt. QSC, like Adcom, sells for particular reasons that are not related strictly to sound quality.

I once heard the guys on Car Talk explain to a caller why her low priced econo box kept giving her problems. It came down to the cost of parts used to make something cheap. I can't say the CV will break constantly - actually, it probably won't, which isn't all that good either - or that you won't be happy with the loud and bass heavy sound you want. Just that you basically get what you pay for in audio gear. Putting together an audio system is a series of decisions about which tool will best suit your task. If you choose a 16 ounce hammer when a #1 Phillips screwdriver would have been the preferred choice, you'll get the results the 16 ounce hammer brings with it.



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Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Columbia, South Carolina America

Post Number: 14605
Registered: Dec-03
try a pair of Adcom GFA-565 monoblock amps, or just buy a sub, like a sunfire true sub or a velodyne or SVS
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jodavis

Toronto, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 46
Registered: Apr-09
I do have subs. They are 3-way speakers with 1 15" sub each speaker that go down to about 20hz. Just with my equipment, my yamaha is driving them but not with too much grunt and bass the speakers are capable of getting. Right now my AVR is acting as a pre-amp but it's very "light" sounding so I definitely need the amp to drive them at 600rms per channel but before i go blow money on that i have to see weather it's my pre-amp that's affecting the sound or weather the amp will solve the bass response solution. I'm pretty sure that a real stereo pre-amp like a nad or adcom pre amplifier will make the difference.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1521
Registered: Jul-07
"And right now I'm using a highly refined two watt amplifier in my main system."

So....you finally got your Decware amp ?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Columbia, South Carolina America

Post Number: 14610
Registered: Dec-03
"I do have subs. They are 3-way speakers with 1 15" sub each speaker that go down to about 20hz"

at what sort of roll off? My mains have a pair of 8" woofers (not subs) in each cabinet, and have a flat response within about 2dB down to 20Hz as well, but they still don't come anywhere close to my 10" sunfire subwoofer. Main cabinets don't typically have subwoofers. They have woofers, which are typically crossed over with a low-pass filter at around 200-150Hz or so, and just don't do the bottom octave that well, which is why people use subs, which typically use a crossover point of 65Hz, and are designed solely to work in the bottom two octaves only. (20-80Hz)

Unless you can direct what portion of your 600 watts from the amp in question will go to the woofers in your cabinets, then more power is just going to mean more volume, and pretty much the same response curve from the speakers, for the most part, unless your current amplifier is clipping on you.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17235
Registered: May-04
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"So....you finally got your Decware amp ?"


Yes, it arrived safely and has been running for a few weeks now. Seems one tube - out of three - has some strange problem. It doesn't seem to affect the performance of the amp but needs to be addessed. I'll comment on the amp after that has been resolved.

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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17236
Registered: May-04
.

Julien explained his speakers in this thread; https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/706269.html#POST1993575



"Right now my AVR is acting as a pre-amp but it's very "light" sounding so I definitely need the amp to drive them at 600rms per channel but before i go blow money on that i have to see weather it's my pre-amp that's affecting the sound or weather the amp will solve the bass response solution. I'm pretty sure that a real stereo pre-amp like a nad or adcom pre amplifier will make the difference."


What makes you think a new pre amp will alter your sound, Julien? The concept of higher quality audio is to be as neutral to the signal as possible.



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