Trying to forget specs and concentrate on concepts........


Bronze Member
Username: Thinker311

Post Number: 41
Registered: Feb-05
does the below statement make sense.

An amp produces a certain amount of power (even when that means going beyond what it can do) to produce a desired dB level. That "amount of power" and quality of output is determined by the speaker, atmosphere of surroundings, and the listner's preference.

Bronze Member
Username: Thinker311

Post Number: 43
Registered: Feb-05
Tao - "Many mass market HT receivers are rated at 100wpc with only 2 channels running. When all are running the produce substantially less wattage per channel (This is not true of higher end receivers that will give you 100wpc through all channels)."

Could the above be a good reason to pay attention to rms watts per channel when looking at recievers?

As to say, watts are not the sole arbiter in picking out a system. They are rather an indication of how two said recievers compare to each other. To get a better idea of what each of the two said recievers will do.

Silver Member
Username: Shantao

Post Number: 119
Registered: Apr-04

specs give you a basis of comparison, hopefully that you are comparing apples to apples, as it were.

They can help shape your choice, but in the end it has to be the listening that is the deciding factor.

Now the disclaimer.... companies, particularly mass market companies, use rating schemes that will tend to flatter their products. There is no way that a low/mid receiver from sony, panasonic, etc. is going to give you 100 watts/channel with all channels driven. It will distort far before that point is ever reached.

On the other hand, companies like HK, Denon, Marantz, NAD, and other high end brands generally will deliver on their promised ratings (or be damn close to them).

The point of all this, if there is one to be made, is this... will the receiver deliver enough power - without distortion - to sound loud enough for my use, and does it do so without sounding harsh, shrill, or bass anemic. That is something only going and listening can do for you.

Bronze Member
Username: Thinker311

Post Number: 44
Registered: Feb-05
I KNOW that i am doing way to much asking on this forum..believe me, the last thing i want to do is act selfish. And i already made a decision to do my own research on the internet at various other sources. But i just came across something that i need an understanding of. I am really going to try not to make a habbit of relying on this place as my only source of information.

About the SPL calculator.....

the field in which you type in your desired listening length in feet directly relates to the field under the results that states the dB loss due to dispersion.

Now, depending on the size of the number you enter, you either get a positive, or a negative number in return.

Any number below 3 gives you a positive. Any number above 3 gives u a negative.

First, is that in direct relation to how the sensetivity of speakers are listed. aka...1 watt, at one meter, giving you x amount of dB. And that because there are "about" 3 feet in one meter....that explains why the highest number you can go to in the calculator is 3. Of course this is not exact due to the calculator coming to 0.8 when 3 is entered. Im sure that the highest number that u could enter would be a in decimal form.

And second, do the negative numbers mean a loss in dB....and the positives mean either a gain, or "break even" sort of thing ?


Bronze Member
Username: Thinker311

Post Number: 45
Registered: Feb-05
i think i have the above bacwards

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 86
Registered: Jan-05
The amount of power a receiver needs to generate a certain dB level is dependant upon the speakers and room acoustics. Simply put, speakers are more efficient with input power than others. As far as rooms go, if your walls are prone to reflecting sound, you will get a higher dB level than if they are prone to absorbing the sound. Finally, the further away you are from your speaker, the less acoustic energy you will receive due to the dispersion of the sound.

People occasionally bend the truth sell product. As Tao said, there is no substitute to going and listening to the product in question. If you like it better than comparable products and the price is right, then you have found a winner. You can of course just focus on the specs, but you may end up with something that is less desirable than its specs would indicate.

Hope this helps.

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 371
Registered: Sep-04

Your statement is not quite correct. It should read more like this:

An amplifier produces an amount of power. This power depends on the load presented to the amp by the speakers. This load varies with the frequency of the amplified signal. The amount of sound produced (expressed in db) is dependant on both the distance to the speaker and the power put into it.

...and even that's not really complete...


New member
Username: Littlericky

Springfield, VA USA

Post Number: 10
Registered: Dec-04
AFAIC, the reason for looking at the specs for an amplifier is to decide whether it's a reasonable match for your speakers. The characteristics of your speakers will determine how well they fill the room with sound and will be the major factor in the quality of sound in terms of things like balance, coloration, and detail. I suspect that both the speakers and the amplifier are critical in terms of getting good transient response in the sound. But you can read specs all day and learn nothing about transient response in any component.

What's ridiculous is the propensity for manufacturers to advertise peak, rather than continuous, wattage. This is testimony to consumers' foolishness and preoccupation with quantity over quality. Even continuous wattage ratings are only vaguely meaningful because they say nothing about the dynamic range and transient characteristics of an amplified signal. The fact that a signal has some level of strength under certain conditions doesn't say anything about how widely or how quickly that signal will vary as the source signal changes.

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

"But you can read specs all day and learn nothing about transient response in any component."

LR - Your only statement with any amount of truth in it. No offense meant.


Bronze Member
Username: Littlericky

Springfield, VA USA

Post Number: 12
Registered: Dec-04
Gee, why should I be offended?

Unregistered guest
May I suggest we stop reading specs and start listening more? Can't think of any spec that, in reality is more than nice to know information, with VERY few exceptions. And for the most part, you'd have to be pretty savy audio-wise to know which ones they are and what they mean. Listen with your ears, not your eyes guys.
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