Price vs power


Bronze Member
Username: Divin11112000


Post Number: 23
Registered: Dec-04
I have been considering 2 different amps to push my Klipsch Rf-35's. One is a Rotel 1075 which is 120 watts. The other is a sunfire cinema grand at 200watts. They are both 5 channel and I typically do 60/40 ht/music. The price difference is about $1000. If i decided on Rotel would I really be missing out, the speakers are only rated for 125 continous watts. I realize that I wouldn't be using all 200watts. I just dont know how to compare the two. Any input from someone who's used either would be helpful. Thanks

Silver Member
Username: Cheapskate

Post Number: 108
Registered: Mar-04
i don't know about RF-35s, but many klipsch speakers are super efficient. many people buy them to listen to with 5 watt per channel triode amps!

i've never really considered klipsch "high end". i'd say take the cheaper route unless your speakers sound bright in the treble. rotel amplifiers are known for having a slightly bright treble.

besides, amp quality matter more than it's output, or as one stereophile writer is fond of saying...
"it's the first watt that counts"

besides... do you really want to listen to music so loud that you destroy your hearing? that kind of defeats the whole purpose of listening to "high end" stereo.

Bronze Member
Username: Divin11112000


Post Number: 24
Registered: Dec-04
The 35's are efficient, I'm just worried about clipping with an underpowered reciever. I was considering those 2 amps, but don't know much about them. However from what I'm reading from what your saying is that since Klipsch are "top end" you wouldn't spend top end money on an amp.

Silver Member
Username: Cheapskate

Post Number: 114
Registered: Mar-04
i consider klipsch to be low end. they're more brute force power speakers. some of it depends on tastes. i don't like ported woofers or horn tweeter sound at all. there are others who love horn sound though. it's your ears that matter most.

unless you want to rattle your neighbor's walls, i'd think that 125 watts from any "high end" amp should be sufficient to drive klipshes to decent levels unless you plan on throwing alot of parties.

the smaller amp would be closer to your amps power rating and you WILL hear distortion when you force an mp into clipping. when you start to hear distortion... turn it down.

i'd bet that most of the people that blow their amps or speakers do it by ignoring distortion and just listen as loud as they can. i've seen so many people push their "big speakers" into terrible distortion levels for that extra degree of gut massage.

i get more than enough volume out of tiny inefficient superzeros driven by only 55 watts of japanese reciever and i still have levels 45-68 to go louder on my volume.

just use common sense. if it sounds distorted... it's too loud.

you should be able to easily get hearing destroying volume out of klipshes driven by 120 watts. the rotel might even put more than that out with peak power depending on it's headroom specs. 3dB headroom = a doubling of power.

have you listened to your speakers yet? if they have too much treble, then rotel isn't the best choice.

every time you double power, you gain 3 dB in volume. lets say that your klipsches are ONLY rated at an average 92dB per watt.

then see how many times 1 can be doubled in 120 watts... 1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128 comes to roughly 8 times. 3 X 8 = 24. 92dB + 24 dB = 106 dB. that's pretty darned loud and is more than enough to destroy your hearing if you listen at that level alot.

i'd actually recommend a much cheaper reciever for your speakers and spend the money you save on higher fidelity speakers.

klipshes are more "party speakers" than "high end". they're for listening loud. most "casual listeners" are happy enough with loud sound.

the best thing to do, would be to listen to a bunch of different speaker types to see what kind of sound you like first. i used to be a "tiny acoustic suspension soft dome tweeter" fanatic, but listening to the total freedom from typical speaker distortions in magnepans has totally changed my priorities from "pinpoint imaging" to "total speed and clarity".

find what YOUR priorities are, and then go with them. i personally think a high end amp is a waste on klipsch speakers, but i'm biased against them to begin with. they're brute force with less finesse but that might be exactly what you want. if B&W and magnepan make porsches, then klipsch makes 1970s hot rod muscle cars.

if you don't agree with me, totally ignore my reply. they're you ears, not mine.

personally, i lust over $600 magnepan MMGs and a used $200 or so amp that can handle their 4 ohm loads. those are my prorities based on listening to what pleases me.

Bronze Member
Username: Divin11112000


Post Number: 25
Registered: Dec-04
Thanks for your input.
I do like the horn sound, and I'm definately not an "audiophile" I'm more of a casual listener. Therefore i'm not conserned about having speakers at the highest end, but I definately knew i didn't want bo$e. I like the way you compared B&W to Klipsch, I have a friend who has the 802's and they are definately a smoother sound. I like the in your face of Klipsch in compairson.

I have not noticed any distortion from the speakers. Although I do not know if i would be able to tell that its distorted, since i do not know if i've ever heard a speaker being distorted.

I typically don't listen to the volumes that loud, but on the occasions that I do, I don't want to damage the speaker.

My reciever is a pioneer vsx-d811s a bestbuy reciever so i'm not sure it actually does 100 x 7 all channels driven.

I don't think the speakers have too much treble, but i've heard that Klipsch are "bright" speakers, i don't think i want to make them any brighter than they already are. Will Rotel "color" them slightly brighter? If I do decide to go to get an amp is there another brand I should consider as opposed to sunfire or rotel?

Thanks for the input on figuring out the watts/dB. Using an spl meter i have everything set up so when i'm at -30 on the volume i am listening at either 80 or 90 db (cant remember what I set it for). I typically listen to movies at -40 and music at -45 or 50.
So from what it sounds like from the dB & watt calculation, I'm not even comming close to actually pushing the speakers, because i'm basically only using about 2 watts from the reciever per speaker. Assuming that i'm not actually getting 100x7 (i'm only using 5) and assuming that i'm actually getting 60x5, which leaves about 58watts per speaker for headroom.

Sounds like an amp may be a waste of money for me (at least at this point). Although I am kinda looking for a little more bass out of my fronts. When I have the sub off I don't have much bass from my system at all and they are set to large with a xover at 100 (which is the lowest my reciever will allow me to put the xover at). Thought an amp may give me a "fuller" sound out of my fronts.

Silver Member
Username: Cheapskate

Post Number: 119
Registered: Mar-04
yes... if you don't want brighter... then rotel is a step in the wrong direction. rotel is great for treble freaks and for perking mellow tweeters up.

true... multichannel recievers rarely put their full rated power out when driving all channels.

if you want to mellow your treble out... i'd recommend NAD which is MUCH cheaper and also has high current, so a 50 watt amp will really sound like it has 100 watts. my TWENTY WATT NAD reciever can make my 93dB subwoofer rattle my walls.

if you like klipsch sound... then you're into power and dynamics. klipsch does do dynamics well.

if you're happy with 90dB, then really, you only need 5 watts of power. 1 watt = 90 dB with an average speaker.

is there something wrong with the sound from your current reciever? pioneer made the best sounding "budget" recievers the last time i listened. they had better treble than sony or jvc.

if you're going multichannel, you really should have surrounds that match your front speakers tonally. i have a matching center channel, but don't use it because my mains are a couple feet foreward and tiny NHTs image like crazy anyways.

if you're really into dynamics... then forget a new amp... buy a matching pair of klipsch for your surrounds.

i just don't see you gaining as much sound quality out of an amp upgrade as a speaker upgrade.

i DEFINATELY agree with you on bose! i hate bose sound. it's lofi and gimmicky. my very first real speakers were 6 1/2" woofered JBLs that totally kicked ANY bose speaker's butt in the store where i bought them except maybe in the bass.

if you love the sound of your klipsches... then just match them with klipsch surrounds.

if your reciever is rated at 100wpc... then you should have more than enough power to keep driving your speakers. your DVD "imaging" will improve WAY MORE matching your surrounds to your fronts than trying another amp.

i'd say drop the klipsch and go for more conventional speakers, or magnepans, but as i've already said... i'm not into klipsch sound. i like imaging and clarity over dynamics. if you like klipsch sound... then it's perfect for you.

buy another matching pair for your surrounds and go with much cheaper NAD amplification (if you really think you need a higher end amp) to tame any brightness you might be experiencing, but i think your pioneer should be adequate. speaker matching will make 10X the difference over amp swapping. then, when sounds move from front to back... they will still sound the same and will be at the correct volume level too.

mismatched surrounds are your biggest problem i'd say. matched surrounds on a pioneer will sound better than mismatched surrounds with $100,000 in amplification. speakers will sound 25% (or even more) different while amps will generally sound only 1 or 2% different.

the only reason you should need to upgrade your amp is if it's doing something to your sound you find annoying.

Bronze Member
Username: Divin11112000


Post Number: 26
Registered: Dec-04
I do have matching surrounds for the whole system. Although i am not using the rear surrounds only the side surrounds, so i have a 5.1 with the 35series klipsch speakers. I was just under the impression that I was going to need more power in my fronts to keep them from clipping, but like i stated last time I thought that my reciever wouldn't have enough power. Although i'm sure that if it claims 100wpc, and only distributes 60wpc when all are driven that it is obviously more than enough for my speakers.

Thanks for your help

Silver Member
Username: Cheapskate

Post Number: 131
Registered: Mar-04
if you were clipping your speakers, you'd hear the distortion increasing as you turn it up.

if you aren't hearing any distortion at satisfying volume levels, you should be fine.
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