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Need Advice about Receivers -- Going crazy!

 

New member
Username: Thephatp

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-05
I'm new here, and I don't know a lot about home audio (used to do quite a bit in Car Audio, but that's been a while). I need advice on which type of receiver to buy, and I have NO CLUE. There are so many things to look at in buying one. I've been looking at the Onkyo SR-702 and the Denon 2805, but it's hard to see the difference. I have read a thread here recently about the two, but it as somewhat confusing. So I figured I would give you what I'm trying to do and get your advice. I'm open to suggestions! Also, I've considered Harmon Kardon, as well, but that gets pricy. I would like to say in the range of the Onkyo and Denon mentioned above, and I've found both of them at the same price ($550) at reputable sites. I dont' want to spend much more than this if at all.

Ok, so here's what I'm trying to do:
- 7.1 Surround Sound set up in living
- 8 Stereo speakers recessed in ceiling (4 rooms, L/R in each room)

I need something that will give me decent power (I don't have the money to go over the top), but I have a few things I consider important:

- # of Component inputs
- Watts per channel
- Zone 2 / Pre-outs

I haven't seen the back of the Denon 2805, so I don't know what it looks like. But one thing I really like about the Onkyo is that for Zone 2, you don't have to replace the Surround back speakers in 7.1. The 702 has separate speaker connections for Zone 2. I really don't want to have to switch the wires out, and I'm getting the 7.1 receiver for 7.1--I don't want to drop to 5.1. From what I've read from the manufacturer's websites, NEITHER can run BOTH 7.1 and Zone 2 (or 3) at the same time, so there is no advantage there.

One question I have is, if a receiver has pre-outs, can I add an AMP after the pre-outs to push the stereo speakers? This would be an alternative to having to have Zone 2.

I don't have any surround sound speakers to "match with the receiver", so I'm not testing which sounds best on a particular set of speakers.

Could anyone give me Ads and DisAds of both? Is there any other receiver I should consider that would be around this price range other than the two mentioned? At Fry's a guy suggested a Yamaha with more power per channel at a lower price range, but I don't know how Yamaha does in the audio world.

Any and all advice is welcome, but please give specific facts to back up your advice. I understand most of this will be opinions, but I like to understand what influences those opinions. Just FYI, I'm going to Home Theather Store soon to listen, and I want to know what to listen for, as well!

Thanks so much for the help!!!

thephatp
 

Gvenk
Unregistered guest
It will be difficult to make suggestions or even say if you will notice any difference between the two without considering speakers. In the kind of set up you are considering, the efficiency of the speakers is critical because non of these units come with a lot of juice to drive them simultaneously despite power specs and the ones that can have serious limitations on features you might need.

So, in essence, you are limited to very efficient speakers which rules out some of the nice sounding ones. But there are fine choices in efficient speakers but there aren't any that are "neutral" and have their own charactersitics and depending on how much you can aford to spend on them, those characteristics may be annoying enough that either you need a receiver that complements correctly or has enough adjustments to compensate (which is very difficult).

So I am afraid you will not get any usable opinions other than I have X and I found it better than Y from both sides and both will be right!

At least fix a budget for the speakers first. If all you can get is mediocre speakers then you might as well select between these receivers entirely on features and perhaps buy even cheaper receivers.

And then there is the complication of what video monitor you are hooking up to and using what type of connectivity. But there is not much choice at this price level.

In general for a H/T audition, don't let the sales guy crank up the volume and boost up the bass to ridiculuous levels. If possible, select a talk show (or some movie with fairly static dialog scene without any background junk), a music concert AND a movie with surround sound content as sources to listen to (you can even take your own DVDs or rentals if you want).

In the talk show, concentrate on the quality of the tones of the dialog. Do they sound like someone standing there and talking to you or does it sound like they are hidden within the monitor or worse speakers and talking to you through a tube? Does Darth Vader types sound like Woody Allen types or vice versa? Can you stand to sit and listen to that tone quality for 30 minutes or more?

In the music source (a concert with fairly static stage is much better but difficult to find), look for sound stage and whether the different instruments sound natural and the positions remain fixed and the relative volumes are as they should be and remain the same. Turn off any artificial surround processing when you do this.

In the movie, look for the overall experience. Does the surround sound feel like a realistic sound stage for the movie or does it just feel the sound is everywhere (not good). If you have portions where the things move from one end to the other, does the sound provide a good representation of that in both tone and volume or do you just notice the sound moving between speakers (not good)? Does the bass have good and clear bottom but more important does it appear to really come along with the other sounds or does it feel offstage (most incorrectly boosted bass settings cause the latter).

The bad news with the above is that the result has much to do with the speakers, placement and room than the receivers themselves and it is very difficult to discern differences betwen receivers except under very tightly controlled conditions as done in some reviews. So that audition will not give you much to evaluate the receivers at all other than whether you like the display panel on one better than the other and whether you like one remote better than other (may be important!)

If you cannot have separate Zone 2 (many receivers do support this from a different source connected to them), then it makes no sense to have it. The usage where you will have the same sound in both zones will be very limited. The problem in this price range is that none of them have the current drawing capability to provide independent power in multi-channel mode in zone 1 and drive separate zone 2 (at least in no receiver that is smaller than a very large cinder block).

So you can take one of two paths. You can choose to buy one of the two on your list or an equivalent entirely based on features and cost (most of these will not make a difference in what you hear unless you go to great lengths to select speakers and worry about placement and room treatment). You can then think of moving up to another better whole system after a while at a higher price when you can afford it.

The other path is to decide you are going to create an evolutionary path for this system and incrementally upgrade the system as money becomes available. In this case my recommendation is to concentrate most of your money on the speakers at the moment and buy the cheapest receiver amongst the major brands (Onkyo, Marantz, HK, Denon, Yamaha, Sony) that provides you the features you need and the power. Because the receiver will be the ones that will be replaced the earliest as the receiver is likely to get outdated very soon with emerging connectivity and processing technologies if not for the sound and because the speakers will make the most difference to your enjoyment of the sound. With a good set of speakers, you can keep them for a while through your evolution and plan on upgrading when you eventually have a system that outgrows the speakers.

No easy answers but hope that helps in your thinking.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY Pakistan

Post Number: 60
Registered: May-05
Great post Gvenk. I always tell my friends to concentrate on speakers, then worry about the reciever later for the reasons you stated. Do they ever listen? NO.

When the masses are looking to buy a stereo, the first thing comes to mind is the receiver. They usually buy the most expensive receiver in their budget, then end up having have to cut money on the speakers.

To hear a difference between most receivers you need very revealing speakers. The differences between them only really becomes appearent when you have speakers that are good enough to extract those details.
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 700
Registered: Feb-04
I agree with the conclusion of the post, but not with:

The efficiency of the speakers is critical because non of these units come with a lot of juice to drive them simultaneously despite power specs and the ones that can have serious limitations on features you might need.

So, in essence, you are limited to very efficient speakers which rules out some of the nice sounding ones. But there are fine choices in efficient speakers but there aren't any that are "neutral" and have their own charactersitics and depending on how much you can aford to spend on them, those characteristics may be annoying enough that either you need a receiver that complements correctly or has enough adjustments to compensate (which is very difficult).


Does anyone really need 100W per channel x 7? I rarely need more than 1W per channel.

Why would you think high efficiency implies colouring?

Other than that, he's right. Go for better speakers because, in my opinion, they will outlive the receiver and they affect the overall sound a lot more than a receiver does until you get to big bucks.
 

New member
Username: Thephatp

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-05
Thanks for the great info, Gvenk! That was very insightful! I started thinking about the speakers recently, and I figured it would probably come down to something like what you were saying--worry more about speakers.

So here is the situation. My wife and I are building a new house with all stereo and surround sound wiring. I've already bought the 8 stereo speakers (recessed in ceiling), which I got a couple months ago. Well, if you're married, you know that the wife has a big say in how much you can spend, and she is not concerned with the surround sound. She's more interested in the stereo speakers so she can listen to music all around the house when she's cleaning and such.

So my first concern is finding something that I can use to power those speakers. And I thought, "Well, since I need to something now for those, I can get a decent receiver now, and I'll already be prepared for the 7.1 when I can afford the speakers." Maybe this isn't the best way to look at it?? Especially if the receiver doesn't make as big of a difference? How much could I save by buying a "cheap" one (but one that at least still has 7.1 capabilities)? How much would a decent set of speakers cost? (I don't think I'll ever get into the really high end stuff because of the money, but I don't know how much "decent" speakers cost, nor how much "good" speakers cost.)

Here's the catch: I can only afford to spend about $600 or so right now. So what's best? Buy a cheap receiver and put the rest of the money aside for speakers? Or buy a decent receiver now and add speakers later? Basically, since we're moving into a new home, there are many other high-dollar (and many, many small dollar) purchases that will trump my sound equipment, without a doubt. Ah, the joys of sacrifice. :-)

Thus, I don't see myself having money anytime soon to buy nice stuff, especially if it's both speakers AND a receiver (to replace a cheap one).

So what's the best thing to do here? I want to plan for the future, but I still have a budget, and I'm only getting do this now because my wife's excited about the stereo wiring in the house.

Thanks, again, for all of the advice!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 758
Registered: Mar-05
Chad,

one thing you have to realize is that the difference between most $400 receivers and $800 receivers is usually just a bunch of electronic bells and whistles, a few extra inputs, and other marketing gimmicks.

The single most important factor in terms of actual sound quality is the type and size of the power supply. Usually you don't get a nice massive toroidal power supply until you get into the $1000 and up range of receivers.

for $600 I'd look at the Harman Kardon AVR-630 which you can get at Harman Direct on eBay with full original warranty, they usually go for $500-600 (MSRP is $1100)...should give you all the power, features and SQ you want.

If you're short of cash right now, just get a pair of front speakers and a subwoofer right now and add the rest later---depending on the size of your room, it can cost as little as $650 shipped. (Ascend 170s plus Hsu STF-1 sub, ascendacoustics.com)
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 542
Registered: Dec-03
Ok, I may be missing something here, so forgive me if I say something that has already been discussed. But, by looking at the rear pannels of both receivers on the internet, it seems that the Onkyo does have a powered zone 2, but the denon just has preouts...which of course means that you would need to add a separate amp to get a second zone...which would add to your cost.

Like I said, forgive me if I am wrong or have missed something, but you are going to need a whole lot more than either one of these two receivers to power a full 7.1 surround sound and 4 sets of stereo speakers in other rooms. Even if you get the Onkyo, with the powered second zone, it will only work with ONE set of stereo speakers, not all 4. In order to power all of these speakers (15 in all) with one receiver, you would have to get the Denon 5805...which costs $5000.

Like I said, you may have something else in mind that you haven't discussed here, but the way you describe it, it seems as though you are asking a little too much from a $600 receiver.
 

Silver Member
Username: Tdbdrummer

Post Number: 454
Registered: Feb-05
Uh, any surround receiver, if all channels were to run at there 100W, the receiver would melt down, as the receiver can't keep up with those sorts of demands, so it is not possible to run every channel at 100W at the same time.
 

Gvenk
Unregistered guest
Does anyone really need 100W per channel x 7? I rarely need more than 1W per channel.

Why would you think high efficiency implies colouring?


The power rating is not a reliable spec for multi-channel systems. By juice I meant the capability of the receiver to power channels independently not the power ratings. Most mainstream receivers in this price range compromise on this. I wouldn't use such receivers in anything but efficient speakers.

I didn't mean to imply causality between efficiency and neutrality, just a correlation I have noticed. I don't know of any reason why neutral and efficient speakers cannot be built but then I am not a sound engineer. I am sure people will post examples to prove me wrong. That is OK!
 

New member
Username: Thephatp

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jun-05
Sorry, I guess I should clarify. I don't plan on powering the 7.1 and the other stereo speakers at the same time. I would only have one functioning at a time. And as for the power to the stereo speakers, I'm not worried about cranking them up, so I shouldn't need that much wattage anyway. 100 per channel for 2 channels should be OK for now. Certainly not the greatest, but it would do. The speakers that I bought are 20-100W each, so 1 channel at 100W split 4 ways is 25W per speaker. And that's if I have all of them playing at the same time (probably won't happen, especially since one set is outside).

On another note; if I'm going cheap, but still interested in 7.1 and component inputs for now, how is the Denon 1905?

Thanks!
 

Gvenk
Unregistered guest
If $600 is your total budget for receiver and speakers, then your only choice for a multi-channel system is to buy one of the "home-theater-in-a-box" packages on clearance that also satisfies your zone 2 requirements. You may have trouble doing this though. You will definitely not get a respectable 7.1 channel system, this way. These packages are not things that may be recommended on this board but may actually serve your purposes for a while until you can justify a higher budget.

Go through the choices at www.onecall.com to see what may be available and if you wait for one of their weekend clearances, you can get a good deal within your price range.

The above will allow you to keep up with the 90% of the Joneses who will have a "multi-channel" system in their houses.

The other alternative that I would recommend is to forget a multi-channel system at this time. The benefit you get from having a multi-channel system is completely overshadowed by having a bad sounding system. You can get a multi-channel receiver (because most main stream manufacturers are selling them cheaper than their 2-channel ones as they are only making mid-high-end in the latter) but just think about picking a good pair of speakers to go with it and perhaps a subwoofer if the speakers are limited and since it is fun to watch movies with a good bass extension anyway.

While there are better subwoofers the Velodyne VX-10 HT subwoofer now available for $117+shipping (tax in NJ)

http://www.electronics-expo.com/product.jsp?x=VX10

is the best value for working with a limited budget. Pair that with a $300 pair of speakers (I would suggest a couple but they are all too inefficient for the kind of receivers you would get for the remainder of your budget) and if you can justify adding another $100 or so to your budget, for the remaining money you can get a Onkyo/Yamaha/Denon low-mid end receiver (but not the latest models) and perhaps even a Marantz or a HK if you can wait for clearance or sales (again monitor www.onecall.com). Buy the one with the best features that will satisfy your requirements for features.

You can live with this system happy for a while unless you or your kids need multi-channel bragging rights.

You can think about upgrading this setup incrementally or as a whole when you can justify a budget of at least $1000 more.

Good luck and happy listening and watching!
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 702
Registered: Feb-04
Uh, any surround receiver, if all channels were to run at there 100W, the receiver would melt down, as the receiver can't keep up with those sorts of demands, so it is not possible to run every channel at 100W at the same time.

Really?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Chitown

Post Number: 88
Registered: Apr-05
Chad if you want a look at good pics for both of the Denon units take a look here:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-mYvuIhKUsdX/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?g=10420&I=033AV280 5B

Click on more photo to see all kinds of details

 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 703
Registered: Feb-04
The power rating is not a reliable spec for multi-channel systems. By juice I meant the capability of the receiver to power channels independently not the power ratings. Most mainstream receivers in this price range compromise on this. I wouldn't use such receivers in anything but efficient speakers.

I'm pretty sure h/k receivers are rated with all channels driven. But my point is that if I only use 1W per channel, then why would I care whether it can give 100W or only 25W? I have very efficiency speakers (that happen to sound good) but if my peaks of 1W correspond to peaks of 20W using other speakers, then perhaps the mythical value of 100W that sells so much equipment is not needed for most people. Food for thought.
 

Gvenk
Unregistered guest
Peter,

I have no idea how much you are versed in the power spec debate and what power ratings mean in sound reproduction so I am a bit hesitant about assuming anything but from your statement of requiring only 1W/channel (a common but over-simplified urban myth that really doesn't mean much) I have to wonder. Please excuse me if you are aware of all of the complexities of power ratings, current capabilities and are making some deeper statement than that urban myth.

Most of the origins of that 1W power output idea comes from the observation of an amp at a steady and volume and a source with extremely limited or close to zero dynamic range that might have been measured by somebody at some time. The peak demands can be and usually are very-very high. Add a gun shot or a cannot shot and a 1W AMP peak-rated will clip at even low volumes! Most amps will distort and even clip beyond their capabilities when such dynamic power requirements come up and you may or may not notice this depending on how they are built.

The eventual sound quality that you hear is dependent on a number of things such as what an amp is able to provide in power in short bursts (typically much higher than the continuous power), what it is able to sustain in continuous power, how easily and quickly it is able to make that transition and how much distortion it introduces when forced to make that transition. No amp is perfect but building one that excels in all of the above is a difficult and expensive process.

Multi-channel amps add the complexity that each of the channels may demand peak power at the same time. Now, in theory, you can build an independent amp from power supply to output and package it in the chassis and some expensive ones are pretty much that but most common receivers compromise by sharing a power supply, etc. This puts a limit on their capabilities despite what the claimed ratings are.

This is not to say that the power number game played by manufacturers is valid. I don't know if you are aware of the issues behind the ratings and the variables. NAD has been fighting this battle for a long time.

For example, read
http://www.hometoys.com/htinews/oct04/articles/stone/power.htm

It is impossible to build a 5-7 channel receiver that can supply 100W into each channel independently across the entire frequency range and within the rated distortion across the range in a form factor that is typically associated with a a/v receiver. Just the power supplies alone might occupy that space never mind the power sinks.

I don't think most people need a "honest" 100W amp. The conservatively rated NAD amps at 45W/channel have more capability to reproduce the material across the range than most 100W amps. The problem is that there are very few if any honest 100W amps in this price range.

So the reason to look for an amp that is rated reasonably high is to accommodate for that bogus ratings. The higher the power ratings, more likely (but not guaranteed) the more robust the power supplies and more likely it may be able to provide the 20-50W of dynamic power that may be needed across the range with minimum distortion. This is not the same things as saying people need that 100W or 200W. They don't need that much power but they may need the power supplies that come wth such amps to provide decent sound across the range!

Add inefficient speakers and the requirements become even larger. For example, a large number of receivers in this price range aren't even recommended for 4-ohm speakers which require a lot more current capability for the same volume. In fact, it is an indirect indicator of the reserve power capability of the amp, if they have a good rating at both 4 and 8-ohms. Most manufacturers don't even publish the 4-ohm ratings for that reason assuming the amp is able to handle it at all.

Again, I apologize if all of the above is old news for you and you are making a point that I have completely missed.
 

Gvenk
Unregistered guest
Also wanted to add that the 1W max power needed claim may come from the sound power output at the speaker for tolerable sound which is typically in the 300mW-1W range and this is all the power that the amp would need to provide IF the power conversion was lossless (i.e., 100%).

But of course, speakers are very inefficient transducers in converting electrical power into acoustic power being able to convert on the order of about 1% of the electrical power into sound power. So 1W of sound output may translate into a 100W electrical power requirement on the amp.
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 706
Registered: Feb-04
Gvenk,

I had no idea there an urban legend about 1W. LOL!

Remember the old days when amplifiers and integrated stereo amplifiers had meters on them? Well, my power amp has them. So I'm quite used to seeing the log scale and seeing 0.01W peaks at low evening volumes and 1W peaks at faily loud levels. It doesn't come from hearsay. The meters are gone on most receivers now, but they do have a volume that uses a dB scale. So -30 dB is only 1/1000 of full power, and that's where I do most of my late-night listening.

As far as receivers and driving all channels to melt-down, my 40-lbs h/k 325 is rated at 50W per channel. The power comsumption is rated at 118W idle and 890W max, all channels driven. So I have no reason to doubt it can deliver 50Wx7 when sucking in 890W.

In a lab test, it delivered 74W x 5 at 0.1% distorsion and 84W x 5 at 1% distorsion, pushing an ideal 8-ohm load. It is rated for 4 ohms on all channels.

I agree that building a quality 100W amplifier is expensive. But it's maybe four times as expensive as a 50W amplifier and 8x as expensive as 25W? So why get hung up on the magical marketing-driven 100W per channel if less can do the job?

The difference between 25W and 100W is only 6 dB after all. I don't care about having an honest 100W in this price range because it's not needed in the first place. The only person I know who uses up all the power and headroom from his NAD T752 has a huge carpet and tapestry-filled room and 80 dB efficiency 4-ohm speakers... a tough combination.

So what do I look for in receiver power ratings? I look for 4-ohms capability because 8 ohms is only a nominal load and it can dip quite low at certain frequencies. I couldn't care less about the 100W per channel. That's why I got an h/k. That's why I bought a NAD for my mother and recommended the NAD T752 to the friend with the tough setup.
 

Silver Member
Username: Tdbdrummer

Post Number: 457
Registered: Feb-05
Yes, Peter, the receiver would melt down. Maybe not like a nuclear power plant, but it would definitely become highly damaged. Why do you think stereo receivers don't have more than two sets of channels running at once? When A/B are running together on a stereo receiver, they internally wire in parallel cutting impedance in half. Can you imagine 7 channels being wired in parallel and running at their maximum?
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 709
Registered: Feb-04
What part of my post did you fail to read TB?

It was tested with all channels driven... and did not melt down!

Why are you comparing a 4-ohm load on a stereo amplifier to a multi-channel receiver that is designed to drive many speakers at once?
 

Gvenk
Unregistered guest
Peter,

The meters on amps have gone the way of blinking lights on main frame computers and for the same reason, they might look pretty to some people who are amazed the thing is working but doesn't give any useful information. Those mechanical meters have so much dampening that the transient power loadings come and go faster than the needles can say "what?". So first of all they are useless as far as detecting transients go. Second the calibration on those meters sucked. Mostly because it really didn't matter to most what the actual number was (just like the volume knob going to 11 instead of 10). It was a techno-geek decoration.

The most efficient cone speakers have about 5% efficiency and need to output about 300mW of sound energy at normal volumes at mid frequencies which means that the amp needs to be putting out at least 6W continuous and even more when you consider lower frequencies which require even more power. So an amp putting out 1W power output will not be heard at all in most speakers regardless of what the meters say. The reason some of the boom boxes and TV integrated sound systems get away with 5-20W is because they are so restricted in the frequencies that they put the power out, often depending on passive design to enhance the boom (re bass).

The electrical power consumption ratings are decided by the marketing team not by engineers. It is the same team that decide to label an amp as 200 watts/per channel when it can barely put out 25W at low distortion. Usually, it doesn't mean anything.

Having said that H/K like NAD is conservative in their power ratings and so their 50W is more honest than a lot of other amps.

Like I said before most people with reasonably efficient speakers will need about 20-50W honest power across the frequency range without audible distortion. Such a requirement however might translate into buying 100-200W market ratings on receivers and even they may not be able to satisfy it.

I don't see anyone recommending 100W honest power ratings to the original poster of this thread.
 

Silver Member
Username: Tdbdrummer

Post Number: 459
Registered: Feb-05
Was this receiver run at max? And just for your information, the receiver is COMPLETELY INCAPABLE OF PUTTING OUT THAT AMOUNT OF WATTS TO ALL CHANNELS AT ONCE! It may have been maxed at the volume, but it cannot put that much out to each channel. Therefore creating false advertisement. That's if the 100W is MAX, but no one stated that, if it's RMS, then sure. You're not realizing that if that amp puts out 100W to each channel...that's 700W, how much does that amp draw? It best be more than 700W if it plans to put that out to EACH GOD AWFUL CHANNEL, MEANING 100W PER CHANNEL BEFORE YOU TELL ME I'M WRONG THERE TOO! I'm right in this manner. There is no way possible for that amp to put out a maximum of 100W to each channel, most likely it's overrated. Most new audio equipment is overrated by at least 200% nowadays, making most new audio equipment a bunch of P's. O. S! Why do you think vintage audio equipment lasts far longer than nearly all new stuff? It was built with quality. I know cases have nothing to do with power output and so on, but I challenge you to find me a receiver today with a REAL metal case, not aluminum, STEEL, that has more than one board on it. I tore open my Kenwood KR-6600, and it has 3 boards, I tore open my Sherwood receiver, it has one, tell you something? Yes, the older vintage equipment was much more complex and required more thought put into it, because nearly all vintage equipment was A.) Not overrated and B.) It put out the power it said it could put out. Also, I've looked at several receivers today, what's with the limitations on impedances? All of my vintage gear can accomodate impedances down to 4 ohms on a given set of channels, however not run A/B at the same time. Newer stuff is rare to find that allows for 4 ohm speakers to be run into just ONE channel, aka how I blew the Sherwood receiver I bought, as I knew Sherwood to be a quality name back in the 70's and 80's, however, not the case anymore I see, they could'nt even include a Tape Mon. Heck, there wasn't even a loudness button. Not to mention lack of power meter, as well as acoustics switches, all of these good things are in the past before this huge epidemic of 5-7 tiny speakers run around the room, and a crappy oversized/overrated subwoofer tucked neatly under the coffee table came about. I know quality sound, and it doesn't come from ANY surround sound system. A good system is the stereo my dad has built which includes a Carver M 1.0T I believe is the model, which produces an honest kilowatt of power, yes, KILOWATT, unheard of today. And 6 pairs of Advent AS2's, which have nearly the sound quality of the speaker I believe he mentioned to be the PSB Gold, correct me if I'm wrong, as he tends to babble a little about stereo, he goes on and on about laws, formulas, etc. And those PSB Golds were I believe $1500 a pair, but he has compared the two side by side and found VERY subtle differences in the two. Also, he runs an equalizer, preamp(carver),and tuner(carver also I believe). That is quality sound as well as power. Also, I've yet to hear of ANYONE implement an equalizer in their home theater system, why is that? Do you people ont realize that sure, your sub reaches 25 Hz, but that frequency is only best defined with an equalizer! Ok, my wrists hurt now lol, I believe I've said enough.
 

New member
Username: Thephatp

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jun-05
Hey guys, thanks for all the help! Gvenk, you've been very helpful!

Could you guys take a look at another threat that I just started about speakers?

https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/141148.html

I'm looking for something to match the Denon 2805 (b/c I just listened to it tonight), and it sounded great with the B&W 300 series. So that's what this post is asking about. Take a look at it, if you can! Thanks!

**Just in case you that link doesn't work, here's the question consicely stated**
- Is Denon and B&W 300 series a good match?
- If not, how about Onkyo SR-702 and B&W 300?
- Any other speakers I should consider (price limit around $1500)?

Thanks!
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 712
Registered: Feb-04
Gvenk,

I'm sorry, but you have lost credibility when you said:

So an amp putting out 1W power output will not be heard at all in most speakers regardless of what the meters say.

You have got to be kidding me, or yourself. If that were true, you couldn't hear anything at -20 dB on the volume dial. That's nuts.

As far as damping on meters, mine were LEDs. No damping. It's a volt-meter for god's sake. It can't be that far off!

You are deluding yourself and others if you think you can't hear a speaker driven at 1W.
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 713
Registered: Feb-04
TB,

I couldn't read all your post. I got bored. It's late.

The h/k I was referring to is 50W x 7 = 350W. It draws 890W when it does this, driving all channels. It was tested to 85W x 5. How is this physically impossible?

I'll agree that most 100W receivers are not rated all channels at once. The h/k are. Get over it. It's not melting. and it's not impossible.

I also have a carver M4.0t and it weighs less than the h/k receiver. Magnetic field technology that weighs less. It's around 350W x 2 into 4 ohms.
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 714
Registered: Feb-04
Gvenk,

I was looking on th net for a table commonly seen listing power requirements for various loudspeaker efficiency, but couldn't find one. If you have seen them before, you'll know they go way lower than 1W.

But I stumbled on this page:

http://www.jwd.com/tech/notes/tn70.htm

It says that 0.5% efficient speaker (low efficiency) require 0.08 watt per speaker for background music.
 

Silver Member
Username: Tdbdrummer

Post Number: 460
Registered: Feb-05
Haha, the M4.0t? Are those the cubes? Those over heat buddy, as well as other problems, my dad steered me clear from those. Harmon Kardon...is NOTHING like it used to be, trust me. You said it was tested at 85W x 5 correct? I wanna see you test it at 85 X 7 before I believe it. I want to see it driven at 100W X 7 before I believe it, and for an extended period of time, say an entire movie. It can't sustain that type of output for that long! I'm telling you!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Vgtvidz

Post Number: 59
Registered: Jul-04
Peter, is this what you were looking for?

Upload
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 543
Registered: Dec-03
I am usually not one to get involved in these types of things, because I am not very well versed in all of this "tech talk", but in November 2004, Sound and Vision Magazine tested the HK AVR-7300. It is rated at 110w x 7. When the magazine tested it, it actually put out 139w x 7...and yes, that is with all channels driven at the same time!! That was the output at clipping. It doesn't specify how long this power output occured for.
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 544
Registered: Dec-03
Oh yeah, to the original poster on this thread (we seem to be sidetracked)...just out of curiosity, how do you plan on hooking all of these speakers to only one receiver? How are you splitting? Just wondering...I don't know too much about whole house audio.
 

Gvenk
Unregistered guest
Peter,

If theory matched reality, every undergrad would be a brilliant sound engineer. Perhaps you won't hear anything is an overstatement. I am sure every pimple-faced electrical geek has built at some point a receiver that required no external power whatsoever to hear a radio reception into a pair of headphones entirely on the induced power of a few milli Watts (well at least I did!).

But let us go back to where this got started ... the 1W/channel myth and what relevance it has to how much power one needs.

You started with the assertion that you rarely needed more than 1W/channel in your post. You are trying to justify it by digging up pages saying for background music at the most optimal assumptions of efficiency, you need about 0.8W. Note that the article you linked actually uses a "headroom multiplier" of x10 to account for peaks and losses and and this is for an overhead speaker in P/A systems with a fairly narrow range of frequencies. Getting decent quality sound experience for material of typical movie dynamic range would require a little more head room than that. If you heard the entire program compressed into a narrow band of sound decibels and a limited frequency range then it would sound like crap.

What does the above imply for a selection of a H/T receiver(amp) for listening to a typical video programming? Absolutely nothing of any significance.

There is material right on this site where these things have been discussed and that is of more relevance than an academic discussion of "can I hear 1W/channel".

https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/products/articles/109459.html

If you are happy that you are hearing great sound at 1W/channel, good for you. If you are saying no one needs a 100W/channel amp or more because of it then there is enough information in this thread as to why that is not the case in reality.
 

New member
Username: Thephatp

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jun-05
Hey guys, sorry to interrupt your debate, but would you mind taking a look at my other thread for a minute and giving me some input there? You all sound much more knowledgable than me in all this home audio stuff, and I could use some advice on speakers, too.

Thanks!
 

New member
Username: Thephatp

Post Number: 8
Registered: Jun-05
Jonny, I'm pretty new at this as well, but this is what I'm planning. I will hook the 7.1 surround as you would expect. For the other 8 in-ceiling speakers, I will do one of two things; I will either use zone 2 or pre-outs (but probably the pre-outs). So if I use the pre-outs, I'll be sending just L/R signals out (all I need for stereo), and feed those signals into an amp. Then I will connect all the speakers to this amp (8 channel), or I'll have a 2 channel amp and feed the out to a port that will have the 8 speakers connected to it and split the signal from there. Haven't decided yet.

But those are my thoughts! One thing I really like about the Denon 2805 is that there are Zone 2 preouts! That's really nice because if I use the Zone 2 preouts for the signal and an amp for power, then I could run both systems at the same time (WITHOUT giving up my 7.1, like most receivers) because they would be powered by two different sources.

Really, my original point was to be able to control everything through one receiver (otherwise, I could just by another receiver for the other speakers). But with having Zone 2 pre-outs will allow me to control everything through one receiver, and still be able to run both systems at the same time (because the Denon can control Zone 2 and 7.1 separately). Of course, that's if I buy the extra amp to push the stereo speakers.

Hey Audio GURUs...Is there anything wrong with my picture above? This will work, right?

Thanks!
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 545
Registered: Dec-03
Is it possible to hook 4 speakers to the same binding post? I have never seen that done before. The simple space factor would be limiting I think. I don't think it is possible to get 4 speaker wires into the same binding post...unless they were very thin...and then you wouldn't want it anyway. If you are going to do as you say above, I think the only way you could do it would be to use some sort of splitter as you said. Send the stereo signal to the splitter, then hook your 8 speakers to the splitter, not the receiver.

Is your $600 budget supposed to include a separate power amp to drive the zone 2?
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 546
Registered: Dec-03
Maybe something like this would work for you?

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=300-542
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 382
Registered: Nov-04
TB what is your point? maybe the crap that you have been exposed to is terribly over rated but there is plenty of other equipment that isnt. HK is still a very good company that is still very honest and conservative with their power ratings. NAD is known to under rate their equipment even under a 2 ohm load, ADCOM is known to be very honest with their ratings and Marantz is easily one of the more honest companies. everything you talk about has nothing to do with what we discuss here. if you want to talk about small dinky crappy a$$ HTIBs then go to the HTIB section. i find it insulting that you assume all of us are into cheap a$$ sony speakers that look like computer speakers when we work our a$$es off to make the money we invest into our systems. stop bragging about your dad and start thinking on your own.
 

New member
Username: Thephatp

Post Number: 10
Registered: Jun-05
Thanks Johnny, that's exactly what I'll need!
 

Silver Member
Username: Tdbdrummer

Post Number: 464
Registered: Feb-05
Yea, but if I want to watch my movie at 110W x 7, I expect to be able to do so! I know that receiver won't do it. IT JUST WON'T! That is a lot of demand on a receiver. Geez, think of the capacitors alone, it better have some massive ones! And at that rate, if it really puts that much out, they might as well call it a "power" surround receiver, instead of a surround receiver. HAHA, it's all a joke, end of story.
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 716
Registered: Feb-04
VGT Vidz,

Yes, that's a good example. Although I'd prefer one to give SPL in a typical room rather than 1 m away. My speakers are rated at 104 dB. Given that I listen at peaks of 90 dB most of the time, that table suggests I need way less than 1W.

Gvenk, you have shown disbelief that this is even possible. You also choose to ignore my main point that there is nothing magical about 100W other than pure marketing. If 50W is much less expensive to build, well it's only 3 dB down from 100W so why not go for that instead? What do you reply to that?

TB, I never said the h/k was rated at 100W x 7 so I don't why you want me to prove that. It's rated at 50W x 7. It was tested by a magazine driving 5 loads at the same time. I don't know why they didn't test 7, nor do I care. I'm currently using it for 5.1. I can provide a link to the PDF if you want.

The carver M4.0t is not the cube. It's in the same family as the M1.0t. I may be wrong about the specs because I don't have the manual. I see 2x375W into 8 ohms on some other web page so I'm not sure any more.
 

Gvenk
Unregistered guest
Peter,

This is my last response on this as it is not a productive discussion that contributes in any way to the original post. Please do read the link I posted in my last reply on the steady state requirements vs. dynamic requirements and why more power may be required and doesn't hurt.

I am not ignoring your point. It is a silly point. Your own beloved HK makes receivers more powerful than 50W/channel and it isn't for marketing purposes. As I have mentioned many fine sounding speakers are very inefficient and need a lot more power. Some of the material that people listen to has a dynamic range that requires a lot of dynamic headroom to reproduce realistically. You can build a 50W continuous power amp with double that power in head room or you can build a 100W power amp with very little head room. Both satisfy the same dynamic range at similar volumes (assuming similar transient handling) but the design issues are very different in the construction of the amp. So it is not just going down to 50W.

You are wrong about no one requiring anything more than 50W in transient loading. H/K, NAD et al are manufacturers that provide receivers in this power range because their design allows a lot of headroom. Most of the mass ones don't because they are built cheaper. A 50W amp with no headroom will not be able to reproduce the dynamics needed for a full range performance or movie (your 1W listening not withstanding) and will sound bad even with efficient speakers. A 50W amp with sufficient headroom can be quite more expensive to build than a 100W amp with no headroom. Most mass vendors choose the latter.

I have no interest in dispelling you of your sound bite mantra "it is all marketing over 50W". And so it is fine with me to leave the disagreement there.
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 720
Registered: Feb-04
Fine.

I'll only note that I have countered many of your claims. Let people decide whether you want the extra few dB in headroom or not. There's a much difference between 10W and 100W and between 1W and 10W. If you really need 100W, it doesn't take much to need 200W instead.

For the record, my sound bite isn't "it is all marketing over 50W", it's rather that 100W is a nice round figure to sell people on. Even you seem to buy into it! It must really be a magical number.
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