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Amplifiers (Mono, Stereo & Multi-Channel) Go on a power trip talking about everything to do with power amplifiers.

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Old 05-20-2008   #37
anm
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Default Re: Pairing Amps with Speakers

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlyD View Post
It sounds as though you are purchasing this system to get decent quality now but with intent to replace everything as your economics improve.
That exactly describes my state of mind. I want to get something to begin with, and not spend months without having a system. Though I can spend a little more right away, it gets easier to sneak in pieces one by one to your home given the wife factor :-)
I am not sure who houses a NAD here in Delhi. There is one in Mumbai(Bombay) - will try to find out.
I am thinking of getting one system in my current smaller room. Even the cheapest onkyo 3100 htib costs $500. HK 132 + JBL 260.5 speakers cost $1000+. Plan to add larger front speakers to this setup, a center channel, and then when HDMI/ TrueHD etc is available in India at decent price range, then upgrade the processor. One alternate set of speakers I am considering are Klipsch Reference RF82 front standing, as an alternate to JBLs. Not sure about their availability either - but should be there as onkyo has a strong presence here in Delhi - while Onkyo is distributing klipsch in India. Either of these speaker sets (5.1) would cost around $4000-$5000 in India.
The other plan could be buy an entry level now, and then buy the processor first, and then the speaker system. But I think speaker costs are not going down soon - as there isn't much expected to change technologically. Except maybe bluetooth connectivity.

regards
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Old 05-29-2008   #38
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Default Re: Pairing Amps with Speakers

I finally purchased an HTIB - Onkyo ST-S3100. Dealer installed it in my house - not sure what all settings they did as I was not home around at that time.

Got it for INR 20k, approx US$500. In this deal I got a free DVD player DVP-NS57P. I thought I would buy an upscaling DVD player, or maybe no separate player and just a PS3. There was no exchange/ upgrade option available for this free DVD so I had to keep it. It does look good, though it might be a little outdated. I hooked it to the receiver via optical digital link for audio, while the component video goes directly into my current 29" LG Flatron CRT. Not sure if component is any use as my TV can’t play progressive. This setup is sufficient for this room which is about 12-14 ft wide, and maybe 16-18 feet deep. Seating is at 7-8 ft from the TV. Front wall mounted speakers are at about 8 feet from each other and 5 feet high. Center is in the center – 3 feet high, below the TV, on top of the DVD, that in turn sits on top of the amp. Surrounds are 12 feet apart wall mounted, and facing the seating at ear level.

This being my first home theatre system - it sounds good for my ears. Till now I have tested it only for movies. I watched Transformers and Bourne Identity on DVD. I think both have got good sound tracks. I was watching BI late at night so the volume level was down. The subtitles kept telling me what effects I am missing out at lower volumes (yes - there are subtitles for car tyres screaching) - so I increased the volume for a short period and I could hear all those effects.

Question – when I selected DTS track on DVD, set the DTS to be ON in the DVD player. Onkyo “DISPLAY” showed DTS :3/2.1 I set Onkyo to Direct listening mode. Who is doing the DTS decoding in this case? The DVD player or the Onkyo? My guess is onkyo but just want to confirm. However, my earlier understanding was that in the Direct mode, the receiver doesn’t do any manipulation of the signal and just passes it through to the speakers. Sounds like a contradiction here. Please help.
While flipping through the Listening modes, besides the "Direct" mode, there is another option of "DTS" - does it mean that decoding is actually being done by the DVD player and in direct mode receiver is just acting as an amp and no processing? What happens in the case I turn DTS on?

regards

Last edited by anm; 05-29-2008 at 12:56 PM..
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Old 06-30-2008   #39
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Default Re: Pairing Amps with Speakers

I'd say, first and foremost, keep your budget at the front of the list. When buying speakers and amps and all that good stuff, it is easy, very easy to get overboard, like a kid at a candystore.

So with that in mind, stick to manufactures that specialize in certain items. For example, JBL makes great loudspeakers, but their amps aren't as high of quality. QSC Audio has been making amps for a long time, so their amps are their best items, not their loudspeakers. Ect, ect, ect.

As far as speakers are concerned, there are different type of speakers and what ranges of sound they produce, and it all depends on what you're looking to accomplish. If you want boomy, bassy sound, go for larger speakers; if you want crispier sound, go for smaller speakers. I found that as far as quality is concerned, the more "-Way"'s the speaker (2-way, 3-way, 4-way, ect.) the better the sound. So you might what to have a pair of 6 1/2" 3-way speakers running between 150 and 300 RMS for your higher mids and high frequencies, a pair of 10" subs running at 250 RMS for mids, and a pair of 15-or-18" subs at 400-600 RMS for your rubbling, earthshaking bass.

Then for your amps, try to keep your amp power/channel rating over what the speaker can produce. For example, a 100 watt speaker should be pair with a 150 watt/channel amp. Reason being, you can always turn the volume on the amp down, it doesn't have to be 150 watts. This is VERY helpful in the case of the amp getting too hot and overheating or blowing out. A lot of the new amps have cooling features built in, but even with this, power is power, they still get hot. Think of it as maxing out your credit card, you don't want to do that, same way as you don't want to max out the power of your amp, especially over long periods of time. You technically can, because they are rated for that amount of power, but on the safe and logical side, its best not to.

On a side note, when investing money into a system, you want to make sure you are getting everything you need. That includes power conditioning, surge protection, speaker wire, subwoofer wire, protection plans for the speakers and amps from wherever you by them (if they offer it, it is well worth it. if something goes wrong, service becomes expensive and very quickly). So there's all these other 'side' things to consider, unless you already have wires and surge protection and power conditioning.

That brings us to the first thought on the list, BUDGET! Bottom line, its going to take some research and some messing around with different combinations (this is where that math class came in handy in highschool :-D), before you figure out possible systems to meet your needs.

All you need to do is grab some paper and a calculator, make a list of what you want/need, and punch numbers until a system grabs your attention and is within your price range.
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Old 06-30-2008   #40
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Default Re: Pairing Amps with Speakers

Thanks Ttone! That was a good reading. Regarding budget, I would say everything seems expensive :-) - specially when prices are twice in India and incomes 1/10 of that in the US. However, there is another option that sticking to a budget - build a system over a period of time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ttone305 View Post
I found that as far as quality is concerned, the more "-Way"'s the speaker (2-way, 3-way, 4-way, ect.) the better the sound. So you might what to have a pair of 6 1/2" 3-way speakers running between 150 and 300 RMS for your higher mids and high frequencies, a pair of 10" subs running at 250 RMS for mids, and a pair of 15-or-18" subs at 400-600 RMS for your rubbling, earthshaking bass.
.
Does it apply to front towers or for surrounds as well?

Also - how to figure out the speakers' power ratings? Some speakers mention continuous and peak power figures. So I guess the amp headroom should be above peak power?

Some one in a forum told me that there is nothing like a speaker's power rating!

regards
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I am a newbie.
HTIB - Onkyo ST-S3100.
DVD player Philps DVP5986K. Hooked to receiver via coaxial, and to TV via component. It has USB, HDMI and upconversion. USB works great! Replaced my SonyDVP-NS57P
29" LG Flatron CRT.
Current Room - 12' wide, seating at 8' from front wall.
Front wall mounts at 8' apart and 5' high.
Center is in the center – 3' high, below the TV, and horizontal.
Surrounds are 12' apart wall mounted, and facing the seating at ear level.
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Old 07-01-2008   #41
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Default Re: Pairing Amps with Speakers

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Originally Posted by Ttone305 View Post
I found that as far as quality is concerned, the more "-Way"'s the speaker (2-way, 3-way, 4-way, ect.) the better the sound.
Um, I have to disagree with this statement.

In general, the more 'ways' a speaker is, the more difficult it is to make the speaker balanced across the spectrum and the crossover gets way more difficult, causing a loss in efficiency usually. I have had four and five ways and even two ways, many still hold true to single driver speakers, at huge cost. Clearly their is debate at best on this topic.

I think generalizations like these are dangerous, particularly to a newbie how doesn't have the years of experience in this field.

I think you are looking at how many, though certainly not all, speaker lines increase in 'ways' as you progress up the line, and you are extrapolating that thus this improves sound, and I think this is an inaccurate step of logic.
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Old 07-01-2008   #42
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Default Re: Pairing Amps with Speakers

I'd have to agree with Kenny. For that matter, I would disregard everything in tTone305's post with the exceptions of attention to budget and making sure you buy everything that you need. Some of the finest speakers made are 2-way or even 1-way. As discussed earlier in this thread, amplifier power should be chosen based on speaker sensitivity and target volume. The power rating on speakers describes the maximum continuous power they can dissipate which implies nothing of their sensitivity.
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