I Can't Understand Speaker Amplification.

Bruce Hugo

Honorable
Sep 2, 2013
29
0
10,590
3
I've Probably read 50 articles and forums by now. What will work? What won't work? What is Ideal? Watts, rms, peak, peak to peak, Ohms, wiring, bi-wiring, solid state, tube, cheap, expensive, how do you match it all up? A chart would be very helpful.

I don't mean any offence but I likely won't understand what you say any better than everything else I've read, and will be asking for a lot of clarification.

Thanks in advance.
 

ien2222

Distinguished
Mar 28, 2010
465
0
19,260
77
Quick run down, and I'm skipping and simplifying things:

Wattage, not really an important number as long as it's above 50wpc (watt per channel). This is because it takes 2x the power for a +3dB increase in sound. It takes a +6dB increase for it to sound twice as loud. So, at 50w it'll take 200w (50 x 2 x 2) for it to sound twice as loud. That puts it into a much higher price category. a lot of AVR's will run 70wpc with all 5(7) channels driven so for twice as loud you'd need 280wpc. Also, you don't need to match the amp's wattage to the speakers. You can have a 1000w amp driving a 50w speaker or vice versa.

Ohms, most AVR amps will handle 6-10 ohm rated speakers no problem unless the it specifically states for use with a certain impedance.

RMS: Root mean square is what it stands for, but mostly it's the amount of continuous output the amp will give you. Peak is what it can give you in short bursts...and is largely irrelevant.

Bi-wire: Using two sets of wires to run from the speakers to a single amp. This doesn't do anything other than to waste wire (assuming you are using wire of sufficient gauge).

Bi-amping is using 2 amps to power a speaker. Unless you no what you are doing, don't need to bother with this.

Tube vs Solid State: Different means of amplifying power, best analogy is gas vs diesel, different types of engine that do mostly the same thing. Tube amps tend to color the sound, SS tends to be more accurate.


What matters? Ohms, and maybe wattage depending on budget and what you want to accomplish.
Pretty much any home speaker at say Best Buy/Fry's/etc will work with any AVR there.

What are you trying to setup? Home theater, stereo music, desktop speakers?
 

ien2222

Distinguished
Mar 28, 2010
465
0
19,260
77
Quick run down, and I'm skipping and simplifying things:

Wattage, not really an important number as long as it's above 50wpc (watt per channel). This is because it takes 2x the power for a +3dB increase in sound. It takes a +6dB increase for it to sound twice as loud. So, at 50w it'll take 200w (50 x 2 x 2) for it to sound twice as loud. That puts it into a much higher price category. a lot of AVR's will run 70wpc with all 5(7) channels driven so for twice as loud you'd need 280wpc. Also, you don't need to match the amp's wattage to the speakers. You can have a 1000w amp driving a 50w speaker or vice versa.

Ohms, most AVR amps will handle 6-10 ohm rated speakers no problem unless the it specifically states for use with a certain impedance.

RMS: Root mean square is what it stands for, but mostly it's the amount of continuous output the amp will give you. Peak is what it can give you in short bursts...and is largely irrelevant.

Bi-wire: Using two sets of wires to run from the speakers to a single amp. This doesn't do anything other than to waste wire (assuming you are using wire of sufficient gauge).

Bi-amping is using 2 amps to power a speaker. Unless you no what you are doing, don't need to bother with this.

Tube vs Solid State: Different means of amplifying power, best analogy is gas vs diesel, different types of engine that do mostly the same thing. Tube amps tend to color the sound, SS tends to be more accurate.


What matters? Ohms, and maybe wattage depending on budget and what you want to accomplish.
Pretty much any home speaker at say Best Buy/Fry's/etc will work with any AVR there.

What are you trying to setup? Home theater, stereo music, desktop speakers?
 

ien2222

Distinguished
Mar 28, 2010
465
0
19,260
77
4 Ohm is a bit more tricky, as the impedance is lowered, the more current the speaker will draw and this becomes a problem for amps rated higher. However, most companies are rather conservative (for liability reasons) on what the amp can do. Usually at modest listening levels it's not too much of a problem, but it might be best to get one that specifically designed to handle 4ohms, or look for reviews that test it's capability.

Do you have a budget you're looking at? And any hardware in particular?
 

ien2222

Distinguished
Mar 28, 2010
465
0
19,260
77
Shoot, I'm getting called away here and won't be back for a few hours.

In addition to budget and what you are looking at currently; Are you open to using a sub? What is the size of the room and is it open to other rooms? What kind of music will you be listening too? What are you going to hook up to it (CD player, dvd, record, etc.)

When I get back I'll put something together for you to look at. If you have any other question ask away too.
 

thee_prisoner

Distinguished
The first and most important thing is that the speakers should be 30-50% of your budget. 50% would be ideal. The reason I say this is because the speakers have the hardest job of reproducing a sound.

The second is what is your budget?

And some of other questions are, what kind of music do you listen to and at what volume? How big is your listening room? Is the GF or wife factor involved( do they have a problem with big speakers and speakers away from the walls and corners or something small and kinda hidden)?

The best thing is to find a local new/used stereo shop(used a good option plus free upgrades) in town so that you can listen first. Bring some music that you like and listen. Most shops will let you sit around for hours trying different combinations of speakers, amps, preamps and etc. Good quality amps won't have a problem with 4 ohms, most receivers will. I wouldn't really even consider receivers anyways, at least the lower quality ones.

Happy listening, the Prisoner...
 

d85kennedy

Distinguished
Oct 16, 2011
13
0
18,570
2
Some good advice there.

If I can add to this. Bi-wiring is great if you can use it. It will split the bass + treble into different wires and has proven to give a better sound as there is less "interferance".

In terms of power/ohms etc. Most systems are an 8ohm setup, 4ohm is a pain in the ass so avoid it.

Another useful thing to know, you can have to much power. Amp/speakers sound best when they are being driven or pushed. A 100w system will sound better if you have the volume at 50% than a 500w system running at 10%

It depends on the size of your room with regards to the power.

The best thing you can do is set your budget and focus on room size, speaker type and placement. I have a set of Gale Gold Monitors and they can sound different depending on where I place them. ( I can also hear the difference with the bi-wiring) Do some reading on speaker performance and room placement as they could sound great in the shop and then disappoint you when you get home.

http://www.richersounds.com/information/tips_firstHifi
http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/blog/art-positioning-speakers
 

thee_prisoner

Distinguished


Also, let's not confuse bi-wiring and bi/tri-amping. In case somebody reads this. I have enough amps laying around to test this all the time. Bi-wiring may offer some upgrade in sound but if the speakers have it then you can try it out. Just buy an extra set of cables but don't go crazy on the price.

Bi/tri-amping might offer an upgrade in sound as long as you disable the crossovers in the speakers and use an external crossover. The sound might be noticeable, but if you have the equipment, it's fun to play with.

4 ohms speakers aren't a pain with a decent amp but 1-2 ohms can be.

Happy listening, the Prisoner...

 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
G Audio 1
H Audio 3
B Audio 1
K Audio 1
A Audio 1
C Audio 2
G Audio 5
S Audio 2
M Audio 1
T Audio 6
Michael_13 Audio 3
G Audio 5
G Audio 2
X Audio 1
M Audio 1
AngryGoldfish Audio 4
J Audio 2
L Audio 6
A Audio 1
steadfast1984 Audio 1

ASK THE COMMUNITY