What Surround Sound Speakers to Buy ???

Barry

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I have purchased a Yamaha surround sound receiver & am having a hard
time decideing which speakers to get... I saw the Bose set at Sam's
Club but read some bad things about that set. I did some research on
some PSB speakers & saw bad things also. Is there a good sounding 5
speaker/surround setup + sub-woofer that isn't huge $$ ?? Thanks for
any info!
 
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>> I have purchased a Yamaha surround sound receiver & am having a hard
>> time decideing which speakers to get... I saw the Bose set at Sam's
>> Club but read some bad things about that set. I did some research on
>> some PSB speakers & saw bad things also. Is there a good sounding 5
>> speaker/surround setup + sub-woofer that isn't huge $$ ?? Thanks for
>> any info!

Q: what's your budget, the model of the receiver, and room size?

Also, are there any room considerations that we sshould know about?
ie - must be tiny or wood floors or whatnot.
 
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Where did you see bad things about PSB? I have a their 5i sub and couldn't
be happier.

Kelly

"Barry" <tunereye@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:c6i257066u@news1.newsguy.com...
> I have purchased a Yamaha surround sound receiver & am having a hard
> time decideing which speakers to get... I saw the Bose set at Sam's
> Club but read some bad things about that set. I did some research on
> some PSB speakers & saw bad things also. Is there a good sounding 5
> speaker/surround setup + sub-woofer that isn't huge $$ ?? Thanks for
> any info!
 
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I don't think there is a thing wrong with PSB, actually. Especially if you
are on a budget but still want a great sounding speaker. They beat many
others in the price range - and you can get kitted out with good sounding
speakers for not a lot of dough!

On 4/26/04 7:01 PM, in article c6k4bu0u2i@news3.newsguy.com, "Kelly Coleman"
<kelecoleman@charter.net> wrote:

> Where did you see bad things about PSB? I have a their 5i sub and couldn't
> be happier.
>
> Kelly
>
> "Barry" <tunereye@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:c6i257066u@news1.newsguy.com...
>> I have purchased a Yamaha surround sound receiver & am having a hard
>> time decideing which speakers to get... I saw the Bose set at Sam's
>> Club but read some bad things about that set. I did some research on
>> some PSB speakers & saw bad things also. Is there a good sounding 5
>> speaker/surround setup + sub-woofer that isn't huge $$ ?? Thanks for
>> any info!
>
 
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On 4/26/04 7:11 PM, in article c6k4um02obb@news2.newsguy.com, "Philip Meech"
<macmeech@adelphia.net> wrote:

> Correction: Phase Technology, not PSB. There is also Dana Audio, Ohm,
> and Fluance in the internet direct market.

Wow - Ohm speakers! Are they still around? Amazing boxes, those speakers -
though not particularly colorless, but amazing sound nonetheless!
 

Barry

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tunereye@yahoo.com (Barry) wrote in message news:<c6i257066u@news1.newsguy.com>...
> I have purchased a Yamaha surround sound receiver & am having a hard
> time decideing which speakers to get... I saw the Bose set at Sam's
> Club but read some bad things about that set. I did some research on
> some PSB speakers & saw bad things also. Is there a good sounding 5
> speaker/surround setup + sub-woofer that isn't huge $$ ?? Thanks for
> any info!

Wow.. thanks for all that info!! My room is about 10 ft by 25 feet, I
have carpet & painted plaster walls, Right now I am using large (early
1990's) JBL speakers for the front & AIWA rear shelf top stereo
speakers for the rear (50W & 16 ohms)My new receiver is a Yamaha
RX-V740. I would like to use this for both music (radio & CD's)
Again... thanks for all the info. Barry
 
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Now that we have the room size and construction, and I can look up your
receiver specs (90W per channel into 8 ohms - no mention of what happens
into 4), perhaps we can make some progress. You're going to want
something pretty efficient in a room that size with an amp that size, I
think. Yamaha claims that this is a "High Current" receiver, so it
should drive 4 ohm loads which gives you some more flexibility.

What you don't say is why you don't keep your current speakers. Is there
something particular about the sound you DON'T like? Are you worried
that (shudder!) the speakers aren't all matched up? For a while I had
Soundlab Electrostatics up front and old Vandersteen knock-offs in the
back, and it still made quite good surround sound. I have purchased but
haven't set up the Magnepan set with a Rel subwoofer (it takes finishing
up a good bit of remodeling - don't ask), but that's probably going to
take more amp than you've got.

What do you want to spend? That circumscribes a LOT of choices :=)

-- bt

Barry wrote:

>tunereye@yahoo.com (Barry) wrote in message news:<c6i257066u@news1.newsguy.com>...
>
>
>>I have purchased a Yamaha surround sound receiver & am having a hard
>>time decideing which speakers to get... I saw the Bose set at Sam's
>>Club but read some bad things about that set. I did some research on
>>some PSB speakers & saw bad things also. Is there a good sounding 5
>>speaker/surround setup + sub-woofer that isn't huge $$ ?? Thanks for
>>any info!
>>
>>
>
>Wow.. thanks for all that info!! My room is about 10 ft by 25 feet, I
>have carpet & painted plaster walls, Right now I am using large (early
>1990's) JBL speakers for the front & AIWA rear shelf top stereo
>speakers for the rear (50W & 16 ohms)My new receiver is a Yamaha
>RX-V740. I would like to use this for both music (radio & CD's)
>Again... thanks for all the info. Barry
>
>
>
 
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Barry wrote:

> tunereye@yahoo.com (Barry) wrote in message news:<c6i257066u@news1.newsguy.com>...
>
>>I have purchased a Yamaha surround sound receiver & am having a hard
>>time decideing which speakers to get... I saw the Bose set at Sam's
>>Club but read some bad things about that set. I did some research on
>>some PSB speakers & saw bad things also. Is there a good sounding 5
>>speaker/surround setup + sub-woofer that isn't huge $$ ?? Thanks for
>>any info!
>
>
> Wow.. thanks for all that info!! My room is about 10 ft by 25 feet, I
> have carpet & painted plaster walls, Right now I am using large (early
> 1990's) JBL speakers for the front & AIWA rear shelf top stereo
> speakers for the rear (50W & 16 ohms)My new receiver is a Yamaha
> RX-V740. I would like to use this for both music (radio & CD's)
> Again... thanks for all the info. Barry

What model JBL speakers? It might be better to use the fronts you have
and get matching surrounds.
 
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Robert Trosper wrote:

> Now that we have the room size and construction, and I can look up your
> receiver specs (90W per channel into 8 ohms - no mention of what happens
> into 4), perhaps we can make some progress. You're going to want
> something pretty efficient in a room that size with an amp that size, I
> think. Yamaha claims that this is a "High Current" receiver, so it
> should drive 4 ohm loads which gives you some more flexibility.

It will only drive 6 ohms into all channels. I looked at every last
amplifier on the market under $1500 and only one, the Outlaw Audio,
was capable of 7 channels * 4 ohms.

http://www.outlawaudio.com/holiday-sale.html
Click on the 950B/7100 combo stack. I consider this to effectively
be equivalent to a large receiver.

http://www.outlawaudio.com//products/7100.html

Not even the high-end Denons and HKs will do 4 ohms into all channels.
NAD and Rotel won't either - at least without a LOT more money.

So - that means that Maggies are out of consideration.
 
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On 4/28/04 12:42 PM, in article %9Rjc.6147$lz5.815033@attbi_s53, "Joseph
Oberlander" <josephoberlander@earthlink.net> wrote:

> Robert Trosper wrote:
>
>> Now that we have the room size and construction, and I can look up your
>> receiver specs (90W per channel into 8 ohms - no mention of what happens
>> into 4), perhaps we can make some progress. You're going to want
>> something pretty efficient in a room that size with an amp that size, I
>> think. Yamaha claims that this is a "High Current" receiver, so it
>> should drive 4 ohm loads which gives you some more flexibility.
>
> It will only drive 6 ohms into all channels. I looked at every last
> amplifier on the market under $1500 and only one, the Outlaw Audio,
> was capable of 7 channels * 4 ohms.

7 channels for under $2k is a tall order, though Rotel makes a good 5
channel amp for around/under that, though it is just an amp - no
receiver....

I hear Outlaw is a real bargain and is a very good amplifier.

> http://www.outlawaudio.com/holiday-sale.html
> Click on the 950B/7100 combo stack. I consider this to effectively
> be equivalent to a large receiver.

They are "separates" and yes, you are right in that they would behave like a
large receiver, but all the 'buttery wholesomness' of 2 chassis designs will
be yours with that one!

> http://www.outlawaudio.com//products/7100.html
>
> Not even the high-end Denons and HKs will do 4 ohms into all channels.
> NAD and Rotel won't either - at least without a LOT more money.

The NAD's I looked at do 4 Ohms as well as 8 Ohms.... The 7 series of
receivers will as well - check it out.

http://www.nadelectronics.com/av_receivers/

All are rated for 4 and 8 ohm driving all channels simultaneously...

Don't know about Rotel, though I do believe their amps have enough beef.

Outlaw makes a good piece of equipment, I hear, but they are not unique in
their ability to drive 4 Ohms.....

>
> So - that means that Maggies are out of consideration.
>

It would be worth a try, though - minding the temperature of the amplifier
when you do, since if it gets hot to the touch as compared to driving higher
impedance loads, you could be dealing with amplfier being too loaded down.

Maggies require a very good amplifier to sound their best, so you might not
want to spend the money on them unless you can get the performance you are
paying for!

Like Thiels, the speakers may perform at a higher game than similarly priced
speakers, they *do* require a bit more current than their competitors, so
you will pay the money for them anyway!

Also, they are revealing enough that if you have a bad recording, they will
reveal it in sharp contrast!
 
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Bromo wrote:

> They are "separates" and yes, you are right in that they would behave like a
> large receiver, but all the 'buttery wholesomness' of 2 chassis designs will
> be yours with that one!

:)

>>http://www.outlawaudio.com//products/7100.html
>>
>>Not even the high-end Denons and HKs will do 4 ohms into all channels.
>>NAD and Rotel won't either - at least without a LOT more money.
>
> The NAD's I looked at do 4 Ohms as well as 8 Ohms.... The 7 series of
> receivers will as well - check it out.
>
> http://www.nadelectronics.com/av_receivers/
>
> All are rated for 4 and 8 ohm driving all channels simultaneously...

Actually, the 753 and up will.

Still, that's what - two somewhat affordable choices?

I'm a little amazed that good amplifiers still cost so much. Heaven
help you if you want to get into electrostatics.
 
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Joseph Oberlander <josephoberlander@earthlink.net> wrote:
> Robert Trosper wrote:

>> Now that we have the room size and construction, and I can look up your
>> receiver specs (90W per channel into 8 ohms - no mention of what happens
>> into 4), perhaps we can make some progress. You're going to want
>> something pretty efficient in a room that size with an amp that size, I
>> think.

I have the same amplifier (in a smaller room, though) with non-exotic
speakers (claimed sensitivity 88 dB) and I haven't yet pushed it above
-30 dB.

>> Yamaha claims that this is a "High Current" receiver, so it
>> should drive 4 ohm loads which gives you some more flexibility.

> It will only drive 6 ohms into all channels.

According to the manual the two positions of the impedance switch are:
1 - 8 ohms for all the speakers
2 - 4 ohms for the main speakers and 6 ohms for the other 4 channels.

If both A and B main speakers are used the impedance must be double
(respectively 16 ohms or 8 ohms).

http://www.yamaha.com/yec/customer/manuals/RXV740_U.pdf

Although the manual quotes "dynamic power" into 8/6/4/2 ohms.

> I looked at every last
> amplifier on the market under $1500 and only one, the Outlaw Audio,
> was capable of 7 channels * 4 ohms.

If 6 channels * 4 ohms is enough you have the Yamaha RX-SL100.
(digital (PWM) amplifier). It costs around $500.

http://www.yamaha.co.jp/product/av/prd/dspav/rx-sl100/img/rx-sl100.pdf

"Built-in 6-channel original Yamaha digital power amplifier
Minimum RMS output power

(0.9% THD, 1 kHz, 6&)
Front: 70 W + 70 W Center: 70 W
Surround: 70 W + 70 W Surround Back: 70 W

(10% THD, 1 kHz, 4&)
Front: 75 W + 75 W Center: 75 W
Surround: 75 W + 75 W Surround Back: 75 W "

It doesn't have many inputs, though. And its power is low: the total
power consumption is 100W, so the above power is not continuous.

I remember reading that higher models of the Yamaha range don't
have an impedance selector and instead adapt dynamically, but since
the DSP-Z9 doesn't have that feature (and you can only chose 6 or
8 ohms for the main speakers) I am probably thinking of the MX-D1,
which is only stereo and expensive:

http://www.yamaha-audio.co.uk/homehifi/amplifiers/mx-d1/specs.php

http://www.yamaha-audio.co.uk/pdfs/manuals/DSPZ9.pdf

--
http://www.mat.uc.pt/~rps/

..pt is Portugal| `Whom the gods love die young'-Menander (342-292 BC)
Europe | Villeneuve 50-82, Toivonen 56-86, Senna 60-94
 
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> Barry <tunereye@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> tunereye@yahoo.com (Barry) wrote in message news:<c6i257066u@news1.newsguy.com>...
>>> Is there a good sounding 5 speaker/surround setup + sub-woofer
>>> that isn't huge $$ ?? Thanks for any info!

Probably several. Check for instance the Beta series from Infinity:

http://www.infinitysystems.com/homeaudio/series.aspx?SerId=BET

Hmm, that series in europe seems to be more extensive:

http://international.infinitysystems.com/homeaudio/products/category/beta_series.asp?language=ENGLISH

Or B&W entry-level series
http://www.bwspeakers.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/products.ranges/label/Range%20DM300%20Series
http://www.bwspeakers.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/products.ranges/label/Range%20600%20Series%203

Or Wharfedale:
http://www.wharfedale.co.uk/evolution.htm

If you give a price range, somebody should be able to advise you better.

>> Wow.. thanks for all that info!! My room is about 10 ft by 25 feet, I
>> have carpet & painted plaster walls, Right now I am using large (early
>> 1990's) JBL speakers for the front

>> I would like to use this for both music (radio & CD's)
>> Again... thanks for all the info. Barry

> Ok... the JBL speakers are model L80T.

http://www.jbl.com/home/products/product_detail.asp?ProdId=L80T&CheckProduct=Y
Recommended Power Amplifier Range: 150 watts
Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms
Woofer: 10" aquaplas
Midrange Driver: 5" high polymer laminate
Frequency Response: 35Hz - 32kHz
Crossover Frequency(ies): 800Hz - 4.5kHz
Sensitivity: 90dB (1 watt/1 meter)
MSRP U.S.: $465.00 each
http://manuals.harman.com/JBL/HOM/Owner's%20Manual/L_series-OM.pdf

These speakers don't look bad, so if they don't have any problem
you don't need to replace them, although you might want to use them
elsewhere or have a set with identical speakers.

What you are obviously lacking at the moment is a front center speaker,
so it should probably be your first purchase. For instance if you want
another JBL, they have:

NORTHRIDGE E SERIES EC35 (Beech)
3-Way Dual 5-Inch Center Channel Loudspeaker
MSRP U.S.: $349.00 each
http://www.jbl.com/home/products/product_detail.asp?ProdId=EC35BE&SerId=NRE&sCatId=CCS

Next you could consider a subwoofer although your JBLs are almost
full-range (at least on paper).

>> & AIWA rear shelf top stereo speakers for the rear (50W & 16 ohms)

> I sure would love to match them
> with other surround speakers. As I said I do have some rear 6 year old
> AIWA shelf speakers for rears now... no center or sub though.

Since your surrounds seem weaker you might want 2 (or 3, since your
Yamaha can use a rear center) bookshelf type speakers.

>> My new receiver is a Yamaha RX-V740.

http://www.yamaha.com/yec/products/RECEIVER/RX-V740.htm
http://www.yamaha.com/yec/customer/manuals/RXV740_U.pdf
MSRP $599.00. About $500 in the web.
http://www.yamaha-audio.co.uk/homecinema/receivers/rx-v740rds/
http://www.yamaha-audio.co.uk/homecinema/receivers/rx-v740rds/specs.php

I have just noticed that there is a new RX-V750.
http://www.yamaha.com/yec/products/RECEIVER/RX-V750.htm
7.1 + 2 (presence) speaker outputs, automatic (YPAO) speaker configuration,
but it does not yet have i-link (only the DSP-Z9 for now).

> Here's another ?.... I also have a older Harman/Kardon model A 403 amp
> (not hooked up) would it help anything to hook it up?

You could use it. Your Yamaha has pre-out outputs and line-outs ,
which you could connect to a line input on the Harman/Kardon.
In fact, if it is a USA, Canada or Australia model it has "Zone 2"
outputs, intended just for that. See the "Zone 2" page (52) on the
manual (page 56 of the pdf).

This would be useful mainly to have sound on another room, although
you could also use it if you wanted two pairs of main speakers (but
I am not sure if that would lead to an improvement in sound).

If after you update your main speakers you have an extra pair of
speakers, this would be a way to use them to have music in the
kitchen, bedroom or whatever.

--
http://www.mat.uc.pt/~rps/

..pt is Portugal| `Whom the gods love die young'-Menander (342-292 BC)
Europe | Villeneuve 50-82, Toivonen 56-86, Senna 60-94
 
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Rui Pedro Mendes Salgueiro wrote:

> (0.9% THD, 1 kHz, 6&)
> Front: 70 W + 70 W Center: 70 W
> Surround: 70 W + 70 W Surround Back: 70 W
>
> (10% THD, 1 kHz, 4&)
> Front: 75 W + 75 W Center: 75 W
> Surround: 75 W + 75 W Surround Back: 75 W "

10% THD???

You'll note that the distortion rating for the NAD and
Outlaw Audio amps barely changes at all.

This points do a very poor design in this case.
 
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>>Ok... the JBL speakers are model L80T.

Humm... The towers might need to be replaced. They are cheaper
consumer grade stuff. I'd stick with JBL, though, as their
professional lines are very good. Think of it as more of the same.

What's the budget?

Surrounds:
Okay, then the best surround would likely be a JBL 4208.
These are their budget monitors and actually sound quite good.
They are also shielded, so they make good centers.

I have one as a center on my system and it works well.

My advice would be to go with the 4200 series speakers for
the rest of the setup and then when money permits, move to
4400 or simmilar series fronts.

http://www.jblpro.com/pages/recording/4200.htm
Note that the specs are realistic and +/-2db instead of +/-3db,
so they have alot more bass than most speakers.

IMO, they will do exactly what the specs state, whereas many
consumer speakers are obviously measured by someone who
is tweaking the results a bit to be most favorable, then
marketing gets ahold of it. 95-something db efficient speakers
with response that requires a huge cabinet which they
don't have and so on.

Of the two, the 4208 is much better and is only 2 inches wider.
The 4206 is usually only sold in pairs, and doesn't sound as
good as the 4208, so it is a good center channel.

http://www.jblpro.com/pages/recording/4400.htm
These are what I have. They are large bookshelf speakers(ie like
to call them "table speakers". OTOH, they sound superb.
I have a pair of 4410s and 4408 surrounds and I have no need
for a subwoofer.

The 4400s are big heavy tanks. Built like they did back in
70s and 80s for tons of abuse in recording studios.

But, again, it's all based upon budget. The 4200s are low priced,
at about $350-$400 a pair, and the 4400s are in the $600-$900 a
pair range.

Links:
http://www.instrumentpro.com/page/MUO/PROD/JBL4208
$187 each, free shipping. Three are $559.86. They would
match the towers you have for now, and you can get the big
4410s later.

http://www.instrumentpro.com/page/MUO/PROD/308-2/JBL4408AL1
$299 each. Free shipping.

http://www.instrumentpro.com/page/MUO/PROD/308-2/JBL4410AL-1
$429 each. These beat most under $1500 speakers. But they
aren't wood-grained and so on(all meat, no glitz).

http://www.instrumentpro.com/page/MUO/PROD/308-2/JBL4412AL-1
$629 each. IMO, the 4410s are better. They have tighter
bass, play a bit louder, and are vertically aligned, so that
they can easily work as towers.

$560 for surrounds and $858 for the big fronts. But $1400
may be out of your budget, even after you sell your towers
for a few hundred dollars, which is why I mentioned the
incremental approach.
 
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On 4/29/04 12:32 PM, in article F6akc.16637$lz5.1349697@attbi_s53, "Rui
Pedro Mendes Salgueiro" <rps@rena.mat.uc.pt> wrote:

> Joseph Oberlander <josephoberlander@earthlink.net> wrote:
>> Robert Trosper wrote:
>
>>> Now that we have the room size and construction, and I can look up your
>>> receiver specs (90W per channel into 8 ohms - no mention of what happens
>>> into 4), perhaps we can make some progress. You're going to want
>>> something pretty efficient in a room that size with an amp that size, I
>>> think.
>
> I have the same amplifier (in a smaller room, though) with non-exotic
> speakers (claimed sensitivity 88 dB) and I haven't yet pushed it above
> -30 dB.

-30dB with reference to what?

>> It will only drive 6 ohms into all channels.
>
> According to the manual the two positions of the impedance switch are:
> 1 - 8 ohms for all the speakers
> 2 - 4 ohms for the main speakers and 6 ohms for the other 4 channels.

Ah - the switch probably drops the voltage to the finals to keep the power
dissipation down - it will likly reduce the amount of power otherwise
available into those loads, and extend the life of the receiver.
 
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On 29 Apr 2004 22:47:53 GMT, Joseph Oberlander
<josephoberlander@earthlink.net> wrote:

>Rui Pedro Mendes Salgueiro wrote:
>
>> (0.9% THD, 1 kHz, 6&)
>> Front: 70 W + 70 W Center: 70 W
>> Surround: 70 W + 70 W Surround Back: 70 W
>>
>> (10% THD, 1 kHz, 4&)
>> Front: 75 W + 75 W Center: 75 W
>> Surround: 75 W + 75 W Surround Back: 75 W "
>
>10% THD???
>
>You'll note that the distortion rating for the NAD and
>Outlaw Audio amps barely changes at all.
>
>This points do a very poor design in this case.

It's a 6-channel amp for $500! What do you expect?
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
 

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True, and I've noticed that they spec the output power at one frequency
(usually 1khz) instead of the standard 20hz - 20 khz and the power should
theoretically double into as 4ohm load. keithw...

"Joseph Oberlander" <josephoberlander@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:c6s0mp01kg5@news1.newsguy.com...
> Rui Pedro Mendes Salgueiro wrote:
>
> > (0.9% THD, 1 kHz, 6&)
> > Front: 70 W + 70 W Center: 70 W
> > Surround: 70 W + 70 W Surround Back: 70 W
> >
> > (10% THD, 1 kHz, 4&)
> > Front: 75 W + 75 W Center: 75 W
> > Surround: 75 W + 75 W Surround Back: 75 W "
>
> 10% THD???
>
> You'll note that the distortion rating for the NAD and
> Outlaw Audio amps barely changes at all.
>
> This points do a very poor design in this case.
 
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It should almost double in a linear design - but other factors may rear
their ugly heads to prevent a full doubling (power supply, dissipation,
etc.).


On 4/30/04 12:19 PM, in article L0vkc.3503$0H1.384482@attbi_s54, "Keithw"
<keithw@kc.rr.com> wrote:

> True, and I've noticed that they spec the output power at one frequency
> (usually 1khz) instead of the standard 20hz - 20 khz and the power should
> theoretically double into as 4ohm load. keithw...
>
> "Joseph Oberlander" <josephoberlander@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:c6s0mp01kg5@news1.newsguy.com...
>> Rui Pedro Mendes Salgueiro wrote:
>>
>>> (0.9% THD, 1 kHz, 6&)
>>> Front: 70 W + 70 W Center: 70 W
>>> Surround: 70 W + 70 W Surround Back: 70 W
>>>
>>> (10% THD, 1 kHz, 4&)
>>> Front: 75 W + 75 W Center: 75 W
>>> Surround: 75 W + 75 W Surround Back: 75 W "
>>
>> 10% THD???
>>
>> You'll note that the distortion rating for the NAD and
>> Outlaw Audio amps barely changes at all.
>>
>> This points do a very poor design in this case.
>
 
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Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Bromo wrote:

> It should almost double in a linear design - but other factors may rear
> their ugly heads to prevent a full doubling (power supply, dissipation,
> etc.).

IME, I find that a 150% increase is more common outside of
true high-wnd components and maybe twice the distortion.
 
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