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Old 6th September 2012, 08:49 PM   #1
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Default power vs clarity

Hi again guys i have noticed that allthough the amps you guys are making seem very high quality there seems to be a lack of errrm power lol
am i totaly wrong here or do you guys just preffer superior sound quality over overall power

ive always had powerfull systems and have never realy heard a hi end system in action i had a wharfdale system for a few years and i thaught that that was as good as it gets < that probably makes you laugh i have no idea of the status of any brand name

there is a point to this thread somewhere but it seems to have escaped me
ok is a low wattage hi spec system ie below 200 better than having a room full of speakers that make your chest hurt :/and can i eventually make a system that has the best of both worlds
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Old 7th September 2012, 02:41 AM   #2
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lock of power? how much power are you looking for? 100watts R.M.S per channel is a lot and if you combine it with high SPL speakers you will blow your brains out for sure if you do not care about "Quality watts" and shoot just for very high power, in that case you should look for amp like Crown, Behringer, QSC etc that are Dj's amps that are used in discos, concerts, stadiums, churches etc.They will provide a lot of power but they will sacrifice sound quality. Have you ever heard "True R.M.S power" from old Marantz receivers like 22XXB series? Long time ago I had the 2238B receiver that was "just" 38watts R.M.S per channel and it played really loud using speakers over 92db spl.. Right now I have a diy integrated amp that it is around 90 watts R.M.S per channel and I almost never go over 12 o'clock. I also had a Bryston B60 that it is 60 watts per channel and I found it enough power for me, but again there are some people that like or need more power because they have inefficient speakers or big rooms to feel with sound etc. some people say it is good to have the "extra" power...sure it is as long as it is "Quality watts" I would agree too. But in my case I do not feel the need for more power than 100 watts R.M.S per channel. and do not mix R.M.S power with PEAK power
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Old 7th September 2012, 03:02 AM   #3
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If you read through the threads that are here in their hundreds you will find a common thread.

Most systems with reasonably sensitive speakers are quite loud enough when they are operating at really quite low power.

Take for example a good valve amplifier. In Class A most of them were less than 10W and most of them were quite capable of getting the neighbors annoyed.

As long as you appreciate the 3dB rule; twice the volume will require ten times the power; you will understand the relationship between volume and sheer power.

A lot of High Street vendors lie about the amount of TRUE RMS power of their products. I've seen a 3W RMS Chip Amp quoted at 220W PMPO - What utter crap.

A well designed 50W RMS amplifier will normally be more than sufficient for most NORMAL listening.
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Old 7th September 2012, 04:39 AM   #4
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IMO, it's easy to buy good inexpensive semiconductors that will give you a high quality amp using a simple and straightforward architecture. Think something like a 50W Self-type blameless. As you get up to the higher supply rails needed for 200+ watts, the choices are reduced and you may have to alter the architecture to accommodate lower voltage front end components. More devices are needed, raising the cost and complicating the mechanics. Protection becomes a huge issue. Obviously it's done all the time, but from a DIY standpoint, 50-100 watt very high quality amps are an easy build. Also, transformers are less expensive and easy to get.
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Old 7th September 2012, 09:54 AM   #5
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Higher efficiency speakers are better at reproducing a lifelike quality than throwing power at 80dB to 85dB speakers.

200W into 85dB/W will not sound as nice as 50W into 91dB/W.
Now if you were to use the same 50W+50W amps into 96dB speakers, then you would hear clarity. And 1000W into 85dB amplifiers/speakers could never match that performance.
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Old 7th September 2012, 11:47 AM   #6
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BPA-200 has plenty of power. Trust me.
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Old 7th September 2012, 02:42 PM   #7
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i would realy recommend the OP to read up what is sound pressure level, and what i the relation of a speaker's SPL and the sensitivity and the input power.
Actualy one may find that 10-15 watts is way WAY too loud for home use, depending on what You drive with it. Speakers that are sensitive as a concrete block will do nothing with it.. And to be honest those space heater speaker designs lack every thing that an efficient speaker has.
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Old 7th September 2012, 04:07 PM   #8
johnr66 is offline johnr66  United States
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I agree that higher SPL speakers sound better (to me). The lower sensitivity "hifi" speakers sound fine at lower power, but sound stressed when forcing a lot of watts into them.

I show off a tapped horn sub by connecting a small chip amp and 9 volt battery supply to it. The bass it makes puts some of those little cube "subs" to shame and the distortion is low.

I don't do live gigs, plus I like to retain my hearing, so it is low power and efficient speakers for me.

Last edited by johnr66; 7th September 2012 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 8th September 2012, 09:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stenwo123 View Post
Hi again guys i have noticed that allthough the amps you guys are making seem very high quality there seems to be a lack of errrm power lol am i totaly wrong here or do you guys just preffer superior sound quality over overall power
There are two things you might want to look at.

Power (good watts or bad watts):
♦ Here we normally crank up the amp to 1% distortion and then measure watts (RMS1%) while the amp still plays with excellent quality.
♦ In retail, they normally crank up the amp to 10% distortion and then measure watts (RMS10%, aka Music Power).
♦ In the new digital amplifiers, sometimes they'll report as if the duty cycle could be 100% but that breaks switchmode (must pulse, not be jammed "on" near nonstop), so less than half of the figure is useful (for example a 300w switchmode supply burns up if used beyond 150w).
♦ In car audio and at Ebay, they crank up the amp until it explodes and then tell you the amount of watts it takes to explode--also called PMPO.

The moral of the story? Watts@%distortion is meaningful, but miscellaneous quality watts is not.


Efficiency (speakers are the output):
1w, 85db speaker efficiency
2w, 88db
4w, 91db
8w, 94db
16w, 97db
32w, 100db
64w, 103db
128w, 106db
256w, 109db
-or-
1w, 95db speaker efficiency
2w, 98db
4w, 101db
8w, 104db
16w, 107db
27w, 109db

The moral of the story is: Rocking down the house with the pretty little LM1875 is great fun. You just need an efficient speaker if you want powerful audio--because speakers are the output.
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Old 8th September 2012, 11:44 PM   #10
johnr66 is offline johnr66  United States
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To add to this, since many listen with two channels and two speakers 6db should be added to the numbers (3db for the second channel of same power and 3db for the second speaker (twice the cone area)).
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