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Kel500au

Advice on power amp wattage

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Hi all

 

Over the past six months I have been setting up a sound system. So far my system consists of the following

 

Yamaha RX- A2080 AV receiver

2 x Martin Logan Motion 40 Front speakers (wired as bi-amp)

2 x Martin Logan Motion FX Rear speakers

2 x Martin Logan Motion 2 Front Presence speakers

1 x Martin Logan Motion 30 Centre speaker

2 x Yamaha NS-SW300 subwoofers.

 

The receiver is rated at 150 W @6 Ohms 2 channel driven so I am going to assume this is a lot less when I have 9 channels being driven. My question is would I benefit with the addition of a external power amp and if so would an amp with a two channel output of 80 - 100 W give me cleaner sound from the front speakers than what I am experiencing now? The above ML speakers are all @4 Ohms, and the front speakers are wired bi-amp.

 

I enjoy both using this system watching movies but also appreciate good quality music - and now I have this system I am enjoying and appreciating both more and more everyday.

 

Any advice would certainly be appreciated.

Edited by Kel500au

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Very marginal gains. The Yamaha will always be the bottle neck. You have decent speakers which have a lot more to give. 

 

Music playback is vastly improved though by adding an integrated 2 channel amp with ht bypass. Some even have a dac built in. 

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Hi all   Over the past six months I have been setting up a sound system. So far my system consists of the following

 

Yamaha RX- A2080 AV receiver

2 x Martin Logan Motion 40 Front speakers (wired as bi-amp)

2 x Martin Logan Motion FX Rear speakers

2 x Martin Logan Motion 2 Front Presence speakers

1 x Martin Logan Motion 30 Centre speaker

2 x Yamaha NS-SW300 subwoofers.

 

The receiver is rated at 150 W @6 Ohms 2 channel driven so I am going to assume this is a lot less when I have 9 channels being driven. My question is would I benefit with the addition of a external power amp and if so would an amp with a two channel output of 80 - 100 W give me cleaner sound from the front speakers than what I am experiencing now? The above ML speakers are all @4 Ohms, and the front speakers are wired bi-amp.

 

I enjoy both using this system watching movies but also appreciate good quality music - and now I have this system I am enjoying and appreciating both more and more everyday.

 

Any advice would certainly be appreciated.

 

 

I have a very similar set up. I run ML 40s as well for LR, ML35xt for rears, ML30 for center and AFX for 'bouncy house' atmos. I used to have it all hooked up to a Denon x3300w.  

 

1/. The output was good, the MLs are sensitive speakers. Keep in mind that only when all channels are active at the same levels/frequency would the AVR be 'stressed' and that also depends on what volume you are at. If you're like most people and listen around 20 - 15 dB below reference, you'd likely never stress the AVR in terms of output wattage, especially when you have subs doing the heavy lifting. Usually it puts out something like 15-20 watts per channel at this level. So basically, you should be fine as long as you don't listen at ear bleeding levels with bass heavy tracks on multichannel audio. Another thing to note is that your speaker's impedance will change over different frequencies. For example it *could* drop down to 2 ohms in when hitting 20KHz. This is why just saying a speaker is 4 ohm or 8ohm doesn't make much sense, without knowing anything about its impedance curve over rated frequencies.

 

2/. However...I upgraded to Rotel power amps - an RB 1582 mk ii for dedicated LR and an RB 1585 for 5ch for the remaining 5ch. 200 watts per channel. Immediately the dynamics improved in a big way and all of a sudden, sound had more 'heft' and it certainly felt more immersive.

 

Basically you don't need it, but you will certainly notice a difference when your gear is powered by amps, even at the same volume in terms of dynamics and a more 'fleshed out, fuller, weighty sound' (that's the best way I can describe it).

 

Other benefits are that your receiver's amps, if reassignable could be used for powering more speakers moving forward.

 

In terms of power, your MLs are rated at 20 to 300 watts per channel, so an amp in the vicinity of 200 -300 watts would be just fine. Always go for as much power as you can get, we don't buy new amps often ...

 

It's too little power that kills speakers (when turning up the volume) not too much. And also keep in mind while 400 watts sounds more impressive than 200 watts, the gain at double the wattage is only 3dB. For my budget 200 watts was the sweet spot for my ML40s with enough headroom to spare for more volume at a reasonable cost.

 

Hope that helps.

 

PS: You probably won't need to biamp if you have a good amp as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi, it has been discussed few times before. 

"would I benefit with the addition of a external power amp" - Yes, but it may not give you the improvement you are looking for. 

"would an amp with a two channel output of 80 - 100 W give me cleaner sound from the front speakers" - if the amp would be an integrated and the source would be connected directly to this amp than you can expect more details, better dynamics and overall musical experience. 

I would recommend to look for integrated 2 channel amp with ht bypass  for $3000 - $5000. ( it can work as a power amp )

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4 minutes ago, MaxPlumage said:

I have a very similar set up. I run ML 40s as well for LR, ML35xt for rears, ML30 for center and AFX for 'bouncy house' atmos. I used to have it all hooked up to a Denon x3300w.

1/. The output was good, the MLs are sensitive speakers. Keep in mind that only when all channels are active at the same levels/frequency would the AVR be 'stressed' and that also depends on what volume you are at. If you're like most people and listen around 20 - 15 dB below reference, you'd likely never stress the AVR in terms of output wattage, especially when you have subs doing the heavy lifting. Usually it puts out something like 15-20 watts per channel at this level. So basically, you should be fine as long as you don't listen at ear bleeding levels with bass heavy tracks on multichannel audio. Another thing to note is that your speaker's impedance will change over different frequencies. For example it *could* drop down to 2 ohms in when hitting 20KHz. This is why just saying a speaker is 4 ohm or 8ohm doesn't make much sense, without knowing anything about its impedance curve over rated frequencies.

2/. However...I upgraded to Rotel power amps - an RB 1582 mk ii for dedicated LR and an RB 1585 for 5ch for the remaining 5ch. 200 watts per channel. Immediately the dynamics improved in a big way and all of a sudden, sound had more 'heft' and it certainly felt more immersive.

Basically you don't need it, but you will certainly notice a difference when your gear is powered by amps, even at the same volume in terms of dynamics and a more 'fleshed out, fuller, weighty sound' (that's the best way I can describe it).

Other benefits are that your receiver's amps, if reassignable could be used for powering more speakers moving forward.

In terms of power, your MLs are rated at 20 to 300 watts per channel, so an amp in the vicinity of 200 -300 watts would be just fine. Always go for as much power as you can get, we don't buy new amps often ...

It's too little power that kills speakers (when tuening up the volume) not too much. And also keep in mind while 400 watts sounds more impressive than 200 watts, the gain at double the wattage is oy 3dB. For my budget 200 watts was the sweet spot for my ML40s with enough headroom to spare for more volume at a reasonable cost.

Hope that helps.

Thank you for the detailed response - really appreciate the advice.

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Thank you for the detailed response - really appreciate the advice.
No worries any further questions let me know.

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Hi all
 
Over the past six months I have been setting up a sound system. So far my system consists of the following
 
Yamaha RX- A2080 AV receiver
2 x Martin Logan Motion 40 Front speakers (wired as bi-amp)
2 x Martin Logan Motion FX Rear speakers
2 x Martin Logan Motion 2 Front Presence speakers
1 x Martin Logan Motion 30 Centre speaker
2 x Yamaha NS-SW300 subwoofers.
 
The receiver is rated at 150 W @6 Ohms 2 channel driven so I am going to assume this is a lot less when I have 9 channels being driven. My question is would I benefit with the addition of a external power amp and if so would an amp with a two channel output of 80 - 100 W give me cleaner sound from the front speakers than what I am experiencing now? The above ML speakers are all @4 Ohms, and the front speakers are wired bi-amp.
 
I enjoy both using this system watching movies but also appreciate good quality music - and now I have this system I am enjoying and appreciating both more and more everyday.
 
Any advice would certainly be appreciated.
If you are enjoying your system why not keep enjoying it?

What is it that you think you are missing out on?

With your type of amp, each power amplifier is fed by a single power supply, which will be the limiting factor in what power it can deliver for each channel at the same time.

Adding a power amp, with its own power supply, means freeing up power supply resources which will generate a bigger headroom. Whether you need it or not depends on many factors, and you should try before you buy.

Buying a power amp usually means you get a dedicated device for a single job, which in general terms should translate into better quality, but that doesn't mean that you will also notice it, if you don't know what you are after.

By design, AV gear is generally not delivering great audio quality directly compared to stereo gear. It just has to do to many things and support to many gizmos cramped in a tight space.

Long story short, try some other gear at home, and then decide in which area you like to make improvements.

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Lol

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11 hours ago, Primare Knob said:

If you are enjoying your system why not keep enjoying it?

Because things can sound better. My system at times sounds amazing but it didn’t stop me buying a new amp to see if is a better match with my speakers.

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14 hours ago, Kel500au said:

My question is would I benefit with the addition of a external power amp

Your speakers are (relatively) efficient.

 

That depends on how much of your existing one you are using.... so the key question is how loud do you typically play the audio.

 

If you want to focus on stereo, then get a stereo power amplifier to try and return it, if it's not an improvement.

 

Even better (as suggested) get an "integrated stereo amplifier with HT bypass" ... so you can hook up all your stereo sources directly to it (and bypass the yamaha), and then put the stereo amp in "HT bypass" mode to use it with the surround sources via the yamaha.

 

 

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Hi @Kel500au -  as @Bunno77 & @davewantsmoorepreviously mentioned using an amp with HT bypass is a good option and as i do that and its great. My music runs through my Arcam stereo amp and then when its movie time, it can act as a power amp for the fronts by having the AV receiver pre-out to the Arcam. 

Your Yamaha AV receiver is very nice (and could be of better quality than my Arcam amp) but i am one of those people that believe that a dedicated unit doing one thing (stereo amp for music) will be more rewarding than a unit that can do a lot of things (AV receiver that decodes, distributes multichannels etc)...

 

I would love to do what @MaxPlumage has done with his ML Motions + Rotel and i am also very envious of your full ML surround kit! 

I love my ML 40s - they look great and sound amazing 🙂

 

Have fun!

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Cheers rowbo.

 

I suppose if you're really keen and $$$ no object, you can get an amp and a preamp combo rather than an integrated and go the separates route for better SQ.

 

Probably worth mentioning that the Yamaha receivers (except the very high end ones) have never been very good in the pre-out department in that the voltage rms is *less* than 2 volts rms.

 

This means even if you hook it up to a powerful amp, you can still clip at higher volumes.

 

Denon mid range receivers generally put out closer to 3-4 volts rms on the preouts and they also have independent subwoofer outputs.

 

Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, rowbo said:

Hi @Kel500au -  as @Bunno77 & @davewantsmoorepreviously mentioned using an amp with HT bypass is a good option and as i do that and its great. My music runs through my Arcam stereo amp and then when its movie time, it can act as a power amp for the fronts by having the AV receiver pre-out to the Arcam. 

Your Yamaha AV receiver is very nice (and could be of better quality than my Arcam amp) but i am one of those people that believe that a dedicated unit doing one thing (stereo amp for music) will be more rewarding than a unit that can do a lot of things (AV receiver that decodes, distributes multichannels etc)...

 

I would love to do what @MaxPlumage has done with his ML Motions + Rotel and i am also very envious of your full ML surround kit! 

I love my ML 40s - they look great and sound amazing 🙂

 

Have fun!

Thank you for the advice

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6 hours ago, MaxPlumage said:

Cheers rowbo.

 

I suppose if you're really keen and $$$ no object, you can get an amp and a preamp combo rather than an integrated and go the separates route for better SQ.

 

Probably worth mentioning that the Yamaha receivers (except the very high end ones) have never been very good in the pre-out department in that the voltage rms is *less* than 2 volts rms.

 

This means even if you hook it up to a powerful amp, you can still clip at higher volumes.

 

Denon mid range receivers generally put out closer to 3-4 volts rms on the preouts and they also have independent subwoofer outputs.

 

Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think there would be few people where $$$ are no object. There is no doubt going the amp and preamp options does open up other avenues but at the moment I have invested in the Yamaha RX-A2080 and wanted to improve my current set up without over spending or wasting money. What models of the Yamaha range do you class as high end?

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7 hours ago, MaxPlumage said:

$$$ no object,

Image result for focal astral 16

 

focal astral 16

+

Image result for vitus integrated amp

 

Vitus SIA-030

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35 minutes ago, Kel500au said:

I think there would be few people where $$$ are no object. There is no doubt going the amp and preamp options does open up other avenues but at the moment I have invested in the Yamaha RX-A2080 and wanted to improve my current set up without over spending or wasting money. What models of the Yamaha range do you class as high end?

I heard the previous model RX A2060 and it was pretty good for HT duties.  

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I think there would be few people where $$$ are no object. There is no doubt going the amp and preamp options does open up other avenues but at the moment I have invested in the Yamaha RX-A2080 and wanted to improve my current set up without over spending or wasting money. What models of the Yamaha range do you class as high end?

The initial 'entry' level Aventage models such as the RXA 860, 760 all indicate a preout voltage of 1 volt. All you have to do is download their user manuals and look up the section at the end for pre outs and you will spot the voltage. If you hook this up via the preouts to a capable amp and crank up the volume (somewhere above reference) chances are the signal will clip and force the receiver into shutdown - unless said external amp has a really good gain to overcome the deficiency (even though it's the preamp's concern!). Short answer is despite having a nice external amp, you still don't have the voltage to drive it via your receiver's preouts.   

 

 

 

Your RXA 2080 is rated at 2 volts rms (I just checked the online manual), which will be fine, but Denon's equivalents or lesser (x3300w) actually have double the voltage at 4 volts, meaning your preout voltage will not be a bottleneck / catalyst for clipping for almost all power amplifiers.

 

 

 

In practice though, you probably never will dial that volume up so high that you hit the preout limit, but it's always nice to know you have headroom if you need (as in the Denons).

 

Hope that clarifies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, MaxPlumage said:

The initial 'entry' level Aventage models such as the RXA 860, 760 all indicate a preout voltage of 1 volt. All you have to do is download their user manuals and look up the section at the end for pre outs and you will spot the voltage. If you hook this up via the preouts to a capable amp and crank up the volume (somewhere above reference) chances are the signal will clip and force the amp into shutdown - unless said external amp has a really good gain to overcome the deficiency (even though it's the preamp's concern!). Short answer is despite having a nice external amp, you still don't have the voltage to drive it via your receiver's preouts. 

 

 

Your RXA 2080 is rated at 2 volts rms (I just checked the online manual), which will be fine, but Denon's equivalents or lesser (x3300w) actually have double the voltage at 4 volts, meaning your preout voltage will not be a bottleneck / catalyst for clipping for almost all power amplifiers.

 

In practice though, you probably never will dial that volume up so high that you hit the preout limit, but it's always nice to know you have headroom if you need (as in the Denons).

 

Hope that clarifies.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to explain

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