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My Cerwin Vegas need an amp!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So I have a pair of Cerwin Vega LS-12s that are phenomenal for what I paid for them, but I'm cheating them by powering them with an older (2001-ish) Kenwood 5.1 receiver. It's worked alright for a while, but I think I can get better sound quality with something better, and it's not very powerful. These things peak at 300 watts, which I usually never come close too in my room, but when I do bring them downstairs for parties, I can't turn it up too far before the Kenwood cuts out.

Anyways, I need an amp. I have a Xonar DX that's doing all the processing, and I'm only working with stereo here, so it doesn't have to be fancy. The only requirements are outputting as clean and transparent (as in not changing what the sound-card output) a signal as possible and have a good amount of power. I really have no idea how much RMS power the Kenwood puts out. If I did, I could give you guys a number. But I'll guesstimate that 100 RMS watts/channel based on Sherwood's stereo receivers which I have considered. Are straight amplifiers for home audio made? Do other manufacturers make stereo amps? Other opinions?
Edited by Flynny - 12/4/12 at 2:44pm
post #2 of 5
You can easily get a 2-channel amplifier of pretty much any power you want. The issue is cost.

I really wish you had an idea of what the Kenwood was putting out. The Vegas have a listed sensitivity of 98 dB, which is really high. The amount of sound you would get out of them at 100W/channel should be immense. I think your Kenwood, then, is probably putting out well under 100W into 2 channels.

You don't want to end up buying an amplifier that's less powerful than what you got. I think you should figure out your current power as a starting point. Can you figure out the model number for it?

What's your budget?
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
I posted this on head-fi last night, pretty much a revised version of this with more information. Should answer your questions (in bold)
Quote:
I have a pair of Cerwin Vega LS-12s that are phenomenal for what I paid for them, but I'm cheating them by powering them with an older Kenwood 5.1 receiver. It's a Kenwood VR-505, and according to the specs in it's manual, it is 100 watts RMS/channel. Specs in question: http://puu.sh/1xcm0

I never come close to blasting 200 watts in my room where my speakers usually are, or else I'm pretty sure my ears would bleed. But when I do bring them downstairs for parties, the volume gets cranked, but not as far as we want sometimes, because the Kenwood will cut out. Another thing this amp does is generate static. There is a barely audible amount if the volume is not turned up, but at -20 dB and up on the volume control (I have it at -22 and then adjust in Windows for normal listening), there is a clearly audible white noise when nothing is playing. Annoying sure, but the cause of that is crappy circuity, which also results in the crazy 0.7 THD seen in the specs.

I wouldn't know for sure because I haven't heard them powered by anything better in my room, but I bet the speakers would sound better with a better amp. In my room I have them close to me so I can hear lots of detail. I listen to mostly rock/pop and rap. The bass is usually the dominant factor in pop and rap, but I love being able to hear detail in rock and other genres.

Anyways, I need a new amp. I have a Xonar DX sound card that's doing all the processing, and I'm only working with stereo here, so it doesn't have to be a receiver; but it seems like that may be the only option for this much power. I'd like it to be as transparent as possible obviously, and as long as I'm reading it right and the Kenwood is 100 watts RMS/channel, I'm thinking that 125 WRMS/channel would be a good goal. I've looked at Sherwood's stereo amps, but they only push 100 WRMS/channel aswell, but maybe one would sound better? Other suggestions? I'm all ears (hah). I'd like to stay under $300, used or new.

In case your curious, this is what I usually have my EQ on the Xonar software set to. http://puu.sh/1xd0r Without that, snare drums sound like empty shells, and the overall sound is very flat.

Also, the screenshot from the Kenwood manual was taken on page 41 here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/79903962/Kenwood-VR505-Surround-Sound-Receiver

Edited by Flynny - 12/5/12 at 2:55pm
post #4 of 5
Despite what the manual says, I'm skeptical that you are truly getting 100Watt per channel out of that thing...

Anyway, with your budget and power requirements, you're going to have to settle for Class D if you want a new amplifier, sacrificing audio quality (your Kenwood is likely class D as well, though). Something like this:

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=245-500

Listed THD for that is still a pretty poor .5% though. Everything else I can find new at your power range is either Behringer (yuck) or Pyle (yuck * 1000, and their power ratings are hysterical BS).


If you go used, older receivers almost never go over 100Watt per channel, rated. The Fisher RS-2010 is a really good unit 100watt unit. It can probably do closer to 150, though, and has a THD rating of .06%, almost 10 times better than the the Crown! However, you're going to be pushing it harder than the crown.

You may be able to pick up a rackmount stereo PA amplifier that can do 300watt off of Ebay for your price range. If you are not capable of doing minor repairs to equipment, though, you may want to avoid used.
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post #5 of 5
I'm not sure what quality range you're looking for... but here are few links to consider.

http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/2200.html (times two)

http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/amplifiers/products/xpa200

You'd need to find them used to stay under $300.
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