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How do I know when a receiver isn't enough?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So I used my Yamaha RX-467 for my 4 Polk Audio R150 speakers and a CS10

Well recently someone gave me a pair of Polk RTi8 speakers. Didn't think much of it at first but it's starting to seem like I have to turn the volume up higher than I usually did with the R150 speakers. However I also had 3 of those surrounding me so that could be why?

Not using a sub ATM. How do you actually tell what you need to power certain speakers?
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post #2 of 9
There's nothing abnormal or weird about what you're seeing.
Some speakers just need more power to play as loud as other speakers.

When you have to turn up the volume dial so high that it causes distortion, then it's time for a more powerful amp.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Oh ok! thanks!

On a serious note, how WOULD I know if my receiver needed to be more powerful? I plan on adding a sub soon.
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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpykeZ View Post

Oh ok! thanks!

On a serious note, how WOULD I know if my receiver needed to be more powerful? I plan on adding a sub soon.

First off, if it's to be a powered sub, it won't use any power at all from your amp. Powered subs have their own amp built in. That's the way most people go.

As for power:
When you have to turn up the volume dial so high that it causes distortion, then it's time for a more powerful amp. Driving an amp into mild distortion causes the speakers to sound "raspy". Severe distortion causes all sorts of weird sounds (and can quickly destroy a speaker).

As for knowing if something you're going to buy has enough power for your needs, speakers all have published specs that list how much power they require. It's usually listed as a range. like 20-100 watts (the spec for your Polk Audio R150s, Your CS10 requires 20-125 watts) Your amp should be able to supply power in that range to each speaker. Your Yamaha amp supplies 105 watts per channel, so you're fine.

All the above applies to "Power". There's also the question of "Sound quality". Be assured that all 100 watt amps DO NOT provide the same sound quality. Basically you get what you pay for. And , further, what is good enough sound for one person may be totally unacceptable to another.

Some people are happy with a smart phone and $10 ear buds while others are trying to improve the sound quality of their $50,000 sound systems. Beauty is in the eye (ears?) of the beholder.

...hope that helps.
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post #5 of 9
oddly enough the RTI8's are listed to be more efficient than the R150s.

The R150s are listed at 89dB and the RTi8's are listed at 90dB
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
And boy does battlefield 3 sound phenomenal. Some guy on craigslist traded me a pair of the rti speakers for the four of my r150 and told me to keep the center. Paid about 200 for the r150 set. One rti I think retailed for 400 lol. Best craigslist score ever.
Edited by SpykeZ - 8/21/13 at 11:18am
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post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpykeZ View Post

And boy does battlefield 3 sound phenomenal. Some guy on craigslist traded me a pair of the rti speakers for the four of my r150 and told me to keep the center. Paid about 200 for the r150 set. One rti I think retailed for 400 lol. Best craigslist score ever.

very nice, i recently nabbed a deal on the lsi15's (and the LSiC and LSi7's). Upgraded from the Monitor series, always been a fan of polk.
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post #8 of 9
You can find some great deals on craigslist! ( sometimes) ..............I also run a custom Sony a/v reciver with 7.1 the only problem 4 now is we live in a condo complex ( looking to buy a house ) I cant even turn it up 25% My neighbors flat out get scared when i play battlefield 3 or Flaming cliffs lol! 1 guys an x Vietnam vet he told me he loves the sound- Turn it up more lol~ Wish everyone was like this guy haha
     
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post #9 of 9
I just want to make two more points, because everything else has already been covered.

First, adding a powered sub will actually help out a lot. Not only will it not take power from the receiver, it will actually reduce the load on the receiver. Right now you're running the RTI8's "full range" (all audio goes through them). Bass notes take LOTS of power in comparison to the other frequencies. So moving those lower frequencies to the sub, helps the receiver as it doesn't have to use power to produce those low notes anymore. You'd obviously mostly notice this when playing bass heavy audio.

Second, the wattage ratings on speakers doesn't really tell you much, and not all watts are created equal. Some amplifiers have much higher current behind their watts, and they do in fact drive most speakers better. Most speakers are damaged or "blown" through amplifier distortion. Amp distortion kicks in when its trying to produce too much wattage. So if you're turning up your receiver a lot and getting distortion, its time for an amp (or something.. like a new receiver, lower listening levels, etc) otherwise you could end up blowing your nice "new" speakers.

Case in point, I have a 75wpc denon (older model), and my neighbor had a 120wpc sony. We tried out our receivers side by side, and there was no comparison. We tried them on his system, and his first words were "I've never heard my speakers sound like this". He went out the next week to replace the sony. I'm not saying that I have something amazing, but am just pointing out that not all receivers of the same wattage are the same (just like PSU's).

Also, I just got a pair of RTI a5's (similar to the 8's), and they're quite good, so enjoy them as they're totally an upgrade from the R150's.
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