yamaha onkyo question
I recently upgraded my hts receiver from a yamaha htr-5440 80wattsx5
to a onkyo sr604 90 watts by 7
but although the onkyo output is rated much higher, 630 watts vs 400 watts, the old yamaha was physically louder. Has anyone else experienced this? or can anyone explain why?
thanks in advance
First, you are only talking 10 watts per channel increase over the yamaha, which isn't much more juice.
Second, you now have 7 channels grasping for power instead of 5, so even though there is a small increase in power you have more hungry speakers drawing it. This will be more noticeable in high volume scenes that tax the dynamic reserves of the amp, unless your receiver has 7 separate amps under the hood.
Also check the distortion ratings of both receivers, higher distortion sounds louder, but really it's just harder on the ears.
Power levels aren't a simple apples-to-apples thing. Different companies rate different ways. For instance, some companies rate with all channels driven... some with only two. Some rate with 20Hz-20kHz signals... some with only 1kHz. Also, some rate at different distortion levels. For instance, the Yamaha you cited was rated at 65 watts 20Hz-20kHz at 0.06% total harmonic distortion... whereas the Onkyo is rated at 90 watts 20Hz-20kHz at 0.08% THD. The Yamaha's 80 watt rating is at 1kHz, not full range.
Despite this difference, the two receivers only differ by 10 watts dynamic power at 8 ohms (95 vs 105), meaning they're likely very similar in overall power. Also, while I can't speak to how Yamaha rates, I can tell you that Onkyo rates power with only 2 channels driven. I would imagine that Yamaha's 65 watt spec may be the more honest 5-channels driven method, which explains why the dynamic power is so similar between the two.
That said, there shouldn't be a massive difference in the levels at which these two receivers can drive your speakers. One issue you may be having is that non-THX Onkyo receivers use a logarithmic non-linear volume scale, where increases in volume are higher from number to number as the numbers increase. This means that you won't get appreciable output from the receiver until you're in the upper range of numbers. When I had my Onkyo 603, normal listening levels were in the 60-75 range for me with the system calibrated for reference level around 84 on the volume.