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  1. #1

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    Question How much power is needed(wanted)?

    I am building out my first home theater and I am looking to add some more power to the speakers now that I am out of an apt. This is my current 7.1 setup:

    Yamaha RX-A1020 (doing all the work right now)
    2x Monitor 75T
    Monitor 25C
    2x Monitor 40
    2x Monitor 30
    Klipsch SW-350

    I would like to give the speakers as much power as they/I can handle so when I upgrade, which we all do :), I will have enough to power some larger speakers. I see some people here saying that the 75Ts can handle 300w but the rating is 20-275 so I am confused. I also saw someone saying they are pumping 200w to a CS2 and the rating there is 175.

    Could someone give me a little clarity on how much my speakers can handle and how I can get the maximum out of them?

  2. #2

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    Speaker power ratings are more so a guideline rather than something etched in stone. Any speaker can benefit from more current being available to them. A lot has to do with how loud you listen in a given size room too. For average volume, what you have is fine. Keep in mind though, on your average receiver, the more speakers you add the less power is available to all. A tad more complicated than that but that's just putting it into a simpler version. Which is why some go for adding an external amplifier for the front 2 or 3 speakers and let the receiver handle the others. Also, a 300 watt per channel amp doesn't pump all that power out as soon as it's turned on, it's just available should you need it. Follow ? The higher you turn up the volume, the more juice your speakers need, the more power the amp puts out, up to a certain point anyway. Everything has it's limits.

    Now, what you didn't say was what you planed to upgrade to. Be more specific and we can recommend a course of action.
    Last edited by tonyb; 08-06-2013 at 03:19 PM.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the info! Most likely I am going to stay in the Polk family and get something from the RTi or RTiA line. I can't stop looking at the RTi 10s on Polks eBay store. So going forward I would most likely go to that line of speakers, RTi/CSi/FXiA.

    So would getting something like a 3x200 amp do the trick for the front 3? Or should I give the 75Ts more power. I do like my movies loud :) With my Yammy I had the volume level at -10 if that means anything :/

  4. #4

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    The RTI10's could sure benefit from an amp and if you listen that loud, I would say it's a must have then. Just make sure you have preouts on the receiver to add an amp in the first place. Just remember if you do add an amp, doesn't mean you can go crazy on the volume dial either. Amps are for clarity/dynamics....not volume.

  5. #5

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    My RX-A1020 definitely has pre-outs so I am set there. I wonder if I listen to it so loud right now because I need more power to get that clarity/dynamics at lower volumes. Does that compute? So a 200W amp should be fine for the 25C?

  6. #6

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    Could be my friend, especially if your trying to achieve certain loudness in a bigger room. Takes more current to reach those SPL's, something a receiver usually lacks at higher volumes with all those speakers attached.

    So this is going to be for HT and music listening....or just HT ?

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    Probably 95% HT

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    Yes a 200wpc at 8ohms amp will be just fine. But don't discount the fact that the back speakers will benefit just as much from that kind of power as well.

    The speakers will only take what they need to operate to their full potential, but the power has to be there for them to take it. That is why we like to recommend separate amplification. Welcome to Club Polk!
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

  9. #9

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    Did I say welcome to the club ? Sorry man, my manners are terrible at times.

    Welcome to the club !!

  10. #10

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    So 200wpc to the 40s and 30s would be fine too?

  11. #11

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    Cool bro, start with amping your front 3. The surrounds will get more juice anyway from the receiver if you take that burden of the front 3 off of it. Frankly, the surround position is the least power using position in HT anyway.

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    Moving over from your other topic since they are pretty much directly related, I would start by upgrading your power.
    Never under-estimate the power of good clean...uh...power for your speakers.
    Right now, your 1020 is having to divide its current between all 7 of those speakers.
    See about picking up something like an Adcom GFA-5503 or Parasound 1203 or the like (a good quality 3x200wpc amp into 8 ohms).
    That is going to off-load quite a bit of demand from your AVR and will give your speakers more dynamic headroom to play with.
    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
    I may have an addiction... RTA-15TL, SDA 2, LSi25, LSi15, LSi9, LSi7, LSiCx2, LSiFX, LS/FX, RT/FX, DSW MP2000...and that's just the Polks...

  13. #13

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    Well it looks like I am off to find a 3x200 amp. I am liking the prices of the 5503 and 1203, now I just need to offload a Marantz 6005, any takers? :)

    I have heard that the RTis are brighter than the Monitor line, I usually like speakers leaning toward the warmer side. Any suggestions on a warmer amp to combat the inevitable upgrade I will make.

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    Any thoughts on the Emotiva XPA-3 compared to the Parasound and Adcom? There is a guy on craigslist near me selling it for $450

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    Quote Originally Posted by PixelPusher View Post
    Any thoughts on the Emotiva XPA-3 compared to the Parasound and Adcom? There is a guy on craigslist near me selling it for $450
    A good starter amp, but does not have the sound quality of Parasound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    A good starter amp, but does not have the sound quality of Parasound.
    I'll second that, but if your looking for HT use I would get the EMO in a minute. I doubt you would notice much difference for your application.

  17. #17

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    Warmer side ? Parasound or my personal favorite B&k. Check Audiogon.com or your local craigslist to start.

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    I am currently using the xpa-3 in my setup for ht f, c, l, and reciever for the rears. A major upgrade from just using the Onkyo. Thats a good price too. Welcome to CP.
    HT: LSI15, LSIC, LSIFX, Emo XPA-3 Onkyo TXNR809, Sony BDP-S500, PannyDMP-BDT320, MIT S1 SC. Mit 73842dlp
    2ch: SDA-SRS 2.3 Fully modded. BAT VK500 w/batpak, BAT VK5I
    TT, cd player, In my near future.

  19. #19

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    Welcome to Club Polk!

    Emotiva is fine, but like Tony I'd prefer the Parasound or B&K. But maybe we should wait for yahzi to weigh in on how much POWER one needs? What do you think guys? I'm waiting for our resident "engineer" to get those numbers up. I'm so enamored of hardcore "tests" and "graphs". My god, I'd never buy anything "I" thought sounded "good" without "looking at the numbers"!

    Excuse my aside above--we like to have some "fun" around here, too!

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  20. #20

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    Thanks so much for the info guys! I ended up going with the XPA-3 from a guy on AVS (craigslist dude never responded) for $450. I really wanted to get something like Parasound or B&K but I am always a little scared getting something that old without seeing it.

    Now I just need to set the theater up, can't wait!

  21. #21

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    Absolutely CNH, a little fun with some good debate= thick skin....which seems to be sorely absent these days.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by PixelPusher View Post
    Thanks so much for the info guys! I ended up going with the XPA-3 from a guy on AVS (craigslist dude never responded) for $450. I really wanted to get something like Parasound or B&K but I am always a little scared getting something that old without seeing it.

    Now I just need to set the theater up, can't wait!
    Cool man,wouldn't be my personal choice with RTI's but hey, should work fine as a starter amp. Now since that's out of the way and seeing your choices, I would recommend you look for a warmer sounding cables to hook it all up. You have thought about cables haven't you ?

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by PixelPusher View Post
    Thanks so much for the info guys! I ended up going with the XPA-3 from a guy on AVS (craigslist dude never responded) for $450. I really wanted to get something like Parasound or B&K but I am always a little scared getting something that old without seeing it.

    Now I just need to set the theater up, can't wait!
    So, in the span of what about 8 hours you researched amp options, found a guy on the AVS forum that lives near you and bought an amp that almost everyone suggested was not the best choice? I've got a bridge for sale, you'll love it.

    I would recommend you look for a warmer sounding cables to hook it all up.
    Yeah, some seriously warm cables. Try Cardas, they might help that combo.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    So, in the span of what about 8 hours you researched amp options, found a guy on the AVS forum that lives near you and bought an amp that almost everyone suggested was not the best choice? I've got a bridge for sale, you'll love it.
    Jesse,

    I've found many people come here for validation not advice. He obviously already made up his mind 8 hours before he posted here.

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  25. #25

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    You have a good point.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  26. #26

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    Maybe so gents, still....no need to jump on the dude. His Yamaha + emo amp + RTI's = some serious bright sound. My only hope is he doesn't dive in for the Monoprice stuff. That would put it over the edge.

    I am curious myself however, we did give him some good recommendations, yet he went another route. Eh, to each his own, but if AVS is his source, why not ask the same questions over there ?

  27. #27

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    Well, you guys have officially made me second guess my choice haha. I went with the Emotiva because is is much newer and comes with a warranty. I had been contemplating getting something from Parasound, Adcom, B&K or Emotiva for a few days now. I know it wont sound as good as the other recommendations but maybe when I have a little more cash to spend I can upgrade to a newer amp from a better brand. I am always nervous buying old equipment so I stayed safe :/ Plus if I dont like the sound I could turn around and sell it for close to what I paid and get one of the recommended.

    Now on to cables... I had no idea they would could change sound characteristics. Please give recommendations!

  28. #28

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    Your Emo is fine for a new HT. It gives you a base on which to grow, and as you change gear you will be able to make mental comparisons as to which you like better. In fact, comparing the Emo to the Yamaha is your first task.

    In regard to cables, unless they are really cheap they won't change the "sound characteristics". That is called distortion. What good cables do is get out of the way, and let your gear perform at its potential. I was totally amazed at how much sound I was able to extract from my modest gear as I upgraded the power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables.

  29. #29

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    I'm sort of in the same situation except I've forgone stepping up to the RTi in favor of seeing what more power will do for the Monitors first.

    Emotiva seems like the best bang for the buck, but I'm leaning towards the domestically manufactured Outlaw brand. It's the least I can do to make up for buying a foreign car. People seem to say Outlaw stacks up well against the usual suspects of budget amps, so I see it as a win-win.
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    PixelPusher, I already suggested Cardas as being a warm cable.


    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    In regard to cables, unless they are really cheap they won't change the "sound characteristics". That is called distortion. What good cables do is get out of the way, and let your gear perform at its potential.
    I can't agree with that. Once you get past the standard xx gauge stranded cables, the selections have a different flavor that has nothing to do with distortion.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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