Amplifier/Speaker Confusion

B00mer00

Novice Member
Hi All

Being a total newbie to the Power Amp scene (I have to say this was all so much easier years ago) and looked at many many threads on this site and information available on google, I have found myself more confused than ever! I have acquired a set of Eltax Symphony 6.2’s and really love the sound that comes out of them - the trouble is I used a 15W sub from a 2.1 system to power them just for testing purposes and I don’t want to damage the speakers so now looking for a suitable power amp (preferably one with Bluetooth capabilities but that’s not overly important as I can get an adapter for that) but really confused on the minimum wattage to go for on the amp. I have attached the info I have on the speakers but from what I think I’ve established is the RMS wattage is more 100W than the 150 stated? I don’t know what the ‘Sinus Power’ means and if it needs to be factored into the overall power of the speaker? What confused me more than anything is when I was doing some research, the article I was reading stated that a 150W RMS speaker 4-8ohms could be powered by a 44 watt amp? What I really need to know is what specs on the amp should I be looking out for when choosing? I am going to go second hand on this and I don’t plan to have more than 1 set of speakers connected - it’s for music and not tv - although if I go for another setup with smaller speakers these will be designated to the tv - any simplistic advice would be very much appreciated :). Thank you for reading!
 

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DT79

Well-known Member
Hi All

Being a total newbie to the Power Amp scene (I have to say this was all so much easier years ago) and looked at many many threads on this site and information available on google, I have found myself more confused than ever! I have acquired a set of Eltax Symphony 6.2’s and really love the sound that comes out of them - the trouble is I used a 15W sub from a 2.1 system to power them just for testing purposes and I don’t want to damage the speakers so now looking for a suitable power amp (preferably one with Bluetooth capabilities but that’s not overly important as I can get an adapter for that) but really confused on the minimum wattage to go for on the amp. I have attached the info I have on the speakers but from what I think I’ve established is the RMS wattage is more 100W than the 150 stated? I don’t know what the ‘Sinus Power’ means and if it needs to be factored into the overall power of the speaker? What confused me more than anything is when I was doing some research, the article I was reading stated that a 150W RMS speaker 4-8ohms could be powered by a 44 watt amp? What I really need to know is what specs on the amp should I be looking out for when choosing? I am going to go second hand on this and I don’t plan to have more than 1 set of speakers connected - it’s for music and not tv - although if I go for another setup with smaller speakers these will be designated to the tv - any simplistic advice would be very much appreciated :). Thank you for reading!
Hi, welcome to the forum.

I think you need an integrated amp rather than a power amp. A power amp just increases the volume by a set gain. If you want to connect up various sources and control the volume you also need a pre amp which then connects to the power amp. An integrated amp has both in one box.

I think that‘s a pretty useless set of specs on those speakers, I’d ignore them and just look for an integrated amp within your budget that has the features you need.

You can connect a more powerful amp than 150w to them without any issues, the only issue would be if you turned up the volume so high that you put more than 150w through them, which is unlikely. You’re also far more likely to damage a pair of speakers by pushing an amp with too little power into distortion.

What sort of sized room have you got? If it’s an ‘average’ UK living room, then a 50w + integrated should be more than sufficient.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Speakers are rated at their maximum handling power I.e. if you exceed that power input you are likely to damage them.

Now, as for what power you need, most listening at normal domestic level is probably done at 75-80dB at 1 m from the speaker, this will only take about 0.5w to produce. The sensitivity of the speakers determines the power needed for a certain volume.

So, couldn’t find any specs for the Eltacs so we may assume they are approx 86dB/W/m sensitivity. Also music may have 20dB swing in volume so this is the headroom you need and as power doubles for every 3dB you will need to double the power 6 times to get the power needed to cover these swings.

So listening at 80dB at 1m will take 1/4W (86-6dB), 20dB headroom will the need only 8W.

So, most amps around 40-70W will drive speakers to volumes in a domestic situation that will cause heating damage over time.

The other thing to look out for is the minimum impedance (label suggests 4ohm) which places a strain on the amp if too low. 4 ohm will be ok for most amps but some amps have better power supplies to cope with this ham others.

Finally, the damping factor of an amp helps to control the starting and stopping of the speaker especially in the bass region, having a high damping factor will create a more controlled bass (look for those over 150 is you can).

Sorry, bit of a long reply but basically any amp around 50w and with a damping factor of 150 or above will drive them well it is then a choice as to your personal preference of what sound signature you like from warm (Marantz, Arcam, Mausical fidelity) to neutral (Audiolab, Rotel) to bright (Cyrus).
 

B00mer00

Novice Member
Thank you both for your advice - it has been extremely helpful - wish I had asked weeks ago! :) I may come back if there is an amp that I’m unsure about but if not, have a Happy Easter and thanks again :)
 

B00mer00

Novice Member
Hi, welcome to the forum.

I think you need an integrated amp rather than a power amp. A power amp just increases the volume by a set gain. If you want to connect up various sources and control the volume you also need a pre amp which then connects to the power amp. An integrated amp has both in one box.

I think that‘s a pretty useless set of specs on those speakers, I’d ignore them and just look for an integrated amp within your budget that has the features you need.

You can connect a more powerful amp than 150w to them without any issues, the only issue would be if you turned up the volume so high that you put more than 150w through them, which is unlikely. You’re also far more likely to damage a pair of speakers by pushing an amp with too little power into distortion.

What sort of sized room have you got? If it’s an ‘average’ UK living room, then a 50w + integrated should be more than sufficient.
Sorry missed your question it’s not a big house so rooms are normal size - 3-4M Sq (ish) I will be looking for the best I can afford - I think I’ve been looking for the wrong thing all along lol
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Depending on your budget - second hand

Audiolab 8000a will give a clear crisp sound but look out for older ones as the rear rca terminals can crack.

Arcam 8/9/10 will be a bit warmer sounding, the 8/9 can suffer from crackly controls especially the volume, the 10 is fine. The Audiolab FMJ A19 is also worth a look for a slightly bigger budget.

Rotel are always a good buy the RA03 is a very good amp.

If you want a rounded warm sound the Marantz 600x series are worth a look. ( for x add 4/5/6/7 the 4 is the oldest and 7 is the new version).

Not sure if these are appropriate but thought I’d give you a place to start.
 

oscroft

Member
Audiolab 8000a will give a clear crisp sound but look out for older ones as the rear rca terminals can crack.
Much as I love the 8000A (I have one myself), I wouldn't recommend one unless you're handy with a soldering iron. Even the most recent models (which are still close to 30 years old) can suffer from the crumbling RCA plastic problem. And they can fail relatively quickly, so one that looks good can be fine for months and then the terminals start breaking.
 

B00mer00

Novice Member
Depending on your budget - second hand

Audiolab 8000a will give a clear crisp sound but look out for older ones as the rear rca terminals can crack.

Arcam 8/9/10 will be a bit warmer sounding, the 8/9 can suffer from crackly controls especially the volume, the 10 is fine. The Audiolab FMJ A19 is also worth a look for a slightly bigger budget.

Rotel are always a good buy the RA03 is a very good amp.

If you want a rounded warm sound the Marantz 600x series are worth a look. ( for x add 4/5/6/7 the 4 is the oldest and 7 is the new version).

Not sure if these are appropriate but thought I’d give you a place to start.
That is great thank you!
 

B00mer00

Novice Member
Much as I love the 8000A (I have one myself), I wouldn't recommend one unless you're handy with a soldering iron. Even the most recent models (which are still close to 30 years old) can suffer from the crumbling RCA plastic problem. And they can fail relatively quickly, so one that looks good can be fine for months and then the terminals start breaking.
Thank you for the heads up - soldering is not one of my strong points :)
 

B00mer00

Novice Member
Now that I have an idea of what I’m looking for and from a little bit more searching based on the information you have kindly provided, I have come up with a few possibilities (none of which you recommended sorry!) and wanted to know your thoughts? Denon 201SA Integrated Amp (I believe this formed part of a separates system but still looks very good), Denon PMA355 or 450, and the Yamaha RX-V361? Would any of these power my speakers comfortably? Many Thanks :)
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
The Yamaha RX-V361 is an AudioVideo (AV) receiver designed for TV surround sound and that's not your intention. However, I think second hand AV receivers can be great bargains. Judged purely on the features (most of which you don't need) and power available, they generally represent better value for money than stereo amplifiers. Problem is, most are said not to sound great, evidently (I've never owned one). If you can get your hands on one cheaply that has received good reviews for sound quality then it may pay to have all those extra channels of amplification and features you don't need. By the way, it has sufficient power for your speakers.

Do you want the amplifier to have any particular features? Marantz and Denon made some nice all-in-one systems over the past decade such as Marantz M-CR412 and Denon RCD-M41DAB which have CD, DAB+/FM and Bluetooth (the Denon is a bit low on power but adequate. Note the previous model, the RCD-M40DAB lacked Bluetooth). Maybe slightly older versions of these would do the trick?

Denon made some nice budget amps a few years back but seem to have concentrated more on AV receivers in recent years. If you can't get a personal recommendation on specific amps, take a look for old reviews of these products on websites such as What hifi (other review websites are available).
 

B00mer00

Novice Member
The Yamaha RX-V361 is an AudioVideo (AV) receiver designed for TV surround sound and that's not your intention. However, I think second hand AV receivers can be great bargains. Judged purely on the features (most of which you don't need) and power available, they generally represent better value for money than stereo amplifiers. Problem is, most are said not to sound great, evidently (I've never owned one). If you can get your hands on one cheaply that has received good reviews for sound quality then it may pay to have all those extra channels of amplification and features you don't need. By the way, it has sufficient power for your speakers.

Do you want the amplifier to have any particular features? Marantz and Denon made some nice all-in-one systems over the past decade such as Marantz M-CR412 and Denon RCD-M41DAB which have CD, DAB+/FM and Bluetooth (the Denon is a bit low on power but adequate. Note the previous model, the RCD-M40DAB lacked Bluetooth). Maybe slightly older versions of these would do the trick?

Denon made some nice budget amps a few years back but seem to have concentrated more on AV receivers in recent years. If you can't get a personal recommendation on specific amps, take a look for old reviews of these products on websites such as What hifi (other review websites are available).
Hi Dogfonos - thank you for your advice! I will look into your further recommendations later but I have just negotiated £40 on the Yamaha which I thought was a great deal for a first time amp? I am also negotiating on the Denon SA201 entire stack inc speakers for £150 which again I thought was a great deal but still thinking on that one. I am also negotiating on the Denon pma355uk for £50 and will get some speakers for them also but again thinking on it - I will wait until I can get to look at your recommendations before going for the Denons. I looked to see what I could get on the Marantz 600x series as recommended earlier, but I couldn’t come up with what I would consider a great deal unfortunately, but that is maybe something I can move onto at a later date :) I really appreciate everyone’s advice - thank you all again!
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
Not sure what you're aiming for any more?

You have the Eltax speakers you love but are considering a Denon stack with speakers. You've purchased a Yamaha receiver (unless I've misunderstood?) yet are still pursuing a Denon stack and a Denon amp? Whatever the aim, hope it works out for you.
 

B00mer00

Novice Member
Not sure what you're aiming for any more?

You have the Eltax speakers you love but are considering a Denon stack with speakers. You've purchased a Yamaha receiver (unless I've misunderstood?) yet are still pursuing a Denon stack and a Denon amp? Whatever the aim, hope it works out for you.
I knew that might cause some confusion and I apologise 😳 yes I want to power the Eltax speakers and the Yamaha amp will do that - I am one confused lady as you can probably tell! If I can get another set up at a great price for another room in the house - I saw the 2 Denons and couldn’t resist - I won’t be getting both Denons but one other great setup would be awesome :). Once I knew what I was looking for all these tempting offers started falling from the sky 😁
 

B00mer00

Novice Member
I'd be interested to hear what system(s) you end up with.:)
Welllllll funny you should ask 😁 ... I opted for just the one after thinking hard about what I wanted to achieve so went for just the Yamaha and being a noob with amps and the like I’m actually VERY happy with the end result - BUT (isn’t there always a but? 😳) ... my initial intended purpose was to have music playing while working/cooking/showering etc - a nice sound not from some awful Bluetooth speaker and so this setup was supposed to be for the kitchen / bathroom / utility area and garden too as it could be heard from the house into the garden from the kitchen, but since collecting the Yamaha amp, I have had a change of heart and connected it up to the tv and going to get a Bluetooth enabled DAC so that I can listen to music on it too in the lounge - here is the but - I still need something for the areas I initially wanted it for or find some way to use this system for both which is why I was considering a second setup. The guy I bought the Yamaha from offered me a pair of mission 702e’s for £50 and I was soooooo tempted! But the other Amps have since been sold so would have to source another - if you have any suggestions I’m open for ideas :)
 

B00mer00

Novice Member
So ... I’ve had a little time to think about what I can do to resolve my dilemma - and now wondering if the following is at all possible (if you wouldn’t mind advising?)

Would it be possible to run a second set of speakers from ‘Speaker B’ (I believe this would be a separate ‘channel’ on the amp?) And when playing from the lounge select ‘Speaker A’, when playing from the second set of speakers select ‘Speaker B’?

As this is all new to me I wouldn’t know if this is a possibility? That way I would have music everywhere I wanted it to be heard, with the addition of the TV hookup which is a bonus as I didn’t intend on this as I had a pair of 2.1’s hooked up to the TV but when I got the amp it just made sense :)
 

B00mer00

Novice Member
I have had another thought which I’m now going to search for in the forums - Amazon Echo, Wheels and 30M of cable - again I don’t know if it’s possible but that’s why I’m here 😁 - if I could explain:

Attach small wheels to the bottom of the speakers so I can then play them in my chosen room and put them back when finished - Amazon Echo connected to the amp with one paired and available in the kitchen (this can also be extended to other rooms in the future if needed) I realise it’s only Spotify I play my music from these days so might be an option - this will eradicate the need for additional speakers and solve the Bluetooth issue with a more reliable connection?

I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t have a clue why I would need a DAC but read somewhere that it would improve the amp in some way - so assumed that as I had an older amp I’d need one - but if I don’t I won’t. And like I mentioned before my house is relatively small so it might be overkill having the additional speakers but I am very much up for the idea if necessary 😁 - no BUTS in this post just all positivity coupled with possibilities :)
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
Amazon Echo, Wheels and 30M of cable
Allow me to join in the emoji-fest...

:eek: Asking for trouble, IMO.

Would it be possible to run a second set of speakers from ‘Speaker B’ (I believe this would be a separate ‘channel’ on the amp?) And when playing from the lounge select ‘Speaker A’, when playing from the second set of speakers select ‘Speaker B’?

Yes, no and yes - I think. I'm not familiar with the specific speaker connections on the Yamaha RX-V361 but usually when amplifiers have speaker A and speaker B terminals they can be used as you suggest. Additionally, you can use both speakers A and B at the same time. In this case, there should be a front panel control that says "A+B", or similar. If you run both pairs of speakers at the same time, ensure all speakers have a nominal impedance of at least 8 Ohms.

The speaker B terminals are not separate amplifier channels just a duplication of speaker terminal A. I'm no electronics expert but I imagine speaker A and speaker B terminals are electrically connected in parallel to the same amplifier channel (when "A + B" is selected)

I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t have a clue why I would need a DAC but read somewhere that it would improve the amp in some way

You really don't need one at present. There would be little improvement when listening to Spotify. Get the basics right first.

I've little experience of Bluetooth connectivity but it is said to equal CD quality these days and Spotify Premium is probably a little bit worse. I wouldn't rule out Bluetooth for your purposes. There are perfectly decent powered speakers with built-in Bluetooth. Edifier are a well known brand that's been around for ages. Check out their 'R' series powered speakers:

 

oscroft

Member
The speaker B terminals are not separate amplifier channels just a duplication of speaker terminal A. I'm no electronics expert but I imagine speaker A and speaker B terminals are electrically connected in parallel to the same amplifier channel (when "A + B" is selected)
Yep, that's the way mine is connected. But, mine only offers A or A+B, no B alone. So, essentially, one unswitched pair of connections and one switched - and I believe a number of amps are arranged that way.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
So ... I’ve had a little time to think about what I can do to resolve my dilemma - and now wondering if the following is at all possible (if you wouldn’t mind advising?)

Would it be possible to run a second set of speakers from ‘Speaker B’ (I believe this would be a separate ‘channel’ on the amp?) And when playing from the lounge select ‘Speaker A’, when playing from the second set of speakers select ‘Speaker B’?

As this is all new to me I wouldn’t know if this is a possibility? That way I would have music everywhere I wanted it to be heard, with the addition of the TV hookup which is a bonus as I didn’t intend on this as I had a pair of 2.1’s hooked up to the TV but when I got the amp it just made sense :)

As it’s A or B that’s precisely what they’re for. No problem at all.
 

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