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Could a MF A3.5 amp blow my Quad 11Ls

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amanlikemike

Guest
Pardon my ignorance, but I am eyeing up a Musical Fidelity A3.5 amp, which can deliver 150wpc at 8 Ohms and 240wpc at 4 Ohms. My Quad 11L speakers have a 6 Ohm impedance and are recommended for use with amps up to 150wpc. So does that mean that the MF would deliver 195wpc to them? And if, so could if conceivably blow them (not that I would ever crank the volume to nose-bleed level)?


Cheers,


Michael
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
You would only blow your speakers if you turn up the volume too high. The limit is well below nose-bleed level however; it's also a fair bit below disco level.
 
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amanlikemike

Guest
Thanks for that. How loud is too loud? Every so often, I like to give it some, but not to the point where I couldnt hear anything else around me. Would that be safe? Guess I'd be able to tell if I ever got close to the the limit...
 

thfcwestlower

Established Member
I think the amp is too powerful, for the small bookshelfs

On a slightly different note, isnt the MF amp far too good for the 11Ls (which apart from their looks arent too great imo)?
 

GW43

Prominent Member
You are more likely to knacker speakers with an underpowered amp than you are with an "overpowered" one.

When an underpowered amp goes into clipping, it is basically delivering a DC signal to the speakers, which is not good.

What's happening is that the amp has reached the limit of its output so the tops and bottoms of the waveforms are flattened off. What you hear is distortion, and the sound of your bank balance being reduced to get your speakers repaired!

Google "audio clipping", or "speaker clipping" to get a comprehensive explanation.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
I use a simple test: if my wife tells me to turn down the volume, it's all right. If I can't hear her telling me to turn the volume down, it's too loud. :)
 
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amanlikemike

Guest
Thanks for the advice chaps. What follows will make it fairly clear that I'm not exactly an audiophile - I just feckin' love music - so any further advice would be greatly appreciated.

So anyway, I just got it all rigged up last night and while I didn't blow the 11Ls, I think thfcwestlower may be right.

The A3.5 replaces an X-80, and the difference in clarity, detail and separation is stunning, which is exactly what I was going for. HOWEVER - given that this amp has a reputation for being quite bassy - I was a little underwhelmed by the low frequency power at sensible volume (it does kick in when I crank it, but that is a bit too loud for the neighbours tastes).

The 11Ls are wired up using Chord Carnival cables, and placed on Atacama SE stands (maybe I need to raise the height so that the bass cones are more level with my ears). And I play a fair bit of my music as 320CBR (EAC ripped) MP3 via a Squeezebox 3.

All of these could contribute to the lack of bottom end, but what do you think is the prime culprit, and what is the best way to improve this? Is it just a case of my amp being much better than my speakers? And if I do need to upgrade them, has anyone got any suggestions as to which ones (within financial reason) might give me the sound I'm looking for. But obviously a set-up tweak would be preferable to blowing a load of cash!

And one last thing: I still have the X-80 and wondered if there's any point bi-apming the Quads with the A3.5, although I suspect that would defeat half the object of buying the new amp.

Cheers,


Michael
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
HOWEVER - given that this amp has a reputation for being quite bassy - I was a little underwhelmed by the low frequency power at sensible volume (it does kick in when I crank it, but that is a bit too loud for the neighbours tastes).
The 11L is a smallish bookshelf speaker. It was designed with subwoofers in mind, and it won't reproduce low bass. The 22L will give you more bass, but even that speaker wasn't made to reproduce the LFE of a movie. Where Quad excels is sound quality, especially with their ESL range.

If you need serious low frequency response without a subwoofer, you're going to have to buy a big speaker with the ability to reproduce a big bass.
 

thfcwestlower

Established Member
If you can afford it, replace your speakers. They're the limiting factor in your set-up, by quite some distance.

For punchy bass that is unbeleivable for a bookshelf, try Dynaudio. The 52se or focus range are stunning, well-built and produce huge basslines with ease. They also love plenty of power up them and will thrive on your amp...
 
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amanlikemike

Guest
Just a quick update...

Since thfcwestlower turned me on to Dynaudio, I had a listen to a set of 52SEs and was blown away, so I went after a pair on Ebay. I lost out on that auction and then convinced myself that they dont come up that often. So, being the impatient get that I am, I immediately turned my attention to the only other highly rated Dyns that I could find for sale immediately - the Contour S1.4. With Stand4.

These were obviously waaaay out of budget, but they were sat at a bargain price, so I put in an optimistic bid. Much to my joy/horror, I didnt get outbid on this one.

By the time they were delivered I'd stopped freaking out about blowing £1k on a set of speakers (even if they are double that new) and when I Ocos cabled them up to the A3.5, I knew I'd done the right thing.

They are absolutely freakin' mindbending. That amp simply sings now.

So, now I'm currently in the process reripping 800 CDs to FLAC and eyeing up a decent DAC... And maybe the A3.5 CD player too...

Thanks for your [expensive] advice.



Michael
 

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