New amps underpowered?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by AML, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. AML

    AML
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    So what's happening with these new amps coming out these days?

    I'm using an Onkyo amp from 5 years ago (TX SA 805) it cost me ¥100.000 (which is about a grand). And it outputs 180watts.

    I've decided to upgrade to a newer amp and looked at all the jp brands.

    Onkyo, Yamaha, denon, pioneer, marantz.

    And they ALL seem so underpowered!

    Only the ones costing twice as much as mine have 180watts or higher.

    The ones priced in the same range as mine are all much lower. (120w/140w)

    Sure they all use QDEO/HQV and upscale to 4k (which is why I want one) but why the drop in power?

    To get a new updated amp that has the same power as my 5 year old amp I need to spend twice as much! :rolleyes:

    (I'm just looking at jp brands since I live there)

    Is it the same in the Uk?
     
  2. dante01

    dante01
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    The 180 watt rating is in relation to an impedance of 6 ohms. You need to compare the other amps while ensuring you use figures in relation to a 6 ohms impedance or use a rating for the Onkyo that uses the same impedance for the ratings as the other amps.

    Why do you need 180 watts? Wattage is no reflection of quality or loudness (the sensitivity of your speakers determines loudness). Are your speakers exceptionally hard to drive or do you have an inordinately large listening room?

    An amp is only underpowered if it cannot drive the speakers attached to it. A constant 180 watts would blow the drive units of most speakers. It is very unlikely that you'll ever need to crank the amp all the way up and use 180 watts without causing you or your speakers damage.

    I can direct you to amps that have less than a third of the power of your amp, but cost considerably more. Maybe stop looking at the wattage altogether whilst looking for a new amp. It is very unlikely that any amp currently available will not power your speakers and cannot fathom why you'd need 180 watts?

    If you insist you need 180 watts then maybe Onkyo's current version of your amp will meet your requirements?
    http://www.uk.onkyo.com/en/products/tx-nr818-80265.html?tab=Stage


    I'd ultimately suggest you forget about wattage, decide upon a budget and then go listen to what is on offer for that money. How an amp sounds is far more important than its wattage ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  3. AML

    AML
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    I realize wattage isn't the only deciding factor, I'm just ****** off that 5 years ago I could get a 180watt amp for 1000, and now to get an equal amp I have to spend twice as much.

    My living room is large and I need the power. My speakers are 200 watts, and even though I never have it set at its max, I don't like downgrading to a lesser amp.

    I will most likely get the new onkyo TX NR 1010 (jp model number) as it has the same specs as mine but has the newer updated boards.

    Im just not happy I have to pay twice as much for it......

    If you ask me, the only reason there's a dip in power output is because there's this sudden demand for "greener" equipment that uses less power and is therefore better for the environment and lessens our carbon footprint.

    Don't make me lol...
     
  4. dante01

    dante01
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    What you are perceiving/describing just isn't the case.

    Onkyo's current TXNR818 is this years version of your current amp and has exactly the same power rating, it also costs about the same as your amp cost you when you bought it. This isn't restricted to Onkyo and every manufacturers replacement models roughly match the amp they are replacing in terms of their power. Prices are also roughly the same year in and year out. There is no green conspiracy in relation to wattage and power isn't being rationed or being sold for more than it was previously.

    The TXNR1010 isn't the equivalent of you amp and is a higher end product sold here in the UK for twice the price of the TXNR818. The TXNR818 is equivalent to your present amp. Onkyo market all their products globally and do not have models that are exclusive to Japan. Obviously if you want to buy the next model up from where you are now then you will have to pay more than you paid for your current amp!
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  5. AML

    AML
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    Sorry but in Japan (where I live) the 818 is "only" 145w

    And the more expensive 1010 is now the same 180w as my older 805.

    It could just be a jp thing. Maybe I should import the EU 818....

    On another note, I've gone totally off JP blu ray players too and will instead be getting an oppo 93.

    I think one of the reasons I came to Japan is no longer true. Time to move on i think :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  6. dante01

    dante01
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    As I've said, look at the impedance. What impedance in ohms is the power rating given at?

    The TXNR1010 is marketed as a higher grade product, one step up from the 8xx models. It is not the equivalent replacement model for your amp. Its higher price is dictated by it being a higher placed product.

    I believe OPPO are actually made in China so not sure why you think they are made better than products made in Japan?
     
  7. AML

    AML
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    Well, after looking at the jp onkyo site, it says the 818 offers dynamic power at 3, 4, and 8ohms (300w, 250w, and 140w respectively)

    So if I'm using 6ohm speakers I suppose it will be around 180w?

    If that's the case then it should be enough. (but I would need to check my speakers)

    I wouldn't say Im a noob with AV eqment but at the same time I never really looked that deeply into specs.


    As for oppo, after looking at the specs it just seems like jp makers don't really put the same effort into choosing what they put into their players.

    To be honest the average Japanese person I've met is pretty clueless when it comes to av equipment. And while the Koreans and chinese are advancing things like screen technology, the jp are just sitting on their hands watching the world go by.

    I have this discussion all the time with people I know that work at companies like NEC. They are even frustrated that they can't come up with original ideas (like the I phone) and they are always playing catch up with the rest of the world.

    Anyway, that's a story for another day.

    *Edit* Oh, and most jp products are made in china too these days. Hardly anything is made in Japan anymore...

    As long as they have proper quality controll it shouldnt matter where something is made.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  8. dante01

    dante01
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    No, not dynamic power, constant power. What was the impedance stated where it states 145 watts for the main power. It will look something like this: 180 W/Ch (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1% THD, 1 Channel Driven, IEC). That being the rated power for the TXNR818 @ 6 ohm (6 Ω). A higher impedance put upon the amp will result in a lower figure so the 145 watts may relate to the power rating @ 8 ohms? The altual wattage you get depends on the impedance imposed upon the amp by your speakers, but even then, it isn't necessarily a good thing to have low impedance speakers. Dynamic power is no indication of constant power and will always be higher than the constant power rating.
     
  9. AML

    AML
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    The jp site states that constant power is indeed 145w @ 6 ohms for the 818

    ƒI[ƒfƒBƒI&ƒrƒWƒ…ƒAƒ‹»•iî•ñFAVƒAƒ“ƒv„TX-NR818(B)

    So is that less than the UKs 818?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  10. dante01

    dante01
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    Translation for anyone else wanting to read the Japanese specs:

    Google Translate

    I can only suggest it has to do with the differences between UK mains electricity voltage and the voltage in Japan? I know many US models also have different specs to those same models released in the EU. Where did you purchase your 805?
     
  11. dante01

    dante01
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    More importantly, what speakers are you using? It may be the case that you do not need 180 watts, in fact it is more than likely the case. Shopping and using wattage as the determining factor is limiting your choice considerably, maybe even making it so that you ignore better sounding products in favour of more powerful options?
     
  12. John7

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    I think the quoted power differences are due to different testing methods. The EU has different requirements to the USA/rest of the world.

    Haven't a clue what the differneces are though?
     
  13. AML

    AML
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    My 805 is Japanese (bought here) I bought It because I wanted to drive my 200w speakers.
    As you said, the wattage isn't all that important at the end of the day, but I do feel ripped off here.

    It would seem in Japan they decided to lower the wattage of the 805s range and introduce a new midd-upper range amp (the 1010) with the 180 watts.
    There is one more model, the 5010, that does 200w. What the older 905 does. But the 5010 costs 3 times as much...
     
  14. dante01

    dante01
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    the 200 watt rating of your speakers isn't a requirement and is given as guidance not to exceed that amount. They probably only need a minimum of 30 or 40 watts to drive them :)

    A I already stated, Onkyo market the same amps here and the models you mention are not exclusive to Japan. They did not introduce intimidate models there to try hoodwink people. The Onkyo TX-NR5010 is also available here and is also three times the price of the TXNR818 or one third more than the TXNR1010. The TXNR5010 is rated with an output of 220 W/Ch (6 O, 1 kHz, 1% THD, 1 Channel Driven, IEC); 280 W/Ch (6 O, 1 kHz, 1 Channel here in the UK. The TXNR1010 is the equivalent of the 905 and costs about the same. Its power rating is also comparable. It is just the way they name their products that has changes. They've dropped quite a few intimidate models and renamed a few top end products.

    I'll do you a swop. You can have my taxes and I'll make do with your lower power ratings :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  15. AML

    AML
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    It would seem they did lower the wattage of jp amps tho to be honest.

    Not sure why.

    And my speakers have a peak of 400watts. So isnt 200w what I should be driving them at? They arent small bookshelfs, rather, large floor standing tall boys. Anyway, not too important.

    I'll probably end up getting the 1010 so that it feels like an actual upgrade to my 805 :)


    Oh, and as for Yamaha, pioneer, denon, marantz. Even worse than the onkyos in terms of wattage. (in jp)
    Some of those amps in the same price range were only 120w. Very disappointing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  16. dante01

    dante01
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    Sory, I think you are elaborating a little now. Your speakers do not require 200 watts of power, if they did then the amps you are looking at are no where near powerful enough and what you are attempting to power if the Rolling Stones' PA :D I'm also elaborating :D

    What speakers are they?
     
  17. AML

    AML
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    They are custom made. Not a brand. A friend made them. Really nice.


    I told him I wanted "poweerrrrrrr" (best Jeremy clarckson impersonation:D)
     
  18. dante01

    dante01
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    So what impedance are they and do you know their sensitivity? I guess it would be hard to determine the sensitivity if custom made, but this generally determine how hard it is to drive them and gives you an indication of the kind of SPL / watt they can generate at a measured distance of 1m. The higher the sensitivity, the easier they are to drive and the more volume per watt they produce.

    Jeremy Clarkson isn't alowed to have an amplifitier because of health and safety regulations here in the UK. :nono:
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  19. AML

    AML
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    I honestly don't know the details. But after I got them he recommended the onkyo 805 since (within that price range) it was the most powerful. They might be on par with something like the Yamaha Soavos. (I know they are only rated at 50w but have a high peak)

    So I intend to get a new one that has the same level of wattage. Or maybe I should get the 5010 :D

    What EU makers would you recommend if not an onkyo? (same sort of specs)
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  20. dante01

    dante01
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    I'm afraid that if you want a UK amp then you are talking more money for less wattage. Our AV manufacturers are all more associated with audiophile stereo products than their AV products and as such market themselves at the higher niche end of the market.

    Youe best bet is to look at japanes concerns such as Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo and Sony. These makers rule the roost as far as mass produced consumer AV amps are concerned.

    An Arcam AVR360 would set you back nearly doble the price of an Onkyo TXNR818, but only be rated 90 watts. They sound a lot better than most in terms of their musical abilities though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  21. AML

    AML
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    Yea I know there's a big difference between AV and Music amps.

    And as you pointed out, wattage isn't all that important.

    I always get jp products because I happen to live here. And for blu rays (the main thing for me) the onkyos seem to be favorites.

    I'm not much of an audiophile, just enjoy a good blu ray with Dts MA and lots of 'sploshuns! :D
     
  22. dante01

    dante01
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    If the speakers are hard to drive then maybe it is time to replace them as well asthe amp? Buy the cheaper TXNR818 and use the money you save from not purchasing the higher end Onkyo's on more relaxed speakers. You can get speakers that need very little power to go very loud indeed. The Japaness don't seem to be very good with speakers though and the ones that are of any note here tend to be either made by UK or Danish companies. I'd hazzard that they are actually built and made in Asia though?
     
  23. AML

    AML
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    Yea the jp speakers don't seem overly popular here either.

    Top sellers tend to be: Dali, Kef, Fostex, Jbl, Tangent, klipsch and so on.

    I might change up and see how it goes. I've come into some cash, so I can pretty much change my whole set up.

    I just bought Toshibas 4k 55" Xs5
    I want an amp or player that can upscale to 4k

    Not much other content out there right now...
     
  24. PSM1

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    Another thing to do is check the power supply value for both your current amp and the new one you are looking at as this will give a more accurate figure for the total power output they will give. If the power supplies are around the same size then their continuous power output will be largely the same no matter what the claimed power per channel is.
     
  25. dante01

    dante01
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    There's not anything that would be able to play 4K content either :D

    I've heard rumours that 4K will not be the next big thing and it will more likely be 8K by the time they develop a medium by which to distribute content?

    You may be better looking at a standalone video processor/scaler if serious about the PQ? Scalers incorporated into AV amps aren't that accomplished and you've spent a lot of money on the TV to be using a cheap scaler with.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  26. AML

    AML
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    I dont want to go overboard with equipment since as you say 4k could be a mid-way between 2k and 8k

    I think an oppo and a new amp will be good enough ;)
     
  27. BlueWizard

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    This is the point I was going to make. The REAL power can never exceed the Power Supply rating. It is not uncommon for a AV Receiver to claim 100w/ch for a total of 700w, yet it will only have a 400w or 500w power supply. Yes, when you driver two channels, you can get much higher power, maybe even 200w/ch, but when you try to drive 7 channels heavily, the power drops to 72w/ch. That is just a fact of life.

    Now, they aren't really cheating because the Surround Channels are not driven any where near as heavily as the Front and Center Channels. They carry the real weight, and take the real power load.

    According to the owner's manual of the Onkyo TX0NR818, the power is -

    (North American)
    135 watts minimum continuous power per
    channel, 8 ohm loads, 2 channels driven
    from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, with a maximum
    total harmonic distortion of 0.08% (FTC)


    FTC is a solid and real unambiguous power rating to a standard speaker impedance load full spectrum with minute factional Total Harmonic Distortion.

    So, 135w x 7 channels is 945w total. However, to the best of my ability to determine, the power supply is 730w. Meaning with all channels driven, the single channel power can never exceed 104w/ch. Though that information is not clear and direct, it took a degree of interpretation.

    In other parts of the world, for what ever reason, they fudge the power rating by making them -

    (Others)
    7 ch × 180 W at 6 ohms, 1 kHz, 1 ch driven
    of 1% (IEC)


    Notice NOT to a standard Load, NOT full spectrum, and NOT to minute fractional THD, and we really don't know how many channels they are driving. It could be just one channel. In short, that is an inflated power rating.

    As to your original amp, the Onkyo TX SA 805, unless you still have the owner's manual, and unless it gives clear specification, we can't really know what the true power was of this amp.

    But do keep in mind, a GOOD 50w/ch stereo will likely drive speakers better than a 100w/ch AV amp. Plus, once you get up near 100 real watts, the quality of the amp means more than the power. In a more expensive amp, you are not buying power, but clarity and drive capability. A strong high current 100w is a lot better than a weak modest current capability 100w amp.

    Quality buys you clarity, not power.

    All AV Receivers have enough power, so concentrate on the quality of the amp, and the power supply. Many Consumer grade AV amps are not 4 ohm rated. That is, they need speakers of 6 ohms or 8 ohms. If the front three are 4 ohms, because of higher current draw, they are going to have a hard time keeping up.

    Also, because they are cramming so many amps into such a small space, cooling can also be an issue; more power consumed means more heat. But there is sometimes a limit to how fast that heat can be dissipated. If you are driving all channels hard, to low impedance loads, your amp might overheat and shut down. In this case, it is a combination of cooling ability and the power supplies ability to supply high current demands.

    Also keep in mind that some amp maker rate their power will ALL Channels driven, meaning that those lower power ratings reflect Real Power delivered under any and all circumstances.

    If you are serious about REAL power, then plan on spending some REAL money on a bank of discrete Stereo Power amps and a AV Processor/Pre-Amp.

    Short of that, focus on amps that are noted for having high current, high powered power supply, and generally high quality amp components.

    Just a few thoughts on the subject.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  28. Nauman SA

    Nauman SA
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    @ steve

    I must admit that is a very detailed analysis and I am impressed. Some how I used to compare the total wattage with per channel output and determine the factual output.

    However how do you determine amps having high quality amp components. Could you quote a few of these or rather name a few amps in $1,000 to $1,500 range?
     
  29. BlueWizard

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    Price and brand reputation are the best indicator of quality, and can we assume when you want prices on various suggested amp, you are talking about AV Receivers, and not stereo amps?

    Right now in consumer graded amps, I think I favor either Denon or Marantz. Yamaha would run a close second. On the higher end, Onkyo might be just fine. While they are consistently acknowledge as great Movie amps, some complain that they fall down on the quality of music. However, amps like Marantz are consistently rated as good music amp.

    In a recent review in Home Cinema Magazine, they gave the Marantz SR7007 very high rankings. Price currently at about £1299. The next model smaller the Marantz SR6007 also receiver a very good review (£899). The Marantz SR7007 is rated as a Home Cinema TOP PICK -

    "...Marantz continues to be one of the performance champs of the A/V Receiver catagory. The SR7007 expertly conjures musical magic and cinematic excitement. ...well worth the price.

    A similar Denon model would be the Denon AVR4311 for a similar £1299.

    In a Yamaha at the same price (£1299) consider the Yamaha RXA3010.

    Look carefully at the Marantz SR7007, very up to date, very high feature set, 3k/4k ready, 3D, DLNA audio streaming over computer network, etc...

    Marantz UK | SR7007

    Though many of these advanced features are common on the lasted higher end amps.

    Once you cross the £1000 threshold you are into a new class of amps. Expect any trusted brand over £1000 to sound very good.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  30. daytona600

    daytona600
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    why not just take the pre outs to a bigger external power amp
    these should be enough mono to 7 channels 500 to 1500watts
    1.5kw not big enough move into a cinema


    M2 SERIES AMPLIFIERS from D-SONIC
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012

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