So how does it sound without the Power Amp ?

DodgeTheViper

Moderator
I've recently become without a Power Amp and just have the AVR powering my speakers. While I'm here I thought I'd carry out a little listening test of just using the AVR against the AVR with additional power. The Receiver is a Marantz SR8012 and the Power Amp was a Emotiva XPA.

Once the power Amp was removed I didn't rerun the EQ but did check all the channel levels along with the Subs, just for good measure. The speaker config. wasn't changed and remained as 5.2.4. So just really simple, nothing technical, no measurements, no graphs, just me having a good old demo session. For this one, it's a movie session only, no music.

Up for listening and in no particular order is, Alita: Battle Angel, John Wick 2, Edge Of Tomorrow, Oblivion & Ready Player One. I chose two listening volumes, the first one at -15.0db and the second at -5.0db. I know even -15.0db could be considered loud or even too loud for a lot of people and -5.0db being totally out of the question. But they represent where I do my listening, typically around -10.0db give or take a few.

First up, Oblivion at -15.0db. At this volume level I didn't expect to encounter any particular issues, and I didn't. I don't consider it to be a particularly complex or dynamic track though.
At -5.0db. Even at this level it didn't sound like things were falling apart. It sounded reasonably controlled if slightly livelier which felt like it was presenting more detail. The AVR didn't sound like it was struggling, but it did have a slight edge to it though.

Next up, Alita: Battle Angel at -15.0db. Again at this volume there was no real problem. Plenty of detail and I could watch the complete movie at this level.
At -5.0db. Now this sounded completely nuts at this volume. The sound became harsh and harder on the ears, and it was more difficult to pick out detail amongst the action. No way could I watch the movie at this volume, it was far too bright and edgy.

Next, Ready Player One at -15.0db. I chose the race scene here, you know the one. This was another one that was still presenting the detail but had a slight edge that I'd heard previously. Like it's bordering on being too loud and marginally too uncomfortable for a whole movie.
At -5.0db. Oh my days, turn it down ! Similar to before, the detail becomes lost in the mayhem and it just gets very rowdy and unsustainable for even a short period of time, never mind the whole movie.

Next, John Wick 2 at -15.0db. You got to love those handgun shots. They come across with such frightening force that they almost hurt the viewer. The impact is astonishing and I think this would be plenty loud enough with the AVR on it's own.
At -5.0db. If you don't want a sore head, don't listen to this at -5.0db as those handgun shots will rip clean through your skull. The shotguns are crazy enough but the handguns are so intense that you could quite likely raise a couple of inches out of the seat, as I did. The scene was in the night club and JW is on the stage and he fires a shot before jumping off and venturing into the caverns. It's head splitting and totally uncomfortable but quite an experience. I warn you to not to do it !

Next, Ready Player One at -15.0db. OK, I didn't get to attempt this one after my experience with JW 2, I needed time to recover my senses. My head was still a little shell shocked, quite literally. But I dont think I would have experienced anything differently to what I'd heard previously, so it's probably not that much of a loss.

So after all that, I think around -15.0 db is probably the limit. And even then it really depends on what you are listening to and the quality of the mix etc. Jumping the volume from there and I know -5.0 is crazy loud but things to start to break up. It just sounds really loud, losing detail and control with the dynamics running wild and edgy. A bit like an Orchestra without their Conductor. With the Power Amp in play I didn't experience any of these things. I could raise the volume to -5.0db and still pick out detail without the edgy harshness. The sound remained a lot smoother and more sustainable over a period of time.

I haven't replaced the Power Amp yet and so could do another set of demo's now that i've recovered :D
 
Last edited:

Jester1066

Well-known Member
I've recently become without a Power Amp and just have the AVR powering my speakers. While I'm here I thought I'd carry out a little listening test of just using the AVR against the AVR with additional power. The Receiver is a Marantz SR8012 and the Power Amp was a Emotiva XPA.

Once the power Amp was removed I didn't rerun the EQ but did check all the channel levels along with the Subs, just for good measure. The speaker config. wasn't changed and remained as 5.2.4. So just really simple, nothing technical, no measurements, no graphs, just me having a good old demo session. For this one, it's a movie session only, no music.

Up for listening and in no particular order is, Alita: Battle Angel, John Wick 2, Edge Of Tomorrow, Oblivion & Ready Player One. I chose two listening volumes, the first one at -15.0db and the second at -5.0db. I know even -15.0db could be considered loud or even too loud for a lot of people and -5.0db being totally out of the question. But they represent where I do my listening, typically around -10.0db give or take a few.

First up, Oblivion at -15.0db. At this volume level I didn't expect to encounter any particular issues, and I didn't. I don't consider it to be a particularly complex or dynamic track though.
At -5.0db. Even at this level it didn't sound like things were falling apart. It sounded reasonably controlled if slightly livelier which felt like it was presenting more detail. The AVR didn't sound like it was struggling, but it did have a slight edge to it though.

Next up, Alita: Battle Angel at -15.0db. Again at this volume there was no real problem. Plenty of detail and I could watch the complete movie at this level.
At -5.0db. Now this sounded completely nuts at this volume. The sound became harsh and harder on the ears, and it was more difficult to pick out detail amongst the action. No way could I watch the movie at this volume, it was far too bright and edgy.

Next, Ready Player One at -15.0db. I chose the race scene here, you know the one. This was another one that was still presenting the detail but had a slight edge that I'd heard previously. Like it's bordering on being too loud and marginally too uncomfortable for a whole movie.
At -5.0db. Oh my days, turn it down ! Similar to before, the detail becomes lost in the mayhem and it just gets very rowdy and unsustainable for even a short period of time, never mind the whole movie.

Next, John Wick 2 at -15.0db. You got to love those handgun shots. They come across with such frightening force that they almost hurt the viewer. The impact is astonishing and I think this would be plenty loud enough with the AVR on it's own.
At -5.0db. If you don't want a sore head, don't listen to this at -5.0db as those handgun shots will rip clean through your skull. The shotguns are crazy enough but the handguns are so intense that you could quite likely raise a couple of inches out of the seat, as I did. The scene was in the night club and JW is on the stage and he fires a shot before jumping off and venturing into the caverns. It's head splitting and totally uncomfortable but quite an experience. I warn you not do it !

Next, Ready Player One at -15.0db. OK, I didn't get to attempt this one after my experience with JW 2, I needed time to recover my senses. My head was still a little shell shocked, quite literally. But I dont think I would have experienced anything differently to what I'd heard previously, so it's probably not that much of a loss.

So after all that, I think around -15.0 db is probably the limit. And even then it really depends on what you are listening to and the quality of the mix etc. Jumping the volume from there and I know -5.0 is crazy loud but things to start to break up. It just sounds really loud, losing detail and control with the dynamics running wild and edgy. A bit like an Orchestra without their Conductor. With the Power Amp in play I didn't experience any of these things. I could raise the volume to -5.0db and still pick out detail without the edgy harshness. The sound remained a lot smoother and more sustainable over a period of time.

I haven't replaced the Power Amp yet and so could do another set of demo's now that i've recovered :D
Hey @DodgeTheViper - been looking forward to this thread, so thanks for posting your thoughts & observations on this topic.

Can I ask, could you add your room dimensions to the thread. Also is this a dedicated cinema room or standard living room type setup? Perhaps adding a basic equipment list too,* if it's not too much trouble! 🤣😂😉...

Or is this info top secret in nature? 😂

Edit: *I missed the bit where you said you have a Marantz. 🤪🤫 But what speakers make up your 5 2 4 setup?
 
Last edited:

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Pretty much what I would have expected Dodge :)

A PA really delivers when listening at -10db and louder, for most folks at -15db a PA is basically a wasted expense. This is of course if you have a quality AVR something like Marantz 7012/8012 or Denon X4500 or better and similar marques.

This is also dependent on source material as you have found.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
I've recently become without a Power Amp and just have the AVR powering my speakers. While I'm here I thought I'd carry out a little listening test of just using the AVR against the AVR with additional power. The Receiver is a Marantz SR8012 and the Power Amp was a Emotiva XPA.

Once the power Amp was removed I didn't rerun the EQ but did check all the channel levels along with the Subs, just for good measure. The speaker config. wasn't changed and remained as 5.2.4. So just really simple, nothing technical, no measurements, no graphs, just me having a good old demo session. For this one, it's a movie session only, no music.

Up for listening and in no particular order is, Alita: Battle Angel, John Wick 2, Edge Of Tomorrow, Oblivion & Ready Player One. I chose two listening volumes, the first one at -15.0db and the second at -5.0db. I know even -15.0db could be considered loud or even too loud for a lot of people and -5.0db being totally out of the question. But they represent where I do my listening, typically around -10.0db give or take a few.

First up, Oblivion at -15.0db. At this volume level I didn't expect to encounter any particular issues, and I didn't. I don't consider it to be a particularly complex or dynamic track though.
At -5.0db. Even at this level it didn't sound like things were falling apart. It sounded reasonably controlled if slightly livelier which felt like it was presenting more detail. The AVR didn't sound like it was struggling, but it did have a slight edge to it though.

Next up, Alita: Battle Angel at -15.0db. Again at this volume there was no real problem. Plenty of detail and I could watch the complete movie at this level.
At -5.0db. Now this sounded completely nuts at this volume. The sound became harsh and harder on the ears, and it was more difficult to pick out detail amongst the action. No way could I watch the movie at this volume, it was far too bright and edgy.

Next, Ready Player One at -15.0db. I chose the race scene here, you know the one. This was another one that was still presenting the detail but had a slight edge that I'd heard previously. Like it's bordering on being too loud and marginally too uncomfortable for a whole movie.
At -5.0db. Oh my days, turn it down ! Similar to before, the detail becomes lost in the mayhem and it just gets very rowdy and unsustainable for even a short period of time, never mind the whole movie.

Next, John Wick 2 at -15.0db. You got to love those handgun shots. They come across with such frightening force that they almost hurt the viewer. The impact is astonishing and I think this would be plenty loud enough with the AVR on it's own.
At -5.0db. If you don't want a sore head, don't listen to this at -5.0db as those handgun shots will rip clean through your skull. The shotguns are crazy enough but the handguns are so intense that you could quite likely raise a couple of inches out of the seat, as I did. The scene was in the night club and JW is on the stage and he fires a shot before jumping off and venturing into the caverns. It's head splitting and totally uncomfortable but quite an experience. I warn you not do it !

Next, Ready Player One at -15.0db. OK, I didn't get to attempt this one after my experience with JW 2, I needed time to recover my senses. My head was still a little shell shocked, quite literally. But I dont think I would have experienced anything differently to what I'd heard previously, so it's probably not that much of a loss.

So after all that, I think around -15.0 db is probably the limit. And even then it really depends on what you are listening to and the quality of the mix etc. Jumping the volume from there and I know -5.0 is crazy loud but things to start to break up. It just sounds really loud, losing detail and control with the dynamics running wild and edgy. A bit like an Orchestra without their Conductor. With the Power Amp in play I didn't experience any of these things. I could raise the volume to -5.0db and still pick out detail without the edgy harshness. The sound remained a lot smoother and more sustainable over a period of time.

I haven't replaced the Power Amp yet and so could do another set of demo's now that i've recovered :D
100% agree with ur assessment.

whenever people are shocked someone listens at reference, most of the time they're using an AVR.
 

DodgeTheViper

Moderator
100% agree with ur assessment.

whenever people are shocked someone listens at reference, most of the time they're using an AVR.
In my view, it can’t be done. Like I said, the ears wouldn’t be able to take it as the sound is out of control and so unlistenable. A lesser AVR may even roll over and die.
 

DodgeTheViper

Moderator
Hey @DodgeTheViper - been looking forward to this thread, so thanks for posting your thoughts & observations on this topic.

Can I ask, could you add your room dimensions to the thread. Also is this a dedicated cinema room or standard living room type setup? Perhaps adding a basic equipment list too,* if it's not too much trouble! 🤣😂😉...

Or is this info top secret in nature? 😂

Edit: *I missed the bit where you said you have a Marantz. 🤪🤫 But what speakers make up your 5 2 4 setup?
Room is approx 16’ x 12’, a touch less. It was a Marantz AVR and Emo XPA Amp. And it’s pretty much a purposed room.
 

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
Very interesting.

Obviously speaker efficiency will have a massive impact on this type of thing. Potentially even more than amplifier power. What speakers are you using Dodge?

If you give me these and their approximate distances to the MLP, tomorrow I‘ll estimate your system’s headroom level at those two listening levels.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Fortunately I have 2 rooms about 10ft apart, my HC room is about 13ft x14ft kitted out with Marantz 7010 and Rotel PA and dual 15" subs and my MLP is about 8ft from the LCR and subs.

The other room is my main lounge 24ft x 16ft running with a Denon X4500 avr + dual 12" ported subs and my MLP is about 12ft from the LCR and subs.

I do most of my tv/casual movie viewing etc in the living room. I generally listen at -20db for tv stuff and up it to -15db for movies. I have listened up to -5db on a few occasions and it sounds fab and does not fall apart too much but sound at this level starts to harden up and looses impact and if you listen for an extended period can get a bit fatiguing.

The other room I only use sparingly these days as I don't want to be a bothered switching the pj on for more casual usage. However when I use that room and with high octane movies can really wind it up. I did not run at ref very often but maybe -5db fairly regularly and can say that movies like Oblivion (canyon scene with the drones) you felt like you were there IN the action and the hairs on my arms and head would bristle a bit with the sheer visceral force and that's where the PA is a must and deffo worth having.
 

Dean

Well-known Member
As expected, although if using a flagship AVR like a Denon AVC-X8500H it might not be the case with superior power supply. In my smaller room of approx 3m x 4.5m with low ceiling I've never felt the need for more power than a Sony STR-DN1080 so room volume does play a part.

 

DodgeTheViper

Moderator
Very interesting.

Obviously speaker efficiency will have a massive impact on this type of thing. Potentially even more than amplifier power. What speakers are you using Dodge?

If you give me these and their approximate distances to the MLP, tomorrow I‘ll estimate your system’s headroom level at those two listening levels.
I think the speakers are 89db (need to check) and I’m approx 3.5m from the L&R
 

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
I think the speakers are 89db (need to check) and I’m approx 3.5m from the L&R
Nominal and minimum impedance ratings would be useful too, manufacturers normally specify both. Some 4-ohm speakers can be very current hungry which can give AVRs more trouble.
Most speakers have a very low impedance dip around 120-180hz, a region that contains a lot of sound energy. If they’re Arendals, you’ll see this on the impedance charts on their website.
 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
@DodgeTheViper as well as the information requests above, sorry to add more, but what are your Audyssey settings (i.e. reference, flat etc) and your Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume? Do you have Cinema EQ on or off? All these can affect what's being boosted and/or the "brightness" thank you.
 

DodgeTheViper

Moderator
@DodgeTheViper as well as the information requests above, sorry to add more, but what are your Audyssey settings (i.e. reference, flat etc) and your Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume? Do you have Cinema EQ on or off? All these can affect what's being boosted and/or the "brightness" thank you.
No worries.
Dynamic EQ OFF
Volume OFF
Reference/Flat
Cinema EQ ON
 

panman40

Distinguished Member
No worries.
Dynamic EQ OFF
Volume OFF
Reference/Flat
Cinema EQ ON
Interesting you have cinema eq On, I’ll need to have another read up on that myself to see what it’s doing.
 

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
I haven't got details of Dodge's speaker models but assuming the LCRs are 89dB sensitivity with minimum impedance dips of 3.2-Ohms (many good ones dip to this sort of level) this is my best estimate of the LCR's power requirement using the latest version of my power modelling spreadsheet.

If 3.5M is the distance to the centre, I've assumed the L/R are 3.9M due to typical spread angle. I've used the mid-points for the range of other possible assumptions so this could be out +/- by a reasonable amount but it still gives an overall idea of what's going on.

The bottom line is that, based on the assumptions I've made in the model, -5dB pretty much represents the tipping point the SR8012 has zero dynamic headroom on the maximum 20dB dynamic peaks on the front channels. A minimum headroom level of 3dB is usually recommended which would suggest that listening at -5dB would require at least twice the power the SR8012 can deliver.

If you would like a further explanation of any of the assumptions made then please ask.


1642589835766.png
 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
If you would like a further explanation of any of the assumptions made then please ask

What crossovers is this assuming and how does it factor that in please? Also, if he uses 80Hz across LCR now, if he needs to sell the power amp to get a new fridge/freezer, then say he raised his LCR crossover to 120Hz how could this affect available headroom?

(This assumes his (unknown) sub/s have adequate headroom to support this).
 

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
What crossovers is this assuming and how does it factor that in please? Also, if he uses 80Hz across LCR now, if he needs to sell the power amp to get a new fridge/freezer, then say he raised his LCR crossover to 120Hz how could this affect available headroom?

(This assumes his (unknown) sub/s have adequate headroom to support this).
As a maximum possible 20dB peak is presumed in the model the crossover setting is completely irrelevant but it does assume 30dB LFE peaks are sent to a sub. A 20dB peak could easily happen at say 180Hz which would not be redirected (or even attenuated) by the HPF of the bass management crossover and this is a frequency where many speakers have their lowest impedance dips. Think of this as the most demanding sound that could be required from the amplifier (especially if it's at a high phase angle).

In practice, a crossover is likely to significantly reduce the duty cycle of the AVR on dynamic peaks as, in general, the lower the frequency the longer the dynamic peaks last. Also, in general the lower the frequency the louder the peaks are so a soundtrack might only have say up to 17dB peaks >80Hz and up to 20dB peaks <80Hz in which case the crossover could reduce the AVR's peak power requirement by 50%. But then again it might not so I have presumed the worst in the model.

On Audioholics, one forum member (Peng) once did a peak voltage test with and without a 80Hz crossover with one movie scene (from The Dark Knight) and found peak power requirement on the centre channel (only speaker tested) was circa 40% higher when running it Large. Obviously the power saving will be wholly dependent on the source content. I've recently bought a True RMS meter that's capable of these measurements and will publish my own findings at some point.
 
Last edited:

DodgeTheViper

Moderator
On the back of all this, I’m on the lookout for another amp :D
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
On the back of all this, I’m on the lookout for another amp :D
The obvious question (so I'll ask it 😉)... Given your findings in this thread (unless I've misinterpreted them - Which is entirely possible!,)

Why?

Unless you're planning to go pre/pro obviously!

P.S: have I just answered my own question 😂
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
If monoprice amps were available they'd be on my purchase list as they're made by ATI
 

DodgeTheViper

Moderator
The obvious question (so I'll ask it 😉)... Given your findings in this thread (unless I've misinterpreted them - Which is entirely possible!,)

Why?

Unless you're planning to go pre/pro obviously!

P.S: have I just answered my own question 😂
Because I don’t have one and there’s a big gap in my AV stand :D
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member

Jester1066

Well-known Member
Because I don’t have one and there’s a big gap in my AV stand :D

I’m sure you’ve got a spare cardboard box for that mate 😂
😂😂😂:

There are these:


Pluses - They're cheaper than an amp and nicer looking than a cardboard mockup...

Negatives: They are not a power amp! 🤣🤣

Note: having said all of this..
@DodgeTheViper I'm also looking to "fill my rack space with power amps" at some point! So this "affliction" is obviously contagious 🤣
 

The latest video from AVForums

Panasonic LZ2000, LZ1500 & LZ980 Hands-on Launch Event | No QD-OLED for 2022, new 77-inch for LZ2000
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

What's new on Netflix UK for June 2022
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Triangle announces new wireless Borea Active bookshelf speakers
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Cleer Audio announces Arc earbuds
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
iFi Audio launches new Go bar portable DAC/headphone amp
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Sony adds LinkBuds S to its earphone series
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom