Basic amplifier power question

Juan Acevedo

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Feb 11, 2018
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At 75 I'm relatively new to multi-channel audio. Have a new home and set it up with a 5.1.2 TV/movie room plus distributed audio into 4 zones. Nothing fancy; using Yamaha RX-A660 (80 w into 2 ch @ 8 ohms), Elac 5.2 debut L/C/R, and ceiling/wall speakers for everything else plus MusicCast for distributed audio. At my age I'm having some difficulty with dialog clarity and use subtitles for almost all TV/movies so the question comes up could I improve the front speakers and improve the dialog ? The Elacs were a big step improvement over my old Def Tech 600 system but can I do better? Looking at many speaker alternatives and amp power questions come up. I see the speaker ratings (eg 20 - 100 watts), the current (eg 6 ohms), and the reviews (eg works better with "good" amplification). Also, sorta understand that my avr may not provide 80 w into 7 channels (and no pre-amp connections). How do I sum up all this info and know if a speaker combo works well with my amp or if a new amp needs to be included in the upgrade (but what power ? …)
There is something called "Critical Distance" where the direct sound is equal to the reflected sound. Your Center speaker woofer, crossed at 2KHz, possibly has a very small critical distance. You want to be in the direct sound field to increase intelligibility.Me, having the same problem at 78 years old. I am thinking on doing a Ctr Ch speaker using 2 existing JBL 2012H(10", 101DB SPL) and a Horn with a Dual Compression Driver "BMS" or equivalent JBL "D4") with a 500 Hz Crossover. This is overkill... That is, try to find a horn-based ctr ch spk like a Klipsch with the lowest crossover possible. The male voice like "Pavarotti" through a horn loudspeaker is unbeatable.
 

Negatron

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I agree large horns are unbeatable in the midrange. I always prefer the same speaker for the center as the left and right, and i agree as we get older intelligibility is a problem...especially at 7000' with brick walls, and marble floors!
 

Coy Ramsey

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My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Yamaha Aventage RX-A660 AVR
Other Amp
4 Yamaha WX50 amps for MusicCast distributed audio
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony X700
Front Speakers
Elac Debut 2.0 BS5.2
Center Channel Speaker
Elac Debut 2.0 CC5.2
Surround Speakers
Polk in-wall
Rear Height Speakers
Polk in-ceiling
Subwoofers
Def Tech 600 (upgrade pending)
Other Speakers or Equipment
Episode ceiling speakers for 4 distributed zones
Video Display Device
Samsung
Screen
65"
Remote Control
Logitech Harmony
Other Equipment
Yamaha CD changer, Roku 2 (upgrade pending).
My room is certainly a challange. The dimensions at 14 x 14 x 9 is an issue but the surfaces compound the problem. 2 walls (front and left side) are almost completely windows covered by hard-surfaced horizontal blind slats (maybe some diffusion ...). The back wall and 1/2 right side walls are drywall covered with sound insulation behind them, 1/2 right wall is open to a much bigger volume, floor is wood glued over concrete and ceiling is heavily insulated drywall. Sofa is up against back wall with MLP about 10 ft from cc which sits atop a cabinet (at the leading edge).
 

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Negatron

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I am in a similar situation with a much larger cubic foot room. I put heavy stage curtains covering our wall if windows, and it made a very noticable difference in slap echo reduction.
 

Coy Ramsey

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Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
25
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Yamaha Aventage RX-A660 AVR
Other Amp
4 Yamaha WX50 amps for MusicCast distributed audio
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony X700
Front Speakers
Elac Debut 2.0 BS5.2
Center Channel Speaker
Elac Debut 2.0 CC5.2
Surround Speakers
Polk in-wall
Rear Height Speakers
Polk in-ceiling
Subwoofers
Def Tech 600 (upgrade pending)
Other Speakers or Equipment
Episode ceiling speakers for 4 distributed zones
Video Display Device
Samsung
Screen
65"
Remote Control
Logitech Harmony
Other Equipment
Yamaha CD changer, Roku 2 (upgrade pending).
I'm working on the room. First step is a big carpet rug (8 x 8) to cover the floor in between the cabinet and the MLP, a couple of weeks away. I've played with the speaker position and even moving chairs around (like the blue one in the pic) to break up the path between the L/R speakers and the adjacent walls. I have tried the "slap test" and I don't hear an obvious echo but with old ears and undiscriminating listening skills I may be missing something.
 
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