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#317382 - 08/02/10 10:37 PM It is OK to add Amps...
Pitbull24 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/24/10
Posts: 104
Loc: NWSuburbs of Chicago
I really was at odds with how to share my most recent upgrade due to the fact that most here advise against adding external amplification. Or, I should say advise not to add if you don't need to. But how do we all know if we indeed need to, or not with all the variables involved in one's room.

I had folks pass me links to calculators which showed me I could reach certain db levels with "x" amount of power at "x" listening distance. It seemed to make sense from a safety stand point, but for those who may want to "test" their 80's, 60's, 150's or 180's you may just have to see what may be missing.

Now, I'm not a technical person, so do not expect a technical review. I will stress I was not disappointed with the performance of my AVR, but more so interested in what the 80's and 180 would do between their max handling and the proposed 130 watts my Integra was throwing at them. Also, Integra states the 50.1 will push 250 watts @ 4 ohm, but does not state how many channels driven, so again the "unknown" had me wondering.

After weeks of research, and lurking about many forums including here(thanks John, Fred & solardadd)I decided to pull the trigger. I purchased 3 Emotiva UPA-1's to power L/C/R. Seemed to be the best bang for the buck in the neighborhood I was willing to spend on the "unknown". I did not expect a lot, and had all intentions of sending them back if that was the case. Needless to say, they are not going back.

The specs on the UPA-1's state 350 watts @ 4 ohm. Not double the possible 250 Integra states, but closer to the 400 the Axioms can handle.

I should also state I have added GIK room treatments which helped before the amplification was implemented.

I noticed an immediate improvement in sound from the 180. Much more clear dialog, detail in sound effects, clarity at higher volumes, more pronounced bass. The 80's stood out more during music playback, they seemed to come alive with the added power. Again, more clear, accurate at louder volumes,etc. The Q's seemed to gain something from the AVR's rest as they became more pronounced as well.

So, I'm not sure if this is a positive note for amplification of the Axioms, or realization my AVR is not as strong as I had hoped.

Either way, my Axioms sound better in my room, to my ears, with the added power.

Brian
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M80's,VP180,QS8's,Epik Empire X 2
Integra 50.1,3 Emotiva UPA-1's,Antimode 8033

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#317385 - 08/02/10 11:02 PM Re: It is OK to add Amps... [Re: Pitbull24]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4116
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
External amplification can be very beneficial depending on the room size, listening distance and speakers being used. In your case you are combining the M80's and VP180. This combo will be taxing on receivers for those that like to push their systems hard.
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#317389 - 08/02/10 11:54 PM Re: It is OK to add Amps... [Re: Pitbull24]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10634
Brian, again there's no "added power" unless it's actually used. All of the observations that you note are consistent with playing at a louder volume.
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#317405 - 08/03/10 10:17 AM Re: It is OK to add Amps... [Re: JohnK]
Pitbull24 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/24/10
Posts: 104
Loc: NWSuburbs of Chicago
Is it safe to say I am using the added power, and will surely be going deaf sooner than most?
_________________________


M80's,VP180,QS8's,Epik Empire X 2
Integra 50.1,3 Emotiva UPA-1's,Antimode 8033

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#317422 - 08/03/10 02:38 PM Re: It is OK to add Amps... [Re: Pitbull24]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7786
Loc: Canada
Possibly. For a $50 investment in an spl meter you can know for sure. Or, you can just spend the money on beer and see if that counters the effects of excessive sound levels... wink
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Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#317430 - 08/03/10 03:15 PM Re: It is OK to add Amps... [Re: fredk]
Scamp Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/22/10
Posts: 84
Loc: Bethesda, MD
In theory.... (<--- Code for I don't really know what I'm talking about)

I should be able to use a volt meter to measure how many watts are being consumed by a speaker at any given volume.

As I increase volume, watt usage should go up. When I reach a point that increasing the volume does not increase watt usage I know the point I need to add an amp. Or am I laughably wrong?

On a related note... If my receiver is rated at 130 Watts/channel and the speakers at 400 Watts does that imply I can crank the volume knob all the way around with nary a worry for the health of the speakers while I wait for the receiver to melt?
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M22's x 3, QS8's x 4
SVS PC12-Plus, Denon 3311ci
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#317431 - 08/03/10 03:16 PM Re: It is OK to add Amps... [Re: fredk]
Pitbull24 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/24/10
Posts: 104
Loc: NWSuburbs of Chicago
I have a meter, so will the wife buy the beer excuse?
_________________________


M80's,VP180,QS8's,Epik Empire X 2
Integra 50.1,3 Emotiva UPA-1's,Antimode 8033

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#317432 - 08/03/10 03:20 PM Re: It is OK to add Amps... [Re: Scamp]
Pitbull24 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/24/10
Posts: 104
Loc: NWSuburbs of Chicago
As you crank the volume beyond the avr's limits distortion will become evident. The question is will the avr fail before the distortion damages your speakers?
_________________________


M80's,VP180,QS8's,Epik Empire X 2
Integra 50.1,3 Emotiva UPA-1's,Antimode 8033

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#317433 - 08/03/10 03:21 PM Re: It is OK to add Amps... [Re: Pitbull24]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
I think you are probably wrong on the first count. On the second count, you are absolutely wrong. You do NOT want your amp to clip, which is what happens if it tries to reproduce sound above and beyond its capabilities. If the amp clips, it could well damage the speakers.
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#317437 - 08/03/10 03:34 PM Re: It is OK to add Amps... [Re: Ken.C]
Scamp Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/22/10
Posts: 84
Loc: Bethesda, MD
Originally Posted By: kcarlile
On the second count, you are absolutely wrong.

I wish I could say it was the first time, or the last. smile

Originally Posted By: kcarlile
You do NOT want your amp to clip, which is what happens if it tries to reproduce sound above and beyond its capabilities. If the amp clips, it could well damage the speakers.

So that's why I need to figure out the volume limiter function on the receiver before the first teen party.



Edited by Scamp (08/03/10 03:34 PM)
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M22's x 3, QS8's x 4
SVS PC12-Plus, Denon 3311ci
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