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#332579 - 12/26/10 07:16 PM speaker/receiver wattage question
gmorf33 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 30
I've got a rather newbish question to ask, and I'm fairly certain I know what the answer is, but I want to confirm with the experts here :-)

I bought my dad a pioneer vsx-820-k for xmas. He was in dire need of an upgrade having an old receiver that only supports up to dolby pro logic. I checked the resistance rating on his speakers (8ohms) but foolishly didn't get the wattage before buying. They are an old set of yamaha speakers, which come to find out are not spec'd so great and I fear they will blow the first movie he watches. On the back of each speaker has a rating as such:

Fronts: 80w max
Surrounds: 60w max
Sub: 25w is all it says on the back.

Also, The sub is wired strangely.. it has a L&R rca connection that goes into bare wires which are hooked into the fronts terminals on his receiver.

So... are these speakers doomed to die if we power them with the pioneer? I'm assuming the sub doesn't have a chance in hell at working..? Pretty sure the answer is yes, we need to upgrade, but hoping otherwise cause he don't have the budget for rly nice speakers.

I did find a nicely reviewed set of speakers that probably wodnt break the bank.. onkyo has a 7.1 set with a 10" sub. Model number escap0es me at the moment (on my phone) that's on sale for $200 at amazon. Obviously they arenta axiom but sounds like they do great for movies for the average non-audiophile

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#332580 - 12/26/10 07:35 PM Re: speaker/receiver wattage question [Re: gmorf33]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
The receiver will only put out the power that is requested by the volume knob. Keep that in check and the speakers will survive.

I don't know how the sub is working now, but it seems like the RCA connections (just use one, or get a Y cable) may work with the regular sub-out on the Pioneer. Give it a shot, it can't hurt anything worse than running speaker level signals into the RCA in.
_________________________
Pioneer PDP-5020FD, Marantz SR6011
Axiom M5HP, VP160HP, QS8
Sony PS4, surround backs
-Chris

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#332587 - 12/26/10 10:08 PM Re: speaker/receiver wattage question [Re: gmorf33]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10644
GM, the watt ratings on speakers are fairly meaningless. Theoretically, they could handle that much power continuously without going up in smoke, but sounds in home use don't work that way. Typically about 1 watt is used by a speaker for a comfortably loud average level, and while peaks on highly dynamic material use much more, this is only for a split-second, and speakers can handle much more than their rated power for this time. So, unless the level was extremely loud(and more damaging to hearing than to speakers)don't worry about the speakers with the VSX-820.

As to the sub, that wouldn't be a line-level RCA plug connection if it gets wired to the speaker output terminals on the receiver. Apparently it's a passive sub without an internal amp(does it get plugged in with a power cord?)which is powered by the receiver in parallel with the main speakers. The plug is a connection similar to a banana plug apparently, to make the connection easier.

Yes, the speakers and especially the sub could be improved, and although you don't give details, it wouldn't be surprising if even that Onkyo set was significantly better.
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#332594 - 12/27/10 02:54 AM Re: speaker/receiver wattage question [Re: JohnK]
gmorf33 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 30
Thanks for the responses. This gives some hope for using the existing until better ones can be afforded.

@johnk: the sub is quite strange as the way its wired you'd think it was a passive sub being powered by the receiver; however, it does have its own power cord that gets plugged in and its own on/off + volume and phase switches. We had considered using a Y rca cable to hook it up but our biggest concern was that low 25w rating. If you don't think that's an issue we might just have to give it a whirl (his fav movies are action w/ lots of explosions)

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#332596 - 12/27/10 03:01 AM Re: speaker/receiver wattage question [Re: gmorf33]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
If it is RCA, hook it up. 25 Watt isn't much, but it's better than nothing.
_________________________
Pioneer PDP-5020FD, Marantz SR6011
Axiom M5HP, VP160HP, QS8
Sony PS4, surround backs
-Chris

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#332599 - 12/27/10 04:26 AM Re: speaker/receiver wattage question [Re: gmorf33]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10644
Okay, then; 25 watts has to refer not to a maximum suggested amplifier input, but to the power of the internal amplifier. The connection is a speaker level input using speaker wire, but with plugs rather than bare wire on the ends connected to the sub. The power of the receiver isn't relevant, since it isn't being used except to send the sound signals through the very high impedance(tens of thousands of ohms)of the internal sub amp input. Essentially no receiver power is used.
_________________________
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#332631 - 12/27/10 05:35 PM Re: speaker/receiver wattage question [Re: JohnK]
gmorf33 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 30
So if we find a Y cable to plug it into the subwoofer out on the pioneer we should be ok, our does out have to be connected to the the fronts?

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#332639 - 12/27/10 09:49 PM Re: speaker/receiver wattage question [Re: gmorf33]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10644
No, the sub out is a line level signal. From your description the sub requires a speaker level signal since the connection is to the main speaker output terminals on the receiver. This uses speaker wire, not a coaxial cable.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#332648 - 12/28/10 02:19 AM Re: speaker/receiver wattage question [Re: JohnK]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
It's hard to tell if it uses speaker or line level. My first assumption, too, would be that it uses speaker. But it won't hurt to run the line level of the sub out, into the left and right RCA inputs. If you can't get enough volume from the sub, then yes, it needs speaker level inputs (and things will be more difficult--to the point I'd get a different sub).
_________________________
Pioneer PDP-5020FD, Marantz SR6011
Axiom M5HP, VP160HP, QS8
Sony PS4, surround backs
-Chris

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#332656 - 12/28/10 11:22 AM Re: speaker/receiver wattage question [Re: ClubNeon]
jadon Offline
regular

Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 6
As Clubneon said as long as you keep the volume level in check low wattage levels don't mean much, only that your receiver will power them easily. My dad used to have a pair of Koss speakers that were rated at 15 watts each. He had them hooked up to a marantz stereo receiver. We never put the volume level above the second tick.
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