Minimum power for M22/VP100?

Posted by: Cork

Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/08/12 11:39 AM

I'm thinking about getting a Marantz NR-1602 as a replacement for my older Onkyo SR-504. The Onkyo is nice enough but it doesn't have HDMI connections, doesn't retain speaker setting across power off (really irks me as I'm sitting off-center from the speakers), and most importantly doesn't have network capability ... okay, I'm just a spoiled guy that has a need to upgrade.

The 1602 seems like a perfect match for my smaller room (13'x15'), but it is lower powered than most amps these days. I'm not worried about volume, but am concerned about not being able to drive the Axioms sufficiently. I have M22s and a VP100 on the front and some very, very old Advent minis for surrounds.

Any thoughts? (On the power or the choice of the 1602.)

Edit: I knew I forgot something, the 1602 is rated for approximately 30 wpc all 7 channels driven. I'll be using just the 5.
Posted by: Wid

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/08/12 11:57 AM

That seems a bit low imo. Have you looked at Refurbed units, that might get you a bit more power for your $$$.
Posted by: J. B.

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/08/12 12:29 PM

specs say it's 50 W/ch. 20-20K, all channels driven/8 Ohms
those specs are conservative; in use, you'll get more power than that.
you should check reviews about this.
Posted by: Cork

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/08/12 06:05 PM

Thanks for the feedback.

I did check on acc4less, and I can get it for about $150-200 less there. (Although your link put a Cambridge Audio on top, which was pretty interesting.) But I'm not as concerned with power (unless I need it) as much as the collection of features. I'm looking for a network receiver, DLNA certified (and plays FLAC, which is non-standard DLNA), internet radio enabled, video upconversion, optical & coax audio inputs, component video inputs. Getting those features tends to push me into a middle-tier anyway, so I might as well get one that fits my use (I'd love to avoid a large tank).

The power rating I gave was conservative and came from from this well written review:

Power ratings: Watts (8Ω , 0.5% THD)

2-channel 8Ω: 55 Watts
We measured 55W per channel in stereo mode, a
smidgeon over Marantz's spec.

5-channel 8Ω: 30 Watts
The usual drop off in multichannel mode, but 30W
should be fine for many setups.

Untainted: Watts
Marantz NR1602: 35 Watts
Yamaha RX-V367: 79 Watts
Pioneer VSX-920-X: 60 Watts
Onkyo TX-SR308: 40 Watts

Here a corollary question. My first stereo receiver 40 years ago (Pioneer something) was about 25w and I never had a problem. Now we run separate subs and "mom receivers" are pushing 60w. What drove the wattage inflation?

But to my original question, I'm just curious if the M22/VP100 needs that much power. I know they say 10w minimum, but I was looking for some practical real-world opinions.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/08/12 07:17 PM

From what little experence I've had with AVR's and M22's, I can say you basically get what you pay for. At first, I tried a cheap 100wpc Sony I found off of Newegg for $150. It sounded good, except I wasn't getting any bass. Then I switched to an $800 Pioneer Elite with 110wpc. All I can say is WOW. It made all the difference in the world.

Posted by: Jc

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/08/12 07:28 PM

Hi Cork,
Spend as much as you can on power; you will never regret it.
You can have the same rated power output from different brands but the true power can be quite different from one to the other. That is why brands like NAD, Cambridge, Rotel and Harmon Kardon even when they show specs with less power the reality is that they are more powerful than most brands showing much more power.
The Axiom M22 can be pushed so don't be afraid to feed them with a lot of power.
Posted by: Lampshade

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/08/12 08:56 PM

More Power! I love you, JC. smile
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/08/12 09:07 PM

Cork, as always it depends on the loudness levels involved, the sensitivity of the speakers and the listening distance. You've made a non-sequitur by saying that you're not worried about volume, but being able to drive the Axioms "sufficiently". The two are the same.

The 1602 at typical listening distances around 10 feet can use about 50 watts to drive the M22s at peaks of 102-103dB. If this is sufficient for you(and it probably should be if you value your hearing), the 1602 would be a good buy(especially the A4L deal)and there's no purpose in buying unused amplifier power.
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/08/12 10:28 PM

You mean, those sound as good as they look Chris. Beauty!
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/08/12 10:32 PM

I just set up my parents with a Denon 1312 runing my old M22s and VP100 and it seems to be working just fine, but as JC said buy the biggest and badest AVR you can afford, you won't regret it.
Posted by: Cork

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/09/12 07:27 AM

Okay, thanks everyone, I'll keep looking. I did find a NAD I liked, then I googled the price ... ouch! I guess there's a reason they don't quote price on their site.
Posted by: Wid

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/09/12 07:30 AM

Spearit Sound has refurbed NAD products.
Posted by: Nick B

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/09/12 10:14 AM


That is quite a small room almost; nearly the same dimensions as my room. My 5.1 system consists of 2 M22's, a VP150 and 2 QS8's. I have had a budget Onkyo 5.1 receiver rated at 75 X 5 channels (about $300 at the time 7 years ago) and it drove the speakers as loud as I could want in my room. A few years ago I upgraded to the Onkyo 805. The main reason was so that I could get, HDMI audio, the Audyssey MultiEQ XT and maybe I would notice a difference in the amps having more headroom. I haven't noticed much of a difference with the Audyssey in my room with my setup and having more headroom with the amp hasn't made much of a difference from what I have heard. Having HD audio (the uncompressed audio from Blu-Ray) IS something this is quite noticeable though.

The speakers that you are driving are quite efficient, not a tough load (like a 4 ohms) and you have a small room like me. I think it would be a waste of money spending too much money on a receiver. Just buy the receiver that has the features you want and are within your budget, nothing more. Having enough power should not be a problem. Also, if you spend say $1500 or $2000 on a receiver you will probably never want to upgrade it anytime in the near future, even if there is some new and cool feature that you would like to have (like height and width channels right now, for example). If you spend $300 to $600, then if there is a new feature that you really want, then it is not as much of an issue. The one thing to keep in mind though, is that you probably will not hear any difference between a $500 and $2000 receiver in your room.
Posted by: dakkon

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/09/12 12:02 PM

Cork, just to throw something into the mix... I have a pair of speakers similar to the M3's and center similar to the VP100.. i am using a marantz mm9000@ 135W per channel to power them.. This setup is in my bedroom, which is about 12X12 or so.
Posted by: Cork

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/10/12 08:13 AM

Thanks for additional info guys. What I'm hearing is that the Marantz will work, probably just fine, but more power is better.

The only receiver I've found so far that has the features I want in my price range is a Yamaha RX-V671. The Denon AVR-2112 was close but doesn't have component out which I want. My max budget for a receiver is $650. (It's a secondary room, I can barely justify that.) And it's used primarily for music, say 90/10. So if anyone has any other receiver suggestions, I'm all ears. [network receiver, DLNA certified (and plays FLAC, which is non-standard DLNA), internet radio enabled, video upconversion, optical & coax audio inputs, component video inputs]

I have to confess that the reason I'm considering the Marantz is that it's smaller (hence the reduced power) and would fit on my bookcase. Otherwise I have to place it on top of the 7 foot bookcase as I do now. Since I'm 5'7', that makes things difficult at times; although remotes are a good thing and make the need to acces it directly far less frequent. The one out I have if I go with the Marantz and find I made a mistake is that it has 2.1 preouts; so I could amp the R/L, and just put the amp above the bookcase.
Posted by: dakkon

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/10/12 12:04 PM

not sure if you are familiar with them, but they are who i bought my marantz stuff from, and several other people on the forum like them as well..

You can look around their selection and see if they have something that will work for you for less $$$
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/10/12 10:21 PM

Sounds like you would like an Onkyo, the refurbs at A4L are good sellers and of a good quality.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/10/12 11:19 PM

Cork, I assumed that the small size of the 1602 was a very significant factor and didn't suggest a somewhat larger alternative before. My suggestion for a unit in the same $500 price area would be the Onkyo 709 factory refurb(which should be at least as reliable as a brand new unit)available here from A4L for about $490. It has all the features which you've specified and a slightly higher 110 watt power rating. Incidentally, that's right what you say you've been "hearing", but both points can't be right: if the 1602 has enough power, more can't be "better" since it simply would be unused.

Another possibility at A4L, since you say that the 2112 would be fine except for not having component outs, would be the 2312 here which includes them at about $550. In my view the 709 would be the better buy for about $60 less.

Posted by: Cork

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/23/12 02:40 PM

Okay, I'm back after a longish delay. (There must be some universal law that says when you are on the verge of a new toy, the bossman automatically increases your workload.)

I took the majority opinions into account ... and still got the Marantz 1602. But don't be put off, the recommendations had me looking into more options for a week and a half. I wanted the smaller form factor, although it still didn't fit on my shelf, the feature set was perfect, and since my lsat two receivers were Onkyos I was in the mood for something different.

I hooked everything up this weekend and it sounds very nice, and I'm loving all my new internet and network features (I didn't even have HDMI on my retired rcvr). But, while I get sufficent volume for any level I might want to crank, it's also true that I'm up to 60 of the maximum at normal levels, and I get to about 90% of the maximum (+1 db, for what that's worth) when I crank it to my worst rocking out volume.

So my question is, is running at those levels inherently bad? I think I could still get Amazon to take it back if I'm runnin gtoo high. (And feel free to also take this opportunity for I told you so's.)
Posted by: alan

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/23/12 06:35 PM

Hi Cork,

Despite the small room, I would have preferred you get a receiver with more power output "just in case" there might be a situation where after a few drinks, you "crank it up". With just 30 watts per channel, it would be easy to drive that unit into clipping. Axiom has replaced lots of drivers burned out by owners who've "cranked up" low-powered receivers in party situatons or in rooms that are far too large for the modest power output of their receivers.

By the way, consider the "0 dB" setting the maximum you should not exceed; it's a rough indication of the maximum clean amplifier output available from the receiver. Going above that risks possible clipping of one or more of the internal amplifiers, with the risk of burning out drivers from a feeding a momentary dirty distorted signal from an overdriven amp.

You should be OK if you don't exceed the "0 dB" indication.

Posted by: JohnK

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/23/12 10:20 PM

Cork, no, even that 90% setting isn't "inherently" bad, since the volume control settings are relatively meaningless with respect to how much power is actually being used. The actual loudness, as measured with an SPL meter, would give more meaningful information as to power being used, since the loudness at a given setting, such as 90%, can vary greatly depending on the strength of the input from the source material.
Posted by: Cork

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/24/12 07:59 AM

Thanks Alan & JohnK, I appreciate the additional info.

With the added info I feeling a little better. (Alan, FWIW, a few drinks puts me at my stated max, one more and I'm either crashed, or doing something I'll regret that doesn't involve using a receiver.) It definitely good to know to stop at 0db.

John, I've wanted an excuse to buy an SPL, so this is interesting. But I don't follow your (implied) equation. Once I have a measurement, how do I equate a db level to how close I am to the receiver's max output?
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/24/12 08:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Cork

John, I've wanted an excuse to buy an SPL, so this is interesting. But I don't follow your (implied) equation. Once I have a measurement, how do I equate a db level to how close I am to the receiver's max output?

Simple, once you drop the SPL meter in order to cover your ears with your hands, you're probably nearing the receiver's max output.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/24/12 08:26 PM

Eh, not with a 30 WPC receiver...
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/24/12 08:34 PM

In that case, it'd be because your wife/girlfriend/significant other is yelling at you to turn it down?
Posted by: alan

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/24/12 08:35 PM


As JohnK indicated, with the level differences in souce material--some CDs are recorded 10 dB to 15 dB "hotter" (louder) than others, so understand that the 0-dB indication on the receiver is very approximate.

Using a dB meter at your listening seat is really instructive. You can measure peak or average levels and equate them to the general subjective impression of most people: peaks at 95 dB or higher are considered "very loud". Levels around 85 dB are "quite loud" and lots of listeners set levels to average between 75 dB and 85 dB. We hear each increase of 10 dB as "twice as loud". A 3-dB increase is described as "a bit louder".

It's impossible to know exactly when your receiver/amplifier is approaching clipping, short of having an oscilloscope with a hold setting. Some amplifiers begin to sound harsh or strident as distortion increases. Certainly you should avoid setting the volume so that peaks at your listening chair exceed 100 dB SPL. By the way, the SPL meter should be set to the "C" weighting, and all of the levels I've talked about are relative to the meter set to "C" weighting.

Keep in mind too, that I've rarely measured acoustical music in concert halls peaking at more than 102 dB (that's with full orchestra and chorus in Carnegie Hall in a very good box seat).

Amplified rock is an entirely different story, and absurdly loud levels are often the norm---well above 100 dB in clubs and live concerts.

Posted by: Lampshade

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/24/12 09:12 PM

How often do you bring your meter to Carnegie Hall? Do you bring your metal detector to the beach too? smile
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/24/12 10:05 PM

Cork, the digital version of the Radio Shack SPL meter is well-suited for this use. It has a provision(the analog doesn't)for measuring the maximum level reached either briefly or over an extended period. You'd read the max level at the volume setting you usually use and then convert that to power used at that level. To do this you'd start with the sensitivity spec for the M22, which was 89dB for 1 watt at 1 meter distance for my M22s(and I assume yours). Recently Axiom changed this by 4dB to 93dB, and it would be helpful if Ian or Alan would clarify this, since this would indicate better than a doubling of sensitivity.

However, using the previous 89dB figure, it would be decreased by about 3dB per doubling of listening distance beyond 1 meter, according to research reported by Dr. Toole in his book. For example, at a distance of 9-10', about 4dB should be dropped, down to 85dB for 1 watt. So, if a max reading of 95dB was measured this would use 10 watts, if it was 98dB, this would bring it to 20 watts, etc. This follows the formula for power increases which can be summarised as a doubling of power needed for each 3dB increase and 10 times the power for a 10dB increase. This can be done approximately in your head, or a formula can be plugged into a pocket scientific calculator(you always carry one; right?)for more precision, or probably easiest, there are online power calculators, such as this one .
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 01/24/12 10:19 PM

Yeah, Alan; as I've mentioned before, I also took my SPL meter to the concert hall a couple times. After explaining to the gentry that it wasn't a bomb and what I was doing(they still thought that I was a nut, but probably not a dangerous one), I did find that even at the max of the most dynamic pieces, the level in the front rows was a few dB above 100.

Incidentally, it would be interesting to hear about the 4dB increase in the sensitivity specs which I commented on above.
Posted by: Cork

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 02/08/12 12:52 PM

Once again, sorry for asking a question and not responding. I've been camped out work. (I'm starting to believe my boss is on this site and feeds me more when I post.)

I tried to get a Radio Shack SPL, but of course my Radio Shack didn't have any, so I order this (cheapo) one from Amazon. I figure it'll let me play. And thanks again Alan and JohnK for the added info.

Alen mentioned the reciever going harsh or strident when reaching its limit. I've had solid sound up to my required range. Although last night the thing needed to be reset (plug pulled out) because I lost all button responsiveness (receiver and remote). When I turned it back on it went into a 15 minute reset sequence. So THAT'S not making me feel very comfortable.
Posted by: alan

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 02/08/12 02:47 PM

Hi Cork,

Hmmm, that's a bit odd, but today's electronics are so complex that occasional shut-downs and re-sets do occur and normally shouldn't be cause to worry. I have a six-year-old hi-def Samsung DLP that sometimes just turns itself off arbitrarily. If it happens more frequently, I pull the AC plug, let it "rest" for a while, then it re-sets and works perfectly for many months.

To its credit, my aging hk AV receiver has never needed to be reset.

My boat GPS also re-boots itself sometimes, or gets "stuck" and becomes unresponsive, in which case I click a re-set button.

My Scientific Atlanta HD cable box/DVR also seems to need a re-boot every month or so to keep it responsive.

Your cheapo SPL meter looks OK to me. It's likely as accurate as the cheapo Radio Shack model. Maybe you'll run into a fellow audiophile who owns the Radio Shack meter and you can compare readings (I love comparisons. . .).

Posted by: Cork

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 02/16/12 11:00 AM

It works out that the "shutdown" was partially my fault and partially my inexperience with a zone2. This is my first time having a zone2 and not just B speakers, and I had somehow got myself on Zone 2, so all my button mashes were for an input/output that wasn't connected. Also, the "set-up" it was doing was due to my NAS spinning up, I gather it has some handshaking to do before it starts playing.

On the more fun side. I finally received the SPL meter, and to report back at a -7db receiver setting I seem to be at 92 db all-channel stereo and 87 in stereo (-7 is about the loudest I would normally crank it to). At 0db I'm at 101db in all-ch-st and 97 in stereo. So using JohnK's equations I'm bouncing off of 30w, which matches the expectation. (And thanks again John.)

And I'm with you Alan, I'm dying to get my *very* old H/K A402 fixed (one channel died), but I fear it won't sound as good as my memory says it will.

So with that I'll end this self-indulgent thread. Lesson learned was that I should have listened and bought more power - but I did come in right under the minimum required, so I can hold off until the next generation of receivers gizmos. (I do love the network features of the 1602 though!)
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 02/16/12 10:24 PM

Interesting results pretty much in line with would be expected at reasonably loud home listening levels. You should keep in mind however that the numbers I previously mentioned were per speaker. For example, your 97dB stereo number could result from the two speakers each playing at 94dB simultaneously. When you double the number of speakers playing at a given sound level(doesn't necessarily have to be the identical sounds)the net result is 3dB louder,i.e., if one is at 94dB, two of them result in 97dB and four in 100dB. If that one speaker used 1 watt for 84dB(pretty typical)then it would use 10 watts for 94dB and four of them each playing at 94dB would reach 100dB(about your all-channel stereo number with maybe another dB added for the fifth speaker). The point therefore is that in the situation you described the power per channel may be more like 10 watts rather than 30 watts.
Posted by: dakkon

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 02/16/12 11:56 PM

Cork, John...

I found this site.

it will tell you when you are reaching the maximum output of your amp.
Posted by: Cork

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 02/19/12 07:28 AM

Thanks dakken, I bookmarked that site. That JohnK guy was making me do logarithmic math for cripes sake! Kidding John, I appreciate the info and should have realized that you were referring to a single speaker. I'm embarrassed to admit that I can't follow your last round of calculations, although the logic makes sense. I'll have to dig up the reference you provided.

An update, I had problems with the NAS connection again, and since this time I'm pretty sure I am doing everything correctly, and I'm on the last day of the return window, I'm going to replace the Marantz.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 02/19/12 10:32 PM

Here's a site (with calculator)which shows the effect of adding multiple sound sources. You'll note that it's basically adding to the level of the first speaker 10 times the log of the total number of speakers playing simultaneously. For example, since the log of 2 is about 0.3, stereo speakers result in a 3dB increase; for all 5 speakers(log 5 about 0.7), a 7db increase.
Posted by: dakkon

Re: Minimum power for M22/VP100? - 02/19/12 10:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Cork
That JohnK guy was making me do logarithmic math for cripes sake!

I saw the site john gave you and i figured there HAD to be an easier way of getting the calculation done without doing the math by hand...