Is there such a thing as too much power?

CraigDS

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Sep 3, 2009
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Can you have too much power for speakers? The reason I ask is that I am looking at two Marantz AV Recievers the big and powerful SR7005 or the slim and stylish NR1602. The speakers I am looking at are about £1000 worth. I was speaking to a dealer who said that there is no point having the more expensive and powerful Amp for the speaker packages available at that price. I always thought the more power with the best current is best and your money should be invested in order of source, amp and the speakers?
 
Really depends on what's easier to upgrade in the future. Going for a higher class amp will bring the best out of your speakers, but not your amp. To get the real benefits of the amp, you'll have to go for better speakers. If it's easier to upgrade your amp in the future rather than your speakers, go for better speakers. Or vice versa.

If you don't want to upgrade in the near future, go for a combination that tonally match nicely.
 

CraigDS

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I spoke to another dealer today and discussed the Marantz NR1602 Slimline AV Reciever with 50x7 channels. The dealer said "it was like having a Ferrari but with a Fiesta engine in it". I asked him to elaborate. He said that if the speakers can handle 100w then the amp is only delivering 50% of the speakers capability. I do not understand because a lot of stereo amps have only 30-75w driving the same speakers so why is it ok for stereo amp and not av amp?

He also said that if I have an AV Reciever with 125w and the speakers can only handle 100w then I would blow them up but when I looked a lot of speakers max out at 100-125w so if I bought say B&W 685 or CM1 theatre I could damage them?
 

manicm

Well-known member
The second dealer sounds like a maverick. Are you ever going to dial the volume past 3 'o clock? A 125w amp into 100w handling speakers will be way way better than using a 30w amp. But again that also depends on the quality of the amplification, and from the reviews the Marantz 1602 has very good amplification. The dealer's dogma seems to stem from a dose of ignorance.
 

CraigDS

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Sep 3, 2009
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I have bought a Marnatz SR7005. I bought that amp because I was told that the better quality and powerful amp will sound better at low volumes in a Flat. I was going to buy MT-50's but have been told I can get more speakers for the same money. Now I am looking to buy speakers for my AV amp?
 

umbucker

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Feb 20, 2008
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Your dealer seems very ill equips with correct knowledge ! You are actually more likely to damage your speakers by pushing an underpowered amp than by using an amp with more power than required. As per the above post, an over powered amp would only cause damage if pushed to the max
 
CraigDS said:
I have bought a Marnatz SR7005. I bought that amp because I was told that the better quality and powerful amp will sound better at low volumes in a Flat. I was going to buy MT-50's but have been told I can get more speakers for the same money. Now I am looking to buy speakers for my AV amp?

Actually, MT50 are quite nice speakers. Of course, you're also paying for style. I would prefer the MT60D package with PV1D subwoofer. What's your maximum budget? Are you looking for style speakers only?
 

Chewy

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Feb 10, 2010
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I think its time to sack your 2nd dealer - he clearly knows very little about his business.

Headline wattage figures on amps should only be taken as a guide to an amplifiers ability, and they occasionally have very little to do with an amplifiers power or its ability to drive a speaker.

For example a high quality 30W tube amp can comfortably drive a full range speaker, whilst a cheap/underspecified 100W amp may struggle. The more important figure on amsp is (no pun intended) how many amps (amperes) they deliver, and the requirements of the speaker in terms of their sensitivity and impedence.

An overspecified amp won't damage you speakers per se, it will deliver as much or as little power as you tell it to when you turn the volume dial, otherwise monobloc amps capable of delivering 2000W into 4ohms would have no takers. Sure, if you turned that amp up beyond the operating capacity of your speakers, you would probably damage your speaker drivers, along with your ear drums.

Likewise, using an amp that is underspecified will lead to distortion as the volume in increased, which is more likely to damage your speaker drivers. Its always best to have slightly more power than you need to give your amo extra headroom. The 7005 should be fine driving all but the most demanding speakers, and at 125W with 2 channels driven, it is not going to blow your speakers for either lack of power or too much power.

As Big Boss, and your first dealer, has said, its always best to try and have a balance of components to get the best sound from your system.

I see you have bought the 7005, it is by all accounts, a very good amp. Is your speaker budget still £1000? And how many speakers are you after - 2.0, 5.1, 7.1?
 
Check this review:

http://www.whathifi.com/Review/Marantz-SR7005

Especially:

"Plus it leaves the SR7005 palpably more difficult to match to speakers than the best of its rivals."

It's important that the speakers tonally match the receiver.
 
This is one speaker package which is known to match well with the Marantz:

http://www.audioaffair.co.uk/Tannoy-Revolution-Compact-5.1-AV-Package/product_5013?ref=gmc

Review here:

http://www.whathifi.com/review/Tannoy-Revolution-Compact-51

An audition is vital prior to purchase.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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You can never have too much power (or current), as a quality speaker will respond well to veing driven better. As an example, many people will use Monitor Audio Bronze BX5 speaker packages on AV receivers between £300-1000. The first time I heard it on a £2k receiver (a Pioneer SCLX82 or 83 in this case), I was gobsmacked. It almost sounded like a different speaker package.

You may never use the full output of an receiver or power amp that has oodles of power, but you'll benefit from it's grunt lower down. A little like a sports car - you may never drive at 200mph plus, but the horsepower available at almost any speed can be experienced.
 

CraigDS

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Yeah I think I will sack the second dealer. I won't name the dealer but it is worrying to think that advice is coming from a massive UK wide dealership.

The dealership who sold me the SR7005 told me similar advice to you guys. I told him I lived in a flat and wanted food sound quality at lower volumes. He advised me the more powerful amp with the best quality the better. He really only sells B&W speakers. I Was going to spend £2k on a 5.1 speaker package but a few unexpected issues have came up and I have £1k to spend at the moment. I was thinking MT-50, Tannoy V4 package. However I have also thought about buying just new floorsstanders just now worth about £1k and listen in stereo and buy the rest of the package when I have the money?
 

Frank Harvey

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CraigDS said:
However I have also thought about buying just new floorsstanders just now worth about £1k and listen in stereo and buy the rest of the package when I have the money?

Always a good option if it's at all possible. This will lead to a better system in the long term.
 

CraigDS

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Is it ok to use your AV amp for constant stereo? Will it damage it in anyway until I get the rest of the speakers? Out of the speaker packages £1-1.5k would be best to audition with the SR7005?
 

Chewy

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CraigDS said:
Is it ok to use your AV amp for constant stereo? Will it damage it in anyway until I get the rest of the speakers? Out of the speaker packages £1-1.5k would be best to audition with the SR7005?

Not at all, it won't damage it in the slightest.

At that price point the world is your oyster, there is a huge amount of choice; Monitor Audio, Kef, Tannoy, B&W, Acoustic Energy, ATC etc etc all have fine stereo offerings for that budget, and as David says, if you are happy to stick with stereo for a while, you'll end up with a much better system in the end.
 
I too agree with the suggestions offered so far. You can always add speakers when budget allows.

One important tip; make sure you don't compromise on a subwoofer. Buy the very best you can afford. This will make the maximum impact to your system's performance with movies.
 

CraigDS

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Sep 3, 2009
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Ok so the consensus is buy better quality floorsstanders and build a system over time but....

David mentioned something about middle of the road speakers (monitor audio bx range) sound a lot better on the end of a better quality av receiver. I also read on another forum that a dealer done an open day for blind testing. The results were basically the speakers were harder to tell apart from the price ladder but the more expensive the source was the easier the difference was to notice. Therefore I am thinking a good source with my amp would make the best from an average speaker package and wouldn't meet a more expensive speaker package? Thoughts?
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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I do find that in most people's minds, they feel that speakers make a bigger and more noticable difference when it comes to upgrades, but because people think like that, very few people actually end up getting the best out of a speaker they've paid good money for. It's probably the reason why many people aren't happy with separates and end up chucking it all in for something simpler - purely because they've never heard what their speakers (or system) is, and should be, capable of.
 

CraigDS

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Sep 3, 2009
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On that note David am I better going for a speaker package and get the most out of it for eg. Buy a B&W 685 theatre and get 100% out of it than buy the CM series and get 75% from it? I do fancy the Tannoy dc6t package because the look like great value.
 

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