Question of Power

RLCCM

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Hi, here is a question that I hope can be easily answered. I am looking for a 5.1 surround system for my tv (well actually I am buying a tv too, but the speaker question is in dire need of answering) and have spotted a set of KEF 2005.2 "eggs" going cheaply second hand, which considering my relatively small budget, seem like a perfect option.

However I understand that these speakers require a good AV receiver. Now, the same guy is willing to sell me his receiver, again quite cheaply, but is a relatively old model - an Arcam AVR200 (which I think is roughly 2002?) Now, I understand that Arcam make good quality equipment, and, unless I am missing something drastic - I believe it will also adequaely connect all my audio needs (5.1 analogue in, stereo in, optical and digital in), and as I have no interest in plugging my video into it - just audio, that works fine...

BUT....

It only runs 70W per channel to 5,1 surround speakers. The Eggs are rated 100W each. Is this a problem? Does this mean the eggs wont work? or wont give their proper sound quality? or will it just affect volume levels but not quality? This in mind, if the AVR is not adequate to work with the eggs, can anyone suggest an AVR that is adequate in quality and power that is also inexpensive as my budget is tight? Bearing in mind that this set including AVR would only set me back about 350 (the speakers are half the sum, the avr the other half) - what sort of money must I spend on an AVR if this one is not good enough?

Many thanks.
 

roger06

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I'd have thought one would always want speakers that could handle more power than the amp can output?

For my two channel system my 50w Nait5i happily powers my 150w Dynaudios.
 
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Anonymous

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Hi

Its a very cheap price for the gear you are getting to be honest but i do agree with changing the AV amp, the power is not a problem aswell as the connections but you need a amp that is capable of decoding Dolby TruHD and DTS-HD as these are higher quality audio streams aswell as everything future wise in terms of Blu Ray films etc use these higher audio formats. Trust me, you'll end up buying another amp if you dont get it right 1st time.

There's loads of amp's capable of decoding the hd sound formats, im sure you can pick one up from or less than £300, for example Onkyo is one brand out of many out there.
 

RLCCM

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Thank you to both, very helpful indeed!

I actually vaguely noticed about the HD audio decoding, and sort of figured if I get a blu-ray that decodes HD audio and has 5.1 or 7.1 analogue outs then the AVR would pretty much just take the signal and amplify it, and push it straight out - thus effectivey making it work with HD audio? but I may be very very mistaken.... Please tell me if I am wrong.

I have seen a sony S550 blu-ray on offer here for about 180 which I think is good..... so was thinking of getting that to run the decoding.

As for power, am glad to hear that that would work - I didnt have a clue with that! I just like to listen to good music (jazz mostly), and good explosions with my films and games haha!
 
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Anonymous

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Ive got a blu ray player that decodes onboard but i still run it through a HD amp as the built in decoder in blu ray players are designed to give you the best sound possible out the the machine for people who dont have a HD amp but its not true hd as the signal then passes through the non hd amp to the speakers. Like i said before the blu ray onboard decoding is the best sound for those who dont want to upgrade their existing amp's but does not give true hd. Where if you buy a HD amp, the decoding is done inside the amp and then passed straight to the speakers, so you then hear what hd is all about. :)
 

RLCCM

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Ok, makes a certain amount of sense, except that what cable would carry an HD audio signal? is it only HDMI? In which case, if you connect the HDMI out from the blu-ray into an HD ready AVR, are you then not forgoing the best blu-ray image for the TV? - i.e. direct from the player (infact, how then does the TV get the image?).

Also, sound quality-wise, is the degredation of quality really noticeable via analogue outs through AVR compared with analogue outs direct to the speaker system? If the correct sounds are going to the correct speakers afterall, then it must still be pretty damn good, especially at that money. And will the Arcam not likely have a better quality than a newer, but worse, inexpensive receiver? The one comment made by the reviews I have read on the Eggs is that they require a good quality receiver to get the best of them. Will a new £300 or under receiever actually give me quality output to suit the Eggs? (perhaps thats only really answerable by someone with Eggs themselves?)
 

kinda

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Hello,

Analogue 7.1 from your player to the amp would give full HD sound. The amp just takes what's presented at it's analogue inputs, like it would for DVD-Audio or whatever

You can either send the raw HD data to the amp on HDMI and let it decode, decode the HD data to LPCM and send it to the amp on HDMI, or the player can decode the sound to analogue format and send it.

Whichever way you do it, you take the HD sound, decode it to LPCM, (which will be axactly the same in each case), then do a D/A conversion to real sound. There may be minor differences with each method in different implementations, but each will give very good HD sound.

Getting an amp that doesn't provide the decoding can save costs and mean you're getting better actual amplification for your money. I guess the only downside is number of sets of analogue inputs your amp has, paying for 8 quality cables, and the spaghetti of wires.

I went the mid-ground and got an amp that accepted LPCM over HDMI, which also offer the ability to have voiceovers and stuff embedded into the HD audio, which you can't do if the amp does the decoding.

In terms of driving speakers with a less powerful amp than they are rated for, it's still not safe to turn the amp right up to full volume. At this point the amp becomes strained and can clip, which damages speakers, even if the actual power is less than the speakers can take.

Hope this helps
 

RLCCM

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Hugely useful and helpful! Thank You very much indeed!!

Right from what I gather then, I can use the blu-ray to decode and output via 7.1 (or 5.1) audio to the receiever, which will then output the 5.1 sound to the speakers in HD (and as I highly doubt I will upgrade to 7.1 anytime soon, the 5.1 of the Arcam is fine)..... so I might have a slight loss with the analgue but will still be very nearly as good as decoding it directly in the receiver. Perfect. My opinion in that case is to stick with getting this Arcam one as its cheaper than anything new, and I will gain much more by having a quality amplifier than I will lose by the extra analogue cabling - I cant believe technology of amplifiers has moved on that much, so am sure the Arcam in terms of amplification quality will greatly outperform the cheaper new receivers that I might otherwise have to buy.

That means I will directly run all my video signals into the TV, and set the sound through seperate cables into the receiver - which is too old to put HDMI or man other signals into, and effectively - I can see no reason why I would want them to go into the receiver anyway!

Also, thanks for the tip on the volume - wont be turning it up loud anyway, in a block of flats - but still good to know!

Cheers!
 
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Anonymous

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Totally agree with kinda.

Before I got my LX81 amp I had (and still have) a Pioneer AX5Ai-s and just used 3 pairs of phono cables from my LX70A bluray (which I had set to decode on board HD codecs) to get full HD sound. Good sound but I was always messing with levels when I played a normal DVD with just 5.1 DD - possibly just me but in the end I upgraded as we all do !

Cheers.
 

RLCCM

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S guys thanks for all the advice - I finally went today and blew all my savings at once!!! Hahaha!! I got the Kef 2005.2's with the Arcam AVR 200 - and though I've only quickly plugged it all in to a CD player, it really does sound very good on first impressions - what surprises me compared toother systems I have had though, is how the input source akes such a difference - these really do bring out the noise and suffer from the lower quality mp3 inputs compared with worse quality recorded cd's.... and then higher quality cd's.

Now I just can't wait to get into my new place, wait for the tv and blu-ray to arrive and plug this all up for a big movie!!

So - the final set-up will look like this once it all arrives:

Philips Essence 42PES0001D

Sony BDP S550 Blu-ray

KEF KHT 2005.2

Arcam AVR 200

And the best bit..... the lot only set me back about £1600! (which ok, is admittedly a little more than I should have spent, but I think will hopefully be a greay set-up for years to come).

Thanks for hte advice everyone has kindly given, I really appreciate it, it was a great help!
 

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