Question Underpowered amp?

jy999

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Feb 9, 2024
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Hi all, question about amp power!
I have a pair of Klipsch RP-280F speakers in my living room. They're very efficient at 98db (1 watt). I was powering them with a repurposed Denon AVR-S900w, and getting tired of some features, I decided to upgrade. I just bought an Audiolab 6000A, whichcan power 50W per channel.

First, the immediate improvement in quality was astounding. It was almost like a speaker upgrade, and, additional speakers given the more clear separation and wide soundstage. The amp feels more reserved though than the Denon it replaced, almost as if the music is being held back. That's okay.

The problem I'm having is that when I turn it up, the sound becomes a lot less nice and more harsh. I am playing FLACs. I don't go above -10 on the dial, but I'm wondering what people think the issues are. Am I hitting the 50w wall where the amp struggles to keep it clean at louder volumes? is it the room? am I making this up and halucinating?

I know people can't give a lot of insight without being here, but I mostly wanted to ask about a 50w/channel for these speakers for living-room listening levels. Thanks!
 

Fandango Andy

Well-known member
Hi all, question about amp power!
I have a pair of Klipsch RP-280F speakers in my living room. They're very efficient at 98db (1 watt). I was powering them with a repurposed Denon AVR-S900w, and getting tired of some features, I decided to upgrade. I just bought an Audiolab 6000A, whichcan power 50W per channel.

First, the immediate improvement in quality was astounding. It was almost like a speaker upgrade, and, additional speakers given the more clear separation and wide soundstage. The amp feels more reserved though than the Denon it replaced, almost as if the music is being held back. That's okay.

The problem I'm having is that when I turn it up, the sound becomes a lot less nice and more harsh. I am playing FLACs. I don't go above -10 on the dial, but I'm wondering what people think the issues are. Am I hitting the 50w wall where the amp struggles to keep it clean at louder volumes? is it the room? am I making this up and halucinating?

I know people can't give a lot of insight without being here, but I mostly wanted to ask about a 50w/channel for these speakers for living-room listening levels. Thanks!
I don't know your speakers so won't comment on them directly. Have you checked the manufactures recommendation for amp power? Do you have them well positioned with plenty of room from the walls?
 
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jy999

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Manufacturer's recommendations is a good idea, but I could find nothing from Klipsch in terms of that. I thought that was basically included in the sensitivity rating. I'm well, well below peak power handling rating.
 

daytona600

Well-known member
98dB Klipsch with 50wpc should get the police @ the door & hearing damage for long periods
Klipsch do not need much power , but they like good clean power with current
98db/50w = 115dB @ 1metre
88db normal eficiency 650wpc would require a huge amp
84db low effciency 1100 would require a PA amp
88db/650w = 115
84db/1100w =115
115db sounds like this on Klipsch

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZTWhJtY0vI


115 dBA​
Take-off sound of planes at 10 m distance
110 dBA​
Siren *) at 10 m distance, frequent sound level in discotheques and close
to loudspeakers at rock concerts, violin close to the ear of an orchestra
musicians (greatest level)
105 dBA​
Chain saw at 1 m distance, banging car door at 1 m distance (greatest level),
racing car at 40 m distance,
100 dBA​
Frequent level with music via head phones, jack hammer at 10 m distance
95 dBA​
Loud crying, hand circular saw at 1 m distance
90 dBA​
Angle grinder outside at 1 m distance
1946 allpaper_-_Mobile_640x1136_-_NEIGHBORS_635252231712072000.jpg
 

Stuart83

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Jul 22, 2023
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I personally think never go for amps below 100W per channel (watts is watts).......
My speakers are 91db sensitive at 6ohms but still need a bit extra power and are known to for needing exactly that.

I do however both have a personal preference of loud music and a back bedroom in a detached bungalow so experience the luxury of not annoying anyone.

Despite sensitivity your driving large floorstanders with 8inch cone's.
I've had many amps over the yrs and found 50W not to be enough without "the headroom" needed for how I listen to music.

I've been through the specification boasts of lower powered amps combined with the sensitivity boasts of different speakers to give me confidence before only to be disappointed when I've got it home.

It's a debate starter but it's my findings.
 
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gasolin

Well-known member
Once heard a pair of Klipsch RP-6000F II or Klipsch RP-8000F II with a Rotel a11 tribute

It wasn't loud at all playing normal volume on the amp (should have been with sensitivity in the late 90's)

Klipsch often don't have the rated sensitivity

Q acoustics 5040 are measured to be 92.5 db sensitivity, if you want real high sensitivitiv or look a zu audio,tekton audio, real pa or get more power
 
Last edited:
Hi all, question about amp power!
I have a pair of Klipsch RP-280F speakers in my living room. They're very efficient at 98db (1 watt). I was powering them with a repurposed Denon AVR-S900w, and getting tired of some features, I decided to upgrade. I just bought an Audiolab 6000A, whichcan power 50W per channel.

First, the immediate improvement in quality was astounding. It was almost like a speaker upgrade, and, additional speakers given the more clear separation and wide soundstage. The amp feels more reserved though than the Denon it replaced, almost as if the music is being held back. That's okay.

The problem I'm having is that when I turn it up, the sound becomes a lot less nice and more harsh. I am playing FLACs. I don't go above -10 on the dial, but I'm wondering what people think the issues are. Am I hitting the 50w wall where the amp struggles to keep it clean at louder volumes? is it the room? am I making this up and halucinating?

I know people can't give a lot of insight without being here, but I mostly wanted to ask about a 50w/channel for these speakers for living-room listening levels. Thanks!
What size is your room? And what are your sources?

The specs are here for those who weren’t sure. 50watts should be plenty unless you live in a warehouse!

I‘m not a fan of most AV receivers, and the smoother sound is probably much more natural. But you’re used to the ‘noise’ from the Denon!

 
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Messiah

Well-known member
The problem I'm having is that when I turn it up, the sound becomes a lot less nice and more harsh. I am playing FLACs. I don't go above -10 on the dial, but I'm wondering what people think the issues are. Am I hitting the 50w wall where the amp struggles to keep it clean at louder volumes? is it the room? am I making this up and hallucinating?
I'm assuming you listened to them at similar volumes on the Denon?

How did they sound in that scenario (through the Denon)?
 

Fandango Andy

Well-known member
Manufacturer's recommendations is a good idea, but I could find nothing from Klipsch in terms of that. I thought that was basically included in the sensitivity rating. I'm well, well below peak power handling rating.
what about positioning? How big is the room? What shape is it. How far are the speakers from the back wall, and side walls? How far apart are the speakers? How far from them do you sit? What is the resonance of the room like?
 
Hi all, question about amp power!
I have a pair of Klipsch RP-280F speakers in my living room. They're very efficient at 98db (1 watt). I was powering them with a repurposed Denon AVR-S900w, and getting tired of some features, I decided to upgrade. I just bought an Audiolab 6000A, whichcan power 50W per channel.

First, the immediate improvement in quality was astounding. It was almost like a speaker upgrade, and, additional speakers given the more clear separation and wide soundstage. The amp feels more reserved though than the Denon it replaced, almost as if the music is being held back. That's okay.

The problem I'm having is that when I turn it up, the sound becomes a lot less nice and more harsh. I am playing FLACs. I don't go above -10 on the dial, but I'm wondering what people think the issues are. Am I hitting the 50w wall where the amp struggles to keep it clean at louder volumes? is it the room? am I making this up and halucinating?

I know people can't give a lot of insight without being here, but I mostly wanted to ask about a 50w/channel for these speakers for living-room listening levels. Thanks!
I'm not familiar with your speakers. How loud do you play it? At 50 watts per channel into 8 ohms is not huge. Even with a speaker of 98 db it will still struggle. Every component has its limitations.
 

Fidelity dom

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I’ve an Audiolab 6000a play driving quad s4 speakers (88db with an iimpedance of 6 ohms). I found the Audiolab fine when listening at low levels., but if I wanted to crank the volume it started to struggle. I added a Nord Accoustics NC (hypex) 252 power amp which delivers 200w at 6 ohms & now run the Audiolab in pre mode. At £350 for the Nord it has given the speakers that extra grunt & control. A great value up grade if your finding you need the extra power😀
 

jy999

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Feb 9, 2024
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Thanks all for the tips. I love the sound at reasonable levels, but it struggles when loud.. so I think my current path is: upgrade with a power amp using this as a pre-amp, and later, buy a new pre amp and move this into my bedroom to upgrade my bookshelves there :)

I could spend anotehr few hundred to get the model up instead with 75w/channel instead of 50... but that feels like a half assed solution. I think moving to a proper power amp also gives me speaker upgrade pathways.

As for the prev. questions on Denon. I thought it sounded fine until I heard the audiolab. That said, the Denon certainly kept going louder and maintained its sound.
 
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