Very new to hi-fi. Trying to find an amp to match my speakers + needs

greggydoom

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Dec 18, 2011
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Hi there all,

This is my very first post and as the title says I'm quite new to this kind of thing. I have recently decided to take the plunge and piece by piece buy my first set of stackable hi-fi equipment. Luckily, an elder relative has given me some of there older equipment to start off with for free.

I've aquired a pair of acoustic solutions AV80ii floorstanders with an RMS of 130 watts and a rather old Sony STR-D511 amp. The amp is supposed to be a surround sound amp but seems to work just as well for my needs as a hi fi amp and I believe through research that the front speakers have a power output of 100 watts rms. I've also bought myself a Pro-ject genie mk3 for rather cheap from richer sounds.

I've decided that I really like the speakers, however, I believe that I would like to upgrade the amp in a couple of months time to something a bit newer and more suitable for the job. I would prefer it to have an MM phono input built in due to the fact that I would rather keep my stack to a minimum and not include a seperate phono stage. However the problem I'm having is finding an amp that would match the 130 watt rms power for the speakers with a built in phono stage and up the £300 mark in price. Is there anyone here willing to help with any suggestions or even just a bit of advice? As I said, i'm quite new to this and have tried to learn about it all myself but may have got a few things wrong with how to get my first system.

Many thanks,

Greg
 

paradiziac

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Jan 8, 2011
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Hi and welcome,

The power rating of speakers relates to the maximum they can take from an amp, so the power rating of your amp should be less than your speakers.

The most important figure is the sensitivity of the speaker. Above 87 or 88 db is fairly sensitive and (normally) doesn't need a powerful amp, lower than that and you may need an amp with more power.

50W for an amp is a good guideline for most budget speakers at domestic volumes.
 

greggydoom

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Thanks for the reply and welcome paradiziac!

Thats a relief to know. I had been previously told that I would have to try and get an amp with roughly similar wattage rms to that of the speakers. Any higher than 130 watts per channel would obviously damage them. However I was also told that if you get an amp with a wattage a lot lower than the speakers then the amp is at risk of damage due to having to turn up the volume a lot more than usual to compensate for the large difference. There was talk of impedance at the same time as well though and I think that may have confused me and I've got it a bit wrong.

Thanks again for helping out a newbie!
 

paradiziac

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Impedance is usually quoted as an average, either 4 or 8 ohms. 4 ohms are harder for an amplifier to drive than 8 ohms.

I googled your speakers and according to an eBay listing (!) they are 8 ohms.

I couldn't find the sensitivity, but unless they are unusually insensitive as well (I doubt it), I guess an amp of around 50W should do the trick. Usual caveats apply.
 

greggydoom

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Dec 18, 2011
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Thats great! Thanks once again paradiziac!

I've also done a bit more research and found a pdf of the original instruction booklet for the amp. Turns out the info on the output power of it was wrong and it is in fact 50W per rms per channel, not 100W. Obviously the previous information was both channels added together but mistakenly described as per channel. So essentially I already am using a 50W amp and I have so far not had the guts to pump it past the 5 volume mark!

Anyway, this has helped me look into some amps and am interested in the Rotel RA-04SE amplifier. Does anyone here have any experience with this amp? Or is there possibly any other amps I should seriously look into? Preferrably up to no more than £300 and with a built in phono stage.
 

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