Watts vs Volume?

Witterings

Well-known member
I'm currently using an old Yamaha DSP-A590 as a HiFi amp as the rear channel blew a few years back but am looking for a more minimalist setup and to make space for something else.

It's not the main listening area but I do "crank" it up sometimes as it's somewhere I can go and play things at volume without disturbing the boss if she's gone to bed.

I've been looking at the Topping PA5 but don't really want to spend that much and also the Aiyima A300 which is more powerful but the reviews seem a bit meeh ... that said it may be better than my old Yamaha.

The Topping PA3s is a lot more affordable but would I notice the drop in wattage / overall volume compared to the Yamaha which the volume knob's set at around 2 O'Clock for my louder evenings so not maxed out?

It's in a Desktop setting in a converted single garage to give a perspective of size and the speakers are Wharfedale Diamond 9.1's which are 6 Ohm.

Links to the amps with specs
PA3s

Yamaha

If there was likely to be a big difference I'd probably then just decide between the Aiyima and the PA5 and whether I wanted to spend the extra for better quality, the only thing I don't want to do is be in a situation I've spent the money and it's not loud enough.

If anyone has alternatives suggestions I'd be interested in hearing them as well.
 
Volume controls operate in different ways in different amplifiers, in that some get louder very early, and others don’t. Unfortunately the rotation is really no guide to the maximum power available.

Dismonds with 60 watts or more available will be pretty loud! I wouldn’t know about the quality as I’ve not heard those designs, though Topping seem to get favourable reviews from the ASR forum and users. Bear in mind what sort of warranty is available versus another Yamaha, for example. Would you consider a used Hifi amplifier from the likes or Rotel, Yamaha or Marantz?
 
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shadders

Well-known member
Hi,
The speakers are bordering on being slightly less sensitive, so for high listening levels, may need a powerful amplifier as they are nominally 6ohms, but in saying that, the Aiyima (90watts tested ASR) should drive then reasonably loud, with the Topping at 51watts (ASR)

From Audiosciencereview website, the Aiyima is better than the Topping. Both are class D amplifiers, so their idle power is minimal compared to a class AB amplifier. The class D amplifiers are very small compared to an equivalent class AB, so if desk space is an issue, then class D is the way to go.

For listening- only you can determine of you like the sound. If it is hififorums that have dissuaded you, then i would ignore them as there is a snobbery in Hifi. The problem may be is that other people opinion, has caused you to expect that the amplifier will sound bad, and you don't like what you hear based on that.

Regards,
Shadders.
 
Yes definitely BUT it has to be in small form factor like the ones I've mentioned as I'm not unhappy with the sound I currently have as a secondary listening area, my ONLY reason for change is to go much more minimalist.
Ah, I see, then there are very few like that. This Yamaha always struck me as a neat design, though recently discontinued but may be some in stores.

Or this NAD…https://nadelectronics.com/product/d-3020v2-hybrid-digital-amplifier/
 

Witterings

Well-known member
Ah, I see, then there are very few like that. This Yamaha always struck me as a neat design, though recently discontinued but may be some in stores.

Or this NAD…https://nadelectronics.com/product/d-3020v2-hybrid-digital-amplifier/

I had very seriously considered the NAD, the only reason I hesitated is it's 30 watts into 8ohms and my current is 70 watts into 8ohms ... less than half and part of the reason for my title for the thread.
I know double that watts doesn't equate to double the volume but was trying to understand how much of a difference it would actually make.
The MusicCast looks quite interesting (although hard to find on an initial search) especially as that and the NAD can be positioned vertically which would further help create space.
 
I had very seriously considered the NAD, the only reason I hesitated is it's 30 watts into 8ohms and my current is 70 watts into 8ohms ... less than half and part of the reason for my title for the thread.
I know double that watts doesn't equate to double the volume but was trying to understand how much of a difference it would actually make.
The MusicCast looks quite interesting (although hard to find on an initial search) especially as that and the NAD can be positioned vertically which would further help create space.
I’d not be at all worried about that. You’ll see from this test bench report, it produces 50 watts into 8 ohms in practice, and has plenty in reserve for peaks (with over 12 amps of current available).

It has the form factor you are seeking, and if you buy new in the UK you should find a dealer who’d accept a return if you didn’t like it. Or buy used on eBay and resell if you change your mind.

 

MeanandGreen

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Dec 26, 2012
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Something to take into consideration is that doubling the power only gives 3db more volume.

So if you think 70W is going to be twice as loud as 35W it’s not. It’s 3db.

However how different manufacturers quote their power output can vary from one brand to another.
 

twinkletoes

Well-known member
You're fair to concerned with WATT'S, one brand's 50 is another 100, the reason being there is no one set standard to measuring it, the same way that a speaker's ohm and sensitivity ratings can be "cheated" to give a more appealing number. I've had speakers where they say 8ohms but they spend most of their life @ 3.2ohms making them incredibly difficult to drive, but the specs say otherwise. You just can't look at spec sheets.

Don't cut your selection in half because the watts aren't enough. Heck, i'd be more concerned about current which is very rarely listed.

I've done it the other way for example I use highly sensitive speakers to achieve my listening levels. 102db (so with 1 watt of power @1 meter 102DB, jackhammer levels ie deaf in 20 mins) with 23 watt single-ended class A amp. And it has tons of headroom left.

When it comes to volume/gain knobs there all set up different, some allow you to use the full rotation, an AVR for example, some only really go a quarter of the rotation to deliver full power (9 o'clock position ) a lot of early Japanese models used to do this. Mine for example I'm at decent listening levels (70-75db) when at 7 o'clock on the dial BUT i can use the dial all the way up to 10-11oclock though never do.

Then you have to take into consideration of input volume/power from the source, most modern sources are 2volt but some can be 1.75 and even 1 volt, and some can be changed to give more control of the volume/gain knob. Chord qutest for example.

Brands to consider, up to you how much you want to spend. Maybe look second hand as well for real steals if money is a concern for this project.

Sonos amp
blusound power node
NAD c316 (loads of old models to choose from online too c320bee is a real stand out can be had for around 70-80quid)
Rotel (same as above loads of slim Rotel second-hand models to choose from)
yamaha
ps audio sprout
project little boxes
Cyrus 1 (loads of Cyrus second hand online for good prices)

Something different to consider. all in ones like

sonos play speakers
klispch have a number of active options for all wallet sizes
genelec
kef slx
kanto

the list goes on and on.

Don't get hung on up watts if it's on your desk or you listen to very near field, 10 watts would be enough.