3 channel or 5 channel?

B

BigHerc

Audiophyte
Hello everyone! Newbie here! Looking for some advice on adding an external amplifier. I've been working on upgrading my 20 year old audio set up the last couple of years.(Budget permitting) Started by replacing my Yamaha RX V800 with the Aventage RX A1070. I currently have a 5.1 setup. Though I still love my JBL HLS speakers, I upgraded them with the JBL Studio 5 series speakers. 2 590s, 520c and 2 530s. I haven't changed my sub yet. I currently have a velodyne CT 100. With the HLS speakers I've experienced clipping a few times at high volume so I'm sure that the 5 series speakers will not be any different. I listen to music more often than home theater. Should I buy a 3 channel external amp? Or, should I purchase a 5 channel? I also wanted to add that I've been experimenting by using my HLS 820s as left and right front presence speakers. My home theater room is 20x23 not perfectly square. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Hard to guess at what your needs are spl-wise, or how far you are from the speakers.....might try using an spl calculator to get an idea as to your power needs and share the details of your speaker models/specs and seating distance with us. http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html What amps were you considering?

I'm not familiar with the JBL HLS series (but do own the 5 series, have 590/580/530/520c setup). I currently don't listen at levels where I find my avr, without a power amp, coming up short for movies or music, but I'm not trying to listen as loud as I did once upon a time either (being nicer to my ears). My avr is a bit more powerful than yours but not significantly really. When I did use power amps in the past I usually limited it to the front three....

The sub could definitely be improved upon, tho.
 
B

BigHerc

Audiophyte
Thanks, I will use the calculator. Sub is definitely my next purchase. Goal is to buy 2 of them. My listening distance is 16ft away. Been considering the Monolith amplifier.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
@lovinthehd is correct, the first step is to figure out how much SPL you think you'll need. Simply stated, how much sound pressure do you want to listen at given your distances. The easiest way is with a meter. The Rat Shack meters are pretty popular and cheap. I used one to get my basic levels and its a snap to use.

Once you know about how much SPL you need, the rest is arithmetic. 16 feet of distance from speaker to listener is a good stretch. Its a fun problem to solve for.
 
B

BigHerc

Audiophyte
hey everyone it's been a while but with all that is going on I havent been able to revisit my problem. Anyway I'm back. So I purchased a rat shack spl meter waiting for it to get here. In the meantime I did what was suggested and did the SPL calculator. Came up with 104 db result. That calculation is what it calculated my avr will push with that wattage? Or is it the db needed for optimal listening from 16ft? Or I should just wait for my meter, listen to my music at the levels I normally do and take it from there? BTW I also wanted to add that I called JBL and spoke to an engineer and he suggested that for the best listening experience the Studio 590s should be driven at a minimum of 200 watts. And lastly cou!d it be the way my space is shaped? I' ve taken pics and drew up a floor plan to the best of my ability. I can post them if it would help.
 
K

Kleinst

Junior Audioholic
Reality is you probably don't have to have an separate AMP. However, I just wanted one and somehow find AMPs a hobby even though it's likely that given two good ones they probably do exactly the same thing. I ended up getting a 5X200 AMP figuring I can use all 5 channels OR still leverage that AMP to drive the front 3 with 2 open AMPS in case one eventually breaks. Sure enough in one of my setups one AMP is out but I'm only using the front 3 and those are working great and I still have a spare channel in case something else goes wrong before I send in for service.

Other great option is the Outlaw 200WPC monoblocks which I'd love to try out.

You can certainly go with the 3 channel AMPs but seems like sometimes the $$ difference in the 3ch vs 5 ch in the long run is very small.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
hey everyone it's been a while but with all that is going on I havent been able to revisit my problem. Anyway I'm back. So I purchased a rat shack spl meter waiting for it to get here. In the meantime I did what was suggested and did the SPL calculator. Came up with 104 db result. That calculation is what it calculated my avr will push with that wattage? Or is it the db needed for optimal listening from 16ft? Or I should just wait for my meter, listen to my music at the levels I normally do and take it from there? BTW I also wanted to add that I called JBL and spoke to an engineer and he suggested that for the best listening experience the Studio 590s should be driven at a minimum of 200 watts. And lastly cou!d it be the way my space is shaped? I' ve taken pics and drew up a floor plan to the best of my ability. I can post them if it would help.
It's a peak spl calculator. What did you plug into the calculator particularly? The THX reference movie standard is for 85dB average and allowance for 20dB peaks (up to 105 dB) (plus 10dB more on the LFE channel). On your avr, calibrated for levels and using the reference volume scale, what is the typical volume level you listen at?

I wonder if the guy at Harman (you got a hold of an actual engineer or just someone in customer service?) meant by driving them AT 200 watts (the 590 manual does indicate a recommended amp rating of 250 watts)....that would be extremely loud ! Or was he just recommending an amp capable of 200 wpc?
 
B

BigHerc

Audiophyte
I plugged in 92 db sensitivity of the speaker plus the 110 watts which my AVR is rated driving 2 channels. I have my speakers about a 2ft off the wall and 16 ft from listening position.
I also spoke to an actual engineer at Harmon. He said 250 watts is the recommended power but I can get away with a minimum of 200 watts for full dynamic range. I hope I quoted him right. I spoke to him on Feb.
My volume level is anywhere between -9db and - 13db
 

newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top