Receiver Power Consumption vs Output Power

V

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic General
Yeah these are stable at 4 Ohms. I guess my final question is it worth even getting an amp since they’re pretty good amps on their own even though they’re AVR’s?
What does your ear tell you? Do you hear distortion? Is your receiver running hot?

If you don't hear distortion and the receiver is running fine then why change it? Audiophiles have a tendency to continually upgrade and we don't always know when to simply appreciate what we have.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
What VMPS said.

The only time upgrading electronics will make a difference is if you are going from perhaps 10+ yr old equipment to new... or if the amps are truly underpowered to do the job required.

if your speakers were lower sensitivity with a 45° phase angle at the min impedance point of <4 Ohms at low frequency, you might have a case for an upgrade.

Per VMPS, if you aren’t hearing distortions and your equipment isn’t struggling... put your feet up and enjoy... and fantasize about the next real upgrade. :)
 
D

Dan Maldonado

Enthusiast
What VMPS said.

The only time upgrading electronics will make a difference is if you are going from perhaps 10+ yr old equipment to new... or if the amps are truly underpowered to do the job required.

if your speakers were lower sensitivity with a 45° phase angle at the min impedance point of <4 Ohms at low frequency, you might have a case for an upgrade.

Per VMPS, if you aren’t hearing distortions and your equipment isn’t struggling... put your feet up and enjoy... and fantasize about the next real upgrade. :)
Thanks guys! I’m getting distortion free play all the way up to reference volume so I guess I’m good for now. Dual Svs pb 2000’s minidsp’d for bass.
 
P

ParleyW

Audioholic
The Monolith is an ATI amp and they are honest about power ratings. The 1800 watts is likely close to a max rating so if you factor 70% max efficiency, that's about 1250 watts available to the speakers / 7 = 180 watts/ch.
Interesting that my new Crestron CNAMPX-7x200 shows 2400 watts even though it’s a ATI clone.
 
L

Loosescrew

Audiophyte
I am struggling with some of the information posted here, so allow me to offer an alternative explanation which was hinted by one of the editorial comments:
Steady state, thermal equilibrium.
Please allow me to elaborate:
Your average multi channel receiver will not have to output gobs (technical term) of power playing your usual schtick to all channels or do it in a prolonged fashion. If you doubt that please examine your front main speakers and your other speakers for size.
As such during NORMAL operation (how many times was that pointed to during the article?) the total power output will not exceed the rating of the receiver and everyone is happy (we will not even get into how a satellite speaker which will play higher frequencies will probably not dip into low impedances and become as difficult of a load as front speakers, we will leave that for the advanced reader).
Want to make your average receiver squeal like a pig without playing the theme to deliverance?
Hook up a challenging speaker load for the main pair choose a setting that will direct most of the power to the front pair and give it the beans for a couple of hours and wait for the thermal protection to kick in.
See when I went to school we talked about quiescent, steady state, instantaneous and maximum continuous conditions. When you built a separate two channel power amp you don’t have the luxury of knowing HOW it will be used and hence you have to derive all this crud AND built an amp that can handle it. All of it. All day long. And yes digital smps power supplies can do amazing things but again if you ever had to design a gold rated supply and look at the specs you will see we are chasing an asymptote.
For the thermal equilibrium conversation let’s take as an example the insulation on transformer windings. They have a certain temperature they can withstand before going bye bye and there are many ways you can send them on their way to pushing daisies. Output stages (also have a maximum rated junction temperature) can similarly be modeled as heat pumps going to ambient through thermally resistive paths starting all the way from the junction. They still use silicon on those jobbies don’t they?
Large heavy expensive heat sinks in class A/AB amplifiers (actively cooled in professional equipment) have lower thermal resistance. Have you guys checked out the price for aluminum cans lately?
And for those that will cry class D those amplifiers as pointed out in the graph above also have power losses as well (though granted smaller ones but all the arguments hold) Intel and AMD have not figured out how to eliminate those in their processors (or build a zero switching time transistor) so with all due respect I don’t think Sony is up to the task.
Long story short (I know I know too late) in my opinion they are gaming the system and the specs like every other mainstream amplifier/manufacturer before them and they can get away with it because they are following a SYSTEM approach.
And speaking of specs a professor a long time ago pointed out that the cornerstone spec of the audio industry (watts rms) does not really make much sense if you really think about it. Root mean square is ironically a term used to denote the equivalent direct current that will produce the same POWER as the alternating current that we are measuring. But that term is necessary as ALTERNATING current (and its associated voltage) will turn negative over half of a full period (please feel free to look at the simple area under the curve derivation for a sinusoid to see how that 0.707 comes up). And while speakers CAN under certain extreme circumstances “push back” (most of them ARE basically motors thereby inductive reactive loads) the power generated by an amplifier’s output transistors is always positive (please let’s skip the conversation over an amplifier’s output impedance and its damping factor). Think about that rms thing for a while…
Let the hate mail come in….
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I am struggling with some of the information posted here, so allow me to offer an alternative explanation which was hinted by one of the editorial comments:
Steady state, thermal equilibrium.
Please allow me to elaborate:
Your average multi channel receiver will not have to output gobs (technical term) of power playing your usual schtick to all channels or do it in a prolonged fashion. If you doubt that please examine your front main speakers and your other speakers for size.
As such during NORMAL operation (how many times was that pointed to during the article?) the total power output will not exceed the rating of the receiver and everyone is happy (we will not even get into how a satellite speaker which will play higher frequencies will probably not dip into low impedances and become as difficult of a load as front speakers, we will leave that for the advanced reader).
Want to make your average receiver squeal like a pig without playing the theme to deliverance?
Hook up a challenging speaker load for the main pair choose a setting that will direct most of the power to the front pair and give it the beans for a couple of hours and wait for the thermal protection to kick in.
See when I went to school we talked about quiescent, steady state, instantaneous and maximum continuous conditions. When you built a separate two channel power amp you don’t have the luxury of knowing HOW it will be used and hence you have to derive all this crud AND built an amp that can handle it. All of it. All day long. And yes digital smps power supplies can do amazing things but again if you ever had to design a gold rated supply and look at the specs you will see we are chasing an asymptote.
For the thermal equilibrium conversation let’s take as an example the insulation on transformer windings. They have a certain temperature they can withstand before going bye bye and there are many ways you can send them on their way to pushing daisies. Output stages (also have a maximum rated junction temperature) can similarly be modeled as heat pumps going to ambient through thermally resistive paths starting all the way from the junction. They still use silicon on those jobbies don’t they?
Large heavy expensive heat sinks in class A/AB amplifiers (actively cooled in professional equipment) have lower thermal resistance. Have you guys checked out the price for aluminum cans lately?
And for those that will cry class D those amplifiers as pointed out in the graph above also have power losses as well (though granted smaller ones but all the arguments hold) Intel and AMD have not figured out how to eliminate those in their processors (or build a zero switching time transistor) so with all due respect I don’t think Sony is up to the task.
Long story short (I know I know too late) in my opinion they are gaming the system and the specs like every other mainstream amplifier/manufacturer before them and they can get away with it because they are following a SYSTEM approach.
And speaking of specs a professor a long time ago pointed out that the cornerstone spec of the audio industry (watts rms) does not really make much sense if you really think about it. Root mean square is ironically a term used to denote the equivalent direct current that will produce the same POWER as the alternating current that we are measuring. But that term is necessary as ALTERNATING current (and its associated voltage) will turn negative over half of a full period (please feel free to look at the simple area under the curve derivation for a sinusoid to see how that 0.707 comes up). And while speakers CAN under certain extreme circumstances “push back” (most of them ARE basically motors thereby inductive reactive loads) the power generated by an amplifier’s output transistors is always positive (please let’s skip the conversation over an amplifier’s output impedance and its damping factor). Think about that rms thing for a while…
Let the hate mail come in….
Very well written, nothing contradicts Gene's, but the additional information is very useful.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Ever wonder how your favorite manufacturer rates power consumption on their AV receivers and how it relates to maximum available output power to your speakers? I can't tell you how many comments I've read on our forums or Youtube community alleging dishonest wattage claims based on the back panel power consumption of AV receivers. This article explores this topic to determine the truth. We give several product examples including power calculations which were vetted by the brands for accuracy.

If you think the back panel tells the whole story about the full capabilities of your AVR with respect to power, you need to read this article to see what's really up.

Read: Receiver Back Panel Power Consumption vs Max Output Power

View attachment 41487
The above example shows a 140wpc x 11 Pioneer receiver which is speced to output 880 watts max output power. So how can it only consume 340 watts? Did it break the laws of physics? Read the article.
This has caused confusion for well over 40 years- it goes along with "How many Watts does this receiver have?".
 

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