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Topic # 113950 2-Feb-2013 13:53 Send private message

I'm considering buying a pair of KEF Q300s which apparently require 15 - 120W of input power. I understand that having an underpowered amp can cause clipping, but I'm not sure I fully understand what this means when it comes to choosing an amp to go with these speakers.

Does this particular specification mean that I need an amp that can output 120W per channel? If I buy the Marantz NR1403 which puts out 50W per channel then what would be the implications of that?

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  Reply # 754772 2-Feb-2013 14:00 Send private message

Hi, all depends on how loud you want to play them, whats more important is that you have enough power to comfortably deliver the levels you want knowing that these have a sensitivity of 87dB, which is on the low side, but quite normal.

I would suggest 50W is fine if you are in a flat with small rooms, ideally 70 - 100W is probably more like it.

Edit: clipping is when the amp goes non linear and hits its supply rails, the output then is more like square wave which is very much like feeding them DC, they will sound horrid as the amp hits clipping, keep it that way for too long and you will burn the voice coils in the speakers out and eventually kill the amp.

Cyril

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  Reply # 754776 2-Feb-2013 14:24 Send private message

solid answer cyril

so, yeah...... what he said :)



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  Reply # 754779 2-Feb-2013 14:38 Send private message

Thanks Cyril - appreciate the advice. 

I'm in a flat with other tenants directly above me so I won't be driving these things loud, but I may try and get an amp with a bit more grunt just for the sake of future proofing.

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  Reply # 754784 2-Feb-2013 14:55 Send private message

I would go for something more powerful if your going to stick to an AV amp. If you just went 2 channel you could check out the Valve options? A valve amp at lower "Watts" would sound alot more powerful and has a much sweater sound and they dont "clip" in the same way a transistor amp does.




My opinions are purely my own and are not at all those of my employer 2degrees.

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  Reply # 754855 2-Feb-2013 20:15 Send private message

In the world of audio, the answer is almost 'more power'...
But first up, grab a set of demo speakers from your dealer and try them on your receiver to how they sound.
Then you'll know.
But instinct tells me... no. You can do better than an NR1403 for the money.

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  Reply # 754866 2-Feb-2013 20:32 Send private message

a doubling of wattage gives you an increase of 3dB ... i think

don't look for how much amp power

look for how clean it is ... THD total harmonic distortion as low as possible (eg < 0.05%) at all channels driven



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  Reply # 755036 3-Feb-2013 12:34 Send private message

Dunnersfella: In the world of audio, the answer is almost 'more power'...
But first up, grab a set of demo speakers from your dealer and try them on your receiver to how they sound.
Then you'll know.
But instinct tells me... no. You can do better than an NR1403 for the money.


I don't actually own a receiver yet either, so I'm in the fortunate position of being able to select whatever receiver happens to be the best match for my speakers of choice.

I'm now leaning towards the Onkyo NR414 which is cheaper, much more powerful, and has a few bells and whistles. I'm aware of concerns around the reliability of Onkyo's recent models due to heat related issues, but with these bookshelf speakers in a small room it's not going to be driven hard and I've been very happy with the Onkyo Colibrino micro system that I'd be upgrading from.

I've been procrastinating over this purchase for the best part of a year and a half now so I'm in no hurry to get my wallet out at this stage.

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  Reply # 755196 3-Feb-2013 20:11 Send private message

Wow you have a host of choices in front of you then!
Are you looking to build a home theatre system? Or have you got another motive to move towards the audio visual receivers? To hit their price point, AVR's are full of compromises by jamming in all sorts of bits and bobs, whereas 2-channel amps are more likely to focus on sound quality, rather than features.

But again, demo'ing the difference amps should highlight this.
Oh yeah, if you can, make sure you do the demo'ing at home, not at home / in a listening room.



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  Reply # 755218 3-Feb-2013 21:11 Send private message

Dunnersfella: Wow you have a host of choices in front of you then!
Are you looking to build a home theatre system? Or have you got another motive to move towards the audio visual receivers? To hit their price point, AVR's are full of compromises by jamming in all sorts of bits and bobs, whereas 2-channel amps are more likely to focus on sound quality, rather than features.

But again, demo'ing the difference amps should highlight this.
Oh yeah, if you can, make sure you do the demo'ing at home, not at home / in a listening room.


I want something very simple but with good audio quality mainly for music, and to substitute the speakers built into the TV. I have a small flat and I don't do movies so a fancy 5.1 system would be unnecessary.

I use an Apple TV as my music source so I could either feed that into an AV receiver or, alternatively, just run it through a standalone DAC and into a stereo amp (which is effectively what I do now with my micro system and headphones). 

Given the quality limitations of my iTunes sourced music I don't think I'd gain much from the extra sound quality of a stereo amp, but then again I'm not techy enough to care much about the bells and whistles on an AV receiver so it's swings and roundabouts really.

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  Reply # 755228 3-Feb-2013 21:25 Send private message

Good news, there are 2-channel amps on the market that could provide great performance for you, as well as USB inputs, co-ax inputs and even optical... However, be prepared to spend 3k!!!
But...
There are also micro systems on the market with optical inputs like the venerable DM39 from Denon that are so well regarded, it's silly! Personally, I have a 2-channel amp to drive my entire system (Mac Mini, Apple TV2, PS3, turntable, MySky and Panasonic plasma... The only extra bit of kit is a USB DAC. It's brilliant, and I'm not giving away anything sound quality wise by resorting to an AVR.

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