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  1. #1
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    Does more power mean better sound?

    I am new on the forum this being my first post. I am also new at the sound game as you probably can tell by my question. Here it is: I have a Rotel system with their entre level amp and preamp, a RC 1070 and a RB 1050. The speakers are Klipsch bookshelf, 75's. The system is in a small den, about 10x10. I have wondered if I increased the size of my amp would I improve the overall sound of the system? I like what I now have but feel that it lacks a fullness, a feeling of presence, that I would like to acheive. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Jack

  2. #2
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    If you want better sound...

    ...your money would be better spent on better speakers. As has been explained here and elsewhere, more watts just gives you a little more of what you already have. If the first watt sounds bad, the next 50 or 100 or 200 will likely sound bad too. I have heard low-powered amps that I loved the sound of, and high-powered ones which I did not. Mind you, I have heard super amps that sounded good, notably the huge monoblocks, built by Crown, which had been converted to audio duty after lives as CT-Scanner amps. Their distortion was so low, it was measured in parts per million (PPM)!

    But I digress. Speakers have such a greater amount of distortion, being the mechanical devices they are, compared to the electronics, there is just a greater payoff in sound, dollar-for-dollar. If you don't believe me, just listen to some really, really good speakers, or some really, really good headphones.

    Laz

  3. #3
    Forum Regular Registered Member paul_pci's Avatar
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    I agree with trollgirl that speakers will make the most significan impact on perceived sound. Now as per your original question the answer is no: better sound is gained through better amplifiers, high quality amps and their constituent parts. Now Rotel makes quality products, so, for instance, were you to buy another models that had more power, you'd just be getting more of the same, literally. While this might not be feasible, you could shop around different amps in the same price/quality camp to see if you find one with a better soundstage to your liking.

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    jack what's your source component?

    This is THE most important part of your system - amps and speakers can't reproduce what they haven't been given. In fact, the better they are, the more they will resolve what your source is, or IS NOT doing properly.

    Saying speakers are the most important part of your system is like saying it's the tyres that make cars go fast.

    You go buy better speakers (not bigger for that wee room please!) and they will reveal even more of the front end, and after the excitement of your new purchase has worn off you will hear that your system sounds worse.

    Get a really good CD player - the Rotel that matches your system is the right choice as it will sound like it belongs. Then you will have a very nice, balanced system that will hide its own faults. This souunnds like a bad thing, but is actually a very good place to be, as it avoids the audio upgrade disease that afflicts most people on this forum and all the others that litter the web.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by IRAWB
    jack what's your source component?

    This is THE most important part of your system - amps and speakers can't reproduce what they haven't been given. In fact, the better they are, the more they will resolve what your source is, or IS NOT doing properly.

    Saying speakers are the most important part of your system is like saying it's the tyres that make cars go fast.

    You go buy better speakers (not bigger for that wee room please!) and they will reveal even more of the front end, and after the excitement of your new purchase has worn off you will hear that your system sounds worse.

    Get a really good CD player - the Rotel that matches your system is the right choice as it will sound like it belongs. Then you will have a very nice, balanced system that will hide its own faults. This souunnds like a bad thing, but is actually a very good place to be, as it avoids the audio upgrade disease that afflicts most people on this forum and all the others that litter the web.
    Not to downplay the importance of source components, but most people would suggest speakers make the single most dramatic difference in sound in a system.
    I agree with everything you say about a source component. It is important. However, in the digital age especially the differences between entry-level, mid-level, and hi-end source players isn't night and day. To say speakers can't play what's not there is true, but the problem is that even in cheap components, most of the signal is there. When the speakers are compromised, they won't resolve what IS there.

    I love my Arcam cd player, but it's not much better than my Yamaha CD player which was 1/5 the the cost...and that's not much better than an old Technics player that was half of that.
    We've got decades of ABX and DBT testing to confirm this. Say what you will about the validity of the tests for determining source component sound differences, those 2 testing methods will yield absolute, strong, and repeatable results when speakers are the test subject. They will not yield absolute, strong,and repeatable results with cd players, amps, cables, etc. If nothing else, this is evidence to the huge impact and role speakers have in the system.

    Put to an extreme. Which $10,000 system would sound better, the one with a $200 source component, $800 integrated amp, and $9,000 speakers, or the one with $200 speakers, $800 integrated amp, and $9000 source player?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack north
    I am new on the forum this being my first post. I am also new at the sound game as you probably can tell by my question. Here it is: I have a Rotel system with their entre level amp and preamp, a RC 1070 and a RB 1050. The speakers are Klipsch bookshelf, 75's. The system is in a small den, about 10x10. I have wondered if I increased the size of my amp would I improve the overall sound of the system? I like what I now have but feel that it lacks a fullness, a feeling of presence, that I would like to acheive. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Jack
    As has been mentioned, larger amps won't make "better sound", just "more sound". With an exception (of course). The louder you play your music, the closer to an amps limits you get. If you play your music so loud that that your amp runs out of headroom, a larger amp will sound better (it won't clip or distort). Best to buy an amp to suit your room and listening habbits. In a small den such as yours, I'm guessing you'd rarely use more than 1 or 2 watts. How loud do you play your music? 1 watt is pretty loud on most speakers these days.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular Registered Member paul_pci's Avatar
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    Kex, what you said about the Arcam vs Yamaha CD players is exactly why I think I will put my future financial and consumer energy into finding just the right DAC. When I tried out Ed's Adcom DAC on my system, I really liked the sound and thought, why buy a dedicated CD player when I can hold onto my Sony superstorage (too lazy to handle CDs individually) and still get that dedicated CD sound, or better.

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    Reslly appreciate all of the responses thus far. I have an rt02 Rotel CD player. I am pleased with it. Re: speakers. It seems everyone has a favorite and there is no speaker that dominates the field. When I got the Klipsch 75 I thought I was getting an upscale speaker for a small room. Are there others that you would suggest. The 75's listed at around $`1200 per pair.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_pci
    Kex, what you said about the Arcam vs Yamaha CD players is exactly why I think I will put my future financial and consumer energy into finding just the right DAC. When I tried out Ed's Adcom DAC on my system, I really liked the sound and thought, why buy a dedicated CD player when I can hold onto my Sony superstorage (too lazy to handle CDs individually) and still get that dedicated CD sound, or better.
    Hi Paul...The Yamaha has some limitations...but I really only notice them on older recordings, particularly classical music. And sometimes I notice cymbals ring a bit clearer and more realistic on the Arcam. And that's when using the analog outs for both. If I just pass the bitstream, and use the receiver's better DAC, I can't hear a difference between the two most of the time...hardly ever. Same with my universal player.

    The Arcam has some nice features and certainly "feels" high quality, but spending 5 times as much on a CD player has not brought me the same performance enhancements that spending 5 times as much on speakers would, that's for sure.

    FWIW, I still recommend arcam players, just seems cd player prices escalate faster than a lot of other components.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack north
    Reslly appreciate all of the responses thus far. I have an rt02 Rotel CD player. I am pleased with it. Re: speakers. It seems everyone has a favorite and there is no speaker that dominates the field. When I got the Klipsch 75 I thought I was getting an upscale speaker for a small room. Are there others that you would suggest. The 75's listed at around $`1200 per pair.
    Totem acoustics specialize in small speakers for smaller rooms...check out the Rainmaker and Mani-2 in particluar.

  11. #11
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    In a small room such as this you'll probably want front-ported or sealed speakers. Rear-ported speakers usually sound best at least a foot or two away from the rear wall.

  12. #12
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    my answers

    does higher power provide better sound? yes, they normally do for as long as you do not go into the pro-amp realm. hi-fi amps of higher power ratings normally would provide better sound but this one has to be at least 2x the power of your current amp rating for you to realize the improvement that you want. also, changing for better speakers would provide better improvement than buying higher power amps. as for source components, the pre-amp has more influence to the sound than the player. the player would provide better clarity and cleaness to the sound without changing the overall tonality. the tonality would be affected mostly by the preamp, and the speakers.when i say tonality, i am referring to bright, dull, and balanced tonalities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by accastil
    does higher power provide better sound? yes, they normally do for as long as you do not go into the pro-amp realm. hi-fi amps of higher power ratings normally would provide better sound but this one has to be at least 2x the power of your current amp rating for you to realize the improvement that you want. also, changing for better speakers would provide better improvement than buying higher power amps. as for source components, the pre-amp has more influence to the sound than the player. the player would provide better clarity and cleaness to the sound without changing the overall tonality. the tonality would be affected mostly by the preamp, and the speakers.when i say tonality, i am referring to bright, dull, and balanced tonalities.
    Check out the brightness on a Rotel 1070 amp. It ain't coming from my Adcom 565 preamp or my quite expensive speakers. I know. I just swapped it out. It is not bad but I run my outputs from my pre on bypass mode. Correct me if I'm wrong but I want a preamp that is "musically invisible" - I want nothing to color my vocals etc. I guess you are correct if the preamp is lousy. The Rotel 1070 is a nice amp but it is a $700 amp when the day is done and it does color the sound a bit. It is a bit bass heavy and bright and neither is caused by my peripherals nor my preamp or speakers. FWIW But it is loud and decent for the money. Don't expect miracles.

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    Since my first post

    Since my first post on this thread I have made several changes in my modest system per your several auggestions I have changed the RC1070 for an RC1090 Rotel. I swapped out my Rotel am for an MCA Anthem and I moved my Klipsch to another location and replaced them with B&W 805s. Needless to say, it all has changed the sound drastically. And, I hope for the better. At least I am pleased with it. Would appreciate any comments you guys might have. And thanks for your previous help. JNorth1178

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