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  1. #1
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    Harmon Kardon/Sony watt ratings.........(newbie)

    I currently have a Sony STRDE-335 with the DSP800 processor hooked to it for my Home Theatre/stereo system. I wanted to upgrade the reciever and bought the Sony STRDE600. Well I was no impresses by the power in that receiver. I had to turn the dial almost to max (about 55-60) to get "loud" but not distorted sound,in either surround or 2 speaker stereo mode, so I took it back for a refund. My question/problem is that the new reciever was "rated" at 110x7 and I know those are way over rated specs. I was looking at the Harmon Kardon AVR245 that is rated at 50x7 and wanted to know if the high current receivers really put out a true 50+ watts? I found on this site that a Sony receiver rated at 100 actually only put out 31 watts. So my big ordeal is if I buy a HK will it not only be cleaner sounds but will it perfrom as loud as my older Sony unit? Im running all Bose speakers/surround and a 125 watt powered sub.

  2. #2
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    The short answer is it's hard to say. Unfortunately, there is no standardized practice for rating wattage, just as there is no standardized method for rating speaker sensitivity. Current is different from watts, and IMO, more important. Watts are for marketing more than anything else as most speakers are rated around 85-90dB/1m/1w. IOW, they are producing anywhere between 85 and 90dB's measured at 1 meter utilizing 1 watt. So you know, that's pretty darn loud.

    The challenge is that the consumer doesn't know if the claimed ratings are with one, two, or all channels driven. They also don't know if that rating was measured full spectrum or at a single point. I believe Secrets of Home Theater run their reviews of AVR's with all channels driven, which is likely how you found out that the Sony was 31wpc. You might check out their website.

    Honestly, I wouldn't worry about watts too much. As long as it sounds good and plays loud enough and clean enough for your taste, that's all that matters.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
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    I'll go to my local audio/video shop and try to check one out for myself this weekend, I just want the HK perform as well ( or better!) as my old Sony. In theory the high current receivers "should" perform better overall that the others? I would assume so since the higher end receivers are mostly high current. thanks alot for the input!!

  4. #4
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Yeah, what Topspeed said.
    A lot of those "high current" receivers aren't really any more high current than those high watt units are high wattage. I think pretty much everyone claims "high current amplification" now.

    That said, Harman Kardon probably has plenty enough power for you. I think if you stick with H/K, Onkyo, Denon, Yamaha, or even Pioneer you'll be pretty safe, and can reasonably count on the units being able to deliver the power their specs say they can.
    Even 10 watts all channels driven with 5 speakers is pretty loud, we're talking theater levels or better on many of todays home theater speakers.

    If you have a budget in mind, posting a thread in the HT forum should generate quite a few suggestions for you to consider. Not to pick on them, but I'm fairly sure Sony wouldn't be one of them.

  5. #5
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Yeah, what Topspeed said.
    A lot of those "high current" receivers aren't really any more high current than those high watt units are high wattage. I think pretty much everyone claims "high current amplification" now.
    I agree with you.

    “High current” receiver is just a market gimmick. Low ohm loads such as 8 ohm speaker demand a high current, whether from a cheap amp or expensive ones. What set amplifers apart is how cleans and distortion-free an amp can deliver high current to speakers.

    Watts rating alone is not good indication of how an amplifier will perform. To complete the picture, we also need to know the THD* (in term of %) and Dynamic Headroom** (in term of dB) of amplifier. All three are pretty much related.

    * Total Harmonic Distortion
    ** Amplifier’s capability to deliver short bursts of high power.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    comparing specs

    one of the specs to consider is the WEIGHT of the product. 17# for the sony, 35 for the HK.

    distortion .09 for the sony, .07 for the HK. not that big a difference and the sony is rated at more power but that is just a rating imnsho.

    one spec thats not listed for the sony is rise time but is rated at 40V per u/sec. that indicates that its pretty fast and likely to be wide bandwidth.

    high current isnt just an advertising gimmick. my adcom amp is high current and it will handle nearly ANY impedance load.

    i would look for reviews of similar hk and sony receivers and see which is consistently rated better in the reviews. i didnt find a review for the HK mentioned but it may be a new model.

    finally, hk has been well respected over the years, more so than sony in the high end areas and that may carry over into their more consumer oriented products. personally, if i were looking in this level of receivers, i would be looking at hk more than sony.

    sony DOES make an av rcvr with 170wpc in class d amplification for only $2k. now THAT i might like to try.
    ...regards...tr

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddayton217
    I currently have a Sony STRDE-335 with the DSP800 processor hooked to it for my Home Theatre/stereo system. I wanted to upgrade the reciever and bought the Sony STRDE600. Well I was no impresses by the power in that receiver. I had to turn the dial almost to max (about 55-60) to get "loud" but not distorted sound,in either surround or 2 speaker stereo mode, so I took it back for a refund. My question/problem is that the new reciever was "rated" at 110x7 and I know those are way over rated specs. I was looking at the Harmon Kardon AVR245 that is rated at 50x7 and wanted to know if the high current receivers really put out a true 50+ watts? I found on this site that a Sony receiver rated at 100 actually only put out 31 watts. So my big ordeal is if I buy a HK will it not only be cleaner sounds but will it perfrom as loud as my older Sony unit? Im running all Bose speakers/surround and a 125 watt powered sub.
    Well, there are a number of issues here. First, let's take the volume control setting. The position of the volume control does not tell you how much power is being put out much less the power capabilities of the receiver. Different volume controls have different characterists, different receivers have different input sensitivities, different DVD players have different output levels (usually measured at the max level possible--should be somewhere around 2 volts, I think), and so on. If you can achieve the levels you require, then the position of the volume control should not be a problem.

    Now, power from receivers is another matter. Most receivers have a single power supply which must supply power to the amplifiers for all the channels. Hence, with only 1 or 2 channels driven simultaneously, those channels can put out more power than if all the channels were driven simultaneously. Some do quite well on an all channels driven test, others not. You can find some older Sound & Vision test results on this site, which unfortunately does not seem to reflect more recent tests;

    http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Holl...1/ratevsac.htm

    but you could look up the more recent tests on the S & V site.

    But how often would the full rated power be required on all channels at once? The usefulness of the all channels driven test has been questioned:

    http://www.audioholics.com/techtips/...nelsdriven.php

    But yeah, I would prefer a receiver that did fairly well on an all channels driven test as my speakers tend to be 4 ohm types.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular royphil345's Avatar
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    Generally, the newer lines of Sony receivers are well known to be on the underpowered side. They've also been known to become damaged and stuck in "protect mode" fairly easily. Perhaps that's why they've lowered the gain, so heavy clipping and amp damage is less likely.

    Harman Kardon is the opposite. They are known play louder and cleaner than Sony (and even some other brands) receivers with higher power ratings.

    I agree with kexodusc when he said "stick with H/K, Onkyo, Denon, Yamaha, or even Pioneer and you can't go wrong..." I have a 50 WPC Harman Kardon that's a few years old myself. Been very happy with it. Think it sounds a little smoother and more detailed than the Yamaha it replaced. The power seemed ample when I briefly tried it on it's own, but I've always used an external amplifier with it. Had the amp before I bought the H/K... I think all of the H/Ks have preamp outputs for hooking up external amps, which is a nice feature. One of the reasons I chose it.

    If you're using smaller Bose speakers and a powered sub... I would think the 50 WPC H/K would have all the power you need. Like hifitommy said... Look at the weight difference. The weight is the power supply. An amp with a good power supply will have more headroom and peak power output above the RMS rated power for brief periods. Will sound more dynamic and be more likely to deliver it's rated output when all channels are driven hard.
    Last edited by royphil345; 12-08-2006 at 07:29 PM.

  9. #9
    SuperPoser Rock789's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hifitommy
    high current isnt just an advertising gimmick. my adcom amp is high current and it will handle nearly ANY impedance load.
    but can the hk receiver handle 0.5 ohm loads? ;o)

    Quote Originally Posted by ddayton217
    Im running all Bose speakers/surround
    what bose are you running?
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  10. #10
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    Another happy H/K customer.

    My receiver has been serving me well over the past almost 4 years now.

  11. #11
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    I've always thought HK advertised correct specification, but that was about 5-6 years ago. I never thought their specs exceeded like some have stated. The difference between 50-100 watts is only 3dbs like we all know, but I've always thought their AVR was pretty underpowered. Maybe I say this because I never thought their stuffed had exciting sound characterists like others.

    JRA

  12. #12
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    I've always thought HK advertised correct specification, but that was about 5-6 years ago. I never thought their specs exceeded like some have stated. The difference between 50-100 watts is only 3dbs like we all know, but I've always thought their AVR was pretty underpowered. Maybe I say this because I never thought their stuffed had exciting sound characterists like others.

    JRA
    I guess it's like speakers too, I like H/K over the sound of Onkyo and Yamaha and it's different from Denon but I like the warmth to the sound.

    It aint perfect, but no receiver in this price range is.

  13. #13
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    maybe........

    Rock789: "but can the hk receiver handle 0.5 ohm loads?" however i doubt that anyone will run stacked pairs of apogee scintillas with a receiver!

    ;^)
    ...regards...tr

  14. #14
    Forum Regular royphil345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    I've always thought HK advertised correct specification, but that was about 5-6 years ago. I never thought their specs exceeded like some have stated. The difference between 50-100 watts is only 3dbs like we all know...

    JRA

    I would say the RMS power ratings are probably accurate. But, a good amp will have headroom and be able to produce almost twice it's RMS power rating cleanly during dynamic peaks and 1 channel will not become weaker / distorted when others are driven hard. I think H/K comes much closer to pulling this off than Sony. Although, the difference in dynamics is easily heard at moderate volume levels when stepping up to an even higher quality external amp / amps.

    I would suspect the Sony's power ratings are misleading under normal listening conditions and H/Ks power ratings are closer to what you really get under a multi-channel load due to a beefier power supply. Most H/K receivers have an increased RMS power rating in the specs. for 2-channel stereo, which supports my theory.
    Last edited by royphil345; 12-09-2006 at 08:06 AM.

  15. #15
    rockin' the mid-fi audio_dude's Avatar
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    yeah, i'm running a Sansui AU4900...i believe its only 30wpc, but its a loud, smooth, almost tube like 30wpc, even when i get my new receiver this X-mas, i'm still keepin this little gem
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  16. #16
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio_dude
    yeah, i'm running a Sansui AU4900...i believe its only 30wpc, but its a loud, smooth, almost tube like 30wpc, even when i get my new receiver this X-mas, i'm still keepin this little gem
    What's a fuse??
    Sorry.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    The short answer is it's hard to say. Unfortunately, there is no standardized practice for rating wattage, just as there is no standardized method for rating speaker sensitivity.
    This thread is interesting, because I thought that at some point years ago the FTC (or some other gov't body) decreed that all advertised power ratings had to be in RMS watts per channel at a specified level of THD. This was supposedly the result of manufacturers creating confusion by advertising a "200 watt" amp by adding 100 watts + 100 watts from each channel.

    Now, it seems that they've gone back to that, especially in the surround systems in which the 100 watts gets multiplied by 5 or 7!

  18. #18
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    sony DOES make a powerful receiver

    for $2K with 170 class D watts per channel. that would be a bargain and if i were in the market for a ht rcvr, it would be high on my list. i think the ratings are all fairly accurate but barlely make the muster.

    the better ones have more power supply to sustain the power and are more robust. thats where the weight comes into play.
    ...regards...tr

  19. #19
    SuperPoser Rock789's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hifitommy
    Rock789: "but can the hk receiver handle 0.5 ohm loads?" however i doubt that anyone will run stacked pairs of apogee scintillas with a receiver!

    ;^)
    when I think of a high current amp, I think of an amp that can handle almost a direct short...

    adcom mobile amps were able to handle a direct short... I saw a guy tack weld with one... :rofl:
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  20. #20
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Low ohm loads such as 8 ohm speaker demand a high current,
    8ohm is not low, by all means. I would really advice you look for a Receiver that can handle 4 ohms well. This is a good indication on the stability of the power supply. Look for the capacitance in the amps "uF". I would recommend a older Onkyo Integra model, or a H/K AVR7000 along Maramtz SR7200 and up.

    Good luck shopping!
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  21. #21
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    There's high-current amps, I like to think my Adcoms and Rotel are reasonably high current. I've paralleled 4 ohm speakers off them and they didn't fry. That's not marketing. High Current becomes a marketing slogan when a 60 watt X 5 Onkyo or Yamaha boast "high current" amplifier, but then demands you use speakers rated 6 ohms or higher (with no min. impedance below 4 ohms). I just can't accept a receiver that couldn't run 5, reasonably efficient 4 ohm nominal speakers as being high current. Some are. Most under $600 aren't. That's when high-current ceases to be reality, and becomes a marketing gimmick.

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