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  • tarkovsky
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Amp for small studio
I own a really small studio at 270 square feet (~15 feet X 18 feet). I'm putting a sound system in and my main question is about the amp. We of course have neighbors all around us. I want it to sound good. I like nice lows when I listen to music, and during movies it would be nice to hear the voices clearly. It obviously doesn't need to be too powerful.

I was wondering, about what level of rms amperage should i be looking at? Also, I am partial to Yamaha amps, anyone recommend one that may suit my needs? My wife also likes/wants karaoke, but maybe that will we'll accomplish using another device, some blue ray players have that option i've seen. Just in the dark on that as i have never set up karaoke before.

Thanks!!
  • Last Edit: 26 October, 2012, 10:40:51 PM by tarkovsky

  • Nessuno
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Amp for small studio
Reply #1
You should think about speakers first, as now they are the principal (maybe only, if the electronics are not flawed) responsible for the characteristical sound of a reproduction chain. If you like a certain speakers sound and they match your room dimensions, then from the figure of their sensibility you'll know how powerful an amp must be to drive them to reach the sound pressure you want.

That said, in a small room, with matching small speakers, to reach neighbors matching sound pressures, any good spec-ed amp (usually Yamaha are) from, say, 30 or 50 W RMS per channel up will do.
... I live by long distance.

  • hlloyge
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Amp for small studio
Reply #2
And what speakers would you be utilizing? That should be sorted first, then amplification.

  • DVDdoug
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Amp for small studio
Reply #3
Quote
I was wondering, about what level of rms amperage should i be looking at?
It's almost impossible to answer that question...  Speaker efficiency varies a lot, and we don't know the SPL level (loudness) you will be listening at. 

FYI -  Amplifier power output is meassured in  Watts, not amps.  Current is measured in  Amps.    (There is a relationship between Volts, Amps, Ohms, and Watts, but don't worry about that.)

My rule-of-thumb is that 100W per channel is plenty for most "living room" set-ups.    And, about 100W per channel seems pretty standard for modern home theater receivers, so getting enough power shouldn't be a problem unless you want to rattle the walls.    A doubling of power is only 3dB louder (or halving power is 3db lower), so it takes a big increase in power to go noticably louder. 

However, it's not unusual to find a pair of speakers that's 6db more efficient than another...

I agree that speakers are the most important thing, so if you don't already have the speakers, it's best if you go to a hi-fi or home-theater store and listen before buying.  The general rule is "all amps sound alike" (assuming you are not driving it into distortion), and "all speakers sound different".

And, don't be too concerned about "matching" amplifer power to speaker power.  I wouldn't be too worried about using 25W speakers with a 100W amp, unless you have loud parties...  In general, if you don't drive the speaker into distortion, you won't burn it out.    And, the power ratings for speakers are complex and not always reliable...  A 100W speaker is supposed to work with 100W of music, but you can usually fry the tweeter in a 100W speaker with 100W test-tones.   

Quote
I own a really small studio at 270 square feet (~15 feet X 18 feet)....

...We of course have neighbors all around us.
Is that the size of the room, as in "music studio" or "recording studio", or the size of the apartment, as in "studio apartment"?  If it's an apartment, bass is almost always a problem because bass tends to goes through walls 

Quote
My wife also likes/wants karaoke....
  There's not much to it.  You just need the karaoke machine (or disc player) with a microphone & microphone input, and the discs which display the lyrics and the music minus the singing/lyrics.  (Hi-fi & home theater amps don't have microphone inputs, and most "normal" CD/DVD players won't display the lyrics.)

  • tarkovsky
  • [*]
Amp for small studio
Reply #4
Quote
I was wondering, about what level of rms amperage should i be looking at?
It's almost impossible to answer that question...  Speaker efficiency varies a lot, and we don't know the SPL level (loudness) you will be listening at. 

FYI -  Amplifier power output is meassured in  Watts, not amps.  Current is measured in  Amps.    (There is a relationship between Volts, Amps, Ohms, and Watts, but don't worry about that.)

My rule-of-thumb is that 100W per channel is plenty for most "living room" set-ups.    And, about 100W per channel seems pretty standard for modern home theater receivers, so getting enough power shouldn't be a problem unless you want to rattle the walls.    A doubling of power is only 3dB louder (or halving power is 3db lower), so it takes a big increase in power to go noticably louder. 

However, it's not unusual to find a pair of speakers that's 6db more efficient than another...

I agree that speakers are the most important thing, so if you don't already have the speakers, it's best if you go to a hi-fi or home-theater store and listen before buying.  The general rule is "all amps sound alike" (assuming you are not driving it into distortion), and "all speakers sound different".

And, don't be too concerned about "matching" amplifer power to speaker power.  I wouldn't be too worried about using 25W speakers with a 100W amp, unless you have loud parties...  In general, if you don't drive the speaker into distortion, you won't burn it out.    And, the power ratings for speakers are complex and not always reliable...  A 100W speaker is supposed to work with 100W of music, but you can usually fry the tweeter in a 100W speaker with 100W test-tones.   

Quote
I own a really small studio at 270 square feet (~15 feet X 18 feet)....

...We of course have neighbors all around us.
Is that the size of the room, as in "music studio" or "recording studio", or the size of the apartment, as in "studio apartment"?  If it's an apartment, bass is almost always a problem because bass tends to goes through walls 

Quote
My wife also likes/wants karaoke....
  There's not much to it.  You just need the karaoke machine (or disc player) with a microphone & microphone input, and the discs which display the lyrics and the music minus the singing/lyrics.  (Hi-fi & home theater amps don't have microphone inputs, and most "normal" CD/DVD players won't display the lyrics.)


Thanks so much to all. I will look at speakers first.

To answer your question, it is a studio condo that is 270 square feet. I would like the speakers to be as out of the way (small) as they can, but I still think w will have a little spot for them next to, or on, the tv console. I do like the low sounds, but yeah we'll probably have to keep it to a minimum. What are a few speaker sets you guys could recommend to start my research? I'd really prefer to have only 2 speakers.

Amp for small studio
Reply #5
Thanks so much to all. I will look at speakers first.

To answer your question, it is a studio condo that is 270 square feet. I would like the speakers to be as out of the way (small) as they can, but I still think w will have a little spot for them next to, or on, the tv console. I do like the low sounds, but yeah we'll probably have to keep it to a minimum. What are a few speaker sets you guys could recommend to start my research? I'd really prefer to have only 2 speakers.


The cheapest smallest  speakers I'd recommend are Inifnity Primus p163 bookshelf speakers. These are currently available in the US for under $100 each.

If you want something larger and with better bass, the floor standing P363 are a good step up.

If you invest in the smaller speakers now, the first logical step up is a subwoofer in the $500 range which would probably give you better sound than the larger floor standers.

Either of these will work well with the usual ca. 100 wpc AVR.

I recommend that you buy a 5.1 AVR and reconfigure it for 2.x channel use. AVRs are generally a far better value than 2-channel receivers or even integrated amps because their market is so competitive and they are sold in such large volumes. They come with a reasonable selection of digital and analog inputs, even in the basic models. When you configure them down to 2.0 or 2.1 channel use, they do a nice clean job with stereo sources.
  • Last Edit: 02 November, 2012, 08:38:10 AM by Arnold B. Krueger

  • tarkovsky
  • [*]
Amp for small studio
Reply #6
Thanks Arnold, that is really helpful advice. I do very much value quality for the money. Seems likely I could move it one day anyway, so buying something with even a little more power than I need would certainly not hurt. I'll look into the mentioned speakers first, and then the low end 5.1 receivers. I am also interested in the "upscaling" of the receiver from a dvd player. This is another area i'm grey on unfortunately. But I take it if it has an hdmi out i should be good one this.

Thanks again to all.
  • Last Edit: 02 November, 2012, 08:39:34 PM by tarkovsky

  • tarkovsky
  • [*]
Amp for small studio
Reply #7
I actually also wanted to mention I have looked already. I found a yamaha booth at the mall. I live in bangkok so equipment isn't as easy to come by as in the states. On speakers I was not so impressed. But i found a receiver, rx v373 that looked in m y price range. im readng reviews on it practically as i type.  any thoughts.  based on the info gathered here, i may just take that receiver and start looking for nice speakers.... or find the speakers first and keep that receiver in mind.

hopefully i can find some infinity speakers to listen to.
  • Last Edit: 02 November, 2012, 08:49:30 PM by tarkovsky

  • tarkovsky
  • [*]
Amp for small studio
Reply #8
I did a lot of online digging, and I think i may have found a place that sells the Inifnity Primus p162 bookshelf speakers here in Bangkok. I take it the 162's are very close to the 163's.

http://www.mi-engineering.com/newweb/produ...amp;productid=5

Hopefully I can listen to them before I buy. Thanks again.

Amp for small studio
Reply #9
I did a lot of online digging, and I think i may have found a place that sells the Inifnity Primus p162 bookshelf speakers here in Bangkok. I take it the 162's are very close to the 163's.


There has been a series of basically the same speaker: 160, 161. 162, 163. The differences among them are IME subtle.

Quote
I actually also wanted to mention I have looked already. I found a yamaha booth at the mall. I live in bangkok so equipment isn't as easy to come by as in the states. On speakers I was not so impressed. But i found a receiver, rx v373 that looked in m y price range. im readng reviews on it practically as i type.  any thoughts.


I bought a RX V371 on close out a few months back. We continue to do well together. I use it as a 2.1 device.  The  RX V373 appears to be very similar with some additional features including YPAO automated room optimization software.

Quote
based on the info gathered here, i may just take that receiver and start looking for nice speakers.... or find the speakers first and keep that receiver in mind.

hopefully i can find some infinity speakers to listen to.


I tend to play down the benefits of going around and listening to speakers because the room they are used in and how they are installed can make dramatic changes in how they sound. I did quite a bit of work with the built-in 8 band equalizers on my RX V371  to address that situation.

  • tarkovsky
  • [*]
Amp for small studio
Reply #10
I did a lot of online digging, and I think i may have found a place that sells the Inifnity Primus p162 bookshelf speakers here in Bangkok. I take it the 162's are very close to the 163's.


There has been a series of basically the same speaker: 160, 161. 162, 163. The differences among them are IME subtle.

Quote
I actually also wanted to mention I have looked already. I found a yamaha booth at the mall. I live in bangkok so equipment isn't as easy to come by as in the states. On speakers I was not so impressed. But i found a receiver, rx v373 that looked in m y price range. im readng reviews on it practically as i type.  any thoughts.


I bought a RX V371 on close out a few months back. We continue to do well together. I use it as a 2.1 device.  The  RX V373 appears to be very similar with some additional features including YPAO automated room optimization software.

Quote
based on the info gathered here, i may just take that receiver and start looking for nice speakers.... or find the speakers first and keep that receiver in mind.

hopefully i can find some infinity speakers to listen to.


I tend to play down the benefits of going around and listening to speakers because the room they are used in and how they are installed can make dramatic changes in how they sound. I did quite a bit of work with the built-in 8 band equalizers on my RX V371  to address that situation.


Thanks again for all the help. I truly appreciate it. I will update the thread when I buy, which will probably be a while as I am already spending a lot on furniture at the moment.... but the sound system is destined to come