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Some Speaker Advice

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  1. #1
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    Default Some Speaker Advice

    Whoa! Just read Moondog's drama and learned a few lessons.

    However back to my issue. A few weeks ago my trusty 25 years old Denon amplifier (75+75W into 8 ohms, 120W+120W into 4 ohms) started playing up... random changes in volume and what sounded like different frequencies being affected at different times plus a bit of scratchy distortion from time to time. A few squirts of Deoxit didn't help.

    Although I was tempted to go down the repair path, living well away from any place with electronic knowledge capable of dealing with a quality repair, having to trust sending and receiving the unit back, etc, the final decision is to move into this century and get a new amp with similar power output to the Denon. After all this may let me dip my toes into the new world of high quality music streaming.

    By replacing the CD player with an old unit and the speakers with a couple of others, the problem remained... so the amp was the guilty party.

    My concern is that for the last 20 years I have been running well known 4 ohm Australian floorstanding speakers. About 12 months ago I unearthed a couple of Canton "outside" speakers that had been in a box since we moved from Sydney yonks ago. So, to keep SWMBO happy I hooked them up as B speakers in the kitchen. My understanding was that the A and B outputs were independent but the feedback from "purveyors of fine amplifiers" is no, the outputs simply connect speakers in parallel so I shouldn't run A and B speakers at the same time if they are anything less than 8 ohm impedance. Doing otherwise puts a very low impedance load on the amplifier and may well have contributed to the Denon's ills. Unfortunately when I bought the Denon, I was told that A+B would be fine.

    So my question is... is it practical to run the floor standing 4 ohm speakers with say a 4 ohm resistor in series without compromising the sound quality? Would this allow the Canton (labeled 6-8 ohms) to be run a B speakers. Yes, I am aware that some fiddling might be needed to get some sound balance between the two sets of speakers but figured that it might be worth asking the question.

    The alternative is to go back to Plan A and just run the 4 ohm floor standing speakers by themselves with the Cantons put back in their box.

  2. #2
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    Not really. All you will do is lower the volume on the speakers with the resistor in series. And it would need to be a reasonably hefty resistor; perhaps with heatsinking.
    And Yes pushing that A+B button merely parallels the speakers so that the loading is of very low impedance.
    25 years is pushing it as far as amplifier age goes and it may be reaching the end of its first life. Denon are usually very well built tho and perhaps an overhaul ?
    However amplifiers are cheap for what you get these days and if you want streaming perhaps it is time to look at something new?
    If those well known Aussie speakers are Whatmough they may well be even lower than 4R at some frequencies.
    75 + 75 is usually no slouch and what I consider the minimum for bigger speakers.
    Do you have a budget in mind? I like spending other peoples money for them.
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  3. #3
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    I'd first try opening up the Denon and try to get to the solder side of the PCB and reflow the solder on any of the areas that look like they get warm. You may get lucky. Also check for capacitors with swollen tops.
    It would be a shame to throw our such a quality amp that's probably got a minor fault.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    I'd first try opening up the Denon.
    It would be a shame to throw our such a quality amp that's probably got a minor fault.
    I agree with this, perhaps a quick look would show up a major part like the large smoothing capacitors starting to bulge, but mainly to get some cleaning done, Dust off all the crap and blow the fins on the heatsink clean for a start.
    The feller that does good repairs in our area is cheap enough but he has all the bits needed, oscilloscope, power supply, signal generators static free workbench etc. Not something I am knowledgeable about or equipped to do, so happy to pay him for his labour plus parts as it's mainly a hobby / sideline for him
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  5. #5
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    https://www.melbournehifi.com.au/col...ated-amplifier

    Alternately
    https://klappav.com.au/collections/d...ated-amplifier

    Of course there are many cheaper and more expensive options and I dread the day my Kenwoods die; I'll have to sell my remaining kidney if that happens
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkyt View Post

    Although I was tempted to go down the repair path, living well away from any place with electronic knowledge capable of dealing with a quality repair, having to trust sending and receiving the unit back, etc, the final decision is to move into this century and get a new amp with similar power output to the Denon. After all this may let me dip my toes into the new world of high quality music streaming.

    By replacing the CD player with an old unit and the speakers with a couple of others, the problem remained... so the amp was the guilty party.

    My concern is that for the last 20 years I have been running well known 4 ohm Australian floorstanding speakers. About 12 months ago I unearthed a couple of Canton "outside" speakers that had been in a box since we moved from Sydney yonks ago. So, to keep SWMBO happy I hooked them up as B speakers in the kitchen. My understanding was that the A and B outputs were independent but the feedback from "purveyors of fine amplifiers" is no, the outputs simply connect speakers in parallel so I shouldn't run A and B speakers at the same time if they are anything less than 8 ohm impedance. Doing otherwise puts a very low impedance load on the amplifier and may well have contributed to the Denon's ills. Unfortunately when I bought the Denon, I was told that A+B would be fine.

    So my question is... is it practical to run the floor standing 4 ohm speakers with say a 4 ohm resistor in series without compromising the sound quality? Would this allow the Canton (labeled 6-8 ohms) to be run a B speakers. Yes, I am aware that some fiddling might be needed to get some sound balance between the two sets of speakers but figured that it might be worth asking the question.

    The alternative is to go back to Plan A and just run the 4 ohm floor standing speakers by themselves with the Cantons put back in their box.
    re the dipping your toes in to high quality streaming - definitely do this.

    dispose of the denon - I would consider putting 2 seperate but linkable systems in the kitchen and the lounge.

    so, one of the great options here is the bluesound powernode at circa $1300 (seen the outgoing one as a demo for $999) - add speakers and you are done. they use NAD amplification inside, and group well for multi room, and most importantly have a great app that works well for spotify connect, tidal connect, radio paradise etc.

    Anyway, what it really does is give you an app that means you will listen to more music, never have to switch anything on, you can also eHDMI and use a smart TV to run music through and use the TV remote for volume - really, all about convenience.

    There are always cheaper ways to do things, but sometimes simplicity and single box is worth it (i previously used amps with DAC's, wireless power on and chromecast audio) - no reason to compromise on sound quality anymore with plenty of lossless options for streaming out there

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    Thanks for the replies. I thought the resistor idea was probably stretching it a bit. My "formal" electronics education finished in the 1960's (yep, I was playing with vacuum tubes and germanium transistors) and the practical bit finished in the era of DIY Electronics Australia amplifiers and building DIY enclosures for Magnavox or Peerless speakers. So, I had a feeling in my water that the resistor idea wasn't all that great.

    I moved on to actually buying stuff and have happily lived with it ever since, shuffling up from "consumer" gear like Sony etc to my current setup.

    This time around I started looking at the new Denon PMA-800NE but am a bit concerned that the power is a bit low for the 4 ohm speakers. A couple of outlets I have spoken to indicated that this might be the case (of course they want to "sell up") and SWMBO suggested that if I don't "get the best" I will be miserable. So my thoughts have moved up market a bit and the Rotel A12, Rotel A14 Mk2, and NAD C368 are now in the frame, maybe even the Denon PMA-1600NE but at $3K it is possibly a bit far. Unfortunately Denon don't have anything around the $2K "sweet spot".

    The search continues.

  8. #8
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    Long, long ago I tried 10w resistors on a 40W amp and they got super hot.

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    Do you "really like" your music or is it just to fill in the room?
    PM incoming chalkyt.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
    Do you "really like" your music or is it just to fill in the room?
    Serious equipment at 55 sec.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b_KfAGiglc
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  11. #11
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    I had a quick look.
    All for visual effect tho, I doubt it would sound all that good, LOUD yes but not all that defined and accurate, din I mention LOUD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
    I had a quick look.
    Lol. I bet you did.
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  13. #13
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    All joking aside I thought I'd share our front rooms systems with you all.
    The systems really deserve a somewhat larger room but I don't think we are ever going to build.
    The old Cerwin Vega is for the home theatre and the boxes I just refurbished internally are for the stereo
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_2125.jpg   img_2124.jpg   img_2123.jpg   img_2120.jpg  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
    All joking aside I thought I'd share our front rooms systems with you all.
    What no surround sound?

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    Hmm, Cecile must be a very tolerant SWMBO. Must be interesting when it is all going.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bros View Post
    What no surround sound?
    Surround and effects speakers still waiting to be hung. Two separate systems there.
    You should wait for the pictures of the garage systems
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  17. #17
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    I used to be immersed in this stuff back in the 90s. Sony was my substance of choice.

    These days, I'm more of a plug and play consumer.
    Sonos and bose do great wifi speakers that can play individually or all at the same time, all connected to your phone and streaming your choice of app. Can also be connected by Bluetooth or cable to an existing system.

  18. #18
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    I've been thinking about adding in a small auxiliary unit to add in the ability to handle digital input, but so far have done no research. Not much room left in the entertainment unit tho.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
    Not much room left in the entertainment unit tho.
    they are literally just a speaker that you can plonk anywhere in your house. they connect through your home's wifi and you can put them anywhere you get signal - basically bypassing your entire system.
    if you hard wire 1 of the speakers through the aux connection, or bluetooth connect, all the other speakers can source from that one connection.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkyt View Post
    Hmm, Cecile must be a very tolerant SWMBO. Must be interesting when it is all going.
    On one of the audio forums, it's considered Ted has very good WAF.
    I am not responsible for anything that Moondog says!

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    Thank you all for the information, especially the feedback from Moondog and his "guru". You all don't know what I am talking about since there has been a lot of PM-ing running in the background. However the final decision has been Rotel A14 Mk 2 which turned up yesterday and was connected up today. An excellent recommendation at 150W into 4 ohms which has really brought the Krix Lyrix back to life (yes, they are the "Australian Speakers" referred to earlier). What is interesting is how the old Denon must have slowly lost its Mojo over the past 20 years (or amplifier technology has gone ahead heaps in the meanwhile). We now have crisp sound, individual instruments "pickoutable" (is that a word?), etc, etc.

    At this very instant, a very happy SWMBO is blasting the world with her favourite Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra's rendition of Vivaldi's Four Seasons... Happy wife, Happy Wife!

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    Electrolytic components do change value over time and 20 years is enough for things to dry out and values shift from nominal.
    A very interesting little amplifier that Rotel and the technology has changed somewhat over the decades. What value do you place on your old unit? Not that I have any money to spare at the moment but my repair guy could probably bring it back to life if time wasn't an issue.
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  23. #23
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    Hi Moondog... I originally looked at having the Denon repaired but freight to and fro, the issues with finding an intermittent fault, the "long and trusty service over" it had given over 25 years, all conspired towards the Denon retirement decision. So, I would rather it went to a good home than the tip if you think you can get it brought back to life. I will PM you about how we can do this.

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    I'm very interested in your take on the new Rotel integrated with the digital inputs section. Perhaps in a few weeks you could give us a critique?
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    The next best thing anybody can do to improve the sound of any sound system is to invest in a high quality sub-woofer or three; but a decent sub-woofer can cost as much as the whole rest of your system and really good ones take up a lot of real estate and usually have that low Spousal Approval Factor
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
    really good ones take up a lot of real estate and usually have that low Spousal Approval Factor
    Exact reason that I don’t have my setup these days. The 1.5 m3 subwoofer enclose just did not meet the aesthetics and styling apparently.

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    I've been watching parts of this seasons "The Block" I actually cringed when the home theatre rooms were revealed and then cringed some more when they put kitchens in spaces better suited to music.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
    I've been watching parts of this seasons "The Block" I actually cringed when the home theatre rooms were revealed and then cringed some more when they put kitchens in spaces better suited to music.
    The thought of watching that show makes me cringe. As for kitchens, I think there is a sweet spot for work area and it isn't big. Home theatres, passing fad!

  29. #29
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    Cecile is addicted, I just watch the reveals with her and make lots of nasty comments.
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