Tag Archives: amplifiers

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Power calculations

One of the most common questions I cannot answer is about matching power amps to Power Plants. It seems such an obvious question and you’d think the answer would be straight forward. But, you’d be incorrect.

The problem with matching power amps to Power Plants happens because we don’t have the complete story. What we’re missing are the speakers and your listening habits. An M1200 monoblock pair is capable of delivering massive amounts of power to speakers, yet in many cases, the pair can be powered with the smallest of our Power Plants, the P3. It all depends on what the amplifiers are being asked to do.

The easiest way to visualize what’s happening is to view the power amp/speaker as a pair. A power-hungry speaker will demand the same amount of wattage from any amp regardless of that amplifier’s rating. And conversely, even power-hungry speakers take less when not being played loudly.

I don’t mean to make this difficult. I bring this up merely to point out that what we might view as a straight forward calculation is, in fact, a bit more involved. If you’re confused, it’s always worth a call to us.

Here’s an easy rule of thumb you can use. If your power amplifier is a standard bias class AB or class D amplifier, and your speaker’s sensitivity hovers close to the 90dB/Watt/meter, then, on average, you’re likely not pushing much more than 100 watts even on peaks. Thus, any of our Power Plants would work just fine for you.

Just remember, amps and speakers should be thought of as pairs.

 

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

With my Daedalus Ulysses loudspeakers that weigh around 120 lbs with their custom bases and tube amplifiers that weigh 100 lbs each, and racks full of heavy stuff, I’m not moving anything. However, unplugging audio cables and cleaning contacts might be worthwhile. Otherwise, an exercise like this sure isn’t for me.

However, if you feel the need, this certainly won’t hurt, except the disconnecting from the wall part, and here’s Pauls recommendations.

Spring has sprung

Terri and I make a point of walking three times per day: morning, noon, and evening. We traipse around our neighborhood or, if the weekend and the sun’s being cooperative, on the few trails we can access. Fellow walkers are increasingly respectful of keeping their distance as are we. And, we wave and smile at each passerby, thanking them for their courtesy. We may have to keep our physical distance, but we’re determined not to get divorced from connecting as people.

A smile can be powerful medicine.

While outside it’s hard to miss that spring weather is encouraging a hint of green and budding trees.

Spring also means it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to rearranging and rejuvenating your stereo system.

A major teardown and rebuild of the system is cathartic—tension relieving—because when you’re in the thick of it the rest of the world isn’t pressing in on you.

Here are the steps I recommend:

  • Shut the entire system down by powering off all equipment from the mains.
  • Remove all interconnects and power cables, stacking them neatly away from the main system.
  • Use a piece of tape to mark exactly where your speakers are on the floor.
  • Pull all equipment off the shelves, rack, stands, etc.
  • Grab a bottle of Windex glass cleaner and go to town. Get down not just on the rack or shelves, but then clean every inch of the equipment itself. If you have tube gear pull out the tubes, make sure the insides of the gear is clean, and reinsert them. (When’s the last time you replaced those tubes?)
  • Reassess the symmetry of your setup. Using a tape measure, get the rack and stands straight and orderly. Recheck the speaker placement.
  • Grab the vacuum cleaner and with its hose detached from the head, get every corner and crevice of the room cleaned, then mow down the balance.
  • Carefully reassemble your system ensuring symmetrical placement of each piece of kit (for me, at least, ensuring symmetry helps imaging – probably because I can relax more).
  • If you’re into DeoxITKontak, or other potions to improve connectivity, go to town. Me, I stay away from them figuring the in and out disconnect and connect are enough.
  • Turn back on everything and play a setup recording to make sure you have left and right channels correct and then the proper phase between channels.

Finally, turn the light on low, play your favorite tracks of music, and enjoy a renewed connection with what brings you pleasure.

Your HiFi system.