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post #1 of 9 Old 01-12-2019, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Power vs Volume Question

I have two HT systems. Both are powered by an Onkyo receiver. Yes, I know... ;-) Consider me a frugal consumer.

Upstairs, a TX-NR777 (110 watts RMS) runs a bi-amped 5.1 system with Energy C-100 bookshelf speakers, surrounds, and a wired sub. It's fed by a PS3 through HDMI.

Downstairs, a TX-NR505 (75 watts RMS) (Correction TX-NR515, 80 watts) runs a sound bar, surround speakers, and a wired sub, fed by an Xbox One.

Both receivers are rated at 8 ohms, .08% THD, etc. The upstairs system allows me to set impedance to 4 or 6 ohms.

In theory, the upstairs system should be louder. Better speakers, more power, etc. Correct?

But the upstairs system require the volume to be cranked to 45 in order to be as loud as the downstairs at 25. (Spock Eyebrow)

I've been through all the settings. The upstairs system does seem to be louder with component input from a Wii.

Are soundbars that efficient? Is this some kind of impedance thing? Do I have a faulty receiver? Am I missing something?

Is there any inexpensive way to test the output of a receiver?

Thanks for your advice, knowledge, and experience.

Last edited by WoodyTX; 01-12-2019 at 11:03 AM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-12-2019, 10:58 AM
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Volume numbers don’t mean anything unless the systems use the same scale and are calibrated to the same level.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-12-2019, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Interesting. I'd expect the same line of receivers to have some consistency, but expecting consistency from this world isn't really paying off these days... ;-)

Thanks for your reply.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-12-2019, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodyTX View Post
Interesting. I'd expect the same line of receivers to have some consistency, but expecting consistency from this world isn't really paying off these days... ;-)

Thanks for your reply.
Speaker sensitivity is also a big factor. A speaker with a higher sensitivity rating will typically sound/measure louder using the same amplifier at the same setting as one with lower sensitivity. You've different speakers at each set-up and no doubt different sensitivity ratings.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-12-2019, 12:23 PM
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As b curry said, its got to be sensitivity. I have a pair of diy c-notes (85db) and a pair of jbl arena 130s (90db). My old Integra receiver cranks the c-notes once I get to about 65 on the dial while the arena 130s play the about the same volume level at about 60 on the dial.

My $.02
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-12-2019, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you. That's a good point, but the Energy C-100s are rated at 87 dB, and the Episode ES300 soundbar is rated at 88 dB. (I had to find the receipt on the latter, as it's not visibly branded.)

I did read elsewhere on the forum about how volume controls are changing to more of an increasing-slope curve, if I understand the commenter correctly.

I also futzed around with the different inputs. HDMI is definitely quieter than component input, but component is still quieter at a given numeric level than HDMI on the downstairs unit.

Bottom line, I can make the system pretty much 'too loud to listen to' by around 80 on the dial, so it's not a humongous deal, but it's still ... odd.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-12-2019, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodyTX View Post
I have two HT systems. Both are powered by an Onkyo receiver. Yes, I know... ;-) Consider me a frugal consumer.

Upstairs, a TX-NR777 (110 watts RMS) runs a bi-amped 5.1 system with Energy C-100 bookshelf speakers, surrounds, and a wired sub. It's fed by a PS3 through HDMI.

Downstairs, a TX-NR505 (75 watts RMS) (Correction TX-NR515, 80 watts) runs a sound bar, surround speakers, and a wired sub, fed by an Xbox One.

Both receivers are rated at 8 ohms, .08% THD, etc. The upstairs system allows me to set impedance to 4 or 6 ohms.

In theory, the upstairs system should be louder. Better speakers, more power, etc. Correct?

But the upstairs system require the volume to be cranked to 45 in order to be as loud as the downstairs at 25. (Spock Eyebrow)

I've been through all the settings. The upstairs system does seem to be louder with component input from a Wii.

Are soundbars that efficient? Is this some kind of impedance thing? Do I have a faulty receiver? Am I missing something?

Is there any inexpensive way to test the output of a receiver?

Thanks for your advice, knowledge, and experience.
Are both receivers calibrated to 75db at listening position? Are the rooms identical in size, furnishings? Even with that I can't see comparing bookshelf speakers to a sound bar, I can't imagine sound bars actually move much air.

"This is the place to ask about speakers/subs/amps/receivers...No street price talk or retail links please....Yeah right."
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-13-2019, 12:25 AM
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Leave any receivers impedance setting at its default. You're just power limiting the receiver. Most now use a logorithmic over linear gain structure and actual listening levels needed will be speaker, source and room dependant. Set levels, distance and auto EQ using AccuEQ and the included mic and you should be good as long as you aren't having to listen louder than 0dB Relative or 80 Absolute scale.

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post #9 of 9 Old 01-13-2019, 05:59 AM
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Have you checked if the ps3 and xbox sound the same in both systems?
Also the soundbar might sound louder due to distortion/placement/distance/actual efficiency and not what the specs say/more focus on some frequencies that the ear picks up more easily.
Have you checked with a deciBel meter?
There are so many factors but its still a bit funny.


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