Home Theater Forum and Systems banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good afternoon, I hope you are all well.

I need your expert advise please.

I have 4 Monitor Apex 10 as my height/atmos speakers. Now I am looking for an amplifier to power them. I was thinking about the Emotiva Basx A500 that provides 90 watts to each channel RMS all running.

Will this be enough power to run those atmos speakers or would I need to power to run them?

Patiently awaiting your expertise advise

Fernando
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
The height channels are RARELY and possibly NEVER as loud as the front ear-height channels. 90 watts is plenty from an amplifier that's not in an AVR... AVR watts are worth about 50% of REAL amplifier watts because the AVR manufacturers rarely advertise the power of more than 1 channel operating at 1 frequency. While "real" amplifiers will be measured with pink noise (all frequencies) in all channels at the same time. My rule of thumb is to treat a 100w/ch AVR as though it had 50 WPC amplifiers. But a 100 w/ch amplifier I trust to produce very close to 100 w/ch (confirming with how the specs are written). So, given the low-ish power demands from the height speakers, and the generally smaller size of the height speakers and the fact that all the bass from the height channels should be directed to the subwoofer a lot of requirement for power is removed from the height channels. If you are going to use an Emotiva amp... as someone else mentioned, you could go to 50 watts/ch and still be fine. Just don't use an old AVR with 50 watts/ch... because those amplifiers will only perform like a REAL 25 w/ch amps and you'll want more than that. Understanding amplifier power: how much louder do you think a 100 watt per channel amp can drive a speaker compared to a 50 watt per channel amplifier? Would you say 100 watts should play twice as loudly? Nope. It doesn't work like that. Doubling the amplifier power only lets the amplifier drive the speakers 3 dB louder. So if 50 watts was needed to reach 90 dB levels (that is pretty **** loud), if you give the speakers twice the power... 100 watts/channel, the speakers will then be able to play up to 93 dB instead of being limited to 90 dB. There is no standard for exactly what "twice as loud" is. But over decades of studies, the consensus is that 10 dB is what most people identify as being "twice as loud". So for your 90 dB sound, sounding twice as loud would mean you'd measure something very close to 100dB. So if you are reading 90 dB with 50 watts, 93 dB will require 100 watts, you'll get to 96 dB with 200 w/ch, and to 99 dB with 400 w/ch. So to double the loudness of 90 dB you'd need to go from 50 w/ch to about 500 w/ch to be able to get sound that is "twice as loud". So to play speakers "twice as loud" you have to have 10 times more amplifier power.

Now, the sorry truth about Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks:
Most Atmos soundtracks have NOTHING in the height speakers at all--OK, not "nothing" exactly, but in an entire 2 hour movie, there can be a minute of sound in the height channels. How do I know this: for fun, when I am doing something on the computer, I will run an ATMOS or DTS:X soundtrack with all the amplifiers driving the "ear level" speakers turned off manually so only the height channels are being driven. Then as I work on the computer, I can keep track of what sounds appear in the height channels and tell how well or poorly the height channels are being used. One 2 hour movie had some of the title music and some of the credits music in the height channels and nothing at all in the height channels during the movie itself. Studios are not paying for a tech to properly produce an ATMOS soundtrack for home video. What we get instead, sounds like they run the 5.1 or 7.1 soundtrack through Dolby Surround to create 4 "height" channels to go with the ear-level tracks. Then they encode the Dolby Surround decoded soundtrack as an ATMOS soundtrack without an audio tech ever doing anything to improve the soundtrack with more and appropriate sounds in the height channels. There are maybe 1 or 2 Atmos movies released where it is VERY CLEAR that someone was at a console creating an honest to goodness ATMOS soundtrack with ambient and other sounds in the height channels. The rest of the Atmos soundtracks have been PATHETIC. DTS:X soundtracks are a LITTLE better, because they run the audio through DTS Neural:X to get fake height information without a tech at a console. DTS Neural:X sounds better than decoding the same audio with Dolby Surround... a LOT better. And not just because DTS Neural:X finds more correct sounds to put in the height channels, DTS Neural:X doesn't kill harmonics and detail the way Dolby Surroud does. Most DTS:X sound tracks are made the same way as most Atmos soundtracks. They take the 5.1 or 7.1 sound track, put it through Neural:X processing, then encode that as 11.1 channels. But, like most Atmos soundtracks nobody actually made most of the DTS:X soundtracks, they were just processed and turned into DTS:X. We are being massively cheated by the studios with their fake ATMOS and DTS:X soundtracks. The number of good DTS:X soundtracks is not really any better than the number of actually good ATMOS soundtracks. 95% or more of the movies I've watched that have ATMOS or DTS:X (on disc or streamed) are TERRIBLE in the height channels. On the Star Trek movie that begins with the red-foliage forest (I forget the name), when the Enterprise is attacked by thousands of small ships drilling holes in the hull to get inside Enterprise to attack... during something like that, you would have sound coming from every angle 100% of the time. Sound would be bouncing off the ceiling and walls and floor... it would be mayhem on the ship. The height channels are SOUNDLESS during all of that except for the lady's voice saying "Red Alert" several times. That's the ONLY height sound during that entire battle. It was pathetic and that's the way these supposedly immersive soundtracks are being made. It's just stupid.

Movies with Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks actually sound better if you just decode the 5.1 or 7.1 sound and process THAT with Auro-3D. You get ambient sound in the height channels for the entire movie with Auro-3D processing even if the movie doesn't have an Auro-3D soundtrack. So if your AVR or processor does not have Auro-3D support, you'll never be happy with the height channels in 95% of the movies you watch. In Europe, many movies are released with Auro-3D soundtracks with 11.1 discrete channels. But when there is a DTS:X or ATMOS soundtrack, Auro-3D will still process it (just pick Auro-3D decoding and it will decode the 5.1 or 7.1 soundtrack then process it to bring ambient and even some discrete sounds into the height channels). Dolby hates Auro-3D, A LOT. Because Dolby knows how much better Auro-3D sounds. Dolby hates Auro-3D so much, that a couple of years ago, movies with Dolby ATMOS soundtracks suddenly could not be processed by Auro-3D... Dolby embedded something in the discs with their soundtracks that prevented Auro-3D from being able to unfold the sound into the height channels. Auro-3D sued and won and Dolby had to stop the practice and offer replacement discs that can be decoded with Auro-3D to anyone who sent in one of their intentionally defective discs. Dolby has also tried hiring away engineers and programmers from Auro-3D trying to break the company that way. Dolby can't compete on sound quality (without having to start over again from scratch) so they resort to nasty and predatory business practices. If it wasn't for Auro-3D being able to make better use of the height channels for ALL content (Auro-3D processing of Stereo music sounds better than Stereo... and that's the first time I have been able to say that about ANY audio processing... before Auro 3-D, there was nothing that added channels to Stereo sources that sounded good in any way) I would feel cheated by all the hype over DTS:X and Atmos. With Auro-3D decoding in my processor, it just stays in that mode all the time no matter what soundtrack is playing or what music is playing (stereo, 4 channel, 5 channel, or 7.1 channel). It ALL sounds better with Auro-3D decoding (I am not affiliated in any way with Auro-3D, but I do evaluate home theater equipment professionally. Anytime my system is on, I'm doing something with audio or video. I entertain myself doing this also.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top