The A19 is not a cheap amplifier and is modestly specced in terms of power output, if the power supply cannot deliver the rated output even when driven quite hard then someone needs to be having words with their design team.
The power requirements of modern hi-fi systems have been discussed in a recent thread and while 50 wpc should be sufficient for most people, most of the time it is pretty clear that for this user, with this system and at this time, it is inadequate.
Assuming that the A19 is working as designed and delivering it's rated power then a more powerful amplifier is needed. It is worth remembering that, in the real word, doubling the amplifier power will only gain you an extra 3dB of (sound pressure) level. For the uninitiated, in the case of a system playing a stereo recording the smallest change that can be clearly heard as an increase in level is about 3dB.
In other words lifting the power from 50 to 75 or even 100 watts per channel is unlikely to make a big difference in what you hear and if power is really the issue, then several hundred watts would be needed to make a real difference.
We do so many shows in a row,
And these towns all look the same,
We just pass the time in our hotel room
And wander 'round backstage,
Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,
And we remember why we came.
Is the OP Jeremy Clarkson?
Doubt it, no mention of how well the Tannoys 'grip', particularly when it is raining or how well the Arcam behaves when pushed 'close to the limit'.
That maybe true but, I have found many amps rated around 50W per ch, struggle when you turn the volume up above 11 oclock but more powerful amps like the Roksan Kandy K2 is much better at higher volumes, it has more control and does not sound harsh. I don't know about the A19 as I did play it that loud.
As I have said elsewhere, the usual (RMS watts per channel) power rating given for amplifiers is largely useless as an indicator of how well they will drive real world speakers, far more important is their peak power capabilities, output impedance, power supply recovery capabilities etc, etc.
Im my post, highlighted, I make it clear that I am discussing the effects of increasing the power in situations where power output is the only issue, it is self evident that some amplifier designs will drive real world speakers better than others, that is practically the definition of better in this situation.
One other point, the setting of the volume control on any amplifier is entirely arbitary, it is no indication of power usage or anything like that. Many manufacturers deliberately select a control with a range such that their amplifier 'gets loud' very quickly, say by about 10 - 11 o'clock.
Inexperienced users see this as an indication that said amplifier is pretty powerful, comments like 'look how loud it is and it is only 10 0'clock' is often heard. The fact that the amplifier is unlistenable at 12 and blowing up your speakers by 1 o'clock is rarely mentioned.
I'm the proud new owner of a pair of Tannoy Revolution DC6Ts and an Arcam A19 using an rPAC and WAVs from my computer as my source until I figure out a slightly more convienient/elegant solution.
I have a suspicion the A19's 2x50W output isn't quite enough for my Tannoys. For most 'normal' music the Arcam performs exceptionally well but I like to play a lot of dance music (drum and bass primarily) quite loud which I think is really putting it through it's paces and doesn't deliver the same kind of low end performance I enjoy with 'normal' music. I'd prefer it to be a lot meatier when it's being really pushed and can tell it's not been enjoying itself on the occasions I have tried, so I've been super careful since.
My plan to overcome this is to bi-amp the Tannoys with an Arcam P38. Lows on the P38, highs on the A19 and I'm just wondering if this seems like a reasonable plan or if I've got it totally wrong and maybe if anyone has any experience of a similar setup?
Thanks in advance
The passive biamping of two 50W per channel amplifiers won't give you any more power than a single one. Buy a 100W per channel one.
Yes some good points but how do you tell the difference between amps, none of these things seem to get mentioned in reviews?
Getting complicated or technical in reviews is a big reader turnoff, most readers simply want to know if Product A is better othan Product B, thats it.
You can find some measurements that will guide you in your quest (google is your friend) but it also comes down to listening and it helps a lot if you know what you are listening to and for.
Most amplifiers (power amplifiers really) sound the same, providing that they are well designed and operating within their capabilities. This is a contentious statement but has been proved many times in tests, the important words here are 'well designed' and 'operating withing their capabilities'.
An amplifier with a small power supply that 'sags' and causes premature clipping is by definition not 'well designed', a good but modestly powered amplifier asked to drive complex low sensitivity speakers is not 'operating within its capabilities', these are simple examples.
It is surprising how often, in real world systems and applications, components can find themselves operating at the edge of their capabilities, often without the user having the slightest idea that this is happening. It is how the components behave in these circumstances that often determins whether a component sounds good or not.
Yes I would agree that "Getting complicated or technical in reviews is a big reader turnoff" but I find with so many 4 and 5 star reviews its a job to tell them apart, I aslo find the reviews rather shallow and they are often only tested with only 2 different sets of speakers, I would rather see more real world situations and blind tests. Some people say you can't tell the difference between amps, I have found in demos that to be largely the case. OK maybe you need really high end gear to tell the difference.
Not really, though plenty will tell you differently.
What you need to do if you really want to tell the difference between amplifiers is to put them under real stress, so that they are operating close to the edge of their capabilities. In the real world this happens more than you might think though this is really difficult to do under any kind of controlled conditions.
Because of this (and other reasons) I am a big fan of auditioning systems rather than individual components, in any case these days amplifiers are usually the least of your problems, poor quality speakers and dodgy digital front ends cause far more issues.
I agree with this......
.......then I am completely wrong......
I do not come on fora like this to be agreed with.........
Must try harder.
I have the same speakers and the same DAC as Furtone but I don't use the Arcam A19. I drive my speakers with a NAD C356BEE amp and to be honest, I didn't really had a proper idea on what to look for when I selected the amp. I have listened to this system for about a week now and I haven't yet had any moment at which I thought the amp was struggling in any way. Should the NAD be more capable of driving these speakers than the Arcam A19 or am I perhaps just not listening closely enough?
I have the same speakers and the same DAC as Furtone but I don't use the Arcam A19. I drive my speakers with a NAD C356BEE amp and to be honest, I didn't really had a proper idea on what to look for when I selected the amp. I have listened to this system for about a week now and I haven't yet had any moment at which I thought the amp was struggling in any way. Should the NAD be more capable of driving these speakers than the Arcam A19 or am I perhaps just not listening loudly enough?
Fixed it for you....
What separates one 50W amp from another is often current delivery - some speakers are greedier for it than others.
"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds - the pessimist fears this is true."
James Branch Cabell
MAIN: Apple TV2, Mac Mini & iTunes Match, CA Azur 751BD or Panasonic P42V20B into audiolab M-DAC, feeding a Primare A34.2 via XLRs, 2x 5m of Atlas Ascent 2 firing up Totem Arros.
ON THE HOOF: iPhone 5S/Sennheiser MM450.
© 2013 Haymarket Publishing