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Do I really need an Amplifier ?

Audiolab 6000CDT Dedicated CD Transport

Music Freak

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Hi,

Since I'm new to certain hi-fi components, like, Amplifiers, I need your help to clarify my doubt.

Recently, I purchased a cassette deck. I have connected it to the Audio In (L & R speakers) of my mini hi-fi system whose power O/P is 470W RMS. This results in a decent O/P.

My question is., Do I really need to buy an amplifier and then connect it b/w the deck and speakers/Is it always recommended that we use an amplifier & then connect it to the speakers rather than connecting the speakers directly to the source ?

Please clarify.

Thanks!
 

Rabepobemababe

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Everybody starts their audio journey like this (me included), and so I will try not to laugh.

I would be very surprised if your mini-hifi puts out more than 5 watts per channel continuous average power at less than 1% THD. That would be decent for a small to somewhat medium sized rooms. 470 watts quoted by the manufacturer is just rubbish, if not fraudulent. I remember that in late 1990s there was case filed against T-Series by a consumer forum for quoting 10,000 watts power output for a mini-hifi system that it manufactured.

Start your journey by buying a low cost stereo amplifier from an established hifi brand like Cambridge Audio (Topaz AM-5 comes to my mind). You will know what it is when you listen to it.
 
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Music Freak

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Thanks so much Rabepobemababe for being understanding.

Yes, I'm still wondering about this 470W RMS & your confirmation of 5W :) Seems, I have a long way to go in understanding the term "Sound". Alright, let me take a note of your suggestion.

Thanks again!
 

just4kix

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Amplification is not about power output and how powerful the speakers sound. Amplifiers need to be tested on fidelity, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and other such factors. A mini hifi system tries to bring "bang-for-the-buck" system by combining lot of features. Most people are impressed by high power rating and features like 'bass boost', etc. That is why many such system advertise the power in PMPO.

A good 40W RMS per channel dedicated amp may be much better that an amp inside an all-in-one system.

That said, it all depends upon the needs and the budget. You did say cassette deck connected to mini system. Cassettes as a source are generally poor in quality. So in your case, it may not matter much. My advice would be to continue with your stage as of now. When you think you are ready, test your deck with a dedicated amp+speakers, in a store. Many audio stores allow that. Then you can take an informed decision.
 

Music Freak

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Yes, exactly, that is the same deck I'm using! A double cassette deck with some good features, mentioning as its mentioned on the deck, auto-reverse, dc servo controlled motor/high density head.. Since this is my first deck ever (had a music system), I'm pretty happy with it.

I just downloaded & checked the manual. Yes, under Additional information->Specs->Power Consumption is 18W. Since I connected it to my mini hifi which says 5170W PMPO & 470W RMS, I felt it's decent..
 

asliarun

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Actually, i find it very interesting that you bought a casette deck in today's day and age. Is it because you are into vintage audio, or you have a big cassette collection, or both!

Cassettes are analog so the real trick to sound quality is to get the source right (chrome/metal tapes) and to get a decent player. Other forum members can advise on the player itself.

If you already find the audio quality good, then why bother with the other stuff? Ignore pmpo, what is most important is the first 10-20 watts anyway.
 

Music Freak

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Well, let me explain! I grew up in 90s and we had a Philips music system which had dynamic bass boost! I was fascinated with that and of course the cassettes. The act of taking the cassette out from the cassette box, inserting it into the music system and pressing play is indeed a joy for me..terrific feeling. I don't feel the same excitement when I just touch on my phone to play the music or insert the USB/even CD into my mini hifi. My cassettes were kept unused since the time my system died and I had to focus on my life. So, recently got the deck and enjoying it!

I haven't experienced the sound with an amplifier yet, just been the speakers so far. Alright, let me think about it. Thanks!

Actually, i find it very interesting that you bought a casette deck in today's day and age. Is it because you are into vintage audio, or you have a big cassette collection, or both!

Cassettes are analog so the real trick to sound quality is to get the source right (chrome/metal tapes) and to get a decent player. Other forum members can advise on the player itself.

If you already find the audio quality good, then why bother with the other stuff? Ignore pmpo, what is most important is the first 10-20 watts anyway.
 

alpha1

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Recently, I purchased a cassette deck. I have connected it to the Audio In (L & R speakers) of my mini hi-fi system whose power O/P is 470W RMS. This results in a decent O/P.

As others have already highlighted this 470W RMS cited by the seller will not be undistorted power and therefore not really useful for audio reproduction.
Since you say that the system's power consumption figure is about 18 W, how can your system produce 470 W???

In all likelihood, if your system electricity consumption is 18W, half of that would be getting wasted as heat (heat generated by electronics, heat generated by speakers). Therefore you are left with 10 W or so.

But then you don't require amplification if you are pairing it with the speakers that came along with the system.
The reason is high sensitivity of the speakers. The Sony speakers may have 92 dB sensitivity. Instead if you put in say Wharfedale speakers having 86 dB sensitivity, you will require 4 times as much amplifier power as you currently have to reach the same loudness levels.
 

Music Freak

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Great to know about it. Yes, the power consumption of deck is 18W & the mini hifi is 70W.

As per the advices I received & after the lil surfing, I think I should purchase an amplifier. It's my next desire!

Cheers!
 

Audio_Freek

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Hi,

If you are really feeling the current system is not satisfactory then ,Yes Amplifier would be good to start up as an Upgrade.

So you could play the music from Cassette Deck via Amplifier using the Speakers of the Mini system.

In case you are not happy or didnt find improvement, then go ahead for Speaker Upgrade.

Just Try Pre-owned route to start with ,and NAD would be good Choice(Just my Opinion)


Wish you the best for Long Journey.
 

Rabepobemababe

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Was wondering how Sony measures the RMS power of its hifi systems. Sony even has one mini-hifi here, that is claimed to be 4,800 watts RMS:

SHAKE-100D : Mini Hi-Fi System : Hi-Fi System : Sony Asia Pacific

Class-D alright...but 4,800 watts RMS power...? Huh!

I suggest that you should get little adventurous, and open the chasis of the Sony mini-hifi, ofcourse after disconnecting the power supply. While being careful not to touch the capacitor's leads, check what power amplifier chip the mini-hifi's amplifier is using. You would find the power amplifier chip glued to the heat-sink. Its name would have been printed on its top. Once you identify the power amplifier chip, search for the chip's specifications on Google. The specifications sheet would contain a graph showing the power output versus THD. Locate a point on the graph where the THD is about 0.1%, and look for the corresponding power output figure. You would know the actual power output this way.
 
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just4kix

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I am sure we don't need to bash OP's mini system. If OP is currently satisfied, that is all that matters, although I am sure that when he hears the same stuff on separates, he will be astounded.
 

Music Freak

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Hi,

If you are really feeling the current system is not satisfactory then ,Yes Amplifier would be good to start up as an Upgrade.

So you could play the music from Cassette Deck via Amplifier using the Speakers of the Mini system.

In case you are not happy or didnt find improvement, then go ahead for Speaker Upgrade.

Just Try Pre-owned route to start with ,and NAD would be good Choice(Just my Opinion)


Wish you the best for Long Journey.

Yes, I need to have one; will own it soon. Thanks!
 

Music Freak

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I suggest that you should get little adventurous, and open the chasis of the Sony mini-hifi, ofcourse after disconnecting the power supply. While being careful not to touch the capacitor's leads, check what power amplifier chip the mini-hifi's amplifier is using. You would find the power amplifier chip glued to the heat-sink. Its name would have been printed on its top. Once you identify the power amplifier chip, search for the chip's specifications on Google. The specifications sheet would contain a graph showing the power output versus THD. Locate a point on the graph where the THD is about 0.1%, and look for the corresponding power output figure. You would know the actual power output this way.

Oh man! I really can't think of doing it! Sorry. But, will own an amplifier soon.
 

Music Freak

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I am sure we don't need to bash OP's mini system. If OP is currently satisfied, that is all that matters, although I am sure that when he hears the same stuff on separates, he will be astounded.

Yes, definitely, I can't take such a risk! I'm now kicked about owning an amplifier :)
 

bullet.350

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you are posting on this forum that means you are on a right path and sound bug has bitten you.
don't hurry read as much as possible on this forum.
fix your need, budget,resources then make a move for any purchase.
 

shkumar4963

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Here are some comments from someone (not me) who used to test amplifiers at NRC Canada.

That McIntosh metering circuit Tom mentions might have cost as much a complete, mid-priced AV receiver.

Anyway, regarding my ABX work. The device was loaned to me by Tom, who also loaned me a Bryston amp to work with it. I did a lot of comparing but only wrote up some of it in The Sensible Sound.

Once I did a comparison between an AudioSource Amp-One power amp I had on hand (60 wpc into 8 ohms) and a surprisingly massive 100wpc Ampzilla unit and I could hear zero differences with any source material, including pink noise. I worked with a number of other amps, too, although none were in the power and cost categories being mentioned in these recent exchanges.

However, unless all of the amps I checked out had identical audible distortions (very unlikely), I came to the conclusion that while some amp comparing and measuring is OK, doing serious auditioning of power amps on a grand scale could eventually become a waste of time.

I cannot think of any other audio product that is less in need of big-buck outlays for decent performance. OK, maybe wires are less in need.
 
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