Is 50W Active > 120 W Passive Sub

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Vishu_fbd

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Hi Guys,

I have heard a lot about YHT 195 and its powered sub, however when I actually heard the sound the thump wasnt great....

I want to understand whether the power of 50W active sub of 195 has more bass and thump effect than the ~120W passive sub of Onlyo 3200?

I went to purchase 195 after reading +ve reviews however came back after audition. Now looking to hear 3200 as well.

Inputs appreciated on the active vs passive comparison.

Thanks,
Vishu:cool:
 

Naveen_Reloaded

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i own a S3200 and Bass is Very Heavy.

i am not a expert like many here , but i would like to say this


1.) Audition the system
2.) Room size matters
3.) Be sure to place the subs in right place to get the maximum/perfection out of it.


Many said that active is always better. coz anytime you can replace that sub with bigger one. and also the power management of the AVR is off loaded to sub in Active , where AVR can now concentrate on the other 5 speakers. ( correct me if i am wrong )
 

psychotropic

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It's difficult to say that a 50W active sub will be better or worse than a 120W passive sub, without knowing the various other parameters of the sub, and in the case of the passive, the amplifier. If Onkyo claims its sub is 120W that is probably a bit of an exaggeration and their receiver is unlikely to be able to deliver that much power to the sub alone with all channels running.

The active sub also has one more advantage, which is that you can swap it out and use the sub pre-out to fit another active sub. End of the day listen to both yourself and see which one you like. I've heard the Onkyo 3100 (the predecessor of the 3200) as well as the YHT 195 and I liked the YHT 195 better.
 

venkatcr

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I want to understand whether the power of 50W active sub of 195 has more bass and thump effect than the ~120W passive sub of Onlyo 3200?

This has been answered by Psychotropic and others, but let me clarify.

When someone says 50 watt active sub he is referring to the amplifier inside the sub that has a power of 50 watts. Ideally and hopefully, a decent manufacturer will ensure that the driver inside will be capable of handling that power.

When someone say 120 watts passive sub - he is referring to the capability of the sub to handle power fed to it. That is all. The most important part - the amplification - is left to an external unit such as an AVR. THAT will decide how good the sub sounds. If you feed a 120 watts passive sub with, say, 50 watts of external power, all other things being the same, both subs will sound similar.

This is just two parts of a sub - driver's capacity and amplification. There are hosts of other factors that make a sub - frequency range, build (cabinet, bracing, etc), driver size, ported or sealed, and most important the crossover.

Modern AVRs hardly have amplification for the Point 1 or sub out. Generally it is better to look for an active sub. Some active subs also have the capacity to take all 5.1 channels, keep the Point 1 for themselves, and send the other channels to external speakers. This is an useful feature of you are looking at inexpensive AVRS as the amplification inside the sub and its crossover means less burden on the AVR.

Cheers
 
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Vishu_fbd

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Thanks for the advise.

In layman terms can and will Onkyo AVR provide more output from its sub given its higher rating or will be below 195 no matter what processing technique it uses?

Does passive sub reduces the life of AVR even if performance is at par for the 2 subs?

Cheers.
 

psychotropic

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In layman terms can and will Onkyo AVR provide more output from its sub given its higher rating or will be below 195 no matter what processing technique it uses?

It is impossible to say that without measuring these things. You will have to listen and decide for yourself.

Does passive sub reduces the life of AVR even if performance is at par for the 2 subs?

There is no reason why a passive sub should "reduce the life" of the AVR. But ya, a passive sub will be a drain on the performance capacity of the AVR for sure. Since it needs to power a sub, it may not power the satellites as well as one where an active sub is hooked up the AVR's amplification can concentrate on 5 channels.
 

anm

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Go for an active sub. AVR will be having a tough time powering a sub, and the sound would be sub-par (pun intended). With an active sub, you get a different amplifier dedicated just for the bass. If the current required is high, only the base (amp) will distort, and AFAIK, distortions in base are not as bad as they are in mid/ high freq range.
Sub sucks more power/ current than any other speaker - so your AVR will have to run high current all the time with a passive sub - generating more heat and heat does reduce the life of amps - how much I can't say.

regards
 

Vishu_fbd

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Well I am now waiting for some diwali offers at this point. Surely I am not going with Yamaha 195 coz I personally didnt like the sound. There isnt good bass (so wat if its powered), might buy 5105 or 3200 depending on the best deal.

Will keep posted.

Thanks.
 
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