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New speakers, old receiver - different wattage

sony pioneer ss-b3000 rx-511 speakers receiver watts

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#1 SadJoker


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Posted 11 April 2013 - 22:45

Hey guys,

I'm not very experienced when it comes to home audio kinda stuff so I have a question.

My dad has a super old school receiver, a Pioneer RX-511. He must've gotten it sometime in the 80's. I can't find the specifications anywhere online, but from the back it looks like it has an output of 380 Watts.


Now the speakers were long blown out so my dad wanted me to get him some new ones, I decided on the Sony SS-B3000.


So the speakers are 120 Watts but the receiver is 380. In the speaker instructions it says that this is a no-no.


So I'm worried about the speakers now. Is it a bad idea to run these speakers with the old receiver? Now just to make matters more complicated, I asked my dad if the old speakers (that I believe came with the receiver) had a wattage on them. He checked and found 150 Watts. However, those speakers lasted all the way up until a few years ago!

Any advice guys?

#2 shakey


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Posted 11 April 2013 - 22:53

Well, is it 380 total watts or 380 per channel?
Really, the best way to tell is to hook it up and test it. See at what levels you start to get distortion, and then keep away from those levels. It is normally pretty easy to tell when you are hitting the barrier between them.
With it's age, I'm betting on a total of 380 watts for the receiver. But watts is a hard thing to measure, as each company is different in their "ratings".
The receiver should be fine as long as you aren't though going above the receivers wattage in speakers. If they are 120 each, you can have 3 of them hooked up. Any more and you will face some troubles.

#3 jerzdawg



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Posted 12 April 2013 - 20:04

Given the cost of those speakers I think you will be fine, I highly doubt those Sonys will be using the full 120 watts

#4 Arceles


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Posted 12 April 2013 - 20:19

Ah... the clipping problem, Usually an amplifier is chosen more powerful than the speakers, for the reason that if some high peak appears into the music and the amplifier doesn't have enough power then it becomes saturated, cutting the top or lower peak... which means again clipping (a peak with... a plain peak), if you apply something like Fourier to that you will see a lot of frequencies that originally only meant to be one, and that is effort put into the cone of the speaker, that pretty much hurts them but for that to happen you would be actually hearing music very loudly, rare nowadays.

#5 HawkMan


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Posted 12 April 2013 - 20:43

380W is the max the power supply of the receiver can pull from your electric grid. the output to each speaker is AT LEAST half that. even so wattage is a meaningless way to measure speakers as it's measured in so many different ways.

more importantly is that the speakers are for the right impedance, as long as that is correct it shouldn't be a problem with decent modern speakers. and if you turn it really high and notice distortion, turn it down and you know how high you can go.

#6 a1ien



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Posted 12 April 2013 - 21:14

Silly rabbit. You have absolutely no problem here. Stop thinking about it and hook um up.

#7 OP SadJoker


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Posted 12 April 2013 - 23:43

Alright, awesome guys. :) I hooked them up and they sound great. The speakers and receiver match up at 8 ohms.