2 plus 2, Various, power handling

Read more on the Acoustat 2 plus 2 in our home audio section

Larry S. Goldberg2004-02-23 22:21

Hello Andy, I would like to know what the power handling capacity of the model 2+2 is, as I am considering a new Cinepro amp that is capable of 425 watts per channel - can the speakers handle the dynamics that such an amp could provide?

Have you or anyone else found a reasonably decent match for a center channel and surrounds to be used with the 2+2s in a home theater setup? Thanks much for any assistance.

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Andy Szabo2004-02-23 22:21

I checked out the Cinepro website www.cinepro.com. I assume that you are referring to their model 3k6SE-Gold. At 425 watts per channel, times six channels, this is one huge amplifier!

Using an amplifier this large (with any loudspeaker) is like having an automobile with a very large engine. It\'s nice to have the extra power for quick acceleration when you need it, but you wouldn\'t want to use that power to drive 120 miles-per-hour all the time. It would be too dangerous. It is power that must be used responsibly: with caution and common sense.

And so it is with very large amplifiers: that power must be used responsibly. Otherwise, electrical or physical damage will occur. Cinepro\'s website makes some good points on this subject. That huge power reserve is there to handle the large (but brief) peaks that are part of today\'s video programs. It should not be used for playing music at ear shattering (and speaker damaging) levels.

Yes, you can use this amplifier with the 2+2\'s, along as you (and anyone else operating your system) can appreciate this limitation. One advantage in using a smaller amplifier is that you can hear the onset of amplifier clipping, hopefully before the speaker reaches its limit. Clipping is an audible warning that the system is playing too loud. A very large amplifier isn\'t likely to clip, and the only warning you\'ll get is smoke or other undesirable effects from the speaker. This is especially true of Acoustat speakers. The esl panels themselves are virtually immune to overdriving, but the transformers can arc or burn with little or no warning.

Don\'t allow yourself a false sense of security because the speaker is fused. That 5-amp slow-blow fuse is to protect against catastrophic failure of the amplifier or speaker. It will not typically blow even under hard-driven music signals.

I don\'t have any specific recommendations for speakers to use in a surround system with your 2+2\'s. As you\'ve probably already discovered, ordinary cone loudspeakers will be a poor match to the Acoustats. Naturally, other Acoustat speakers come to mind, like the 1+1, if you want to maintain the same character of sound. Do not, however, attempt to use an Acoustat Spectra speaker for the center channel: they are specific left or right speakers, and wouldn\'t work correctly as a center channel. Spectra\'s would be fine for the rear channel.

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