EV- I don't know your speakers or their sensitivity. While you could do damage over driving speakers with an excessively powerful amp, I think what you describe (limited range of volume control) might be a function of the amount of gain from the pre-amp. I have a similar situation even with a 0 gain and -10 dB gain switch on my pre-amp that is supposedly designed for the mono blocks it is paired with. I got some Harrison Labs attenuators and have these on the ICs from CDP and DAC at the input to the pre-amp. They've given me a bit more control range on the volume knob and I don't hear anything untoward happening to the sound as a result of their use. Some folks prefer Rothwell attenuators. Good luck with your system.
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Your new speakers have a higher sensitivity than the old ones. Nothing is wrong and the only way to have "too much power" to a speaker is to turn the volume control up to high. You should be able to notice this before anything happened to the speaker. It would be incredibly loud and start to distort.
Thank you, gentlemen! I appreciate your responses. Due to the slush fund being nearly depleted for this year, I'm going to try the Harrison Labs attenuators to see if that helps. Once the funds allow I will look into replacing the Yamaha as a preamp. Is there a preamp/HTR that will also allow me to use it as a surround sound processor?
EV - I have mine installed on the inputs to the pre-amp. There was some previous discussion about attenuators on another thread (6 months ago?). Almarg had some useful input (as he usually does) on placement of the attenuators. I'm fuzzy on the details though I think input to the pre-amp was the way to go. There might be a downside to doing it at the amp...but I really don't recall with any certainty. Do a search. If I can find it, I'll post a link to that thread here. If we can't resurrect it, send an email to Al. He'll likely reply to the thread here rather than your email, but either way you'll get some good input.
ALSO - my read of your original post is that you aren't UNhappy with the sound but were mainly concerned the lack of volume control range indicated your amp might be too much for your speakers. Mofimadness addressed that, I believe. I can't tell you a new pre-amp WON'T improve sonics greatly AND possibly give you a wider control band on volume, but that's not the current concern as I read things. If I've got that wrong, please advise.
EV - Here's a relevant discussion that includes comments by Almarg. It might be more helpful than the one I originally had in mind.
AND here's a link to the first discussion that I was remembering:
Hope these are of some use.
i had my 3500 hooked up to my klipschorns for a few weeks.. what do you think happened there?? it was overkill loud. my volume knob dident move much either. you have the same problem. overkill in power. it will sound good for sure. just watch your volume or puff, there goes the speakers. a preamp is going to sound better then your setup like everybody says but its not going to take care of the volume knob problem. 100 wpc to the speakers would be a better bet. enjoy
exiledviking!!!! i just saw a picture of the sm 45's.. wow. now we know the problem for sure. i knew what i was doing when i hooked up my 3500 amp to the khorn's. i knew it was overkill. but my god. 350 watt's into those little book shelf speakers. the poor things. kind of like putting a 2000 horsepower engine in a volkswagon beetle. them speakers must be crying uncle every time to use them. good luck with them. if you send them back with burnt out voice coils they might not want to fix them for you. enjoy the music. sorry to hear about the theft. bunch of losers
exiledviking, every component from phono stage, line stage, DAC, and amps has gain. What everybody is saying from it is unlikely that you will have a problem to the amp can burn out your drivers is true. Once because I was intrigued by a 200 watt tube amp, I tried it on my 103 db efficient speakers. I was very careful about the volume, but the sound was awful. The amp's noise was just too much into these speakers.
Your speakers are probably about 86 db efficient which is pretty low, so I don't think they are the problem, nor do I think the amp is, but I do think the preamp probably got too much gain and the pots for volume control are insufficiently resistive.
I appreciate all of your replies. I have decided to sell the Parasound HCA-3500 and the Yamaha receiver and replace them with a Marantz SR7008. I'm also selling my Carver TFM-35 in order to buy a DefTech center speaker to match the SM45s. After thinking about it for nearly a week I've concluded that my use of the SM45s is 97% for HT and the Marantz should be a good fit along with a matching DefTech center speaker. Someday I will build a 2 channel audio only system as well.