using a home theater amp... for PA and music instrument use?

Is this amp OK?
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infrasound
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using a home theater amp... for PA and music instrument use?

#1 Post by infrasound » Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:19 am

This may sound dumb or it may be perfectly okay but i'm just curious... what are the fundamental differences between amplifiers intended for PA type usage and home stereo stuff? I'm aware the latter can sometimes have optimistic ratings, or not tolerate heat as well (the latter likely assistable with a fan), and probably not want to be banged around with roadie abuse, but i'm wondering is there ever a situation where using a home theater amp would be perfectly okay? Like assuming it survives the trip to the location and tests as working fine, whether it's just as a backup amplifier, or for a lesser used system, or even for something in regular use?

I'm aware DJ power has gotten cheaper than ever but even kilowatts are overkill for some smaller systems. BFM's stuff is so efficient you don't seem to often need more than 100 watts per cab - and 100wpc home theater amps are pretty much the standard. I've had a standard home receiver hooked up to a set of PA speakers for years and am tempted to think "watts are watts" but other than the aforementioned durability and that was wondering if there were solid reasons you would never want to rely on one for say a paying job.

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Bill Fitzmaurice
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Re: using a home theater amp... for PA and music instrument use?

#2 Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:01 am

Pro-sound amps use balanced connections at a nominal +4dBv, consumer grade use unbalanced at a nominal -10dBv.

CoronaOperator
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Re: using a home theater amp... for PA and music instrument use?

#3 Post by CoronaOperator » Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:01 pm

Aside from the input connectors being different, the speaker output connectors are different too. That makes hooking up input cables and speaker cables a pain everytime you set up as they don't match to pro gear. On the speaker connectors you would have to be very careful about the polarity as it would be easy to hook them up wrong.

Home amps also usually don't like going below 8 or 6 ohms limiting the amount of speakers you can hook up.

Pro amps usually have a fan that when used in the home can be annoying.

Home amps don't have rack ears to mount in an equipment rack.

Home amps (recievers) usually are usually limited to 100-150 watts, a bit on the light side for pro-audio.

Using a home amp in a paying gig would usually raise the same eyebrows as if someone hired you to move a piano and you showed up with a subcompact car with a roof rack and some bungee cord tie downs.

I used to use home receivers in a restaurant/bar install for background music as the staff are usually more familiar with using a home receiver than pro-gear. It worked fine but I would only get about 3-4 years out of them before the volume knob and input selector dial would cease to work. They didn't hold up to daily use.
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infrasound
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Re: using a home theater amp... for PA and music instrument use?

#4 Post by infrasound » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:10 pm

CoronaOperator wrote:Aside from the input connectors being different, the speaker output connectors are different too. That makes hooking up input cables and speaker cables a pain everytime you set up as they don't match to pro gear. On the speaker connectors you would have to be very careful about the polarity as it would be easy to hook them up wrong.

Home amps also usually don't like going below 8 or 6 ohms limiting the amount of speakers you can hook up.

Pro amps usually have a fan that when used in the home can be annoying.

Home amps don't have rack ears to mount in an equipment rack.

Home amps (recievers) usually are usually limited to 100-150 watts, a bit on the light side for pro-audio.

Using a home amp in a paying gig would usually raise the same eyebrows as if someone hired you to move a piano and you showed up with a subcompact car with a roof rack and some bungee cord tie downs.

I used to use home receivers in a restaurant/bar install for background music as the staff are usually more familiar with using a home receiver than pro-gear. It worked fine but I would only get about 3-4 years out of them before the volume knob and input selector dial would cease to work. They didn't hold up to daily use.
That's a pretty good list... thankfully it doesn't include "they burn out rapidly or explode unreliably" though. :) I was mostly curious whether there would be a point in having one available as a backup amplifier, or usable for some kinds of sound reinforcement (additional cabs you dont normally bring on the normal gig) if you had the adapters to hook up the prosound connectors to the consumer amp. Think "something to get you through a couple nights per year" (as a backup or extra speakers amp) more than your main workhorse. (for the power issue I was thinking one channel per cab since I thought many of Bill's cabs were designed around a 100-150w input anyways)

Bruce Weldy
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Re: using a home theater amp... for PA and music instrument use?

#5 Post by Bruce Weldy » Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:16 pm

infrasound wrote: I was mostly curious whether there would be a point in having one available as a backup amplifier, or usable for some kinds of sound reinforcement (additional cabs you dont normally bring on the normal gig) if you had the adapters to hook up the prosound connectors to the consumer amp.
It's not about adapters.....as Bill said earlier, the stereo stuff is -10 unbalanced and the pro stuff is +4 balanced. They do not perform the same and should not be mixed.

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