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post #1 of 22 Old 08-05-2013, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I am ready to build my first 2 channel system for music only. I'm pretty well set on getting B&W CM9s. As good as the low end performance is on these speakers, I'm a bass nut and won't just be playing jazz and classical on these suckers. Anyway there are a million threads on how to integrate a subwoofer into a 2 channel music system and I'm stuck. I was originally going to get a Marantz PM8004 and feed the sub with the pre-out terminals. This is okay except I would not get the benefit of reducing the bass requirements of the speakers since they would still receive full range. I now know digital processing is required for this. My solution is the use a standard AV receiver (going to dust off my Denon 2807) and use the pre-outs to an external amp like an Emotiva XPA-2. Thoughts?
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post #2 of 22 Old 08-05-2013, 03:16 PM
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I would tell you to use the CM9's powered by your Denon prior to getting an external amp. That 2807 should give you plenty of power for two channel listening, especially if you plan on not running your CM9's full range. If that is not the case, you could then look into a beefier two channel amp.

How big is your listening area? What sub would you be using? If you want loud, full range sound, especially considering your wording in your post, you may want to send extra funds to the sub category and away from the external amp category wink.gif

2.0 > 7.1
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post #3 of 22 Old 08-05-2013, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Current listening room is 18x12. The sub I have now is a DefTech Supercube2 but I'm looking into a Martin Logan Grotto i. While I am looking forward to expanding my listening range to include more vocalists, at the end of the day there will be a lot of rock, metal, etc playing in my space. Never thought my av receivers were underpowered but started thinking these higher end speakers needed more juice.
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post #4 of 22 Old 08-05-2013, 03:27 PM
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CM9 are fairly large, in my system, using a fairly large bookshelf, I run the bookshelf full range, Most speakers are designed to be run fullrange for music applications.......unless you really have a large room and tend to play really loud

For subwoofer I would recommend Rythmik subs, Their wicked for music reproduction.
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post #5 of 22 Old 08-05-2013, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jes182 View Post

never thought my av receivers were underpowered but started thinking these higher end speakers needed more juice

The main thing you should look at for power requirements should be the speakers efficiency. Looking at the spec sheet for your CM9's, they are rated at 89db/1 watt. Their impedance is 8ohms and 3 ohms minimum. The 3 ohms causes a pinch of concern, but you plan on not running a full range load to them, so depending on volume and where you set the crossover point to the speakers, they may never dip that low. I didn't see a 4 ohm rating for your Denon, but the mid to high end Denon's tend to have pretty strong amps in them...

FWIW, I use 2 way B&W's (DM602.5), which are also rated at 89db with an 8ohm impedance..... although they are only 6" 2 way speakers. My receiver is 80w @ 8 ohms and 100 @ 4, I run them full range, and have never had a problem,

2.0 > 7.1
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post #6 of 22 Old 08-05-2013, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jes182 View Post

I am ready to build my first 2 channel system for music only. I'm pretty well set on getting B&W CM9s. As good as the low end performance is on these speakers, I'm a bass nut and won't just be playing jazz and classical on these suckers. Anyway there are a million threads on how to integrate a subwoofer into a 2 channel music system and I'm stuck. I was originally going to get a Marantz PM8004 and feed the sub with the pre-out terminals. This is okay except I would not get the benefit of reducing the bass requirements of the speakers since they would still receive full range. I now know digital processing is required for this. My solution is the use a standard AV receiver (going to dust off my Denon 2807) and use the pre-outs to an external amp like an Emotiva XPA-2. Thoughts?

I'll spend a little time schooling you. I think it might help. The efficiency rating of 89db means that the speakers will produce a sound pressure level of 89db with one watt of power at a listening distance of 1 meter. 89 db, by the way, is quite loud - louder than I ever listen. Each 3 db of additional SPL requires a doubling of the power - 92db would need 2 watts, 95 db would need 4 watts etc. Let's say we're going to blast the room with a humongous 2 watts of power for purposes of analysis. We normally want twice the average volume available to handle peaks. That requires 10 times the amplifier power. So basically, your speakers will be able to play loud quite happily with a 20 watt amplifier. The receiver has 100 watts or so. Do you really think the receiver can't handle the speakers?

Don't get too hung up on the nominal impedance number. Firstly, the impedance is not constant. It varies all over the board based on frequency. Secondly, most manufacturers lie about it anyway because people are afraid of low impedance. The issue is heat. The lower the impedance, the more current the speakers draw and the more heat the amplifier generates delivering that current (they aren't 100% efficient.) If a receiver is rated for, say, 6 ohms that means it will overheat if full power is applied at a lower impedance for enough time to heat the output stage. But we aren't using anywhere near full rated power, are we? And B&W is actually pretty honest about their nominal impedance rating. If they say it is 8 ohms, that means it is safe to use it with an amplifier that is rated for full rated power at 8 ohms or more. Remember, we aren't getting to the low points in the impedance curve for long periods of time and we certainly aren't doing it at full rated power. In other words, people are afraid of low impedance, but for the most part, they shouldn't be. Check around to see how many people have cooked an amplifier by using a low impedance load. You won't find many.

Bottom line. The receiver is more than capable and competent to drive your speakers loud enough to drive you out of the room with no damage done anywhere. Feel better now?
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post #7 of 22 Old 08-05-2013, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I feel better now because I don't have to buy any new amps! I really appreciate your input. I will go for the CM9s like I wanted and not get so caught up on more power. Thanks.
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post #8 of 22 Old 08-06-2013, 01:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jes182 View Post

I am ready to build my first 2 channel system for music only. I'm pretty well set on getting B&W CM9s. As good as the low end performance is on these speakers, I'm a bass nut and won't just be playing jazz and classical on these suckers. Anyway there are a million threads on how to integrate a subwoofer into a 2 channel music system and I'm stuck. I was originally going to get a Marantz PM8004 and feed the sub with the pre-out terminals. This is okay except I would not get the benefit of reducing the bass requirements of the speakers since they would still receive full range. I now know digital processing is required for this. My solution is the use a standard AV receiver (going to dust off my Denon 2807) and use the pre-outs to an external amp like an Emotiva XPA-2. Thoughts?

If you have an AVR wth Audyssey or something like it, you can learn something about your power situation vis-a-vis your speakers, after you set up the little mic and calibrate your system.

After you have finished calibrating your sysetm and auditioned it some, switch your AVR to an idle input, that is one with no music playing. Turn your AVR up the way, and read its dB readout. If it is 85 dB or greater, this means that your system has more than enough to handle reference levels and it has 20 dB or more reserves for handling peaks. If it is less than 85 dB, then you might need more power.

My own system goes up to +88 dB, so it has twice as much power (internal AVR amps) as it needs.
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post #9 of 22 Old 08-10-2013, 02:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk 
After you have finished calibrating your sysetm and auditioned it some, switch your AVR to an idle input, that is one with no music playing. Turn your AVR up the way, and read its dB readout. If it is 85 dB or greater, this means that your system has more than enough to handle reference levels and it has 20 dB or more reserves for handling peaks. If it is less than 85 dB, then you might need more power.

How does this make any sense? Simply turning up a mute input won't tell you if your receiver can actually deliver the power at reference level or above. What kind of logic is that?
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post #10 of 22 Old 08-14-2013, 02:41 AM
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I also in the same dilemma previously. Wanted to listen to good music but the 4311 sounds too thin and flat. Adding a power amp will not be a solution since the avr still in the chain.

I ended up with a used Krell int amp. Connected the front pre-out of 4311 to one of the inputs of Krell. Then press and hold the particular input button. It switched to 'home theater throughput' (HT bypass) mode, which literally functions as a power amp. When I watch movie, I just need to press the input. For music, I switch off the 4311 and just use the Krell. smile.gif

Bass, please. Shaken, not stirred.
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post #11 of 22 Old 08-14-2013, 05:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heinrich S View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk 
After you have finished calibrating your sysetm and auditioned it some, switch your AVR to an idle input, that is one with no music playing. Turn your AVR up the way, and read its dB readout. If it is 85 dB or greater, this means that your system has more than enough to handle reference levels and it has 20 dB or more reserves for handling peaks. If it is less than 85 dB, then you might need more power.

How does this make any sense? Simply turning up a mute input won't tell you if your receiver can actually deliver the power at reference level or above. What kind of logic is that?

You seem to be lost in the forest because you have put your face right up against one of the trees. It's not about the mute button, its about the calibration procedure.

I don't think you understand the calibration procedure that modern AVRs use. That's the key to the sense of the comment.
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post #12 of 22 Old 08-14-2013, 05:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by maxht View Post

I also in the same dilemma previously. Wanted to listen to good music but the 4311 sounds too thin and flat. Adding a power amp will not be a solution since the avr still in the chain.

That is probably not the problem. The problem probably relates more to the room, the speaker placement, the adjustment of the AVR, the speakers themselves, etc.
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post #13 of 22 Old 08-15-2013, 01:55 AM
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In my case, it may be different form TS.

I have diffusers at first reflection point and also done some acoustic treatments in the room to eliminate certain acoustic issues. The noise floor in the room is good (at least for me).

I have played with loudspeakers placement as well as setting. Probably maxed out on the potential of the system itself. So, the next step is the upgrade to an int amp with HT bypass. The CDP goes to the DAC before going to the int amp.

Bass, please. Shaken, not stirred.
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post #14 of 22 Old 08-15-2013, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxht View Post

I have played with loudspeakers placement as well as setting. Probably maxed out on the potential of the system itself. So, the next step is the upgrade to an int amp with HT bypass. The CDP goes to the DAC before going to the int amp.

How does the frequency response of your room measure? What Hz does it play down to? Any large peaks or dips in the measured frequency response?
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post #15 of 22 Old 08-15-2013, 05:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by maxht View Post

In my case, it may be different form TS.

I have diffusers at first reflection point and also done some acoustic treatments in the room to eliminate certain acoustic issues. The noise floor in the room is good (at least for me).

I have played with loudspeakers placement as well as setting. Probably maxed out on the potential of the system itself. So, the next step is the upgrade to an int amp with HT bypass. The CDP goes to the DAC before going to the int amp.

Sounds like you have already been drinking deeply at the well of DAC mysticism.

You also appear to be dodging several points I raised, namely "the adjustment of the AVR, the speakers themselves"

If you want better bass, do something about your speakers, like add a sub, and/or get an AVR with an automated system response tuning system. BTW most new AVR's have some kind of bypass feature, but you don't want to pay the price to use it.

The CM9s are nice speakers, but you can only expect so much bass dynamic range out of a couple of 6 inch mini-woofers in each floor-stander.
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post #16 of 22 Old 08-15-2013, 12:29 PM
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Hey Arnyk, can you elaborate on the Audyssey volume level. I have speakers that are rated at 92db, and after I run Audyssey, my avr reads 82 is the reference and it maxes at 91.5.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 4
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post #17 of 22 Old 08-16-2013, 04:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jclif77 View Post

Hey Arnyk, can you elaborate on the Audyssey volume level. I have speakers that are rated at 92db, and after I run Audyssey, my avr reads 82 is the reference and it maxes at 91.5.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 4

What do you mean "My AVR reads 82 as the reference"?

What AVR do you have?
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post #18 of 22 Old 08-16-2013, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxht View Post

I also in the same dilemma previously. Wanted to listen to good music but the 4311 sounds too thin and flat. Adding a power amp will not be a solution since the avr still in the chain.

I ended up with a used Krell int amp. Connected the front pre-out of 4311 to one of the inputs of Krell. Then press and hold the particular input button. It switched to 'home theater throughput' (HT bypass) mode, which literally functions as a power amp. When I watch movie, I just need to press the input. For music, I switch off the 4311 and just use the Krell. smile.gif

This and flat usually means that power amp is not up to the task. You could just add stereo power amp to your receiver to overcome it. Also none of mainstream receivers works well with analog inputs. So for music, you have to use your player in "transport only" mode connected digitally to your receiver. This is indeed a major limitation. If your siurce is pure analog like turntable, the only option is set receiver in "pure direct" mode, but you will loose bass management, so it usefull only with full range speakers.
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post #19 of 22 Old 08-16-2013, 09:50 AM
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Sorry for the ambiguity, I have an Integra dtr 50.2. I followed your advice to turn up the volume to see what the max output is. As I was turning up the volume, when it reached 82 db it read reference and the THX sign blinks.
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post #20 of 22 Old 08-16-2013, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jclif77 View Post

Sorry for the ambiguity, I have an Integra dtr 50.2. I followed your advice to turn up the volume to see what the max output is. As I was turning up the volume, when it reached 82 db it read reference and the THX sign blinks.

It is likely a unique feature of that model of Integra. I didn't see it on other models of Onkyo or Denon.
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post #21 of 22 Old 08-16-2013, 12:52 PM
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I figured that but Arnyk was making a point about the volume and how it's related to how much power is needed to adequately drive a speaker based on the speaker's sensitivity rating. I attempted to research it through the internet but am so lost, I don't know where to begin. I used to be in the camp that thought an external amp would benefit but my speakers are rated at a 92 sensitivity and attempted to follow Arnyk advice to determine if my avr has enough juice. I have a pair of GIK tri traps waiting for me at home, that just arrived today. Can't wait to get home. Hoping to hear a tangible improvement.
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post #22 of 22 Old 08-16-2013, 01:41 PM
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Your receiver - whichever one it is - is more than enough. A sensitivity of 92db means the speakers will provide a 92 db sound pressure with one watt of power. Unless your speakers have very low iimpedance, any receiver will have plenty of power, including overhead.
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