B&W 802D and amp requirments - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 78 Old 08-30-2012, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I wanted to purchase B & W 802D speakers, but the sales guy said I needed $7000 worth of preamps, amps, speaker wire, etc. What is really necessary? Where is the point where money is being spent on negligible improvement?

I have a Onkyo TX-SR876 receiver that is bi-amped to my B&W 804S speakers and it sounds good to me. I have decent speaker wire and interconnects from various internet companies (av cables, monoprice, etc. (no monster cables)). My room above the garage is also fitted with home made bass traps and first reflection point absorbers, carpet and cloth couch.
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post #2 of 78 Old 08-30-2012, 03:47 PM
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nice receiver, that sales guy is full of crap, and why are you looking for new speakers? unhappy with what you have?, or adding to build 5.1?

It's for 'wall hung dude', and no, I don't need any help to 'hook-up'.... sheesh ... dirty minds around these parts....
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post #3 of 78 Old 08-30-2012, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I was going to put the 804s as side speakers, replacing the Klipsch sf2s.
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post #4 of 78 Old 08-30-2012, 04:02 PM
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tell us what you have now, what you're trying to do, the end goal, and a budget, and people much smarter than me will help you out. smile.gif

It's for 'wall hung dude', and no, I don't need any help to 'hook-up'.... sheesh ... dirty minds around these parts....
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post #5 of 78 Old 08-30-2012, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Main speakers B&W 804s (bi-amped)
side spekers Klipsch sf2
center B&W htm2
onkyo tx sr876
oppo blue ray
music from computer, creative x-fi sound card via optical cable

I like my receivers Neural THX 5.1 for listening to music but the Klipsch speakers are limiting the quality. The plan is to put new B&W 802d at the front and move the 804s to the side. Am I going to hear the benefits of the 802d with the onkyo receiver or am I wasting $13000 without upgrading the amp?
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post #6 of 78 Old 08-30-2012, 04:28 PM
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13000? damn. sorry, my whole theater doesn't cost that much...eek.gif

you wont know if you need a new receiver until you get the new speakers, set them up, and give 'em a listen... That 876 is very capable on it's own. Give it a try. You've already dropped a lot of coin, but that sales guy is just trying to separate you from your $$ for all the extras... IMO

It's for 'wall hung dude', and no, I don't need any help to 'hook-up'.... sheesh ... dirty minds around these parts....
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post #7 of 78 Old 08-30-2012, 04:35 PM
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no subwoofer? That'll transform your system by itself, for much, MUCH less.

It's for 'wall hung dude', and no, I don't need any help to 'hook-up'.... sheesh ... dirty minds around these parts....
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post #8 of 78 Old 08-30-2012, 04:51 PM
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If you have to bi-amp the 804's your also going to need to biamp the 802's. This means you won't have enough outputs to biamp four speakers. Also make sure your Onkyo is set at 4ohms. You really need a better amp to run the 802's to their full effectivness. My personal choice would be a Parasound Halo A-21. I had excellent results w/that amp when I had a pair of thiel 2.3's (which are real power hogs). But hooking up these 4 B&W's to your Onkyo seems impractical and you won't get the bes out of these speakers. I'm sure some other fine amp choices will come along.smile.gif
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post #9 of 78 Old 08-30-2012, 04:57 PM
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and I'd say the way you're 'bi-amping' those speakers is doing absolutely nothing . Not necessary at all, so more amp channels is also not necessary.
That's passive bi-amping. Pretty useless, actually.

It's for 'wall hung dude', and no, I don't need any help to 'hook-up'.... sheesh ... dirty minds around these parts....
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post #10 of 78 Old 08-30-2012, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smallpox View Post

Main speakers B&W 804s (bi-amped)
side spekers Klipsch sf2
center B&W htm2
onkyo tx sr876
oppo blue ray
music from computer, creative x-fi sound card via optical cable
I like my receivers Neural THX 5.1 for listening to music but the Klipsch speakers are limiting the quality. The plan is to put new B&W 802d at the front and move the 804s to the side. Am I going to hear the benefits of the 802d with the onkyo receiver or am I wasting $13000 without upgrading the amp?

Wow nice speakers you have. Just keep the 804s and get the 805 for side. Since you like onkyos sound why not upgrade to the mc5500 with their processor? Then you can use XLR! cool.gif

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post #11 of 78 Old 08-30-2012, 05:09 PM
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and even if you 'think' you're getting more from your 802's, by passively bi-amping them, once you move them to the sides, you really don't need to, just continue to 'bi-amp' the new speakers in their new location, as the fronts. Do you really think that it would be necessary to bi-amp surrounds?? Really ?? when they are only contributing 20 % to the total (audio) picture, in a standard Dolby 5.1 mix? I call shenanigans. Sounds like another salesman to me... buy this, buy that...

It's for 'wall hung dude', and no, I don't need any help to 'hook-up'.... sheesh ... dirty minds around these parts....
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post #12 of 78 Old 08-30-2012, 05:36 PM
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It seems like a capable receiver, but I think taking the rest of your setup into account you definitely benefit from separates/better amplification. I don't think most people who buy 802Ds are running them off of a surround receiver.

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post #13 of 78 Old 08-30-2012, 06:30 PM
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What is your center? Do you have the HTM2D? If not u should get the front three matching (including power). Emotiva amps are powerful and a great value. Those 802s are going to gobble up all the power you throw at them. I have 805Ss and HTM4S on an EMO XPA-3 and they take all that power and ask for more while singing like an angel. Check out the XPR5, XPA2, and XPA1. I really think you want more than 200w on them and get away from the bi-amping.

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post #14 of 78 Old 08-30-2012, 07:37 PM
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Andrew Robinson owns the 800D2. He powers them with a $500 Harman Crown XLS 2000 amp. He says they sound great. He loves it.

Are you getting the 802D2 or 802D1?
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post #15 of 78 Old 08-30-2012, 08:12 PM
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Both the 802D and 802 Diamond (aka 802D2, aka 802Di) will be a major upgrade over your 804s. It's something you will hear with home theather but to a much, much greater extent when listening to music. I think you will be fine with your current receiver. If you get the speakers and feel you need more power then you can always upgrade later when you have the funds. Can you take your Onkyo into the dealer and see how it works with the speakers or vise versa i.e. an in home demo? The only thing you would need to be certain of is that while powering the 802's you would not want your Onkyo to be clipping as that could damage the speakers.

What version of the HTM2 do you have? You have a lot of mismatched speakers at the moment and simply going to speakers from the same manufacturer from the same series, even for just the front 3 speakers can make a very nice improvement in and of itself. When I started my 800 series upgrades last year I purchased the HTM2 Diamond first and had it for about two or maybe three months before I got my 802 Diamonds. The HTM2 Diamond which replaces a Paradigm Reference Studio CC (v2) was in a system with 2 Paradigm Reference Studio 100's (v2), 2 Paradigm Reference Studio 60's (v2) and 2 Paradigm Reference Studio ADP's (v2) and the HTM2 Diamond stuck out like a sore thumb especially from the front sound stage. It just had so much more definition and clarity than the Paradigms that it wouldn't be something I would want to live with for very long, the mismatch in performace that is between the different speaker models, not the HTM2 Diamond biggrin.gif

Also if you upgrade to the 802's I wouldn't worry about bi-amping if that is somehow factoring into your decision. When I downgraded from 7.1 to 5.1 I had a spare amp so I am actually bi-amping my 802's but the improvement if there was one was very small and I have a lot more power on tap than you, I'm bi-amping with 2 Bryston 4B-SST's so that's 330 watts for each channel.

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post #16 of 78 Old 08-30-2012, 09:12 PM
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let's roll it back a notch,

the bottom line thing he's unhappy with, is his Klipsch surrounds. Somehow that's been warped into needing new mains, and moving his mains to surround duty. and that was suggested by the local dealer that he would need better amps for those 'new' fronts, to the tune of $13 K + .

I think he should just replace the surrounds with something that would be a better match, like the 805's, as was suggested above. He isn't unhappy with his mains now, moreso the mismatched surrounds. . I just did a quick search, and saw a pair for $4300 (used, but so what) . With that kind of savings, he could get... what... 5 monoblock Emotiva XPA -1 's, with 500 watts per channel, and still take over 3K to the retirement fund.?

It's for 'wall hung dude', and no, I don't need any help to 'hook-up'.... sheesh ... dirty minds around these parts....
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post #17 of 78 Old 08-31-2012, 01:26 AM
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I think many of you fail to appreciate the 802D/D2 speakers as not just fantastic speakers, but almost works of art. A lot of people like myself just had to have the speakers as they look so fantastic smile.gif

To the OP, you can just buy the 802D for now. I just upgraded to the 802 Diamonds (not 802D) from N804 so I started with slightly older speakers than you and am getting slightly newer speakers than what you are planning to get and here is my take on it.

You will notice a pretty big ugprade. All things being equal, the 802Ds are going to sound better in every possible way than the 804s. Mind you at first it may not sound that great as 804S are phenomenal speakers and even a mighty 802D in brand new (un broken in) form can't match the smoothness of a well run-in 804S. However, after about 2 months it will sound a whole lot better.

However, you are definitely not going to get the best of the speakers with your onkyo. However, no need to buy 7k worth of stuff right now. I believe in upgrade parts at a time so one can appreciate each upgrade. Just get the 802D and enjoy for a few months. After 3-6months you can add some real power in the form of power amps. the 4 8" woofers in the 802D won't come alive with bass worthy of a small subwoofer with the built in amp of the onkyo drive 7.1 channels on the measly powersupply. At that point you can add some solid power amps and get a nice boost in bass. if you want to go cheap you can look at emotiva or wyred 4 sound amps. you want something in the 400wpc range for the 802Ds.

another 6 months later, you can upgrade the onkyo to something with a better pre-amp stage. at the minimum i would recommend an Anthm MRX700 or an Arcam AVR 400. or you can get Arcam AVR600. if you want to go hardcore you can look at Mcintosh MX121 with Mcintosh amps or if you want to go ultimate, then Classe SSP800.

but those are future upgrades you can think about later. join the 802D club and enjoy this upgrade for now smile.gif
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post #18 of 78 Old 08-31-2012, 02:21 AM
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^some very sound advice, i'd say (ha, no pun intended:p). The upgrade-one-thing-at-a-time method is a good way to go, but just know that you won't be getting near the best you can with your Onkyo, so it should be on the planned upgrade path. The local MAV has their 802D powered with Mcintosh MC601's and they sound lovely to say the least, lol.

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post #19 of 78 Old 08-31-2012, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, I have a subwoofer. crossover set at 80 Hz.
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post #20 of 78 Old 08-31-2012, 07:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Class A View Post

If you have to bi-amp the 804's your also going to need to biamp the 802's. This means you won't have enough outputs to biamp four speakers. Also make sure your Onkyo is set at 4ohms. You really need a better amp to run the 802's to their full effectivness. My personal choice would be a Parasound Halo A-21. I had excellent results w/that amp when I had a pair of thiel 2.3's (which are real power hogs). But hooking up these 4 B&W's to your Onkyo seems impractical and you won't get the bes out of these speakers. I'm sure some other fine amp choices will come along.smile.gif

I thought the 802D's were 8 ohm speakers. What kind of $ are we talking about for a parasound halo a-21 and does this have all the stuff my receiver has?
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post #21 of 78 Old 08-31-2012, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wlhungdude View Post

and I'd say the way you're 'bi-amping' those speakers is doing absolutely nothing . Not necessary at all, so more amp channels is also not necessary.
That's passive bi-amping. Pretty useless, actually.

The onkyo receiver has 7.1 ss, so bi amping gives 2 amps/ speaker or 200+ watts.
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post #22 of 78 Old 08-31-2012, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by smallpox View Post

The onkyo receiver has 7.1 ss, so bi amping gives 2 amps/ speaker or 200+ watts.

no bi-amping doesn't work like that. The power does not change.

Just get this for the 802D's http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/amplifiers/products/xpa2

All amplifiers sound the same, don't listen to what your dealer says.

Also, the 802D's are such amazing speakers. I demo'd some and I loved them so much. They look as good as they sound too.

For speaker wire, just standard cable is as good as any fancy cable. For a good balance of looks, quality and price, I recommend http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/interconnects/products/xss
It is good quality, 10 gauge wire. It is not that expensive, it is more than standard wire though. It has a nice look, and who wants ugly wire running to really nice $13,000.00 speakers. Most dealers will try to sell you like 500 bucks worth of cables to go with expensive speakers. Shop online and get the same quality cable for way cheaper.
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post #23 of 78 Old 08-31-2012, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by akhter View Post

I think many of you fail to appreciate the 802D/D2 speakers as not just fantastic speakers, but almost works of art. A lot of people like myself just had to have the speakers as they look so fantastic smile.gif
To the OP, you can just buy the 802D for now. I just upgraded to the 802 Diamonds (not 802D) from N804 so I started with slightly older speakers than you and am getting slightly newer speakers than what you are planning to get and here is my take on it.
You will notice a pretty big ugprade. All things being equal, the 802Ds are going to sound better in every possible way than the 804s. Mind you at first it may not sound that great as 804S are phenomenal speakers and even a mighty 802D in brand new (un broken in) form can't match the smoothness of a well run-in 804S. However, after about 2 months it will sound a whole lot better.
However, you are definitely not going to get the best of the speakers with your onkyo. However, no need to buy 7k worth of stuff right now. I believe in upgrade parts at a time so one can appreciate each upgrade. Just get the 802D and enjoy for a few months. After 3-6months you can add some real power in the form of power amps. the 4 8" woofers in the 802D won't come alive with bass worthy of a small subwoofer with the built in amp of the onkyo drive 7.1 channels on the measly powersupply. At that point you can add some solid power amps and get a nice boost in bass. if you want to go cheap you can look at emotiva or wyred 4 sound amps. you want something in the 400wpc range for the 802Ds.
another 6 months later, you can upgrade the onkyo to something with a better pre-amp stage. at the minimum i would recommend an Anthm MRX700 or an Arcam AVR 400. or you can get Arcam AVR600. if you want to go hardcore you can look at Mcintosh MX121 with Mcintosh amps or if you want to go ultimate, then Classe SSP800.
but those are future upgrades you can think about later. join the 802D club and enjoy this upgrade for now smile.gif

Can and'or how do I add an amp to my onkyo receiver and still maintain a 5.1 mode? Forgot to mention that I have a big old klipsch sub with the cross over set at 80 Hz. With a sub powering everything below 80 Hz and a bi amped main at 200+ watts, will the 802Dd2 need more power? Is the problem with my onkyo going to be "clipping" due to lack of power? Do big dollar amps sound significantly better? If you have the 802D, do you get rid of the sub and can the receiver be set up to send the .1 ro the mains?
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post #24 of 78 Old 08-31-2012, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by smallpox View Post

Can and'or how do I add an amp to my onkyo receiver and still maintain a 5.1 mode? Forgot to mention that I have a big old klipsch sub with the cross over set at 80 Hz. With a sub powering everything below 80 Hz and a bi amped main at 200+ watts, will the 802Dd2 need more power? Is the problem with my onkyo going to be "clipping" due to lack of power? Do big dollar amps sound significantly better? If you have the 802D, do you get rid of the sub and can the receiver be set up to send the .1 ro the mains?

You just attach it to the pre-outs. Big-dollar amps sound exactly the same as mid-dollar amps. Cheap amps might be a bit worse (like sub 100 bucks lol). The 802D's are fairly power hungry because of their 2 big woofers, I would never run those off an AVR. What subwoofer are you using? For 2 ch music you will want to disable the subwoofer, but for movies you will still want a subwoofer.

You will just have your center, and surrounds plugged into the speaker terminals, and then the 2 ch amp and subwoofer will be attached to the pre-outs giving 5.1

yes the .1 can be sent to the mains, it will do this automatically if you have the subwoofer disabled.
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post #25 of 78 Old 08-31-2012, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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My sub is a Klipsch ksw12. Are you sure that biamping a 7.1 receiver doesn't double the power to the mains? I thought there was 7 separate amps or is it an 800 watt amp feeding 7 speakers? How does volume control work if you add an amp to the recievers pre out? Do you adjust the new amps output once and then let the receivers volume control do the rest? The auto tuning would probobly still work since the mic picks up the sound.

My cables and speaker wire come from av cables and monoprice, so I aware of how stupid it is to buy $100/foot speaker wire or to pay $500 for a amp power cable.

$700 for an emotiva amp is doable. Why would I go any futher with a better pre amp or processer?
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post #26 of 78 Old 08-31-2012, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smallpox View Post

My sub is a Klipsch ksw12. Are you sure that biamping a 7.1 receiver doesn't double the power to the mains? I thought there was 7 separate amps or is it an 800 watt amp feeding 7 speakers? How does volume control work if you add an amp to the recievers pre out? Do you adjust the new amps output once and then let the receivers volume control do the rest? The auto tuning would probobly still work since the mic picks up the sound.
My cables and speaker wire come from av cables and monoprice, so I aware of how stupid it is to buy $100/foot speaker wire or to pay $500 for a amp power cable.
$700 for an emotiva amp is doable. Why would I go any futher with a better pre amp or processer?

nope, its basically a scam. The amplifiers are RATED at 100 wpc, driven by themselves. But this is limited by the ~400 watt transformer in your receiver. No matter what you do, a total of 400 watts max are going out into your system. And when 5 speakers are driven, you already below 100 wpc with a 400 watt power supply, so adding the extra wires changes nothing.

lots of discussion here http://www.avsforum.com/t/948291/bi-wire-or-bi-amp/0_100

A better processor/pre-amp will give you better signal to noise ratio, better DAC's, better components etc. It will slightly improve your sound, but very marginally. This is better to upgrade down the road when new technology or features comes out that you want. If you receiver has everything you want, just keep it.

Also, I'd look at upgrading your sub if you enjoy movies. Look at some internet direct 15" subs from SVS or HSU.
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post #27 of 78 Old 08-31-2012, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by smallpox View Post

The onkyo receiver has 7.1 ss, so bi amping gives 2 amps/ speaker or 200+ watts.

Your receiver may be rated at 200 watts/channel but I can guarantee you it does not do anything close to that when you are driving 5, let alone 7 speakers. Don't be surprised if when doing so the output drops to 100 watts maybe even less. That's the downside of a receiver and why so many people have power amps. It's only got one amp in it I suspect, the bi-amp feature is probably just a tap to the single amp and would further strain the amps ability to drive a multi channel speaker array. i.e. decrease the overall wattage per channel even more.

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post #28 of 78 Old 08-31-2012, 08:39 AM
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Actually, testing has shown that a typical receiver of this size and type can only deliver about 40 to 60 watts to each channel with 5 channels driven. There is actually less than 300 watts available for the power amplifiers. They are not only way underpowered for your speakers, but the sound quality is going to be very poor due to a lack of peak current from the pathetic power supply.

When they say it is an 800-watt receiver, that is just the mathematical sum of the channels power ratings. That makes exactly as much sense as saying that a car has four tires rated for 110 MPH each, so the car must be able to go 440 MPH.

If you think it sounds good now, you should hook up a decent receiver or amplifier with a real power supply and you will be blown away by the improvement.

There is only one receiver that will give decent sound quality to those speakers IMO, and that is the Cambridge Audio 551R. All of the Yamadensohaonk receivers suck when it comes to sound quality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WagBoss View Post

nope, its basically a scam. The amplifiers are RATED at 100 wpc, driven by themselves. But this is limited by the ~400 watt transformer in your receiver. No matter what you do, a total of 400 watts max are going out into your system. And when 5 speakers are driven, you already below 100 wpc with a 400 watt power supply, so adding the extra wires changes nothing.
lots of discussion here http://www.avsforum.com/t/948291/bi-wire-or-bi-amp/0_100
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post #29 of 78 Old 08-31-2012, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smallpox View Post

... Are you sure that biamping a 7.1 receiver doesn't double the power to the mains? I thought there was 7 separate amps or is it an 800 watt amp feeding 7 speakers? ...

No that's not true, WagBoss and commsysman explain it nicely.

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post #30 of 78 Old 08-31-2012, 08:43 AM
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You will benefit from matching tweeter's so my 805S's will pair with your system well. I'll trade you them for the 802Di's and I'll even throw in the Emo amp of your choice. Shipping is on me. smile.gif
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