Originally Posted by ericuf
I;ll check out Klipsh reference series,.
I'm not a very knowledgeable audiophile, but I thought my denon was considred a great receiver?
Great in what aspects? Didn't want to throw stones at your gear. I myself own the Denon 3310 and it just does not have the power to drive speakers with low sensitivity and low (nominal) ohm rating. When you hook up 5 or 7 speakers to your AVR and try to drive low sensitivity speakers like B&W, PSB, Magnepan or many others, you will realize that they dont have enough power. Also when you start cranking up your AVR, you get more distortion. This is the main reason I suggested Klipsch.
A lot of amp manufacturers would say that their amp can drive any speaker. That is true only if you are feeding the amp the voltage as per the amp sensitivity to get the full power from the amp. A lot of powerful amps like WIRED 4 have a ridiculous sensitivity value like 2.5V. I am not aware of any AVR on this planet that can deliver 2.5V at the pre-outs. AVR's, including the high end ones, only output some 1.2V and that too at max volume and there will be distortion. Typical pre-out voltage may be like 0.6V at moderate volumes. Now when you use an amp like WIRED 4 with a sensitivity of 2.5V and feed it 0.6V using an AVR, all you get is a SMALL fraction of the peak power of the amp, which would not be enough to drive many low sensitivity speakers. So you have to take those claims by the amp manufacturers with a grain of salt.
In fact I corrected the mistake they had at WIRED4 web site regarding the sensitivity of their amps. I was thrilled when they had quoted a very low sensitivity for their high power amps. Later they came back with the correct number which was like 2.5V!
I see analog pre-amps like Emotiva and Parasound claiming 9V or 6V pre-out voltage. Yeah right? I have tried Emotiva USP-1 with the Rotel RB-1080 and I just could not drive my Magnepans to high volume. Who has verified the claim that Emotiva or Parasound analog pre-amps can deliver 9V or 6V. Even if it is 6V peak, I get 3V at half the volume if it is linear and 3V is plenty to drive any amp to full power. But I dont think it is the case. They are all unverified claims always with a caveat/disclaimer. Show me a review that measured 9v using the Emotiva pre-amp and I will buy it again.
The bottom like is that you have to match the power requirement of the speakers you want to buy with the capability of your current AVR. Otherwise you may be disappointed later. You can keep your AVR to drive just the center channel and rear speakers and use separate amps for the fronts. But you have to make sure your AVR has pre-outs. I doubt if the 1912 has pre-outs. The 3310 was the lowest model in 2010 to have pre-outs. I have the Yamaha RX-V663 and it has pre-outs. The mid-end Onkyo models may also have the pre-outs.
You can still keep your AVR for a bedroom or basement system and invest on a new AVR with pre-outs and separate amps. Emotiva amps would give you the best bang for the buck. I have seen many posts about hiss from the Emotiva amps. I have also seen many posts that refute the other posts that mention the hiss. I did try the Emotiva UPA-2 2channel amp long time back and I dont recall hearing any hiss but I also did not notice any advantage over my Yamaha RX-V663 AVR as I was driving the Klipsch RB81's which do not need a lot of power. May be it is the multichannel amp that has the hiss? Dont know. I will never buy them as I just cant handle the weight even if they are cheap.