Klipsch THX Ultra2, what amplifier? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 07-14-2013, 11:37 PM - Thread Starter
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The situation is that I have dedicated HT with Klipsch THX U2 speakers(7.2). I just went from an Onkyo PR-SC5508 processor to a
Marantz AV8801, wich is certainly an improvement. For the moment I'm still using the Onkyo amp PA-MC5500, 9.2, but I would
like another amp too.

The question is now wich one???? I only have experience with the Onkyo PA-MC5500. It's also my first dedicated HT so
I cannot compare other amps I had before.

What I would need:

- 7 channel amp (no 5+2 as I have no place to put 2 amps)

- At least 150Watts/channel

- Balanced inputs

I was thinking of a McIntosh MC8207 or a JBL Synthesis S7165. I don't see much people who have the JBL in their system, why? Is this because
this amp works best with JBL THX speakers?
Another possibility would be the matching Marantz amp MM8077 but I'm not sure if it's in the same league of the McIntosh or the JBL.

All your thoughts and tips are welcome.
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post #2 of 26 Old 07-15-2013, 05:59 AM
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ATI makes some amps for Outlaw, JBL Synthesis, Lexicon, Mark Levinson, Cary Audio, B&K, Theta Digital.

So I would get the Outlaw 7700 (200 x 7) for $2149.

A new ATI AT2007 would be $4500, B-stock would be $2700. A brand new 7700 for $2149 sounds good.

http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/7700.html

BTW, that McIntosh is not fully balanced. The Outlaw 7700 is fully balanced from input to output. If that makes any difference to you having a fully balanced amp.

The McIntosh amp should be great too, but a little expensive.
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post #3 of 26 Old 07-15-2013, 10:01 AM
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Any 7 channel amp will work. An amp is an amp, they all basically sound the same. Many double blind tests have confirmed this. It's basically a waste of money to buy an expensive amp. Emotiva is pretty much your best bang for your buck in multichannel amps.

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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post #4 of 26 Old 07-15-2013, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyng_fool View Post

Any 7 channel amp will work. An amp is an amp, they all basically sound the same. Many double blind tests have confirmed this. It's basically a waste of money to buy an expensive amp. Emotiva is pretty much your best bang for your buck in multichannel amps.

+1, unfortunately Emotiva doesn't have a 7-channel amp with more than 100 wpc.

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post #5 of 26 Old 07-15-2013, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
... unfortunately Emotiva doesn't have a 7-channel amp with more than 100 wpc.
But this guy on Audiogon does have a UPA-7 - w/ 2 years of warranty left on it - for $650. smile.gif
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post #6 of 26 Old 07-15-2013, 01:23 PM
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The Klipsch Ultras will sing with 300 watts plus.................they're capable of handling 600 watts on short term basis.

Great suggestions mentioned above........the ATI 3007 would be the best bang for the buck amp and would suite the Ultras much better...........besides, super low S/N ratio and comes with balanced outputs. Would work well with the Marantz 8801.
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post #7 of 26 Old 07-15-2013, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your suggestions.

I have the KL 525 frontspeakers so they will go till 400 Watts(peak). The KL 650 will go till 600 Watts(peak).

I can try to find the ATI amps here in Europe, don't know if there is a distributor here in Belgium. I also saw
a Lexicon ZX 7 for 3000€, if I'm right ATI made them for Lexicon. They have a fully balanced topology and
7 x 300 Watts.

Ofcourse if people say: "an amp is an amp" then I should think twice of changing the Onkyo.
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post #8 of 26 Old 07-15-2013, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicvinny View Post

Thank you for your suggestions.

I have the KL 525 frontspeakers so they will go till 400 Watts(peak). The KL 650 will go till 600 Watts(peak).

I can try to find the ATI amps here in Europe, don't know if there is a distributor here in Belgium. I also saw
a Lexicon ZX 7 for 3000€, if I'm right ATI made them for Lexicon. They have a fully balanced topology and
7 x 300 Watts.

Ofcourse if people say: "an amp is an amp" then I should think twice of changing the Onkyo.

Many of the "Boutique" amplifiers are manufactured by ATI............I believe Lexicon is one of them.
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post #9 of 26 Old 07-15-2013, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicvinny View Post

Thank you for your suggestions.

I have the KL 525 frontspeakers so they will go till 400 Watts(peak). The KL 650 will go till 600 Watts(peak).

I can try to find the ATI amps here in Europe, don't know if there is a distributor here in Belgium. I also saw
a Lexicon ZX 7 for 3000€, if I'm right ATI made them for Lexicon. They have a fully balanced topology and
7 x 300 Watts.

Ofcourse if people say: "an amp is an amp" then I should think twice of changing the Onkyo.

With those efficient speakers, you won't get any benefit besides having a new faceplate to look at.

If your speakers were 82-83dB/W/m, a giant amp would make sense. Or, perhaps, if you lived in one of those giant American-style McMansion eyesores. But your current Onkyo amp is more than sufficient to drive those speakers in any reasonably sized room.

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post #10 of 26 Old 07-15-2013, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicvinny View Post

Lexicon ZX 7... if I'm right ATI made them for Lexicon.

That is an unequivocal fact. The Lexicon 300 x 7 and 200 x 7 amps are both made by ATI.
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post #11 of 26 Old 07-15-2013, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doublewing11 View Post

Many of the "Boutique" amplifiers are manufactured by ATI............I believe Lexicon is one of them.

Mark Levinson, JBL Synthesis, Lexicon, Cary Audio, B&K, Theta Digital, Outlaw Audio.
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post #12 of 26 Old 07-17-2013, 10:34 PM
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I have a customer that is running his Klipsch THX Ultra2's using a Denon 4520. He is absolutely happy with the sound ( and his picture - he bought a Sony VW 1000 too )! Told me it blows his hair back watching Black Hawk Down. smile.gif

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post #13 of 26 Old 09-08-2013, 06:57 AM - Thread Starter
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After spending some time with the speakers i find they sound quite harsh! I tried all different settings with and without Audyssey. Nothing really helps.
The only thing I can think of is changing the power amp and of that doesn't change anything I guess it's just the speakers who have the tendancy to sound so sharp, to sharp.

I already had this problem noes with B&W 805di speakers. I bought the an hooked them on a denon 3808. They were sounding terrible! So I got adviced to buy a separate power amp, problem was solved.

I hope it Will be the same with these speakers or I Will have to do some serious work in my movie room to fit other speakers.
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post #14 of 26 Old 09-08-2013, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicvinny View Post

After spending some time with the speakers i find they sound quite harsh! I tried all different settings with and without Audyssey. Nothing really helps.
The only thing I can think of is changing the power amp and of that doesn't change anything I guess it's just the speakers who have the tendancy to sound so sharp, to sharp.

....I hope it Will be the same with these speakers or I Will have to do some serious work in my movie room to fit other speakers.

Is this a Dedicated Home Theater room with treatment? Also, which Amp are you driving this system with now? It shouldn't make a difference unless it's not rated to drive 4 Ohm speakers (The THX Ultra II standard is power requirements to drive multiple speakers down to 3.2 ohms on all channels).
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post #15 of 26 Old 09-08-2013, 08:27 AM
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Yup, room treatments can really help with that.

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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post #16 of 26 Old 09-08-2013, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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http://www.avforums.com/forums/members-home-cinema-gallery/1656454-dedicated-thx-home-theatre.html

I have a dedicated HT wich is treated. The only thing missing is the door but not sure if that has influence.

My power amp is the Onkyo PA-MC5500 and the pre amp is Marantz 8801.
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post #17 of 26 Old 09-08-2013, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicvinny View Post

http://www.avforums.com/forums/members-home-cinema-gallery/1656454-dedicated-thx-home-theatre.html

I have a dedicated HT wich is treated. The only thing missing is the door but not sure if that has influence.

My power amp is the Onkyo PA-MC5500 and the pre amp is Marantz 8801.

For some reason I couldn't see any of your pictures in that thread, but read that it is treated so imo, it shouldn't sound harsh or bright...My only thought is that I was surprised to learn that Onkyo THX Ultra II AVRs didn't live up to their watts-per-channel specs and that folks on the Klipsch Owners Thread were purchasing additional amps along with it to drive their speakers which were more efficient that the THX Ultra II rating suggests.

Fwiw, I have no experience with Onkyo but have with upper end Denons and drive Klipsch Speakers that have larger impedance swings than yours in a multispeaker configuration with no problem, in a mid sized room. I saw the recommendation earlier about the Denon AVR-4520 and it is rated to drive speakers that have a 4 Ohm rating and it also has Audyssey MultEQ XT-32 which I like on the previous model which I just purchased, Denon AVR-4311ci. I also have experience with the Denon AVR-3805 and it did not drive my Home Theater as loud as I would've liked and expressed my comments on this Thread: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1412510/klipsch-rf7-ii-measurements

My only other thought is if you are using Bass Management ( and ran Audyssey as per instructions) and if you are crossing over to your dual subs at 80 Hz? If so, I still couldn't imagine that the Onkyo couldn't power your speakers efficiently.
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post #18 of 26 Old 09-09-2013, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I think I know where the problem is. I can't remember having this issue when I still had the Onkyo. I also know that I was using the THX processing because I found without it the system didn't sound so good.
Ofcourse the Marantz doesn't have this function. So I guess I made a mistake with buying a processor without THX processing. It does seems to be important when everything else is THX certified and set up according THX rules.
Some people say THX sound is terrible.....well......not in my case!
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post #19 of 26 Old 09-09-2013, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicvinny View Post

Some people say THX sound is terrible.....well......not in my case!

When I had the Denon AVR-4802R and the AVR-4806ci which are both THX Ultra II certified I did as well...That said, I now have the Denon AVR-4311ci and use Audyssey MultEQ XT-32 along with the Dolby PLIIz and it sounds awesome. I tried the "DSX" parameter but didn't like it as well.
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post #20 of 26 Old 12-10-2013, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post

I have a customer that is running his Klipsch THX Ultra2's using a Denon 4520. He is absolutely happy with the sound ( and his picture - he bought a Sony VW 1000 too )! Told me it blows his hair back watching Black Hawk Down. smile.gif

I am going to be going down this road soon as well. I was hoping to drive the Klipsch THX Ultra2's with a Denon or Marantz receiver. The Denon 4520 has 9 discrete 150 watt channels. It seems like that would be sufficient without an external amp.  However, posts like the one below make me wonder if more power is needed to get the intended result from the system. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doublewing11 View Post

The Klipsch Ultras will sing with 300 watts plus.................they're capable of handling 600 watts on short term basis.

Great suggestions mentioned above........the ATI 3007 would be the best bang for the buck amp and would suite the Ultras much better...........besides, super low S/N ratio and comes with balanced outputs. Would work well with the Marantz 8801.
 

Maybe I should call Klipsch to get their recommendations.

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post #21 of 26 Old 12-10-2013, 11:07 AM
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I am going to be going down this road soon as well. I was hoping to drive the Klipsch THX Ultra2's with a Denon or Marantz receiver. The Denon 4520 has 9 discrete 150 watt channels. It seems like that would be sufficient without an external amp.  However, posts like the one below make me wonder if more power is needed to get the intended result from the system. 

Maybe I should call Klipsch to get their recommendations.

If they say that the AVR-4520ci won't be enough ask them why...It's stable and rated for 4 Ohm speakers and the THX Ultra IIs by specs can't dip below 3.2 Ohms in any frequency. If you are crossing over to a capable sub at 80 Hz, I can't imagine you needing external amplification with that Denon AVR...I have harder to drive Klipsch speakers and am very happy with my Denon AVR-4311ci after using the THX Ultra II Denon AVR-4806, which was excellent as well....YMMV.
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post #22 of 26 Old 12-10-2013, 01:38 PM
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If they say that the AVR-4520ci won't be enough ask them why...It's stable and rated for 4 Ohm speakers and the THX Ultra IIs by specs can't dip below 3.2 Ohms in any frequency. If you are crossing over to a capable sub at 80 Hz, I can't imagine you needing external amplification with that Denon AVR...I have harder to drive Klipsch speakers and am very happy with my Denon AVR-4311ci after using the THX Ultra II Denon AVR-4806, which was excellent as well....YMMV.

I called Klipsch. The guy there told me that a good receiver with 120 watts plus per channel should drive this system well. He mentioned Yamaha, Denon, and Marantz as being good options. He didn't recommend any specific models. 

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post #23 of 26 Old 12-22-2013, 01:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I still have my Onkyo 5500 wich is rated at 150 Watt(8 Ohm) one channel driven . So I wonder what is left when all 7 or 9 channels are driven.
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post #24 of 26 Old 12-22-2013, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicvinny View Post

I still have my Onkyo 5500 wich is rated at 150 Watt(8 Ohm) one channel driven . So I wonder what is left when all 7 or 9 channels are driven.
The HT S-5500?

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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post #25 of 26 Old 12-22-2013, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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No the PA-MC5500, THX Ultra2.
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post #26 of 26 Old 12-22-2013, 09:41 AM
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Being THX Ultra 2 Certified my guess would be that it being strictly an amp, and their top of the line amp, that it puts out at or near spec power at all channels driven. I can't seem to find any measured specs though.

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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