Change speakers or Amp? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-18-2017, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Change speakers or Amp?

I am currently running a PSB Image series set of T65 fronts, C60 center and B15 surrounds that I have had for quite some time. I recently upgraded from a Panny Plasma to the Vizio P75 which also resulted in "upgrading" my older Denon 3808 amp to a newer Denon 3300 for 4k capabilities. While I love the TV, I feel like I have taken a step back in sound. For starters, I was shocked when I pulled out the 3808 and felt like it weighed 2x the 3300 which felt like a toy by comparison. I also feel like the PSB set has lost a lot of "punch". Obviously I can turn up the volume, the PSB's can certainly handle it, but on "normal" listening levels I just feel like everything is flat. Not sure how to explain it other than say there's no "punch" to the sound. You hear it but don't feel it if that makes any sense. For what its worth, I do 80% TV/Movies (although a lot of music/concerts on TV) and 20% gaming.

My choices seem to be to swap out the Denon (was looking at the Yamaha 2070) or keeping the 3300 and moving to a bookshelf and sub set up such as the Chane 2.4 LCR with the 1.4 as surrounds and an HSU. Both options are similarly priced. Which do you think would be the better upgrade? Anyone move back from floor to bookshelf? Are the Image series still considered a good all purpose set? While I know this is the speaker subforum, anyone disappointed with power output of the 3300, it seems to get great reviews.

tks in advance for any feedback.
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-19-2017, 04:19 AM
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It sounds like you really liked the floor speaker's. So I think bookshelf will bring you even more back.
Keep your speaker's and check the amp for pre outs . If it have pre outs buy a power amp. If it doesn't have pre outs, buy a bigger Receiver with pre outs.
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-19-2017, 04:24 AM
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The Denons have source levels that are factory set to 0. Turning these up will add significant power output. I have a 3 year old Denon X2000 and it took me awhile to figure out why it had such low power output. If you try this and it helps a lot, then maybe just upgrade speakers.
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-19-2017, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks will take a look at adjusting the source level but I kind of "assumed" that was the point of Audyssey and one of the strengths of the Denon in going through their set up process. AMP might be a cheaper option as well. I believe it has a pre-out and will see if I can have something to rig up for an amp.

Again, I am not talking about volume level. The Denon can get loud for he room. However, to get the speakers sounding like they should I have to turn up the volume to a level that will end up in divorce. At normal TV watching level, I feel like the speakers don't sound great. Lacking punch and depth (like the first time you added a sub to a system and realized what you had been missing) but across the full sound spectrum, highs and lows. Sorry if not explaining right (its not the easiest thing to describe) but i certainly appreciate the feedback.
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-19-2017, 05:52 AM
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The source levels are a different thing from running audyssey. It wouldn't hurt to adjust them to see if it helps anything, but probably not if your system is loud enough.

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post #6 of 16 Old 08-19-2017, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foamfoot View Post
I am currently running a PSB Image series set of T65 fronts, C60 center and B15 surrounds that I have had for quite some time. I recently upgraded from a Panny Plasma to the Vizio P75 which also resulted in "upgrading" my older Denon 3808 amp to a newer Denon 3300 for 4k capabilities. While I love the TV, I feel like I have taken a step back in sound. For starters, I was shocked when I pulled out the 3808 and felt like it weighed 2x the 3300 which felt like a toy by comparison. I also feel like the PSB set has lost a lot of "punch". Obviously I can turn up the volume, the PSB's can certainly handle it, but on "normal" listening levels I just feel like everything is flat. Not sure how to explain it other than say there's no "punch" to the sound. You hear it but don't feel it if that makes any sense. For what its worth, I do 80% TV/Movies (although a lot of music/concerts on TV) and 20% gaming.

My choices seem to be to swap out the Denon (was looking at the Yamaha 2070) or keeping the 3300 and moving to a bookshelf and sub set up such as the Chane 2.4 LCR with the 1.4 as surrounds and an HSU. Both options are similarly priced. Which do you think would be the better upgrade? Anyone move back from floor to bookshelf? Are the Image series still considered a good all purpose set? While I know this is the speaker subforum, anyone disappointed with power output of the 3300, it seems to get great reviews.

tks in advance for any feedback.
First of all, the 3808 is/was a better, more powerful receiver with a larger power supply than the 3300, but it lacks the features you bought the 3300 for, so that's the compromise you've been forced to make. That said, the 3300 is more than powerful enough to drive the PSBs. Don't equate volume with sound quality. Raising the source level is just raising the volume. Your PSBs are great speakers, and I would advise against replacing them (unless you're really just tired of them, in which case have at it and have fun in your search...) Audyssey is great, but it will roll off some of the frequencies that some would consider providing the "punch" you feel you're missing. Try setting the receiver to "flat" or scroll through all the available Audyssey settings to see if you find one that appeals to you and better matches up with your room.
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-19-2017, 06:04 AM
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As others have stated,

Check the adjustments and other various things with your new processor, there is much more to AVRs than just the amplifier. Amplifiers by themselves just make small signals larger, they don't add "punch" or whatever--that is what the processors and controls in the pre-amp sections job. Get a full understanding on all the functions on your new unit and go from there.

It is all part of the upgradites disease, you expect more of what you had and for the most part--you might get something but you'll have to work for it! The more features and processing abilities, the more likely something will be a little off.

Now if you want more punch, SPL capability and just MOAR--look into subwoofers. Two of them will take the load off your mains and AVR output stages and give you more entertainment to adjust correctly.

If you want more sheer SPL, more of everything and additional subs help but IMAX is on the mind--then new high efficiency speakers will do that. You can get speakers that are so high in efficiency that your ears will bleed before the Denon ever feels the strain. All depends on what you want. If you are content with your speakers ability but want it to sound like it did, then adjustments are your friend there.

Good luck and enjoy!
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-19-2017, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foamfoot View Post
My choices seem to be to swap out the Denon (was looking at the Yamaha 2070) or keeping the 3300 and moving to a bookshelf and sub set up such as the Chane 2.4 LCR with the 1.4 as surrounds and an HSU. Both options are similarly priced. Which do you think would be the better upgrade? Anyone move back from floor to bookshelf? Are the Image series still considered a good all purpose set? While I know this is the speaker subforum, anyone disappointed with power output of the 3300, it seems to get great reviews.

tks in advance for any feedback.
Since you already have towers, I'd simply add a sub and have the receiver set them on "small" with the bass being sent to the sub. Even an inexpensive $400 one like the Hsu VTF-1 or Emotiva S12 will take a massive power load off your mains, plus give you much better extension and output in the lower frequencies.

In the unlikely case you're still unsatisfied after adding a sub, just add an external amp for the mains like this:
https://www.amazon.com/Crown-XLi800-...lifier+xls1502

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post #9 of 16 Old 08-19-2017, 07:13 AM
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Also, did you just swap it out and this is your first listen? If so, I'd at least give it a day or two. For me, no matter what change I make, it just doesn't sound right at first. Takes a little while for my brain to sort it out I guess. I feel it's similar to 'Stereograms'. After staring at the stereogram for a while, the 3D image finally pops out.

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post #10 of 16 Old 08-19-2017, 08:23 AM
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Big fan of the A21.4, but your speakers are fine. I would consider upgrading the amp with an external, as others have recommended. The amp section you currently have is inferior to the 3808 in terms of current capability.

You can actually look at the back of each and the maximum rated current draw will be listed. I imagine the 3300 will be lower. And this doesn't even touch on amp design (type of transformer, number of output devices, voltage of the amp rails, amount of filter capacitance, etc).

Take a gander at Emotiva, crown, and outlaw. They would be a huge upgrade.
@mpk1970 had a problem clipping a 2200 in his large room, but found even low and moderate volume performance was improved after he upgraded to a better amp (a beefy Integra AVR and then an outlaw amp), across several speakers.

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post #11 of 16 Old 08-19-2017, 08:40 AM
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You could try re running Audyssey, and see if you get a better result.
Audyssey FAQ
"Official" Audyssey thread Part II
You could try turning on Dynamic EQ, and see if that helps.
If you still have the 3808, you could use it as an outboard amp.

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post #12 of 16 Old 08-19-2017, 09:03 AM
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What subwoofer is the OP using?
What crossovers are being used for the speakers?

I'm in agreement with other posters...those PSB speakers are very nice.

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post #13 of 16 Old 08-19-2017, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks for all of the replies. Currently not running a SUB so that's an option. I also set the T65 fronts to large in Audyssey because I don't have a sub hooked up (i do have an old M&K sitting around collecting dust). So i can try the sub, maybe add 2 channel amp for the fronts (like the Crown that was linked) and set the fronts to small.

I have been running this set up for two months so I did give it time. as i mentioned, i was happy with the speaker set up (w/out a sub also) with the 3808 but i definitely lost something (the punch and depth of sound at lower volumes) in the change.
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-19-2017, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foamfoot View Post
thanks for all of the replies. Currently not running a SUB so that's an option. I also set the T65 fronts to large in Audyssey because I don't have a sub hooked up (i do have an old M&K sitting around collecting dust). So i can try the sub, maybe add 2 channel amp for the fronts (like the Crown that was linked) and set the fronts to small.

I have been running this set up for two months so I did give it time. as i mentioned, i was happy with the speaker set up (w/out a sub also) with the 3808 but i definitely lost something (the punch and depth of sound at lower volumes) in the change.
I'd add the sub first as that will give your AVR more power to drive the other speakers and may be the only upgrade you really need.

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post #15 of 16 Old 08-19-2017, 12:31 PM
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Not knowing what pre outs your two units have, could you use the new one for the bells and whistles and feed the two main front channel pre outs from it to the old receiver as an auxillary in for the amps there? You would still have the second old receiver volume control to contend with as it would lower the volume of the signal from the already lowered first receiver. Just maybe a way to try it and see what happens to the sound. Just a thought. I have a Crown 1502 I bought to use as a bass range amplifier on my bi-amped right and left front speakers. It typically only puts out 20 or 30 watts but I wanted the additional capabilities of bridging and crossover if I needed it for those features elsewhere. Real nice amp. As a class D it weighs about 8 pounds! As such it would be a nice bridged amp for a sub which is not amplified internally. Gives you that extra option if the sub not the increased power is better for your needs.

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post #16 of 16 Old 08-19-2017, 02:24 PM
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Dargent has his finger on the pulse of the problem. Your older receiver has a larger power supply, thus more oomph. Some speakers like more power to sound their best. Sounds like yours are in that category. If both your old receiver and your new receiver have pre-out/in, you could get the best of both worlds by using the 3300 as a pre-pro and the 3808 as an amplifier. Alternatively, you can return the 3300 for a more robust receiver or buy a new amplifier (if the 3808 can't be used).

One other observation, it is not a requirement that the receiver handle 4K if you bypass it for video.
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