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post #9451 of 9898 Old 02-26-2017, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post
As I tried to clarify above, benefits of bi-amping are minimal and you are usually better off just getting more power. With an XPA-5 you should be getting 250 watts per, which should work just fine.

Remember, with the XPA series the power supply is the same no matter how many channels you spec, so every time you add more channels you just reduce power to each individual channel.

The Emotiva XPA GEN3 represents such an interesting product. Ignoring thoughts about how good or not good it may be, the combination of a switching power supply, with weight, likely cost, and perhaps other advantages, with an output section that switches between power rails with attendant power usage savings, and potential reductions in the size of the heat sink, offers a promising design for the future if one isn't in love with class D switching amplifiers.

Benchmark Media with their AHB2, which has a lot of other design refinements past those used by Emotiva, has demonstrated that a switching power supply, that provides power supply rails that move from a fixed setting to track the load, can produce record S/N and distortion measurements, in a small, light package.

It will be interesting to see if other manufacturers adapt switching power supplies and/or outputs sections that switch between rail voltages.
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post #9452 of 9898 Old 02-26-2017, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bigguyca View Post
Frankly you are throwing together a set of technical terms that either don't make sense, or are wrong in the way you are using them.


The underlined sentences in particular doesn't make sense from a technical standpoint,
Actually it does make sense. When you take take a complex waveform which has an amplitude and frequency, by quantization meaning the signal is sent through an ADC which will result in the I&Q (real and imaginary) portion result in a 14- or 16-bit values for the given time at which it was sampled depending on clock rate of the ADC (100KHz, 1MHz, or 100MHz). This is what I understood unless there is another explanation.


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I'm not sure why you are looking to brand amplifiers as digital. Do you think that somehow that inherently would make it a better product? Why?? No doubt marketing people label products "digital" to sell the products, that is, they are tying to fool you, just as they label half the products "green" whatever that means. Quoting marketing people has no, zero credibility unless they provide technical backup from valid sources.

At most a "digital" amplifier is doing some digital processing, like filtering, then has a DAC, and then an amplifier. All of this may be on chip. The chip may take in a digital signal and put out an analog signal to the driver, but on the chip the amplification is likely class-D, which isn't digital amplification, as described in the Wikipedia link below. I believe JBL is using some of TI's single chip amplifiers in products like the LSR305 for example. The are quite remarkable products. If you want to call a chip that takes in a digital signal and puts out an amplified analog signal a "digital amplifier" then you are good to go. You could just call a combination of a stand alone DAC connected to an analog class-A/B amplifier a "component digital amplifier" if you want.
Amplifiers that have non-linear power supplies are being marketed by some as "digital". My original post was erroneous to call that as digital and I apologize for that. My main point was that power supplies are important as they will determine how much power can be delivered at varying impedance since music is dynamic. An 8 Ohm speaker can dip below 4 Ohms in operation. For consumer use we are for the most part limited to power supplies delivering 2400 VA. Either you are wired for higher current or you have multiple amps on different circuits. This is the reason I mixed the discussion of amplifier class and power supply class.

I deliberately asked you the question because I'm not aware of stand alone "digital" amplifiers which accept a digital signal from the processor , nor am I aware of a standalone "digital" amplifier which does ADC and then DAC for the purposes of achieving efficiency which includes a smaller power supply, size and weight. There are "digitial" amplifiers on a chip like you described and the new ICE digital amplifiers.

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Loudspeaker drivers don't understand digital numbers like 101 base2 which is 5 in base10. You just can't send 101 to speaker driver and expect much in return, and if you do, it won't sound good.

Wikipedia has a good explanation of Class-D amplifiers:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class-D_amplifier

I suggest you actually read it a couple times. Note that at one point it specifically says that class-D amplifiers aren't digital.
Passive loudspeakers consist of an analog signal cross over network and voice coils to drive a diaphragm. If you sent a rectangular pulse, you would damage the voice coil and blow out the diaphragm. I don't know if you were being funny or condescending.
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post #9453 of 9898 Old 02-26-2017, 01:16 PM
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Bias disclosure: I'm a fan of passive bi-amping. This is when it's done with amplifier channels that are relatively independent at the power supply level. AVR's don't meet this criteria, heavy duty multi-channel amplifiers are good candidates such as; ATI, Outlaw Audio, Parasound and likely others.

That said, for a full range, say 3 or 4-way speaker, one justification for bi-amping is to separate the heavy current requirements and stresses on an amplifier at low bass frequencies from affecting the amplifier's performance at higher frequencies.

For a 2-way center channel used for home theater, where the woofer-midrange covers the frequencies from 80Hz to say 2khz to 3kHz, the woofer-mid is already covering about all the content. There may a benefit, but just talking here it seems that it would be small, even for someone who likes bi-amping.

Now consider a big 3-way center like the Ultima Voice2. The woofer crosses to the midrange at 235 Hz and the midrange to the tweeter at 2 kHz. Adding a separate amplifier for the woofer from the midrange/tweeter will take a lot of the load off the midrange/tweeter amplifier. This makes a better case for bi-amping. The woofers however aren't covering below 80Hz in a typical arrangement, and the one recommended by Revel, so they aren't really as heavily (whatever that means) loaded as they might be, still moving larger (heavier) drivers at relatively higher frequencies can take a lot of power.

In a 4-way floor standing speaker such as the Salon2, the woofers cover from say 20Hz to 150Hz, with the remaining frequencies covered in three ranges. The Salon2 is meant to handle more power, there are three woofers and an input impedance that drops below 4 ohms for a lot of the range up to 1kHz. Such a speaker makes the best case for bi-amping based on sharing current load. Both amplifiers will still have a significant load.

Note that I really didn't directly answer your question! Listing tests with your equipment, in your room, with your content, your chosen SPL's, with your ears, are the best way to see if there are advantages. Some suggest driving one speaker as the best way to determine if there are benefits. This of course has the advantage that a test can be done with existing equipment since an amplifier channel, from another existing speaker, can be temporarily repurposed for use with the center channel amplifier for the single speaker test.

Listening tests such as these to me aren't that much fun so I only do them occasionally, often over several days. There is a definite learning curve for listening tests. It is necessary to try different material and identify specific small parts of the material for careful listening. At first you'll hear all sorts of differences and added items you didn't hear before. It's necessary get past this phase and consistently hear the material before conclusions can be drawn. Of course the conclusions really are very specific to the listener, but it's your system so it's your decision.
Stacking banana plugs make it very easy to switch between bi-amp and single amped. Room interactions and other variables play a lesser role when using a single speaker. The bi-amped Salon2 has a cleaner up upper and slightly better low end, even a low listening levels. There benefits were also present in the Studio2. I was surprised by that. The Voice2 difference was very subtle.

By cleaner, I mean less sound not more. Sibilants are more natural the upper end feels less “damped”.

Yesterday, I was listening to Christy Baron’s Nite and Day (HDTracks). This is a nice base line and trumpet that just sounds a bit more real when bi-amped.
Divorced from this discussion is disconnecting the lower and upper crossovers. Woofers movement also generates power. This has to be countered by the amplifier but the upper crossovers are awash with current and I assume voltage.
Couldn’t this voltage be in the range that is not rejected by the upper crossover and therefore have an effect on the sound?
After all, my plasma TV managed to do so even through the amplifier.

- Rich

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post #9454 of 9898 Old 02-26-2017, 01:22 PM
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The biggest problem with the Emotiva XPA Gen3 is that it is not able to deliver sufficient power when a speaker dips below 4 Ohms. I would probably not use it for driving the Revel Studios or Salons, which are less efficient and rated at 6 Ohms, but are fine for the Revel Performa and Concerta.
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post #9455 of 9898 Old 02-26-2017, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rsg_1 View Post
The biggest problem with the Emotiva XPA Gen3 is that it is not able to deliver sufficient power when a speaker dips below 4 Ohms. I would probably not use it for driving the Revel Studios or Salons, which are less efficient and rated at 6 Ohms, but are fine for the Revel Performa and Concerta.
Emotiva XPA Gen 3 Specs:
http://emotiva.com/products/amplifiers/xpa-gen3

ALL MODELS: Power Output Per Channel
300 watts RMS per channel; 20 Hz - 20 kHz; THD < 0.1%; into 8 Ohms
550 watts RMS per channel; 20 Hz - 20 kHz; THD < 0.2%; into 4 Ohms
800 watts RMS per channel; 20 Hz - 20 kHz; THD < 0.5%; into 2 Ohms
ALL MODELS: FTC Rated Power; 2 Channels Driven; 20 Hz - 20 kHz; THD

This statement is also made:
Minimum Recommended Load Impedance
4 Ohms; which equals one 4 Ohm load or two paralleled 8 Ohm loads.


All very confusing but I suspect they can handle the load. ATI also does not rate into 2 ohms, but they are capable.

- Rich
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post #9456 of 9898 Old 02-26-2017, 03:19 PM
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Rich,

The Revel Ultima and Salon are 6 Ohm speakers and will operate below 4 Ohms. The Emotiva XPA Gen3, can briefly handle below 4 Ohms, but Emotiva suggests not to load below 4 Ohms for sustained periods. They can probably handle a 2-channel configuration, but there could be problems with higher distortion and heat. I use the Emotiva XPA-5 Gen3 to drive Revel L/R: M106, C: C208, SL/SR: Snell SR30THX. I would not hesitate to replace the pair of M106 with F206, but with the F208 I would have to think about it and probably do it, but definitely not with a pair of Studio or Salon.
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post #9457 of 9898 Old 02-26-2017, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by RichB View Post
Stacking banana plugs make it very easy to switch between bi-amp and single amped. Room interactions and other variables play a lesser role when using a single speaker. The bi-amped Salon2 has a cleaner up upper and slightly better low end, even a low listening levels. There benefits were also present in the Studio2. I was surprised by that. The Voice2 difference was very subtle.

By cleaner, I mean less sound not more. Sibilants are more natural the upper end feels less “damped”.

Yesterday, I was listening to Christy Baron’s Nite and Day (HDTracks). This is a nice base line and trumpet that just sounds a bit more real when bi-amped.
Divorced from this discussion is disconnecting the lower and upper crossovers. Woofers movement also generates power. This has to be countered by the amplifier but the upper crossovers are awash with current and I assume voltage.
Couldn’t this voltage be in the range that is not rejected by the upper crossover and therefore have an effect on the sound?
After all, my plasma TV managed to do so even through the amplifier.

- Rich

I remember now that you use some neat banana plugs. I already have locking banana's that I like, but yours seem better since they have the stacking feature, and also frankly look better than mine! I'll have to consider them again. Yours would be really handy for tests as you note.

I remember reading an AES paper a couple years ago concerning distortion that returned from say the woofer (harmonic, IM and multi-tone IM), passing through the crossover and affecting other drivers. I believe the writer had measured the effect and it was real but not huge, but I forget any of the details. At first blush the effect would seem to be mostly around the crossover frequency of the woofers if bi-amping is to help. Since the distortion from the woofers likely has to go out through the crossover from the woofers (whom I blame for most of it), with the exit path having the same frequency response as the low pass to the woofer, if that makes sense. The level of the effect might depend on the actual design of the crossover. (duh!) Clearly 4th order crossovers such as Harman uses would seem at to let less of the distortion back out through the woofer crossover. Separating the crossovers certainly can't hurt and must help to an extent due to this effect. Have to think more about this one.

Not to praise the Salon2's again, but... the well implemented, 4-way design of the speaker, with steep crossovers, already has a huge effect on controlling distortion, especially IM and multi-tone IM distortion. Such distortions in my opinion are the major reason that a lot of people don't listen to complex music such as orchestral music, on most speakers. The music becomes too unpleasant, just a tangled mess, especially at any sort of elevated level where distortion rises exponentially. That's why a lot of people stick with simple pieces such as; chamber music or Nora Jones, in my opinion.
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post #9458 of 9898 Old 02-26-2017, 06:24 PM
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I remember now that you use some neat banana plugs. I already have locking banana's that I like, but yours seem better since they have the stacking feature, and also frankly look better than mine! I'll have to consider them again. Yours would be really handy for tests as you note.
Here are the connectors.

http://www.parts-express.com/angled-...insu--091-3608

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post #9459 of 9898 Old 02-26-2017, 08:21 PM
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I deliberately asked you the question because I'm not aware of stand alone "digital" amplifiers which accept a digital signal from the processor , nor am I aware of a standalone "digital" amplifier which does ADC and then DAC for the purposes of achieving efficiency which includes a smaller power supply, size and weight.
I just really was skimming the thread, but the amp I use accepts a digital signal from the processor.
http://www.crownaudio.com/en/products/i-tech-5000hd
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post #9460 of 9898 Old 02-26-2017, 09:08 PM
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I just really was skimming the thread, but the amp I use accepts a digital signal from the processor.
http://www.crownaudio.com/en/products/i-tech-5000hd
Thanks I'll check it out! Crown - yet another Harman International product. Looks like a lot of power for a 2-channel amp.
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post #9461 of 9898 Old 02-26-2017, 09:35 PM
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Thanks I'll check it out! Crown - yet another Harman International product. Looks like a lot of power for a 2-channel amp.
It is the amp the JBL M2 was designed around. The goal was for maximum dynamic range within the capabilities of the drivers.
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post #9462 of 9898 Old 02-27-2017, 06:15 AM
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I deliberately asked you the question because I'm not aware of stand alone "digital" amplifiers which accept a digital signal from the processor , nor am I aware of a standalone "digital" amplifier which does ADC and then DAC for the purposes of achieving efficiency which includes a smaller power supply, size and weight. There are "digitial" amplifiers on a chip like you described and the new ICE digital amplifiers.
The Lyngdorf SDA-2400 Amplifier might be a good example of an amp that accepts a digital input. Note that volume control on the digital inputs has to be handled by the source, this amp has no preamp functions, such as a volume control.
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post #9463 of 9898 Old 02-27-2017, 06:24 AM
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The Lyngdorf SDA-2400 Amplifier might be a good example of an amp that accepts a digital input. Note that volume control on the digital inputs has to be handled by the source, this amp has no preamp functions, such as a volume control.
No volume control? That sounds like a difficult feature to use. What processors have volume control on the digital outs?

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post #9464 of 9898 Old 02-27-2017, 06:29 AM
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No volume control? That sounds like a difficult feature to use. What processors have volume control on the digital outs?

- Rich
There aren't many processors that have digital outputs, but I suspect this is something that might gradually change. AFAIK, Lyngdorf has some preamps that could work with the digital inputs on this amp, but keep in mind that the amp also does have analog inputs, so it can work with pretty much anything.

From the linked review:

"My pre/pro does not have a digital out, so to test the amps digital input I used my Oppo 103 to connect to it via a coaxial connector. If you do this, your digital device must have a volume control. Make sure the volume is low or off when you first power everything up and work your volume up till you get to comfortable sound level. I learned the hard way… so you don’t have to."
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post #9465 of 9898 Old 02-27-2017, 08:40 AM
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in the context of this discussion are bi-wiring and passive bi-amping the same thing?
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post #9466 of 9898 Old 02-27-2017, 08:56 AM
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in the context of this discussion are bi-wiring and passive bi-amping the same thing?
It shouldn't be the same in any discussion. Bi-wiring is using two wire sets coming from the same amp channel connecting one set to the hi frequency posts on the speaker while the other set connects to the low frequency posts. Passive bi-amping is connecting each set of binding posts on the speaker to a seperate amp or amp channel without using a crossover between the source device and amplifier. Both setups require that the shorting plates/wires between the speaker binding posts are removed. Any discussion interchanging the two terms would be incorrect.
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post #9467 of 9898 Old 02-27-2017, 08:57 AM
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in the context of this discussion are bi-wiring and passive bi-amping the same thing?
No, because bi-wiring gains you nothing - no extra power, no sonic improvements, nothing At least passive bi-amping can bring theoretical - and some commenting here would say audible - benefits. Even that depends on implementation, though.

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post #9468 of 9898 Old 02-27-2017, 12:17 PM
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Amp for M16 / C25 speakers

Not sure if I should post this is in the Receivers / Amps thread, but I'm picking up a new setup of M16 and C25 speakers this week. I currently have a Marantz 5008 receiver. I've heard that an amp can make a significant improvement in the speaker performance so I'm considering getting an amp.

So two questions, would an amp have the same kind of improvement for the M16 / C25 speaker line? And any recommendations for an amp in the $400-$600 range. I'm looking at the Emotiva A-500 and Outlaw models right now.

Thanks!
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Not sure if I should post this is in the Receivers / Amps thread, but I'm picking up a new setup of M16 and C25 speakers this week. I currently have a Marantz 5008 receiver. I've heard that an amp can make a significant improvement in the speaker performance so I'm considering getting an amp.

So two questions, would an amp have the same kind of improvement for the M16 / C25 speaker line? And any recommendations for an amp in the $400-$600 range. I'm looking at the Emotiva A-500 and Outlaw models right now.

Thanks!
The SR5008 will probably power the M16s and C25 just fine - they are quite efficient and have been designed to work well with a typical AVR.

On the other hand, having a separate amp is never a bad idea. While I don't think it will make the speakers sound any better, having more clean power for transients will allow you to crank the system louder with less chance of distortion. Personally, I'd say the money is better spent upgrading the speakers to one of the towers (like the F35), unless of course you want to stick with bookshelf speakers

Good luck!
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post #9470 of 9898 Old 02-27-2017, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post
The SR5008 will probably power the M16s and C25 just fine - they are quite efficient and have been designed to work well with a typical AVR.

On the other hand, having a separate amp is never a bad idea. While I don't think it will make the speakers sound any better, having more clean power for transients will allow you to crank the system louder with less chance of distortion. Personally, I'd say the money is better spent upgrading the speakers to one of the towers (like the F35), unless of course you want to stick with bookshelf speakers

Good luck!
Thanks, John, you've been very helpful with my questions! I unfortunately can't do a tower yet, have to do bookshelf in the entertainment center to keep the wife happy.
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post #9471 of 9898 Old 02-27-2017, 01:35 PM
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While I don't think it will make the speakers sound any better, having more clean power for transients will allow you to crank the system louder with less chance of distortion. Personally, I'd say the money is better spent upgrading the speakers to one of the towers (like the F35), unless of course you want to stick with bookshelf speakers
I think less distortion sounds better

- Rich
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post #9472 of 9898 Old 02-27-2017, 02:52 PM
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I think less distortion sounds better

- Rich
Well, yeah, I'm all in favor of louder without distortion

Of course, that all depends on whether or not the OP would turn it loud enough with the Marantz to get distortion to begin with.

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post #9473 of 9898 Old 02-27-2017, 03:07 PM
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Well, yeah, I'm all in favor of louder without distortion

Of course, that all depends on whether or not the OP would turn it loud enough with the Marantz to get distortion to begin with.
It is always difficult to determine when an AVR is clipping the signal or limiting dynamics.

My Yamaha aventage A820 drives Revel M20's and it sounds fine at moderate levels but as I turn up the volume I can tell when it is running out of steam. It gets louder and flatter. It's an office system so the A820 is sufficient.

- Rich
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Last edited by RichB; 02-27-2017 at 06:32 PM.
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post #9474 of 9898 Old 02-27-2017, 06:10 PM
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No, because bi-wiring gains you nothing - no extra power, no sonic improvements, nothing At least passive bi-amping can bring theoretical - and some commenting here would say audible - benefits. Even that depends on implementation, though.
I think each person should judge for themselves via personal experiment in their own system whether or not they can discern a sonic difference from using true bi-wiring (using two identical independent speaker cables per speaker) vs using the cheap brass jumpers that come with the speakers. Most people probably will not or be hard pressed to hear a difference, but those who do probably will hear a slight difference in better definition in the instruments/bass notes, specially if you have a revealing system. It's best to experiment.
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post #9475 of 9898 Old 02-27-2017, 07:44 PM
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What do you guys think of a Marantz SR7011 driving two F208's with a C208 in a large room - 75% HT and 25% music? I'm concerned about the music portion....

Later I will get a 3 channel amp for them if I think I need it.

Other suggestions?

Thanks,
Trvlngnrs
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post #9476 of 9898 Old 02-28-2017, 12:03 AM
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What do you guys think of a Marantz SR7011 driving two F208's with a C208 in a large room - 75% HT and 25% music? I'm concerned about the music portion....

Later I will get a 3 channel amp for them if I think I need it.

Other suggestions?

Thanks,
Trvlngnrs
Sealed room and sub or no sub?

I'd think the HT would be more likely to suffer
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post #9477 of 9898 Old 03-01-2017, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trvlngnrs View Post
What do you guys think of a Marantz SR7011 driving two F208's with a C208 in a large room - 75% HT and 25% music? I'm concerned about the music portion....

Later I will get a 3 channel amp for them if I think I need it.

Other suggestions?

Thanks,
Trvlngnrs
I have the Marantz Sr7009 and the F208's. It runs the speakers fine sonically, but the amp was running over 100 degrees and went down 20 degrees when I added the Emotiva. For what it's worth, there was NO discernible sonic difference between the two amps. Start with the Marantz and add later.

Main Speakers: Revel F208's. Center: C208
SUB#1: Rhythmik F15HP. SUB#2: Stereo Integrity HST18 w/ Crown XLS2502
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post #9478 of 9898 Old 03-01-2017, 01:30 PM
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Sealed room and sub or no sub?

I'd think the HT would be more likely to suffer


Open room and Hsu ported sub.
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post #9479 of 9898 Old 03-01-2017, 01:31 PM
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I have the Marantz Sr7009 and the F208's. It runs the speakers fine sonically, but the amp was running over 100 degrees and went down 20 degrees when I added the Emotiva. For what it's worth, there was NO discernible sonic difference between the two amps. Start with the Marantz and add later.


Sounds good. Thank you!!

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post #9480 of 9898 Old 03-01-2017, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Trvlngnrs View Post
What do you guys think of a Marantz SR7011 driving two F208's with a C208 in a large room - 75% HT and 25% music? I'm concerned about the music portion....

Later I will get a 3 channel amp for them if I think I need it.

Other suggestions?

Thanks,
Trvlngnrs
Agree that HT will most likely suffer, because HT is where all the most demands are placed on the bass drivers. Plus you also have the problem that the SR7011's power will need to be split up among all of the different channels in the system when you are listening in surround. If you are driving 7 or 9 channels at once, there is no way that the full rated power is going to LCR.

I would definitely consider a separate amp so you have plenty of headroom, though I agree with @trmoore2 that adding the amp will not necessarily make things sound any better (at least at low levels). A separate high powered amp will give you more headroom and less distortion at higher volume levels.

If you are going to run the F208s / C208 off of the receiver at least temporarily, I would make sure that you are crossing over to the sub at no lower than 80 hz.

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