AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Puget Sound, WA
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The Denon will, for most people, have more than enough power. But......... I know for a fact my 4810 does not have the capacity to play at reference my system near as well as hooking it up to my external amps. Yes, 10, 20, or 30 watts doesn't mean bupkiss. Having head room for my center and front towers capable of playing Avatar battle scenes at reference is a different story. Solid external amps make these scenes sound dynamic and effortless. Not achievable with just the 4810. Recognize my fronts can throw over 10000 watts RMS in to 4 ohm speakers so I should be able to tell a difference. I also know power is logarithmic so something less than, say 200 Watts RMS is just not ascertainable in volume and sound charachteristics.
I must clarify though a) my mains are a bit more challenging to drive. 2). Some of my speakers are not very efficient. 3).I do sometimes play music and movies at very high volume. 4) I am a bit power crazy and live happily in the "I want it" category as opposed to the "You need it" camp. All I'm saying is the main cheap out on modern receivers is the amp section. The receiver works fine for most people but there is legitimate design compromise here.
Regardless, just buy the 4311 first and if necessary hit the web for a great used amp or buy some inexpensive external amp. You will get more power per channel from the 4311 if you just run say 5 internals and get a 7 channel external or whatever amp configuration you want at some later time. Heck, Emotiva usually has a decent holiday sale.
I'll reiterate though so I don't get slammed. I'm a little amp power overkill and somewhat crazed by nature... so my statement is not some super bashing of the not even out yet 4311.