170w (4311ci) vs 200w (xpa5 emotiva) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 122 Old 07-02-2012, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Listening in two channel mode will the denon's 170w really sound much different than the xpa5's 200 on a pair of CDM9's ?
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post #2 of 122 Old 07-02-2012, 03:37 PM
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Very, very, very unlikely, unless you have some really weird (and badly designed) speakers.

This may help give you a ballpark:

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html
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post #3 of 122 Old 07-03-2012, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I don't know why but I was assuming the xpa5 would be significantly better. Partially because I always assume the stated watts on a receiver is BS. Seems the 170w x 2 on the 4311 is relatively accurate.
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post #4 of 122 Old 07-03-2012, 12:13 PM
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I'm using the 4311 and feel it has more than enough power for the majority of people. I really "aired it out" last night while watching "The Book of Eli" and it barely broke a sweat. If I felt the need for external amplification I would do it in a heartbeat, but for me I think it would be unnecessary.

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post #5 of 122 Old 07-03-2012, 12:46 PM
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I was about to start a thread on the same topic. I have a 4311CI as well. If I decided to add an Emotiva XPA-5 or Outlaw 7500 into the mix for listening to music/movies at -15dB/-10dB levels respectively, in a large open living room, would I notice a significant difference?
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post #6 of 122 Old 07-03-2012, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loopaddiction View Post

I was about to start a thread on the same topic. I have a 4311CI as well. If I decided to add an Emotiva XPA-5 or Outlaw 7500 into the mix for listening to music/movies at -15dB/-10dB levels respectively, in a large open living room, would I notice a significant difference?

A lot will depend on your speakers: their impedance and how efficient they are. If they have low sensitivity, a large room would require substantial amplifiers -- more than 300W/ch into 8 ohms, for example. At 200w/ch, those two amps really don't provide much more than the receiver does for 8 ohm speakers.

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post #7 of 122 Old 07-03-2012, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

A lot will depend on your speakers: their impedance and how efficient they are. If they have low sensitivity, a large room would require substantial amplifiers -- more than 300W/ch into 8 ohms, for example. At 200w/ch, those two amps really don't provide much more than the receiver does for 8 ohm speakers.

My speakers have a sensitivity of 87.5 db (dB/2.83v/1M), anechoic I believe. The impedance is 4 ohms minimum, and the plot is very flat with no wide swings according to the measurements.
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post #8 of 122 Old 07-03-2012, 03:48 PM
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That's right in the middle, of course, meaning that an unambiguous answer isn't obvious.

According to the Owner's Manual for the 4311, its power supply is rated at 790 Watts.

Emotiva's X series amps all have power supplies rated at 1500 Watts, whether they're 1, 2, 3, or 5 channel.

Outlaw's 7500 has a power supply rated at 1700 Watts.

There are two major effects which are helped by using more powerful amplifiers: distortion and volume level.

When you drive a speaker at a power level that's more than (typically) about 2/3 of an amp's rated power, the distortion starts increasing rapidly, eventually to levels that can be audible as you approach the amp's rated power where clipping starts.

Having double the power available for a given channel only increases the maximum volume level by 3db. Unfortunately, although it's a noticeable difference, it isn't substantial (our hearing is not linear). For a discussion of power vs loudness, see http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/voltageloudness.html

Given these two considerations, I'd suggest getting one (or maybe two) of Emotiva's 3 channel amps instead of one of the 5 channel amps you've been considering, and let the 4311 drive the remaining speakers.

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post #9 of 122 Old 07-03-2012, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loopaddiction View Post

I was about to start a thread on the same topic. I have a 4311CI as well. If I decided to add an Emotiva XPA-5 or Outlaw 7500 into the mix for listening to music/movies at -15dB/-10dB levels respectively, in a large open living room, would I notice a significant difference?

It really depends. But at -10 you're using one tenth the power you would need at 0 on the MV. More to the point, at -10 on an Audyssey calibrated system, the max SPL from any single speaker (other than sub) is 95 dB at the listening position. Sitting 12 feet from 85dB sensitive speakers outside (no room reinforcement) you'd need, if the calculations in my head are correct, 40 watts to play back the highest peaks. At minus 15 dB you'd need a little over 10 watts.
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post #10 of 122 Old 07-03-2012, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

It really depends. But at -10 you're using one tenth the power you would need at 0 on the MV. More to the point, at -10 on an Audyssey calibrated system, the max SPL from any single speaker (other than sub) is 95 dB at the listening position. Sitting 12 feet from 85dB sensitive speakers outside (no room reinforcement) you'd need, if the calculations in my head are correct, 40 watts to play back the highest peaks. At minus 15 dB you'd need a little over 10 watts.

some days my math skills are weak. blame dyslexia. I calculated for a 3 dB loss per doubling of distance. It's 6 dB. At 4 meters, outdoors, with 85 dB sensitive speakers, 95 dB peaks would be 160 watts. 10 watts for 95 dB at one meter, times four to double distance to 2 meters, times four again to double distance to 4 meters. Hey at least I realized I'm a moron.
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post #11 of 122 Old 07-03-2012, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

That's right in the middle, of course, meaning that an unambiguous answer isn't obvious.
According to the Owner's Manual for the 4311, its power supply is rated at 790 Watts.
Emotiva's X series amps all have power supplies rated at 1500 Watts, whether they're 1, 2, 3, or 5 channel.
Outlaw's 7500 has a power supply rated at 1700 Watts.
There are two major effects which are helped by using more powerful amplifiers: distortion and volume level.
When you drive a speaker at a power level that's more than (typically) about 2/3 of an amp's rated power, the distortion starts increasing rapidly, eventually to levels that can be audible as you approach the amp's rated power where clipping starts.
Having double the power available for a given channel only increases the maximum volume level by 3db. Unfortunately, although it's a noticeable difference, it isn't substantial (our hearing is not linear). For a discussion of power vs loudness, see http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/voltageloudness.html
Given these two considerations, I'd suggest getting one (or maybe two) of Emotiva's 3 channel amps instead of one of the 5 channel amps you've been considering, and let the 4311 drive the remaining speakers.

All the Emotiva X series amps use 1200VA transformers except the XPA-3 which uses a 850VA. Granted I am a Chemical Engineer not Electrical but Volts x Amps = Watts so I don't understand the 1500 watt rating. Also the XPA-1 has 24 outputs per channel, the XPA-2 12 and the XPA-3&5 only 6. My limited experience has me believing I would not go less than XPA-2 for L&R otherwise I would bet the 4311 would be better for 2 channel w/out the external amps. HT different story.

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post #12 of 122 Old 07-03-2012, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

some days my math skills are weak. blame dyslexia. I calculated for a 3 dB loss per doubling of distance. It's 6 dB. At 4 meters, outdoors, with 85 dB sensitive speakers, 95 dB peaks would be 160 watts. 10 watts for 95 dB at one meter, times four to double distance to 2 meters, times four again to double distance to 4 meters. Hey at least I realized I'm a moron.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

That's right in the middle, of course, meaning that an unambiguous answer isn't obvious.
According to the Owner's Manual for the 4311, its power supply is rated at 790 Watts.
Emotiva's X series amps all have power supplies rated at 1500 Watts, whether they're 1, 2, 3, or 5 channel.
Outlaw's 7500 has a power supply rated at 1700 Watts.
There are two major effects which are helped by using more powerful amplifiers: distortion and volume level.
When you drive a speaker at a power level that's more than (typically) about 2/3 of an amp's rated power, the distortion starts increasing rapidly, eventually to levels that can be audible as you approach the amp's rated power where clipping starts.
Having double the power available for a given channel only increases the maximum volume level by 3db. Unfortunately, although it's a noticeable difference, it isn't substantial (our hearing is not linear). For a discussion of power vs loudness, see http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/voltageloudness.html
Given these two considerations, I'd suggest getting one (or maybe two) of Emotiva's 3 channel amps instead of one of the 5 channel amps you've been considering, and let the 4311 drive the remaining speakers.

Thanks for the info. So if I was to add this new 400wpc Emotiva XPR amp to the 4311CI, with 5 speakers driven, does that mean I will be getting more than twice the volume, at say -15dB, compared to running a 4311CI by itself? (Since 400 watts is about 2.8x more than 140w, which means this should result in an increase in 8.57 dB.)
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post #13 of 122 Old 07-04-2012, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loopaddiction View Post

Thanks for the info. So if I was to add this new 400wpc Emotiva XPR amp to the 4311CI, with 5 speakers driven, does that mean I will be getting more than twice the volume, at say -15dB, compared to running a 4311CI by itself? (Since 400 watts is about 2.8x more than 140w, which means this should result in an increase in 8.57 dB.)

I'd say it'd be a bit less than that. See the peak SPL calculator linked in the second post of this thread.

More importantly, without knowing at least the size of the room (and "large" means different things in different neighborhoods), we can't really guestimate how loud the sound would be at your favorite couch. In addition, you can probably achieve similar decibel gain by simply moving your speakers closer to the corners of the room. smile.gif

Finally, the surrounds don't get exercised with the same intensity as the front channels in any media I am aware of, so it's unrealistic that you'd even demand the full xxx Watts from all five channels at the same time.
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post #14 of 122 Old 07-04-2012, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loopaddiction View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

some days my math skills are weak. blame dyslexia. I calculated for a 3 dB loss per doubling of distance. It's 6 dB. At 4 meters, outdoors, with 85 dB sensitive speakers, 95 dB peaks would be 160 watts. 10 watts for 95 dB at one meter, times four to double distance to 2 meters, times four again to double distance to 4 meters. Hey at least I realized I'm a moron.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

That's right in the middle, of course, meaning that an unambiguous answer isn't obvious.
According to the Owner's Manual for the 4311, its power supply is rated at 790 Watts.
Emotiva's X series amps all have power supplies rated at 1500 Watts, whether they're 1, 2, 3, or 5 channel.
Outlaw's 7500 has a power supply rated at 1700 Watts.
There are two major effects which are helped by using more powerful amplifiers: distortion and volume level.
When you drive a speaker at a power level that's more than (typically) about 2/3 of an amp's rated power, the distortion starts increasing rapidly, eventually to levels that can be audible as you approach the amp's rated power where clipping starts.
Having double the power available for a given channel only increases the maximum volume level by 3db. Unfortunately, although it's a noticeable difference, it isn't substantial (our hearing is not linear). For a discussion of power vs loudness, see http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/voltageloudness.html
Given these two considerations, I'd suggest getting one (or maybe two) of Emotiva's 3 channel amps instead of one of the 5 channel amps you've been considering, and let the 4311 drive the remaining speakers.

Thanks for the info. So if I was to add this new 400wpc Emotiva XPR amp to the 4311CI, with 5 speakers driven, does that mean I will be getting more than twice the volume, at say -15dB, compared to running a 4311CI by itself? (Since 400 watts is about 2.8x more than 140w, which means this should result in an increase in 8.57 dB.)

no... assuming you re-calibrate (which you should), you will get exactly the same spl....

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post #15 of 122 Old 07-04-2012, 09:02 AM
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As Chris pointed out, calibrating your system means that you get the same sound level at the same volume setting no matter what amps you use -- if they're able to provide the specified sound level. Using more powerful amps means that you can turn the volume level up higher without getting distortion. Unfortunately, because of the very non-linear relationship between amp power and audible sound level, it's usually more effective to spend your money on more sensitive (more efficient) speakers than on more powerful amps.

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post #16 of 122 Old 07-04-2012, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

Unfortunately, because of the very non-linear relationship between amp power and audible sound level, it's usually more effective to spend your money on more sensitive (more efficient) speakers than on more powerful amps.


Good advice, if one is building a system from scratch. However, given that he already has a quality speaker system, my advice would be to add the Emootiva XPA-2 for the fronts and an XPA-3 for the center channel and the two primary surround channels. The Denon could then be effectively utilized for any remaining surround channels. In a large room, if one wishes to listen to movies at anything close to lifelike levels, the additional amplification is necessary if he does not want limitations, especially with action movies. Believe me, I've been there.


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post #17 of 122 Old 07-04-2012, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

no... assuming you re-calibrate (which you should), you will get exactly the same spl....

Duh, I missed the -15dB part. Chris is correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Clark View Post

Good advice, if one is building a system from scratch. However, given that he already has a quality speaker system, my advice would be to add the Emootiva XPA-2 for the fronts and an XPA-3 for the center channel and the two primary surround channels. The Denon could then be effectively utilized for any remaining surround channels. In a large room, if one wishes to listen to movies at anything close to lifelike levels, the additional amplification is necessary if he does not want limitations, especially with action movies. Believe me, I've been there.
John

Uhm, nope, not necessarily.

Presumably by "lifelike" you mean reference levels. We still don't know the size of this "large" room, but let's assume 15 feet distance to the seating position. One needs 62W to achieve 100dB SPL at 15 feet, which would allow for about 15dB of peaks over 85dB. Moreover, 85dB may be a bit too loud in most home theater rooms and 75dB would be a more likely daily listening level.
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post #18 of 122 Old 07-11-2012, 08:11 PM
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HI !

I used to have a "stand alone" 4308 running a Monitor Audio RS8 system 5.1 until I made some accoustic panels to the room.

Then I felt the 4308 were a little bit short, so decided to get a XPA5

The result was great, plenty of power and top response. Energy is always and permanenttly available.

What I don't understand why are you always writing about how much louder will the system sound... A power amplifier is more for dynamic response, and filling more and better the speakers, although maybe in lower levels.

Running only the avr, one needs to increase the volume in order to get sensations (may be in company of a large quote of distortion), with a large power amplifier you don't need to increase volume to get better sensations.

Of course if you want to increase sensation + increase volume you also can, but it is not necesary, IMHO...

Another way to increase the result of a System is to add an XPA 2 to the front speakers (for Stereo the system will be unbeatable), leaving the AVR handle the rest of the sytem.

I know first hand several systems like this, including Denon 3312, and Yamaha Aventage RX-A810 / 1010 and 3010 (this one in replacement of the Denon 4308 I wrote about before)

Real 1080p Fan ! ! ! Living to Enjoy it's very best ! ! ! (...if I can afford it...)
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post #19 of 122 Old 07-12-2012, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by leo140hd View Post

Running only the avr, one needs to increase the volume in order to get sensations ...

This is not the case when using the Audyssey Dyn EQ feature provided on the Denon XX09 and newer models. Did you get the Audyssey Dyn EQ/Vol $100 upgrade installed on the 4308CI?

http://usa.denon.com/US/Support/Pages/upgrade.aspx

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post #20 of 122 Old 07-12-2012, 05:29 AM
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@leo...

bull...

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post #21 of 122 Old 07-12-2012, 06:18 AM
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I have a 4311 and use a NAD t955 5 channel amp for LCR and main surrounds. The NAD amps sound better than the denon amps. I tested after runing audyssey with and without the external amp and I can hear a difference. Not a huge difference, but a difference none the less. I don't know how to quantify other than to say it sounds cleaner. The sound quality difference isn't worth the the extra cost IMO. I did this to run 11.2. If I had 9 or fewer channels, I would have been fine with the 4311 alone.
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post #22 of 122 Old 07-12-2012, 08:06 AM
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There was a harshness in female voices and higher pitched sounds that dissappeared when I added an ATI.
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post #23 of 122 Old 07-12-2012, 08:47 AM
 
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There was a harshness in female voices and higher pitched sounds that dissappeared when I added an ATI.
I found the exact opposite in my case. When I spent $600 on a used Sherbourn amp to power my system, I had an unbelievably "harsh female voice". It disappeared once I told my wife to shut up and explained how I "needed" the amp I just bought!
Then after repeated listening sessions, I realized, I did not, in fact, need the amp at all...
eek.gif
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post #24 of 122 Old 07-12-2012, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

This is not the case when using the Audyssey Dyn EQ feature provided on the Denon XX09 and newer models. Did you get the Audyssey Dyn EQ/Vol $100 upgrade installed on the 4308CI?
http://usa.denon.com/US/Support/Pages/upgrade.aspx

No I did not, I had pro assistance with pro equipment measuring, rather than audyssey
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@leo...
bull...

No words...

I guess you know quite a lot more than me of my equipment, my house, my speakers, my accoustic treatment...

Keep thinking that a Denon of this kind is better amplifier than a real amplifier.... no more words

Real 1080p Fan ! ! ! Living to Enjoy it's very best ! ! ! (...if I can afford it...)
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post #25 of 122 Old 07-12-2012, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by streamerlover View Post

I found the exact opposite in my case. When I spent $600 on a used Sherbourn amp to power my system, I had an unbelievably "harsh female voice". It disappeared once I told my wife to shut up and explained how I "needed" the amp I just bought!
Then after repeated listening sessions, I realized, I did not, in fact, need the amp at all...
eek.gif

best post I have seen all week.
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post #26 of 122 Old 07-12-2012, 12:43 PM
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+1
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post #27 of 122 Old 07-12-2012, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leo140hd View Post

...
I guess you know quite a lot more than me of my equipment, my house, my speakers, my accoustic treatment...
Keep thinking that a Denon of this kind is better amplifier than a real amplifier.... no more words

I'd say he knows about physics and how amps work, which is a bit more valid than your claim of "better sensations," whatever those are.

Most likely you are listening to the XPA5 a bit louder, even if you do not realize it, thus the "sensations." Or, just the placebo effect of having a new amp and having spent the $$$ on it.

Either way, as long as there is no clipping and your equipment is not malfunctioning, there is no reason why there would be a difference in "sensations."

Of course, there could always be a ghost in your room, standing between you and the speaker, which is about as valid of an explanation for what you are sensing, as the change in amplification.

So, ccotenj is right on point. cool.gif
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post #28 of 122 Old 07-12-2012, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryan1 View Post

I'd say he knows about physics and how amps work, which is a bit more valid than your claim of "better sensations," whatever those are.
Most likely you are listening to the XPA5 a bit louder, even if you do not realize it, thus the "sensations." Or, just the placebo effect of having a new amp and having spent the $$$ on it.
Either way, as long as there is no clipping and your equipment is not malfunctioning, there is no reason why there would be a difference in "sensations."
Of course, there could always be a ghost in your room, standing between you and the speaker, which is about as valid of an explanation for what you are sensing, as the change in amplification.
So, ccotenj is right on point. cool.gif

You are so funny !

Why don't you make an audition at America's Got Talent ! ! !

You are great.

First I don't listen louder , so first mistake... Now I listen better at much lower volume....

Second, I don't need placebo, I don't care about, I have my reason's that I keep to myself, but they are far away from me being rich...

How many AVR and amps have you worked with?

You know a lot about amplifiers.... Keep on writing nonsense..

Real 1080p Fan ! ! ! Living to Enjoy it's very best ! ! ! (...if I can afford it...)
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post #29 of 122 Old 07-12-2012, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by leo140hd View Post

You are so funny !
Why don't you make an audition at America's Got Talent ! ! !
You are great....

Thank you! Thank you! (blushing)

Being funny is good. Being delusional, ignorant, or gullible, not so good.... rolleyes.gif
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post #30 of 122 Old 07-12-2012, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by streamerlover View Post

I found the exact opposite in my case. When I spent $600 on a used Sherbourn amp to power my system, I had an unbelievably "harsh female voice". It disappeared once I told my wife to shut up and explained how I "needed" the amp I just bought!
Then after repeated listening sessions, I realized, I did not, in fact, need the amp at all...
eek.gif

Good post. Nobody needs an external amp. There are many mathematical proofs substantiating that the earth is round....but it still looks flat to me. Plenty of mathematical proofs indicating a watt is a watt but the harshness is gone to me. Adding an ATI to the 4311ci has made me comfortable with my system.
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