What is a good 2 channel amp to use with a Denon 4311? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 07-11-2012, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I have decided to put off waiting for the new Denon 4520 and just settle with a 4311 for now. I was holding out for the possibility of 11.1 capability with both Audyssey DSX and NEO:X, but I don't think I want to wait any longer. Since I am definitely planning on utilizing all 11 channels, I will need an external amp. I am hoping not to spend too much on a 2 channel amp, and I would like something with at least 140W per channel to match the other 9 internal amps of the 4311. I see some cheap ones on amazon, but having no amp experience really leaves me clueless as to name brands and quality.

I have never used an external amp before, so I have a one other newb questions besides just "which amp should I get". Sorry for the ignorance, but please bare with me here..

Does the volume of the speakers hooked up to the external amp go up and down in synch of the AVR?
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-11-2012, 07:43 AM
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Yes the volume changes with the main amps volume control, because the pre-out levels change.

The extra channels do not draw much juice, so if you have a spare 2 channel Hi-Fi amp or similar lying around you could start with that, and get a more powerful amp if needed.
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-11-2012, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the clarification on the volume..

I don't have a spare amp lying around. I've never had a designated amp, so I would like to know what to look into..
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-11-2012, 09:54 AM
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Assuming you will small speakers for the front high or wide I'd see what you could pick up in the way of 2 channel hi-fi amps second had for £50ish by a and see how it goes.

Or buy a good quality THX amp (Rotel etc) and use that for the front mains that do work hard, and use the internals amps for the front highs or wides. Spending a lot of money on a good amp for these additional channels is a waste of cash in most cases.
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-11-2012, 12:22 PM
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Only really the last one, which looks ideal.
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-11-2012, 12:39 PM
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You might also look at Emotiva (www.emotiva.com). They are having a sale right now...

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post #8 of 19 Old 07-11-2012, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. The Emotiva UPA-200 looks pretty good, but is it really worth over $100 (more than 50%) price difference compared to the Onkyo I linked to above??
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-11-2012, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevychad View Post

Thanks for the input. The Emotiva UPA-200 looks pretty good, but is it really worth over $100 (more than 50%) price difference compared to the Onkyo I linked to above??

It’s not worth it just for the surrounds. They will not need much power. Now I would probably pay the extra because I like the look of the emo better but it’s not worth it from just a sound quality perspective.
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-14-2013, 12:44 AM
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Any more thoughts on a good amp to use?

I'm currently using a Denon AVR-3310ci as an amp, set at 0.0 with the Front Heights powered through the Main Speaker Output. The 4311 Audessey calibrated the sound to the heights at +4db and everything else around -4db. The 3310 is rated at 130watts/channel and the 4311 at 140watts/channel. Interesting the fronts need so much of a boost through the 3310.

I don't want to get an underpowered amp, but I really don't want to spend $300 on a Emotiva.

Thoughts?
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post #11 of 19 Old 01-14-2013, 02:28 AM
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Why? The 3310 seems to be doing a fine job.

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post #12 of 19 Old 01-14-2013, 10:53 AM
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I pulled the 3310 from another system temporarily. It also seems a bit silly to have a 3310 running 2 speakers, though, when I look at amp costs, I may be better off picking up a used receiver.
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post #13 of 19 Old 01-14-2013, 05:14 PM
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If you are expanding to 11.2, use a 2CH amp (any used amp will do) on the Front Heights instead which would require very little power in comparison to the FL/FR speakers.

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post #14 of 19 Old 01-14-2013, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamliner View Post

I pulled the 3310 from another system temporarily. It also seems a bit silly to have a 3310 running 2 speakers, though, when I look at amp costs, I may be better off picking up a used receiver.

I think the Amp Assign in the 4311ci was limited with 11.x but I'd be more inclined to use an external amp on the main front L&R rather than the height. Doing this would take half the load off of the 4311ci but you'd probably also want a more powerful amp than 140w/ch. Can't think of any NEW amps cheaper than Emotiva. The XPA-200 is $500 for 150w x 2 and the XPA-2 is $800 for 300w x 2, which is probably too much power. The XPA-3 is a good deal for $600 but not sure whether you could use the 3rd channel with that receiver's limited Amp Assign options.

When you start to look at other similar amplifier options on par with Emotiva, you will realize what a good deal they are. I know. I spent a while looking for NEW amps and ended up with Emotiva. The ATI AT1802 is a nice 2-channel, 180 watt/channel amp but it costs $1300. It is modular though, so you can add more modules to make it a 3,4,5,6 or 7 channel amp. A 2-channel, 250w/channel D-Sonic is also $1300. Parasound 2125, 125w x 2 ) is $730.

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post #15 of 19 Old 01-14-2013, 09:40 PM
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It can assign the pre-out in 11 channel mode to either Front Heights or Fronts.

I've thought about getting the Emotiva 3 channel amp for the Front and Center...I'm not sure I want to spend that kind of money right now.

I've seen that Onkyo 2 channel amp go for $70 on ebay, I think I'll hold out for a good deal on one.
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post #16 of 19 Old 01-17-2013, 07:22 PM
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I found a Denon AVR-3805 for $150. Its rated at 120 watts per channel. Thoughts on using this as an amplifier?
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post #17 of 19 Old 01-18-2013, 03:10 AM
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Should do as good a job as the 3310.

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post #18 of 19 Old 01-19-2013, 03:15 PM
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Not to ramble on, but I would like your thoughts on this.

I decided to hold off on getting the 3805, I'm a bit nervous about buying such an old receiver. I intended on the 3310 to go to my parents for their home theater, but I think they will be satisfied with any HDMI receiver.

I think I will be better off running a 3310 instead of the 3805. They have similar power output, but the 3310 is significantly newer and has more functionality, should I need it later.

Should I power the front speakers or the front height speakers off the 3310? I'm thinking heights because the output of the 3310 is lower, though, with all 9 channels being driven on the 4311, I'm not sure.

Also, curious about the best way to configure the 3310 for this, as it will simply be acting as an amp, turning on and off only. I reset the microprocessor (clearing all the settings from the old setup), then changed the audio input to EXT. IN, set the DIMMER to OFF and adjusted the volume to 0.0. Anything else to reduce any strain on the 3310? Does the Denon Link factor in here at all?

Thoughts? Right move on keeping the 3310 instead of getting a 3805? What speakers to power from the 3310? Correct settings for the 3310?

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post #19 of 19 Old 01-20-2013, 05:36 PM
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Not likely going to matter one way or ther other which set you power so try it both ways and decide for yourself. That setup should work, although you can also just plug into any of the analog inputs as well as set the surround mode to DIRECT.

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