Pairing AVR w/ External amp. 3 channel or 5 channel? Or...? - AVS Forum
Receivers, Amps, and Processors > Pairing AVR w/ External amp. 3 channel or 5 channel? Or...?
KnifeGuy's Avatar KnifeGuy 08:09 AM 12-29-2012

I have a Denon 4502ci on the way. I have not yet bought an amplifier but plan to in the next couple of months and I think I've narrowed it down to Parasound. Either the A31 three channel or the A51 five channel.
There's about $1500 difference between the two and since money doesn't yet grow on trees, saving the cash would be nice.
Here's the question that has been bouncing around in my head:

Should I
1) Buy the A51 to power all the speakers?
2) Buy the A31 to power the L/C/R and let the Denon AVR handle the surrounds?

The surrounds have lighter duty in an HT set up so I'm thinking the Denon should be able to handle it.
But I don't want to have buyer remorse either. I'd like to save the extra money but I also don't mind spending it if there's something significant to be gained.


Any advice would be very much appreciated. Different amp(s), different configurations. I'm open to suggestions.



My specs
3500 cu. ft. room
5.1
Salk SuperCharged SongTowers, SuperCharged SongCenter, 2 SongSurrounds
Rythmik F15
75% TV Movies & Gaming, 25% Music

GFelizardo's Avatar GFelizardo 03:40 AM 12-30-2012
I would try the Denon without any external amps for a while to see how you like it. The 4520 is a higher end model, so you may be surprised.

If you really wanted an external amp, I would go the 3-channel route and let the Denon power the surrounds.
519audiofan's Avatar 519audiofan 08:00 AM 12-30-2012
I am in the same boat. I have a Yamaha RXV3900 powering my Paradigm 5.1 setup. My front three are v2 Signature S4s and C3.
While overall I am very pleased with the performance of the receiver for both movies and 2 channel music, I am contemplating the purchase of an external amplifier.
I am leaning towards a 2 or 3 channel amp to take the load off of the Yamaha. IMO, the surround channels do not require the power that the L/C/R do.
Paraneer's Avatar Paraneer 08:27 AM 12-30-2012
Option 2. Get the A31 and let the 4520 handle the rest.
KnifeGuy's Avatar KnifeGuy 07:07 PM 12-31-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paraneer View Post

Option 2. Get the A31 and let the 4520 handle the rest.

That is likely the way I'll go when/if I get an amp. I just can't see spending so much more just to power the surrounds
Yosh70's Avatar Yosh70 09:44 PM 12-31-2012
I am running that configuration as we speak....a 3 channel Parasound powering my front 3 Studio's and an Anthem receiver (80W RMS) powering the 2 Studio 20's.
I luv it.biggrin.gif
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 06:40 AM 01-01-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by 519audiofan View Post

I am in the same boat. I have a Yamaha RXV3900 powering my Paradigm 5.1 setup. My front three are v2 Signature S4s and C3.
While overall I am very pleased with the performance of the receiver for both movies and 2 channel music, I am contemplating the purchase of an external amplifier.
I am leaning towards a 2 or 3 channel amp to take the load off of the Yamaha. IMO, the surround channels do not require the power that the L/C/R do.

The best way to take a load off of an AVR is to add a good subwoofer. You didn't say what your subwoofer is other than to say you have a 5.1 system.

The idea that offloading a power amp that is not clipping will necessarily make it sound better is an audiophile myth.

Your second problem is that most AVR's put out about 100 wpc and to even just double the loudness before clipping would take an upgrade to a 1,000 wpc amplifier. Of course your speakers are only rated at 325 watts so the 1000 wpc amplifier would be a big risk to the durability of your system.

If you want to improve sound quality you might want to investigate acoustic treatments to your listening room, multiple subwoofers for more even bass distribution, etc.
519audiofan's Avatar 519audiofan 09:38 AM 01-01-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

The best way to take a load off of an AVR is to add a good subwoofer. You didn't say what your subwoofer is other than to say you have a 5.1 system.
The idea that offloading a power amp that is not clipping will necessarily make it sound better is an audiophile myth.
Your second problem is that most AVR's put out about 100 wpc and to even just double the loudness before clipping would take an upgrade to a 1,000 wpc amplifier. Of course your speakers are only rated at 325 watts so the 1000 wpc amplifier would be a big risk to the durability of your system.
If you want to improve sound quality you might want to investigate acoustic treatments to your listening room, multiple subwoofers for more even bass distribution, etc.

Thank you for the advice, although that wasn't the intention of my post.

I do have a capable sub and my listening room, although acoustically not perfect, provides for very enjoyable listening.

As well, I am aware of the "audiophile myth" of more power equalling better sound.
I simply want to buy a higher quality 2 channel amplifier, relative to the amplifier section of my receiver, for 2 channel music listening.

Obviously, this will leave the receiver powering the centre channel and surrounds - which is less of a load on its amplifier section.
I am not seeking an increase in loudness nor do I expect any magical improvement in the performance of the receiver resulting from the addition of an external amp.
The wording in my post may have misled you.

Happy New Year !
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