Can I add a power amp to my receiver? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-01-2013, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Right now I'm running a Harmon Kardon HK3390 receiver 2 channel receiver. that puts out a claimed 80w per channel. For speakers, I have 2 Martin Logan Motion 4's up front and 2 Martin Logan motion 2's in the the rear. Along with a Klipch 10" 450w powered sub. The problem Im running into is, it's just not loud enough.

Is there anything I can add to my HK3390 to add more power to these speakers? Like a power amp? while trying to keep the budget under or around $500. I Only use this for music in my home office/ music (rock) studio. A lot of the time I play along to music on the guitar, so it has to compete with Fender tube amps and such. In any event I'm looking to bring the power up to what the speakers can handle, rather than less then half ( what Im currently doing I guess) . The HK3390 does have a pre-out.

Lastly This set up runs music from my computer only. I dont watch moives on it, other than You Tube smile.gif
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-01-2013, 11:18 AM
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Your AVR has pre-amp outputs, so sure, you could hook up a power amp if you want.

Doubling the power will get you (roughly) 3dB per channel additional maximum output at 1 meter. Doubling it again will get you another 3, and so on until you start to hit the limits of your speakers.

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post #3 of 8 Old 03-01-2013, 11:38 AM
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With 4 speakers hooked up to that receiver (2 on "A" and 2 on "B") and are running both "A" and "B" at the same time, you are cutting the rated output by half - you're only getting 40 watts to each of the 4 speakers.

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post #4 of 8 Old 03-01-2013, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hooleyboy View Post

Right now I'm running a Harmon Kardon HK3390 receiver 2 channel receiver. that puts out a claimed 80w per channel. For speakers, I have 2 Martin Logan Motion 4's up front and 2 Martin Logan motion 2's in the the rear. Along with a Klipch 10" 450w powered sub. The problem I'm running into is, it's just not loud enough.

With 86 dB/w sensitivity and 150 watt max power rating:

http://www.martinlogan.com/pdf/manuals/manual_motion_2_motion_4.pdf

There are not a lot of places to go with the little ML's.

You could double the power to 160 watts without endangering your speakers, but that would only be 3 dB louder, which isn't all that much.


If you want something appreciably louder, you could move to Klipsch RB-61 speaqkers within your budget, and they would max out as sounding about twice as loud.

Another approach would be to get a real multichannel AVR...
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-01-2013, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I am limited by space. I'm in a 10x10 room. So I was looking for a good small sizes speaker set up. I've been very much removed from home audio for the ten years. Thinking a 2 channel receiver was all I needed, I went out and picked one up. Now I'm thinking I may need a 5.1 AVR? I do tend to listen to mu music loud. It's only my girlfriend and myself in the house. The thing that doesn't sit well with me is running them well below what they can do. The other problem is getting an AVR that is full of things I dont need, like Airplay, Pandora, HDMI, since I only play music through them. Obviously it has to sound good if not great. I dont want to turn it into a "what AVR should I get" thread. Really though, I got no idea. All I know is you can damage speakers buy using an under powered AVR. I dont want to do that, thats for sue.

With that said should I just step up to a 5.1 or greater channel AVR?

Thanks for your help
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-01-2013, 03:08 PM
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Mass market AVRs are the most cost effective option for most of us, including those who will never use some of the features they offer. Is it a waste? I figure it's less of a waste than spending a lot more money to get only the features I absolutely need.

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post #7 of 8 Old 03-01-2013, 03:10 PM
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What JD sez. biggrin.gif

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post #8 of 8 Old 03-01-2013, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hooleyboy View Post

The thing that doesn't sit well with me is running them well below what they can do.

Because of the nonlinear response of the human ear, running them at half power is not the same as running them well below what they can do. This seems counter intuitive, but it is true. If your AVR is like most it has a display of relative dB. Set the volume control for a good loud level, and then knock it down 3 dB. You will probably hear a difference but it won't knock your socks off.

The other question is how do you know that you can't just increase the gain of your system and it won't be both louder and remain clean? What is your current maximum volume control setting? What makes you think that you that have run out of power?
Quote:
The other problem is getting an AVR that is full of things I dont need, like Airplay, Pandora, HDMI, since I only play music through them.

You don't have to use things like HDMI is you don't want to. For example, my system is 2.1 and I drive my AVR from the digital output of the TV and do all the input switching with the TV to keep this system simple for my wife.

Lots of AVRs don't have many features like Pandora. Mine doesn't.

There is so much economy of scale in mainstream AVRs that a 5.1 AVR can cost less than a 2 channel receiver with less power etc.
Quote:
All I know is you can damage speakers buy using an under powered AVR. I dont want to do that, thats for sure.

Your typical AVR has 100 wpc which is more power than your 2 channel receiver.
Quote:
With that said should I just step up to a 5.1 or greater channel AVR?

You could do worse.

and +1 to what JD sez
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