7.1 AVR with rated power to all 7 channels - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 04-13-2013, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm using a Denon AVR-988 to power the following speakers in a 7.1 setup.......

Polk Audio Rti A9
Csi A6
Fxi A4
Monitor 30


I've been told numerous times that my puny AVR is way underpowered for my speakers since it is incapable of producing its 110W per channel to 7 channels simultaneously. Apparently most AVR's have the same issue. What I need to know is are there any 7.1 AVR's out there that actually DO send the full rated power to all channels at the same time?
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post #2 of 16 Old 04-13-2013, 12:47 AM
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Take your fronts, at 2m 32W will get you 99dB SPL. Unless you listen at peak ref levels 105dB you won't ever need >100W.

AVRs that can do that for all ch, the higher Denon, Onkyo, NAD etc.

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #3 of 16 Old 04-13-2013, 01:21 AM
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The cheapest receivers that will do 100W into 7 channels are the Pioneer SC-1222K/1522K receivers, you can get them at $550.

No Yamaha receiver (currently) will do over 70W/channel into 7 channels but that's due to artificial circuit protection, The RX-A2020 and RX-A3020 it can do bursts of over 100W/channel without throttling back power.

No Onkyo in the last 4 years (xxx7, xxx8, or xxx9 gen) could do over 85W/channel into 7 channels without artificial throttling too, but in the xx10 model series I guess they decided people were tired of seeing low ACD numbers, so they took off the throttle, and the 3010 does 114W/channel into 7 channels, and the 5010 theoretically should do a little better as it has more capacitance than the 3010 but weighs the same.

The only Denon thats theoretically capable of over 100W/channel this year is the 4520, the 3xxx series only does about 70ish watts/channel. The Denon weighs about the same as the 4310 which did 104W/channel into 7 channels.

So for current models the only receivers that are over 100W/channel ACD are:

1) Pioneer SC & Elite SC series
2) Denon 4520
3) Onkyo 3010/5010
4) Yamaha RX-A2020/3020 (in bursts, electronically limited to 70W/ch ACD)
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post #4 of 16 Old 04-13-2013, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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So a Pioneer Elite receiver will give the power per channel it claims, perfect! Do you agree that my Denon was so underpowered that I may have been doing damage to my speakers and/or receiver at high volumes?
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post #5 of 16 Old 04-13-2013, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmulousTrigger View Post

I'm using a Denon AVR-988 to power the following speakers in a 7.1 setup.......

Polk Audio Rti A9
Csi A6
Fxi A4
Monitor 30

I've been told numerous times that my puny AVR is way underpowered for my speakers since it is incapable of producing its 110W per channel to 7 channels simultaneously. Apparently most AVR's have the same issue. What I need to know is are there any 7.1 AVR's out there that actually DO send the full rated power to all channels at the same time?

Just because there are a goodly number of poorly informed people, doesn't make a wrong idea right.

Most amplifier power ratings can't be taken at face value. That is because in general they are based on test bench measurements using steady pure tones. Most of us listen using music, which puts a completely different kind of load on the amplifier than a pure tone.

The ratio between the power in a pure tone and the power in music is called "Crest factor" and runs from 8 dB to 20 dB. 8 dB crest factor that is only found with music that has its dynamics compressed as much as is possible with modern technology. 20 dB crest factors are rarely found in exceptionally dynamic music.

For example a reasonable worst case crest factor of 9 dB represents 3 doublings of power or a multiplier of 8. IOW 8 channels amplyfing music involves the same amount of power as 1 channel amplifying a pure tone on a test bench.



This picture shows a 15 dB crest factor in a selection from Beethovern's 9th Symphony. Uncompressed classical music tends to have relatively high crest factors.

My calculations show that at the very least your AVR can produce 110 dB SPL in a typical room with you 12 feet from the 3 front speakers and the speakers no more than 3 feet from the nearest wall. Add a powered subwoofer and we're talking up to 6 dB SPL above that.
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post #6 of 16 Old 04-13-2013, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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So in your opinion arnyk, what is the benefit of switching to a Pioneer Elite receiver with 140W into 2 channels driven or a dedicated 200W power amp with all channels driven? I want to upgrade my receiver anyway, just to get a few more options connectivity wise and more high bandwidth HDMI ports. The power amp won't help for HDMI but the Pioneer will. What it comes down to is will the audio quality change any with either of those options?
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post #7 of 16 Old 04-13-2013, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmulousTrigger View Post

So in your opinion arnyk, what is the benefit of switching to a Pioneer Elite receiver with 140W into 2 channels driven or a dedicated 200W power amp with all channels driven?

Not a heck of a lot.

Please notice that just about every AVR and power amp bought to *upgrade* it falls within the 50 to 200 WPC range which is a +/- 3 dB range.

Just for grins, take your AVR's remote and add or subtract 3 dB from its current volume setting. What do you think about 3 dB changes?

Doubling the perceived loudness takes a 10 dB or (coincidentally) a 10x power increase. If you have a 140 wpc AVR and want your music twice as loud, your next power amp needs to have 1400 wpc, and then you need the speakers to take all that power!
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I want to upgrade my receiver anyway, just to get a few more options connectivity wise and more high bandwidth HDMI ports. The power amp won't help for HDMI but the Pioneer will. What it comes down to is will the audio quality change any with either of those options?

Do what you will for some other purpose than improved sound quality. If you are really after improved sound quality you might want to migrate to an AVR with Audyssey Multieq XT 32. Some people say that Audyssey is a better option than MCACC. It might even be true... ;-)
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post #8 of 16 Old 04-13-2013, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post


My calculations show that at the very least your AVR can produce 110 dB SPL in a typical room with you 12 feet from the 3 front speakers and the speakers no more than 3 feet from the nearest wall. Add a powered subwoofer and we're talking up to 6 dB SPL above that.

Is that throughout the entire 20-20k freq range?
You mention a sub increasing output but a sub will only contribute to a room at 80 and below. (give or take depending on the slope of the XO)

Movies can also have higher dynamic ranges than typical 2ch music.(20-30dB)

BTW, I did find this fun link.

http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/index.php?sort=dr&order=desc
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-13-2013, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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My AVR uses MultiEQ XT and I have it turned off. Movies sound hollow and thin. I use a tripod for calibrating and I've done it close to 30 times in the last 10 months and it never gets any better. Ultimately the biggest problem I notice is all my speakers sound lazy, for the lack of a better term. Audio has no punch to it at all, Audyssey or or otherwise. When it comes time to upgrade I don't need louder, it's plenty loud already. I want clean, punchy and presence. Quality over quantity. I just need to be sure I'm not driving something to the point of harm.
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post #10 of 16 Old 04-13-2013, 05:29 PM
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I
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmulousTrigger View Post

My AVR uses MultiEQ XT and I have it turned off. Movies sound hollow and thin. I use a tripod for calibrating and I've done it close to 30 times in the last 10 months and it never gets any better. Ultimately the biggest problem I notice is all my speakers sound lazy, for the lack of a better term. Audio has no punch to it at all, Audyssey or or otherwise. When it comes time to upgrade I don't need louder, it's plenty loud already. I want clean, punchy and presence. Quality over quantity. I just need to be sure I'm not driving something to the point of harm.

I would say you should use REW or some software to characterize your room acoustics. May be you should move your speakers around or move the listening area or invest in some sound treatments. Audyssey is not a replacement for a badly positioned room.
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post #11 of 16 Old 04-14-2013, 04:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I've tried numerous speaker positions and the room is acoustically treated. Ultimately I've decided just to upgrade to the Pioneer Elite SC-67. Sonically it will be an improvement, enough power to not worry about clipping my fronts and gives me all the connectivity that I could ever ask for.
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-14-2013, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bootman_head_fi View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post


My calculations show that at the very least your AVR can produce 110 dB SPL in a typical room with you 12 feet from the 3 front speakers and the speakers no more than 3 feet from the nearest wall. Add a powered subwoofer and we're talking up to 6 dB SPL above that.

Is that throughout the entire 20-20k freq range?

Yes.
Quote:
You mention a sub increasing output but a sub will only contribute to a room at 80 and below. (give or take depending on the slope of the XO)

The sub helps the full range by off-loading the AVR. The weakest frequency range for any amp, whether in an AVR or stand alone is the lowest octave. Move that whole workload someplace else and then you can harness the same electrons to a narrower frequency range where your speakers are proabably more linear and more efficient.
Quote:
Movies can also have higher dynamic ranges than typical 2ch music.(20-30dB)

Probably true. After all subwoofers have been around forever (I've had one for music since the 70s) but they really really start didn't flying out of the stores until movies on DVDs became really popular.

And that is a key point - I've tested lots of AVRs and integrated amps on the bench, and above 60 Hz they can be about as good as anything, but below 30 Hz they often lack guts. Even stand alone amps will often struggle a little at 20 Hz.

So, don't do that! ;-)

What we probably don't know is whether any of them had their dynamic range enhanced during mixing and mastering.

Remember the higher the crest factor, usually the less important big beefy power supplies become. The power limitations of the speakers are clearly part of the picture.
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-14-2013, 05:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmulousTrigger View Post

I've tried numerous speaker positions and the room is acoustically treated. Ultimately I've decided just to upgrade to the Pioneer Elite SC-67. Sonically it will be an improvement, enough power to not worry about clipping my fronts and gives me all the connectivity that I could ever ask for.

What subwoofer do you have in your system so that we can avoid it? ;-)
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post #14 of 16 Old 04-28-2013, 05:00 AM - Thread Starter
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The subwoofer is about the only thing that is NOT an issue. It's an Infinity PS212. Sounds much better now with the Elite SC-67 instead of the Denon 988.
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-28-2013, 11:47 AM
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The OP never stated a budget. Some of the lower high end receivers from Anthem, Cambridge Audio and Rotel should be able to satisfy the OP's needs. I'm curious why the OP thinks he needs that much power. Those Polk's aren't that thirsty unless the OP plans to bi-amp his/her mains.

BTW, the Denon AVR-988 has pre-outs. The OP can resolve any power issues with an Emotiva UPA-700 for $449.
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post #16 of 16 Old 04-28-2013, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been told over and over that the Denon wasn't providing enough power with 7 channels driven to power those massive speakers. I needed more HDMI inputs and outputs and I really wanted the Airplay capability. I went with the Pioneer Elite because it gave me everything I wanted now, plus everything I would need in the future. I inquired about buying from Emotiva, but if you live in Canada, the fees can be astronomical. I got the SC-67 for the price they quoted me for the 5 channel amp they sell. Made sense to me at the moment.....
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