Confused on my options - Get amplifier or better receiver? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 05-19-2013, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Johnny Mnemonic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: McKinney, TX
Posts: 279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 77
I've always had 1 receiver that powered everything. I have zero experience or knowledge on how to use supplemental amplifiers. I am aware of using "pre-outs" but have no idea how to the sound processing works across multiple receivers/amps.

I currently have a Sony STR-DH820. It is 7.1, with what I think is pre-outs and zone 2 outputs which the manual mentions is for a 2nd receiver (in a 2nd room). So I don't think the latter is what I need.

My front speakers (polk TSI500) wants 20-275 watts, my center CS20 is 20-150 watts. I feel my receiver is adequate, but not really pushing my front channels to their potential. I could likely spend 500-600 bucks this year, but don't know the technical approach (i.e. what equipment) would serve me best. Should I just save up for a new receiver ?

Thanks, and sorry for any dumb questions.

Warning: I make a lot of mistakes but occasionally I learn from them!
Johnny Mnemonic is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 Old 05-19-2013, 06:55 PM
Senior Member
 
Mad Norseman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Land of 10,000 Taxes!
Posts: 472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 100
The Sony STR-DH820 AVR doesn't have 7.1 (or 5.1) pre-outs, so you can't use it with an external amplifier.
It has 7.1 INPUTS, and 2 subwoofer pre-outs, but no pre-outs that could drive an external amplfier.

If you want to use a receiver as your surround processor you'll need a decent one with pre-outs (a nice one would be the Yamaha RX-A820), coupled with (say) an Emotiva XPA-3 external amplifer (3 x 200watts), then use your receiver to drive the two surrounds (plenty of power for that duty), and the XPA to drive your front left & right, and center channels which are the most demanding.
Good luck!
Johnny Mnemonic likes this.

The Insane Pink Care Bear's Home Theater Set Up:

Marantz AV 8801 Processor, Emotiva XPR-5 Amplifier, Panasonic 65" ST30 Plasma, Yamaha BD-S2900 Blu-ray, Yamaha CDC-697 CD Player, Yamaha TT-500U Turntable, w/Signet TK5e, JBL ES100 Fronts, JBL LC2 Center, JBL ES30 Surrounds & 2 JBL ES250P Subwoofers
Mad Norseman is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 05-19-2013, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Johnny Mnemonic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: McKinney, TX
Posts: 279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 77
Ok, that makes sense. I was mistaken on the outputs for sure but this cleared it up. I guess I was hoping/wishing it had more capabilities that it really did.

So the pre-outs are basically volume controlled RCA outs per channel? So the receiver still has all sound processing duties, but I assume there is also some gain control at the amplifier level.

And that XPA-3 looks perfect for my application, but my first step is definitely a bigger/ better receiver that will accommodate it.

Thanks for the info, this definitely helped!

Warning: I make a lot of mistakes but occasionally I learn from them!
Johnny Mnemonic is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 05-19-2013, 09:35 PM
AVS Special Member
 
lovinthehd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: OROR
Posts: 6,449
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 130 Post(s)
Liked: 744
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mnemonic View Post

Ok, that makes sense. I was mistaken on the outputs for sure but this cleared it up. I guess I was hoping/wishing it had more capabilities that it really did.

So the pre-outs are basically volume controlled RCA outs per channel? So the receiver still has all sound processing duties, but I assume there is also some gain control at the amplifier level.

And that XPA-3 looks perfect for my application, but my first step is definitely a bigger/ better receiver that will accommodate it.

Thanks for the info, this definitely helped!

Some amps have gain control, some don't. You need to check the specs...but otherwise yes, your avr acts as a preamp only when you connect an external amp through the avr's pre-amp outputs...
Johnny Mnemonic likes this.

lovinthehd is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 05-20-2013, 10:14 AM
Senior Member
 
SARHENTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 368
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Some amps have gain control, some don't. You need to check the specs...but otherwise yes, your avr acts as a preamp only when you connect an external amp through the avr's pre-amp outputs...

If your power amp has a volume/gain control, Yamaha advises to turn it to the max and use your pre-amp to control your listening volume. Doing this will be similar to using a power amp without a volume/gain control.
Johnny Mnemonic likes this.
SARHENTO is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 05-20-2013, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Johnny Mnemonic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: McKinney, TX
Posts: 279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 77
I think the emotiva amp did not have gain controls(per the owner manual PDF), and the Yamaha recommended above was the pre-amp

Warning: I make a lot of mistakes but occasionally I learn from them!
Johnny Mnemonic is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 05-20-2013, 12:19 PM
AVS Special Member
 
lovinthehd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: OROR
Posts: 6,449
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 130 Post(s)
Liked: 744
Quote:
Originally Posted by SARHENTO View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Some amps have gain control, some don't. You need to check the specs...but otherwise yes, your avr acts as a preamp only when you connect an external amp through the avr's pre-amp outputs...

If your power amp has a volume/gain control, Yamaha advises to turn it to the max and use your pre-amp to control your listening volume. Doing this will be similar to using a power amp without a volume/gain control.

But will that always be the ideal gain matching?

lovinthehd is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 05-20-2013, 01:41 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Yosh70's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,023
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

But will that always be the ideal gain matching?

Not sure if you want "gain match" but one way to set it and forget it is with the pre/receiver off and the amp on, keep turning up the gain until you hear a hiss from the speakers.

The manual for my Parasound told me in a "THX equipped" rolleyes.gif installation, crank the gain all the way. If a non-THX receiver is used and has a "high gain", it may be necessary to reduce the level

I'm all about the THX and have the gain set all the way.wink.gif
Yosh70 is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 05-20-2013, 03:53 PM
Senior Member
 
Mad Norseman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Land of 10,000 Taxes!
Posts: 472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mnemonic View Post

Ok, that makes sense. I was mistaken on the outputs for sure but this cleared it up. I guess I was hoping/wishing it had more capabilities that it really did.

So the pre-outs are basically volume controlled RCA outs per channel? So the receiver still has all sound processing duties, but I assume there is also some gain control at the amplifier level.

And that XPA-3 looks perfect for my application, but my first step is definitely a bigger/ better receiver that will accommodate it.

Thanks for the info, this definitely helped!

You're welcome!
This suggested set-up would be using a receiver as a surround processor/pre-amp, but using the receiver's amps to also drive your surrounds - this is a very efficient use of equipment.
The volume and switching and everything else remains controlled through the receiver.
The receiver and amp are connected with what's called a 'trigger cable' and the amp is automatically triggered on and off along with the receiver's on/off, so its all automatic.
After running the receiver's room correction software program (YPAO in the case of Yamaha for example), gain, distances, speaker levels, etc. are all automatically set and adjusted.

The Insane Pink Care Bear's Home Theater Set Up:

Marantz AV 8801 Processor, Emotiva XPR-5 Amplifier, Panasonic 65" ST30 Plasma, Yamaha BD-S2900 Blu-ray, Yamaha CDC-697 CD Player, Yamaha TT-500U Turntable, w/Signet TK5e, JBL ES100 Fronts, JBL LC2 Center, JBL ES30 Surrounds & 2 JBL ES250P Subwoofers
Mad Norseman is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 05-29-2013, 07:11 PM
 
deltadube's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Oshawa, Ontario
Posts: 1,040
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 36
get an xpa 5 and the umc 7.1 preamp from emo you will have great system..

cheers
Johnny Mnemonic likes this.
deltadube is offline  
post #11 of 11 Old 05-29-2013, 07:17 PM
AVS Special Member
 
truwarrior22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mnemonic View Post

I think the emotiva amp did not have gain controls(per the owner manual PDF), and the Yamaha recommended above was the pre-amp

Check out the new Denon AVR-X4000, great useful features and Audyssey XT32! It's has preamp out too if you want to and a external amp, but I think you'll be happier with a nice subwoofer and crossover your mains around 80hz or so.
Johnny Mnemonic likes this.
truwarrior22 is offline  
Reply Receivers, Amps, and Processors

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off