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post #1 of 11 Old 07-10-2013, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I've just hit the area where i am able to afford being able to buy decent components, and would like some advice regarding power/pre amps .. sorry not 100% sure on the correct terminology.

I have been speaking to my local audio shop regarding getting more power out of my current system - Here is what i have

Audio source :
Computer (i do not watch movies), most of the sound comes from 320kbit or flac audio, or various youtube videos from time to time - im also a heavy gamer and play a lot of racing games when hooked up to my logitech g25 wheel, and i have built a custom racing pod for this.

Amplifier
: Yamaha RX-V 1400 (an older 110wrms amplifier, it has all of the features i need .. i THINK!)

Speakers
Front : Paradigm Studio 60 v5
Centre : Paradigm Signature c3 v1
Subwoofer : Yamaha YST-SW215
Rear : Not running rear setup currently, will be adding this to the mix within the next 6-12 months when i move house. .. was running a 5.1 setup until i bought the paradigm setup, my old setup was a klipsch promedia ultra 5.1 system with the yamaha amp and yahama subwoofer .. i could put these rears back in but feel it would be a waste

Environment
15ft x 15ft bedroom with dedicated PC and racing simulator setup.

My main want is more power/quality .. although i am extremely happy with how these speakers sound , it makes me wonder if i am missing anything:D

I have a few questions ..

Budget .. approximately $3000USD, however i live in New Zealand, and our prices are considerably inflated compared to your market, and choices are more considerably limited.

1) I contacted my local dealer about potentially upgrading to something like a Yamaha RX-A2020 , as this is 140W per channel .. however my local dealer advised via phone that i look into a poweramp, as he states this will give me cleaner,more powerful sound watt per watt vs an integrated home theatre amplifier. Is this true ?

2) Would upgrading my PC's soundcard help in any way ? i switched from a dedicated sound card to just my onboard sound card as i am using Optical (spdif) to pass the sound from PC to amplifier .. and i understand optical is a straight passthrough, ie the PC will not be doing any processing on this .. therefor its a waste of time to have a high quality soundcard for this scenario?

3) is there a better way of sending the sound from my PC to the amplifier?

4) seeing as im not using bluray / movies as a sound source .. am i missing anything in terms of decoding by staying with the yamaha rx-v1400 ?

5) should i bother adding my klipsch rears into the system ? i don't really have anywhere to place them well, so have decided to leave a rear config out until i can setup a new bedroom environment when i find a new house.

I understand that i have mismatched my centre by not purchasing the Paradigm Studio cc-490, however i personally preferred the sound of the signature c3 v1 matched with these speakers.

I appreciate any feedback you are able to provide ! i have never heard of poweramps before, so this is all very exciting to me :-)
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-10-2013, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperZ View Post

Hi all,

I've just hit the area where i am able to afford being able to buy decent components, and would like some advice regarding power/pre amps .. sorry not 100% sure on the correct terminology.

I have been speaking to my local audio shop regarding getting more power out of my current system - Here is what i have

Audio source :
Computer (i do not watch movies), most of the sound comes from 320kbit or flac audio, or various youtube videos from time to time - im also a heavy gamer and play a lot of racing games when hooked up to my logitech g25 wheel, and i have built a custom racing pod for this.

Amplifier
: Yamaha RX-V 1400 (an older 110wrms amplifier, it has all of the features i need .. i THINK!)

Speakers
Front : Paradigm Studio 60 v5
Centre : Paradigm Signature c3 v1
Subwoofer : Yamaha YST-SW215
Rear : Not running rear setup currently, will be adding this to the mix within the next 6-12 months when i move house. .. was running a 5.1 setup until i bought the paradigm setup, my old setup was a klipsch promedia ultra 5.1 system with the yamaha amp and yahama subwoofer .. i could put these rears back in but feel it would be a waste

Environment
15ft x 15ft bedroom with dedicated PC and racing simulator setup.

My main want is more power/quality .. although i am extremely happy with how these speakers sound , it makes me wonder if i am missing anything:D

I have a few questions ..

Budget .. approximately $3000USD, however i live in New Zealand, and our prices are considerably inflated compared to your market, and choices are more considerably limited.

1) I contacted my local dealer about potentially upgrading to something like a Yamaha RX-A2020 , as this is 140W per channel .. however my local dealer advised via phone that i look into a poweramp, as he states this will give me cleaner,more powerful sound watt per watt vs an integrated home theatre amplifier. Is this true ?

2) Would upgrading my PC's soundcard help in any way ? i switched from a dedicated sound card to just my onboard sound card as i am using Optical (spdif) to pass the sound from PC to amplifier .. and i understand optical is a straight passthrough, ie the PC will not be doing any processing on this .. therefor its a waste of time to have a high quality soundcard for this scenario?

3) is there a better way of sending the sound from my PC to the amplifier?

4) seeing as im not using bluray / movies as a sound source .. am i missing anything in terms of decoding by staying with the yamaha rx-v1400 ?

5) should i bother adding my klipsch rears into the system ? i don't really have anywhere to place them well, so have decided to leave a rear config out until i can setup a new bedroom environment when i find a new house.

I understand that i have mismatched my centre by not purchasing the Paradigm Studio cc-490, however i personally preferred the sound of the signature c3 v1 matched with these speakers.

I appreciate any feedback you are able to provide ! i have never heard of poweramps before, so this is all very exciting to me :-)

Consider that it takes a doubling of power from an amp to get 3dB increase from your speakers. A few watts difference like you're talking about is relatively meaningless. If you go big power amp like 200-300 watts per channel (wpc) then maybe it's something to consider. Also depends on the sensitivity of your speakers (not familiar with yours but look it up). Check this site out http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

There's something to be said for having extra headroom, even if just a few dB, available with a higher power amp rather than strictly speak of loudness levels. You might not be able to tell the difference depending on your usual listening levels and depending on what you're listening to. Have you measured your current levels?

That said, I do run my L/C/R speakers with power amps just to have that little bit extra headroom and spl capability. I use 300 wpc Crown XLS1500 pro amps currently, recently replaced my Carver M500t's while I have them refurbished (they're 30 years old).

If you get an avr that has preouts for each channel, then you have the option of using the avr as a preamp plus using a power amp (as I do on my multich setup, in another stereo setup I have, it's a dedicated preamp).

I like multichannel (7.3 in my main setup), but whether it's worth it to you you'll have to find out.

I'd want HDMI connection for max capacity for both audio and video ffor connecting the computer to the avr.

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post #3 of 11 Old 07-10-2013, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply lovinthehd

the Crown XLS1500 looks nice ! being two channel, i would be required to run one for the 2 fronts, and a seperate one for the centre speaker .. are rear speakers commonly power-amped? (please correct me if im using incorrect terminology .. from my thoughts the yamaha rx-v1400 would become a pre-amp, and the "Crown XLS1500 " would be a power amp"??

Unfortunately my amplifier does not have HDMI .. this has never bothered me as i do not watch blu-rays or any tv media content, so have never had a need for an HDMI input on the amplifier, and i just connect the TV to my PC via HDMI.. - in fact i dispise tv/movies with a passion, i smply do not have the concentration span for them.

i have done a bit of research regarding the HDMI vs optical, and have found the following

http://www.techhive.com/article/215202/hdmi_vs_spdif.html
"Neither of the S/PDIF standards for transferring digital audio--optical and coaxial--can transmit the bandwidth necessary for Blu-ray-specific audio formats like Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD Master Audio, and Linear PCM. That requires HDMI. Blu-ray players send Dolby TrueHD signals down S/PDIF cables as Dolby Digital, DTS HD MA as DTS, and 5.1 PCM as two-track stereo PCM. (Some players also have an option to convert everything to DTS.)"

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1451946/optical-cable-vs-hdmi
"For those sources, or really for anything (currently) except Blu-ray or devices playing back BD content (from a server, for example), there should be no difference. Those sources will be producing, at best, DD5.1 content, which will be identical over optical digital or HDMI. (ok, if you play a DVD through the Xbox, you could get a DTS soundtrack, which would not likely be passed through the TV - yet).

Blu-ray will have the advanced HD audio codecs (DTS-MA and Dolby Digital Plus), which cannot be passed over the optical digital cable, and so there will be an audio performance difference vs a direct HDMI connection to the receiver."

Since im not watching blu-ray movies, and gaming is unlikely to use those codecs, nor audio cd's, i dont think im missing anything in terms of decoding codecs on that line.

I haven't done a DB reading, i dont have a meter and i dont think the store would lend me one, if they had one unfortunately. None of my friends are performance car shop owners either as that would be another place i could obtain a db reader easily.

I had forgot about the 2x power = ~3db increase .. i should have remembered this when i was trying to push from 145db to 150db on my SPL setup in my car. a side note that was running 2x DD (digital Designs) 3515's with 2x e-audio 1000wrms d-class monoblocks, one for each, a few years ago. . ended up with 148.2db

hopefuly someone can shed more answers for me :-) Thank you

Perhaps i should just wait until i can fill a rear sound-stage to give me 'more power'
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-10-2013, 10:00 PM
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Sorry, didn't look up your RXV1400 model specs, didn't realize how old it was with no hdmi but sounds like you don't want hdmi so not of value to you, optical should work fine for your purposes (although there are other high def formats for audio like SACD and DVD-A and even Bluray audio). My crowns are amps, your Yamaha is a receiver or avr (audio visual receiver, i.e. it contains a radio/internet sources, pre-amp, amp in a single housing); using the pre-amp section of the avr with the pre-outs you can use outboard amps for channels of your choice. Surround channels don't need as much amplification due lack of signal content demanding such generally.

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post #5 of 11 Old 07-10-2013, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
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no problem regarding not checking specs smile.gif it's not that I don't "want" HDMI it's more of a don't "need" it.. you do make a good point regarding bluray audio however.. this could be a way to show off my audio gear to people, whenever my dad shows off his gear at his place he quite often uses the Michael Jackson bluray. or are there pure dedicated bluray audio discs with no video content? I bet these sound delicious!.. not that I own a bluray player but could pick one up cheaply.. perhaps it would be worth looking at a new receiver with HDMI in that case.. and getting a rear sound stage

thank you for providing clarification around terminology smile.gif
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-10-2013, 11:05 PM
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Here's a breakdown of various audio codecs and connectors needed. My laptop does bluray/hdmi. http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=41820 Also, check out Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree and some of the recordings he's put out on dvd and bluray, he also mixes multi-ch music for others.

PS nice driving setup. I only have a Logitech GT wheel with one of these http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002V3KOMS/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. All I use my PS3 for other than playing blurays.

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post #7 of 11 Old 07-15-2013, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for that link lovinthehd, it made for some great reading.

Unfortunately my remote on my Yamaha rx-v1400 stopped working and was going to cost $100NZD to replace .. FORTUNATELY my father is just selling his Yamaha rx-v1900 for $225NZD so i snapped this up, figuring the difference between me replacing my remote, and obtaining this amplifier would be greatly worth it .. effectively for $125NZD i obtained a newer unit with

* HDMI Input/output
* slightly more power (130x7 vs 110x7)
* im sure there are a few things i have missed,but as the money spent was minimal i havent looked too deeply into this, im sure they are very similar units.

However now i have a slightly different question .. on which i will start a new thread as its unrelated to this topic. (relating to how i should have my setup connected ...

I will see how i go with the yamaha rx-v1900, and will post an update in a weeks time. i know that extra bit of power is something i will barely, if at all notice, but we shall see!

a few options i have been lookig at in the meantime are the following.

The NAD T975G is a 7 channel power amp (Not available in 5 channel), it’s a bigger and beefier amplifier, and will have a bit more muscle to it.
It’s Class AB so will run hotter, also the thing about having excess channels is that if they’re not being used it will just allow the other channels to have more power.
http://nadelectronics.com/products/home-theatre-amplifiers/T-975-Seven-Channel-Power-Amplifier


The NuForce MCH 200C5, it’s a 5 channel power amp and is Class D which basically means it will have effortless bass and always have full control over the speakers.
Class D is also highly efficient so it will run cold.
http://www.nuforce.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=645:mch-200c5
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-15-2013, 04:24 PM
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The only argument I could make for getting a newer receiver/pre-amp would be for modern room correction software (Audyssey, MCACC, or YPAO are the most common). I would spend the money on amplifiers for sure and look in the used market if you can where your dollars will go further. In my setup I have a single mono amp for my center channel, and a stereo amp for the fronts. The rears are powered by the receiver. I would also strongly consider upgrading your subwoofer as well. Maybe something like this:

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-15h.html
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-15-2013, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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What will upgrading my subwoofer help me with ? sorry if that sounds like a stupid question.

My current subwoofer is excellent as far as i am aware. i already have neighbours next door complaining regarding the bass levels! However perhaps i am looking at this in the wrong way.

by getting a better subwoofer, im going to get tighter bass at lower levels, meaning a less boomy responce and more tighter 'punch' ? To me my current subwoofer has more than enough bass .. however i could be misunderstanding 'rumble' with a deep bass 'punch' , if thats the right way of looking at it. .. Currently that subwoofer has no issues making my entire room SHAKE HEAVILY.

Would having a newer subwoofer give me more punch/less 'shake', and be less likely to travel to annoy my neighbours with boomy travel? perhaps i need a lesson in bass.

Educate me !

Please remember this setup is for my bedroom which is basicially a gaming/theatre setup with a bed squeezed in there .. and the size is approx 15ft x 15ft .. i think a 12" would be more suited.

However my main genres of audio are drum'n'bass / dubstep, so im always willing to explore new subwoofer setups ! .. perhaps you could also educate me as to how i could reduce the annoyance to neighbours with bass frequencies?

The other thing i like about my current subwoofer is the fact that the bass control level is on the front .. so i can adjust it very easily if i would like to 'show off' with excessive bass from time to time (of course this is during the day when neighbours are out so i dont get noise control around .. they have visited about 5 times within a year for bass complaints) .. and i live in a stand alone house! .. they are very fussy we think though, as we offered to enter their property and determine how the bass levels were to them and they simply refused. I dont like people who aren't willing to help come to a solution everyone is happy with, im a very reasonable person.

** Edit - after searching for that Subwoofer in New Zealand (where i live) , it doesn't seem to exist here unfortunately, could you reccomend anything from here ?
http://www.listeningpost.co.nz/Products/Speakers/Subwoofers/Subwoofers-__I.27756__C.27285
http://www.paulmoney.co.nz/shop/subwoofers/

Thanks
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-16-2013, 06:31 AM
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You pretty much guessed it. I did not recommend a sub upgrade for volume. You have some really nice speakers and that sub is really the odd man out in your set up. A better subwoofer will give you flatter response. You've probably noticed that some notes on your subwoofer will come out significantly louder than others. A better sub will go a long way in eliminating that so that everything is smooth and you don't get any "surprise" loud notes or booms. I would head over to the sub forum for recommendations but a quick search on the SVS website led me to this dealer in New Zealand:

http://www.rapalloav.co.nz/

SVS makes fantastic subs that get a lot of love around here.

You mentioned the NAD amp earlier. I would go with this one for about the same price as the T975.

http://www.paulmoney.co.nz/shop/amplifiersreceiversprocessors/stereointegratedpower-amplifie/rotel-rmb1575power-amplifier/

or

http://www.wyred4sound.com/webapps/category/74030/117839/18048
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post #11 of 11 Old 07-16-2013, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you :-) i will start up a thread regarding subs in the correct area.

Im going to put the power amp dicussion on hold for 1 - 3 months, i may be moving house during that period, and will revisit my requirements then ! However i will persue the subwoofer enquiry.
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