Making the jump; 11.2 channels here we come! But first some help please, my friends. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-17-2014, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Making the jump; 11.2 channels here we come! But first some help please, my friends.

Okay how's it hanging fellas? I got an OLED tv a few months ago and am currently in upgrade frenzy. I want to make my HT room have audio coming from every damn which way. This post is going to be a novel of sorts, only without an engaging plot or climax to look forward to, so if you stick with me I'll give you a sticker. I've got stars of various colors and smiley faces, your choice.

So, my current setup is 7.1, powered by a Yamaha rx-a3000 receiver. I love my receiver, and it is upgradeable to 11.2 channels through external amperage. Complications with that represent the bulk of my questions, but I'm going to hold off on it until last.

The room is approximately 18 feet long and 8 feet across. This is a guess, but it's a rectangle exclusively for my HT. I've uploaded a picture of it below so take a look. The tv, center and front channels are at the far end on the narrow wall, projecting down the rectangle. The seating area is a couch which is halfway down the room. Behind it is a table and some other things. This room of my appartment is my man cave and when my girlfriend moves in shell not get her mitts anywhere near it, but she'll be nagging me about large upgrades so I must get my fill now

Now, I listen to music a lot and I do so from different areas of the room. My turntable is also behind the couch, with its own preamp wired to the receiver. I also have company over quite frequently, so one distinct sweet spot was not my goal, as it remains. Because of the relatively small room size and my need for quality audio throughout, I opted for omnidirectional sppeakers.A decision I never regret, though unnecessary for the front channels which a look at the picture will show.

So I've got 6 mirage nanosats, mirage's s8 subwoofer yet my center channel has changed to the definitive procenter 1000 as I needed dialogue to compete, and that CC was excellent. Despite the seemingly disproportionate power of the receiver vs. the Nanosats, the room sounds very, very good. Excellent, in fact. Those things pack a tremendous punch when many are utilized, and the soundfield is truly massive. They even handle death metal with relative aplomb.

Now, here are my upgrade needs/desires, then for the advice.

1) New front left and right channels of the "large" type; that is ones which have good enough internal woofers to handle all frequencies and be set as such by my receiver. I no longer want the front sound stage to be omnidirectional, but just to blast awesomeness straight down the length of the room.

2) Add a subwoofer on the other side of the room to balance out the bass and create .2. Currently the single sub is under the couch on the left. I believe with two subs they should match, and Mirage products have all been discontinued so I'll need to buy 2 new ones and ditch the mirage. It more or less made loud booms over actually outputting clear notes, and clarity is a must over actual boominess. I want these to be capable of wireless, as it would otherwise require RCA cables running along the floor.

3) Buy 2 more omnidirectional speakers for the regular surrounds, channels 4 and 5. The only ones I can find which are marginally more powerful than the nanosats are "JAMO 360 s35". These particular ones need not be drastically more powerful, as the nanosat sounds good as it is, and there are going to be a trillion speakers now. Just a small boost in power plus these offer even a slightly wider soundfield than the nanosats which I think will fill the rear nicely. The 6th and 7th channels I'll leave alone.

4) Now I will have 4 leftover nanosats. I will use these to fulfil the "front presence" and "rear presence" channels, thereby bringing the grand total to 11.2 channels. While the receiver is native 7.2, it has RCA outputs for 11 channels, all labelled, allowing for external amps to power whichever speakers you'd like.

Okay, that's my guideline. If you made it this far, maybe you're willing to go a little further. It would surely be appreciated. I've got those stickers waiting. So here are my advise inquiries, with the final question being the most important as it is presenting an actual roadblock no matter what speakers I choose.

1) Recommendations for either bookshelf or tower speakers that I could set to "large" via the receiver, and will not break the bank in order to fulfil the front channels. I will not be changing out my center channel. I'd like all my new gear to be high quality and better than what I've got, but in this room I do not need to spend multiple hundreds per speaker. I'm looking for "bang for your buck" type gear which will still impress.

2) WHAT SUBS? With so many options I'm not sure where to look, and as I need to purchase 2 they may run up a fair penny. But this, I think, will improve my audio the most and balance out the room. What wattage do you beleive will suffice for these subs? And again, I'm looking more for crystal clear bass reproduction than sounds which will simply rumble the walls. And do wireless connections for subwoofers even perform as well as if they were wired? Because wiring them will be unsightly, but I'm tired of having more bass on the left side of the room. That's gotta stop and I see no other way than to make one wireless though I'm nervous itbwont perform well.

3) I think I'm pretty set on the large Jamo 360's (there are two sizes) to replace the main surrounds. Omnidirectionals sound awesome for rear speakers and I'd like to keep that type of sound, but I cannot find any real reviews of them yet so input on those, anecdotal or otherwise, or other omnidirectional options would be appreciated as I don't see any other options whatsoever. Maybe I've overlooked a better one?

4) Placement of the four now freed up nanosats, which will be used as "front presence" and "rear presence", two each. Where does one place those channels? It's my understanding that they are mainly for mild ambient noise and soundfield depth. I was thinking of hanging them upside down directly from the ceiling due to their 360° nature; is this a good option for those channels? I've never heard presence speakers in action before, so I'm not sure what to expect.

Okay, thanks for making it here. We'rd almost done, but now for the real doozy and primary reason for making this thread as I cannot proceed without some answer. What's got me utterly stumped on how to actually execute this: WHAT KIND OF AMPS DOES ONE PURCHASE FOR THIS FUNCTION?

Adding channels to an existing receiver which allows it must be common practice, but I cannot find anything suitable nor any guides on the matter. I called Yamaha and the technician said I need 2 2 channel amps and not one 4+ channel one; one for the front presence and another for the back. He also said that they should not have their own volume controls. But I cannot find ONE SINGLE AMP with comparable wattage (my receiver is 140w per channel, I'm sure the presence speakers could be a bit less though) and 8 ohm impedance. Literally zero.

Surely many audiophiles have accomplished what I seek to. But what amps could they have possibly used? Does anyone have any suggestions here? From what I see, my only option is to buy 2 full-fledged stereo receivers. But they'd be massive, and it would seem silly to have 3 AV receivers JUST to get presence speakers...nor do I really have the room and they'd have volume knobs.

There are so many power amps, but they're not usually rated for 8 ohms and (literally) only have a FEW watts. Like 12-25. And I've yet to come across any one which is volumeless.

An idea I had was to simply buy a standard, cheap 5.1 channel receiver and run all four from that. At least it would be only one extra receiver, and could perform other functions. But the Yamaha tech insisted that the front and rear presence would put out the exact same sounds if they weren't powered by seperate amps. Techs can sometimes have misinformation, and lots of it, so I'm not sure if this is really true as it doesn't seem to make any sense. Can anyone confirm this?

Wow!!! That was HUGE! Thank so SO MUCH ahead of time should anybody have any advice for any of these questions. Feel free to chime in on any or all at will. I don't expect anyone to have all these answers, of course, and what I'm asking about the amps may also sound a bit confounding so I'd be glad to explain that part again if need be. But with or without speaker suggestions my tracks are temporarily stopped as I don't want to purchase something incompatible, or that will damage the speakers I currently have (and still like). There seems to be no guides online that I can find for adding channels to a capable receiver.

For making it this far, and possibly responding, you ALL deserve stickers. Lots and lots of stickers. Thanks in advance (and I hope I put this in a good section).


If I sow a wind now, I will reap a storm.

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post #2 of 16 Old 07-17-2014, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
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The 6th and 7th channels are directly behind me
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-17-2014, 03:44 PM
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How many amp channels you need? There's so many options. You could buy an XPA-3 from EMO for the three front channels, which frees up 2 amps, but you need...4?

If you need 4, get a 5 channel amp. Emo or Outlaw. I would probably use 3 channels of the external amp for L, C, R. The other channels I am not sure. Or you could buy two Crown XLS 1500 amps for not too much money.

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post #4 of 16 Old 07-17-2014, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post
How many amp channels you need? There's so many options. You could buy an XPA-3 from EMO for the three front channels, which frees up 2 amps, but you need...4?

If you need 4, get a 5 channel amp. Emo or Outlaw. I would probably use 3 channels of the external amp for L, C, R. The other channels I am not sure. Or you could buy two Crown XLS 1500 amps for not too much money.
Thank you for the response. I will check those out right away. I actually edited the post quite a bit because it wasn't so clear how many I needed so sorry about that. I think I explained it better now.

I'm adding four channels plus the second sub which is already available without an amp. My receiver labels the channels beyond its standard 7 as "front presence" and "rear presence"; each of those types contain 2.

What has me worried is that the Yamaha tech told me that if I use just one amp for all four added channels, they would all produce the same sounds....like those extra 4 channels would be set to "mono". Personally this sounds absurd, but he seemed pretty confident. He said I needed one 2 channel amp for the "front presence" channels, and another totally separate 2 channel amp for the "rear presence " channels. I'm hoping he's flat out wrong which would make things much easier. He also said they couldn't have volume controls but did not know why....

Also, are you suggesting I use the external amp for Front front and center, as opposed to the main receiver, and use the main receiver for those extra "presence" channels? That's an option too, but out of curiosity what makes you think that would be wiser?

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post #5 of 16 Old 07-17-2014, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow all those are extremely expensive, though they are exactly what I meant. I can't imagine how a full fledged receiver (not mine, but many) can be had for a fraction of the price as a simple amplifier. It looks like even 2 of those 1500's would run me $1200 and is only 4 ohm. I was thinking of spending a few hundred on the amp, which I thought was quite a reasonable figure, though I could be wrong.

At that rate, do you think it would work to simply purchase a second 5.1 receiver, that puts out about 100w per channel? I could find one for about 3 hundred. Of course it would have a volume knob but I don't understand why itbisnt supposed to begin with. If it comes down to saving $700,,+ dollars though....I'm just not sure if it would work the same

http://m.bestbuy.com/m/e/product/det...at309300050002

^Also something like that can be had, and I could purchase 2 for 100 a piece with enough wattage, seems much more cost effective for the same end result but again there's the issue of that volume knob.....I don't know how necessary not having one is,

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post #6 of 16 Old 07-17-2014, 06:37 PM
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If you get an external amp, I would definitely get a 5-channel amp and connect the pre-outs Front L/R, Center, and Surround L/R to the amp. Since the RX-A3000 really doesn't do codecs above 7.x, anything above that is just whatever Yamaha does to extrapolate the presence channels. No support for "real" wide or height channels, like DTS Neo:X or PLIIz.

I cannot recall how Yamaha does amp assigns, but I remember eliminating Yamaha from my choices because of the inability to run the presence channels with the internal amps while running the main channels off an external amp. This, IMHO, would make adding a powerful external amp pointless since the presence channels probably don't need much amplification. The Denon unit I chose allowed this AND supported the 9.x and 11.x non-discreet codecs.

Emotiva's XPA-5 is a 5-channel amp rated at 200 watts/channel into 8 Ohms. This is honest power and not "inflated" AVR power specs. Emotiva has something called e-Club, which is $49 a year. This membership comes with a standard 10% discount during the year and a special 20% discount during the month of July. This would save you $151 ( 20% of $1000 -$49 for e-Club ) on the cost of the XPA-5.

Since, it seems, that Yamaha doesn't offer any Free Amp Assign, then maybe just an Emotiva UPA-500 ( $350 ) or a pair of UPA-200's ( $314 each ) would be a better choice for the 4 presence channels. UPA-500 is 80w x 5 and UPA-200 is 125w x 2.

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post #7 of 16 Old 07-17-2014, 07:30 PM
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I am not sure what the OPs options are, but Yamaha has been pretty flexible in how you can assign internal amps to various duties.

It might be possible to use a cheapo external amp for the presence channels, and perhaps you could get by with less power for them, but you do need to match SPL even with the presence channels, so I don't know that you could use too low powered of an amp

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post #8 of 16 Old 07-17-2014, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again to everyone who took the time to read through my post, it was incredibly long and offers no real discussion other than how to help me, random AVS member #10 million. So I do appreciate it.

Everyone seemsto be saying I should run the main fronts through the amp and use the receiver for the presence. I could be wrong, but I think it's possible. There is quite an extensive list of options when it comes to delegation if duties and speaker configurations. I mean, it's pretty overwhelming for me to even look at lol.

Thing is, what would that actually do differently? Either way no material is programmed for 11 channels so I have to assume that no matter how i set it up the receiver would have to matrix those speakers using some algorithm. Also I'm somewhat afraid of messing up how it delegates the speakers duties, and it's not like yamahas tech support is going to be able to walk me through anything technical like that. But if its a n option, and I can afford it to get the 200w per channel amp then I'd be glad to try. More research on amps and how many watts the front speakers I purchase will require. If I get towers I'm sure they'll perform better from the amp.

Any ideas on that volume knob and if I must rule those options out? Getting another receiver does seem like another option....

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post #9 of 16 Old 07-18-2014, 11:47 AM
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just skimmed so don't know if this is relevant to your question, but when I see "audio coming from every damn which way", you might want to read up on Atmos

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post #10 of 16 Old 07-18-2014, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
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just skimmed so don't know if this is relevant to your question, but when I see "audio coming from every damn which way", you might want to read up on Atmos
Well, I have. And it is awesome. Thing is, my receiver doesn't handle Atmos.....It's brand new tech. And buying new main receiver would be nuts. It was only three years ago that I spent 1800 on the Yamaha fkagship, and it performs absolutely wonderfully with features like second zones and video processing that will be awesome for years and years to come.

While I keep myself informed on new tech, of that tech happens to be droolworthy yet completely out of reach for many years, I try to stop learning about it just after covering the basics. This is because I've got the Home Theater upgrade bug....when I know all the logic behind how something is objectively, massively better then I just convince myself I need it; blowing disproportionate amounts of money where it shouldn't go. For example, I bought a freaking OLED tv when the normal price for them was still 6 thousand dollars. Why? Because I read too many damn things about OLED!! as I was already in the market for an upgrade, how oh how, could this techie pass up "ultra-tech"? Well, I need some restraint so for now I'm putting Dolby atomos information on the backburner, lol.


Anyways just the 7 omnidirectional nanosats in the room with the picture I've posted sounds, truly like there is sound coming from everywhere. Those speakers may not have beastly specs, but they accomplish a certain feel which no others can and is only good for certain types of listening environments. Movies create a huge rear soundfield to where I cannot recognize that the sounds are coming from fixed positions in the slightest. When I listen to music in stereo mode sound is purely everywhere. Now.....I'm going to make that 7.1 11.2 channels. Of course I want to set it up as good as humanly possible, and make all the right decisions for optimization, but I need to do so within the confines of the main receiver I've got, rx-a3000. And if I do it the way I'm envisioning it, you're dank right there will be sound everywhere no matter WHAT codec I use. It's going to blow the room up and I can't wait. Thing is you don't need to spend thousands of dollars on each individual item to accomplish this! Certain things you do, I mean I'm glad I got the amp I got and I'd always want a top of the line display, but it's amazing how how far a good configuration, calibration, and thoroughly researched purchases no matter their cost, can go.

Anyways, still in limbo with lots of stuff, but as far as amps I may go with the emotiva u-500 and simply use the presence speakers on them. When I referred to buying another receiver earlier, it was only because I'm thinking of using that for the extra speaker amplification as it seems more watts . It would be just an entry level 5.1 channel, but more channels seem easier and cheaper to acquire that way, and will have countless more configuration options. But as I've never done anything like this before that is simply utter speculation and again, I'm not sure if it would work in the same way as a standard power amp.

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post #11 of 16 Old 07-18-2014, 09:34 PM
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The 6th and 7th channels are directly behind me
I don't have any info for you, but is that a Technics 1200 Mk II?

Glad someone else still has them! I have a pair!
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-18-2014, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I feel ashamed TK....it is not a true techniks. It is a Chinese knock off from Audio technica, which also needs upradeage. I'd love a techniks. You said you have a PAIR? Wowza

Quick update for human, I am indeed allowed to use the external amp for whichever channels I want, I've come to understand the different options on the speaker co figuration menu and the rx-a3000 let's me set it up any which way I want.

Only problem is the amps which carry enough watts to power the front speakers are very expensive. Still deciding on speakers though.....this is a process.

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post #13 of 16 Old 07-19-2014, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
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So I put together a mock cart, including the emotiva up 500, and then realized that the front speakers I chose are 6 ohms, and everything else in the setup is 8. Then I went looking for more and realized that pretty much all front channel speakers with decent woofers in them are 6 ohms, except towers that cost at the least 600+ a pop.

This is proving to be difficult. I got some information saying it's okay to use 6 ohm front channels when the receiver is 8 (the amp seems to only be configurable to 4 or 8), and other sources saying I could destroy the receiver by mismatching anything ohmwise in the whole setup.

Anybody with opinions on tossing 6 ohm fronts into an 8 ohm setup? I don't see many other options, and can only change the impedance for all speakers not individually, unless I get a separate 6 ohm amp just for the fronts. Then I'll need.....3 amps?

Also having trouble choosing my matching subs. I can gauge what kind of wattage I need in my speakers, but there's more at stake with subs. I dint want to miss out on any frequencies, and I can't seem to find any specs for the one I currently have for reference, as it only bcame bundled.

If you look at the pic of the room then you can see the sub needs to be wireless in order to balance out the bass by putting it on the right side. The left one is right in front of that couch and the rca's run behind the bookcases. I don't like the sound of of front + rear subs, I've only heard of left + right working out properly for even distribution of bass in a .2 system.

Lots of delegation for this upgrade here.

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post #14 of 16 Old 07-20-2014, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I think this thread was too long winded to keep people's attention....And I totally understand that. Butbive got to journal, or brainstornm, or whatever.

Spent the day making mock carts again. I've decided on a lot, and learned a lot from all the research and countless days of thinking this took. I haven't even been to the OLED forum because I've been so busy thinking about audio now!

Well, I reached a price tag which was well over what I SHOULD be spending in this room. When I get a larger place none of the upgrades I would spend thousands on now would mean anything anymore. That said I'm not ditching the project or moving toward "junk", just trying to slim down to one thousand or close.. Everything i consider gets read about over and over and over though.

I think I'm going to get the BIC V64 towers, as the B84rs are the same thing, only 10 dollars more most places, and have an 8" woofer opposed to a 6.5". However, despite which choice seems obvious, I read from some that the woofer in the 84 causes some noticeable wonkiness in the midrange, and that if you have a decent sub you are better off with the 64's. This was a HARD decision! Lots of people swear by these two models, or one or the other. Does anyone have experience with these two to confirm anything like that? Anyway they've received absolutely stellar reviews and were 130 a peice. Great. I still want to change myccart to the 84s every ten seconds though

In keeping with this advice i didtched the notion buying two matching subs. I'll never get one on the right side of the room to look nice and I simply don't trust wireless to keep the same fidelity.. So again I'm going with BIC and getting the absolutely massive, probably far too much for this particular room, F12. It will be towards the front of the room and as long as it isn't too much, I'm going to run a 20 ft rca to the old sub which I'll place all the way in the back corner, behind where ibtook the picture, just to ensure that no matter where I walk there will be bass. I'd really prefer them to match, but oh well. This was one was to cut some major costs and it was more of an odd thing anyway.

I've got no clue where to put my presence channels still, none at all. I have a drop ceiling. On there maybe? and I keep wanting to pull the trigger on a few JAMO 369'S to try them, as the nanosats colored the sound of this room in a way I've never heard before and it was incredible for years,, but spec wise they'd essentially be replacing the exact same thing. So eh, I dunno. The large ones are almost 200 a pop, theres probably better bang for the buck BUT I'm going to need to buy two speakers for either 4th and 5th surround or rear presence regardless of how I toss the dice and I'd like them to be omnipolar so I may just spring on it.....I can't even find Omnisats on Amazon anymore . It's sad they went out of business. Nobody thought my setup sounded special until I blasted it and they basked in the glory of the endless soundscape. (Not that "NANOSATS" are perfect speakers or anything, but in the right conditions they are drastically understaded). If I I buy jamos and they don't kick the nanosats out of the water though I'll be pissed

No idea what amp to go with, really. These are the most expensive, and also the most important. But as stupid as they would look piled up in my entertainment center, the Yamaha rs201 ($150), and some little insignia ($100 flat) stereo receivers are seriously the best bang for the buck that would suit my purpose, so it would seem. Even though I'd really not go that route. But I'm having trouble seeing why I should spend 600 bucks for something that does nothing over the exact same thing for 100 or a little more just becuse the alternative may possibly be unsightly....And take up tons of room. I still havent found out why it's not recommended to have volume knobs on your power amps either

Anyways, that's where I'm at. Still lots to decide. Hopefully I'll have everything by the end of the week, and it will be all up and running and properly configured one more week later. My friends will immediately want to see it though, and they're the type of people who just don't believe in doing anything beside taking stuff out of boxes and hooking up wires to openings that make it work. they aren't even aware that a ten million dollar investment can sound like a toys r us walkie talkie if hounding tajebthe time to understand how everything works. They'd never believe me if I said the words "BREAK IN TIME", and "COUNTLESS DAYS OF TWEAKING!" LOL, annoying.

By the way I typed this really fast on my phone and there's tons of typos in it, not going to edit so deal. Looking forward to any opinions at all and open to any and all ideas

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post #15 of 16 Old 07-25-2014, 10:51 PM
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I feel ashamed TK....it is not a true techniks. It is a Chinese knock off from Audio technica, which also needs upradeage. I'd love a techniks. You said you have a PAIR? Wowza
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-26-2014, 07:03 AM
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6 ohms

I would not worry about 6 ohm speakers. The Outlaw or the Emo will handle them comfortably. I have run mixed ohm setups with no trouble. I guess when you get down to 4 ohms with relatively inefficient speakers things could "Heat Up" a bit. I have 4 ohm AMT Heil's running of a mid grade Yamaha and the 6 ohm setting on the AVR handles them well with little heat. I've listened to them as loud a setting as I could want and had no problems. Of course the Heil's are pretty efficient @ 93 db
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