Help Finding a Good 7.1, 4 ohm Stable Reciver - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 08-01-2014, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Help Finding a Good 7.1, 4 ohm Stable Reciver

Hey All,

I am a long time lurker, but rare poster. About 2 years ago I posted a request very similar to this. I got some great advice, but ended up just waiting to making a purchase due to lack of funds. But times have changed and I am again in the market to upgrade my 10 year old receiver. My wife and I sourced many of the components for our 1st home theater here and have been extremely happy thus far. However it seems to be time that I update our very old receiver into something that is more capable. Here is a quick rundown of our system:

Projector - Epson 8700UB
Blu-Ray Player - PS3
Receiver - Denon 3802 (<<< what I am looking to replace)

Speakers:

Fronts - Miller and Kreisel (M&K) S85L&R 4Ohm
Center - M&K S85C 4Ohm
Sides - M&K LR55 Tri-Poles 4Ohm
Rear - M&K LCR55 Mono-Poles 4Ohm
Sub - M&K VX-100 Dual 8"

Room:

18' X 34'

For everyone's reference the PS3 is connected directly to the projector through a 40 ft HDMI cable and the to the receiver through an optical cable. I have been using the above setup for a quite some time and a very happy. However there are some major drawbacks.

Firstly and most glaring, my receiver is not capable of accepting HDMI inputs; leaving me me with using the optical out on my PS3. This means that I can not pass many (any?) high bandwidth signals and I am limited to 5.1 surround. Fortunatly my 3802 has a "cinema" mode that simulates 7.1, but I am sure it is nothing like the real thing.

Secondly, because my receiver does not have any digital inputs/outputs I am forced to keep an analog monitor near by when doing calibrations. This makes it very difficult to adjust small settings when needed as I have no OSD being sent to my projector.

Thirdly, the current receiver does not have a real EQ, leaving me in the cold when it comes to real fine tuning adjustments.



I am looking to get something new that is not only capable of driving 7 channels, but also able to due so on 4 ohm speakers "near" reference level. I would also prefer that it can decode any signals that my PS3 can send and has a reasonable EQ built in.

I am open to any and all brands, but I do love the Denon I have been using so I would be partial to another one. I would also be open to lower range receiver and a separate amplifier, but I have not found a good amplifier that supports 7 channels. The receiver sits in the back of my HT so a omni-directional remote would be nice too, but I can always get an IR blaster.

My maximum budget is $1000, but I would really like to keep it below $600 if possible. I am happy to purchase online or B&M. Either is fine but I would like a full warranty.

There are a few things I do NOT need, so hopefully that will cut down some cost:

I don't need multi-room / zone control
I don't need more than 4 hdmi ports (in fact 2 would be fine)
I don't need legacy inputs or outputs. This is a dedicated receiver for my movie theater only.
I don't NEED network connect-ability as the PS3 does this just fine.
I don't know if I need pre-outs for a separate amplifier, as I am hoping to just use the receiver to power my speakers.

I have attempted to look at many different manufacturers, but very few advertise 4 ohm stability (especially across 7 channels). Can anyone point me in the right direction? I can do much of the comparison work if I could have a few model numbers to start with. Looks are not important, but "cleaner" is preferred.

At this point I almost jumped on a cheep AVR-E400 for $250 from Denon. I know it is quite a step down from my current model, but it seems like it meets almost all my needs. Though I have no idea about sound quality or 4 ohm stability (though some have mentions that it is 4 ohm stable).

Thanks in advance for everyone's time,

Alpha
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post #2 of 29 Old 08-01-2014, 03:58 PM
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I don't think the Denon e400 is rated for 4 ohm loads.

You might want look at something like this NAD receiver.
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_745T748...V2.html?tp=179

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post #3 of 29 Old 08-01-2014, 04:04 PM
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For those speakers, I'd definitely buy an external power amplifier and NOT use a AVR. For $600? Forget it! Something like one of the 125W outlaws would be good start.

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post #4 of 29 Old 08-01-2014, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeh,

I don't think the E400 is rated there either, but I saw some posts on other forums with users having success. I am certainly not looking to cheap out of this purchase, but I really JUST need my PS3 to send 7.1 audio to the new receiver and then for the receiver to decode and send out 7.1 to the speakers. Everything else is fluff.

Sound quality is the most important aspect for me, but I am unsure how my current 3802, which was amazing for the time, fairs compared to even mid range receivers now.
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post #5 of 29 Old 08-01-2014, 04:11 PM
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If I was you

http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/975.html
http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/7125.html

The Outlaw av pre is quite basic, but it's pretty cheap. You could just add the 7125 to your Denon then look for a new AV pre or a AVR and just use the pre-outs

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post #6 of 29 Old 08-01-2014, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post
If I was you

http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/975.html
http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/7125.html

The Outlaw av pre is quite basic, but it's pretty cheap. You could just add the 7125 to your Denon then look for a new AV pre or a AVR and just use the pre-outs
Thanks FB,

The outlaws were an option in the past too, but the cost is certainly quite expensive. I guess I am confused on the need for ~190W of power at 4 ohm for the 7125, when my current old receiver only outputs ~100w per channel. My current setup gets far FAR too loud at ~50% volume. I don't know much about amplifiers, but if I did bite the bullet for a good 7 channel amp, I could just find any receiver with the EQ options I wanted and use the pre-outs for to the amp, correct?

I would kind of like to have a audassity like program for the receiver, as I took 5+ hours tuning my HT last time with a decibel meter on a stand and playing test tones over and over. This is not something I would like to do again.

The NAD suggested above looks like a great option, but I don't see anything about 4 ohm compatibility. The price is very tempting though and it has everything I need feature wise.
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post #7 of 29 Old 08-01-2014, 04:30 PM
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It's not the power, it's the current. Your speakers are 4ohm, which requires a hefty PSU. Most AVR's aren't capable of 4ohm speakers. Oh if manually setting up a AVR takes 5 hours..lol. Distance and levels should take 10 minutes at the most.

Yup if you get power amp, use your Denon, or buy a AVR with pre-outs. I've gone AV pre-power and won't consider a AVR. Using 4 ohm speakers myself.

I'm currently using a ATI 2003. 200W into 8ohm, 300W into 4ohm

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post #8 of 29 Old 08-01-2014, 04:49 PM
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I'm using 4 ohm speakers. My Denon 4520 was able to drive 9 channels worth of 4 ohm speakers without any problem. Unfortunately it is well above your price limit.

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post #9 of 29 Old 08-01-2014, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post
It's not the power, it's the current. Your speakers are 4ohm, which requires a hefty PSU. Most AVR's aren't capable of 4ohm speakers. Oh if manually setting up a AVR takes 5 hours..lol. Distance and levels should take 10 minutes at the most.

Yup if you get power amp, use your Denon, or buy a AVR with pre-outs. I've gone AV pre-power and won't consider a AVR. Using 4 ohm speakers myself.

I'm currently using a ATI 2003. 200W into 8ohm, 300W into 4ohm
Looking at outlaw, I also remembered Emotiva as a lower cost option their UMC-700 is nearly half the cost of the Outlaw, but with half the wattage. Dose anyone have any experience with Emotiva's pre's or amps?
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post #10 of 29 Old 08-02-2014, 01:49 AM
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From other posters I wouldn't buy a Emotiva av pre. Too many bugs. Emotiva isn't available in the UK so they're out as no warranty or support. UPA-700 is fan cooled

You could always look for a second hand XPA-5 and XPA-2

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post #11 of 29 Old 08-02-2014, 05:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post
From other posters I wouldn't buy a Emotiva av pre. Too many bugs. Emotiva isn't available in the UK so they're out as no warranty or support. UPA-700 is fan cooled

You could always look for a second hand XPA-5 and XPA-2
Thanks again FB.

Still looking for other opinions from other users.

Thanks in advance for your time.
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post #12 of 29 Old 08-02-2014, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Alphakennyone View Post
Still looking for other opinions from other users.
Consider the Pioneer 1123 receiver. http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-VSX-11.../dp/B00BKXCKRC
It has decent power built in and has preouts for the front 2 main speakers and subwoofers. Using a 7 channel external amp is a waste.
Always use some of the internal amp channels. Receiver is completely flexible on external amp channels used.
Using a subwoofer is the key to efficient power. A 2 channel amp should be fine.

This receiver has auto room eq similar to low end denons. Some sub eq. Real good auto eq is way above your budget.
Same as good internal manual subwoofer eq. If doing manual eq use the free room eq wizard software with a $80 usb
measurement mic instead of test tones and a db meter. Way easier, faster and more accurate.

Don't worry about the extra features/connections you don't need. Strong power at low price is hard to find.
At $350 this thing is stout. And full preamp out is twice as much $$$. 5 hours of setup is for room eq.
Something that most Lexicon and Krell owners avoid. Distance and level is a 10 minute deal. EQ 10 minutes to forever.
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post #13 of 29 Old 08-02-2014, 06:45 AM
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http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...-labs-measures

59W per channel into 8ohm

Quote:
two channels driving 8-ohm loads, reaches 0.1 percent distortion at 127.7 watts
Into 4 ohms, the amplifier reaches 0.1 percent distortion at 129.1
That shows poor PSU in the Pioneer. Watts should for a semi good amp be 50% more into 4ohm, ideally twice as much.

And nothing about 7 channels, into 4 ohm speakers? Get the Outlaw, even the most cheapest model outclasses the Pioneer.

Quote:
Power Output: 7 x 75 watts RMS at 8 ohms, all channels driven from 20 Hz to 20kHz with less than 0.08% THD 7 x 115 watts RMS at 4 ohms, all channels driven from 20 Hz to 20kHz with less than 0.08% THD

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post #14 of 29 Old 08-02-2014, 07:59 AM
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the only Denon certified for 4ohm operation in last year's lineup was the 4520. This year I believe all of them except the first entry level unit are certified for 4ohm loads.


Call JDSmoothie here on AVS. They are authorized Denon seller. He can tell you which model fits your needs & budget best. Keep in mind with Denon SRP is one thing, what a dealer can sell to you for on the phone is another. Worth a call.

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post #15 of 29 Old 08-02-2014, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow,

Thanks for all the replies guys. I would love to stay in the Denon family, as the current unit has been great for me. I am getting so many conflicting views it is a bit hard to judge what direction to head. Having a separate amplifier seems like a reasonable long term solution, as I can use the amp forever, regardless of is the receiver gets old or outdated. However if Denon could offer what I need in a single unit that would be great.

The biggest issue I have is on power needs. My current model gets way, way, WAY louder than anyone could possibly listen to. I am unsure of how Denon rates their volumes, but my receiver is set to -22 to -15 at the highest. If "0" is supposed to be reference, I am unsure of who could listen to it that high. I believe that my receiver goes all the way to positive 40. But I have never gone past +2.

At this point I am looking at potentially opening up my budget to $1500 max to make room for better options. Unfortunately the $2000+ units are out of my price range currently.

Thanks for all the feedback guys. Still open to other ideas.
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post #16 of 29 Old 08-02-2014, 02:49 PM
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Just becase it goes loud doesn't mean it sounds great. Even my mid range Yamaha can play loud, but you can tell it struggles. With 4 ohm speakers? Forget it, it sounds awful. I heard a Yamaha A1 set loud, it was awful. Distortion. Yet the sales guy saying how great that sounds. I told him to shut the thing off.

It's like saying a Ford Focus is the same as a Bugatti because both can do 150mph. But the Ford would be shaking and rattling at that speed. The Bugatti? Smooth as silk.

Also what is the sensitivity of those M&K's?

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post #17 of 29 Old 08-02-2014, 04:41 PM
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With budget increase the Denon X4000 or maybe even their new X4100 will fit. Either of those should work just fine for the time being. If at a later time you feel you want more power both of these have pre-outs to add an amp. Still would pick one the Outlaws for amp duty. That 7125 has plenty of power for your speakers.
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post #18 of 29 Old 08-02-2014, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom52 View Post
With budget increase the Denon X4000 or maybe even their new X4100 will fit. Either of those should work just fine for the time being. If at a later time you feel you want more power both of these have pre-outs to add an amp. Still would pick one the Outlaws for amp duty. That 7125 has plenty of power for your speakers.
x4000 is not rated for 4ohm duty. They state specifically not to connect anything below 6ohms. I use mine to power 4ohm surrounds at about the volume levels he indicates using, but wouldn't dare try to run 4ohm fronts or center with it.


The x4100 on the other hand, would be an outstanding choice.

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post #19 of 29 Old 08-02-2014, 05:56 PM
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You could go with something like a Yamaha Aventage and Emotiva amp or even the Emotiva Fusion 8100 along with one of their amps.
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post #20 of 29 Old 08-03-2014, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wadec22 View Post
x4000 is not rated for 4ohm duty. They state specifically not to connect anything below 6ohms. I use mine to power 4ohm surrounds at about the volume levels he indicates using, but wouldn't dare try to run 4ohm fronts or center with it.


The x4100 on the other hand, would be an outstanding choice.
Wait,

I am confused, or some of you are. My current receiver operates somewhere around 40% max volume. at 40% volume the receiver puts out huge sound. at 50-60% it is impossibly loud to listen to. I am NOT looking for more power, I am just looking for a receiver that can power my speakers, at or near their current listening level, with current connections (like hdmi).

Although I really appreciate FB's responses I feel like something was lost in translation and people think I need some all powerful system now. Or, I am misunderstanding and even mid range receivers are unable to power 4 ohms speakers at reasonable levels.

Stability / 4 ohm Compatibility
Few above features
Reasonable Cost

Thats all. More power is not needed (at least I don't think it is needed).
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post #21 of 29 Old 08-03-2014, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alphakennyone View Post
Wait,

I am confused, or some of you are. My current receiver operates somewhere around 40% max volume. at 40% volume the receiver puts out huge sound. at 50-60% it is impossibly loud to listen to. I am NOT looking for more power, I am just looking for a receiver that can power my speakers, at or near their current listening level, with current connections (like hdmi).

Although I really appreciate FB's responses I feel like something was lost in translation and people think I need some all powerful system now. Or, I am misunderstanding and even mid range receivers are unable to power 4 ohms speakers.

Stability / 4 ohm Compatibility
Few above features
Reasonable Cost

Thats all. More power is not needed (at least I don't think it is needed).

I'm not confused. The 4ohm surrounds I am powering are rated as 4-8ohm speakers. They tend to avg 5.5. The x4000 handles them just fine (especially since I listen at similar levels that you do). However, speakers that continuously dip to 4ohms would not be okay for the x4000. Denon specifically states in the manual and right on the back of the receiver not to connect anything under 6ohms. I know you don't need more power, but you do need amps that are built to handle that impedance. Denon certified this year's new line to do just that. Plenty of great receivers fall apart at 4ohms and under.

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post #22 of 29 Old 08-03-2014, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wadec22 View Post
I'm not confused. The 4ohm surrounds I am powering are rated as 4-8ohm speakers. They tend to avg 5.5. The x4000 handles them just fine (especially since I listen at similar levels that you do). However, speakers that continuously dip to 4ohms would not be okay for the x4000. Denon specifically states in the manual and right on the back of the receiver not to connect anything under 6ohms. I know you don't need more power, but you do need amps that are built to handle that impedance. Denon certified this year's new line to do just that. Plenty of great receivers fall apart at 4ohms and under.
Thanks a ton for clarifying.

Can you tell me which of Denon's line are 4 ohm certified? I can't seem to find the information on their web site.

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post #23 of 29 Old 08-03-2014, 07:06 PM
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I can look up model numbers later. Last year only the 4520 which is out of your price range.
2014 models I believe it's all but the cheapest model. You can check the official 2014 denon thread...

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post #24 of 29 Old 08-03-2014, 07:06 PM
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Can you tell me which of Denon's line are 0 ohm certified? I can't seem to find the information on their web site.
0 ohm certified? I don't know of any receiver with that certification.

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post #25 of 29 Old 08-05-2014, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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0 ohm certified? I don't know of any receiver with that certification.
Sorry, late night. 4 Ohm certified...
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post #26 of 29 Old 08-05-2014, 08:10 AM
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as said it's not the power. I have power amplifiers that are "only" 50W but they're able to power 4 ohm speakers easily and those amps would outclass most AVR's under £1500. If you tried to drive them with a budget AVR, it'll shut down.

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post #27 of 29 Old 08-05-2014, 09:34 AM
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I always assumed driving lower impedance speakers is about power. Certainly if the goal is to be able to produce the expected increase in power when halving the impedance you will need more power, but you would be more interested in the 4 ohm power spec than the 8 ohm power spec.

On the flip side, if you have an 8 ohm speaker and a 4 ohm speaker with similar sensitivity, you should need about the same power to drive them to the same SPL. Admittedly you are pushing more current into the 4 ohm speaker than the 8 ohm speaker which has some downsides such as more heat ( and possibly a shutdown due to excess current detection.)

I guess my point is that I don't see how you can improve the situation much, with regards to 4 ohm speaker use without having a more powerful receiver or amp. Seems to me if an amplifier with half the rated power as another is doing better with 4 ohm speakers it's more powerful, but that's not apparent from it's 8 ohm spec.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #28 of 29 Old 08-05-2014, 10:31 AM
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To the OP,


If you don't listen really loud, you can get just about any receiver. Just about any receiver can drive a 4 ohm speaker just fine. It's just that you won't be able to play it quite as loud as a 8 ohm speaker. Since you don't push the receiver, you have nothing to worry about. You won't notice any diminishment in sound quality unless you start to clip the amp which will only occur at very loud volumes. Likely much louder than you'll ever listen to.


I have lots of 4 ohm speakers that I drive with inexpensive receivers with no problem. I just keep it in the back of my head that I shouldn't play them at excessive levels.
KidHorn is offline  
post #29 of 29 Old 08-05-2014, 05:21 PM
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Alphakennyone,

If you want to stay within your $1k budget, try the Pioneer SC-71. It's a 7.2 AVR with a D-class amp, which will definitely handle your 4ohm speakers at your moderate listening levels, and it's got updated electronics, and all the bells and whistles to toot.

If you can go outside of your budget; Anthem AVRs have the sound quality you're looking for and ARC will automatically calibrate your system to fantastic results.
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