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post #1 of 24 Old 08-15-2014, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Amp upgrade option, best bang/$

Hi all,

I was a bit of a newbie (and still am compared to you all) when I put my theater room together last fall so I ended up shorting myself on the amp side. I have my current specs listed below. What happened is I bought a receiver that supports 110W but my 7 speakers are up to 200W each. So the result is that in order to achieve ideal movie listening, i have to crank the volume all the way up to 80% on the receiver.

My question is, what are my options other than buying a new expensive receiver to get more amps to the speakers so I do not have to red line my receiver? aka....best bank for my buck! Do not have a lot of money.

Thank you all in advance for your time and assistance!


Marantz SR6008
Power Output 110W (0.08% @ 8 Ohm), 150W (0.7% @ 6 Ohm)
S/N Ratio 100dB
Freq. Response (Analog In) 10Hz - 100kHz (+/- 3 dB)
Freq. Response (Dig In) No


MonoPrice Speakers
8 Inches Kevlar 3-Way High Power In-Wall Speaker (Pair) - 100W Nominal, 200W Max
Model HSQ-8425

5-1/4 Inches Center Channel Micro-Flanged In-Wall Speaker - 8 Ohm
Model MC-5N(8M)
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post #2 of 24 Old 08-15-2014, 12:30 PM
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I bet your Monoprice speakers are 200W peak, I don't think they're meant to be pushed at 200W continuous. With a sensitivity of 90db they shouldn't be that hard to drive. How big is your room?

The difference between 110W and 200W is 3db.

If you have a Guitar Center close by try getting one the Crown X1000 Amps that are on sale for $99. They're going fast though so hurry.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Crown-X1...odf2gAAw&nce=1

Or buy 3 Crown amps if you think you need them for the surrounds too.

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post #3 of 24 Old 08-15-2014, 12:36 PM
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unless you hear distortion you don't need amps. More power = louder. The corollary is that at less than "loudest possible level," you don't use full rated power, which is about heat failure, anyway, not about how much power the speakers can use and still stay accurate/linear.

I, like many around here, listen well below reference level, so I use less than a watt for average levels, and probably less than 50 watts for loud peaks (especially given that I have a sub and use bass management). My speakers just don't give a crap whether the 50 watts come from a 100 watt receiver or a 1000 watt outboard amp. Ohm's law prevents the watts from being different . . . .and my speakers can't see or smell or feel or taste whether there's more power in reserve than they are using, nor do they have a cerebral cortex to allow them to care, even if they could sense the difference somehow.
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post #4 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys, been out of town.

So I am still confused I guess. I did not expect that at a normal movie listening volume for the whole family, that I would have to crank it to 80 on the Marantz. Marantz support said it was because I had too small of an amp in my receiver and would need a $3k addon amp or buy a new receiver. He called it redlining...

btw...the room is only 25 x 12. So my cable runs are not too small and I used 12AWG speaker cables.
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post #5 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 08:25 PM
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What sub are you using? If you don't have one you would gain a lot more with one than by changing receiver. Your speakers look to be more limiting than your receiver now.

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post #6 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 08:27 PM
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The Marantz receiver is plenty powerful. Do you have a subwoofer at all? Adding one would take a major strain off the receiver as it wouldn't have to produce the low frequencies.

25 x 12 is not a small room. Also did you plug in the calibration microphone and run Audyssey?

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post #7 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 08:39 PM
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Seems you're using the 0-98 dB (rather than the -79.5 to 18 dB scale http://www.manualslib.com/manual/547....html?page=149), That 80 isn't 80%, dB is a logarithmic scale, not linear. A doubling of power is 3dB.

Oh and the salesman at Marantz is an idiot.

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post #8 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I have a Definitive SuperCube 2000. And I did run the microphone analysis as well. hmmm...so what would a normal playback volume be for that Marantz?
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post #9 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Should I be changing anything in here?
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post #10 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgmille View Post
Should I be changing anything in here?
Depends what you want. A lot of us do like the scale where "0" is reference level but unless you've run the calibration that's not very meaningful....

Did you run Audyssey? Do you utilize a sub?

oops only saw the last post. It is quite loud. What crossover(s) for your speakers/sub are you using? Are the speakers set to small?

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post #11 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
What crossover(s) for your speakers/sub are you using? Are the speakers set to small?
:-) Told you I was a newb...Crossover(s)? yup, speaker config is set to Small.
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post #12 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bgmille View Post
:-) Told you I was a newb...Crossover(s)? yup, speaker config is set to Small.
http://www.manualslib.com/manual/547....html?page=177

That's a lightweight sub for a room that size, think your $ bang for the buck will be a better sub for a better experience.

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post #13 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
http://www.manualslib.com/manual/547....html?page=177

That's a lightweight sub for a room that size, think your $ bang for the buck will be a better sub for a better experience.

...and maybe a tune from a local professional? What size would I want to go too? Or maybe just add another small one on the back side of the room?
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post #14 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 09:30 PM
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If you setup your system with the built in features as you've done so far you're probably getting what you'll get with a "tune".....who did you have in mind to call?

Multiple subs won't necessarily give you a lot of gain in spl (sound pressure level, expressed in dB), perhaps somewhere between 3-6 dB depending on how you locate them (co-location for the higher number). I think you just need more sub than that tiny cube, how much can you spend? Willing to go DIY? WAF concerns?

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post #15 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 10:13 PM
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I tried hard to follow this discussion. First I would like to say that you should not put much weight on speaker power ratings. There is no good reason to try to match the amp power rating and the speaker power handling rating.

I am guessing here, but if 80 is measured in dB and 98 dB is max, then you are at -18 dB below the receiver's highest setting. If this is in the ball park of a similar SPL to my Yamaha, that is a very reasonable listening level. I regularly listen at -17 dB which is 17 dB below reference level (ref. level is 105 dB peaks). That means I listen in the neighborhood of 90 dB peaks. Not that loud. You could get an SPL meter to check if you wanted.

If there's no audible distortion, stress whatever you want to call it you are in good shape. People seem to need less power than they think.

I know I say this a lot lately, but I tested Yamaha's lowest powered model recently. It could easily play movies at any volume I listen at. Even music was acceptable at "reasonable" listening levels.

Anyway, you probably don't have to change anything, but some people enjoy experimenting.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #16 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 10:22 PM
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michaelj---wouldn't the -79.5 dB to 18 dB scale be same as 0 to 98 scale, just with different numbers for "reference" level? Why would the 98 scale cap out only at reference when the other scale still have 18dB to go? He's listening at reference or near reference levels it seems....

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post #17 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 10:25 PM
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OP---curious, why the in-walls?

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post #18 of 24 Old 08-22-2014, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post
I tried hard to follow this discussion. First I would like to say that you should not put much weight on speaker power ratings. There is no good reason to try to match the amp power rating and the speaker power handling rating.

I am guessing here, but if 80 is measured in dB and 98 dB is max, then you are at -18 dB below the receiver's highest setting. If this is in the ball park of a similar SPL to my Yamaha, that is a very reasonable listening level. I regularly listen at -17 dB which is 17 dB below reference level (ref. level is 105 dB peaks). That means I listen in the neighborhood of 90 dB peaks. Not that loud. You could get an SPL meter to check if you wanted.

If there's no audible distortion, stress whatever you want to call it you are in good shape. People seem to need less power than they think.

I know I say this a lot lately, but I tested Yamaha's lowest powered model recently. It could easily play movies at any volume I listen at. Even music was acceptable at "reasonable" listening levels.

Anyway, you probably don't have to change anything, but some people enjoy experimenting.

so now I am back to, I should have someone come out who knows what they are talking about, like yourselves, to give me a definitive answer. Anyone know someone in the Mpls area?
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post #19 of 24 Old 08-22-2014, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
michaelj---wouldn't the -79.5 dB to 18 dB scale be same as 0 to 98 scale, just with different numbers for "reference" level? Why would the 98 scale cap out only at reference when the other scale still have 18dB to go? He's listening at reference or near reference levels it seems....
I agree, the scales are just scales in the end it's determining the gain of the DAC/pre amp stage. What I don't know, not having owned a Marantz is why +18 dB would be 18 dB over reference level. That seems unecessarily high to me, but that does not make it not true.

On my receiver the top is +6, 0 is referenced to 105 dB SPL output, and any negative number is below that. So I am used to the gain being at most 6 dB over reference level.

An SPL meter would go some ways to answering what SPL the OP is actually getting at various volume settings.

It's odd I see discrepencies sometimes. When I tested the Yamaha RX-V375 even after calibration it seemed to be 10 dB quieter than my RX-Z7. I have no explanation for this unless some mode was set that was changing the level such as some volume setting like ARC.

"But this one goes up to 11"

Last edited by MichaelJHuman; 08-22-2014 at 09:18 AM.
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post #20 of 24 Old 08-22-2014, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post
I agree, the scales are just scales in the end it's determining the gain of the DAC/pre amp stage. What I don't know, not having owned a Marantz is why +18 dB would be 18 dB over reference level. That seems unecessarily high to me, but that does not make it not true.

On my receiver the top is +6, 0 is referenced to 105 dB SPL output, and any negative number is below that. So I am used to the gain being at most 6 dB over reference level.

An SPL meter would go some ways to answering what SPL the OP is actually getting at various volume settings.

It's odd I see discrepencies sometimes. When I tested the Yamaha RX-V375 even after calibration it seemed to be 10 dB quieter than my RX-Z7. I have no explanation for this unless some mode was set that was changing the level such as some volume setting like ARC.
Well, when you're at reference you're averaging 85dB with 105dB peaks on the mains (115dB for the LFE channel). My avr allows -81.5 to 18 dB range for the relative scale similar to the OP's Marantz. Why I couldn't tell you. Reference level is damn loud. Agree, would be nice to know what actual levels the OP is achieving via an spl meter. All this is only relevant for movies mixed to the standard and assuming the avr is accurate, too.

Without a change of speakers I don't think the OP is going to get what he wants, I don't think an amp alone is going to do it (and I doubt his speakers are going to take much more than he can currently provide, either, before other problems come into it (if they aren't already). The speakers seem to get loud enough but I suspect the little sub isn't keeping it's end of the bargain so it seems the amp $ would be best spent instead on a good sub without changing the speakers.....IMO.


Last edited by lovinthehd; 08-22-2014 at 01:28 PM.
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post #21 of 24 Old 08-22-2014, 12:05 PM
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Worth every penny: http://www.parts-express.com/mini-di...meter--390-722
although I'd recommend a more expensive one if you can afford: http://www.parts-express.com/galaxy-...meter--245-262

crappy free-cellphone version: https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...eter.app&hl=en

Then you will know how loud you like it, if you hit over 100db with speakers A-weighted, or 110db will a subwoofer C-weighted, then that is loud and could signify that you need an external amp with lots of power or higher efficiency speakers:
https://emotiva.com/products/amplifiers/xpa-3
(assuming you have pre-outs)

My room is only 6ft bigger than yours, but my speakers are 100db per watt, and require 6000watts, because I like it insanely loud and bassy.


But also Hi-Fi too
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Last edited by BassThatHz; 08-22-2014 at 12:14 PM.
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post #22 of 24 Old 08-22-2014, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgmille View Post
Hi all,

I was a bit of a newbie (and still am compared to you all) when I put my theater room together last fall so I ended up shorting myself on the amp side. I have my current specs listed below. What happened is I bought a receiver that supports 110W but my 7 speakers are up to 200W each. So the result is that in order to achieve ideal movie listening, i have to crank the volume all the way up to 80% on the receiver.
What is wrong with cranking the volume all the way up to 80% on the receiver?


You should be able to change this by adjusting the channel trims on the AVR.
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post #23 of 24 Old 08-22-2014, 02:44 PM
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I don't think he's at 80% per some of the posts here.

If 80 was out of 0 to 100 and was a linear measure of how close you were to clipping the DAC/preamp stage that would be stupid loud and peaks would be distorted. But I doubt any AVR uses a linear volume scale.

Presumably 80 is on a log scale and I suppose you could call it 80% of a 0 to 100 scale, but that would be a bit misleading.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #24 of 24 Old 08-22-2014, 04:20 PM
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I don't think that one will work very well since it is only A-weighted. You really need a C weighted meter.

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