Can i connect an amplifier to onkyo reciever that has no pre-outs - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 44 Old 04-03-2009, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by John Mactavish View Post

that's what i thought...i thought it would sound tinny and full of static but it worked. without the onkyo receiver they can get really loud so may be that could be a reason.

Usually after calibrating for the 70db reference level i could never listen at the level...way too loud on using the onkyo we have. always had to dial the volume down. finally can listen to it.

waiting for the other amps to arrive and set up all channels.

You sure you don't have any sort of dynamics compression setting turned on when using the onkyo? Otherwise what you say makes no sense, as 70dB measured using one amp vs another is still 70 dB. No one should sound louder than the other.
Though it is possible the new amps are being stressed and in turn compressing the audio, and so you feel you hear new things since all sounds, small and large, are near equal in volume. If thats the case, i'd look into actually turning on dynamic compression on your onkyo and try just using your onkyo amp.
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post #32 of 44 Old 04-03-2009, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mactavish View Post

...
Usually after calibrating for the 70db reference level i could never listen at the level...way too loud on using the onkyo we have. always had to dial the volume down. finally can listen to it....

Mebbe I don't understand what you mean, but just because you calibrate your system at "x" SPL, doesn't mean you have to listen to it at that level. Using the volume control to set a lower listening level is perfectly acceptable.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #33 of 44 Old 04-03-2009, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post

Mebbe I don't understand what you mean, but just because you calibrate your system at "x" SPL, doesn't mean you have to listen to it at that level. Using the volume control to set a lower listening level is perfectly acceptable.

that's what i thought and what i meant to say. usually after calibrating the speakers at reference levels i have to lower the listening level because it is too loud.

The loudness is the same for both setups(with and without the little amp). It's just that with the little amp connected, its not harsh on the ears and i don't feel i have to lower the listening level anymore.

Like in the scene in casino royale where james bond rams into a concrete wall with a wheel dozer and is right behind the terrorist he's pursuing in the construction site. Or when the pipes from a crane fall to the ground below after bond releases them to lift him up to the top of the crane. Usually I will lower the listening level but now i don't have to.
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post #34 of 44 Old 04-04-2009, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mactavish View Post


The loudness is the same for both setups(with and without the little amp). It's just that with the little amp connected, its not harsh on the ears and i don't feel i have to lower the listening level anymore.

Like in the scene in casino royale where james bond rams into a concrete wall with a wheel dozer and is right behind the terrorist he's pursuing in the construction site. Or when the pipes from a crane fall to the ground below after bond releases them to lift him up to the top of the crane. Usually I will lower the listening level but now i don't have to.

I figured it out. You are having problems balancing your various speakers, and these little amps are sort of pushing you into a different set of gain adjustements.

You're still pushing the sound through the amps in your speakers. It could be that they have forgotten how to drive speakers, but that is very rare.

I've been around the block just a few times in the past 50+ years of working with audio, and no properly-working power amp is as bad as the amps in your receivers seem to be. They are either broken or your various level settings are not right.

You previously mentioned problems hearing dialog. That's usually due to the mains being too loud and the center channel not being loud enough. For get about fancy calibration schemes, just adjust the speakers so that they sound right.
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post #35 of 44 Old 04-04-2009, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

You're still pushing the sound through the amps in your speakers. It could be that they have forgotten how to drive speakers, but that is very rare.

I'm not sure what you are saying here - as I understand it his speakers have no amps. And I've never heard of an amp forgetting how to drive speakers.

Lets give the OP the benefit of the doubt for now.

It is possible that the little amps he bought sound better to him than the built in onkyo amps. He does not say what Onkyo he has. But I suspect based on the description is it a cheap HTIB type of receiver. Does it have a model number?

Sure, the way he is using these little amps doesn't seem to make a lot of sense - he is after all passing the signal through the Onkyo amps, then through a cheap speaker to line level adapter (probably just a couple of resistors), then to his little amps. But it is quite possible the cheap Onkyo amps are happier driving a high impedance load (which is what the adapters provide). So maybe, just maybe, he really is getting better sound than before. Who knows, it is possible. . . maybe. . . Heck, a low end Onkyo probably doesn't have much money invested in output gain stages, and maybe they are not very good.

Output transistors can die, and maybe not making them work so hard results in better sound?

On the other hand, he is paying $50 for two channels of amplification, plus the cost of the adapters, plus the cost of the receiver. He might be better off selling everything he owns and putting that money toward a more capable receiver.

This could turn out to be a useful learning experience for him. Learning is always a good thing. You should have seen some of the crazy things I've tried over the years - learning by doing can be a very powerful method.

Or, he could be building and trying to sell these little amps and this is one of his attempts at marketing.

Everything I say here is my opinion. It is not my employers opinion, it is not my wife's opinion, it is not my neighbors opinion, it is My Opinion.
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post #36 of 44 Old 04-04-2009, 11:12 AM
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If he were building and selling them, he would probably know what double-blind testing is.

I certainly wouldn't buy anything audio from someone who doesn't know that term. I guess he could be playing dumb, but still...

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post #37 of 44 Old 04-04-2009, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dknightd View Post

On the other hand, he is paying $50 for two channels of amplification, plus the cost of the adapters, plus the cost of the receiver. He might be better off selling everything he owns and putting that money toward a more capable receiver.

This could turn out to be a useful learning experience for him. Learning is always a good thing. You should have seen some of the crazy things I've tried over the years - learning by doing can be a very powerful method.

Or, he could be building and trying to sell these little amps and this is one of his attempts at marketing.

Sorry. I didn't realize the way I am posting seems like a marketing attempt. I removed the links and pics. I don't want to get banned.

I just posted because I wanted to know if it was possible to connect the amp to the speaker output of my receiver using the adapters. I didn't want to break anything that i won't be able to replace right away. Then someone mentioned a DBT which i thought was interesting, so i wanted to try it. then I wanted to post the results. I guess the thread went off topic. Please close it if necessary. Thanks for all the advice and tips.

Yes, my onkyo is a cheap receiver...got it as part of a HTIB. so maybe anything sounds better than it hehe

Its an onkyo htr-520 . so very old and few features. it doesn't even have pre-outs.

Yes my speakers are passive. threw out the htib speakers and brother made 6 DIY ones but kept the subwoofer.

yeah it maybe expensive -

3 little amps - 180
6 adapters - 42
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$222

I really wanted

6 mackie hrmkii 624s - $2700
outlaw 990 - 600
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$3300

but thats an impossible dream for now hehe. i can only spare a few hundreds right now.

if there are any other words that may seem like me marketing the amp i will remove after i review the thread.

sorry again.

UPDATE: i think i removed any pic, links or sentences that appear to be a marketing attempt.
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post #38 of 44 Old 04-04-2009, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dknightd View Post

I'm not sure what you are saying here - as I understand it his speakers have no amps.

Right, his onkyo receiver houses his origional amplifiers.

Quote:
And I've never heard of an amp forgetting how to drive speakers.

I was speaking figuratively. However it happens -various parts failures can make a power amp sound OK driving a high impedance load, but not do well driving a low impedance load. For this to happen to all of the amplifiers in a multichannel receiver would be pretty remarkable, but not impossible.


Quote:
Lets give the OP the benefit of the doubt for now.

I was. If I wanted to be mean I could say that his ears are broken! ;-)

Quote:
It is possible that the little amps he bought sound better to him than the built in onkyo amps.

I wouldn't expect them to sound any different. However, we could have a case of "Constructor's ear" where his personal involvement with the little amps or at least the idea of using them is dominating his perceptions. But, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt and not going there very seriously at this time.


Quote:
He does not say what Onkyo he has. But I suspect based on the description is it a cheap HTIB type of receiver. Does it have a model number?

Good question, but even a HTIB receiver should be able to drive speakers.


Quote:
Sure, the way he is using these little amps doesn't seem to make a lot of sense - he is after all passing the signal through the Onkyo amps, then through a cheap speaker to line level adapter (probably just a couple of resistors), then to his little amps.

I'm not worried about the line level adaptor - I've designed and built my own version of them (I'm a degreed and experienced engineer, also very experienced with hands-on electronics and when I built my own - two resistors per channel!)

The mind-bending part is where the Onkyo amps are still in the signal path. Not that I am worried about them causing problems if in good operating condition, but because of all the potential failures that are excluded by their presence in a presumably good signal path.

Quote:
But it is quite possible the cheap Onkyo amps are happier driving a high impedance load (which is what the adapters provide).

Just any good power amp measures better when driving a high impedance load. However, just about any good modern power amp measures very well, as long as it is not overloaded.


Quote:
So maybe, just maybe, he really is getting better sound than before. Who knows, it is possible. . . maybe. . . Heck, a low end Onkyo probably doesn't have much money invested in output gain stages, and maybe they are not very good.

Not very good by modern power amp standards is still pretty good in the cosmic scheme of things. Remember tubes? ;-) I do! :-(

Quote:
Output transistors can die, and maybe not making them work so hard results in better sound?

Usually a bad output transistor has pretty catastrophic effects.


Quote:
On the other hand, he is paying $50 for two channels of amplification, plus the cost of the adapters, plus the cost of the receiver. He might be better off selling everything he owns and putting that money toward a more capable receiver.

I bought one of those little Tripath amps a few years back. It sounded OK driving NHT super Zeroes, but it stank on the test bench.


Quote:
This could turn out to be a useful learning experience for him. Learning is always a good thing. You should have seen some of the crazy things I've tried over the years - learning by doing can be a very powerful method.

Been there, done that.

I used to believe what I read in The Absolute Sound - I was a charter subscriber of both it and Stereophile.


Quote:
Or, he could be building and trying to sell these little amps and this is one of his attempts at marketing.

Well, he picked a pretty tough house to play to, if that is his plan. BS does not do well here, I note.
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post #39 of 44 Old 04-04-2009, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not marketing anything....i removed all the links. I didn't even mention the name of the amps.

I wouldn't know how the tripath amplifiers sounded a few years back because i never tried them...and they are all discontinued so I would not know. UPDATE: sorry bout that...i saw that they are still on sale. but more expensive then what i have. and lesser watts. the one i have is 50 watts mono, 20 watts stereo

I like how these sound because they remind me of how my parents' old tube receiver sounded. clear, detailed, and can be played loud without being harsh on the ears.
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post #40 of 44 Old 04-05-2009, 12:11 AM
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At the end of the day all that really matters is if you are satisfied. And, it sounds like you mostly are now.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #41 of 44 Old 04-05-2009, 01:10 PM
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no

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post #42 of 44 Old 04-05-2009, 02:36 PM
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no

Are you answering the question of the thread?
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post #43 of 44 Old 05-06-2009, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
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well i connected all 6 channels.

I tried just using 3 amps - front left and right in the first, center and surround back in the second, and surround left and right in the 3rd. It didn't work.

Using only 3 amps made the sound of the right channel come out of the left channel and the right channel was not as loud...

i solved this by using only one amp to power one channel which worked well.

as for the speaker to line level adapters i used from buttkicker. they work too and i'm glad they are one channel adapters. if they were stereo, i might have had a problem.

I also had to use the in-phase/out-of-phase tests on AVIA DVD.

with the improved sound and my buttkicker i'm very satisfied with the setup...still going over the rest of my movie collection.
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post #44 of 44 Old 05-07-2009, 05:42 AM
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Find a friend who is an old lab rat, open up the receiver and find some point where the preamp feeds the power amps, tap in there to new jacks. It really burns me that modern AVR's don't have the pre-out , main-in jacks of old. I have had to add them to three units now. Example, my Denon has 9 amps in it. I only use three. I could use the other 6 with an external crossover for mids and tweets if I could get to them, only needing one external bass amp.

Don't know which cheap amps he was referring to, but I tested/listened to the $9 off e-bay and found it a lot better than expected. Everyone uses the same chips, and the chips have gotten a LOT better. Is my bench 35W Rotel better, yea, but not by much.
They are only really 20W or so, not the 350 they advertise. I use it for my computer speakers. I was thinking a pile of them would make a great way to power many pairs of wall plates for whole-house background speakers. 20 channels for $100. Would I use them for my mains? No, I already have a pile of used Haflers for that
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