Can i connect an amplifier to onkyo reciever that has no pre-outs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 03-27-2009, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I bought this little amplifier...[link removed by OP]. I like how it sounds and i wanted to bypass my receivers amplifier and use these little amps instead.

I wanted to purchase 2 more so i would have 6 channels but i'm looking at my onkyo receiver and there are no pre-outs. I only have terminal outs for the speakers.

Can I use this speaker level interface adapter to connect to my little amplifier. It comes with my buttkicker bka 300 kit. I called thebuttkicker.com and they told me they would sell me more of these speaker level interface adapters no problem.

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post #2 of 44 Old 03-27-2009, 07:10 PM
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Why? It is a 20wpc amp with unspecified distortion (yeah, the number they give is irrelevant and useless without qualifications). It seems likely that it is inferior to the typical amp in an Onkyo receiver.

Besides, the adapter you are asking about will work but the signals will still be passing through the Onkyo's amp before being attenuated to pass through the new amp. The result is the sum of the distortion of both amps and poorer SNR.

Again, why?

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post #3 of 44 Old 03-27-2009, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Why? It is a 20wpc amp with unspecified distortion (yeah, the number they give is irrelevant and useless without qualifications). It seems likely that it is inferior to the typical amp in an Onkyo receiver.

Besides, the adapter you are asking about will work but the signals will still be passing through the Onkyo's amp before being attenuated to pass through the new amp. The result is the sum of the distortion of both amps and poorer SNR.

Again, why?

True and true.

But if he likes the way it sounds, then I say go for it.

Use the speaker/line level adapter. Just keep the Onkyo at a low volume level. Only high enough to get a decent signal to the other amp.

Yes you will have additional distortion. If you like how it sounds, then get the other adapters.
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post #4 of 44 Old 03-27-2009, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
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[pic removed by OP]

on the packaging:
distortion is 0.05%
snr - 112dbA
freq response - 1hz - 70 khz

connecting the little amp directly from my dvd player right now...

its just that i could hear details in the audio tracks of movies my onkyo couldn't reproduce. It sounds clearer than my onkyo. It sounds like my dad's old fisher studio standard vacuum tube receiver

I guess when i connect the little amp to my speaker you could say its an active speaker, right? Is it possible to connect active speakers to a receiver with no pre-outs too? I guess this is the same method. using these attenuators.

Why? because i can't afford to replace my current receiver right now. I wish i had money to buy an outlaw 990...but then i would have to buy active monitors. i get headaches just thinking about where i can get the money for that...or when i will be able to save up for it.

Thanks xander for the advice about keeping onkyo at low volume level. i will try that when the adapter arrives.

thanks kal for explaining the distortion problem
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post #5 of 44 Old 03-28-2009, 09:54 AM
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This does not make them active speakers any more than they were before.

And those specs are still pretty useless.
THD at 1KHz? What about the rest of the spectrum?
FR with no indication of variation?
Feh.

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post #6 of 44 Old 03-28-2009, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

This does not make them active speakers any more than they were before.

And those specs are still pretty useless.
THD at 1KHz? What about the rest of the spectrum?
FR with no indication of variation?
Feh.

THD at 1 khz is fairly common, while it doesn't mean much, it can be used for a relative comparison between amps... Now the part i always disliked is that most manufacturers don't mention at what wattage output those readings were taken at. I sometimes hookup my speaker output to an oscilloscope, and turnup the volume as i am playing a 1 khz tone. As you do this, you'll see the thd increase, and increase. Sure, there will be a wattage output where the thd is as the manufacturer stated... but you can more often than not, turnup the volume further, and get way past their stated thd. My yamaha is quoted as being a 0.06% thd at 1 khz. But, anything above the -20 dB mark and my thd shoots up further. Thankfully -20 is good enough for most of my listening (barring a low volume source).
As for the idea of the op, i would have to agree with Kal. All you'll be doing is compounding the distortion from the two. But, if you like the sound it produces, who are we to argue.
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post #7 of 44 Old 03-28-2009, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarrod1937 View Post

THD at 1 khz is fairly common, while it doesn't mean much, it can be used for a relative comparison between amps... Now the part i always disliked is that most manufacturers don't mention at what wattage output those readings were taken at.

It says 25w.

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post #8 of 44 Old 03-28-2009, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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yeah the values are pretty vague.

at least i know the connection is possible.

yup i love the sound. i think this little amp uses a tripath chip. [sentence removed by OP]

i wish i could experience the high end gear you guys are use to. are there any upcoming conventions/events for my virgin ears?
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post #9 of 44 Old 03-28-2009, 01:02 PM
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Where do you live? Must be a decent specialist dealer within driving distance.

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post #10 of 44 Old 03-28-2009, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

It says 25w.

Yeah, i see that now on the box, i was just going off of the specs list given on the site the op linked to. Though my comment still stands as i stated "most", it just makes it a bit less pertinent to this discussion
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post #11 of 44 Old 03-28-2009, 03:18 PM
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It says 25w.

It also says 2x20. I wonder if they even know.

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post #12 of 44 Old 03-28-2009, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mactavish View Post

yeah the values are pretty vague.

at least i know the connection is possible.

yup i love the sound. i think this little amp uses a tripath chip. thats what thinkgeek.com says.

i wish i could experience the high end gear you guys are use to. are there any upcoming conventions/events for my virgin ears?


I wish you would do a DBT with your AVR and that amp.
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post #13 of 44 Old 03-29-2009, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bruins29 View Post

I wish you would do a DBT with your AVR and that amp.

what is a dbt? how do you do that test?
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post #14 of 44 Old 03-29-2009, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mactavish View Post

what is a dbt?

Double Blind Test: Then you would see (or hear) that your receiver is actually much better amp than that substandard thing.
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post #15 of 44 Old 03-29-2009, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Double Blind Test: Then you would see (or hear) that your receiver is actually much better amp than that substandard thing.

ah...yeah will definitely do that. i hope when i connect the amp to the avr it sounds the same. I'm enjoying the amp right now with stereo. it's definitely better than the SQ of my onkyo receiver.
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post #16 of 44 Old 03-29-2009, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mactavish View Post

what is a dbt? how do you do that test?

You'd be the listener, but you can't know which one you're listening to at the time. Best way would be that someone else hooks up your setup with the amps, and then without the amps (with them choosing in which order without you knowing that order), with you out of the room when they're setting it up.

The person hooking it up should be out of the room before you enter, and have a third person (who like you, doesn't know if the amp is in place or if it's just the receiver) be the one to record the results of you liking one setup or the other, and probably have them play the music/movie (basically the third person doesn't know which is which either.)

Basically you can't know if the amp is hooked up or not when you're listening. You just listen and say which test session you like better. After it's over, the one who did the hook up tells you which session was which.

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post #17 of 44 Old 03-29-2009, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks tulpa...sounds like fun. I will have my brothers set it up for me. I want to be the listener.
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post #18 of 44 Old 03-29-2009, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Where do you live? Must be a decent specialist dealer within driving distance.

Los angeles, California. What brands should I try out first?
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post #19 of 44 Old 03-29-2009, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by John Mactavish View Post

Los angeles, California. What brands should I try out first?

??? Try out for what? Amp? AVR? Either way, you cannot listen to one of those without listening to the source, the speakers and the room.

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post #20 of 44 Old 03-29-2009, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

??? Try out for what? Amp? AVR? Either way, you cannot listen to one of those without listening to the source, the speakers and the room.

Oh i thought the specialist dealer you mentioned would let me audition equipment. I am guessing he will be like a consultant , determine equipment by budget, room size, etc. before i can get a chance to hear the equipment?
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post #21 of 44 Old 03-30-2009, 09:29 AM
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John, You can try out a lot of stuff. That is what the dealer is there for. What I think Kal is asking you is what specifically do you want to try out and for what purpose? Do you want to listen to real amps or a new AVR? Seems you made up your mind on those little no-name amps already.

Also, as Kal indicated listening to amps/avrs whatever is not going to accomplish much because you will be listening to different speakers in a different room than your own. Speakers and room make a much bigger impact on the sound than any amp can.

Amps should really be pretty much indistinguishable unless they are doing something (Which may or may not be a good thing) to the signal. There is no doubt that the amp in your onkyo is better than those fedility amps. If you like what they sound like, fine but I am sure its not a better amp.
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post #22 of 44 Old 03-30-2009, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mactavish View Post

Oh i thought the specialist dealer you mentioned would let me audition equipment.

So did I. I am imagining that you would go to a specialist shop and get an opportunity to hear a system. But this raises the issue of what you are looking for as you might tell the dealer that so the demo would be relevant. You asked "What brands should I try out first?"


Quote:


I am guessing he will be like a consultant , determine equipment by budget, room size, etc. before i can get a chance to hear the equipment?

Unless you are serious about buying, I wouldn't abuse the time/patience of such a person. Just find a decent store.

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post #23 of 44 Old 03-30-2009, 04:56 PM
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Yes those adapters should work fine.
Since you already own the amp, and the adapters, it costs you nothing but time to try them out. Good idea to get your brothers involved. Make an evening out of it. Quality family time listening to music is always time well spent.

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 #24 of 44 Old 04-01-2009, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes those adapters should work fine.
Since you already own the amp, and the adapters, it costs you nothing but time to try them out. Good idea to get your brothers involved. Make an evening out of it. Quality family time listening to music is always time well spent.

yeah i have only one adapter...i ordered another for the other channel. brother told me better to test both channels. i think it will arrive tomorrow. right now i'm watching movies, playing games, listening to music tracks using the amp...not using my onkyo receiver nymore.

had one problem recently. I was playing the avia home theater guide's audio test...and the speaker connectors for the right channel is backwards. I was getting out-of-phase audio for the in-phase test L-R test...after i switched the + and - of the speaker cable, everything was ok now. I wrote the company about it...they should fix this...other customers might not have thought of this and just returned the unit.

UPDATE: i was looking at the image on the merchant's website and the image has the correct speaker connections...the unit i received had the red and black connectors backwards. wonder if i can get a replacement or a free amp. hmmm
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post #25 of 44 Old 04-01-2009, 08:37 AM
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had one problem recently. I was playing the avia home theater guide's audio test...and the speaker connectors for the right channel is backwards. I was getting out-of-phase audio for the in-phase test L-R test...after i switched the + and - of the speaker cable, everything was ok now.

? Well, now do you think you really need to add those amps?

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post #26 of 44 Old 04-02-2009, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Good news. Adapters came. Brothers set it up. Used an SPL meter to set the reference level to 70 db.

It was a significant improvement. First time I was able to listen at reference level when the little amplifiers were connected.

Without the amps connected the sound quality of the onkyo receiver alone sounded harsh and uncomfortable on the ears.

With the amps connected, the sound was loud but easy on the ears. very clear.

We played Casino Royale, opening fight scene. It was the first time i noticed the guy mumbling words while james bond dunked his head in the sink filled with water.

I will be purchasing 2 more of the amps and speaker level adapters to connect all 6 channels. The adapters work well.

My brother connected the center channel to the amp for now until the other amps arrive. He still can't believe how little it is. He's getting one for his dorm.

[picture removed by OP]
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post #27 of 44 Old 04-02-2009, 06:13 PM
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Did you know when the amps were hooked in and when they weren't before or during the test?

If you did, the test is meaningless. If you didn't, well, you found out what you like more or less objectively.

Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
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post #28 of 44 Old 04-02-2009, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

Did you know when the amps were hooked in and when they weren't before or during the test?

If you did, the test is meaningless. If you didn't, well, you found out what you like more or less objectively.

didn't know which setup was which. had a sleep eye mask on. brother wrote down my comments...it was fun. yeah i love the setup. i love how cheap it is too hehe
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post #29 of 44 Old 04-03-2009, 10:09 AM
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Wouldn't this be something similar to the old "booster amps" of car audio? Unless the speakers are amazingly efficient, I would believe that you would quickly distort a 20w amp during a film at reference level...maybe not the dialogue, but certainly the sound effects.
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post #30 of 44 Old 04-03-2009, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Wouldn't this be something similar to the old "booster amps" of car audio? Unless the speakers are amazingly efficient, I would believe that you would quickly distort a 20w amp during a film at reference level...maybe not the dialogue, but certainly the sound effects.

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.
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