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The "Official" Denon AVR-4311CI/AVR-A100 thread [NO PRICE TALK] - Page 745

post #22321 of 23133
Do you guys feel a single 4311CI with no external amp would be able to provide enough power to 2x Klipsch RC-7, 1x RC-64, and 4x RS-52s or would I benefit greatly from using an external amp? These speakers are very efficient and my room is small. I generally watch movies at reference, or 0DB.
post #22322 of 23133
^^
In most cases (to include yours as well as less efficient speakers), an external amp will provide no benefit, and especially not in a small room.
post #22323 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhetor View Post

I greatly respect you, JD, always have.

But, since that would degrade the signal and audio when watching the TV, I guess I am going to have to stick with the bizarre handshake ritual.

Or, just forgo using the Pass-through. See,s strange those would be my only options using the 4311 to get a good handshake when using pass-through.

Thank you.

There is no degradation in either video or audio quality using either of the work arounds as the best video a cable/sat box can generally provide is 1080i and the best audio is only DD 5.1 which will sound the same over HDMI or optical/digital coax. smile.gif
post #22324 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrindor View Post

Do you guys feel a single 4311CI with no external amp would be able to provide enough power to 2x Klipsch RC-7, 1x RC-64, and 4x RS-52s or would I benefit greatly from using an external amp? These speakers are very efficient and my room is small. I generally watch movies at reference, or 0DB.

I agree with jd. The 4311 well be plenty with those Klipsch!

Reference level in a small room.....do your ears bleed? biggrin.gif
post #22325 of 23133

^jason, I know you were being funny, but just to clarify, the size of the room is not the issue irt "ear bleed".  Reference level is reference level and is established during Autosetup by setting channel trims at mic pos #1. So distance from speakers or size of room are not really relevant factors.  Of course a very "lively"/untreated room may be harsh on the ears at volume. 

 

Tyrindor,  I agree with the above reassurances. The 4311 amps are good quality and plenty powerful for your situation as the Klipsch are so easy to drive.  Normally I add a caveat like "if you're running a sub, you should be fine as its amp shoulders the power-sucking very low freqs" but in your small room with close speaker distances, even that probably wouldn't matter.
 

post #22326 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

^^
In most cases (to include yours as well as less efficient speakers), an external amp will provide no benefit, and especially not in a small room.

I respectfully disagree with the broadness of this statement. All amplifiers do not sound the same. When driving all 5 or seven channels the available power output can significantly decrease as well.

In my case I use an AVA U70 tube amp for the front stereo channels. It is only 35 watts a channel. i don't do this for power but for the quality of the sound of the amplification, which far surpasses the quality of sound from the solid state amplifiers in my A-100. Midrange liquidity and imaging, things that are hard to measure, are outstanding with this arrangement.
post #22327 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by simon wagstaff2 View Post

I respectfully disagree with the broadness of this statement. All amplifiers do not sound the same. When driving all 5 or seven channels the available power output can significantly decrease as well.

In my case I use an AVA U70 tube amp for the front stereo channels. It is only 35 watts a channel. i don't do this for power but for the quality of the sound of the amplification, which far surpasses the quality of sound from the solid state amplifiers in my A-100. Midrange liquidity and imaging, things that are hard to measure, are outstanding with this arrangement.

Hiya Simon, please be aware many will jump on you for starting an esotheric "All amplifiers do not sound the same" mind game. I won't do that, but will just ask one question from you: What the heck is "midrange liquidity", please? smile.gif
post #22328 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by simon wagstaff2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

^^
In most cases (to include yours as well as less efficient speakers), an external amp will provide no benefit, and especially not in a small room.

I respectfully disagree with the broadness of this statement. All amplifiers do not sound the same. When driving all 5 or seven channels the available power output can significantly decrease as well.

In my case I use an AVA U70 tube amp for the front stereo channels. It is only 35 watts a channel. i don't do this for power but for the quality of the sound of the amplification, which far surpasses the quality of sound from the solid state amplifiers in my A-100. Midrange liquidity and imaging, things that are hard to measure, are outstanding with this arrangement.

 

Given that the resolution of modern measuring gear exceeds that of the unit being measured, why would some aspect of a unit's performance be 'hard to measure'? I am guessing you are saying that some performance aspects of your tube amplifier cannot be measured. I wonder what aspects of an electronic unit cannot be measured?  Is there some sort of 'magic' involved?

 

Tube amplifiers exhibit a type of distortion that many people find pleasing. It is very easy to replicate the distortion using modern solid-state gear if the designer of the gear wishes to. Mostly, of course, they don't because their design objective is transparency to the source. Using your amplifier as a tone control does seem an odd choice - why not just use a tone control or some PEQ if you favour a 'warm' sound? ;)

 

Your assertion that your tube amp "far surpasses the quality of sound" of your SS amp is presented as a fact, but it is really an opinion. It is a subjective expression of your personal preference for a type of distortion which you find pleasing. Nothing wrong with that, but presenting opinions as facts isn't going to make you a lot of friends on a science forum.

 

Incidentally, amps aren’t responsible for 'imaging' in any way shape or form. Speakers and their placement in the room determine imaging. 


Edited by kbarnes701 - 8/18/13 at 8:32am
post #22329 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

^^
In most cases (to include yours as well as less efficient speakers), an external amp will provide no benefit, and especially not in a small room.

 

Quite so. If his current amp is not clipping at the SPLs he favours, and if his speakers are not difficult to drive or very low impedance (which they aren't) and if he can reach the SPLs in his room that he requires cleanly, then an external amp will give him precisely nothing. Of course, if those conditions do not apply, then an external amp might have some benefits. It's just horses for courses, and with modern AVRs of the quality of the 4311, there can be no automatic assumption that external amplification will deliver anything of value. I wonder how many times we will have to repeat this before people begin to understand it? ;)

post #22330 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by simon wagstaff2 View Post

I respectfully disagree with the broadness of this statement. All amplifiers do not sound the same. When driving all 5 or seven channels the available power output can significantly decrease as well.

In my case I use an AVA U70 tube amp for the front stereo channels. It is only 35 watts a channel. i don't do this for power but for the quality of the sound of the amplification, which far surpasses the quality of sound from the solid state amplifiers in my A-100. Midrange liquidity and imaging, things that are hard to measure, are outstanding with this arrangement.

Hiya Simon, please be aware many will jump on you for starting an esotheric "All amplifiers do not sound the same" mind game. I won't do that, but will just ask one question from you: What the heck is "midrange liquidity", please? smile.gif

 

:)  It's one of those 'audiophile' terms that mean nothing. Like "velvet silences" and "ink-dark spaces between notes" and "effortless fluidity" and "an open and airy top end sweetness" and so on and on and on.... they are for people who believe amplifiers are created not by electronic engineers but by pixies. BYKTA :)

post #22331 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

Quite so. If his current amp is not clipping at the SPLs he favours, and if his speakers are not difficult to drive or very low impedance (which they aren't) and if he can reach the SPLs in his room that he requires cleanly, then an external amp will give him precisely nothing. Of course, if those conditions do not apply, then an external amp might have some benefits. It's just horses for courses, and with modern AVRs of the quality of the 4311, there can be no automatic assumption that external amplification will deliver anything of value. I wonder how many times we will have to repeat this before people begin to understand it? wink.gif

Keith, this will last til the very day the makers stop putting pre-outs on their AVRs. Wouldn't hold my breath, though!!! LOL;)
post #22332 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by simon wagstaff2 View Post


I respectfully disagree with the broadness of this statement. All amplifiers do not sound the same. When driving all 5 or seven channels the available power output can significantly decrease as well.

In my case I use an AVA U70 tube amp for the front stereo channels. It is only 35 watts a channel. i don't do this for power but for the quality of the sound of the amplification, which far surpasses the quality of sound from the solid state amplifiers in my A-100. Midrange liquidity and imaging, things that are hard to measure, are outstanding with this arrangement.


So as to clarify, it is common when discussing Int vs Ext power amps on these threads to assume that we are limiting discussion to standard, good quality solid state amps designed and built to sound neutral and driven within specs. 

 

I will also point out that the OP asked very specifically whether the 4311 has sufficient power for his HT.

 

BTW, I'm not surprised that your boutique tube amp sounds different.  When I bought my first pair of Dali Helicon 400s from a local hifi enthusiast, they were hooked up to over $50K worth of MacIntosh tube gear-stereo pre and power amps.  What struck me was how rounded off the hi freqs sounded.  Yes it was really smooth n mellow but seemed rather shy on high-end detail.  So I came back with an AVR 4310 to A/B just to be sure I'd like the Dalis driven with neutral SS electronics.  Sure enough, there was the tonal balance I was used to. 

 

At AudioKarma I heard an A/B of Salk speakers driven with Van Alstine SS vs hybrid design amps.  I like the sound of Salk speakers generally and in that case I liked the SQ of that particular hybrid amp design better.  However, the A/B was neither level-matched or blind so I couldn't draw much of a conclusion.

 

edit:this post written without seeing the last few posts

post #22333 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

Quite so. If his current amp is not clipping at the SPLs he favours, and if his speakers are not difficult to drive or very low impedance (which they aren't) and if he can reach the SPLs in his room that he requires cleanly, then an external amp will give him precisely nothing. Of course, if those conditions do not apply, then an external amp might have some benefits. It's just horses for courses, and with modern AVRs of the quality of the 4311, there can be no automatic assumption that external amplification will deliver anything of value. I wonder how many times we will have to repeat this before people begin to understand it? wink.gif

Keith, this will last til the very day the makers stop putting pre-outs on their AVRs. Wouldn't hold my breath, though!!! LOL;)

 

The preouts probably do tempt people to 'give it a go'. But I hope they do keep putting the preouts on the units - for some they are useful. It's not like external amps are always useless - sometimes they are required and do a good job. I use all-external amplification - but it's because the speakers I used to have were very inefficient, dropped to 2 ohms at various frequencies and so on. I doubt if I would need external amps now, with my current speakers, but I have them so I use them.

post #22334 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by simon wagstaff2 View Post


I respectfully disagree with the broadness of this statement. All amplifiers do not sound the same. When driving all 5 or seven channels the available power output can significantly decrease as well.

In my case I use an AVA U70 tube amp for the front stereo channels. It is only 35 watts a channel. i don't do this for power but for the quality of the sound of the amplification, which far surpasses the quality of sound from the solid state amplifiers in my A-100. Midrange liquidity and imaging, things that are hard to measure, are outstanding with this arrangement.


So as to clarify, it is common when discussing Int vs Ext power amps on these threads to assume that we are limiting discussion to standard, good quality solid state amps designed and built to sound neutral and driven within specs. 

 

I will also point out that the OP asked very specifically whether the 4311 has sufficient power for his HT.

 

BTW, I'm not surprised that your boutique tube amp sounds different.  When I bought my first pair of Dali Helicon 400s from a local hifi enthusiast, they were hooked up to over $50K worth of MacIntosh tube gear-stereo pre and power amps.  What struck me was how rounded off the hi freqs sounded.  Yes it was really smooth n mellow but seemed rather shy on high-end detail.  So I came back with an AVR 4310 to A/B just to be sure I'd like the Dalis driven with neutral SS electronics.  Sure enough, there was the tonal balance I was used to. 

 

At AudioKarma I heard an A/B of Salk speakers driven with Van Alstine SS vs hybrid design amps.  I like the sound of Salk speakers generally and in that case I liked the SQ of that particular hybrid amp design better.  However, the A/B was neither level-matched or blind so I couldn't draw much of a conclusion.

 

edit:this post written without seeing the last few posts

 

Agreed all round SoM. I used to have a tube amp (we call them 'valve amps' in the UK) in my 'audiofool' days. And I too enjoyed their specific brand of distortion. But it was when I noticed that some recordings sounded really good on the tube amp and others sounded dull and lifeless that I started to wonder. It was all very content-dependent. As I educated myself better, I discovered the reasons for this and I also decided that what I really wanted was an amp that was transparent to the source, not one that made some content sound really good and some sound poor.

 

If you have the latter, you never really know if you are listening to the content or to the amp - and what use is that?  I don't want to listen to amps - I want to listen to the content. For this, transparency is what is needed, not a 'pleasing distortion' that enhances some content and diminishes others. 

post #22335 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

The preouts probably do tempt people to 'give it a go'. But I hope they do keep putting the preouts on the units - for some they are useful. It's not like external amps are always useless - sometimes they are required and do a good job. I use all-external amplification - but it's because the speakers I used to have were very inefficient, dropped to 2 ohms at various frequencies and so on. I doubt if I would need external amps now, with my current speakers, but I have them so I use them.

But Keith, IIRC you have an Onkyo 5509 which is a pre/pro (preamp/processor) without a power amp stage, don't you? So you need extarnal amplification for that configuration. Meantime, fully agree that "da pre-outs" on an AVR with a power stage are "responsible" for temptation! You can't beat those guys at the marketing department, eh?! wink.gifsmile.gif
Edited by mogorf - 8/18/13 at 9:19am
post #22336 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

...but it's because the speakers I used to have were very inefficient, dropped to 2 ohms at various frequencies and so on. I doubt if I would need external amps now, with my current speakers, but I have them so I use them.

SoM helped me on the Audyssey thread when I asked if harder to drive speakers would give more negative trim numbers on an AVR-4311ci vs a lower end unit...That said, I posted in the Audio Theory and Chat section a question dealing with speakers that dip as low as 2.8 Ohm benefiting from the AVR-4311ci compared to a lower end model and the consensus seemed to be insofar as the Amp section is concerned it really makes no difference...Does anyone have any thoughts on that or does everyone purchase this AVR for the (extremely cool) Bells and Whistles?
post #22337 of 23133
Hmm, I think that interconnects and speaker cables can make a difference as well. What an idiot I must be! These 'discussions' never accomplish anything. I apologize.

smile.gif
post #22338 of 23133
N
Edited by simon wagstaff2 - 8/18/13 at 12:44pm
post #22339 of 23133
Now that's crazy talk. I do have a couple of dedicated 20 amp circuits and relatively inexpensive power conditioner which "seemed" to make a nice little improvement. Not to worry, I'll go back to the threads where all the talk is about how junky all avrs sound. :-)
post #22340 of 23133
Well, I am trying to rectify why I had the results I did. On the AVR-4311ci,4802R and 4806ci I could/can listen to multichannel music louder by about 6 dB than on the AVR-3805 as registered by my SPL meter...I understand the math insofar as doubling the power getting me only 3 dB (and that I'm not necessarily doing so in this situation) but I wondered if the ability to drive 4 Ohm speakers louder also has more to do with my results or if that is snake oil too...Don't people with speakers that are rated at 4 Ohm benefit from purchasing AVRs that are rated down that low also?

If not, does that mean that a lower end AVR will set pretty much set the exact trim levels as an upper end AVR? If so, does that mean as the volume gets louder there should be no perceivable difference (except for better EQing)?

I realize this the Owners Thread but was curious if others had the same experience as SoM going from a lower end unit and benefiting from a power amp to the AVR-4311ci and not needing one at near Reference Volume...
post #22341 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen Traveler View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

...but it's because the speakers I used to have were very inefficient, dropped to 2 ohms at various frequencies and so on. I doubt if I would need external amps now, with my current speakers, but I have them so I use them.

SoM helped me on the Audyssey thread when I asked if harder to drive speakers would give more negative trim numbers on an AVR-4311ci vs a lower end unit...That said, I posted in the Audio Theory and Chat section a question dealing with speakers that dip as low as 2.8 Ohm benefiting from the AVR-4311ci compared to a lower end model and the consensus seemed to be insofar as the Amp section is concerned it really makes no difference...Does anyone have any thoughts on that or does everyone purchase this AVR for the (extremely cool) Bells and Whistles?

 

There's no law that says an AVR amp section will NOT be able to cope with big impedance dips - but there is the possibility that it won't. If you combine the low impedance with low sensitivity and a desire for high SPLs for hours on end, then the amp might struggle. In those circumstances, a bigger amp with greater reserves of power, at low impedances, might make a lot of difference. If anyone's current amp plays to the SPLs they desire, without clipping or running into protection, then it is all that is needed. In those circs, external amplification won't make any difference.

post #22342 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

The preouts probably do tempt people to 'give it a go'. But I hope they do keep putting the preouts on the units - for some they are useful. It's not like external amps are always useless - sometimes they are required and do a good job. I use all-external amplification - but it's because the speakers I used to have were very inefficient, dropped to 2 ohms at various frequencies and so on. I doubt if I would need external amps now, with my current speakers, but I have them so I use them.

But Keith, IIRC you have an Onkyo 5509 which is a pre/pro (preamp/processor) without a power amp stage, don't you? So you need extarnal amplification for that configuration. Meantime, fully agree that "da pre-outs" on an AVR with a power stage are "responsible" for temptation! You can't beat those guys at the marketing department, eh?! wink.gifsmile.gif

 

I do have a prepro now, but when I bought the external amps, I had an AVR.  Marketing is King, Feri - LOL!

post #22343 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by simon wagstaff2 View Post

Hmm, I think that interconnects and speaker cables can make a difference as well. What an idiot I must be! These 'discussions' never accomplish anything. I apologize.

smile.gif

 

Not an idiot. A victim of marketing and magazines which rely on advertising perhaps. Even a cursory understanding of physics will reveal that a speaker cable cannot have the slightest impact on the sound, so long as it is up to the task of passing the signal/current. That is, a 14 AWG wire will almost always suffice and a 12 AWG will almost always be overkill and thus unnecessary. Any talk of special copper, silver compounds, magic dielectrics, directional doo-dahs and so on is hogwash unfortunately. I can guarantee you that if I crept into your house overnight and swapped all your esoteric cables for plain old 14 AWG wire, you would never know the difference unless you could see the cables. This has been scientifically tested to extinction BTW and the results are always the same: when the test is blind nobody can hear any differences at all. Sorry, it's just science. 

post #22344 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by simon wagstaff2 View Post

Now that's crazy talk. I do have a couple of dedicated 20 amp circuits and relatively inexpensive power conditioner which "seemed" to make a nice little improvement. Not to worry, I'll go back to the threads where all the talk is about how junky all avrs sound. :-)

 

LOL. Yes there are plenty of subjective 'audiophile' threads around. But if you want to learn why these guys are wasting so much money, pursuing things that cannot possibly make a difference, while ignoring all the things that DO make a huge sonic difference, then sticking around this sort of thread could be useful...

post #22345 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

...If anyone's current amp plays to the SPLs they desire, without clipping or running into protection, then it is all that is needed. In those circs, external amplification won't make any difference.

I agree with this completely...That said, my system became really bright at about 6 dB lower on the Denon AVR-3805 than it did on the 4802R. 4806ci and my current 4311ci and wondered if the impedance dips were the factor and NOT that I needed more WPC.
post #22346 of 23133

^There may be other factors at play accounting for differences in system brightness.  Unless you're doing comparisons in Direct mode, a major issue that the 3805 had no Audyssey DSP RC. 

post #22347 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen Traveler View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

...If anyone's current amp plays to the SPLs they desire, without clipping or running into protection, then it is all that is needed. In those circs, external amplification won't make any difference.

I agree with this completely...That said, my system became really bright at about 6 dB lower on the Denon AVR-3805 than it did on the 4802R. 4806ci and my current 4311ci and wondered if the impedance dips were the factor and NOT that I needed more WPC.

 

It's possible that you were running out of power and were hearing distortion building up. This could result in the 'hard' or 'bright' or 'glassy' or 'aggressive' treble you were hearing. If that was the case, more power would solve the problem for you. The impedance dips could have been an aggravating factor, as the amp was being asked to deliver more power than it might have been able to deliver when the impedance dropped significantly. 

post #22348 of 23133

^Let's  keep in mind that Zen is running Klipsch speakers and has subs to handle the low freqs.

post #22349 of 23133
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post

^There may be other factors at play accounting for differences in system brightness. Unless you're doing comparisons in Direct mode, a major issue that the 3805 had no Audyssey DSP RC.

I agree and the only processing I did with multichannel music (which is what I listen to 90% of the time) is use the Denon Matrix function to have it converted to 7.1 and it sounded it good up until a point...On the THX Ultra II units I did the same thing but could listen to material as loud as I can with the AVR-4311ci (although I seem to be happier with the latter)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post

^Let's  keep in mind that Zen is running Klipsch speakers and has subs to handle the low freqs.

I do and cross most of my speakers at 60 Hz...That said, even setting a crossover the RF-7s dip down to 2.8 ohms above that point a couple of times (100 Hz and slightly over 1,000 Hz if I am remembering correctly) and run 5 more larger speakers as surrounds and center along with recently adding a pair of Height speakers to make it a 9.2 configuration. I also suspect my other speakers have a jagged frequency response curve that at least nears 3.2 Ohms, but that is speculation on my part but they are similar designs.
post #22350 of 23133

^I am a big fan of MC music as well.  Almost always it's native 5.1. Truly a delight to listen to well-recorded material over a well-tuned system. 

 

So IIUC your system is sounding clean and dynamic right up to reference level.  smile.gif

 

Yet I get the sense that you're wondering if the int amps are clipping a bit due to those impedence dips. And wondering if it might sound even better with some added external amplification? 

 

In general the dips tend to occur at low freqs because of a speaker's internal crossover.  So to hear what more power available in the satellite channels would do one thing you could do very easily is to simply raise all the crossovers to 80 and listen to your most challenging passages.  Then just for kicks raise them all to 100 and repeat.

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