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Are amplifiers worth it - Page 12

post #331 of 429
I thought Outlaw was made in the USA. No ports to worry about.
post #332 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by crussader View Post

I thought Outlaw was made in the USA. No ports to worry about.

I believe their amps are but the 975 will most likely be built in China.

Bill
post #333 of 429
The notion of just focusing on the amp and its power is a worthy but incomplete discussion. As a recording professional, the money we spend in the studio is always best spent on what turns moving air into electricity and vice versa. You will always get the maximum bang for the buck and personal listening pleasure by getting really GREAT speakers, and getting amplification that has plenty of power to drive them. High power generally means better peaks and enough headroom, and seldom means an breathtaking improvement in sound, (unless you start with crap amps) For me the most noticeable difference in amps is how FAST they are. The slew rate indicates how quickly the amp can change state and handle the transients of the music, and cool effects for home theater. That spec is often overlooked. Often a speaker with frequency response specs that far outpace the human ear can be a good indicator of "fast" correlation between the input and output. Beware, the better and faster amps also can be sensitive to Radio Interference and computer hash. Some amps have low pass filtering tuned very high to fight RF problems. Often an amp can be improved with a few little "snip, snips" on capacitors that participate in that function. Its a great if you are away from transmitter towers, etc.. My advice. Don't get so excited about amps. Put your money into the devices that turn electrical signals into air movement! Spend the next year researching and listening - because it takes a great deal of time to learn how to listen properly. It's the most fun part of this hobby (or obsession) we all have. As electronic hunter/gatherers, don't be so quick to pull the trigger and drag home a new set of expensive speakers. Take a year, and hunt. You'll love it. Don't use your eyes (articles) to buy speakers, get out and use your ears.

Second, start learning about acoustics. A speaker has two boxes... the one in back of the speaker and the one in front. BOTH affect the sound in ways that are far, far, far beyond the impact of most amplifiers.

Dare I say this, but great speaker in a great room can make a better impact on the home theater experience than even a new hot big screen!!!
post #334 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

An update on the continuing Emotiva delay in shipping their UMC. Their best guess is still no shipping until December 13, but an interesting reason why. It seems they got caught in the port strike which halted ships offloading their products. Now that the strike is over, their ship should come in, so to speak.
I wonder how it was that Outlaw hasn't been delayed by that. They say their 975 shipments are still being sent out daily and they are working their way through the reservation list. They should get caught up in the next few days. It sounds like they have quite a lot of orders since they started shipping on November 30.

Maybe the Outlaw shipment did not come in through LA. Or if they did maybe they arrived before the strike.

Bill

 

UMC-200 shipping date now put back to 24 December. I bet nobody sees anything now till next year.  The XPR-2 looks like a real kickass amp though!  I'd love 7 of the XPE-1s in a stack. Totally pointless but how incredibly cool would that look?  Bragging rights for the rest of your life! LOL.

post #335 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum Studio View Post

The notion of just focusing on the amp and its power is a worthy but incomplete discussion. As a recording professional, the money we spend in the studio is always best spent on what turns moving air into electricity and vice versa. You will always get the maximum bang for the buck and personal listening pleasure by getting really GREAT speakers, and getting amplification that has plenty of power to drive them. High power generally means better peaks and enough headroom, and seldom means an breathtaking improvement in sound, (unless you start with crap amps) For me the most noticeable difference in amps is how FAST they are. The slew rate indicates how quickly the amp can change state and handle the transients of the music, and cool effects for home theater. That spec is often overlooked. Often a speaker with frequency response specs that far outpace the human ear can be a good indicator of "fast" correlation between the input and output. Beware, the better and faster amps also can be sensitive to Radio Interference and computer hash. Some amps have low pass filtering tuned very high to fight RF problems. Often an amp can be improved with a few little "snip, snips" on capacitors that participate in that function. Its a great if you are away from transmitter towers, etc.. My advice. Don't get so excited about amps. Put your money into the devices that turn electrical signals into air movement! Spend the next year researching and listening - because it takes a great deal of time to learn how to listen properly. It's the most fun part of this hobby (or obsession) we all have. As electronic hunter/gatherers, don't be so quick to pull the trigger and drag home a new set of expensive speakers. Take a year, and hunt. You'll love it. Don't use your eyes (articles) to buy speakers, get out and use your ears.

Second, start learning about acoustics. A speaker has two boxes... the one in back of the speaker and the one in front. BOTH affect the sound in ways that are far, far, far beyond the impact of most amplifiers.

Dare I say this, but great speaker in a great room can make a better impact on the home theater experience than even a new hot big screen!!!

 

Big +1 to that.

post #336 of 429
Wow, lots of stuff in this thread, and more than a few tangents going in who-knows-what direction.

Lets start with the basics. We will talk about receivers and amplifiers, and treat them as doing the same job (powering speakers). I will use "Amp" but you could substitute "Receiver" as long as we are just talking about power output and not processing.

You could also talk about receivers and HT processors, and treat them as doing the same job (processing signals, but not amplifying them), but another day for that.

The power output of your amp is all about the Power Supply Section inside the amp. The amp takes power from the wall, and converts that to power into a speaker. It cannot deliver more power to the speaker than the Power Supply Section within the amp is capable of delivering.

A multi-channel amp is no different than a mono (eg used as a sub amp) amp in this regard, as long as they are only driving one speaker (same condition).

A multi-channel amp is no different than a stereo amp (ie conventional stereo system) in this regard, as long as they are only driving two speakers simultaneously (same condition).

Naturally, you can create a multi-channel setup using, say, a 5-channel HT amp, or 5 mono amps, or a stereo and a 3-channel, amp, etc.

Going back to the early 1970's, there was a certain chaos in the home entertainment market. Using various tricks and sleigh-of-hand, you could find cheap systems that claimed 1000 watt output, and expensive systems that claimed 50 watt output, and when people put the two units in their homes, the 50 watt amp sounded much more powerful. When engineers tested the two amps using the same conditions, the 50 watt amp tested more powerful as well.

So, the United States Federal Trade Commission stepped in, and defined the conditions under which you must test the amplifier, and mandated the way you must advertise power output. The law stated that the advertised output under the "FTC method" of testing, must be either the largest font in the ad or must be presented in a font size equal to claims under other methods of testing but no smaller.

Over time, the market adopted a habit of using just the FTC Method power rating in all advertising, and in the specification sheets. So, by, say, 1980, two "100 watt stereo" amps from two manufacturers produced similar power output if you went by a magazine ad or a spec sheet.

The law applied only to separate amplifiers intended to work in a home stereo system. So, you still had, say, car stereos or boom boxes, that used the bogus test methods, but if you were putting together a home stereo from components, at least the ratings were consistent.

This is very similar, but not exactly the same, as putting a quality home theatre system made up of separates (individual receiver, speakers, DVD player, etc) together like you would today, except the HT system will typically be able to drive more than two speakers.

About a decade ago, HT component manufacturers began forwarding the claim that the FTC method did not apply to them, because a HT was not a stereo system. This is important, because if the FTC method did apply and a manufacturer didn't advertise based on the FTC method, it's illegal and the unit under question could not be sold in the US with claims based on some other power test method. On the other hand, if the FTC method did not apply, manufacturers were free to use any alternative power rating they wanted, moving the marketplace closer to the chaos of 1970.

Without going too deep into details, let's just say that a multi-channel amp for a HT system today does not usually list power ratings based on the FTC method. The FTC has looked at making a rule similar to the 1974 rule for HT, but hasn't yet. HT manufacturers' main objection to a more stringent 1974- like rating is they would have to re-rate HT amps currently in the marketplace and owners of those amps would start pouting when their amp suddenly is rated for less power output.

The FTC method can summed up briefly as:

The amplifier must be tested with standard AC power at a specific voltage. This is because if you power an amp with, say, 125V AC, it will put out more power than if you power it with 110V AC, even though both voltages may be present in the average home at certain times or in certain locations within the country. This gives you a hint as to one of the tricks that led to inflated power claims in the home, and is still used as a trick in such markets as car stereo, or boom boxes, where the FTC rules never applied.

The amplifier must be pre-conditioned. This means the amplifier must be run at half rated power for one hour before you can test or measure anything regarding power output. This stresses the amplifier in such a way that it simulates real-world listening sessions in the home. It also insures that the amplifier cannot be rated for an impedance that might trip the self-protection circuit if used continuously with speakers of that impedance.

The amplifier must be tested in the same condition as it's advertised use. This means that a stereo amplifier (2-channels) must be pre-conditioned and then tested with both channels driven simultaneously.

The power test must be done under certain specified conditions. The typical condition used to advertise power output of stereo component amps was, after pre-conditioning:
Power in watts at a specific impedance, both channels driven, with all frequencies from 20 to 20,000 Hz, with a specific distortion figure.

Modern HT amps generally are not compliant with the FTC method of measuring power. Some HT manufacturers (eg Anthem) do measure with the FTC method, but it's rare in the market.

In the case of a 5-channel HT amp, an FTC-compliant specification would read something like this, and be tested after pre-conditioning of 1 hour:

100 watts per channel, five channels driven, into 8 ohms, at 20 to 20,000 Hz, at no more than 0.5% Total Harmonic Distortion.

Remember we mentioned earlier on that " ... The power output of your amp is all about the Power Supply Section inside the amp. ..."

The Power Supply Section of an amplifier is expensive to manufacture. The history of electronics ... all electronics ... is largely about finding ways to make the power supply less expensive. There is no magic to this; every manufacturer knows the same stuff and buys from the same parts bins.

Lets say (bogus numbers, but ones that are "easy math" for illustration) it takes 100 watts from a 117V AC line to make 100 watts power at 8 ohms.

*ALERT* Do not confuse watts drawn from the AC wall with watts of output into a loudspeaker. They are not referring to the same thing. *ALERT*

Assuming the above were true:

A FTC-compliant stereo amplifier could meet it's 100-watt spec with a 200 watt power supply; one that is capable of delivering all the power two channels need simultaneously without excessive distortion.

An FTC-compliant 5 channel amplifier would need a 500-watt power supply to meet a 100 watt per channel specification driving 5 channels simultaneously without excessive distortion.

Remember the part about the power supply being expensive?

Anyway, HT manufacturers basically said we are not going to use the FTC method, because our HT amps would have to be very expensive to make, so screw you FTC. They used an argument that targeted one specific clause in the FTC requirements that referred to who has to and who doesn't have to comply, and started advertising their own version of the power rating. So far this has been legal.

Going back to our bogus-number example above, they might test the amplifier with one channel driven at full power, and the others idling along at 20% power.

So, the five channel amp needs 1 channel eating 100 watts, and four more channels eating 20 watts each, for a total draw of 180 watts ... similar enough that the power supply could be identical to our 200-watt stereo FTC-compliant amp, and the power supply section of the amp could cost about the same. In fact they could even cause the amp to be driven in such a way that the one channel gets a bit more than 100 watts from it's 200 watt supply, and maybe claim 120 watts output for the one driven channel.

The above is simplified for clarity, but broadly speaking that's kind of how HT amps are power rated. They measure one channel, drive the others at an easy pace, and then multiply the result of one channel by how many channels the amp has. So, 100w times 5, then ... it's a 500w HT amplifier. But it still is only capable of delivering 200 watts all at the same time, distributed over all 5 speakers depending on the requirements of each channel while, say, watching a DVD movie.

There is some broad standardization of test methods, but generally speaking you need to be careful with HT systems. Remember that this is only about components ... a HT in a box can take huge liberties with it's power rating. Let's use an example:

A HT-in-a-box with integrated Blu-Ray Player, AM/FM radio, and speakers that come with it. Such integrated systems do not have to limit themselves to rating power into, say "8 ohm speakers" because the actual speakers intended to be used are part of the system, so we can use the actual impedance of those speakers for our power rating. This is also how a television set or a boom box is rated; with the impedance of the speakers bundled with the system.

It has a 100 watt power supply, and 80 watts are available to the power amp section of 5 channels. Remember we are using the "bogus" figures of above for ease of understanding the concepts.

The speakers are integrated, and are 2 ohms impedance. **

This means the power supply and the power amp sections should be able to deliver 4x the power of an 8 ohm load. *** We can say 80 watts times 4 and not lie to anyone. So, 320 watts power output then. It's tested with one channel driven, so we can use conventional HT practice and go 5 x 320 watts.

As if by magic, we have a HT in a box where the power supply section costs less than a 5-channel HT separate amp to make, that we can advertise as 1600 watts total output.

** Many BOSE integrated systems use 2 or even 1 ohm speakers; a popular "900 watt" Samsung HT-in-a-box uses 3 ohm speakers. And please note that my "bogus" examples are simplified for clarity; the actual specs for stereo and HT systems, and the test methods, are not exactly as I presented (the FTC method rating as I explained it is pretty much how it goes though). But the concept is valid for ease of understanding how things actually work in the real world.

*** There may be some factor in the design of the amplifier that limits power output as impedance drops. I am assuming a robust power supply and a robust amplifier section, in which case the amp should be capable of 4x the output into 2 ohms as it would be capable of delivering into 8 ohms. In the real world, an inexpensive HT-in-a-box may not be capable of this output, but could perhaps claim to deliver 1000 watts [into 2 ohms, but don't expect to see the impedance mentioned]. In that case it would advertise itself as a "1000 watt Home Theatre In A Box". And if you understand what I've presented, you would deduce the system is perhaps capable of delivering 80 watts, one channel driven, into 8 ohms, or 16 watts per channel, all 5 channels driven into 8 ohms, keeping in mind that this is based on my "bogus" ratio of 100 watts 117V in = 100 watts 8 ohms out. The "bogus" value I used for ease in math isn't stupid-impossible; it's just that actual values will be different, because various amplifier designs get different efficiency from the AC line.
Edited by Johnny2Bad - 12/14/12 at 3:45pm
post #337 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny2Bad View Post

snip

Thanks for the information in your post. Seems like one of those posts I should bookmark to save myself the trouble of having to explain these power ratings to people. smile.gif
post #338 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdkhang View Post

Thanks for the information in your post. Seems like one of those posts I should bookmark to save myself the trouble of having to explain these power ratings to people. smile.gif

+1. I knew most of that stuff but it gets tough having to spell it out all the time to others.
post #339 of 429
An anecdote - maybe helpful, may not. I have run a recording studio for 12 years and it has made me picky about audio, but also careful about how to improve it - everything counts, but sometimes it is very hard to know the weakest link in the chain - and sometimes it is not so hard. It is easy to spend money in the wrong direction and get nearly no improvements. Spend on the weak link, and dramatic improvements can be realized.

My recent experience regarding home audio Amplifiers:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1420942/marantz-sr7007-av-receiver-owners-thread/210#post_22705884


Steve
post #340 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie View Post

Perhaps it is the grade of what is being smoked . . .
LOLLOL!!!
post #341 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by anwaypasible View Post

there is always the question of whether the speaker perfoms better with voltage or amperage .. or a mixture of the two.
volts stack up to amount to amperage .. but that doesnt mean an amplifier couldnt ever run on voltage.
its like saying 5 volts amounts to 1 amp .. and if you've got 15 volts with no amperage, you could see that really there is 3 amps on the line.
but sometimes it is setup like a spring.
you cant see through the spring when it is extended (volts) .. but when you compress the spring, the coils get closer and closer together and you can see them (amps).
so when you connect the 15 volts with no amps.. those volts will collapse down to 5 volts .. but then the speaker is really running with 5 volts and 2 amps (again totalling the same 15volts)
those arent the exact numbers for volts and amps.. but the math equation does exist somewhere, and the 'rule' is held together by some type of organization .. whether it be UL listed or FTC or something like that.
the 'rule' gets created to help everything produced stay in an organized fashion.
its really good information too.. because if the world ever came under attack, then there would be people trained to use those rules and get things working again.
without the organization, things would get broken while testing each piece of hardware to determine what it is and what is needed to fix it.
it also means lots of spare parts cant be used and they sit there going to waste.
but that is what i said about some of the amplifiers using more amperage in the signal.
it is just a matter of how the volts and amperage is pushed out.
and if you went by the specifics i said above, then you would see that some amplifiers would show a whole bunch more volts on a multimeter with next to nothing resistance.
it's just a matter of those volts collapsing down to amperage .. and which one of the two has more 'twinkle' .. because sometimes the voltage is cleaner than the amperage .. and sometimes the amperage is more cleaner than the voltage.
and sometimes the speaker needs clean voltage to work its best .. and the amplifier is feeding it clean amperage instead.
...that leaves room for yes, sometimes the speaker needs clean amperage and the amplifier is feeding it clean voltage instead.
dont get too overworked about it because it boils down to those two instances as the starting point.
if things start to fall anywhere inbetween, you are probably a person making your own custom amplifier to work with a specific pair of speakers to get the most clarity from those speakers and you will get it right eventually with some trial and error.
if these forums were used more efficiently..
people could try some of the seperate amplifiers, and share their experience.
like.. my speakers did this with ____ amplifier.
and my speakers did this with ____ amplifier.
and my speakers did this with _____ amplifier.
then the person reading that goes out there and tries one of the three amps.. makes a note about what it did to their speakers, and runs out there to get a different amplifier based on what was said above.
that means if the one amplifier did something to the speakers for the first person, and it did the opposite for the other person.. then the other person would look at the first person's reviews and say 'okay.. what was even worse for their speakers because it will probably be perfect for my speakers'
and that is what is going to get those amplifiers sold and placed in the right homes where they will do the most good.
but we can probably blame the reviewers for not allowing this to happen because they use different speakers for the reviews and there isnt enough of a grip or stability to make algebraic sense out of any of it.
Dude,
Forgive my bluntness as its not my style, I couldn't help myself.

Your reply (#17), contains little info that the OP or any audio neophyte can get their head around. Most of it comes across as philosophical manure.

To the OP: in a word, YES!! Have you considered a pre-pro & a 3 channel amp for LCR? Then use your receiver for sides/surrounds.

Haven't read all the replies yet. Quantum studio makes excellent points on what to look for and how/why they make the diff in the final result. One easy spec that will help is "all channels driven." Marantz, Rotel, B&K, and, I think, the Pioneer SC series to name a few are up front w/this spec. Some won't publish it stating "100 W X 2"; usually means about 35-40 X 5, even less X 7.

Be carefully of these myths: "power=SQ" or "I can't connect my (100W) speakers to that 200W amp."

As an example: I have a pair of (90dB, 8ohm) speakers rated @ 100 WPC "program." I've driven them w/a decent (Adcom) 220 watt amp and, later, a much better sounding (Belles-high current) 100 WPC amp. Sold the Adcom long time. Have 3 of those Belles amps; one's apart for repair/tweaking.

Over 20 years ago I lived in dorm-like setting w/small rooms. I used that Belles w/a tiny pair of Radio Shack 2 ways (4.5" MB) rated @ 40w "program" While there I CRANKED(!) it often. One day I blew a classmate's mind: "You're getting all THAT from those little things?" Later I learned the replacement MB driver had a 10W ratting!

So the "numbers," as QS & I alluded to, don't always tell whole story. One other post replied w/"shop with your ears"

Sorry for long-windedness; Merry Christmas, tony
Edited by Gp4Jesus - 12/15/12 at 8:58am
post #342 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splicer010 View Post

The benefit you would receive is a more clear, more pronounced soundstage than the 1611 is able to create. Yes, IF you are interested in better high end sound (the 1611 doesn't even come close even if it is a Denon) then absolutely start upgrading. But be warned, running seperates is a VERY slippery slope. Once the upgrades begin, the only way to stop is if you can't afford the equipment you want/desire...

Teflon coated slope!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splicer010 View Post

And while it is true that an amp will indeed produce ALOT of sound at high levels, high levels are NOT REQUIRED to hear the superiority of an amp over the 1611. You will IMMEDIATELY notice an improvement in SQ. HOWEVER (you were waiting for the other shoe to drop, huh? LOL) as I previously stated, this is a slippery slope. Those Jamo speakers you have are fantastic for the 1611, not so much for Emotiva.

Remember: ANY component will sound ONLY as good as what's driving it. Specifically: the best BDP connected to great electronics connected to good speakers will blow away a good BDP connected to great electronics to the best speakers. Another way to illustrate this point: if you don't retrieve the the data from the CD, DVD, BRD, etc, CORRECTLY, the $250,000 worth of HDTV, electronics & speakers that follow will tell you what a lousy job the player did
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splicer010 View Post

before long (a few hours of listening maybe?) you will want (and need actually) a better performing speaker which costs...and so on, and so on, and so on with the rest of the equipment including the video source! Crazy I know, but if I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times...this is a VERY slippery slope.
Now, if you even care, MY SUGGESTION for you is to indeed revamp the system. Look for last years models on everything as those you will likely find the absolute best (and affordable) pricing. Get a Denon 4311 for about 1200 give or take. Your receiver needs are now over and should you require more power (note: I did NOT say better sound) you can always get a seperate amp and the 4311 is all you need to run it.
Next, speakers...while the Jamos will sing (literally) with the 4311, you will quickly enough desire better speakers. Again, look online for sales on closeout models as that is the best bet. Look at spending (at a minimum) of $600+ per. Not set, per individual speaker. You will not be able to fully appreciate the SQ of the 4311 w/Audyssey without a speaker upgrade.

See above
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splicer010 View Post

So there you have it, in a nutshell,...

"...the(?) answer to your question?" "An answer I'd say.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splicer010 View Post

I hope in laymans terms and understandable.wink.gif

Edited by Gp4Jesus - 12/15/12 at 9:57am
post #343 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

B
Longer answer is if your current amp keeps distortion inaudible unused headroom or "inaudibler" distortion will not be audible. Sad truth is even golden ears cannot reliably distinguish flat amps operating within their limits. We (me included) imagine huge differences. If they were huge folks would be able to tell the difference without seeing the faceplate.

Blind listening, I can distinguish between a Hafler XL280 & a Belles 1 driving my Polk towers
post #344 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Perhaps a reverse view.
Codecs, bandwidth requirements, numbers of channels, automagic room correction tools, DACs, etc. change more often than most people change their socks. What do ya mean my receiver won't handle the bandwidth needed for 4K. Wot? HDMI 1.5, 2.x is out? Wow, finally that stupid HDMI connector is out? All of this stuff, in a receiver, or let's say, in the pre-processing section of your receiver will change.
What about amps? How often do you find amplifier technology changing ... or just radically changing? Yes, there has been improvements over the years. Those improvements have been small and incremental by and large. When would you find a "real" need to swap out an amplifier? When (and if) it breaks. When, for some reason, you make a radical change in your speakers.
My leaning toward separates is simply based on the above. The real requirement for changing amps is very rare. The requirement (or desire) to change the pre-processing capabilities of a receiver are frequent and usually driven by factors I (as a consumer) have no control over. Further, my decoding needs are dictated by source. My amplifier needs are dictated by speakers (noting a good amplifier can drive a very large variety of speakers).
My vote is therefore on separates. Perhaps more of a budget hit on day one; but, less of a budget hit over time.
My two pence.
WOW Den, good stuff! You hit the nail on tb head for me! I've replaced my SSP 4 times since my first in 1994 but I'm still using the same circa mid '80s amps.
Another pence, Tony
post #345 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breako View Post

Yep, hit the proverbial nail on the head, along with your comment on Mr Ohm. Lots of people love to make all sorts of completely subjective self imagined claims about being able to hear large differences in sound by changing cables, changing interconnects, changing amps or changing from a receiver to a dedicated amp, etc. Objective blind testing has proven that when comparing two capable power systems for the speakers in question being driven these claims are simply nonsense and untrue.
Yes, it is true that if the receiver you are using is substantially underpowered for trying to drive the speakers you are using, moving to a bigger receiver or a receiver plus a separate more powerful amp could result in audible differences you could detect. However, for the system the original poster described, this simply is not the case as his receiver is perfectly cable of driving those speakers easily to his desired listening levels within his set up.
For all these "golden ears" who claim they can hear all these differences, I would suggest you offer them a simple challenge: go buy a new receiver, and a new separate amp and hook them up to your speakers. Then invite them over, sit them down in your primary listening position, blind fold them and conduct your own series of blind tests with equally weighted sound levels when playing the separate amp setup versus your current receiver. See if they can actually tell which is which so easily? Ill wager you the cost of your new amp and upgraded receiver they will not be able to accurately tell you which power set up is which any better than pure random guessing. Objective bling testing supports my assertion. Im not guessing here, Im simply regurgitating what has ALREADY been proven in a number of objective random tests on the subject. Remove the placebo effect, remove the nonsense and have someone, anyone PROVE to you they can actually hear all these huge diffrences in sound that are claimed by the "golden ears." If they prove me wrong Ill buy your new components. If they cant, they buy them for you. They had better bring a good load of cash with them when they venture over to your home, because they"ll be buying your new system, not me. :-)
Unfortunately the AV world, like so many other hobbies has become inundated with people who believe money always buys something perceptually better. Sometimes it is true, often you are buying marketing hype and little else that is actually relevant to your uses. Will a $10k Krell amp put out more clean power than your receiver? Absolutely! Does it mean a hill of beans if you put it in your dwcribed set up with your describe use and speakers? Flat out NO! Hook that Krell up to the speakers you described and listen to them using your described usage, and Ill tell you now, No One, No One, would be able to detect an audible difference between your speakers played through that amp versus your current receiver. Sorry they wont! The plain reality is your speakers, ANY speakers, even $100K speakers put out orders more distortion than even a basic plain jane $500 receiver does regarding distortion which effects the sound output from the speaker. Thats a physical, mechanical, electrical fact! It's reality. The power source simply is not anywhere near as important to your output sound as the speaker is unless the power source is truly incapable of comfortably driving the speakers involved and is clipping. That is fact despite the "golden ears" placebo, buyer rationalization, claims to the contrary.
Sorry for being so long winded, but I get sick listening to self professed golden ears telling newbies they need to spend silly , ridiculous, bordering on ciminal amounts of cash on amps, cables, interconnects, etc to get good sound. It simply isnt true! Most of this uber high end stuff is little more than fluff sold to individuals who you could convince a turd tasted great if you put a $200 price tag on it, and sold it through a Whole Foods store. It reminds me of the moronic cable claims. Inside those $10k speakers, the wires are basic copper wire with a simple plastic housing, little different than a simple Belden cable or any wire you could buy from a Lowes or Home Depot! But yet somehow by magic, once you get outside the speaker that simple copper wire is no longer acceptable to providing good sound according the the cable "golden ear" proponents. Now all of a sudden you need some $500/ foot Koolaid Shunyata or Nordost snake oil cable sprinkled with fairy dust which of course "magically transforms" your sound according to the self professed "golden ears." If you listen to their drivel, that nosebleed cable magically changes the output sound of your speakers even though the physical FACT is the signal from that magic cable ends up being routed through a simple plain jane copper wire once it is inside the speaker, and before it reaches the speakers driver! The claim does not make sense, does it? Just goes to show the amount of pure snake oil complete BS which has become common place in this hobby. Snake oil improvment claims sold as fact, when all one would have to do is simply peek inside their speaker, look at the wires it uses, and if you had even a modicum of logic in your head youd know the utter nonsense and pure 100 percent bullsheot being sold by firms like Nordost, Shunyata, Monster, etc.... My rant is now done. :-)

Allow me to continue your wire rant... I've read repeatly similar nonsense that, say, 16 ga OFC wire priced at dollers by the inch SOME HOW has superior conductivity to 10 or 12 ga OFC priced at $1-2 by the yard! Give me a break, please!! Apples to apples on ga maybe, maybe die electrics, grain, and one or two other things are SQ factors... maybe. Short of a big lottery win, I can't rationalize the 10-50 fold $ diff.

I get around the tiny internal "no brainer" speaker dilemma by replacing it! Naysayers, waste of time... they're also those that haven't done it or refuse to try.

I can see some of you winding up on your pichers mound w/that ball of mud.
Over 30 years ago, I rewired one channel w/some leftover 12 ga OFC. Hooked it up to my (then) NAD 45WPC amp and, at a moderate volume in a 10 X 10 room, had to adjust the balance ctrl to about 10 O'clock to even things up. Did the other channel, "problem gone."

Hee, Hee, hee I have 15, 12, & 8 ga in my HT towers; 15 & 12 in my CC! As part of the process, I repeated the steps in the above paragraph. I know it was worth it! Surrounds to follow. So those who "it doesn't work" are those who jump off tall buildings screaming "gravity doesn't exist" as they plummet to the sidewalk below!

So don't waste this forum's cybor-electrons suggesting, inferring, or implying rewiring speakers is a waste. I refuse to allow anyone to buy that from anyone who isn't speaking from experience.

Tony
Edited by Gp4Jesus - 12/15/12 at 11:38am
post #346 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny2Bad View Post

Wow, lots of stuff in this thread, and more than a few tangents going in who-knows-what direction.
Lets start with the basics. We will talk about receivers and amplifiers, and treat them as doing the same job (powering speakers). I will use "Amp" but you could substitute "Receiver" as long as we are just talking about power output and not processing.
You could also talk about receivers and HT processors, and treat them as doing the same job (processing signals, but not amplifying them), but another day for that.
The power output of your amp is all about the Power Supply Section inside the amp. The amp takes power from the wall, and converts that to power into a speaker. It cannot deliver more power to the speaker than the Power Supply Section within the amp is capable of delivering.
A multi-channel amp is no different than a mono (eg used as a sub amp) amp in this regard, as long as they are only driving one speaker (same condition).
A multi-channel amp is no different than a stereo amp (ie conventional stereo system) in this regard, as long as they are only driving two speakers simultaneously (same condition).
Naturally, you can create a multi-channel setup using, say, a 5-channel HT amp, or 5 mono amps, or a stereo and a 3-channel, amp, etc.
Going back to the early 1970's, there was a certain chaos in the home entertainment market. Using various tricks and sleigh-of-hand, you could find cheap systems that claimed 1000 watt output, and expensive systems that claimed 50 watt output, and when people put the two units in their homes, the 50 watt amp sounded much more powerful. When engineers tested the two amps using the same conditions, the 50 watt amp tested more powerful as well.
So, the United States Federal Trade Commission stepped in, and defined the conditions under which you must test the amplifier, and mandated the way you must advertise power output. The law stated that the advertised output under the "FTC method" of testing, must be either the largest font in the ad or must be presented in a font size equal to claims under other methods of testing but no smaller.
Over time, the market adopted a habit of using just the FTC Method power rating in all advertising, and in the specification sheets. So, by, say, 1980, two "100 watt stereo" amps from two manufacturers produced similar power output if you went by a magazine ad or a spec sheet.
The law applied only to separate amplifiers intended to work in a home stereo system. So, you still had, say, car stereos or boom boxes, that used the bogus test methods, but if you were putting together a home stereo from components, at least the ratings were consistent.
This is very similar, but not exactly the same, as putting a quality home theatre system made up of separates (individual receiver, speakers, DVD player, etc) together like you would today, except the HT system will typically be able to drive more than two speakers.
About a decade ago, HT component manufacturers began forwarding the claim that the FTC method did not apply to them, because a HT was not a stereo system. This is important, because if the FTC method did apply and a manufacturer didn't advertise based on the FTC method, it's illegal and the unit under question could not be sold in the US with claims based on some other power test method. On the other hand, if the FTC method did not apply, manufacturers were free to use any alternative power rating they wanted, moving the marketplace closer to the chaos of 1970.
Without going too deep into details, let's just say that a multi-channel amp for a HT system today does not usually list power ratings based on the FTC method. The FTC has looked at making a rule similar to the 1974 rule for HT, but hasn't yet. HT manufacturers' main objection to a more stringent 1974- like rating is they would have to re-rate HT amps currently in the marketplace and owners of those amps would start pouting when their amp suddenly is rated for less power output.
The FTC method can summed up briefly as:
The amplifier must be tested with standard AC power at a specific voltage. This is because if you power an amp with, say, 125V AC, it will put out more power than if you power it with 110V AC, even though both voltages may be present in the average home at certain times or in certain locations within the country. This gives you a hint as to one of the tricks that led to inflated power claims in the home, and is still used as a trick in such markets as car stereo, or boom boxes, where the FTC rules never applied.
The amplifier must be pre-conditioned. This means the amplifier must be run at half rated power for one hour before you can test or measure anything regarding power output. This stresses the amplifier in such a way that it simulates real-world listening sessions in the home. It also insures that the amplifier cannot be rated for an impedance that might trip the self-protection circuit if used continuously with speakers of that impedance.
The amplifier must be tested in the same condition as it's advertised use. This means that a stereo amplifier (2-channels) must be pre-conditioned and then tested with both channels driven simultaneously.
The power test must be done under certain specified conditions. The typical condition used to advertise power output of stereo component amps was, after pre-conditioning:
Power in watts at a specific impedance, both channels driven, with all frequencies from 20 to 20,000 Hz, with a specific distortion figure.
Modern HT amps generally are not compliant with the FTC method of measuring power. Some HT manufacturers (eg Anthem) do measure with the FTC method, but it's rare in the market.
In the case of a 5-channel HT amp, an FTC-compliant specification would read something like this, and be tested after pre-conditioning of 1 hour:
100 watts per channel, five channels driven, into 8 ohms, at 20 to 20,000 Hz, at no more than 0.5% Total Harmonic Distortion.
Remember we mentioned earlier on that " ... The power output of your amp is all about the Power Supply Section inside the amp. ..."
The Power Supply Section of an amplifier is expensive to manufacture. The history of electronics ... all electronics ... is largely about finding ways to make the power supply less expensive. There is no magic to this; every manufacturer knows the same stuff and buys from the same parts bins.
Lets say (bogus numbers, but ones that are "easy math" for illustration) it takes 100 watts from a 117V AC line to make 100 watts power at 8 ohms.
*ALERT* Do not confuse watts drawn from the AC wall with watts of output into a loudspeaker. They are not referring to the same thing. *ALERT*
Assuming the above were true:
A FTC-compliant stereo amplifier could meet it's 100-watt spec with a 200 watt power supply; one that is capable of delivering all the power two channels need simultaneously without excessive distortion.
An FTC-compliant 5 channel amplifier would need a 500-watt power supply to meet a 100 watt per channel specification driving 5 channels simultaneously without excessive distortion.
Remember the part about the power supply being expensive?
Anyway, HT manufacturers basically said we are not going to use the FTC method, because our HT amps would have to be very expensive to make, so screw you FTC. They used an argument that targeted one specific clause in the FTC requirements that referred to who has to and who doesn't have to comply, and started advertising their own version of the power rating. So far this has been legal.
Going back to our bogus-number example above, they might test the amplifier with one channel driven at full power, and the others idling along at 20% power.
So, the five channel amp needs 1 channel eating 100 watts, and four more channels eating 20 watts each, for a total draw of 180 watts ... similar enough that the power supply could be identical to our 200-watt stereo FTC-compliant amp, and the power supply section of the amp could cost about the same. In fact they could even cause the amp to be driven in such a way that the one channel gets a bit more than 100 watts from it's 200 watt supply, and maybe claim 120 watts output for the one driven channel.
The above is simplified for clarity, but broadly speaking that's kind of how HT amps are power rated. They measure one channel, drive the others at an easy pace, and then multiply the result of one channel by how many channels the amp has. So, 100w times 5, then ... it's a 500w HT amplifier. But it still is only capable of delivering 200 watts all at the same time, distributed over all 5 speakers depending on the requirements of each channel while, say, watching a DVD movie.
There is some broad standardization of test methods, but generally speaking you need to be careful with HT systems. Remember that this is only about components ... a HT in a box can take huge liberties with it's power rating. Let's use an example:
A HT-in-a-box with integrated Blu-Ray Player, AM/FM radio, and speakers that come with it. Such integrated systems do not have to limit themselves to rating power into, say "8 ohm speakers" because the actual speakers intended to be used are part of the system, so we can use the actual impedance of those speakers for our power rating. This is also how a television set or a boom box is rated; with the impedance of the speakers bundled with the system.
It has a 100 watt power supply, and 80 watts are available to the power amp section of 5 channels. Remember we are using the "bogus" figures of above for ease of understanding the concepts.
The speakers are integrated, and are 2 ohms impedance. **
This means the power supply and the power amp sections should be able to deliver 4x the power of an 8 ohm load. *** We can say 80 watts times 4 and not lie to anyone. So, 320 watts power output then. It's tested with one channel driven, so we can use conventional HT practice and go 5 x 320 watts.
As if by magic, we have a HT in a box where the power supply section costs less than a 5-channel HT separate amp to make, that we can advertise as 1600 watts total output.
** Many BOSE integrated systems use 2 or even 1 ohm speakers; a popular "900 watt" Samsung HT-in-a-box uses 3 ohm speakers. And please note that my "bogus" examples are simplified for clarity; the actual specs for stereo and HT systems, and the test methods, are not exactly as I presented (the FTC method rating as I explained it is pretty much how it goes though). But the concept is valid for ease of understanding how things actually work in the real world.
*** There may be some factor in the design of the amplifier that limits power output as impedance drops. I am assuming a robust power supply and a robust amplifier section, in which case the amp should be capable of 4x the output into 2 ohms as it would be capable of delivering into 8 ohms. In the real world, an inexpensive HT-in-a-box may not be capable of this output, but could perhaps claim to deliver 1000 watts [into 2 ohms, but don't expect to see the impedance mentioned]. In that case it would advertise itself as a "1000 watt Home Theatre In A Box". And if you understand what I've presented, you would deduce the system is perhaps capable of delivering 80 watts, one channel driven, into 8 ohms, or 16 watts per channel, all 5 channels driven into 8 ohms, keeping in mind that this is based on my "bogus" ratio of 100 watts 117V in = 100 watts 8 ohms out. The "bogus" value I used for ease in math isn't stupid-impossible; it's just that actual values will be different, because various amplifier designs get different efficiency from the AC line.
I didn't read every word of your reply. If my post sound like I have my foot in my mouth, sorry.

Many of Rotel's upscale & top of the line 2/3/5/7 channel power amps in the 900 & 1000 series exceed all their power & distortion specs all channels driven. SQ compared to Krell, Levinson and the like. They do this with very large transformers & each channel having a dedicated cap bank. The big ones, (200+WPC) each channel has a dedicated PS w/its own transformer, RB, & CB sharing only the power cord & case.

I'm sur othe brand do this too. I know this about Rotel's amps.
Edited by Gp4Jesus - 12/15/12 at 12:00pm
post #347 of 429
Are dedicated power amplifiers worth it? Absolutely, but with a high-end receiver the SQ rate of return on your "investment" drops significantly with cost. Having been into audio for decades, I have owned and/or listened to amplification ranging from a friend's HTIB to Mark Levinson power amplifiers. I own a dedicated theater with several power amps (McCormack and Adcom) and a Denon receiver in the living room. The HT is ~20% better than the Denon. The Denon is ~40% better than the HTIB I heard and the Mark Levinson amps were ~10% better than my McCormack reference. Considering the Denon was $500 then the 30% improvement in SQ going to a Levinson *SHOULD* be ~$300 more if SQ was measured dollar for dollar. Considering they are hand made in America and a low volume product then the Levinson amps should still only cost a couple grand max. Once you get past $5-10K per component in audio gear you enter the world of veblen goods for the most part.

So yes, if you have a large HT, difficult to drive loudspeakers, or want a little improvement in SQ then buy a dedicated power amplifier. Just be careful of the snake oil high-end. smile.gif
post #348 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny2Bad View Post

.....

Great post!
post #349 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

Another way of looking at it from the Clark viewpoint:
Amp A (105wpc)
Pushing 5 watts into an 8ohm speaker at .005% THD
Amp B (85wpc)
Pushing 5 watts into an 8ohm speaker at .005% THD
Will sound identical.
Likely if they have similar circuit topology & output devices & driving one speaker. Some amps image better than others
post #350 of 429
^^^

amps don't "image"... the combination of recording, speakers, room and how well the user has integrated the speakers into their room determines "imaging"...

they "amplify"... nothing more, nothing less...
post #351 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gp4Jesus View Post


Remember: ANY component will sound ONLY as good as what's driving it. Specifically: the best BDP connected to great electronics connected to good speakers will blow away a good BDP connected to great electronics to the best speakers. Another way to illustrate this point: if you don't retrieve the the data from the CD, DVD, BRD, etc, CORRECTLY, the $250,000 worth of HDTV, electronics & speakers that follow will tell you what a lousy job the player did

]

ummm... no.... not in a million years...

ANY bdp (that is not broken) connected to ANY electronics (that are not overdriven or complete garbage) will sound "better" with "better, properly integrated speakers"... it has nothing to so with the "greatness" of the electronics... it has everything to so with the speakers and how they interface with your room...

to illustrate the point... i know it is hard for some to believe, but retrieving data from a shiny disk (and subsequently transporting that data to another device) is something that was mastered a LONG time ago... i know it is hard for some to believe, but a/v tech follows the same "rules" as every other tech (better/faster/cheaper)... even the most modest of bdp's and amplifiers are completely transparent today (bdp's always were)... and so on...
post #352 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^

amps don't "image"... the combination of recording, speakers, room and how well the user has integrated the speakers into their room determines "imaging"...

they "amplify"... nothing more, nothing less...

Yes, the clue is in the name really ;)  Odd that so many people attribute all sorts of impossible properties to amplifiers. 

post #353 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gp4Jesus View Post


Remember: ANY component will sound ONLY as good as what's driving it. Specifically: the best BDP connected to great electronics connected to good speakers will blow away a good BDP connected to great electronics to the best speakers. Another way to illustrate this point: if you don't retrieve the the data from the CD, DVD, BRD, etc, CORRECTLY, the $250,000 worth of HDTV, electronics & speakers that follow will tell you what a lousy job the player did

]

ummm... no.... not in a million years...

ANY bdp (that is not broken) connected to ANY electronics (that are not overdriven or complete garbage) will sound "better" with "better, properly integrated speakers"... it has nothing to so with the "greatness" of the electronics... it has everything to so with the speakers and how they interface with your room...

to illustrate the point... i know it is hard for some to believe, but retrieving data from a shiny disk (and subsequently transporting that data to another device) is something that was mastered a LONG time ago... i know it is hard for some to believe, but a/v tech follows the same "rules" as every other tech (better/faster/cheaper)... even the most modest of bdp's and amplifiers are completely transparent today (bdp's always were)... and so on...

 

Yes, concurred totally.

 

I think the OP's POV goes back to the days of analogue gear and, especially, turntables. In those days, the usual advice was to spend the money on speakers, amps and turntable in that order, relegating the TT to the bottom of the pack. Then the amazing discovery was made that garbage in did indeed equal garbage out, and people started to invest much more into their front-end source - the TT, arm and cartridge. And the difference truly was substantial because the amp could only amplify what it was sent, and the speakers could only reproduce what they were sent. So the very best TT, arm and cartridge got the best possible performance out of the downstream components.

 

But that was then and this is now. As you rightly say, every half-decent, modest BD player today will manage to get all the data off the disc intact and any half-decent, modest amp will be able to take the ensuing signal and amplify it, while neither adding anything nor taking anything away. 

 

So today's priorities for better sound quality lie in the areas you mention: the room and the speakers. IMO the room is the most important component in the 'system' and the one that has the biggest effect on SQ. Get the room right (with treatments as required) and get the speaker placement right within the room and wrt to the MLP and you will have given yourself the best possible opportunity to hear good sound - even modestly priced good speakers in a good room will sound better than more expensive speakers in a bad room. Once the room is right, then the better the quality of speaker you place in it, the better the sound will be. 

 

Concentrating budget on electronics is to waste that budget. Of course we are assuming the amps are capable of driving the speakers to the desired SPLs and that the amps are therefore not overdriven or working outside their intended performance envelope, but that should be a given anyway.

post #354 of 429
Carver AV-405


Onkyo TX-NR809




I found a Carver AV-405 on ebay for $80 two years ago. It weighs almost as much as the 809, and has been working perfectly in my modest HT setup. The surround back channels are powered by the Onkyo as needed. As you can tell by the pictures, the power supply and the amps on the Carver are massive compared to the Onkyo. +1 on the room treatments. I finally hung some curtains up behind the tv. Those curtains made my highly reflective room much quieter. Could really use some bass traps that have a high waf.. Whether or not an amp was worth it - for me, I thought so. The (perceived) improvement in sound to me is subtle, but detectable. The Carver has a warmer, more robust sound to it - even after all these years. Ran the Audyssey calibration after adding the curtains. Sounds great. Sounds better at reference levels. Very clean. I may never leave my living room again. biggrin.gif
post #355 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by myoda View Post

I found a Carver AV-405 on ebay for $80 two years ago. It weighs almost as much as the 809, and has been working perfectly in my modest HT setup. The surround back channels are powered by the Onkyo as needed. As you can tell by the pictures, the power supply and the amps on the Carver are massive compared to the Onkyo. +1 on the room treatments. I finally hung some curtains up behind the tv. Those curtains made my highly reflective room much quieter. Could really use some bass traps that have a high waf.. Whether or not an amp was worth it - for me, I thought so. The (perceived) improvement in sound to me is subtle, but detectable. The Carver has a warmer, more robust sound to it - even after all these years. Ran the Audyssey calibration after adding the curtains. Sounds great. Sounds better at reference levels. Very clean. I may never leave my living room again. biggrin.gif

 

So you are OK with your surrounds sounding different than the front channels due to the different amps?

post #356 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gp4Jesus View Post

Likely if they have similar circuit topology & output devices & driving one speaker. Some amps image better than others

Yeah, I was really surprised that my Emotiva XPA-3 was so handily trounced in this regard by a Parasound Halo A21. That and the A21 didn't have the sibilance at high volumes that the Emotiva had with my particular speakers.
post #357 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by primetimeguy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by myoda View Post

I found a Carver AV-405 on ebay for $80 two years ago. It weighs almost as much as the 809, and has been working perfectly in my modest HT setup. The surround back channels are powered by the Onkyo as needed. As you can tell by the pictures, the power supply and the amps on the Carver are massive compared to the Onkyo. +1 on the room treatments. I finally hung some curtains up behind the tv. Those curtains made my highly reflective room much quieter. Could really use some bass traps that have a high waf.. Whether or not an amp was worth it - for me, I thought so. The (perceived) improvement in sound to me is subtle, but detectable. The Carver has a warmer, more robust sound to it - even after all these years. Ran the Audyssey calibration after adding the curtains. Sounds great. Sounds better at reference levels. Very clean. I may never leave my living room again. biggrin.gif

 

So you are OK with your surrounds sounding different than the front channels due to the different amps?

 

???   Why would different amps make his surrounds 'sound different' to the front channels???? confused.gif  

post #358 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gp4Jesus View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

Another way of looking at it from the Clark viewpoint:
Amp A (105wpc)
Pushing 5 watts into an 8ohm speaker at .005% THD
Amp B (85wpc)
Pushing 5 watts into an 8ohm speaker at .005% THD
Will sound identical.
Likely if they have similar circuit topology & output devices & driving one speaker. Some amps image better than others

Can you explain how "amps image better than others"?  If using mono block amps how can it image, don't you need two?  

post #359 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by primetimeguy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by myoda View Post

I found a Carver AV-405 on ebay for $80 two years ago. It weighs almost as much as the 809, and has been working perfectly in my modest HT setup. The surround back channels are powered by the Onkyo as needed. As you can tell by the pictures, the power supply and the amps on the Carver are massive compared to the Onkyo. +1 on the room treatments. I finally hung some curtains up behind the tv. Those curtains made my highly reflective room much quieter. Could really use some bass traps that have a high waf.. Whether or not an amp was worth it - for me, I thought so. The (perceived) improvement in sound to me is subtle, but detectable. The Carver has a warmer, more robust sound to it - even after all these years. Ran the Audyssey calibration after adding the curtains. Sounds great. Sounds better at reference levels. Very clean. I may never leave my living room again. biggrin.gif

 

So you are OK with your surrounds sounding different than the front channels due to the different amps?

 

???   Why would different amps make his surrounds 'sound different' to the front channels???? confused.gif  

 

I don't think they would, but he stated the Carver is warmer and detectable by him, and since it is only driving the fronts it would seem he should be able to hear a difference between the front and rear soundstage and is ok with that. And that goes against the ideal of having all speakers sound the same.

post #360 of 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by primetimeguy View Post

So you are OK with your surrounds sounding different than the front channels due to the different amps?
I am using the Carver for the L C R and surround channels. The Onkyo is used for the surround back channels. It is balanced.
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