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To Amp or not to Amp

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ok so I have been thinking of adding a new piece to my HT. The sound is "adequate" right now but seems to my ears to be lacking. I watch 90% (HD TV and DVD's).

Here is my equipment list

Paradigm Monitor 5 - Fronts
Paradigm Titans - Rears
Paradigm CC-370 - Center
Paradigm PDR-10 - Sub

Yamaha RX-V1500
Toshiba HD-A1 using toslink and multichannel analogs.

Here is a pic of my room:




I would like to find a reasonable priced amp for around $500-$700. Yes i know that is asking alot.

I have read the previous threads through and am more less looking for opinion's on my setup.

Also I am kind of dumb when it comes to Amp's in that I know my Yammie has Pre-outs to hook up an amp but does that mean I would take all my speakers and hook it up to the amp? Do amps only help with 2 channel sources? Like I said very dumb when it comes to anything above what i have. Maybe a 5 channel amp?

Thanks
post #2 of 20
yes, all speakers will hook up to amp.
post #3 of 20
You might look at the Emotiva LPA-1 , its had stellar reviews.

And yes you would hook up the amp to the pre-outs of your AVR, then the speakers to the amp.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link. If I do go with am amp would I be having to set the volume on two devices? The manual for my 1500 said to set the volume on an amp to full...that scares me though.
post #5 of 20
Most amps do not have volume control (some DO have gain). The actual volume is controlled by the AVR.

The manual says to make sure that the external amplifier is turned up all the way (gain), not your receiver. Remember they are different things.
post #6 of 20
Does the external amp then do all the work? Does the receiver's own power go unused?
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ok the low end Yamaha 2 channel amp I was looking at had volume on it. Hence the question. I believe if I get a 2 channel amp to run my Monitor's then it is just added amplification as the signal would be amplified first through my 1500 than passed to my amp through the pre-outs? The rest of the speakers would be pwered only by the amp's in my 1500 for 7 channel stereo or DD 5.1. This is my guess

This is the amp they have in stock...

http://www.yamaha.ca/av/stereocomp/AX497.jsp
post #8 of 20
Follow this thread http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=418666 and you won't regret it (if you can live with the fans).

I was looking for an amp and taking a lot of my time reading about Emotiva, Outlaws, Rotel, etc. etc. etc. and was about to spend near $2k when I found that thread. You can get the Crown XLS-602D for less than $370 less $135 rebate from Abes of Maine. It is XLR so it needs an RCA->XLR transformer for each channel.

Just to tell the long story short, we compared that thing against a Sonic Frontiers tube amp and found the Crown to be better.
post #9 of 20
I have a yammi HTR and it is fine for HT, but found it lacking for 2 channel music. I added on an Adcom 3 channel amp, powering my front R and L and Center. I frees up the receiver to just power the rears and the sound was much improved all around. I also am using a Adcom Preamp as well, not that you would need to go that route, but this gives me the best of both worlds. ( 2 channel music and HT ) Adding on an amp really made the system more dynamic....
post #10 of 20
And also, don't get too worried about your other channels. Your Yamaha will be so relaxed playing only with the Center and the rears that it wont even get warm.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Would love to get the crown but I live in Canada and the lowest price I can find is $469.00 and the rebate won't apply to me...sucks.
post #12 of 20
I would definitely go for a decent multi-channel amp (at least 5-channel), combined with your RX-V1500 (as pre-pro), for example:
http://nadelectronics.com/products/h...ower-Amplifier
http://nadelectronics.com/products/h...ower-Amplifier
http://www.rotel.com/products/specs/rmb1075.htm
http://www.rotel.com/products/specs/rmb1075.htm
or even the Emotiva and Adcom products mentioned above.

This way your complete system (5.1-plus) will be augmented with better, more efficient, power. A much more versatile system.

You'll be happy.
post #13 of 20
Your room does not appear to be that big, why do you think the Yammy is not capable?
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_NW View Post

Does the external amp then do all the work? Does the receiver's own power go unused?

The receiver will still handle all the processing (digital to analog conversion, dolby digital, DTS, etc etc). All processing is done with low voltage signals. After processing, the signal will now travel out the pre-outs of the receiver, into the amplifier, and then be amplified into a higher voltage signal which gets sent out to the speakers.

If you did not have an external amp, your low voltage signal after processing would proceed to the amplifier section of your receiver and then out the speaker outputs of the receiver to the speakers.

So no, the receiver's power does not go unused.

Quote:


I believe if I get a 2 channel amp to run my Monitor's then it is just added amplification as the signal would be amplified first through my 1500 than passed to my amp through the pre-outs?

Anything that goes out the pre-outs of the receiver has not been through the receivers amplifier section. So no, the signal would not be amplified by your 1500 first.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poolshark69 View Post

Would love to get the crown but I live in Canada and the lowest price I can find is $469.00 and the rebate won't apply to me...sucks.

Try XLS402D for $277 on www.abesofmaine.com. I think they will ship to you.

Just another comment, my guess is that you are looking for a more dynamic and engaging sound than your Yamaha can provide. If that is true, beware that some of the amps around sound laid back and will make things worst even if they have much more power that your Yamaha.

Also, $700 / 5 ch = $140 per channel. I wonder if a botique amp of that price can really improve over what your Yamaha already has? Maybe the Emotiva LPA-1?

I really think that you will better served with a 2ch amp than with a 5ch. If you just liberate the Yamaha from the burden of the 2 main speakers, it will have all its power for the center since the rears won't take much.
post #16 of 20
Behringer A500 160WX2 under $300 Canadian.

Check music stores, DJ places, outlets like that.

But beware, I think this is one of those "laid-back" sounding amps......but I could be wrong.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poolshark69 View Post

Ok so I have been thinking of adding a new piece to my HT. The sound is "adequate" right now but seems to my ears to be lacking. I watch 90% (HD TV and DVD's).

Here is my equipment list

Paradigm Monitor 5 - Fronts
Paradigm Titans - Rears
Paradigm CC-370 - Center
Paradigm PDR-10 - Sub

Yamaha RX-V1500
Toshiba HD-A1 using toslink and multichannel analogs.

Here is a pic of my room:




I would like to find a reasonable priced amp for around $500-$700. Yes i know that is asking alot.

I have read the previous threads through and am more less looking for opinion's on my setup.

Also I am kind of dumb when it comes to Amp's in that I know my Yammie has Pre-outs to hook up an amp but does that mean I would take all my speakers and hook it up to the amp? Do amps only help with 2 channel sources? Like I said very dumb when it comes to anything above what i have. Maybe a 5 channel amp?

Thanks

Your room looks relatively small, why do you feel that your sound is lacking. Your Yamaha is more than capable of producing sound that will blow your hair back in a room of that size. If you are lacking in the bass area, simply buy a bigger sub. An amp is not going to change the quality of your sound whatsoever. Quite frankly, I think your system is fine the way it is.
post #18 of 20
You will more than likly gain in the area of dynamics by adding an amp. Your setup will run more effortlessly and open up. I say try it. See how it works out. If you don't notice a difference, return the amp.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yeah I am torn on the issue and I appreciate all your feedback guys. I hooked up the low freq. wires from my Front speakers to the B inputs on my receiver and don't notice a difference. I assume this is Bi-wiring? Which i knew before would not make a difference since I use 12 gauge wire already.

Do you guys have an opinion on the amp below? I know its not high end at all

http://www.yamaha.ca/av/stereocomp/AX497.jsp

I know I am probably just blowing smoke up my own ass with thinking i need an amp but when I say the sound is lacking I mean dynamically. I just want the most out of my system...picky I am.
post #20 of 20
So many ways to go here.

An amp that can generally be found way cheap that I use, is the Audiosource Amp/1A's... You would want two and run them both bridged mono. They really provide quite a lot of quality power when bridged. Actually you would want three because the center is so demanded upon when running 5.1.. They are slim and stack decently well. And you can usually find them on Ubid for rediculously cheap pricing. I use 7 of these on my 7.1 system with excellent results.

Generally if your going to external amplificiation you want 200watt or greater amps. I mean you want all the work to pay off big time right? I actually don't think you will notice hardly any difference going with the lower output Yamaha used in two channel mode you are considering here.
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