Would a 2-channel external amp improve low-volume listening on an AV receiver? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 9Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
ahender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked: 32
Would a 2-channel external amp improve low-volume listening on an AV receiver?

I have a Denon X3500. If I select Pure Audio, will the addition of a 2-channel amplifier connected to the pre outs, like a Crown XLS 1502, improve the sound quality while played at lower volume.

Thanks...Alan
ahender is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 09:09 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
ClawAndTalon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Atlanta, GA.
Posts: 1,193
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 610 Post(s)
Liked: 449
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahender View Post
I have a Denon X3500. If I select Pure Audio, will the addition of a 2-channel amplifier connected to the pre outs, like a Crown XLS 1502, improve the sound quality while played at lower volume.



Thanks...Alan


A two channel outboard may have marginally better specs, but that depends on the amp. Pure direct is for chumps.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk



"Most theories on audio and audio reproduction will be proven wrong only when the laws of physics change."
ClawAndTalon is offline  
post #3 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 09:13 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
eljaycanuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 10,205
Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2022 Post(s)
Liked: 2881
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahender
I have a Denon X3500 … will the addition of a 2-channel amplifier … improve the sound quality while played at lower volume. …
Probably not.
Ratman likes this.
eljaycanuck is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 09:21 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Ratman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Collingswood, N.J.
Posts: 19,739
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2536 Post(s)
Liked: 2350
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClawAndTalon View Post
Pure direct is for chumps.
Explain why please for "chumps" that differ in opinion.



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
Ratman is offline  
post #5 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 09:22 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 1,181
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 496 Post(s)
Liked: 253
Direct has its uses but pure direct is just direct with the display and possibly some video circuits turned off.
Leeliemix is offline  
post #6 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
ahender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post
Probably not.
Thank you.
ahender is offline  
post #7 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 10:04 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
ClawAndTalon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Atlanta, GA.
Posts: 1,193
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 610 Post(s)
Liked: 449
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
Explain why please for "chumps" that differ in opinion.


Many have measured it, and it doesn’t change anything.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk



"Most theories on audio and audio reproduction will be proven wrong only when the laws of physics change."
ClawAndTalon is offline  
post #8 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 10:22 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
shivaji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: So. California
Posts: 2,614
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1286 Post(s)
Liked: 1286
Having a full bodied sound at lower volume listening levels is a worthy goal. I assume what you are hearing sounds a little flat and you and wish to improve on that. It is not out of the realm that an outboard amp may improve that and won't know unless tried. What speakers are you using?

One thing that pure direct does, at least with my Pioneer is turn off the sub out.
Jonas2 likes this.
shivaji is offline  
post #9 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
ahender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by shivaji View Post
Having a full bodied sound at lower volume listening levels is a worthy goal. I assume what you are hearing sounds a little flat and you and wish to improve on that. It is not out of the realm that an outboard amp may improve that and won't know unless tried. What speakers are you using?

One thing that pure direct does, at least with my Pioneer is turn off the sub out.
Thank you for commenting. I have Ascend Sierra-1s. Using stereo mode with my Rythmik L12, I feel like there is too much bass at times. I do plan to upgrade to Sierra-2EX within the next couple of months. That will be an improvement.

Last edited by ahender; 02-06-2020 at 10:47 AM.
ahender is offline  
post #10 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 10:46 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
sivadselim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Nashvegas
Posts: 16,716
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 523 Post(s)
Liked: 446
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahender View Post
I have a Denon X3500. If I select Pure Audio, will the addition of a 2-channel amplifier connected to the pre outs, like a Crown XLS 1502, improve the sound quality while played at lower volume.
At lower volumes, probably not. Even at higher volumes it is debatable.

"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
sivadselim is online now  
post #11 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 10:48 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
shivaji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: So. California
Posts: 2,614
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1286 Post(s)
Liked: 1286
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahender View Post
Thank you for commenting. I have Ascend Sierra-1s. Using stereo mode with my Rythmik L12, I feel like there is too much bass at times.
Hmm, too much bass. That is an easier fix it seems, turn down or turn off the sub and see how it sounds. If that isn't it, use the tone controls and reduce the bass of your Ascends during quieter listening times.

The Ascends get nice reviews as many already know.

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazin...c_sierra_1.htm
shivaji is offline  
post #12 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 10:50 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
sivadselim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Nashvegas
Posts: 16,716
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 523 Post(s)
Liked: 446
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClawAndTalon View Post
Pure direct is for chumps.

Not sure why you say this. At the very least the setting allows one to easily switch between a bass-managed 2.1 setup and a 2.0 setup that sends a full-range signal to the speakers with no sub in the mix.

"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
sivadselim is online now  
post #13 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 11:04 AM
Member
 
Will P's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Golden Horseshoe Area, Canada
Posts: 92
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahender View Post
..improve the sound quality while played at lower volume.
What is that you would like to improve: Noise floor, Sound resolution (graininess) or Lack of bass?

//
... someone said "Music is Art, Sound is Engineering" ...
Will P is offline  
post #14 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
ahender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by shivaji View Post
Hmm, too much bass. That is an easier fix it seems, turn down or turn off the sub and see how it sounds. If that isn't it, use the tone controls and reduce the bass of your Ascends during quieter listening times.

The Ascends get nice reviews as many already know.

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazin...c_sierra_1.htm
The "too much bass" is really not a big problem. I do use Pure Audio to turn off the sub as needed. My original post has more to do with speakers that have a minimum wattage rating. My Sierra's have a recommended minimum per channel rating of 85 watts (I believe that's correct). My thought process is...if 85 watts is required to get good sound, then 200 watts would provide better sound. I know that's flawed based on the responses.
ahender is offline  
post #15 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 11:07 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
ClawAndTalon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Atlanta, GA.
Posts: 1,193
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 610 Post(s)
Liked: 449
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post
Not sure why you say this. At the very least the setting allows one to easily switch between a bass-managed 2.1 setup and a 2.0 setup that sends a full-range signal to the speakers with no sub in the mix.

It might have off label uses such as this. However the intent of the feature is hokum.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk



"Most theories on audio and audio reproduction will be proven wrong only when the laws of physics change."
ClawAndTalon is offline  
post #16 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
ahender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will P View Post
What is that you would like to improve: Noise floor, Sound resolution (graininess) or Lack of bass?
I can get good sound, I just have to get the volume up to a certain level. That level may be a little too loud for other family members. I would like to have more detail at a lower volume. I know better speakers can accomplish this. I was thinking more watts might could also.
ahender is offline  
post #17 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 11:23 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
spyboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 7,588
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
Liked: 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahender View Post
The "too much bass" is really not a big problem. I do use Pure Audio to turn off the sub as needed. My original post has more to do with speakers that have a minimum wattage rating. My Sierra's have a recommended minimum per channel rating of 85 watts (I believe that's correct). My thought process is...if 85 watts is required to get good sound, then 200 watts would provide better sound. I know that's flawed based on the responses.

I looked at the Sierra 1 on the Ascend website, and the minimum recommended power for the Sierra 1 is 45 watts, not 85 watts. More power won't get you much if anything.
spyboy is online now  
post #18 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 11:32 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
shivaji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: So. California
Posts: 2,614
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1286 Post(s)
Liked: 1286
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahender View Post
I can get good sound, I just have to get the volume up to a certain level. That level may be a little too loud for other family members. I would like to have more detail at a lower volume. I know better speakers can accomplish this. I was thinking more watts might could also.
From the perspective of a few amp and speaker designers, it's not always more watts that are important to good sound, it is the First watt.

http://www.firstwatt.com
madams5000 likes this.
shivaji is offline  
post #19 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 11:32 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
eljaycanuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 10,205
Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2022 Post(s)
Liked: 2881
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahender
… My Sierra's have a recommended minimum per channel rating of 85 watts (I believe that's correct). My thought process is...if 85 watts is required to get good sound, then 200 watts would provide better sound. …
Lower volume levels don't require 85W (or even 45W) of power.
shivaji likes this.
eljaycanuck is offline  
post #20 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 11:38 AM
3db
AVS Forum Special Member
 
3db's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,800
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 721 Post(s)
Liked: 507
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leeliemix View Post
Direct has its uses but pure direct is just direct with the display and possibly some video circuits turned off.

Be careful how you lump in Direct and Pure Direct as it varies among manufacturers and even varies among modelyears of the same manufacturer. Yamaha has no direct. It has a straight mode which does not bypass DPS or room correction but it outputs the same number of channels that it receives on its inputs. Pure Direct on an RX-V1500 and RX-V1800 turns off the display and DSP (like room correction and DSP sound fields) . On the RX-V1900, you have the option of leaving the display on which I do. I just got an RX-A3060 and exploring its feature set so I'm not sure yet on that particular model.

AVR Yamaha RX-V 1800/1900/1500
TT/Cassette ProJect Xpression III/Yamaha KX1200/KX800
BR Yam. BD-S681/Sony X800/Pan. BD30 DPL Sam. 65"/ 55"/50"
Speakers PSB T-45,8C,1B/ PSB 500,200C,RBH A600/Alphas
Subs Rythmic LV12-R/PSB Subsonic 6/5
3db is offline  
post #21 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 11:39 AM
3db
AVS Forum Special Member
 
3db's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,800
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 721 Post(s)
Liked: 507
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahender View Post
I have a Denon X3500. If I select Pure Audio, will the addition of a 2-channel amplifier connected to the pre outs, like a Crown XLS 1502, improve the sound quality while played at lower volume.

Thanks...Alan

No it wont. Thats a speaker issue, not an amplifier issue.

AVR Yamaha RX-V 1800/1900/1500
TT/Cassette ProJect Xpression III/Yamaha KX1200/KX800
BR Yam. BD-S681/Sony X800/Pan. BD30 DPL Sam. 65"/ 55"/50"
Speakers PSB T-45,8C,1B/ PSB 500,200C,RBH A600/Alphas
Subs Rythmic LV12-R/PSB Subsonic 6/5
3db is offline  
post #22 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
ahender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post
I looked at the Sierra 1 on the Ascend website, and the minimum recommended power for the Sierra 1 is 45 watts, not 85 watts. More power won't get you much if anything.
Thanks. Not sure where I got 85 watts.
ahender is offline  
post #23 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 11:53 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 1,181
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 496 Post(s)
Liked: 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3db View Post
Be careful how you lump in Direct and Pure Direct as it varies among manufacturers and even varies among modelyears of the same manufacturer. Yamaha has no direct. It has a straight mode which does not bypass DPS or room correction but it outputs the same number of channels that it receives on its inputs. Pure Direct on an RX-V1500 and RX-V1800 turns off the display and DSP (like room correction and DSP sound fields) . On the RX-V1900, you have the option of leaving the display on which I do. I just got an RX-A3060 and exploring its feature set so I'm not sure yet on that particular model.


He has a denon 3500
Leeliemix is offline  
post #24 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
ahender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked: 32
Thanks for all the comments. Good to know I do not have to spend money on something I do not need. I'll just concentrate on a speaker upgrade.
ahender is offline  
post #25 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 11:58 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
m. zillch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 13,787
Mentioned: 53 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5955 Post(s)
Liked: 4271
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahender View Post
I have a Denon X3500. If I select Pure Audio, will the addition of a 2-channel amplifier connected to the pre outs, like a Crown XLS 1502, improve the sound quality while played at lower volume.

Thanks...Alan
No.

Now let's jump to the chase. The reason you are dissatisfied with the sound quality at lower playback levels is because of Fletcher Munson equal loudness curves. In a nutshell that means: "Humans perceptually hear lower volume level playback as if it seems bass shy, even though a measurement mic would show that's not true at all and the bass has actually been reduced the same amount as the treble"

Many people use circuits specifically to address this quirk of human hearing. Here are some names for such circuits which boost the bass to compensate for our hearing quirk:

- loudness compensation
- loudness
- loudness contours
- Audyssey DynEQ or Dynamic EQ Your Denon has this option.
- YPAO volume
- XBS bass

They vary greatly in their effectiveness and the better ones are adjustable by ear.

Most units in Pure Direct mode will not allow these circuits to function: they are turned off in this mode.

Last edited by m. zillch; 02-06-2020 at 12:05 PM.
m. zillch is offline  
post #26 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 12:19 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
ClawAndTalon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Atlanta, GA.
Posts: 1,193
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 610 Post(s)
Liked: 449
Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
No.



Now let's jump to the chase. The reason you are dissatisfied with the sound quality at lower playback levels is because of Fletcher Munson equal loudness curves. In a nutshell that means: "Humans perceptually hear lower volume level playback as if it seems bass shy, even though a measurement mic would show that's not true at all and the bass has actually been reduced the same amount as the treble"



Many people use circuits specifically to address this quirk of human hearing. Here are some names for such circuits which boost the bass to compensate for our hearing quirk:



- loudness compensation

- loudness

- loudness contours

- Audyssey DynEQ or Dynamic EQ Your Denon has this option.

- YPAO volume

- XBS bass



They vary greatly in their effectiveness and the better ones are adjustable by ear.



Most units in Pure Direct mode will not allow these circuits to function: they are turned off in this mode.


DynEQ is the best kept secret.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk



"Most theories on audio and audio reproduction will be proven wrong only when the laws of physics change."
ClawAndTalon is offline  
post #27 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
ahender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
No.

Now let's jump to the chase. The reason you are dissatisfied with the sound quality at lower playback levels is because of Fletcher Munson equal loudness curves. In a nutshell that means: "Humans perceptually hear lower volume level playback as if it seems bass shy, even though a measurement mic would show that's not true at all and the bass has actually been reduced the same amount as the treble"

Many people use circuits specifically to address this quirk of human hearing. Here are some names for such circuits which boost the bass to compensate for our hearing quirk:

- loudness compensation
- loudness
- loudness contours
- Audyssey DynEQ or Dynamic EQ Your Denon has this option.
- YPAO volume
- XBS bass

They vary greatly in their effectiveness and the better ones are adjustable by ear.

Most units in Pure Direct mode will not allow these circuits to function: they are turned off in this mode.
Thank you. I have tried Dynamic EQ and not crazy about it. I do like using Dynamic Volume for HT. With conventional TV, I always have issues understanding dialog at a reasonable level. If I turn it up to an appropriate level, everything else is too loud. Dynamic Volume definitely helps in this area.
ahender is offline  
post #28 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 12:49 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
m. zillch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 13,787
Mentioned: 53 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5955 Post(s)
Liked: 4271
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahender View Post
Thank you. I have tried Dynamic EQ and not crazy about it.
I had mixed results with it too. The best one I know of is the continuously variable loudness compensation knob found on some Yamaha stereo units which you set precisely, by ear, to taste. Unfortunately the circuit is not made available on any 5.1 or higher designs.

On more than one occasion I've demonstrated how to use it optimally as part of my sales pitch, using actual music, back when I used to sell this stuff, and the first words out of the prospective customer's' mouth was: "I'll take it."

Last edited by m. zillch; 02-06-2020 at 01:35 PM.
m. zillch is offline  
post #29 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 01:25 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
sivadselim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Nashvegas
Posts: 16,716
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 523 Post(s)
Liked: 446
headphones?

"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
sivadselim is online now  
post #30 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 01:26 PM
Member
 
Will P's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Golden Horseshoe Area, Canada
Posts: 92
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahender View Post
I can get good sound, I just have to get the volume up to a certain level. ... I would like to have more detail at a lower volume.
That might be a remote possibility but it's worth investigating:
Your AVR is using DSP for digital volume control (attenuation) besides anything else. Music bit depth and volume level bit depth together make up the DSP bit depth. At higher attenuation (lower volume level) the volume level control takes too many bits and the native audio bit depth might get affected thus reducing the sound resolution to a point.

If that's the case I would get an external amp with trim pots (Crown XLS, etc), hook it up to the AVR , set AVR volume level on Max (0dB or 100% ) so the native music bit depth coming out of the AVR is not affected by the digital volume control in the AVR. Then I'd adjust the Crown trim pots for comfortable volume level.
I'd use the AVR volume knob to adjust the volume from that level down as needed.

//
... someone said "Music is Art, Sound is Engineering" ...
Will P is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply 2-Channel Audio

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off