Originally Posted by jsgrise
So according to your experience the ATI brings zero added value vs. the internal Denon amp?
As for the crawl, would love to get some info. Can you please point me to a thread where it is discussed? Thanks!
The initial reason I purchased an amp was that I had people over and had the volume cranked way up and all of a sudden "pop" and the AVR shut down. I didn't want to ever have that happen again with the risk of damaging my speakers. We may have been listening to multi-channel audio at the time. My speakers are relatively inefficient - I think 87dB/W.
My secondary justification for getting an amp (ended up being 2 ATI amps - both used at great prices) was that I'd never have to buy a more expensive AVR that had all the amps internally in order to power the 11 speakers I use for ATMOS and DTS Surround. I thought it would be a waste of money to have to buy a more expensive AVR for extra internal amps every time I upgraded my system. At the time, I would have had to upgrade to the flagship AVR to run things - the cost difference paid for my separate amps. Even today, I would have to purchase the Denon 6500 (Retail $2,199) instead of the Denon 4500 ($1,599 retail which has 2 more internal amps than my 4300) to power all my speakers which would have cost an extra $600. If you upgrade your AVR every few years, that internal amp premium adds up very fast.
Another reason I purchased the amps was that I thought I'd have better sound quality with the flagship Marantz 8802. It turned out (as you've read) that we couldn't hear any difference in audio quality so I won't ever buy a flagship Pre/Pro or AVR unless it offers some special format or audio calibration feature that will give a tangible improvement that I can actually hear.
As mentioned often in AVR owner threads by @jdsmoothie
, you can purchase a relatively inexpensive amp for your surround channels as another alternative.
Given my two used ATI amps (200W x 5 and 180W x 7) were about $1,500 combined, I'm happy with the choice. They are great amps and I don't think I'd lose money selling them. I don't think they improve the sound quality at all but I do find comfort that they'll never run out of headroom in my system. My biggest dislike of the amps is that they generate a lot of heat. I have a relatively small theater and had to move my AVR stuff into a closet due to the amount of heat they generated which made it uncomfortable in the summer as I didn't have enough air conditioning capacity in the room to offset the heat generated by several people, a projector and all my AV equipment. I had to cut an open access panel in the ceiling in the closet (which I leave open) to allow the heat to escape into the the joists between our lower level and main floor.
As to the Minneapolis theater crawl, the thread
is in the Area Home Theater section (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/61-ar...-ht-crawl.html
). It will be updated whenever a new crawl is planned. Last time, we had people come from many other states. It was a incredible experience meeting so many people passionate about this hobby and a tremendous opportunity to share ideas. I received a lot of feedback on my theater from which I learned a great deal and I've made many improvements based on this feedback. I hope you're able to attend the next one!