AVR or AVR & Amp - Home Theater - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 28 Old 03-11-2019, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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AVR or AVR & Amp - Home Theater

Hey All,

I've been finishing my basement the past year and am finally reaching the end, which is buying all the goods! I've got a 11x17 room with 8ft ceilings that is a dedicated home theater, and here's what I've got and/or ordered:


L&R - JBL 590
C - JBL 520c
Sub - Looking at either dual PB-1000 or single PB-2000
Surrounds - 4 JBL SP8II
Heights - 4 JBL SP8CII

I'm shooting for a 7.1.4 or a 7.2.4 system, so I'm debating on whether to go with a single AVR like the Denon X6500, or get a X4500 and run a 2ch amplifier for either LR or a 3-5ch amplifier and run LCR off of it. When both amplifiers are on sale, even after buying an amp, the combo is a few hundred cheaper than the single AVR. I do however like the single unit for everything. Is there a good advantage to running a separate amp besides saving a little money? The X4500 is easier to find on sale (like it is now), which helps.

If a separate amp is the way to go for LR or LCR, any recommendations?

Thanks!

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post #2 of 28 Old 03-11-2019, 09:17 AM
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Yea with the x4500 on sale at Frys, I would suggest getting that and a 2 or 3 channel amp to offload some of the work to the external amp(s).

I am not sure you will get a performance increase going from say the x4500 to x6500 or even to the x8500 since they all have xt32. If you would make a jump to NAD or Arcam with Dirac Live room correction you may get some sound improvements. But those are solutions that have far fewer features then the x4500, just better amps and better room correction.

I have none of those receivers so thats just my $.02 as an avsforum lurker!

Good luck!
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post #3 of 28 Old 03-11-2019, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eriksells916 View Post
Yea with the x4500 on sale at Frys, I would suggest getting that and a 2 or 3 channel amp to offload some of the work to the external amp(s).

I am not sure you will get a performance increase going from say the x4500 to x6500 or even to the x8500 since they all have xt32. If you would make a jump to NAD or Arcam with Dirac Live room correction you may get some sound improvements. But those are solutions that have far fewer features then the x4500, just better amps and better room correction.

I have none of those receivers so thats just my $.02 as an avsforum lurker!

Good luck!
Appreciate the advice! I've heard the Denon's run hot, so offloading some work might not be a bad idea to keep them cooled. Do you think it's worth paying a little extra to keep the Left Right and Center on the external amp, or just get a 2ch amp and let the center stay on the AVR?
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post #4 of 28 Old 03-11-2019, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by tehknics View Post
Appreciate the advice! I've heard the Denon's run hot, so offloading some work might not be a bad idea to keep them cooled. Do you think it's worth paying a little extra to keep the Left Right and Center on the external amp, or just get a 2ch amp and let the center stay on the AVR?
To be honest unless you find some cheap 2 channel amps that you can use with a remote, I would stick with the AVR only. Those JBL's are pretty darn efficient, I have the 590's for my L and R and an Emotiva C2 for the center, and I have never had an issue with my Denon. I also picked up a AC Infinity knockoff for cooling, but never had any issues. Unless you like to listen at reference or above, I think you should be ok with the AVR.
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post #5 of 28 Old 03-11-2019, 11:00 AM
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I have the smaller version of this on my old Integra receiver and it never even comes on. This is a good cheap insurance policy

https://www.amazon.com/AC-Infinity-R...sr=1-1-catcorr
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post #6 of 28 Old 03-11-2019, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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To be honest unless you find some cheap 2 channel amps that you can use with a remote, I would stick with the AVR only. Those JBL's are pretty darn efficient, I have the 590's for my L and R and an Emotiva C2 for the center, and I have never had an issue with my Denon. I also picked up a AC Infinity knockoff for cooling, but never had any issues. Unless you like to listen at reference or above, I think you should be ok with the AVR.
The more I look at AVR's, the more I'm liking the idea of a single unit to run them all, ha. I see last year's X6400 is only 1299 refurbished, which isn't bad at all.

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Originally Posted by eriksells916 View Post
I have the smaller version of this on my old Integra receiver and it never even comes on. This is a good cheap insurance policy

https://www.amazon.com/AC-Infinity-R...sr=1-1-catcorr
From what I've read, it looks like the Denons definitely run hot. I'll have to pick one of these up. thanks for the suggestion!
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post #7 of 28 Old 03-11-2019, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tehknics View Post
The more I look at AVR's, the more I'm liking the idea of a single unit to run them all...
It really depends how loud you play. AVRs AFAIK all run one single power supply, and they every single test I have ever seen shows the power "droops" hugely as you drive more and more channels, indicating those power supplies are insufficient. So if you're playing loud, and you have the space and the pricing is similar, I'd personally probably get the external amps to run the LCR. Also in the future when eventually you want to change receivers, one with less channels will still be less.

Now at some point, your wall socket's breaker will give up the ghost; external amps won't help that. Class D or H efficiency will somewhat, but if you really want to crank at some point you need dedicated multiple circuits.

And yeah, those big receivers pack a LOT of stuff inside. My friend had his big AVR-2312CI shut off one day and rigged a fan up behind his cabinet. He just ordered the ACInfinity model and if you ask me in a few weeks and I can you what he thinks.

As for the subs, I'd do the dual. Much more possibilities to improve the room acoustics via placement (which by the way *could* be stacked on top of each other in a corner!). Plus the subwoofers will load each other, getting more output compared to even a more powerful single.
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post #8 of 28 Old 03-12-2019, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by tehknics View Post
Appreciate the advice! I've heard the Denon's run hot, so offloading some work might not be a bad idea to keep them cooled. Do you think it's worth paying a little extra to keep the Left Right and Center on the external amp, or just get a 2ch amp and let the center stay on the AVR?
Generally only true when insufficient ventilation space is provided around the AVR. Also note the majority of the heat is from the video card and not from the amps, so off loading to external amps will not result in much reduction in any heat being released.
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post #9 of 28 Old 03-12-2019, 04:17 AM
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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 in blind testing that me and other AVSers did 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.

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.

If you're not listening loud with inefficient speakers, a basic mid-range AVR will likely drive that setup but certainly worth considering an amp to save money over time.

You've got a great setup you're contemplating. Sound treatments are a huge deal and probably have the best bang for the buck for sound quality. Contact GIK for ideas and prices as you can improve in that area as your budget allows or go DIY. I used both GIK and DIY.

Also, I've got a similar size room (12 x 16) and have gone through many subs over the years. I'm now at dual PSA S3600 subs (4 - 18" drivers). While they are incredible, I would have gone ported for more tactile response if I had room for ported subs. #1 advice: get the biggest, baddest sub you can afford and then hope your budget allows you to go dual down the road. It gets expensive to keep upgrading all the time as I did. I ran multi-sub optimizer for my room using actual measured alternate sub locations and more subs won't actually improve my sound quality other than give me a bit more headroom which I don't really need as I am quite a bit over reference and can already shake the house. My Crowsons thankfully help for tactile response.

Good luck moving forward!

7.2.4 with Denon X4300W, ATI 2005 & 1807 Amps, Kef Reference 203 Mains, 202c Ctr, 201 Surr, Ci200RR-THX Top Rears, Q300 Frt Hts, E301 Rear Surr, Power Sound Audio PSA dual S3600i Subs,
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post #10 of 28 Old 03-12-2019, 06:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tehknics View Post
The more I look at AVR's, the more I'm liking the idea of a single unit to run them all...
It really depends how loud you play. AVRs AFAIK all run one single power supply, and they every single test I have ever seen shows the power "droops" hugely as you drive more and more channels, indicating those power supplies are insufficient. So if you're playing loud, and you have the space and the pricing is similar, I'd personally probably get the external amps to run the LCR. Also in the future when eventually you want to change receivers, one with less channels will still be less.

Now at some point, your wall socket's breaker will give up the ghost; external amps won't help that. Class D or H efficiency will somewhat, but if you really want to crank at some point you need dedicated multiple circuits.

And yeah, those big receivers pack a LOT of stuff inside. My friend had his big AVR-2312CI shut off one day and rigged a fan up behind his cabinet. He just ordered the ACInfinity model and if you ask me in a few weeks and I can you what he thinks.

As for the subs, I'd do the dual. Much more possibilities to improve the room acoustics via placement (which by the way *could* be stacked on top of each other in a corner!). Plus the subwoofers will load each other, getting more output compared to even a more powerful single.
Those are all very good points. As far as how loud... Not too loud really. I'll have 5 kids under 7 here shortly and we don't really crank up the volume. Looking for nice base that is present at all volumes. I'm still torn on whether to do a across + amp or just an avr 😂. I did however run that room on its own circuit, and another home run goes to the room behind the TV wall so if I ever had to get creative I could. I'm also curious as to how he likes that cooler.

A far as stacking the subs goes, I could definitely do that with some of the smaller subs, but they larger ported boxes would be to tall given their location
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post #11 of 28 Old 03-12-2019, 06:30 AM
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I think if the cost was the same, I would probably stick with single AVR solution. For me, I went with the 4400 as it was great value and gave me 9 channels for a 5.1.4 setup, but once in use with my Polk LSiM's, I realized my speakers needed more power and bought an Outlaw Model 5000 5 channel amp, which helped my setup to really sound like I felt it was supposed to. This added cost but was still probably cheaper than if I had went with the more expensive AVR, and now opens up the possibility of going 7.1.4. So, I am happy with the seperate amp, but it does take up a bit more space and I also needed to buy some RCA interconnects.
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post #12 of 28 Old 03-13-2019, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
Generally only true when insufficient ventilation space is provided around the AVR. Also note the majority of the heat is from the video card and not from the amps, so off loading to external amps will not result in much reduction in any heat being released.
Very true. I plan to have mine on a wide/open style tv stand, so heat shouldn't be too much of a problem.

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Originally Posted by zorax2 View Post
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 in blind testing that me and other AVSers did 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.

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.

If you're not listening loud with inefficient speakers, a basic mid-range AVR will likely drive that setup but certainly worth considering an amp to save money over time.

You've got a great setup you're contemplating. Sound treatments are a huge deal and probably have the best bang for the buck for sound quality. Contact GIK for ideas and prices as you can improve in that area as your budget allows or go DIY. I used both GIK and DIY.

Also, I've got a similar size room (12 x 16) and have gone through many subs over the years. I'm now at dual PSA S3600 subs (4 - 18" drivers). While they are incredible, I would have gone ported for more tactile response if I had room for ported subs. #1 advice: get the biggest, baddest sub you can afford and then hope your budget allows you to go dual down the road. It gets expensive to keep upgrading all the time as I did. I ran multi-sub optimizer for my room using actual measured alternate sub locations and more subs won't actually improve my sound quality other than give me a bit more headroom which I don't really need as I am quite a bit over reference and can already shake the house. My Crowsons thankfully help for tactile response.

Good luck moving forward!
How often does one usually upgrade receivers? I was hoping more along the lines that once I bought one that I'd be able to stick with that basically until it died. Being as I have a 7.#.4 setup, I don't ever see me moving up to anything else given my room size, and I really don't want to build another house yet haha.

I'd love to get by with a mid level AVR, but given the amount of speakers I have, I'm pretty limited to the 6500 or the 4500 + amp. Neither is too cheap, but I'm ok with that to be able to run the setup I've got... I'm pretty excited to hear it all! You make a very good point about the amps being hot. I don't have any option to vent or move things like you did as I specifically built the room the way it is setup.

You've got a ton of subs for your room size! I've heard the same sealed vs ported argument tho, so I am definitely looking at ported varieties (I've actually got another thread about the single vs dual subs). Most likely I'm gonna go with a single ported, as most have said that given how I can only have my subs to the left and right of the TV stand, that hat isn't ideal placement for duals. In the back corner sounds best, but I'm full with couches back there.

I haven't even thought of sound treatments yet, but I'm glad you brought them up. Once I get my AVR picked out then I'll have to start looking into them, thanks =)

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Originally Posted by m0j0 View Post
I think if the cost was the same, I would probably stick with single AVR solution. For me, I went with the 4400 as it was great value and gave me 9 channels for a 5.1.4 setup, but once in use with my Polk LSiM's, I realized my speakers needed more power and bought an Outlaw Model 5000 5 channel amp, which helped my setup to really sound like I felt it was supposed to. This added cost but was still probably cheaper than if I had went with the more expensive AVR, and now opens up the possibility of going 7.1.4. So, I am happy with the seperate amp, but it does take up a bit more space and I also needed to buy some RCA interconnects.
I keep going back and forth on this, it's eating me alive! The best I've found is a refurb last year model 6400 for 1299 or something.. which isn't bad. The 4500 is still on sale at Frys tho for a way good price. it's looking like I can save approx 400-800$ depending on sales, but then again, half or so of that would have to go back into an amp.
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post #13 of 28 Old 03-13-2019, 02:09 PM
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How often does one usually upgrade receivers? I was hoping more along the lines that once I bought one that I'd be able to stick with that basically until it died. Being as I have a 7.#.4 setup, I don't ever see me moving up to anything else given my room size, and I really don't want to build another house yet haha.

I'd love to get by with a mid level AVR, but given the amount of speakers I have, I'm pretty limited to the 6500 or the 4500 + amp. Neither is too cheap, but I'm ok with that to be able to run the setup I've got... I'm pretty excited to hear it all! You make a very good point about the amps being hot. I don't have any option to vent or move things like you did as I specifically built the room the way it is setup.

You've got a ton of subs for your room size! I've heard the same sealed vs ported argument tho, so I am definitely looking at ported varieties (I've actually got another thread about the single vs dual subs). Most likely I'm gonna go with a single ported, as most have said that given how I can only have my subs to the left and right of the TV stand, that hat isn't ideal placement for duals. In the back corner sounds best, but I'm full with couches back there.
With the AVRs you are looking at, the biggest reason I can see a possible upgrade is a change with the HDMI video standards and copy protection schemes. There may be "better" sound (new DIRAC) or video (Dolby Vision / IMAX) processing options that come along but likely won't result in you upgrading. If you don't see 8K TV in your future, you should be fine. Keep in mind you may find some good deals around new / used on the 4400 and 6400 and also very nice used amps floating around. If buying refurb, use a credit card that gives you an extra 3 years of free warranty. If you're in a metro area, you can often find some incredible deals on subwoofers on CraigsList.

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post #14 of 28 Old 03-13-2019, 02:58 PM
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Very true. I plan to have mine on a wide/open style tv stand, so heat shouldn't be too much of a problem.



How often does one usually upgrade receivers? I was hoping more along the lines that once I bought one that I'd be able to stick with that basically until it died. Being as I have a 7.#.4 setup, I don't ever see me moving up to anything else given my room size, and I really don't want to build another house yet haha.

I'd love to get by with a mid level AVR, but given the amount of speakers I have, I'm pretty limited to the 6500 or the 4500 + amp. Neither is too cheap, but I'm ok with that to be able to run the setup I've got... I'm pretty excited to hear it all! You make a very good point about the amps being hot. I don't have any option to vent or move things like you did as I specifically built the room the way it is setup.

You've got a ton of subs for your room size! I've heard the same sealed vs ported argument tho, so I am definitely looking at ported varieties (I've actually got another thread about the single vs dual subs). Most likely I'm gonna go with a single ported, as most have said that given how I can only have my subs to the left and right of the TV stand, that hat isn't ideal placement for duals. In the back corner sounds best, but I'm full with couches back there.

I haven't even thought of sound treatments yet, but I'm glad you brought them up. Once I get my AVR picked out then I'll have to start looking into them, thanks =)



I keep going back and forth on this, it's eating me alive! The best I've found is a refurb last year model 6400 for 1299 or something.. which isn't bad. The 4500 is still on sale at Frys tho for a way good price. it's looking like I can save approx 400-800$ depending on sales, but then again, half or so of that would have to go back into an amp.
Most people only upgrade AVR's to get new tech, as someone mentioned newer HDMI spec's or Dolby Vision support etc. SO long as your not looking to upgrade to an 8K tv you would be fine with any of the AVR's you have been looking at. I bought mine a few years back and don't intend on getting a new one until it dies. I'm not getting an 8k tv and many of the other new benefits from the I think it's HDMI 2.1, really concern me. The good thing is, unless you get upgradeitis, once you build a solid foundation it can last many many years. Heck I bough JBL Sturio 590's last year and have no need to buy new one possibly ever. Good speakers and subs are best thought of as a long term investment, at least in my mind. Oh and 4 18" subs is nothing you should look up BassthatHZ set up its crazy even by AVS Standards LOL
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post #15 of 28 Old 03-13-2019, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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With the AVRs you are looking at, the biggest reason I can see a possible upgrade is a change with the HDMI video standards and copy protection schemes. There may be "better" sound (new DIRAC) or video (Dolby Vision / IMAX) processing options that come along but likely won't result in you upgrading. If you don't see 8K TV in your future, you should be fine. Keep in mind you may find some good deals around new / used on the 4400 and 6400 and also very nice used amps floating around. If buying refurb, use a credit card that gives you an extra 3 years of free warranty. If you're in a metro area, you can often find some incredible deals on subwoofers on CraigsList.
Ha yeah I'm out in the boonies in the middle of Utah... craigslist isn't so hot here unless it's a tractor or something I see what you mean now about upgrades, so more of a tech upgrade rather than a system upgrade to more speakers, etc. I can see the benefit of that. I'm guessing amps pretty much are just amps then. 8k is definitely al ong ways off, but I'd like to be as future proof as possible. I ran conduit to a lot of places, so hopefully if that happens, I should be able to swap a few things out and be ready with some upgrades.

Good call on the credit card for warranty... I'll have to look and see if I have any that offer that.

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Most people only upgrade AVR's to get new tech, as someone mentioned newer HDMI spec's or Dolby Vision support etc. SO long as your not looking to upgrade to an 8K tv you would be fine with any of the AVR's you have been looking at. I bought mine a few years back and don't intend on getting a new one until it dies. I'm not getting an 8k tv and many of the other new benefits from the I think it's HDMI 2.1, really concern me. The good thing is, unless you get upgradeitis, once you build a solid foundation it can last many many years. Heck I bough JBL Sturio 590's last year and have no need to buy new one possibly ever. Good speakers and subs are best thought of as a long term investment, at least in my mind. Oh and 4 18" subs is nothing you should look up BassthatHZ set up its crazy even by AVS Standards LOL
Haha, now I've gotta go take a look! I generally have the knack to overkill stuff too, but given the married with 5 kids thing, I have to calm down a little, lol. I probably should have stuck with a 5.1 system or something!

I'm really hoping that this system will last many years tho. That's good you love your 590's, I'm extremely excited to hear mine! I don't know if I've ever messed with a speaker of that caliber either... unless it was something I was fiddling around with at Frys or Best Buy once upon a time and just didn't look at the cost.
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post #16 of 28 Old 03-13-2019, 06:42 PM
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Ha yeah I'm out in the boonies in the middle of Utah... craigslist isn't so hot here unless it's a tractor or something I see what you mean now about upgrades, so more of a tech upgrade rather than a system upgrade to more speakers, etc. I can see the benefit of that. I'm guessing amps pretty much are just amps then. 8k is definitely al ong ways off, but I'd like to be as future proof as possible. I ran conduit to a lot of places, so hopefully if that happens, I should be able to swap a few things out and be ready with some upgrades.

Good call on the credit card for warranty... I'll have to look and see if I have any that offer that.



Haha, now I've gotta go take a look! I generally have the knack to overkill stuff too, but given the married with 5 kids thing, I have to calm down a little, lol. I probably should have stuck with a 5.1 system or something!

I'm really hoping that this system will last many years tho. That's good you love your 590's, I'm extremely excited to hear mine! I don't know if I've ever messed with a speaker of that caliber either... unless it was something I was fiddling around with at Frys or Best Buy once upon a time and just didn't look at the cost.
I think you will love the 590's ESPECIALLY if you got them on the numerous half off sales they have had. They are big beastly speakers for sure, bigger than I expected. But well worth it, the good thing is they are pretty darn efficient so they are easy to drive. Depending on your placement, unlike many rear ported speakers I have read about these do better close to the rear wall if you want to boost the low end. I am curious as to how you like the 520c center though. I was looking at it but it seemed on the small size, to me at least, so I went wtih another monster speaker and got the emotiva C2 which is huge. But as I mentioned, good speakers, regardless of price, are a long time thing. some people get the itch to upgrade, but to me I have always been the type that unless I get a much better experience its not worth the money. Although i was VERY VERY tempted to jump on a deal from a member here for another pair of 590, to use as surrounds LMAO, but I didn't have the ability to pick them up plus my roommate would have killed me lol. Yeah with you not listening very loud AVR is the way to go all day long, unless your trying to hit above reference the cost of an additional amp IMO isn't worth it, especially you need an AVR with preouts, there are work arounds, and AVR's with pre outs don't tend to be super cheap. once you get it all set up and dialed in you will be more than happy.
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post #17 of 28 Old 03-13-2019, 09:12 PM
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With the AVRs you are looking at, the biggest reason I can see a possible upgrade is a change with the HDMI video standards and copy protection schemes. There may be "better" sound (new DIRAC) or video (Dolby Vision / IMAX) processing options that come along but likely won't result in you upgrading. If you don't see 8K TV in your future, you should be fine. Keep in mind you may find some good deals around new / used on the 4400 and 6400 and also very nice used amps floating around. If buying refurb, use a credit card that gives you an extra 3 years of free warranty. If you're in a metro area, you can often find some incredible deals on subwoofers on CraigsList.
A refurb only comes with a 1 year warranty and most credit cards that offer an extended warranty will only add one additional year, while very few will add 2 more years.
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I think you will love the 590's ESPECIALLY if you got them on the numerous half off sales they have had. They are big beastly speakers for sure, bigger than I expected. But well worth it, the good thing is they are pretty darn efficient so they are easy to drive. Depending on your placement, unlike many rear ported speakers I have read about these do better close to the rear wall if you want to boost the low end. I am curious as to how you like the 520c center though. I was looking at it but it seemed on the small size, to me at least, so I went wtih another monster speaker and got the emotiva C2 which is huge. But as I mentioned, good speakers, regardless of price, are a long time thing. some people get the itch to upgrade, but to me I have always been the type that unless I get a much better experience its not worth the money. Although i was VERY VERY tempted to jump on a deal from a member here for another pair of 590, to use as surrounds LMAO, but I didn't have the ability to pick them up plus my roommate would have killed me lol. Yeah with you not listening very loud AVR is the way to go all day long, unless your trying to hit above reference the cost of an additional amp IMO isn't worth it, especially you need an AVR with preouts, there are work arounds, and AVR's with pre outs don't tend to be super cheap. once you get it all set up and dialed in you will be more than happy.
Yep, I broke down and ordered them within the last hour of the last sale =) LCR for pretty much 1k flat, so I felt pretty good about it! I'll keep placement in mind! I had a little internal debate about the center as well, but I heard some saying they loved it and a few others saying it wasn't big enough... but for the price, I didn't feel like I was out much if it wasn't any good ha. Chances are, it will be more than ample for me, but I guess we will see! I'd love pair of them for surrounds as well, but with my space, I had to go with in-walls.

I went back and forth too long that the Frys deal is not currently shipping, so I guess we will see what shows up next. I'd really just like a single unit if possible. I guess these speakers are pretty efficient?

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A refurb only comes with a 1 year warranty and most credit cards that offer an extended warranty will only add one additional year, while very few will add 2 more years.
Yeah I noticed that when I was looking at a refurb 6400. I guess it's a roll the dice sort of thing eh.
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Yep, I broke down and ordered them within the last hour of the last sale =) LCR for pretty much 1k flat, so I felt pretty good about it! I'll keep placement in mind! I had a little internal debate about the center as well, but I heard some saying they loved it and a few others saying it wasn't big enough... but for the price, I didn't feel like I was out much if it wasn't any good ha. Chances are, it will be more than ample for me, but I guess we will see! I'd love pair of them for surrounds as well, but with my space, I had to go with in-walls.

I went back and forth too long that the Frys deal is not currently shipping, so I guess we will see what shows up next. I'd really just like a single unit if possible. I guess these speakers are pretty efficient?



Yeah I noticed that when I was looking at a refurb 6400. I guess it's a roll the dice sort of thing eh.
Yes they are pretty efficient, rated at 92 db and 6 ohm by JBL. So you can get a good amount of volume on surprisingly little power. Yeah I was going to get the 520c but I wanted a center with larger drivers. I know several who use the 520c as surrounds and/or atmos height speakers.
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post #20 of 28 Old 03-14-2019, 12:58 PM
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Do you have and older AVR? because you can use the amps in that to run the Atmos and/or Surround channels.
It is very easy to find used highend AVR's for cheap for this use.
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Yes they are pretty efficient, rated at 92 db and 6 ohm by JBL. So you can get a good amount of volume on surprisingly little power. Yeah I was going to get the 520c but I wanted a center with larger drivers. I know several who use the 520c as surrounds and/or atmos height speakers.
I'd imagine those would sound pretty good for surrounds. I'm hoping the SP8's I picked up are decent!

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Do you have and older AVR? because you can use the amps in that to run the Atmos and/or Surround channels.
It is very easy to find used highend AVR's for cheap for this use.
Nope, all I've had so far are home theater's in a box. We bought one cheap for our first small apartment and had problems with it, Samsung kept the receiver and sent us out their flagship HTIB to replace it.. then we bought a replacement receiver for the original and ended up with 2 since they didn't want the speakers back from the first set =) . They've been great, especially compared to TV speakers, but now that we have a dedicated room, I'm going to do it the right way.
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I'd imagine those would sound pretty good for surrounds. I'm hoping the SP8's I picked up are decent!



Nope, all I've had so far are home theater's in a box. We bought one cheap for our first small apartment and had problems with it, Samsung kept the receiver and sent us out their flagship HTIB to replace it.. then we bought a replacement receiver for the original and ended up with 2 since they didn't want the speakers back from the first set =) . They've been great, especially compared to TV speakers, but now that we have a dedicated room, I'm going to do it the right way.
Well the good thing is, and some will disagree, is surrounds are only about %10 to %15 of the total sound stage. If you don't listen to multichannel audio they will be fine. Heck, I have the 2 590's and Emotiva C2 as my front stage and some cheap Dayton Audio B652's, which are like $30, and I have no complaints.
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post #23 of 28 Old 03-15-2019, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Well the good thing is, and some will disagree, is surrounds are only about %10 to %15 of the total sound stage. If you don't listen to multichannel audio they will be fine. Heck, I have the 2 590's and Emotiva C2 as my front stage and some cheap Dayton Audio B652's, which are like $30, and I have no complaints.
This is pretty much the same conclusion that I came to when I purchased mine. Decent but nothing crazy since the fronts do most of the heavy lifting. Guess I'll find out if it was a good choice or not haha.
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Well everyone, I was able to come to a conclusion!

My dad was traveling thru Las Vegas on a work trip back to Utah and was able to stop in at Frys and snag a Denon X4500H on sale + an additional 20% off! Dunno if I can share the exact price here, but it was somewhere between $7-800 after taxes . I'll have to pick up at least a 2ch amp, but for the price I can't complain... plus waiting for the X6500H to go on sale again would have most likely put me out of the trial period for my speakers, so I'm happy =)

Now to either find a 2ch amp to run my rears, or a 3ch+ amp to run LCR. At least I have time to decide... any suggestion are helpful =)

Thanks all!
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post #25 of 28 Old 03-20-2019, 04:50 PM
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Now just pick up a Auto Source 100vs Amp for around $125 to run two of your top inceiling speakers and you're ready to go. Use the Denon for all other speakers.

...finally retired and spending time in my dedicated HT!!!

SPARKSPLEX HT - Epson 6040 3D/4K UB Projector; 110" 16x9 Dalite HD Progressive Screen; Sammy 3D/4K K8500 region free; 7.2.4. w/Def Tech speakers, Earthquake P12v2 Subs; Auto Source 100vs Amp; Denon 4300H; MX990 Remote; 5 Bello chairs; Coaire Mini-split.
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For HT I think you're all good. If you like music the amp will really help out, robust power just has a certain sound,imo.
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post #27 of 28 Old 03-20-2019, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Now just pick up a Auto Source 100vs Amp for around $125 to run two of your top inceiling speakers and you're ready to go. Use the Denon for all other speakers.
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For HT I think you're all good. If you like music the amp will really help out, robust power just has a certain sound,imo.
Thanks guys! That Audio Source amp looks like it will fit the bill perfectly for just the rears. I'm guessing with the JBL 590s being fairly efficient there is little to gain by amping LCR, thus the Audio Source amp being a perfect fit?
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post #28 of 28 Old 04-04-2019, 05:21 AM
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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 in blind testing that me and other AVSers did 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.

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.

If you're not listening loud with inefficient speakers, a basic mid-range AVR will likely drive that setup but certainly worth considering an amp to save money over time.

You've got a great setup you're contemplating. Sound treatments are a huge deal and probably have the best bang for the buck for sound quality. Contact GIK for ideas and prices as you can improve in that area as your budget allows or go DIY. I used both GIK and DIY.

Also, I've got a similar size room (12 x 16) and have gone through many subs over the years. I'm now at dual PSA S3600 subs (4 - 18" drivers). While they are incredible, I would have gone ported for more tactile response if I had room for ported subs. #1 advice: get the biggest, baddest sub you can afford and then hope your budget allows you to go dual down the road. It gets expensive to keep upgrading all the time as I did. I ran multi-sub optimizer for my room using actual measured alternate sub locations and more subs won't actually improve my sound quality other than give me a bit more headroom which I don't really need as I am quite a bit over reference and can already shake the house. My Crowsons thankfully help for tactile response.

Good luck moving forward!
This was very helpful to me, thanks for posting. Aside from Imax I think there will not be many receiver purchases to consider in the future. I can't see image quality really getting much better these days. I assume at some point atmos will expand to something on the floor but I think I am near my last receiver ourchase so without amps might make sense at this point. I have a great room but don't go super super loud. Appreciate your opinion on the head room and with and without amps.
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