My first 6 hours with a separate amp; what am I hearing? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 01:03 AM - Thread Starter
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My first 6 hours with a separate amp; what am I hearing?

I've had a 7.1 HT for 15 years using a 7.1 Onkyo THX certified AVR. I am remodeling and upgrading the room to 7.2.4 Atmos HT and so some new equipment has been purchased. Today, I got the time to set it up; don't you just LOVE Saturdays?

After reading a lot of advice here (and THANK YOU btw), it made sense to me to get the old model year Denon AVR-X4400H with the 11 channel Atmos pre-outs but only 9 channels driven. Fry's had a good clearance price of $720 and then a July 4th sale came along and I bagged a new one (NEW!) for $599.

That left some budget for the required amp since at a minimum I needed a two channel amp to reach the needed 11 channels for Atmos. I was pretty amazed with the value proposition that Monoprice offers with their 94 pound Monolith 7. As Gene DellaSala from Audioholics put it, why pay $500/channel for a 2 channel amp when you can get the Monolith 7 for $214/channel? Well, guess what, I went with the B-stock and got it for $1,299 or $185/channel!

So with that background over, you can see I've never really heard "separates" before, and I am struggling to put into words what the heck I am hearing and I hope some of you seasoned amp veterans can tell me what to look for. I thought I would head to bed after listening to a few songs, but I ended up spending 6 hours listening to this combo!

There's nothing wrong; I have zero "hiss" or "hum". I ran Audessy just fine and then tweaked manually a bit. But as stupid as this sounds, I can only come up with words like "beautiful" and "rich" to describe what I am hearing. I can't put my finger on why the Monolith makes everything sound better than being Denon driven alone.

What exactly does more power DO to cause this effect? My fronts are 6ohm; was the Denon not driving them well enough? What sound qualities have changed that I should try to isolate and explore? Thanks!
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post #2 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 01:32 AM
 
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Whether discrete power amps improve sound is speaker dependent, some speakers that are 'hard to drive' respond better when you feed them more current, their dynamics improve, if you get a power amp that leaves headroom it's better, like a 200wpc amp driving 100w speakers. i had monitor audio gold 300 speakers in my previous house, i sold the setup when shifting houses, drving the speakers through an onkyo av receiver they were sounding tiny, hooking a discrete 200wpc rotel power amp rb 1582 to the av receiver pre out made a definite difference. with some speakers though, you'll find power amp sounds about the same as they did with the avr. using a power amp is not a guaranteed improvement etched in stone, i've found different speakers respond differently to feeding more power.
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post #3 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 01:43 AM
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"I can't put my finger on why the Monolith makes everything sound better than being Denon driven alone."

Most likely simply placebo affect of having to justify paying so much more for a 7CH amp instead of simply paying $150 for a 2CH AudioSource Amp100VS.

Did you try simply raising the AVR's master volume (ie. if it wasn't over 80/0db, there was still plenty of headroom available)?
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post #4 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 02:12 AM
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A 15 year old AVR where the capacitors are starting to leak will surely sound different to brand new kit with much better room correction software.

I'm heading down the route of separates next upgrade cycle. Unfortunately the Monolith 7's are out of the question as they don't support 220V.
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post #5 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 03:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mashie Saldana View Post
A 15 year old AVR where the capacitors are starting to leak will surely sound different to brand new kit with much better room correction software.

I'm heading down the route of separates next upgrade cycle. Unfortunately the Monolith 7's are out of the question as they don't support 220V.
Many american companies power amps do have a switch that lets you alter between 120v or 220-240v. if monolith officially sells their amps in your 220V supporting country, then they cannot sell the amp with a 120v power supply, the power supply in your region's model will be altered by the manufacturer to support the voltage of the region. if they dont officially sell their amps in your country and you to have to import from america, then it may be a voltage issue if the manufacturer doesnt have a switch or universal power.
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post #6 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 03:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
"I can't put my finger on why the Monolith makes everything sound better than being Denon driven alone."

Most likely simply placebo affect of having to justify paying so much more for a 7CH amp instead of simply paying $150 for a 2CH AudioSource Amp100VS.

Did you try simply raising the AVR's master volume (ie. if it wasn't over 80/0db, there was still plenty of headroom available)?
Here we go. Did not take long.
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post #7 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menarini View Post
Many american companies power amps do have a switch that lets you alter between 120v or 220-240v. if monolith officially sells their amps in your 220V supporting country, then they cannot sell the amp with a 120v power supply, the power supply in your region's model will be altered by the manufacturer to support the voltage of the region. if they dont officially sell their amps in your country and you to have to import from america, then it may be a voltage issue if the manufacturer doesnt have a switch or universal power.
They don't sell their amp's outside of the US for that very reason. Thankfully the HTP-1 processor will be dual voltage. Who knows, maybe they will update the Monolith range at some stage when the realise people might want matching looking kit.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTheGeek View Post
What exactly does more power DO to cause this effect?
Enough current most probably.
Maybe distortion of previous amplifier when loaded into real load instead of resistor (well, not enough current IS distortion too).
Maybe it just got old and needed maintenance.
Impedance rating on speakers is quite meaningless figure unless you see a graph, btw.

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post #9 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTheGeek View Post

There's nothing wrong; I have zero "hiss" or "hum". I ran Audessy just fine and then tweaked manually a bit. But as stupid as this sounds, I can only come up with words like "beautiful" and "rich" to describe what I am hearing. I can't put my finger on why the Monolith makes everything sound better than being Denon driven alone.

What exactly does more power DO to cause this effect? My fronts are 6ohm; was the Denon not driving them well enough? What sound qualities have changed that I should try to isolate and explore? Thanks!
So you compared a 15 year old Onkyo with a new Denon with Audessy and like the improved sound? That tells me that you like Audessy and many people do--enjoy your new system! Oh wait, you think it is the amplifier--it could happen if your old Onkyo had an amp problem, your speakers have a very low impedance dip to cause the output channels to distort and current limit and so on. It also could happen if you were clipping the Onkyo amps and not the Monoliths--that would make a drastic difference.

The other factors could be the cable connections could of corroded over time causing issues with signal integrity and when you reseated them, it cleaned off the corrosion improving the sound. Not common but it can and does happen so you have that factor.

The big factor with any new purchase or anything new for that matter is a human condition. Some people call it the honeymoon phase while others call it "expectation bias". My wife calls it "Man has a shiny new toy and he spent all day playing with it." I know the feeling, I recently purchased a new socket/ratchet set and had to give it a go so worked on the riing mower for a bit doing much needed maintenance. New sockets with easier to read sizes and that distinctive click as I swapped sockets--life is good! Then it happened, I needed a longer extension so had to go to the tool crib and get an "old" extension that was long enough. Felt a little let down because my shiny tools had an odl, beat up extension on it messing up the "synergy". Realistically it did not matter what the finish was on the old extension as it performed the same but... I could of bought a brand new extension to match the new tools but my honeymoon phase is very short with tools!

If you really want to know why, just because you are curious--remove the Monolith amplifier and run the Denon in 7.1 channel mode with the built in amps to keep everything equal. If you get the same experience, then it is Audessy that you love. Most likely, considering all the additional factors when replacing apples with oranges, the big difference is the processing.

If you don't like the term "expectation bias" or "the honeymoon phase"--try this on for size. You are a positive thinker and won't let the buzzards keep you down (this is a family forum!) I really wish more powerful amps automatically sound better, Danley Sound Labs came out with an 8 channel pro sound amp that gives 1,250 watts per channel, all channels driven into 8, 4 or 2 ohms (as long as you have enough input power of course to drive 10,000 watts of output) You can also get arena amps that punch over 10,000 watts per channel and it would make this goofy hobby much easier if more power equalled better sound. Granted, I'd blow the cones across the room if I connected arena pro amps to my speakers in the living room but testosterone has always had me do rather stupid things. I'm a sucker for expectation bias as proven by my dating history New does not always mean improved...

In summation, if you really want to know I'd compare apples to apples and run the Denon by itself as a 7.1 with Audessy--might as well know what Audessy brings to the table, right? At the end of the day, enjoy your new system, play around with it until you feel comfortable with all it's features. One thing I've noticed in the past is when I have a new, more powerful amp is I tend to turn it up louder than before. Louder always sounds better to a point--just another quirk of being a human with a hormonal problem. Enjoy the system and may it bring many years of enjoyment!
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post #10 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 11:57 AM
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IMHO...
Besides having higher power output capability, a big audible difference of using an external component power amplifier is its improved damping factor...
To my ears this is more audible if the connected loudspeakers are a full-range design, sealed cabinet the bass is simply tighter and snaps..

Just my $0.02...
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post #11 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 12:00 PM
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Separates/amps cannot make anything sound better - all they can do is supply more power and make sure the amp isn't reaching clipping, in case it was being driven to clipping in the first place, e.g. if you had really inefficient speakers and played loud.

You cannot change the laws of physics, all this 'separates sound richer and fuller and better' is just a load of audiophile nonsense and bias to justify spending more, sorry.

Like others have said, you have gear which is 15 years newer and with miuch more modern DSP so thats why its likely sounding better. And you haven't said what speakers you have.
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post #12 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTheGeek View Post
I've had a 7.1 HT for 15 years using a 7.1 Onkyo THX certified AVR. I am remodeling and upgrading the room to 7.2.4 Atmos HT and so some new equipment has been purchased. Today, I got the time to set it up; don't you just LOVE Saturdays?



After reading a lot of advice here (and THANK YOU btw), it made sense to me to get the old model year Denon AVR-X4400H with the 11 channel Atmos pre-outs but only 9 channels driven. Fry's had a good clearance price of $720 and then a July 4th sale came along and I bagged a new one (NEW!) for $599.



That left some budget for the required amp since at a minimum I needed a two channel amp to reach the needed 11 channels for Atmos. I was pretty amazed with the value proposition that Monoprice offers with their 94 pound Monolith 7. As Gene DellaSala from Audioholics put it, why pay $500/channel for a 2 channel amp when you can get the Monolith 7 for $214/channel? Well, guess what, I went with the B-stock and got it for $1,299 or $185/channel!



So with that background over, you can see I've never really heard "separates" before, and I am struggling to put into words what the heck I am hearing and I hope some of you seasoned amp veterans can tell me what to look for. I thought I would head to bed after listening to a few songs, but I ended up spending 6 hours listening to this combo!



There's nothing wrong; I have zero "hiss" or "hum". I ran Audessy just fine and then tweaked manually a bit. But as stupid as this sounds, I can only come up with words like "beautiful" and "rich" to describe what I am hearing. I can't put my finger on why the Monolith makes everything sound better than being Denon driven alone.



What exactly does more power DO to cause this effect? My fronts are 6ohm; was the Denon not driving them well enough? What sound qualities have changed that I should try to isolate and explore? Thanks!
A lot of people will tell you that separates can not make a difference. But you can check it yourself. Just drive left and right speakers from Denon directly and compare the sound when the same speakers are driven by the separate amp in stereo listening mode. Nothing else changes.

Do let us know if the sound feels different to you and by how much.
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post #13 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
Separates/amps cannot make anything sound better - all they can do is supply more power and make sure the amp isn't reaching clipping, in case it was being driven to clipping in the first place, e.g. if you had really inefficient speakers and played loud.

You cannot change the laws of physics, all this 'separates sound richer and fuller and better' is just a load of audiophile nonsense and bias to justify spending more, sorry.

Like others have said, you have gear which is 15 years newer and with miuch more modern DSP so thats why its likely sounding better. And you haven't said what speakers you have.
Ah, so if the specs on a 40 lbs amp match the specs of an amp in a receiver, from the same mfg. then its really the same thing to you?
The amps in Receivers just lose to much of their steam when you hook up 7 or 9 speakers to them. Its very apparent that AV Mfg's have to cut things out to stuff an amp into a Receiver.
The very definition of a Receiver is basically a compromised system of components. Thats not to say many AV Receivers are not very good and just having separates is nirvana. But the differences are quite apparent in many cases.
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post #14 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by 18Hurts View Post
Most likely, considering all the additional factors when replacing apples with oranges, the big difference is the processing
I would tend to agree here. When I upgraded my gear recently, I went from an old receiver running a hefty 2 channel power amp for the main channels, to an up to date receiver running everything without the additional power amp. The new setup sounds WAY better, despite having less power going to my speakers. I primarily credit the better processing and room correction capabilities.

Also keep in mind that I'm not running at levels that would push the receiver outside of it's capabilities. If that were the case, then separate amps would make a difference.
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post #15 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
Separates/amps cannot make anything sound better - all they can do is supply more power and make sure the amp isn't reaching clipping, in case it was being driven to clipping in the first place, e.g. if you had really inefficient speakers and played loud.

You cannot change the laws of physics, all this 'separates sound richer and fuller and better' is just a load of audiophile nonsense and bias to justify spending more, sorry.

Like others have said, you have gear which is 15 years newer and with miuch more modern DSP so thats why its likely sounding better. And you haven't said what speakers you have.
If you demo'ed a pyle amp vs a mark levinson amp on a $300 pair of speakers, I don't think you'd have any trouble hearing an audible difference in quality. Both only add wattage, sure, but one still sounds better than the other. There can absolutely be a deference. Now, I'll agree that much of the time an external amp vs a mid tier avr really wont make a huge audible difference. But, there are so many variables involved that making a blanket statement for either side of the isle is an inaccuracy of its own.
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I have Polk LSiMs and found they sound much better and more dynamic while connected to my Outlaw 5000 amp. Before they sounded good, but now they sound really good, if that makes any sense.
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post #17 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 05:47 PM
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Im sure the monoliths 10x increase in damping over the receiver amp helps.
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First, congratulations on the new system, I've found myself getting caught up in a 6 hour music session nearly every time I add something to the system. But as far as what you're hearing I definitely agree with what everyone has been saying about the simple addition of newer equipment with things like Audessy calibration are a huge part of that. However having the seperate Amp absolutely has an impact on that as well. In terms of power output having a dedicated Amp doesn't necessarily mean you have more wattage (although it certainly can) its more about how effectively its applying that power. Since amps doesn't have all sorts of digital components running off the power supply an Amp just has to receive an input and amplify it so they are typically more responsive and will have less distortion. The word that I always use to describe this kind of improvement is "Seperation", meaning being able to hear specific sounds separate from other sounds and be able to place them in a 3D space based on their sonic signature. Another word people will use is clarity. To me it's the fundamental aspect of Hi-Fi audio, and adding atmos height channels (even though the music is in recorded in stereo) I'd say is the other big improvement that you're hearing. Happy listening!!
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post #19 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by dakar80124 View Post
Ah, so if the specs on a 40 lbs amp match the specs of an amp in a receiver, from the same mfg. then its really the same thing to you?
The amps in Receivers just lose to much of their steam when you hook up 7 or 9 speakers to them. Its very apparent that AV Mfg's have to cut things out to stuff an amp into a Receiver.
The very definition of a Receiver is basically a compromised system of components. Thats not to say many AV Receivers are not very good and just having separates is nirvana. But the differences are quite apparent in many cases.
It makes zero difference if the amp section is in a receiver, in a dedicated amp or whatever. All that matters is can it amplify input signal without clipping. What is so hard to understand about that?

Yes, AVRs usually have less w/ch than a dedicated amp. So? Its meaningless unless you have highly inefficient speakers.

They are not compromised in any way, thats hogwash. There are plenty of blind tests where so called experts and proponents of $$$$$$$ systems cannot tell apart a $$$$ amp from a consumer $300 AVR. There is in fact zero difference, not nirvana let alone apparent. As long as components are driven within tolerances.

You cannot change the laws of physics no matter how much hyperbole and audiophile myths people use.
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post #20 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menarini View Post
Whether discrete power amps improve sound is speaker dependent, some speakers that are 'hard to drive' respond better when you feed them more current, their dynamics improve, if you get a power amp that leaves headroom it's better, like a 200wpc amp driving 100w speakers.
I find your comment to be resonating the most with me right now. "Speaker dependant" would sure explain why there are so many opinions and different experiences on this forum regarding amps. You've got to wear those flame retardant NASCAR driver suits to broach this topic!

I've got fairly "budget conscious" speakers (see sig); I can tell you that the Pioneer towers which sounded "weak" or "small" when plugged into the Denon directly, and which most reviewers agree don't have much bass response, have definitely come into their own with the Monolith 7. They are "bigger" and exist now, and with the subwoofer turned OFF so I can hear it, the bass response is dramatically better from them.

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post #21 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
Most likely simply placebo affect of having to justify paying so much more for a 7CH amp instead of simply paying $150 for a 2CH AudioSource Amp100VS.
My flame retardant suit carries the Monoprice logo now. Nice try

With regards to paying "so much more", that's not really an issue. Money is only half of the VALUE equation. You've spec'd a piece of crap with no room to grow, thus you are lighting $150 on fire which is a bad value.

I on the other hand bought 94 pounds of quality. The monoblock design means that when the caps on one channel become ****ered, you just remove that one card (circuit board) from the box and keep on rocking until it gets re-capped. 7 channels become 6 for a while; no prob.

A buddy can bring over a pair of speakers and we can A/B them without going back to Amazon for yet another ill conceived $150 purchase of Chinese crap. Did I mention the Monolith is made in the USA? Say it with me: Rancho Cucamonga, California.


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post #22 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mashie Saldana View Post
A 15 year old AVR where the capacitors are starting to leak will surely sound different to brand new kit with much better room correction software.

I'm heading down the route of separates next upgrade cycle. Unfortunately the Monolith 7's are out of the question as they don't support 220V.
Yes, I can't rule out what Audessy has done for the room. However, I am comparing Denon-driven to Monolith-driven in this post.

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post #23 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidTheGeek View Post
I've had a 7.1 HT for 15 years using a 7.1 Onkyo THX certified AVR. I am remodeling and upgrading the room to 7.2.4 Atmos HT and so some new equipment has been purchased. Today, I got the time to set it up; don't you just LOVE Saturdays?

After reading a lot of advice here (and THANK YOU btw), it made sense to me to get the old model year Denon AVR-X4400H with the 11 channel Atmos pre-outs but only 9 channels driven. Fry's had a good clearance price of $720 and then a July 4th sale came along and I bagged a new one (NEW!) for $599.

That left some budget for the required amp since at a minimum I needed a two channel amp to reach the needed 11 channels for Atmos. I was pretty amazed with the value proposition that Monoprice offers with their 94 pound Monolith 7. As Gene DellaSala from Audioholics put it, why pay $500/channel for a 2 channel amp when you can get the Monolith 7 for $214/channel? Well, guess what, I went with the B-stock and got it for $1,299 or $185/channel!

So with that background over, you can see I've never really heard "separates" before, and I am struggling to put into words what the heck I am hearing and I hope some of you seasoned amp veterans can tell me what to look for. I thought I would head to bed after listening to a few songs, but I ended up spending 6 hours listening to this combo!

There's nothing wrong; I have zero "hiss" or "hum". I ran Audessy just fine and then tweaked manually a bit. But as stupid as this sounds, I can only come up with words like "beautiful" and "rich" to describe what I am hearing. I can't put my finger on why the Monolith makes everything sound better than being Denon driven alone.

What exactly does more power DO to cause this effect? My fronts are 6ohm; was the Denon not driving them well enough? What sound qualities have changed that I should try to isolate and explore? Thanks!
What you got now, is a high quality high power amp , (non smps), with sinus wave capable output, and dynamic range coming out the wazzoooooooooooooooooo. With high quality amps like the monolith, you are only limited by the rest of the components in your system.
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A Good amplifier requires a adequate power supply, It does not matter what the amplifier is capable of if the power supply will not provide the power required. Most amplifiers have under rated power supplies. It is up to you to make sure you get the ones that are least under rated if at all.
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post #24 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 18Hurts View Post
So you compared a 15 year old Onkyo with a new Denon with Audessy and like the improved sound?
No, I compared Denon-driven speakers to Monolith-driven speakers. Your points about Audessy are well taken, however.

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Originally Posted by 18Hurts View Post
The other factors could be the cable connections could of corroded over time causing issues with signal integrity and when you reseated them, it cleaned off the corrosion improving the sound. Not common but it can and does happen so you have that factor.
That is a fair point about wiring. I did upgrade from 16ga. copper which had signs of oxidation to new 12ga. from Monoprice, and from bare wire connections to banana plugs.

Thank you for your time and considered thoughts.

Dedicated 7.1 HT remodeling in progress to upgrade to 7.2.4 | Denon AVR-X4400H Prepro | Monolith 7 amp | Infinity BU-2 sub | Pioneer Alex Jones SP-FS52 fronts | Infinity Minuette center | Fluance SXBP2 Bipole surrounds & rear surrounds | Sonance HT-OVAL (x4) in-ceiling heights
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post #25 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by johnplayerson View Post
With high quality amps like the monolith, you are only limited by the rest of the components in your system.
Yes! I agree with that, and there are some speakers in my sig that are on the chopping block. But I need leather electric recliners first!

Dedicated 7.1 HT remodeling in progress to upgrade to 7.2.4 | Denon AVR-X4400H Prepro | Monolith 7 amp | Infinity BU-2 sub | Pioneer Alex Jones SP-FS52 fronts | Infinity Minuette center | Fluance SXBP2 Bipole surrounds & rear surrounds | Sonance HT-OVAL (x4) in-ceiling heights
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post #26 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by M Code View Post
IMHO...
Besides having higher power output capability, a big audible difference of using an external component power amplifier is its improved damping factor...
To my ears this is more audible if the connected loudspeakers are a full-range design, sealed cabinet the bass is simply tighter and snaps..

Just my $0.02...
Hey, would you explore this thought a bit more with me?

Last night I remember thinking that Monolith-driven sounds had more of a defined "beginning and end" instead of "fading in and fading out". Sometimes that came across to me as being "crisp".

After reading your post, I didn't know wtf "damping factor" meant and so I went to the Universal Translator, the Wikipedia page for "damping factor". It says:

A high damping factor indicates that an amplifier will have greater control over the movement of the speaker cone, particularly in the bass region near the resonant frequency of the driver's mechanical resonance.
Does this "greater control" come across audibly as "crispness"?

Dedicated 7.1 HT remodeling in progress to upgrade to 7.2.4 | Denon AVR-X4400H Prepro | Monolith 7 amp | Infinity BU-2 sub | Pioneer Alex Jones SP-FS52 fronts | Infinity Minuette center | Fluance SXBP2 Bipole surrounds & rear surrounds | Sonance HT-OVAL (x4) in-ceiling heights
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post #27 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
And you haven't said what speakers you have.
I did, actually. Read the sig.

Dedicated 7.1 HT remodeling in progress to upgrade to 7.2.4 | Denon AVR-X4400H Prepro | Monolith 7 amp | Infinity BU-2 sub | Pioneer Alex Jones SP-FS52 fronts | Infinity Minuette center | Fluance SXBP2 Bipole surrounds & rear surrounds | Sonance HT-OVAL (x4) in-ceiling heights
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post #28 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dakar80124 View Post
The amps in Receivers just lose to much of their steam when you hook up 7 or 9 speakers to them. Its very apparent that AV Mfg's have to cut things out to stuff an amp into a Receiver.
The very definition of a Receiver is basically a compromised system of components. Thats not to say many AV Receivers are not very good and just having separates is nirvana. But the differences are quite apparent in many cases.
I agree with this 100%.

Weight, designed well, is routinely a good indicator of quality. You just cannot make a cogent argument that a 30# receiver contains a similar quality amp as a 94# amp of any brand name. Example: I've been watching the temps on both boxes since many AVR-X4400H owners report that heat is an issue (and buying fan systems to set on top). The Monolith is EASILY running cooler than the Denon. Those massive aluminum heat sinks on EACH monoblock card are doing the job!

Dedicated 7.1 HT remodeling in progress to upgrade to 7.2.4 | Denon AVR-X4400H Prepro | Monolith 7 amp | Infinity BU-2 sub | Pioneer Alex Jones SP-FS52 fronts | Infinity Minuette center | Fluance SXBP2 Bipole surrounds & rear surrounds | Sonance HT-OVAL (x4) in-ceiling heights
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post #29 of 62 Old 07-21-2019, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Snax95 View Post
First, congratulations on the new system, I've found myself getting caught up in a 6 hour music session nearly every time I add something to the system. But as far as what you're hearing I definitely agree with what everyone has been saying about the simple addition of newer equipment with things like Audessy calibration are a huge part of that. However having the seperate Amp absolutely has an impact on that as well. In terms of power output having a dedicated Amp doesn't necessarily mean you have more wattage (although it certainly can) its more about how effectively its applying that power. Since amps doesn't have all sorts of digital components running off the power supply an Amp just has to receive an input and amplify it so they are typically more responsive and will have less distortion. The word that I always use to describe this kind of improvement is "Seperation", meaning being able to hear specific sounds separate from other sounds and be able to place them in a 3D space based on their sonic signature. Another word people will use is clarity. To me it's the fundamental aspect of Hi-Fi audio, and adding atmos height channels (even though the music is in recorded in stereo) I'd say is the other big improvement that you're hearing. Happy listening!!
Thanks for your time and considered comments. I found myself agreeing with everything you've said.

Dedicated 7.1 HT remodeling in progress to upgrade to 7.2.4 | Denon AVR-X4400H Prepro | Monolith 7 amp | Infinity BU-2 sub | Pioneer Alex Jones SP-FS52 fronts | Infinity Minuette center | Fluance SXBP2 Bipole surrounds & rear surrounds | Sonance HT-OVAL (x4) in-ceiling heights
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post #30 of 62 Old 07-22-2019, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by DavidTheGeek View Post
My flame retardant suit carries the Monoprice logo now. Nice try

With regards to paying "so much more", that's not really an issue. Money is only half of the VALUE equation. You've spec'd a piece of crap with no room to grow, thus you are lighting $150 on fire which is a bad value.

I on the other hand bought 94 pounds of quality. The monoblock design means that when the caps on one channel become ****ered, you just remove that one card (circuit board) from the box and keep on rocking until it gets re-capped. 7 channels become 6 for a while; no prob.

A buddy can bring over a pair of speakers and we can A/B them without going back to Amazon for yet another ill conceived $150 purchase of Chinese crap. Did I mention the Monolith is made in the USA? Say it with me: Rancho Cucamonga, California.

The MonoLith amplifiers are built by ATi, located in Walnut, CA not Rancho Cucamonga. Rancho happens to be the location of MonoPrice where the Monolith amplifiers are shipped from. Note that ATi builds amplifiers for many brands including Haman/JBL..

Just my $0.02...
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