3 or 5 channel amp suggestions - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-26-2020, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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3 or 5 channel amp suggestions

Hi everyone,

We are in lockdown in NZ for 4 weeks due to the virus so gives me time to do some research.

I’m looking at buying a 3 channel amp to power my main LCR channels or maybe a 5 channel for the surrounds also. I have a 5.1.4 system consisting of....

Marantz SR6011 avr
Polk RTI A5 towers
Polk CSI A4 centre
Polk RC65i side surrounds x 2
Polk RC60i atmos x 4
Velodyne CTH12R sub

I’m open to all suggestions but I also don’t want to get a mortgage out to buy the amp but also have the attitude of buy once buy right the first time.
The set up is used for 60% movies and 40% music. The room is 4.97m wide by 4.45m long in size.

I’ve always found the RTIA5s to lack bass when listening in stereo mode without the sub on. Will adding a amp open them up and improve bass? Will a amp also improve the dialogue of the CSIA4 when watching movies? I’d love the A6 but my finance says no to sitting anything on top of the cabinet. The A4 isn’t bad by any means but in some movie scene it lacks.

Thanks and look forward to everyone’s ideas and suggestions.
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-26-2020, 07:01 PM
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I think adding a power amp is a good idea, but not for any of the reasons you're hoping.

Lacking bass in stereo is because you're not using the sub, #1 , and because your main speakers don't have good bass capability to start with, #2 , and likely because the position that works for stereo imaging is about 99.9% certain to not be a good spot for bass in room, #3 . In short, use the sub when listening to music.

Improving dialog is almost certainly a speaker placement and room interaction problem, not a lack of power problem.

The reason to get outboard amplification is to take the load off of the receiver's weak amp section. That should also allow it to run cooler.

My 2 outboard power amps both run significantly cooler than the receiver does. Sadly, only 1 of my outboard multichannel amps is in service now, because the 20+ year old one has developed a buzz/hum, so I got a new 7 channel to take over. When the whole crappy-beer virus scare is over, I'll send out my old amp for repair and then put it back in the system on the FL, C FR, LS & RS, and let the 7 channel drive the SBL & SBR, and TFL & TFR and TBL & TBR so I can then be ready to overpay for a pre-pro.

I've only got personal experience with old Sunfire and new Outlaw amps. I can recommend both, for what it's worth, as long as you understand what stand-alone amps get you vs what they don't.

Just my $0.02

MiniDSP 2x4HD, UMIK-1, REW... The holy trinity for running multiple subs.
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-26-2020, 08:13 PM
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Echo what was said above. An amp may help, but in very subtle ways. Your speakers are quite efficient, so it probably wouldn’t make much of a difference.

If you are itching for an upgrade, other areas may yield a more dramatic improvement. Speakers, receiver upgrade, second sub, room treatments would be my picks.

The Polks don’t have the best bass response (trade off for being efficient speakers) Consider the Elac DBR62/52, they measured very well at the Audio Science site, and should sound really great. I would upgrade the LCR speakers and leave the others as is to save $$.

Newer Marantz receivers allow you to tweak the Audyssey curve (using the $20 app), and more importantly limit eq (for eg to 350 Hz) they also have better Dacs which will improve sound

Room treatments are often neglected, but a quick and easy way to improve acoustics

Second sub, will help even out the bass response in your room (something EQ/Audyssey cannot fox)
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