Do I need an amp and questions about amps - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 04:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Do I need an amp and questions about amps

Folks - I have a 7.1 set up with three JBL studio 590s, two JBL studio 580s, one self powered Klipsch subwoofer And Denon AVR 4400h. I am being recommended to buy an amp. Do I really need it? I like how my system currently sounds. When I increase the volume too high I hear occasional clipping but not so much that it bothers me. I sit at about 9 feet away.

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post #2 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post
Folks - I have a 7.1 set up with three JBL studio 590s, two JBL studio 580s, one self powered Klipsch subwoofer And Denon AVR 4400h. I am being recommended to buy an amp. Do I really need it? I like how my system currently sounds.

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No, I have an x4200 and x6400 and neither needs an amp, but plenty of people believe I do. The x4200 is using Elac Unifi which are supposedly hard to drive, they aren't.

If you like money and simplicity, don't get it. If you hate money, then get an amp! I put an amp on my x4200 to do 5.4.4 before I got the x6400, but that was for rear heights since it only had 7 amps.
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post #3 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 04:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gregoryperkins View Post
No, I have an x4200 and x6400 and neither needs an amp, but plenty of people believe I do. The x4200 is using Elac Unifi which are supposedly hard to drive, they aren't.



If you like money and simplicity, don't get it. If you hate money, then get an amp! I put an amp on my x4200 to do 5.4.4 before I got the x6400, but that was for rear heights since it only had 7 amps.
What about their argument that it reduces load on the receiver?

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post #4 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genaccmiller
… I am being recommended to buy an amp. Do I really need it? I like how my system currently sounds. …
The obvious answer seems to be 'no'. Who recommended an amp to you and what reason(s) were given for this recommendation?
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post #5 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 04:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post
The obvious answer seems to be 'no'. Who recommended an amp to you and what reason(s) were given for this recommendation?
This was the reason provided - Denon 4400h is a mid-level receiver driving five Series 5 towers and this would take much of the strain off the receiver's lesser built-in amps and smaller shared power supply. It would add needed dynamic headroom and far less distortion when the system is pushed during some spirited listening sessions.


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post #6 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post
This was the reason provided - Denon 4400h is a mid-level receiver driving five Series 5 towers and this would take much of the strain off the receiver's lesser built-in amps and smaller shared power supply. It would add needed dynamic headroom and far less distortion when the system is pushed during some spirited listening sessions. …
Fair enough. But as long as you're not noticing distortion or a lack of dynamic headroom - and it sounds as though you aren't - you don't need the outboard amp.

Whether or not you should get one for "peace of mind" (something I did) is an entirely different matter.
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post #7 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 04:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post
Fair enough. But as long as you're not noticing distortion or a lack of dynamic headroom - and it seems that you are not - you don't need the outboard amp.



Whether or not you should get one for "peace of mind" (something I did) is an entirely different matter.
I just notice occasional clipping if I increase volume high but not so much that it bothers me. For safety is it worthwhile considering just a three channel amp for LCR and if so are there any reasonably priced ones?

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post #8 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 04:54 AM
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Personally, I'd go with something like the Emotiva BasX A-500 five-channel amp ($499, shipped) and run it in one of the following ways:
- L-C-R on the Denon and surrounds through the Emo
- L-C-R on the Emo and surrounds through the Denon
- L+R on the Denon and center + surrounds on the Emo
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post #9 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 04:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post
Personally, I'd go with something like the Emotiva BasX A-500 five-channel amp ($499, shipped) and run it in one of the following ways:

- L-C-R on the Denon and surrounds through the Emo

- L-C-R on the Emo and surrounds through the Denon

- L+R on the Denon and center + surrounds on the Emo
If I only need 3 channels is there a cheaper three channel amp to consider?

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post #10 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 04:56 AM
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Off the top of my head I can't think of any for comparable or less money.

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post #11 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 05:12 AM
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post #12 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post
I just notice occasional clipping if I increase volume high but not so much that it bothers me. For safety is it worthwhile considering just a three channel amp for LCR and if so are there any reasonably priced ones?

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What do you mean by clipping? If you are exceeding the limits of your amp (true clipping) you could be damaging your speakers and probably your hearing. Do you play music very loud or are the speakers very inefficient.
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post #13 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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What do you mean by clipping? If you are exceeding the limits of your amp (true clipping) you could be damaging your speakers and probably your hearing. Do you play music very loud or are the speakers very inefficient.
I think speakers are efficient. I raise the volume up to about 75pct.

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post #14 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 07:35 AM
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Looked up your 590’s ,6ohm 92db sensitivity.. how loud are you going ? Shouldnt need an amp ... my .02...


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post #15 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post
I think speakers are efficient. I raise the volume up to about 75pct.

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Switch your scale from increasing numbers to -numbers to 0. 0 is reference volume. If you haven't run audyssey, do that as they recommend. You shouldn't have any problems playing at reference volume. I do it from time to time with movies, it can get very loud.

If you are getting distortion at reference, they're probably something wrong with your speakers or speaker wiring.

Worst case, you have 9 channels and you are using 7, maybe you can bi amp your lr speakers.

Oh and check out the avrant podcast, they do questions and answers for av gear and concepts. You can probably find your question on their youtube page, but they don't mind answering again. In short, their answer for and x4400 will be no.

And this isn't a middle of the road receiver, it's the 3rd from the top, only the 6400 is ahead of it in that year, the x83/5/700 only comes out every other year.

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post #16 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gregoryperkins View Post
Switch your scale from increasing numbers to -numbers to 0. 0 is reference volume. If you haven't run audyssey, do that as they recommend. You shouldn't have any problems playing at reference volume. I do it from time to time with movies, it can get very loud.



If you are getting distortion at reference, they're probably something wrong with your speakers or speaker wiring.



Worst case, you have 9 channels and you are using 7, maybe you can bi amp your lr speakers.



Oh and check out the avrant podcast, they do questions and answers for av gear and concepts. You can probably find your question on their youtube page, but they don't mind answering again. In short, their answer for and x4400 will be no.



And this isn't a middle of the road receiver, it's the 3rd from the top, only the 6400 is ahead of it in that year, the x83/5/700 only comes out every other year.



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Just to be clear what do you mean by distortion. As I said I don't have that much. What happens usually when switching between songs etc I do so using my phone and blue tooth mode and I sometimes here a "kirrrkkkkk" kind of noise. I chalk it up to sudden changes of the song using my app. I will need to look into how to change to -numbers to 0. Also I think I will need to enable the display to show the numbers. Right now I have the volume progress muted on screen so I don't really see the actual number. So from your perspective you are saying I don't need an amp if I understand you completely.

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post #17 of 98 Old 05-22-2020, 03:51 PM
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I don't think you need an amp.

It sounds like the app is causing the problem, what app is it?
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post #18 of 98 Old 05-24-2020, 11:52 AM
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I wrote this on another thread that was about the same sort of thing:


"Admittedly, I don't run my 7.1.2 setup quite that loud. I do, however, bi-amp and bi-wire (don't judge...) the front 3. My reasoning was that the 6300 could cope with the 4 surrounds and 2 Atmos speakers.


However, having had to pack it all up, deal with the snake pit of wiring and now trying to unpack it all again, I am wondering if it's all worth it. So I am going to try without the amp. I am going try running my system without the Emotiva UPA5 amp and see if the 6300 can run it to reasonable levels.


To be honest, if it can't then I think I'm going to upgrade to an 8500 instead."


I'm tired of the grief of setting this all up and the piles of wiring everywhere. So I think I'm back to a more simpler life of just wires to speakers and noting else...


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post #19 of 98 Old 05-24-2020, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by seggers View Post
I wrote this on another thread that was about the same sort of thing:


"Admittedly, I don't run my 7.1.2 setup quite that loud. I do, however, bi-amp and bi-wire (don't judge...) the front 3. My reasoning was that the 6300 could cope with the 4 surrounds and 2 Atmos speakers.


However, having had to pack it all up, deal with the snake pit of wiring and now trying to unpack it all again, I am wondering if it's all worth it. So I am going to try without the amp. I am going try running my system without the Emotiva UPA5 amp and see if the 6300 can run it to reasonable levels.


To be honest, if it can't then I think I'm going to upgrade to an 8500 instead."


I'm tired of the grief of setting this all up and the piles of wiring everywhere. So I think I'm back to a more simpler life of just wires to speakers and noting else...


Seggers
Right. At what point does it become important to buy an amp vs just get a better receiver?

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post #20 of 98 Old 05-24-2020, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post
Right. At what point does it become important to buy an amp vs just get a better receiver?

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In my opinion, it's mainly one of two things:

1) When your receiver cannot drive your speakers to the levels you listen at without clipping; OR
2) Like eljaycanuck said, if you want to be sure that you won't run out of clean power even if you don't "need" it.

The first is really going to depend on your own listening habits, the size of your room, speaker choice, etc. I think most people in a normal sized living room with speakers of average sensitivity will find that most decent receivers are more than capable of driving things to uncomfortably loud levels. If in doubt, grab a SPL meter, play some material, do some basic calculations based on what your receiver puts out for power and see if you think you're running near its limit.

If you're always going to be wondering if you should have an external amp, just pick one up. It's not going to hurt anything other than your pocket book and if it gives you peace of mind, then maybe that's worth it for you. There's certainly worse audio related purchases you could make.
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post #21 of 98 Old 05-24-2020, 06:58 PM
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You said you can drive your system to clipping but it doesn't bother you. The problem is that it is bothering the amp and so there's the focus. When an amp is driven to clipping, you've hit the ceiling. No where else to go. An external amp of even medium quality will, usually, surpass the amp of a mid-level receiver. If I were you I'd hit the used market and pick up an external amp, a 3-channel variety and drive your front 3 with that and let the receiver run the rest. I think you'd be very pleasantly surprised what it can bring to the table.
I'm a Bryston guy but a lot of people aren't willing to fork over around $3k for a used 6BST. Adcom and Rotel I believe both make/made 3-channel amps. I'm suggesting a 3-channel amp only because the front 3 in any theater are going to carry the load and as such if it were my system I'd want to start with that.

At any rate, eBay or Audiogon are 2 sites you could look into.
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post #22 of 98 Old 05-24-2020, 07:01 PM
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I struggled with this for a while and ended up getting a Crown XLS1502 amp for my pair of Studio 580s. I feel like it definitely opened up the speakers since I was previously running a full 5.1.2 system off a X3300W. Obviously YMMV but I've been happy with the purchase. Only annoying thing is that I get a buzzing noise when I turn on the lights.
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post #23 of 98 Old 05-24-2020, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Keltron View Post
I struggled with this for a while and ended up getting a Crown XLS1502 amp for my pair of Studio 580s. I feel like it definitely opened up the speakers since I was previously running a full 5.1.2 system off a X3300W. Obviously YMMV but I've been happy with the purchase. Only annoying thing is that I get a buzzing noise when I turn on the lights.
I don't mind relieving the load on the speakers. Can you suggest some reasonably priced cheap ones even if they are three channels?

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You said you can drive your system to clipping but it doesn't bother you. The problem is that it is bothering the amp and so there's the focus. When an amp is driven to clipping, you've hit the ceiling. No where else to go. An external amp of even medium quality will, usually, surpass the amp of a mid-level receiver. If I were you I'd hit the used market and pick up an external amp, a 3-channel variety and drive your front 3 with that and let the receiver run the rest. I think you'd be very pleasantly surprised what it can bring to the table.
I'm a Bryston guy but a lot of people aren't willing to fork over around $3k for a used 6BST. Adcom and Rotel I believe both make/made 3-channel amps. I'm suggesting a 3-channel amp only because the front 3 in any theater are going to carry the load and as such if it were my system I'd want to start with that.

At any rate, eBay or Audiogon are 2 sites you could look into.
Can you recommend some non used but relatively cheap three channel amps?

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if you buy an amp, strongly consider/weigh the options of power output.

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post #26 of 98 Old 05-24-2020, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keltron View Post
I struggled with this for a while and ended up getting a Crown XLS1502 amp for my pair of Studio 580s. I feel like it definitely opened up the speakers since I was previously running a full 5.1.2 system off a X3300W. Obviously YMMV but I've been happy with the purchase. Only annoying thing is that I get a buzzing noise when I turn on the lights.
The buzzing sounds like it might be a ground loop?
A professional amp is a good idea however several use Speakon connectors. You'd need some kind of adapter to get that down to line level. Not exactly sure how you'd do that?
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post #27 of 98 Old 05-24-2020, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Anything from accessories4less or similar for a three channel amp? I am thinking relieving the load on the front three but keeping the reard and rear surrounds on receiver would be ok.

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post #28 of 98 Old 05-24-2020, 07:21 PM
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Can you recommend some non used but relatively cheap three channel amps?

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I think as others have said Emotiva makes amps. I'd recommend Crown too but I don't think they have 3 channel amps.

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Originally Posted by Gary Mertz View Post
The buzzing sounds like it might be a ground loop?
A professional amp is a good idea however several use Speakon connectors. You'd need some kind of adapter to get that down to line level. Not exactly sure how you'd do that?
It's coming from the kitchen light dimmer. I don't think there's much I can do.... luckily it's not too unmanageable. If I turn the dimmer all the way on/off it eliminates most of the noise!
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post #29 of 98 Old 05-24-2020, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keltron View Post
I think as others have said Emotiva makes amps. I'd recommend Crown too but I don't think they have 3 channel amps.



It's coming from the kitchen light dimmer. I don't think there's much I can do.... luckily it's not too unmanageable. If I turn the dimmer all the way on/off it eliminates most of the noise!
Maybe you'd find this worth reading: http://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocum...ary/360484.pdf (Lutron guide to reducing interference from dimmers.) I have never heard of lamp debuzzing coils, but one may help.
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post #30 of 98 Old 05-24-2020, 10:16 PM
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Here is my two cents. I have the Marantz SR6013 which is similar. I bought the Marantz 7025 to run my left & right towers so I could expand to 11 channels. I chose the Marantz because it was a refurb with an excellent price. The amp arrived very quickly which gave the opportunity to assess with 5.1.4 before I expanded to 7.1.4. With movie viewing I didn't notice much of a difference if any. Now in two channel I shouldn't have noticed much either because in theory I was going from 110watts/channel to 140watts/channel. That should have resulted best case scenario 1db of spl. The thing is that amp in two channel music brought out more midrange clarity and low end punch. Once things return to normalish and I have the funds I would like to get a Monolith 7x200 amp. Before my purchase I was like you considering the Monolith 3x200 to save some money. Looked at the Outlaw Monoblock 2000s, the 5000, and the 7000x. At the time Outlaw was running a great combo deal on 3 monoblocks I almost jumped on. I considered Emotiva but read several reviews that they tend to enhance the brightness/harshness of speakers prone to that, so I stayed away.

7.3.4 Setup---TV: LG OLED 65B7A, Receiver: Marantz SR-6012, External 2-channel amplifier: Marantz MM7025 (Front Towers), Blu-Ray Player: LG UBK90, Fronts: JBL S312, Center: JBL S-Center, Surrounds: JBL S38, Surround Backs: JBL S36 ,Top: JBL S36 (4), Subwoofer: 2 PSA S3000i and one PSA XS-30se
http://www.blu-ray.com/community/col...&action=hybrid
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