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I am currently driving 3-HTM12's, and 6 JBL Control 226's with a Denon X4300 rated at 125 watts per channel. It really does a pretty decent job, but would like a little more headroom for Blu-Ray concerts. I am thinking at least a solid 200 watts per channel to drive at least the HTM12's. I have been looking on ebay and there are some good deals sometimes on used 7 channel, and 3 channel HT amplifiers. Looking at brands at around $1k such as Crestron, B&K, Lexicon, and Monster Power.

What would you guys do? There have been some 7 channel amps going for not much more then a comparable 3 channel amp, maybe $200 to $300 difference.
 

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If you intent on adding an amplifier my recommendation is to start with the front LCR they require the most power. Are you watching alot of bluray concerts that utilize all of your speakers at the same time? As for brand and a particular amp , see whats available and research the ones that interest you. A good amp will double down into 4 ohms. Also look at Outlaw and Emotiva as affordable alternatives. Your power requirement depends alot on the size of the room vs distance from speakers and how loud you like to listen.
 

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If you intent on adding an amplifier my recommendation is to start with the front LCR they require the most power. Are you watching alot of bluray concerts that utilize all of your speakers at the same time? As for brand and a particular amp , see whats available and research the ones that interest you. A good amp will double down into 4 ohms. Also look at Outlaw and Emotiva as affordable alternatives. Your power requirement depends alot on the size of the room vs distance from speakers and how loud you like to listen.
That says it all.
 

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Hi Nxs450,

More power will always be a good thing. If you have a limited budget, I would go for the 3 Channel Amp for now and add more later. The front 3 (LCR) suck up the majority of power. Not including the LFE channel. Assuming you have Powered Subs, so thats not part of the power draw from the AVR.

Take a look at Emotiva. They have a Amp setup where you can buy it now configured for 3 channles, and when more funds become available later. You can add additional Amp channel modules. The Chasis is set up in advance for future amp expansion. That would be the way I would go. Emotiva Amps are highly regarded and their power ratings are solid and truthfull.

Good luck Sir!
 

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If you can get a 7 channel for slightly more than a 3 channel, I would get the 7 channel. For one thing, I've had channels go bad on amps, so going from a 3 channel to a 2 channel is a much bigger drop than going from a 7 channel to a 5 channel.
 

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I am currently driving 3-HTM12's, and 6 JBL Control 226's with a Denon X4300 rated at 125 watts per channel. It really does a pretty decent job, but would like a little more headroom for Blu-Ray concerts. I am thinking at least a solid 200 watts per channel to drive at least the HTM12's. I have been looking on ebay and there are some good deals sometimes on used 7 channel, and 3 channel HT amplifiers. Looking at brands at around $1k such as Crestron, B&K, Lexicon, and Monster Power.

What would you guys do? There have been some 7 channel amps going for not much more then a comparable 3 channel amp, maybe $200 to $300 difference.
What is master volume level of the AVR when playing Blu Ray concerts? If not over 80/0db, then try simply raising the volume level. :)
 

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I am currently driving 3-HTM12's, and 6 JBL Control 226's with a Denon X4300 rated at 125 watts per channel. It really does a pretty decent job, but would like a little more headroom for Blu-Ray concerts. I am thinking at least a solid 200 watts per channel to drive at least the HTM12's. I have been looking on ebay and there are some good deals sometimes on used 7 channel, and 3 channel HT amplifiers. Looking at brands at around $1k such as Crestron, B&K, Lexicon, and Monster Power.

What would you guys do? There have been some 7 channel amps going for not much more then a comparable 3 channel amp, maybe $200 to $300 difference.
Is this the HTM12 you have? If it isn't your speaker then the following may be interesting, but it doesn't really apply to you.

http://www.diysoundgroup.com/featured-for-mg04a00409/ht-12-kit.html

The specifications for the HTM12 list it as having a voltage sensitivity of 97dB SPL. Since the impedance is given as 8 ohms then the power sensitivity would be 97dB SPL at one watt. That makes the HTM12 a very sensitive speaker.

A 100 watt input would give 117dB output at one meter. Even taking away say 5 dB for distance that's 112dB SPL, even minus 10dB is 107. Reference is 105dB at the listening position so it's hard see that you need over 100 watts for these speakers, and likely less.

The JBL Control 226's evidently have a voltage sensitivity of 90dB SPL into 8 ohms using the lower listed value number from the JBL webpage. Again 90dB would be the output with one watt into 8 ohms.

100 watts into the JBL's would give 110dB SPL into 8 ohms at one meter. Subtracting 5dB gives reference output of 105dB SPL. Subtracting say 8dB gives 102dB. To get to 105dB would require 200 watts, with this 8dB reduction, which exceeds the 150 watt rating of the Control 226. The Control's just won't keep up with your main speakers if really pushed, again based on the specifications. Keep in mind that the output of most speakers suffers from compression at high power input levels, that is, SPL output rises more slowly with each increment in power input, than at lower levels. The surrounds require a lot of power to reach reference, and depending on your listening position, may not make reference.

Often posters on this forum report watching moves at -10dB vs. reference which would reduce the power requirements by 90%. Evidently, for at least some of your listening, you don't belong to this group!

While it may seem odd, if you do listen at reference, and the material you listen to has quite a bit of energy in the surround speakers, then the limits you are hearing may be coming from the surrounds during peak output periods, or a least the surrounds are adding enough load on your AVR that the output of all the speakers is limited.

Given the above it makes sense to add an external amplifier. External multi-channel amplifiers aren't supermen. Unless you get something like an Anthem P-5 (expensive) that has separate power supplies for each of its five channel, the power output, actually the current capability of a multi-channel amplifier, will still be limited with all channels driven close to their maximum.

Given the above, an amplifier such as the Outlaw Model 7140 would be a reasonable choice at the bit over $1k. It supplies 140 watts into 8 ohms and 200 watts into 4 ohms, into 7-channels. I'd be tempted to connect the Model 140 to the L,C,R and two of the surround channels. 140 watts into the L,C,R will provide a very high SPL. 140 watts into two of the surrounds will take them to their maximum SPL input. The Model 7140's ability to drive 200 watts into 4 ohms loads will cover portions of the frequency spectrum where you speakers drop below 8 ohms. Using only 5 of the 7 channels of the Model 7140 will essentially allow it to loaf along, even when providing maximum output on the 5 channels. Your AVR should be able to drive the remaining speakers, if not, then connect more 7140 channels or get an additional external amplifier.

An external amplifier with a higher power rating will be unlikely to give you a higher overall SPL level than the Model 7140. Your surrounds will be driven to their limits by the 7140 and your AVR. The HTM12's are rated at 500 watts maximum, but compression and distortion will be come significant factors before this power input level is reached. Also the difference in output between 140 watts input and 500 watts, even without compression, is something like 5dB SPL. A 300 watt amplifier will only give 3dB of added SPL output, a 200 watt per channel amplifier around 1dB or so of added output, which at above 105dB SPL is unlikely to be noticed.
 

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Monoprice Monolith Amps are ATI OEM (a quality, USA based amp manufacturer), and go on sale for 20% off about quarterly. They come in 2 to 7 channels. I have a seven channel and its beefy and appears to be of solid quality.

https://www.monoprice.com/pages/monolith

I am also a fan of adding system power by adding bigger, more power subwoofers to take a load off the ear-level and overhead speakers and receiver and crossing these speakers over at at least 80Hz.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Monoprice Monolith Amps are ATI OEM (a quality, USA based amp manufacturer), and go on sale for 20% off about quarterly. They come in 2 to 7 channels. I have a seven channel and its beefy and appears to be of solid quality.

https://www.monoprice.com/pages/monolith

I am also a fan of adding system power by adding bigger, more power subwoofers to take a load off the ear-level and overhead speakers and receiver and crossing these speakers over at at least 80Hz.
Yeah I have been looking at the Monolith amps. I actually put my name on a list on there website to be contacted when a B-stock 7 channel amp becomes available for $1299. They do not have any 7 channel amps in stock the last time I looked, they must be selling pretty good. Looks like they may be available from 2nd 3rd party. I believe the Crestron amps are built by ATI as well.

I just started building 2-18" PA460 sealed subs right now to accompany my 2-18" 460HO's. I hope to have them done and installed by next weekend. All my fronts, surrounds, & height speakers are crossed over @ 80Hz.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Is this the HTM12 you have? If it isn't your speaker then the following may be interesting, but it doesn't really apply to you.

http://www.diysoundgroup.com/featured-for-mg04a00409/ht-12-kit.html

Yeah when I watch movies my volume level is right around -10db mark. It has only been during playback of good quality Blu-ray concerts that I feel like the issue may be the lack of power. Also some of my concerts I have no desire to raise to reference levels or higher because of what I assume is a poor job of recording. (they just don't sound good to me) An example of a recording that does sound good is a standard DVD "Eagles Farewell Tour" when raising volume maybe what I am hearing, or not hearing is not the lack of SPL, but possibly the surrounds/heights not keeping up with the L,C,R's?

I am also building a pair of PA460's MBM's to fill a dip at 80Hz and on up, which could be some of what I think I am lacking? Who knows, maybe I have know idea what the hell is going on! :confused: Overall my room sounds better then anything I have had in the past and maybe I need to sit back and enjoy it for a while, rather then trying to find flaws in it. Probably a problem that affects a lot of us here. lol

Can you explain what you mean here. My speakers are all 8 ohms.
"The Model 7140's ability to drive 200 watts into 4 ohms loads will cover portions of the frequency spectrum where you speakers drop below 8 ohms. Using only 5 of the 7 channels of the Model 7140 will essentially allow it to loaf along, even when providing maximum output on the 5 channels."
 

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Is this the HTM12 you have? If it isn't your speaker then the following may be interesting, but it doesn't really apply to you.

http://www.diysoundgroup.com/featured-for-mg04a00409/ht-12-kit.html

Yeah when I watch movies my volume level is right around -10db mark. It has only been during playback of good quality Blu-ray concerts that I feel like the issue may be the lack of power. Also some of my concerts I have no desire to raise to reference levels or higher because of what I assume is a poor job of recording. (they just don't sound good to me) An example of a recording that does sound good is a standard DVD "Eagles Farewell Tour" when raising volume maybe what I am hearing, or not hearing is not the lack of SPL, but possibly the surrounds/heights not keeping up with the L,C,R's?

I am also building a pair of PA460's MBM's to fill a dip at 80Hz and on up, which could be some of what I think I am lacking? Who knows, maybe I have know idea what the hell is going on!
Overall my room sounds better then anything I have had in the past and maybe I need to sit back and enjoy it for a while, rather then trying to find flaws in it. Probably a problem that affects a lot of us here. lol

Can you explain what you mean here. My speakers are all 8 ohms.
"The Model 7140's ability to drive 200 watts into 4 ohms loads will cover portions of the frequency spectrum where you speakers drop below 8 ohms. Using only 5 of the 7 channels of the Model 7140 will essentially allow it to loaf along, even when providing maximum output on the 5 channels."
If you don't mind me saying, and I am no expert, but it sounds like you have other issues that are beyond the amp.

First of all, the amp section of your AVR is pretty beastly as it is. You also have your speakers crossed at 80 Hertz... And the low frequency is the part of the spectrum that sucks the most power out of an amp... But your AVR does not experience that because you've offloaded that to your subwoofers. I believe your AVR is operating within its range where the distortion is low and the output is nice clean power.

For your particular situation, you can spend $2,000 or more on extra amps. I don't think it's going to solve your problem.

My guess? Spending money on room treatments will give you better bang for the buck over separate amplifies.

-T
 

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Is this the HTM12 you have? If it isn't your speaker then the following may be interesting, but it doesn't really apply to you.

http://www.diysoundgroup.com/featured-for-mg04a00409/ht-12-kit.html

Yeah when I watch movies my volume level is right around -10db mark. It has only been during playback of good quality Blu-ray concerts that I feel like the issue may be the lack of power. Also some of my concerts I have no desire to raise to reference levels or higher because of what I assume is a poor job of recording. (they just don't sound good to me) An example of a recording that does sound good is a standard DVD "Eagles Farewell Tour" when raising volume maybe what I am hearing, or not hearing is not the lack of SPL, but possibly the surrounds/heights not keeping up with the L,C,R's?

I am also building a pair of PA460's MBM's to fill a dip at 80Hz and on up, which could be some of what I think I am lacking? Who knows, maybe I have know idea what the hell is going on! :confused: Overall my room sounds better then anything I have had in the past and maybe I need to sit back and enjoy it for a while, rather then trying to find flaws in it. Probably a problem that affects a lot of us here. lol

Can you explain what you mean here. My speakers are all 8 ohms.
"The Model 7140's ability to drive 200 watts into 4 ohms loads will cover portions of the frequency spectrum where you speakers drop below 8 ohms. Using only 5 of the 7 channels of the Model 7140 will essentially allow it to loaf along, even when providing maximum output on the 5 channels."
The only information I have about your speakers is in the specifications. The impedance is given as 8 ohms. Typically the impedance of a speaker dips below its specification at some point in the frequency spectrum, often the dip is large and covers a significant portion of the frequency spectrum. If your speakers do have dips below 8 ohms the Model 7140, and many other separate amplifiers, will have the ability to drive them successfully at lower impedances.

This ability of external amplifiers to successfully drive lower impedance speakers, especially where the impedance drops toward 4 ohms instead of staying at 6 ohms and above, is one of the key points that separates them from the internal amplifiers in AVR's. The ability to drive a 4 ohm impedance is required for some speakers and not for others. Where the variation of impedance with frequency for a speaker isn't known then the ability to drive a 4 ohm impedance is an insurance policy, and like most insurance it isn't free.

For reference, here are the Stereophile impedance measurements of a speaker that is rated as "compatible with 8 ohms," and yet drops to below 4 ohms at some frequencies (Fig. 1). This variation between rating and measurements isn't uncommon in the speakers that Stereophile measures:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/goldenear-technology-triton-reference-loudspeaker-measurements

Here is another example which is rated at 8 ohms:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/revel-performa3-f208-loudspeaker-measurements
 
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