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So I'm looking to go to a separate amp paired with my Denon 3312. I went to NHT speakers about a year ago, and while I really like them at low-mid volume, they seem underwhelming at louder volumes. My room is just over 3000 cubic feet. The theater uses just a small part of the room, but the space itself is that big.


I've got a 5.1 system (70/30 movies/music) with no plans to change that anytime soon. So a 5 channel amp is all I need. I'm sure a 3 channel amp would suffice as well.


I see a there is a used Rotel RMB-1075 locally for just under $500. Or do I go for a new Outlaw 5000 for $670 shipped? I am assuming that either of these would blow my 3312 and its 125 Watts/Channel out of the water at higher volumes. Please tell me if that is incorrect.


I am really looking for any opinions if one would be better than the other for my situation. Both are 120 Watts x 5. Is the Outlaw worth $200 more? I tend to not upgrade often, and will most likely keep this amp for a long time.


$700 would be the absolute top of my budget. Even that is pushing it. If there are any other amps I should consider please pass that along as well.


Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated.
 

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I have had a couple of Rotel amps for many years. I think they are great sounding, dependable amps. I also like how they look. I have never heard the amps from Outlaw but have heard nothing but good things about them. I say, go for the Rotel. They also have great resale value.
 

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Either are good choices. The Outlaw has been proven to be a big over-performer in terms of power, and you can't beat the price. IMHO a new amp of any ilk is worth $200 more than a used one, but that's me.

Hopefully, your issue with the speakers is related to lack of power (and it very well could be). In any case you will hear a difference at all volume levels, not just high volume. Enjoy.

Edited to add: don't forget to re-calibrate the Denon.
 

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Are your speakers clipping? If not, the amp isn't likely to do much. They'll likely go a DB or two more loud. That's it.

Below clipping, amplification sounds the same so just get whatever is cheapest.
 

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I would get the outlaw because it's new. The caps haven't been drying out over the past few years. Soundwise, you likely won't hear a difference between the two amps and I agree that unless your receiver is stressing, a new amp won't improve the sound much, if at all.
 

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NHT speakers are low sensitivity so they need lots of power.

Ignore the naysayers. Guess what I have a pair of NHT speakers LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies thus far.


I personally think I am losing a little something (not sure what to call it) at higher volumes when listening to music. I don't think my room classifies as small, and NHT's are known for being lower efficiency, so I am adding those up and guessing power is why I'm just not impressed at high volumes.


If I don't have it turned up very loud (say -30 dB) I really like the way everything sounds. It just doesn't sound "good" above -15 dB or so. Just starts to sound harsh (for lack of a better word). Maybe less dynamic would be another way to say it, I don't know. Everything seems a bit more jumbled together. I'm a (recovering) drummer and the snare just seems to get lost in the mix on pretty much any rock CD - at higher volumes.


I'm just trying to figure if I want to spend $200 more on a new Outlaw vs. a used Rotel. I know $200 probably shouldn't matter as much as I'm making it out to be, but regardless, that is where I'm at.
 

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NHT speakers are low sensitivity so they need lots of power.

Ignore the naysayers. Guess what I have a pair of NHT speakers LOL.
While I agree with you, I'm not sure adding a 120wpc amp is going to produce much difference vs. a 125wpc amp in the Denon AVR. We can debate all day long about whether Denon is gaming their specs, I'm guessing the answer is "not enough to really impact this situation."

To the OP, you might also check out Emotiva where you're going to get a little more power for your buck. The XPA-200 will give you 150 wpc rated into 8ohm. And if you can stretch your budget to $800, you could go for a pair of XPA-100 monoblocks which will give you 250wpc. Honestly, with speakers in the mid 80s of sensitivity ratings, I wouldn't be looking at anything that's less than 200wpc (and 256wpc is even better given the way the wattage ratings work).
 

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Tge reason your recordings sound the same every time you play them is because it becomes simple msth. -30 dB is,by definition, every doggone time 1 1000th of the power at zero dB. Cannot be anything else. mixers do not have to adjust every time they play through the song becsuse everything is magically changing. You refine based on what you already did.

Believe in magical electrical components if you want. Nobody can stop you. But if you are using .2 watts for average levels and 20 for peaks, those 20 watts cannot be different coming from a 50 watt amp than from a 200 watt amp. Our universe is subject to immutable physical rules and things aren't going to change until we are collapsing into a black hole, at which point we will be too dead to care.

More power is needed when it is needed. Distortion tells you it is needed. Ohms law prevents, in an absolute sense, the more powerful amp from delivering different voltage and current at any given gain. When the amp runs out of power, voltage and current both reduce, in accordance with that pesky effing law, and distortion results.

Imaginary differences that cannot occur in our universe are enjoyable in the Harry Potter books but irrelevant to reality. Many are sucked in to the foolishness. I like to imagine I am not significantly stupider thsn any other national merit scholar, but I bought the ******** for a number of years.
 

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If your mains are floor standing, perhaps a 2 channel amp would be worth exploring and let the Denon handle the center and rears. If that the case, another direction just for fun would be to check out a Crown XLS 1500. They are priced right, have all the power you will need and they have EQ functions as well, and can be bought on Amazon. Some here are using the Crown amps to power their speakers. Nothing wrong with buying amps and testing whether they improve the sound or not. As well, if you go Rotel, you can probably resell it for the same money if it fails to impress. if you go Outlaw new, I believe they have a 30 day return policy. don't sweat it and enjoy the exploration.
 

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Are your speakers clipping? If not, the amp isn't likely to do much. They'll likely go a DB or two more loud. That's it.

Below clipping, amplification sounds the same so just get whatever is cheapest.
Speakers don't "clip", amps do. And FWIW, most AVRs are clipping even at modest levels when driving large power-hungry speakers. And although you won't believe it, a good amp sounds different even at moderate levels with the for mentioned speakers, whether its clipping or not.
 

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I would think the speaker manufactures would know...I just ordered a new set of Ascend Tower speakers. I ask about amp selection,. I asked if buying a 200 watt amp was really worth it. ( ATI 2007) There answer was " while it is turned up, it Will definitely make a difference"... I think I will believe them .
I wonder what kind of power most speaker manufactures use to test, and showcase their equipment. I bet its not some wimpy amp....
 

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I would think the speaker manufactures would know...I just ordered a new set of Ascend Tower speakers. I ask about amp selection,. I asked if buying a 200 watt amp was really worth it. ( ATI 2007) There answer was " while it is turned up, it Will definitely make a difference"... I think I will believe them .
I wonder what kind of power most speaker manufactures use to test, and showcase their equipment. I bet its not some wimpy amp....
It all depends on your definition of "turned up" and what level of distortion the manufacturer chose to accept when measuring their RMS WPC. Do you have a 150wpc amp in your AVR that is a clean 150wpc? You almost certainly won't notice a difference with a 200 watt amp. Do you have a 150wpc amp that's really only 90wpc before it hits clipping? Then by all means upgrade!
 
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Yes, 80 watts when all 7 channels are driven at 80 watts. But let me ask, when does that ever happen? When does the content require all seven channels at the same max level at the same time? Almost never, I'd guess. So it's an interesting result, and it tells you about the absolute max capabilities of the power supply of the AVR, but I don't think it has much real-world significance.
 

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I would think the speaker manufactures would know...I just ordered a new set of Ascend Tower speakers. I ask about amp selection,. I asked if buying a 200 watt amp was really worth it. ( ATI 2007) There answer was " while it is turned up, it Will definitely make a difference"... I think I will believe them .
I wonder what kind of power most speaker manufactures use to test, and showcase their equipment. I bet its not some wimpy amp....
How big is your room and how far away do you sit from the speakers? And how loud do you plan to play them? I have those speakers and find them an easy load on an amp. They're relatively high sensitivity AND impedance.
 

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Yes, 80 watts when all 7 channels are driven at 80 watts. But let me ask, when does that ever happen? When does the content require all seven channels at the same max level at the same time? Almost never, I'd guess. So it's an interesting result, and it tells you about the absolute max capabilities of the power supply of the AVR, but I don't think it has much real-world significance.
Stop making excuses for a amp that doesn't meet it's spec. :rolleyes:

A Outlaw 7125 is 125W x 7 real output.
 
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