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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I am new to these forums. This is my 1st post, and I have been setting up AVR's all my life, to great success, with many different brands. This year I acquired at my local specialty shop here in town. The DTR 30.4 Integra, and I love it! I've had it since February of this year. My other one was a entry level receiver. The Pioneer VSX-D711 (2004 Model). I used it til if started making light popping noises through my speakers. I had it for 10 years, and it also took some Lightning Strike hits when it was on in 2007. & still ran for another 5 years after. Anyhow, I've moved on to the Integra. I  am aware Integra is Onkyo. I've been using it all summer pushing it at times to high volumes. Not very often though, I know these run hot. Which is why I've considered just using it as a pre-amp. However my speakers are the same brand name all around. 4 of which are the same model series. Although I just have 2 main Front Floorstanding Speakers. The Polk TSi-500 Model, which I bought those two mains in 2010. My surrounds are the TSi-200 Bookshelf speakers, also bought in the same shipment as my mains. And my Center I bought last year off Amazon, and is the only 1 not a TSi Model. It's an TL 1 Stone Center Bar Channel from Polk. I am new to this method, and I understand it might be wise to only invest in external amps if you're using the same Model Floorstanding Speakers all around. Which if I could I'd like to have all TSi-500's for each channel. Which I can't afford any more TSi 500's right now and they are now out-dated to a newer version. I don't think having external amps to drive two small TSi Bookshelf speakers is necessary, when the AVR itself can do it. I would just like to use all external amps to preserve the life span of my AVR just using it as a pre-amp only. Even though my setup of speakers is probably not needed for external amps. Could I just possibly drive my 2 main fronts with just a 2 channel stereo external amplifier?, to take off some pressure of the AVR running too hot. And just run my surrounds using the AVR. Or would you think going all external is the best way, despite my speaker set-up? This AVR has 9 channel pre-outs. It's 7.2 Works Great! I love the sound. It's the best I've ever had in years! I've heard mixed reviews on Integra as well. Some like it, other's don,t. But I am fine with mine for right now. I would just rather preserve its lifespan going all external amps. I know AVR's nowadays are all about the bells and whistles they pack into them. I am only concerned with 2 things. Sound Quality that suits my taste, and Longevity / Reliability. Short and sweet. Keep in mind that I am interested in a budget build on my external amps. I don't need the biggest baddest souped up amps. My room is a small bedroom. Which I know most of you would say. I am fine with just an AVR the way I have it now. I just don't want to keep relying on the AVR all the time, in case it does break down and I have to send it in for repair, where as I think just having dedicated external amps can last a life time, since they're just dedicated to 1 thing. I also know that if I do get External Amps, it is important to match compatibility with speaker set-ups. Ohms, Impedance, Etc. I am however content with just the standard 8-ohm Load. I have heard 4 Ohm's and yes they are much louder, but I am content with 8. I don't care to drop it down to 6 Ohms or 4 Ohms, as I've been told the lower Ohm you go, the harder your equipment has to push, hence shortens the life span of the equipment. Any opinions would be of great help and much appreciated. 

 

Thanks!
 

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Holy cow, I read all that. I just made it but I did it, and I am now crafting myself a ribbon for it..




You need to break it down to what you are wanting to get out of your system.


Will adding external amplification preserve or add longevity to your current AVR? possibly but who is to say something else would break inside of it?


I think your concern there is irrelevant.


Could you amplify your front two channels? Sure and it would take a lot of the load out of the AVR's amp section.


Would you benefit the most out of amplifying all of your 5 channels? Absolutely Or you could look into a 3 channel for the front 3.


I think you need to understand what adding an amp will do to your system. An amp will drastically improve dynamics, background blackness, and low-level detail (if you get the right one).
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Hey! Thanks a lot! Yes I have read that using external amps does improve dynamics in the sound. Especially with all the speakers. I am currently just running 5.1. I've also heard methods of bi-amping and tri-amping your speakers. Which I don't care to do, as I prefer to keep the signals separate. In other words. I think having a sub or subs for just bass only is best to my ears, as opposed to bi-amping my speakers. My woofers on my mains are only 6.5 Inch. which there's 4 on each. I thought about just getting 1 external amp for the front 3, and maybe a 2 channel stereo external amp for the surrounds. so 2 amps total. However I would like to try all mono block amps 1 per each channel, but that's just too much gear to keep up with and more needed outlet space! Thanks so much for the friendly advice there! 
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofthecrate  /t/1495833/avrs-vs-external-amps#post_23858883


Holy cow, I read all that. I just made it but I did it, and I am now crafting myself a ribbon for it..




You need to break it down to what you are wanting to get out of your system.


Will adding external amplification preserve or add longevity to your current AVR? possibly but who is to say something else would break inside of it?


I think your concern there is irrelevant.


Could you amplify your front two channels? Sure and it would take a lot of the load out of the AVR's amp section.


Would you benefit the most out of amplifying all of your 5 channels? Absolutely Or you could look into a 3 channel for the front 3.


I think you need to understand what adding an amp will do to your system. An amp will drastically improve dynamics, background blackness, and low-level detail (if you get the right one).

+1


I agree from experience. Few years ago I had 4 Polk Monitor 40s and (Cs2?) center running of an AVR. I than got a 3 channel amp to run my LCR and it was a drastic improvement. The amp was the Emotiva XPA-3. It's inexpensive and a great amp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Thanks a lot Reddig! I'll definitely look into using external amps, based off information that has been handed to me from you and kingofthecrate! I just basically want to separate everything entirely. From Video Switchers to Audio Amplifiers to Surround Sound Processor's. This way each component is dedicated for its 1 and only sole purpose. I just hope my AVR last me a good while to enjoy what I have now. I plan on possibly getting some amps by the end of this year! Thanks again! 
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake68485  /t/1495833/avrs-vs-external-amps#post_23859007


Thanks a lot Reddig! I'll definitely look into using external amps, based off information that has been handed to me from you and kingofthecrate! I just basically want to separate everything entirely. From Video Switchers to Audio Amplifiers to Surround Sound Processor's. This way each component is dedicated for its 1 and only sole purpose. I just hope my AVR last me a good while to enjoy what I have now. I plan on possibly getting some amps by the end of this year! Thanks again! 

No prob Jake. I think you've got the right idea. You will get the best performance with separates as opposed to just an AVR. Pretty much every AVR is a practice in compromise.
 

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OP, next time use these neat things called paragraphs to make your post easier to read.



How loud do you listen? Your Polk tsi500s are relatively sensitive at 91dB and I would think with your Integra (which model by the way?) you can drive them to very loud levels cleanly without the need for an external amp....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Sorry, I get to ramblin on in my paragraph there. Yes my Integra is a DTR-30.4 Model. And oh yes! It does play them loud and clear good enough! I like it "Loud Enough" when watching blu-rays of course, as well as music. I don't blast it hard core, as its just in a small room. Especially after I calibrated it with the Audyssey 2 Mic. I know there's a newer version of Aydyssey Calibration Mics. But this one does just fine for me! I am just tired of reading about so many problems with AVR's breaking down. I think even though it's more affordable to own an AVR. They pack in too much unnecessary bells and whistles on them. I've read about HDMI boards going bad in AVR's, not functioning properly after a while. I think the stand alone AVR tries to do it all, and after a while of long periods of use, it just seems too much for 1 box to do it all. Things start falling apart. This is based off my findings online. I also had that happen to me when I bought my first ever Harmon kardon AVR-3600 Model in 2011. Only lasted 3 months before it sounded like the amps were going out inside it. I would get fluctuations in the audio getting loud and then going low, during a movie. No matter if it was in a Digital or Analog source. I shipped it back to Amazon. Also the Center Channel on the HK AVR-3600 would not come on at times when  I would switch input sources. I would have to switch back and then forth again to make the center channel come on, on the HK 3600. But yes. The Integra can really throw some power to my speakers. I have each channel set a Level 0. Plus even at that Level I can always give it a boost with the Dynamic Volume Control turned on. The levels for each channel can go up to a +12 on the AVR! I prefer to leave the Dynamic Volume Control off, as it basically just quiets down mega loud noises while boosting the quieter sounds I find it much better with it turned off, especially when it comes to DTS-HD Audio. I just keep all channel levels at 0 including the sub-woofer. My bass level is set at a +2, it can go up to a +12/ I also prefer to have my Treble all the way up. It goes to a +12 also. That's just me though. 
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake68485  /t/1495833/avrs-vs-external-amps#post_23858848


I am new to these forums. This is my 1st post, and I have been setting up AVR's all my life, to great success, with many different brands. This year I acquired at my local specialty shop here in town. The DTR 30.4 Integra, and I love it! I've had it since February of this year. My other one was a entry level receiver. The Pioneer VSX-D711 (2004 Model). I used it til if started making light popping noises through my speakers. I had it for 10 years, and it also took some Lightning Strike hits when it was on in 2007. & still ran for another 5 years after. Anyhow, I've moved on to the Integra. I  am aware Integra is Onkyo. I've been using it all summer pushing it at times to high volumes. Not very often though, I know these run hot. Which is why I've considered just using it as a pre-amp. However my speakers are the same brand name all around. 4 of which are the same model series. Although I just have 2 main Front Floorstanding Speakers. The Polk TSi-500 Model, which I bought those two mains in 2010. My surrounds are the TSi-200 Bookshelf speakers, also bought in the same shipment as my mains. And my Center I bought last year off Amazon, and is the only 1 not a TSi Model. It's an TL 1 Stone Center Bar Channel from Polk. I am new to this method, and I understand it might be wise to only invest in external amps if you're using the same Model Floorstanding Speakers all around. Which if I could I'd like to have all TSi-500's for each channel. Which I can't afford any more TSi 500's right now and they are now out-dated to a newer version. I don't think having external amps to drive two small TSi Bookshelf speakers is necessary, when the AVR itself can do it. I would just like to use all external amps to preserve the life span of my AVR just using it as a pre-amp only. Even though my setup of speakers is probably not needed for external amps. Could I just possibly drive my 2 main fronts with just a 2 channel stereo external amplifier?, to take off some pressure of the AVR running too hot. And just run my surrounds using the AVR. Or would you think going all external is the best way, despite my speaker set-up? This AVR has 9 channel pre-outs. It's 7.2 Works Great! I love the sound. It's the best I've ever had in years! I've heard mixed reviews on Integra as well. Some like it, other's don,t. But I am fine with mine for right now. I would just rather preserve its lifespan going all external amps. I know AVR's nowadays are all about the bells and whistles they pack into them. I am only concerned with 2 things. Sound Quality that suits my taste, and Longevity / Reliability. Short and sweet. Keep in mind that I am interested in a budget build on my external amps. I don't need the biggest baddest souped up amps. My room is a small bedroom. Which I know most of you would say. I am fine with just an AVR the way I have it now. I just don't want to keep relying on the AVR all the time, in case it does break down and I have to send it in for repair, where as I think just having dedicated external amps can last a life time, since they're just dedicated to 1 thing. I also know that if I do get External Amps, it is important to match compatibility with speaker set-ups. Ohms, Impedance, Etc. I am however content with just the standard 8-ohm Load. I have heard 4 Ohm's and yes they are much louder, but I am content with 8. I don't care to drop it down to 6 Ohms or 4 Ohms, as I've been told the lower Ohm you go, the harder your equipment has to push, hence shortens the life span of the equipment. Any opinions would be of great help and much appreciated. 


Thanks!

I didn't go through the entire post; but going by the title, you won't feel any difference whatsoever after adding external amps IF (1) you are crossing your mains high i.e. around 80Hz and (2) you have a capable sub and the use is mostly movies.


Best would be to invest in a another sub. Which sub do you have btw?
 

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So where's the paragraphing?


You set it up with Audyssey and it set all your speaker trim levels to 0? That's unusual. You sure you did that correctly?


Electronics are not made for the long term as well as they once were and it's not limited to avrs. While you may take some of the load off of your avr by running your mains off an outboard amp, it isn't magically going to sound a lot better because there's an outboard amp. I somewhat doubt it will drastically change the life of the avr, either.
 

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Quote:
Sorry, I get to ramblin on in my paragraph there. Yes my Integra is a DTR-30.4 Model. And oh yes! It does play them loud and clear good enough! I like it "Loud Enough" when watching blu-rays of course, as well as music. I don't blast it hard core, as its just in a small room. Especially after I calibrated it with the Audyssey 2 Mic. I know there's a newer version of Aydyssey Calibration Mics. But this one does just fine for me! I am just tired of reading about so many problems with AVR's breaking down. I think even though it's more affordable to own an AVR. They pack in too much unnecessary bells and whistles on them. I've read about HDMI boards going bad in AVR's, not functioning properly after a while. I think the stand alone AVR tries to do it all, and after a while of long periods of use, it just seems too much for 1 box to do it all. Things start falling apart. This is based off my findings online. I also had that happen to me when I bought my first ever Harmon kardon AVR-3600 Model in 2011. Only lasted 3 months before it sounded like the amps were going out inside it. I would get fluctuations in the audio getting loud and then going low, during a movie. No matter if it was in a Digital or Analog source. I shipped it back to Amazon. Also the Center Channel on the HK AVR-3600 would not come on at times when I would switch input sources. I would have to switch back and then forth again to make the center channel come on, on the HK 3600. But yes. The Integra can really throw some power to my speakers. I have each channel set a Level 0. Plus even at that Level I can always give it a boost with the Dynamic Volume Control turned on. The levels for each channel can go up to a +12 on the AVR! I prefer to leave the Dynamic Volume Control off, as it basically just quiets down mega loud noises while boosting the quieter sounds I find it much better with it turned off, especially when it comes to DTS-HD Audio. I just keep all channel levels at 0 including the sub-woofer. My bass level is set at a +2, it can go up to a +12/ I also prefer to have my Treble all the way up. It goes to a +12 also. That's just me though.

For a start, pls break your post into paragraphs for easy readability. I don't think your system is set up properly. Leave dynamic volume off and turn on Dynamic EQ. Where do you cross your mains and which sub are you using?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

I forgot to mention braveheart123 in my initial post. I do indeed have a Sub. It was a free gift just for buying the 2 front mains direct from the Polk Factory. It's nothing special, but it does the job for my size room. It's the Compact 8 Inch PSW-111 Sub. From Polk. The Integra gives off nice deep bass with it. I do believe though, that during the calibration set-up. It made the Cross Over Frequency split some of the bass signal with my mains. As I can hear bass from them at low volume, without the sub being kicked in. Once I turn it up a cetrain decibel on the avr the sub kicks in. When I bought my all Polk set-up it was my first time trying out Polk Speakers. I took a gamble on that, since I didn't listen to them first in a store. But I love them. The only thing that bugs me with my mains is that they do not have a "Mid-range". It's just (4)) 6.5 inch woofers on the mains with a Silk Dome Dynamic Balance Tweeter. I miss having that "Mid-range" though. Which was on my "Sony SS 6000's". Those were bought at Best Buy and lasted me 7 years. Actually the mid range on those Sony's just need to be re-wired. It's a loose wire inside the mid-range of my Sony's. I've never really fixed a speaker before. But I am willing to learn and read up. I still have them. I also have a retired 12 Inch JBL Sub from 2003. That I don't use anymore. But I am over it for now as far as the mid-range sound goes. I've grown to love these Polk's. But hat's the chance I took when buying these. I am happy with them though. They're still going after almost 4 years and I've tortured em some. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

The Audyssey set my mains at 40Hz. My center is at 110Hz, And it set my surrounds at 40Hz. And my sub is 80Hz. 

 

I just let the mic set it for me. I am still learning about how to set the Hurtz Manually on my own. So this may not seem right to you.
 

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How much money were you willing to spend on external amps?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

To loveinthehd. I know it doesn't sound right. I'll be honest right now. I re-adjusted all levels to 0, as that's just my preference. Here is the Calibration the Audyssey Mic set it up at: 

 

AUDYSSEY SPEAKER LEVEL SETTINGS:

 

LEFT FRONT (MAIN) -6 dB

 

CENTER FRONT -9 dB

 

RIGHT FRONT (MAIN) -8 dB

 

SURROUND RIGHT -5 dB

 

SURROUND LEFT --6dB

 

SUB WOOFER -13dB

 

(THIS IS FOR WHEN USING THE DYNAMIC EQ SETTING TURNED ON.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

braveheart123. Well I've never really shopped around which I plan on going back to the specialty shop this week to look around.

 I know they sell ROTEL Amps, and if I do go with external's I would have all channels on an outboard.

I dont like the idea of using 1 outboard for 2 mains and my avr for surrounds and center.

I know that doesn't make any sense. I was just saying that to go a bit cheap about it.

How much would just a 2 channel stereo amp by itself would u say cost>?

I've never looked into buying one. Just now thinking about it. 

So I'm not familiar with the price ranges on external amps. 

I know I could just look it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

The Calibration Settings are off because

I estimated Distance between the speakers within the room.

When I placed them in the room.

I probably should have messed around a bit more to make

those calibration Levels come out evenly. 

I could re-calibrate and place the speakers accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Basically what I want is something that will give me another 10 years like my old Pioneer AVR Did. 

 

I guess that boils down to just taking care of my equipment. 

 

I don't mind falling behind on the newest HDMI 2.0 Standard that's out now, or about to come out.

 

I just mainly use my receiver for both Movies and Music. Music mostly though

 

I only wish they still made DTS 5.1 Audio CD's. As I would prefer them over Standard CD's. 

 

I also have a few DVD-Audio Discs as well. 

 

I don't play video games. So that's out of the ? 

 

I will try to keep my answers short. Sorry about the long Paragraphs. :)
 
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