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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have ordered a pair of Paradigm Studio 100s, matching surrounds ADP-590 and a center channel CC-590 (I might step up to CC-690) and a JL Fathom f113 sub. I do not have a dedicated theater, rather would be setting this in an apartment with living area 28*18 feet. I'm planning to do 60% movies and 40% music.


With the above setup, what would be the best receiver for around $1.5 ~ 2k budget.


I have been looking at Denon (3808, 4308), Marantz (8002) and Rotel RSX-1560. Until now, I only got a chance to listen to Denon 3808 and Pioneer SC-07. I found Pioneer's sound to be a little warmer compared to 3808, so I'm more inclined towards it. But if Marantz or Rotel has a better bet, please let know, I will try to audition them in the next couple of days.


Alternatively, should I be considring preamp/processor split? Not sure if I achieve this with the above budget. Any comments will be of great help.
 

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I would give the Marantz (8002) a chance. Marantz tends to also be on the warm side. Very nice receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
fuzzybk,


Thanks for the reponse. I actually meant to say that I didnt like Pioneer because it was warmer. Denon was brighter and had more details. I was assuming that Marantz was lot more brighter and detailed than Denon; this is what one of the sales rep told me. But Denon on the other hand seems to have higher watts on the power amplifier (130 to 140 watts/ channel, compared to Marantz which is around 125/channel). I'm not sure if this really matters, but the Paradigm Studio 100 speakers can go upto 350 watts.
 

· The Village Idiot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdAge /forum/post/15420215


fuzzybk,


Thanks for the reponse. I actually meant to say that I didnt like Pioneer because it was warmer. Denon was brighter and had more details. I was assuming that Marantz was lot more brighter and detailed than Denon; this is what one of the sales rep told me. But Denon on the other hand seems to have higher watts on the power amplifier (130 to 140 watts/ channel, compared to Marantz which is around 125/channel). I'm not sure if this really matters, but the Paradigm Studio 100 speakers can go upto 350 watts.

*

You might want to take a look at separates for that price range. You can get a reliable 5 or 7 channel amp and a preamp processor for $2K and have 200wpc or more.


When the features on the preamp processor is too old to carry on, sell it and get another more up to date one. You will still have a 200wpc + amp to connect it to. Power amps are the most basic unit in our AV racks and as long as it still does what its designed to do there is no reason to replace it.


Check out some of these amps:

http://emotiva.com/

http://www.outlawaudio.com/

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/


Careful, you may find something you like!!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdAge /forum/post/15420215


fuzzybk,


I actually meant to say that I didnt like Pioneer because it was warmer. Denon was brighter and had more details.


That's interesting since the general consensus (Pro Reviews and owners here) is that "Ice" amps are "Bright"

and have a more expansive dynamic range thus revealing detail better.


I guess what it proves is it's very subjective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cattledog /forum/post/15421021


That's interesting since the general consensus (Pro Reviews and owners here) is that "Ice" amps are "Bright"

and have a more expansive dynamic range thus revealing detail better.


I guess what it proves is it's very subjective.

I listened to both Denon 3808/4308 and Pioneer SC-07 on a pair of Martin Logan speakers (dont remember the model no). I used a mediocre stereo recorded music track and I could hear more details on Denon compared to Pioneer. This is my first time comparison and I have never tweaked with any settings, so I'm not sure if that matters.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdAge /forum/post/15425189


I listened to both Denon 3808/4308 and Pioneer SC-07 on a pair of Martin Logan speakers (dont remember the model no). I used a mediocre stereo recorded music track and I could hear more details on Denon compared to Pioneer. This is my first time comparison and I have never tweaked with any settings, so I'm not sure if that matters.

how about the NAD 775/785 the hardware is upgradeable.


Modular Design

All the input circuitry is now contained on 5 easily removable plug-in cards, including digital audio and HDMI, component video, analog video, analog audio (2 channel and multi-channel).


Although this construction process is more costly to implement, it offers the advantage of providing an upgrade path while greatly simplifying any needed servicing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 /forum/post/15420343


*

You might want to take a look at separates for that price range. You can get a reliable 5 or 7 channel amp and a preamp processor for $2K and have 200wpc or more.


When the features on the preamp processor is too old to carry on, sell it and get another more up to date one. You will still have a 200wpc + amp to connect it to. Power amps are the most basic unit in our AV racks and as long as it still does what its designed to do there is no reason to replace it.


Check out some of these amps:

http://emotiva.com/

http://www.outlawaudio.com/

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/


Careful, you may find something you like!!


Thanks. I did look through these links. I'm new to these separators.


1. Can I use a power amplifier with a traditional A/V receivers? For example, can I use a Emotiva UPA-7 amplifier (125wpc) with Denon 3808 Receiver? The Denon already has a built in amplifier of 130wpc. If I can use the above combination, will I be getting 255wpc?


2. Also if I just use a Denon 3808 receiver and use bi-amp for front speakers, will I be getting 130*2 = 260wpc?


3. The paradigm Studio 100 speakers recommend using a power amplifier b/w 15 - 350 watts. If I'm listening at 50% volume or lesser, will I need a power amplifier that outputs all the way to 300-350wpc (5 - 7 channels)?


4. And lastly, what is a preamplifier? How different is it from an amplifier?


thanks. .
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdAge /forum/post/15429164


1. Can I use a power amplifier with a traditional A/V receivers? For example, can I use a Emotiva UPA-7 amplifier (125wpc) with Denon 3808 Receiver? The Denon already has a built in amplifier of 130wpc. If I can use the above combination, will I be getting 255wpc?

No. It's one or the other and you certainly don't need a separate power amp for those speakers. If you want to throw money away, just pvt message me and I'll give you my address.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hdAge /forum/post/15429164


2. Also if I just use a Denon 3808 receiver and use bi-amp for front speakers, will I be getting 130*2 = 260wpc?

Not really. You need to know that the woofers in your speaker draw 80% or more of the power from the amp. So if you bi-amp them, your speakers can only draw a maximum of 20% more power before the woofer will be sucking up all the available power. Read on to learn why it's pointless regardless of the power increase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hdAge /forum/post/15429164


3. The paradigm Studio 100 speakers recommend using a power amplifier b/w 15 - 350 watts. If I'm listening at 50% volume or lesser, will I need a power amplifier that outputs all the way to 300-350wpc (5 - 7 channels)?

Wattage is a sales pitch for suckers. In real world terms, it actually means close to nothing. The Paradigm Studio 100's produce 91dB in a normal room when fed 1 continuous watt. You are unlikely ever to drive them that high. 85dB will cause permanent hearing damage with prolonged exposure. The Studio 100's will be at 85dB with ¼-watt continuously fed into them. Put bluntly, it's unlikely you will ever need a full watt of RMS power. For dynamic surges in sound, 10 watts is more than will ever be needed.


In short: don't concern yourself with wattage, it's a red herring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hdAge /forum/post/15429164


4. And lastly, what is a preamplifier? How different is it from an amplifier?

A preamplifier provides a line-level signal for an amplifier which creates a speaker-level signal. You need both to drive a speaker. A receiver has both built in.
 

· The Village Idiot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdAge /forum/post/15429164


Thanks. I did look through these links. I'm new to these separators.


1. Can I use a power amplifier with a traditional A/V receivers? For example, can I use a Emotiva UPA-7 amplifier (125wpc) with Denon 3808 Receiver? The Denon already has a built in amplifier of 130wpc. If I can use the above combination, will I be getting 255wpc?


2. Also if I just use a Denon 3808 receiver and use bi-amp for front speakers, will I be getting 130*2 = 260wpc?


3. The paradigm Studio 100 speakers recommend using a power amplifier b/w 15 - 350 watts. If I'm listening at 50% volume or lesser, will I need a power amplifier that outputs all the way to 300-350wpc (5 - 7 channels)?


4. And lastly, what is a preamplifier? How different is it from an amplifier?


thanks. .

*

1) As long as the receiver has preamp output jacks, yes, you can use it as a 'pre/pro' or preamp processor. IIRC your Denon does have preamp output jacks.


I doubt your Denon could keep up with the UPA-7 even though it is rated at the same power levels. The UPA-7 weighs 71 pounds and is built to power speakers at full tilt all day if you require it to. The Denon would probably overheat and slip into protect mode at similar levels.


You may be able to bi-amp your speakers with the combination of the two, but I am unsure of this. That answer would be found in the Denon users manual

My recommendation is, if you have an external amp, use it and let the AVR amp idle.


You may want to read up on how receiver manufacturers rate the power levels in their products. I'd venture to say that an external amp is closer to, and probably exceeds the rated output much more often than a receiver does.


2) You cannot 'add' the output of 2 channels or 2 amps to get more watts via bi-amping. You esencially asked this question twice, in 1 and in 2.


3) I doubt your speakers will ever see 300 watts. Even at high volumes your speakers are probably not seeing more than 20-30 watts. Intense musical passages may raise that by twice or more, but even 100 watts would be a very transient event.


Speakers driven with small receivers/amps are more susceptible to damage than ones with twice the power output as the speaker is rated for. The smaller amps will clip at high volume and may result in damage to the voice coils.


4) A preamp is everything a receiver has inside minus the amp section. The preamp processes the source signal as required, such as Dolby Digital, DTS, Logic 7, etc. The signal it sends to the amp is only about 1 volt or less and is distributed to each channel as required. The amp does nothing except amplify the signal sent to it via the preamp.


------------------------------


The real beauty of a separate amp is when it comes time to upgrade. AVRs and pre/pros have lots of great features, but the features that made it so nice to have 5 years ago is why they are replaced so often. Who knew we'd need hdmi switching 5 years ago? Or video switching of composite and S-Video 10 years ago? Whats next in the audio/video field that will have features you 'just gotta have'?


Ampifiers don't become outdated. They either work or they don't.


That is the best reason I have for buying one. I use an HK AVR 247 as a pre/pro. It has 50wpc x7, but I could care less about that.


I don't even know what it sounds like through its amp section, or even if it works. And I don't care.


It will become outdated. I spent $200 on it. It does what I want - for now. How long will it be before it is outdated? Depends on me, doesn't it?


But one thing I will not have to shop for is an AVR with the power I've become accustomed to. Even the budget AVRs have features rivaling that of the larger powerhouse AVRs.


But they don't come with that large price tag.


If you buy a new AVR with 125wpc and a $1499 price tag, use it for 2-3 years then decide to buy a new one, what will that old one be worth?


Half?


Possibly.


I could afford to throw away the 247 in 2 years and call it even. I'll probably give it to my son or daughter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by osofast240sx /forum/post/15425229


how about the NAD 775/785 the hardware is upgradeable.


Modular Design

All the input circuitry is now contained on 5 easily removable plug-in cards, including digital audio and HDMI, component video, analog video, analog audio (2 channel and multi-channel).


Although this construction process is more costly to implement, it offers the advantage of providing an upgrade path while greatly simplifying any needed servicing.

Thanks. I'm not very familiar with NAD products, will try to audition couple of their receivers and see how I like them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundlovr /forum/post/15429292


No. It's one or the other and you certainly don't need a separate power amp for those speakers. If you want to throw money away, just pvt message me and I'll give you my address.

Thanks. As you see, I'm trying to learn about receivers and amps. If my idea was to throw away money, I wouldnt be in this forum in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
1) As long as the receiver has preamp output jacks, yes, you can use it as a 'pre/pro' or preamp processor. IIRC your Denon does have preamp output jacks.


I doubt your Denon could keep up with the UPA-7 even though it is rated at the same power levels. The UPA-7 weighs 71 pounds and is built to power speakers at full tilt all day if you require it to. The Denon would probably overheat and slip into protect mode at similar levels.


You may be able to bi-amp your speakers with the combination of the two, but I am unsure of this. That answer would be found in the Denon users manual

My recommendation is, if you have an external amp, use it and let the AVR amp idle.

If the Denon cannot keep up with UPA-7 will it be enough to use just the amp in the Denon receiver? Will it drive the paradigm studio front and center speakers enough? I dont think that I would ever turn more than 50% of volume, so am not really looking at loud levels. On the other hand, will a UPA-7 amp be better than the built in Denon one? If yes, I could bypass the Denon amp totally. Please help me understand.


Quote:
2) You cannot 'add' the output of 2 channels or 2 amps to get more watts via bi-amping. You esencially asked this question twice, in 1 and in 2.

Got it now.

Quote:
Speakers driven with small receivers/amps are more susceptible to damage than ones with twice the power output as the speaker is rated for. The smaller amps will clip at high volume and may result in damage to the voice coils.

If thats the case, what should I really be considering? A high end receiver ? Or a mid/low-cost pre-pro with an external amplifier. Which of these two is responsible for producing/driving quality sound? Should I spend more on the Sorround processor than an Amplifier or vica versa? Based on this, I'm thinking of one of the following options


1. Denon 3808 receiver

2. Denon 3808 + UPA-7 external amp

3. Denon 3808 + Rotel RB-1075 amp

4. Rotel RSX-1550 receiver (has built in 7.1 surround processor, but just 5 channel amp) + UPA-7 amp

5. Rotel RSX-1550 + RB-1075 amp (This is a cost expensive combination)

6. Rotel RSP-1570 (processor) + UPA-7 (This is a cost expensive combination)

7. Rotel RSX-1560 receiver


If there is not much difference in sound quality in the above options, I would rather go with the one that costs least.



thanks.
 

· The Village Idiot
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If you are not using high sound levels a Denon or other similar receiver should serve you well.

Generally speaking, most external amps outperform receivers with similar specs. This is what amps do best, power speakers and they don't have to do anything else. Receivers are somewhat of a compromise, and their features grow old, not so with amps.


The power supply in most receivers do not supply adequate power during high dynamic music and movie sound passages at high sound levels. The result is it runs low on reserve power and clipping if it can't keep up.


So, the final decision is yours. Do you really need the power a separate amp can deliver or can you be happy with a receiver? I'd say off hand, with what you've posted prior to this, you don't need the external amp.


The best case argument I can come up with for an external amp is this: when you need to update your gear because the processor doesn't process the latest audio and video, then you are shopping not only for features, but need to keep an eye on the power a new receiver has. Power cost money. With an amp on the rack, all you need to do is get the features you need and make sure it has preamp outputs. You could buy a more expensive dedicated pre/pro. Most cost in excess of $1000

and the features wear out just as fast as the receivers that are mass produced and often work just as well and sometimes outperform the pre/pros.


With cheap receivers closing the gap with higher priced receivers and pre/pros feature wise, there is no reason to shop for the high priced stuff.


I have $803 into my external amp and the receiver I use for my pre/pro. Find a receiver for that price that delivers 125wpc that can match the amp. I think you'll have to spend more than that. Granted, the HK AVR 247 won't satisfy everyone, but it works for me. Thats all I care about.


As for your pairing up amps and receivers, if you go with the separate amp, find the lowest price receiver that meets your audio and video processing needs that has preamp output. This alone will save some money. I don't think it would make sense to buy a Denon 3808 and a separate amp.
 

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Lol... stop confusing this poor guy!



Just go with the cheapest receiver amongst your Denon and Rotel offerings. Both will offer gads more power than you could ever dream of being able to use. Better yet, get a Denon 2809 which also has more power than you will ever access and save yourself a ton of money.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundlovr /forum/post/15469426


Lol... stop confusing this poor guy!



Just go with the cheapest receiver amongst your Denon and Rotel offerings. Both will offer gads more power than you could ever dream of being able to use. Better yet, get a Denon 2809 which also has more power than you will ever access and save yourself a ton of money.

*

I think thats what I said. As for confusing him, I'm doing no such thing. His confusion was present before he got here, but its clearing. He's getting educated by reading and posting on these forums and that will take care of all his confusion.
 

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You can ALWAYS add an external amp to the 3808. I have a 3808CI and my suggestion is just to get 3808CI alone and listen to it for a few weeks. If you decide it's a bit whimpy, then look at ICEpower amps like D-Sonic. The firmware update process, feature packs, great GUI and feature set are really killer and I couldn't be happier with my 3808.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Quote:
*

Originally Posted by soundlovr

Lol... stop confusing this poor guy!


Just go with the cheapest receiver amongst your Denon and Rotel offerings. Both will offer gads more power than you could ever dream of being able to use. Better yet, get a Denon 2809 which also has more power than you will ever access and save yourself a ton of money.

I'm definitely not getting confused, dont understand what your problem is. These things might be basic to you, but its my first HT setup and I'm getting educated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 /forum/post/15469668


*

I think thats what I said. As for confusing him, I'm doing no such thing. His confusion was present before he got here, but its clearing. He's getting educated by reading and posting on these forums and that will take care of all his confusion.

Thanks again for the detailed answer. Please keep the writing going on. Its not a confusion at all, infact I now have improved my understanding and can make a better decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 /forum/post/15469381


If you are not using high sound levels a Denon or other similar receiver should serve you well.

Generally speaking, most external amps outperform receivers with similar specs. This is what amps do best, power speakers and they don't have to do anything else. Receivers are somewhat of a compromise, and their features grow old, not so with amps.


The power supply in most receivers do not supply adequate power during high dynamic music and movie sound passages at high sound levels. The result is it runs low on reserve power and clipping if it can't keep up.


So, the final decision is yours. Do you really need the power a separate amp can deliver or can you be happy with a receiver? I'd say off hand, with what you've posted prior to this, you don't need the external amp.


The best case argument I can come up with for an external amp is this: when you need to update your gear because the processor doesn't process the latest audio and video, then you are shopping not only for features, but need to keep an eye on the power a new receiver has. Power cost money. With an amp on the rack, all you need to do is get the features you need and make sure it has preamp outputs. You could buy a more expensive dedicated pre/pro. Most cost in excess of $1000

and the features wear out just as fast as the receivers that are mass produced and often work just as well and sometimes outperform the pre/pros.


With cheap receivers closing the gap with higher priced receivers and pre/pros feature wise, there is no reason to shop for the high priced stuff.


I have $803 into my external amp and the receiver I use for my pre/pro. Find a receiver for that price that delivers 125wpc that can match the amp. I think you'll have to spend more than that. Granted, the HK AVR 247 won't satisfy everyone, but it works for me. Thats all I care about.


As for your pairing up amps and receivers, if you go with the separate amp, find the lowest price receiver that meets your audio and video processing needs that has preamp output. This alone will save some money. I don't think it would make sense to buy a Denon 3808 and a separate amp.


I'm close to getting a Denon 3808 receiver, will probably listen to it for a while and might later add a 2 channel or a 3 channel external amp for stereo music. More questions


1. If I use Denon 3808 to drive surrounds and sub, and if I need to get an external amp for fronts, should I stick to 2 channel or go for 3 channel amp? The reason I'm thinking of 3 channel amp is because all fronts and center will be driven equally, as opposted to 2 channel which might leave the center channel unbalanced. Please help me understand this.

2. I have read a lot of reviews of Emotiva XPA-3 or UPA-2. How would you compare this with a Anthem MCA-20/30 amp?


thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by yngdiego /forum/post/15470118


You can ALWAYS add an external amp to the 3808. I have a 3808CI and my suggestion is just to get 3808CI alone and listen to it for a few weeks. If you decide it's a bit whimpy, then look at ICEpower amps like D-Sonic. The firmware update process, feature packs, great GUI and feature set are really killer and I couldn't be happier with my 3808.

Yes, I'm thinking the same. I'm almost locking down on the 3808, especially with the new Audyssey firmware update. But at the same time, I'm also thinking of external 2/3-channel amp for stereo music.
 
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