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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question, Would connecting a Emotiva UPA-500 or 700 amp to my Yamaha RX-A820 receiver running a 5.1 speaker system have any improvement on sound quality or improve the level at what I can play music or movies? Or for that matter any 5 channel amp rated at 65 watts a channel or more with all channels driven. I see the UPA-500 is rated at 80 watts a channel x 5. I am sure this is more then what the Yamaha A820 is capable of. I read a lot about the Yamaha amps running thin with all channels driven causing mid bass to be weak.

Would the improvement be worth the extra $400.00 to $500.00 for the amp? I know it would look cool having a external amp sitting on the shelf above the receiver.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKSKYDANCER  /t/1468762/emotiva-amp-connected-to-my-yamaha-avr-would-this-help-any#post_23216261


Question, Would connecting a Emotiva UPA-500 or 700 amp to my Yamaha RX-A820 receiver running a 5.1 speaker system have any improvement on sound quality or improve the level at what I can play music or movies? Or for that matter any 5 channel amp rated at 65 watts a channel or more with all channels driven. I see the UPA-500 is rated at 80 watts a channel x 5. I am sure this is more then what the Yamaha A820 is capable of. I read a lot about the Yamaha amps running thin with all channels driven causing mid bass to be weak.

Would the improvement be worth the extra $400.00 to $500.00 for the amp? I know it would look cool having a external amp sitting on the shelf above the receiver.
It would look cool but it might not solve the problem. A few things to keep in mind...

1. Are you having a mid bass issue now. If so are you using a subwoofer and have you checked where it's crossed over in relation to your speakers.

2. Has anything changed in your room such furniture placement, new drapes, new wall coverings. If it has have you re-run the room correction software in your Yamaha..

3. What type of music do you play, music can be way more demanding than movies. Large scale orchestral works for example can benefit from good clean power and having a good amount of reserve power.

If you like the way things sound but would like a bit more oomph than try more power. The Emotiva has 30 days to try it out to see it you like it. You might even want to go with one of their bigger amps.
 

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I'm going to say that the Emotiva UPA series probably won't make a bit of difference since that Yamaha is probably good for 70 watts per channel x 5. It just won't give you the headroom you will need for those volume peaks. I essentially did them same thing but on a larger scale going from 141 watts x 7 to 200 watts x 5 plus 2 running off of AVR -- made no difference in sound quality or volume. I was also going from a 7 channel to 11 channel setup and still needed an external amp. I ended up stepping up to a 400 watts x 5 amp which gave me what I needed for a really strong 5.x setup with the AVR powering the rest of the system. I think the XPA-5 at 200 watts x 5 is probably what you should go with provided your speakers can handle the power. Put your best 5 speakers on the XPA-5 and let the Yamaha power the rest.


I can vouch for a nice, powerful amp when listening to classical, especially multi-channel classical music. I have some nice 5 and 7 channel recordings of Beethoven, Mozart, Holst, etc., etc. that really opened up when I added more power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the response. First off I must say I am not one of those guys that needs 5 tower speakers with 2 15" 1000 watt subwoofer in a 15x15 size room to hear or enjoy movies or music. I like how my system sounds now "but" I was just thinking of getting some Amplifier dynamic headroom for certain music or movies as I find a lot of sources are not recorded or do they sound the same. My room is about 1600 sq. ft. with 8 ft. flat ceilings. Right now I am running the Cambridge Minx S325 v2 5.1 speaker system. They fill the room with good all around sound due to the Minx 21 BMR dual woofer speakers. They are very clean and detailed in there output. I have them mounted on the walls as per THX recommendations. Right now with my receiver volume set at -13 db I am seeing about 84 to 85db on a sound level meter in the seating area. As you can see there is plenty of volume left on the receiver to turn it up but i would be concern that it wouldn't be clean power. I have run the YPAO with very good results. All speakers were set close to 0 db on the levels. variable only by 1 or 2 db's up or down from 0. According to Cambridge the speaker sensitivity is 87db with a power rating of 15-200 watts. It's a 5.1 system so I am using a subwoofer with the AVR crossover set at 120 and the subwoofer level in the Yamaha set at +2 which works out fine. No changes in the room. Again, I like the overall sound of the system but i was thinking a separate amp would have that added headroom for those certain dynamic times in the music or movies. I also might get some good bookshelf speakers in the future for 2.1 music listening. Cambridge has a note in the Minx speaker page that says:-


" Using a high power amp lower down it's volume scale results in lower distortion and better sound"
 

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Looking at what your speakers can handle and their sensitivity I definitely say at least XPA-5. You would probably have your AVR set at -20 dB to get that same 84-85 dB at listening position. I can crack test tones at 105dB at my LP at 0dB, so I'm usually set at -30dB when watching TV and -20dB for movies.


No need to do anything if you are happy with sound quality and output. If you want more then get the XPA-5 or something with similar specs. Outlaw makes a nice 200 watt x 5 amp and they also have a 200 watt x 7 amp as well. I just ended up getting a fantastic deal at their trade show ( EmoFest ) on an Emotiva XPR-5 ( 400 watt x 5 ) and went with that instead of the Outlaw 7900. Really wanted a 7-channel amp in one box. but I can probably pick up an XPR-2 at the next EmoFest.


Emotiva also has a Summer Sale around Independence Day and you'll usually see $100 to $150 off the XPA-5.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKSKYDANCER  /t/1468762/emotiva-amp-connected-to-my-yamaha-avr-would-this-help-any#post_23220205


Thanks for the response. First off I must say I am not one of those guys that needs 5 tower speakers with 2 15" 1000 watt subwoofer in a 15x15 size room to hear or enjoy movies or music. I like how my system sounds now "but" I was just thinking of getting some Amplifier dynamic headroom for certain music or movies as I find a lot of sources are not recorded or do they sound the same. My room is about 1600 sq. ft. with 8 ft. flat ceilings. Right now I am running the Cambridge Minx S325 v2 5.1 speaker system. They fill the room with good all around sound due to the Minx 21 BMR dual woofer speakers. They are very clean and detailed in there output. I have them mounted on the walls as per THX recommendations. Right now with my receiver volume set at -13 db I am seeing about 84 to 85db on a sound level meter in the seating area. As you can see there is plenty of volume left on the receiver to turn it up but i would be concern that it wouldn't be clean power. I have run the YPAO with very good results. All speakers were set close to 0 db on the levels. variable only by 1 or 2 db's up or down from 0. According to Cambridge the speaker sensitivity is 87db with a power rating of 15-200 watts. It's a 5.1 system so I am using a subwoofer with the AVR crossover set at 120 and the subwoofer level in the Yamaha set at +2 which works out fine. No changes in the room. Again, I like the overall sound of the system but i was thinking a separate amp would have that added headroom for those certain dynamic times in the music or movies. I also might get some good bookshelf speakers in the future for 2.1 music listening. Cambridge has a note in the Minx speaker page that says:-


" Using a high power amp lower down it's volume scale results in lower distortion and better sound"

an external amp is exactly what you want... xpa 5 it will knock you soxs off just like jeans say xpa 5 or other options... depending your funds for audio..


music dynamics, tighter bass bigger sound stage etc ... only few more dollars over the upa.. i added the xpa 3 wow amazing.. over my denon...


cheers..
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jevans64  /t/1468762/emotiva-amp-connected-to-my-yamaha-avr-would-this-help-any#post_23218618


I'm going to say that the Emotiva UPA series probably won't make a bit of difference since that Yamaha is probably good for 70 watts per channel x 5. It just won't give you the headroom you will need for those volume peaks. I essentially did them same thing but on a larger scale going from 141 watts x 7 to 200 watts x 5 plus 2 running off of AVR -- made no difference in sound quality or volume. I was also going from a 7 channel to 11 channel setup and still needed an external amp. I ended up stepping up to a 400 watts x 5 amp which gave me what I needed for a really strong 5.x setup with the AVR powering the rest of the system. I think the XPA-5 at 200 watts x 5 is probably what you should go with provided your speakers can handle the power. Put your best 5 speakers on the XPA-5 and let the Yamaha power the rest.


I can vouch for a nice, powerful amp when listening to classical, especially multi-channel classical music. I have some nice 5 and 7 channel recordings of Beethoven, Mozart, Holst, etc., etc. that really opened up when I added more power.

is that the denon 4311 ci 7 x 141... it is not!


its for 2 channels... only... the power rating with all 7 channel i bet is around 90 wpc..


denon is very decptive like all other avrs...


my denon 3313ci is 125 wpc x 2 but in 5 is 83 and 7 78 wpc.. at 8 ohm..


xpa is 200 wpc all channels driven all the time at 8 ohm and 300 at 4 ohm plus a little undisclosed extra..


cheers..
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltadube  /t/1468762/emotiva-amp-connected-to-my-yamaha-avr-would-this-help-any#post_23220715


is that the denon 4311 ci 7 x 141... it is not!


its for 2 channels... only... the power rating with all 7 channel i bet is around 90 wpc..

My AVR is an upgraded AVR-5308ci. I used the numbers from the HT Labs testing which put it at 207 watts x 2, 146 watts x 5, or 141 watts x 7, all into 8 Ohms with 0.1% THD.


IMHO, the AVR-5308ci was the last REAL AVR Denon made.



That is why the XPA-5 didn't do much for my system since the anchor was a $5500 AVR. Luckily I knew someone that had an XPA-5 and I borrowed it. I heard about Emotiva here on these boards and didn't even realize their HQ was 60 miles from where I live. I then decided that I was going to add two speakers in back and also do front heights. I was thinking again about buying an XPA-5 since I needed 4 more channels of amplification but was looking at other options, like the ATI 3000/Outlaw 7900, Parasound Halo, D-Sonic M2, and Sunfire TG. Went to EmoFest and got a close look at the brand new XPR-5. Needless to say, I had a 110 pound passenger in my front seat ( only place the box would fit ) when I went home. I'm really only running a 9.x setup most of the time, but I still have a pair of speakers mounted up against the ceiling in the back corners of my room, which used to be my old 5.x surrounds. I will use them occasionally when in DSX or in one of the multi-channel "stereo" modes. They are just assigned as a 2nd pair of surrounds.

Dredd is probably best movie I have for DTS Neo.X 9.1 followed by Expendables 2. Skyfall just plain rumbles no matter how many speakers I use and the PQ is outstanding as well.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jevans64  /t/1468762/emotiva-amp-connected-to-my-yamaha-avr-would-this-help-any#post_23220942

Quote:
Originally Posted by deltadube  /t/1468762/emotiva-amp-connected-to-my-yamaha-avr-would-this-help-any#post_23220715


is that the denon 4311 ci 7 x 141... it is not!


its for 2 channels... only... the power rating with all 7 channel i bet is around 90 wpc..

My AVR is an upgraded AVR-5308ci. I used the numbers from the HT Labs testing which put it at 207 watts x 2, 146 watts x 5, or 141 watts x 7, all into 8 Ohms with 0.1% THD.


IMHO, the AVR-5308ci was the last REAL AVR Denon made.



That is why the XPA-5 didn't do much for my system since the anchor was a $5500 AVR. Luckily I knew someone that had an XPA-5 and I borrowed it. I heard about Emotiva here on these boards and didn't even realize their HQ was 60 miles from where I live. I then decided that I was going to add two speakers in back and also do front heights. I was thinking again about buying an XPA-5 since I needed 4 more channels of amplification but was looking at other options, like the ATI 3000/Outlaw 7900, Parasound Halo, D-Sonic M2, and Sunfire TG. Went to EmoFest and got a close look at the brand new XPR-5. Needless to say, I had a 110 pound passenger in my front seat ( only place the box would fit ) when I went home. I'm really only running a 9.x setup most of the time, but I still have a pair of speakers mounted up against the ceiling in the back corners of my room, which used to be my old 5.x surrounds. I will use them occasionally when in DSX or in one of the multi-channel "stereo" modes. They are just assigned as a 2nd pair of surrounds.

Dredd is probably best movie I have for DTS Neo.X 9.1 followed by Expendables 2. Skyfall just plain rumbles no matter how many speakers I use and the PQ is outstanding as well.

did you get a big discount at the emofest?


no xpr 1s looks like the ticket for you ..


cheers..
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltadube  /t/1468762/emotiva-amp-connected-to-my-yamaha-avr-would-this-help-any#post_23221032


did you get a big discount at the emofest?


no xpr 1s looks like the ticket for you ..


cheers..

$1299 for refurbished and $1699 for new. Since the XPR-5 had only been out a few months the refurbs still had 4 years, 9 months left on the warranty. You get $50 EmoBucks for attending ( registration / attendance is free ) which can be applied to anything you buy there except the Area 51 stuff -- stuff that has been deeply-discounted and cash-and-carry.


I think I have enough power, for now. I only have a single 20 Amp circuit still available anyway. I guess two XPR-1 could run off of that and my left/right speakers can certainly handle the power. I do very little 2-channel listening and they would probably just go to waste.


I'm planning on a pair of Stealth 8 and a DC-1 for the next EmoFest. If I have extra cash, then I'll pick up a sub to go with that.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jevans64  /t/1468762/emotiva-amp-connected-to-my-yamaha-avr-would-this-help-any#post_23223214

Quote:
Originally Posted by deltadube  /t/1468762/emotiva-amp-connected-to-my-yamaha-avr-would-this-help-any#post_23221032


did you get a big discount at the emofest?


no xpr 1s looks like the ticket for you ..


cheers..

$1299 for refurbished and $1699 for new. Since the XPR-5 had only been out a few months the refurbs still had 4 years, 9 months left on the warranty. You get $50 EmoBucks for attending ( registration / attendance is free ) which can be applied to anything you buy there except the Area 51 stuff -- stuff that has been deeply-discounted and cash-and-carry.


I think I have enough power, for now. I only have a single 20 Amp circuit still available anyway. I guess two XPR-1 could run off of that and my left/right speakers can certainly handle the power. I do very little 2-channel listening and they would probably just go to waste.


I'm planning on a pair of Stealth 8 and a DC-1 for the next EmoFest. If I have extra cash, then I'll pick up a sub to go with that.

xpr line is a bit older than that .. looks like the price they had a christmas time on the xpr 5 1699 300 off.. secret sale on this wknd...


nice amp .... i waiting for a US dollar visa to show up didnt make it today.. maybe monday.. that way i can do my own conversions of currencies..


sometimes US dollars just show up in my accounts like magic!


cheers..
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKSKYDANCER  /t/1468762/emotiva-amp-connected-to-my-yamaha-avr-would-this-help-any#post_23220205


Thanks for the response. First off I must say I am not one of those guys that needs 5 tower speakers with 2 15" 1000 watt subwoofer in a 15x15 size room to hear or enjoy movies or music. I like how my system sounds now "but" I was just thinking of getting some Amplifier dynamic headroom for certain music or movies as I find a lot of sources are not recorded or do they sound the same. My room is about 1600 sq. ft. with 8 ft. flat ceilings. Right now I am running the Cambridge Minx S325 v2 5.1 speaker system. They fill the room with good all around sound due to the Minx 21 BMR dual woofer speakers. They are very clean and detailed in there output. I have them mounted on the walls as per THX recommendations. Right now with my receiver volume set at -13 db I am seeing about 84 to 85db on a sound level meter in the seating area. As you can see there is plenty of volume left on the receiver to turn it up but i would be concern that it wouldn't be clean power. I have run the YPAO with very good results. All speakers were set close to 0 db on the levels. variable only by 1 or 2 db's up or down from 0. According to Cambridge the speaker sensitivity is 87db with a power rating of 15-200 watts. It's a 5.1 system so I am using a subwoofer with the AVR crossover set at 120 and the subwoofer level in the Yamaha set at +2 which works out fine. No changes in the room. Again, I like the overall sound of the system but i was thinking a separate amp would have that added headroom for those certain dynamic times in the music or movies. I also might get some good bookshelf speakers in the future for 2.1 music listening. Cambridge has a note in the Minx speaker page that says:-


" Using a high power amp lower down it's volume scale results in lower distortion and better sound"

What is the maximum setting? For reference, -13 dB is using 1/20 of the power at 0 dB. Also note adding an amp will often not change the volume setting; when you run the room compensation program it will reset the trim levels so 0 dB remains 0 dB whether the amp is in-line or not.


If you look at amplifier reviews you will find most of them are pretty flat with power, rising at the low end due to the noise floor, flat through most of the range, then a fairly sharp rise as maximum output is reached. Furthermore, the distortion the amp produces is several orders of magnitude below that of the speakers, at least until the amp is driven hard into clipping. The Cambridge statement is true for many amps but not relevant in the real world.


Look at a room SPL calculator program to see what power you might actually need, then you can make a more-informed decision. One example is at http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html


Wanderlust has cost many a pretty penny with nothing gained in the end...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50  /t/1468762/emotiva-amp-connected-to-my-yamaha-avr-would-this-help-any#post_23224073

Quote:
Originally Posted by RKSKYDANCER  /t/1468762/emotiva-amp-connected-to-my-yamaha-avr-would-this-help-any#post_23220205


Thanks for the response. First off I must say I am not one of those guys that needs 5 tower speakers with 2 15" 1000 watt subwoofer in a 15x15 size room to hear or enjoy movies or music. I like how my system sounds now "but" I was just thinking of getting some Amplifier dynamic headroom for certain music or movies as I find a lot of sources are not recorded or do they sound the same. My room is about 1600 sq. ft. with 8 ft. flat ceilings. Right now I am running the Cambridge Minx S325 v2 5.1 speaker system. They fill the room with good all around sound due to the Minx 21 BMR dual woofer speakers. They are very clean and detailed in there output. I have them mounted on the walls as per THX recommendations. Right now with my receiver volume set at -13 db I am seeing about 84 to 85db on a sound level meter in the seating area. As you can see there is plenty of volume left on the receiver to turn it up but i would be concern that it wouldn't be clean power. I have run the YPAO with very good results. All speakers were set close to 0 db on the levels. variable only by 1 or 2 db's up or down from 0. According to Cambridge the speaker sensitivity is 87db with a power rating of 15-200 watts. It's a 5.1 system so I am using a subwoofer with the AVR crossover set at 120 and the subwoofer level in the Yamaha set at +2 which works out fine. No changes in the room. Again, I like the overall sound of the system but i was thinking a separate amp would have that added headroom for those certain dynamic times in the music or movies. I also might get some good bookshelf speakers in the future for 2.1 music listening. Cambridge has a note in the Minx speaker page that says:-


" Using a high power amp lower down it's volume scale results in lower distortion and better sound"

What is the maximum setting? For reference, -13 dB is using 1/20 of the power at 0 dB. Also note adding an amp will often not change the volume setting; when you run the room compensation program it will reset the trim levels so 0 dB remains 0 dB whether the amp is in-line or not.


If you look at amplifier reviews you will find most of them are pretty flat with power, rising at the low end due to the noise floor, flat through most of the range, then a fairly sharp rise as maximum output is reached. Furthermore, the distortion the amp produces is several orders of magnitude below that of the speakers, at least until the amp is driven hard into clipping. The Cambridge statement is true for many amps but not relevant in the real world.


Look at a room SPL calculator program to see what power you might actually need, then you can make a more-informed decision. One example is at http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html


Wanderlust has cost many a pretty penny with nothing gained in the end...

wow thats alot of misinformation...


wow


over amp your speakers ... better sound quality no distortion.. lower amp power bad sound clipping and risk of burning out your tweeters or voice coils..

cause you turn it up to much one day...


also with music dynamics you need lots of head room.. the dynamic range of music can be large.. and the amp must delievery hugh amounts of power for a micro second.. which they do

other wise the amp clips and you get power sound at the peaks..


cheers
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltadube  /t/1468762/emotiva-amp-connected-to-my-yamaha-avr-would-this-help-any#post_23224696


over amp your speakers ... better sound quality no distortion..

you mean better sound quality because it's distortion free right?, or do you mean more power (or adding an amp) will equal in better sound quality?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jproy13  /t/1468762/emotiva-amp-connected-to-my-yamaha-avr-would-this-help-any#post_23224792

Quote:
Originally Posted by deltadube  /t/1468762/emotiva-amp-connected-to-my-yamaha-avr-would-this-help-any#post_23224696


over amp your speakers ... better sound quality no distortion..

you mean better sound quality because it's distortion free right?, or do you mean more power (or adding an amp) will equal in better sound quality?

distortion free on the dynamic peaks..


cheers..
 

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Especially on those microsecond peaks, for those of us with MHz amplifier, speaker, and hearing bandwidth...


Sometimes it is not worth it to even try...


Enjoy.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks guys for all the opinions and information. My speakers have about 6 hours on them now so i re ran my YPAO with very good results plus did a few other tweaks on the my receiver which helped out even more. I adjusted the Volume trim and Subwoofer trim up to +3 from 0 ( default ) which really help out the mid bass and Dynamic's that i thought may have been a little weak because of the amp in the receiver. There is so many adjustments on these new AVR receivers that it sometimes takes weeks to get everything figure out. I am now seeing upwards of 89 db at the listening position with the receiver volume at -17. I still agree that a separate amp would be a good thing and help on those microsecond burst in dynamic's and help protect the speakers from damage. That was my thinking in the first place. Stronger amp with all channel driven, less volume needed, less distortion, cleaner sound, more reserve power for those microsecond peaks and dynamics, help save the speakers. The XPA 5 is to big to fit on my shelf plus more money then i wanted to spend. I was hoping that the UPA-500 with do some improvement but after seeing some of your thoughts it probably wouldn't be worth the extra expense. But with there return policy i might still try it just to see. I still think it would look cool sitting there on the shelf above the receiver. I was just hoping it would improve on the sound as well!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKSKYDANCER  /t/1468762/emotiva-amp-connected-to-my-yamaha-avr-would-this-help-any#post_23230342


Thanks guys for all the opinions and information. My speakers have about 6 hours on them now so i re ran my YPAO with very good results plus did a few other tweaks on the my receiver which helped out even more. I adjusted the Volume trim and Subwoofer trim up to +3 from 0 ( default ) which really help out the mid bass and Dynamic's that i thought may have been a little weak because of the amp in the receiver.

By "Volume trim" do you mean the individual speaker trims? If you raised all speaker and subwoofer trims 3dB, you would have got the same result turning the master volume up 3dB. What you've got is effectively -14dB volume at an indicated -17dB master volume.

Quote:
I still agree that a separate amp would be a good thing and help on those microsecond burst in dynamic's and help protect the speakers from damage. That was my thinking in the first place. Stronger amp with all channel driven, less volume needed, less distortion, cleaner sound, more reserve power for those microsecond peaks and dynamics, help save the speakers.

If your AVR can cleanly power your speakers at your desired maximum listening level, adding a separate amp will not produce a discernible improvement in sound quality. If your AVR is cleanly powering your speakers, you be at little risk of damaging them. DonH50 has given great advice above (despite the unsubstantiated opinions of an overenthusiastic amp devotee), and you should take note of that, including running your numbers through the SPL calculator he linked. By the way, as DonH50 hinted above, there really is no such thing as a microsecond burst or peak within the audio band.


Quote:
I still think it would look cool sitting there on the shelf above the receiver. I was just hoping it would improve on the sound as well!

Looking cool is about all it will do if your AVR can cleanly power your speakers now.
You may be disappointed if you're looking for a "night & day" (or even a modest) improvement in sound quality from just by adding a separate amp.
 
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