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I have an Onkyo Integra 9.1 receiver and am going through the dilemma of new speakers versus adding a nice 2 or 3 channel amp. I currently have Paradigm Studio 100 mains. Here is my dilemma. On movies, the receiver is THX so I believe everything below 80HZ goes to my Paradigm Servo 15 sub anyway (not 100% sure of this). For music I can set the speakers to "large" (full range to front speakers and 80HZ and below goes to sub as well) or set them to "small" and all bass below 80HZ goes just to sub. So, my question is, does getting an external amp even help since I think a lot of the power hunger from large speakers like the Paradigm Studio 100s comes from the bottom end and by sending the bass to the sub, would I have plenty of juice in my Integra 9.1 receiver. Would an AMP even help? Am I better off buying some thing smaller like the new Paradigm Reference 60 V3 (also looking at the Von Schweikert VR2) that probably aren't as power hungry? Somebody talk me into an upgrade here :)
 

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You have to remember that for the best sound without simply buying components and tossing them at your room to see if they stick, you have to consider the big picture... how well everything works together.


For example, the amp in the Integra 9.1 is fairly large and the speakers you have are pretty efficient. They also don't really play all that low... 44Hz is realistic. And that's pretty typical these days. Speaker manufacturers are more than happy to quit attempting real bass from mains and let the sub do all the low end work. Smaller speakers may not be less power hungry... that's really a function of efficiency. In fact, I would be willing to believe that smaller speakers would not be able to produce the same SPL as your mains without distorting.


And adding an amp may or may not add any clarity. Do you clip the amp frequently now? If not, adding an amp is likely to make little or no difference.


How does it sound now? What are you trying to fix?
 

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My personal opinion is that seperates, in general, are much better than receivers. There are lots of people here who don't think so, many of whom know lots more about audio than I do. The only way to find out for you is to try it out yourself. In my opinion, I think you would be much better off playing your paradigms without a sub at all for music, but I am assuming that your sub has a high Q design that booms well for HT, but is not the best for music. This could be a very bad assumption on my part.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tpigeon2003
My personal opinion is that seperates, in general, are much better than receivers. There are lots of people here who don't think so, many of whom know lots more about audio than I do. The only way to find out for you is to try it out yourself. In my opinion, I think you would be much better off playing your paradigms without a sub at all for music, but I am assuming that your sub has a high Q design that booms well for HT, but is not the best for music. This could be a very bad assumption on my part.
Seperates will lower the noise floor. Other than that, it's really just a matter of just generally being higher quality electronics than receivers.
 

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I think the Studio 100's are great speakers, actually trying to upgrade to the v.2 myself from my Monitor 11's. Going to v.3 60's is a step down IMO and your gonna let upgradeitis actually cause you to downgrade if you didi that. I've always been told and read the the 100's love power and I believe Paradigm recommends 200WPC to get the most from them. Your likey never getting a true 130WPC from the amp in the Integra. Setting them to "small" has certainly took some strain off the amp, but still won't give the 100's the power they need. I'd say get a nice used 200wpc amp to power the 100's if your itchin to buy something. Matter of fact, demo one at home and see if you notice an improvement, if not, then bring it back and look at speakers. I've just bought a 150wpc amp to power just my front Monitors and to maybe prepare for the move to the Studio's. Cash is limiting my options at the moment.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tuskenraider
Your likey never getting a true 130WPC from the amp in the Integra.
I remember reading a review of the Integra when it came out that reported something in the mid 150 watt range before distorting.
 

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I seriously doubt you need a separate amplifier for your current system. You would likely hear no benefit from it.


Also, I would never use your mains as completely full range and send the subwoofer sub-80 Hz information as well. Flat frequency response would be a very, very unlikely result. The wiser option would be to use the 80Hz crossover in combination with the mains and sub. Another option would be to use only the mains and run them full range for music. Listen both ways and see what you like better... there are some definite benefits from reducing the strain on your mains and using a separate sub, especially if you add parametric EQ (like the Behringer DSP1124). You have a pretty competent sub, so I see no reason why it should exhibit any excessive boominess that the mains would not.
 
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