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Discussion Starter #1
I currently have the Denon X3700H paired with the Dali Oberon 7 in my dedicated HT room with a 7.2.4 setup. The Oberon 7 specs are listed below. Want to get a 2 ch power amp to externally power the front's. Which of the ff amps should I choose? Rotel RB1582 MK2...Cambridge Audio AZUR 851W...Emotiva XPA-2 Gen3...thanks.

Frequency Range (+/-3 dB) [Hz]36 - 26,000
Sensitivity (2,83 V/1 m) [dB]88.5
Nominal Impedance [ohms]6
Maximum SPL [dB]110
Recommended Amplifier Power [W]30 - 180
Crossover Frequency [Hz]2,300
 

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How many watts do you need to power your speakers to your desired volume in your room at your listening distance? How much do you want to spend? Your Denon has a very clean, low distortion, high SINAD (98 or 99) signal that as I remember clips around 1.4 volts output so you will want an amp with sensitivity below that to keep your signal clean and insure the amp can make the most power with an input signal below 1.4 volts. With a signal as good as your Denon's, personally I would want an amp with equal or better specs'. What's the point of running a clean low distortion signal into a mediocre amp with a lower noise floor, less channel separation, more distortion, and a lower SINAD which often increases distortion by multiples and then amplifies it? I'm also guessing that your Denon has all the power you already need to drive your speakers to levels that will damage your hearing. Here's a link to a cite that will help you understand the factors that affect how much power you will need. Once you know how much juice you will need you can better start to figure out your best performance/price options. Link: Peak SPL Calculator Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How many watts do you need to power your speakers to your desired volume in your room at your listening distance? How much do you want to spend? Your Denon has a very clean, low distortion, high SINAD (98 or 99) signal that as I remember clips around 1.4 volts output so you will want an amp with sensitivity below that to keep your signal clean and insure the amp can make the most power with an input signal below 1.4 volts. With a signal as good as your Denon's, personally I would want an amp with equal or better specs'. What's the point of running a clean low distortion signal into a mediocre amp with a lower noise floor, less channel separation, more distortion, and a lower SINAD which often increases distortion by multiples and then amplifies it? I'm also guessing that your Denon has all the power you already need to drive your speakers to levels that will damage your hearing. Here's a link to a cite that will help you understand the factors that affect how much power you will need. Once you know how much juice you will need you can better start to figure out your best performance/price options. Link: Peak SPL Calculator Good Luck
My MLP is about 11' from the front's. With my current AVR I'm about -10dB.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How many watts do you need to power your speakers to your desired volume in your room at your listening distance? How much do you want to spend? Your Denon has a very clean, low distortion, high SINAD (98 or 99) signal that as I remember clips around 1.4 volts output so you will want an amp with sensitivity below that to keep your signal clean and insure the amp can make the most power with an input signal below 1.4 volts. With a signal as good as your Denon's, personally I would want an amp with equal or better specs'. What's the point of running a clean low distortion signal into a mediocre amp with a lower noise floor, less channel separation, more distortion, and a lower SINAD which often increases distortion by multiples and then amplifies it? I'm also guessing that your Denon has all the power you already need to drive your speakers to levels that will damage your hearing. Here's a link to a cite that will help you understand the factors that affect how much power you will need. Once you know how much juice you will need you can better start to figure out your best performance/price options. Link: Peak SPL Calculator Good Luck
Thanks. I actually was planning on using my old Denon AVR 3313 as an external amp to power the 2 front's for the meantime. Do you think it's better that I don't and just let the X3700H do all the work?
 

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My MLP is about 11' from the front's. With my current AVR I'm about -10dB.
That's not exactly what you need to know. Once you know how loud (in decibels) you want your speakers to play in your room at your listening distance, you can use the calculator to estimate how much power it takes to achieve that volume from your speakers in your room. For instance, I typically listen to music and movies at peak high volumes around 70 75 Db (which isn't that loud), and my AVR will drive my speakers to over 90Db with slightly more than 90 watts/channel.
Hope that helps you understand. If not read the article, it explains the factors better than I can.
 

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Thanks. I actually was planning on using my old Denon AVR 3313 as an external amp to power the 2 front's for the meantime. Do you think it's better that I don't and just let the X3700H do all the work?
Sorry, I just don't know without the specs' on the 3313. First figure out how much juice you really need using the calculator. As I mentioned before, it could very well be that your 3700 has all the juice you need to go deaf without using an outboard amp.....but it's completely understood that you (or I, or anyone) might still want a separate amp for the attributes I mentioned...higher signal to noise levels, greater channel separation, higher slew rate, increased damping and lots more power with lower distortion....but amps that can do that and best your Denon "AIN"T CHEAP". lol
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sorry, I just don't know without the specs' on the 3313. First figure out how much juice you really need using the calculator. As I mentioned before, it could very well be that your 3700 has all the juice you need to go deaf without using an outboard amp.....but it's completely understood that you (or I, or anyone) might still want a separate amp for the attributes I mentioned...higher signal to noise levels, greater channel separation, higher slew rate, increased damping and lots more power with lower distortion....but amps that can do that and best your Denon "AIN"T CHEAP". lol
Ok will try it out. I know it aint cheap. The Cambridge Audio/Rotel I mentioned are a bit more expensive than the X3700H itself whereas the Emotiva is about the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry, I just don't know without the specs' on the 3313. First figure out how much juice you really need using the calculator. As I mentioned before, it could very well be that your 3700 has all the juice you need to go deaf without using an outboard amp.....but it's completely understood that you (or I, or anyone) might still want a separate amp for the attributes I mentioned...higher signal to noise levels, greater channel separation, higher slew rate, increased damping and lots more power with lower distortion....but amps that can do that and best your Denon "AIN"T CHEAP". lol
This is the result I got. But then again the rated 105W/ch for the X3700H isn't really true 105W right? So this result isn't really accurate?

106​
dB SPL at listening postion
 

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How are you currently running a 7.2.4 setup with only a 9 channel amp? To get the extra 2 channels, you need a separate amp to run all 11 channels discretely. I agree that the X3700H is more than enough for a 7.2.2 setup in terms of clean power. However, any of the choices for amps you indicated should give you what you need for 7.2.4.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
How are you currently running a 7.2.4 setup with only a 9 channel amp? To get the extra 2 channels, you need a separate amp to run all 11 channels discretely. I agree that the X3700H is more than enough for a 7.2.2 setup in terms of clean power. However, any of the choices for amps you indicated should give you what you need for 7.2.4.
I just got hold of the X3700H and haven't set it up yet. For the mean time I plan to just use my old AVR ( Denon AVR 3313CI ) to power the Front LR speakers to be able to do 7.2.4. Since I will need a dedicated power amp I thought I might as well get one with more wattage/power so that I don't need to upgrade the power amps if I do change front's in the future. I just can't seem to choose between the 3. The Emotiva look's good considering it's a 3 CH amp but so far people have been telling me to avoid it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sorry, I just don't know without the specs' on the 3313. First figure out how much juice you really need using the calculator. As I mentioned before, it could very well be that your 3700 has all the juice you need to go deaf without using an outboard amp.....but it's completely understood that you (or I, or anyone) might still want a separate amp for the attributes I mentioned...higher signal to noise levels, greater channel separation, higher slew rate, increased damping and lots more power with lower distortion....but amps that can do that and best your Denon "AIN"T CHEAP". lol
3313 specs:


Amplifier Specifications

165watts x7 @6ohms, 1kHz, 0.7% THD

125watts x7 @8ohms, 20Hz–20kHz,0.05% THD at rated output

10Hz–100kHz Frequency Response

102dB Signal to noise ratio

Total harmonic distortion: 0.05%

Input sensitivity: 2.5mV (MM), 200mV (line)

Signal to noise ratio: 74dB (MM), 102dB (line)

" S/N Ratio 102 dB (IHF-A weighted, DIRECT mode) "
 

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This is the result I got. But then again the rated 105W/ch for the X3700H isn't really true 105W right? So this result isn't really accurate?

106​
dB SPL at listening postion
I'm going to cover a lot of ground here, hope it's helpful. If I understand this correctly, you plugged your 3700/speaker info' into the calculator and it showed that your speakers as located in your room, at your listening distance needed 105 watts to peak at 106dB. You are correct that your 3700 does not actually put out 105 watts per channel. That's it's rating and a general rule of thumb/realistic estimate is: unless an AVR is actually rated at a given amount of power per channel driven (most just will not provide that information because it would be so lame and low that instead they talk around it or are intentionally misleading....but I digress) My best and reasonable estimate is your Denon probably puts out 50-60% of it's rated watts/channel with 7 channels driven...so lets just say 65 watts to be on the safe side. NOW, using that calculator I linked to you, plug 65 watts into it for your speakers and see what peak SPL you get. If you get less than say around 90dB, you probably want to use an outboard amp.

Next issue...the specs' you provided on your 3313 are essentially useless marketing specs' and I'm unable to find actual bench test results on the 3310 so I'm unable to intelligently understand its functions. I would be concerned that you would be able to feed it the signal for your L/R channels in a way that it could send those signals directly to it's amps without processing them again through it's DACs...you don't want to do that. Recommend you call Denon and ask them if their is a way to bypass signal processing and just use it's amps....or go to the appropriate Denon thread in this forum and ask the same question.

IF, you are able to just use the amps in your 3313 for your L/R, I would say try it....or I personally might try using the 3313 to power your surrounds if that is possible....because your 3700 has a cleaner signal AND reducing the channels/amps you would be using on your 3700 would also most likely provide all the power you would need for your fronts.

IF you are unable to integrate/use your 3313, you are back to finding a suitable amp. You mentioned getting a "good amp" now might be a better upgrade path in the future....well generally I would agree but only if you buy a "good amp" and not a mediocre amp. Personally I agree with what you say people are telling you about the Emotiva. If you can afford their much higher quality block amps then that's an entirely higher quality product than their multi-channel HT amps. It all depends on the quality want. Amps with specs' commensurate with your 3700, that have equal or higher SINAD, a higher noise floor, less distortion, equal or higher channel separation, faster slew rate and higher damping factor will START around $2000 for 2 channels and go up from there. I cannot emphasize enough that there is so much more to amplifiers than watts per channel and the bogus/useless distortion spec's most manufacturers provide...you get what you pay for with amps, and good ones are going to cost considerably more than $2K. If you decide to go for a quality amp using your 3700 as a pre amp/controller (which I think is an excellent choice), I personally would use the 3700 to power the surrounds and get a high quality amp for all three fronts (L/C/R)...something like ATI, Nord, D-Sonic, Cherry, Buckeye, or others. Hope there's something useful here for you. Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm going to cover a lot of ground here, hope it's helpful. If I understand this correctly, you plugged your 3700/speaker info' into the calculator and it showed that your speakers as located in your room, at your listening distance needed 105 watts to peak at 106dB. You are correct that your 3700 does not actually put out 105 watts per channel. That's it's rating and a general rule of thumb/realistic estimate is: unless an AVR is actually rated at a given amount of power per channel driven (most just will not provide that information because it would be so lame and low that instead they talk around it or are intentionally misleading....but I digress) My best and reasonable estimate is your Denon probably puts out 50-60% of it's rated watts/channel with 7 channels driven...so lets just say 65 watts to be on the safe side. NOW, using that calculator I linked to you, plug 65 watts into it for your speakers and see what peak SPL you get. If you get less than say around 90dB, you probably want to use an outboard amp.

Next issue...the specs' you provided on your 3313 are essentially useless marketing specs' and I'm unable to find actual bench test results on the 3310 so I'm unable to intelligently understand its functions. I would be concerned that you would be able to feed it the signal for your L/R channels in a way that it could send those signals directly to it's amps without processing them again through it's DACs...you don't want to do that. Recommend you call Denon and ask them if their is a way to bypass signal processing and just use it's amps....or go to the appropriate Denon thread in this forum and ask the same question.

IF, you are able to just use the amps in your 3313 for your L/R, I would say try it....or I personally might try using the 3313 to power your surrounds if that is possible....because your 3700 has a cleaner signal AND reducing the channels/amps you would be using on your 3700 would also most likely provide all the power you would need for your fronts.

IF you are unable to integrate/use your 3313, you are back to finding a suitable amp. You mentioned getting a "good amp" now might be a better upgrade path in the future....well generally I would agree but only if you buy a "good amp" and not a mediocre amp. Personally I agree with what you say people are telling you about the Emotiva. If you can afford their much higher quality block amps then that's an entirely higher quality product than their multi-channel HT amps. It all depends on the quality want. Amps with specs' commensurate with your 3700, that have equal or higher SINAD, a higher noise floor, less distortion, equal or higher channel separation, faster slew rate and higher damping factor will START around $2000 for 2 channels and go up from there. I cannot emphasize enough that there is so much more to amplifiers than watts per channel and the bogus/useless distortion spec's most manufacturers provide...you get what you pay for with amps, and good ones are going to cost considerably more than $2K. If you decide to go for a quality amp using your 3700 as a pre amp/controller (which I think is an excellent choice), I personally would use the 3700 to power the surrounds and get a high quality amp for all three fronts (L/C/R)...something like ATI, Nord, D-Sonic, Cherry, Buckeye, or others. Hope there's something useful here for you. Good Luck
I can't thank you enough for taking the time to help with a noob like me. Ok to answer some of your questions. And mine will be even longer. :)

1) I used the calculator again and got 109.5 dB at MLP...I entered 65 Watts under Amplifier Power and put 11 on number of speakers since I'm doing 7.2.4. 7 ear level speakers + 4 Atmos in-ceiling speakers.

2) "I would be concerned that you would be able to feed it the signal for your L/R channels in a way that it could send those signals directly to it's amps without processing them again through it's DACs...you don't want to do that"-I got help from my previous post that using an old AVR is possible with the 3313. I just have to put the 3313 in Pure Direct mode so that it won't do any processing just purely amplification, with the volume set to 0db (full reference level.)

3) " or I personally might try using the 3313 to power your surrounds if that is possible....because your 3700 has a cleaner signal AND reducing the channels/amps you would be using on your 3700 would also most likely provide all the power you would need for your fronts. " -Actually the X3700H gives one 2 options on which 2 channels to be externally powered...either the 2 fronts or the 2 height channels.
I pasted below a portion of the guide also in AVS re the X3700H about this topic.

***
Expanding the AVR by adding 2Ch amp (X3700H/X4700H/X6700H only)

The only models that can be expanded beyond their on board amp capability are the X3700H/X4700H/X6700H. When expanding the X3700H/X4700H from 9CH --> 11CH and the X6700H from 11CH --> 13CH, the most cost effective solution is to purchase a smaller amp (eg. 50W AudioSource Amp100VS2) or re-purpose an existing AVR that you are replacing to power the Height 2 (Height 3 on the X6700H) speakers. Another option for much higher cost is to purchase a much more powerful amp (eg. 300W Emotiva XPA-2) and power the Front L/R speakers on any of the three models.
Connection:
a. A set of RCA cables would be used to connect either the Front L/R or Height 2 L/R (Height 3 L/R on the X6700H) pre-outs (depending on amp selected) on the back of the AVR to the L/R inputs on the external amp.
b. If using the AudioSource Amp100VS, connect to the MAIN/Line 2 inputs.
c. If using an old AVR, you would connect from the primary AVR pre-outs to one of the stereo analog audio inputs (eg. CD) of the old AVR and then connect the speakers to the Front L/R speaker posts on the old AVR.


IMPORTANT: Ensure all amps are powered off when making cable/speaker wire connections.

Volume:
If the external amp/AVR has a volume knob, set it to at least 80% of maximum. Volume control of the speakers connected to this external amp will be made using the primary AVR as with the other speakers in the setup that are powered with the primary AVR's internal amps.

Setting:
If using an old AVR, set it to DIRECT sound mode.

Once the amp and speakers are connected, and the amp is powered on, run Audyssey again to add these new speakers into your setup using the following AMP ASSIGN setting:


If the external amp is used for the Height 2 (Height 3 on X6700H) speakers:

Assign Mode
: 11.1 (13.1 on the X6700H)
Floor
- Layout
: 5ch & SB (or possibly 5Ch + FW on the X6700H)
Height
– Height Sp
: 4ch (or 6ch on X6700H)
- Layout: Front Height + Rear Height (or whatever 2 (or 3 on the X6700H) settings are available that you want to use)
- Pre-out: Height2 (Height3 on X6700H)

Note: The above PREOUT = Height 2 setting simply identifies which speaker pre-outs are being used for the "expansion" .... you can externally power as many additional speakers as desired as all the pre-outs are hot (ie. there is no setting to turn them ON) such that you could externally power up to all 11/13 speakers if you prefer. Note however, that if you do externally power all speakers (regardless of the number), use AMP ASSIGN = Pre-Amp instead of 11.1/13.1.


If the external amp is used for the Front L/R speakers:

Assign Mode
: 11.1 (13.1 on the X6700H)
Floor
- Layout
: 5ch & SB (or possibly 5Ch + FW on the X6700H)
Height
– Height Sp
: 4ch (or 6Ch on the X6700H)
- Layout: Front Height + Rear Height (or whatever 2 (or 3 on the X6700H) settings are available that you want to use)
- Pre-out: Front

Note: The above PREOUT = Front setting simply identifies which speaker pre-outs are being used for the "expansion" .... you can externally power as many additional speakers as desired as all the pre-outs are hot (ie. there is no setting to turn them ON) such that you could externally power up to all 11/13 speakers if you prefer. Note however, that if you do externally power all speakers (regardless of the number), use AMP ASSIGN = Pre-Amp instead of 11.1/13.1.
 

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Looks like you have options and considerations. Personally I want as few pieces of equipment as possible with as few connections as possible for the obvious reasons of wanting to use less equipment space, wanting to use less electricity, wanting to minimize distortion/introducing RF interference from additional cables, wanting to minimize loss of signal quality wherever there is or could be a signal mismatch, and to avoiding making everything more complex than it needs to be..yada yada, yada.

From what I read on several forums, many are using the 3600 or 3700 as a preamp/controller. Most opt for what I consider mediocre (at best) multi-channel amps to keep things simple and avoid the issues I just mentioned above and that's an "OK", fine affordable option that allows them to get just enough watts to get the job done without paying for more watts than necessary OR having to pay for audiophile/high end amps....those options would include Outlaw, Emotiva, Monolith, Marantz, and I'm sure a few others if you look around. Some choose to start adding multiple 2 channel amps...personally I don't get it, but hey, I have a friend who is real proud of his "6 stack" of medicre 2 channel amps. lol

I've been an audio enthusiasts for over 45 years and my personal approach is to always buy something better than my existing components whenever I upgrade or add another piece of equipment to my system. So my approach would be adding a high quality multi-channel amp OR to reduce cost, and avoid multiple pieces of equipment and all the signal issues I described above, I would consider buying the Denon 8500 from the get-go and most likely and end up spending less money in the long run, having one unit that does everything "cleaner" in less space, uses less electricity, and wouldn't require high quality jumper cables between the preamp and amp for all the channels. But,as I mentioned earlier there are definitely sonic audiophile benefits from an amp with high power, low distortion, high noise floor, high channel separation, high slew rate and a high damping factor that no current AVR can begin to offer. Gosh I wish I had more money...lol.

Now you have a good idea that say a minimum of 125 watts/channel should give you all the juice and headroom you need for your fronts and that's an important piece of information you didn't know or understand before. Now you just need to decide your best option to get there. (I also recommend using an amp with the same quality and power output for your center since the center content of surround sources can be as much as 80%...essentially the center channel is the "anchor" of the front soundstage) Ideally, the same amp would be used for L/C/R for those reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Looks like you have options and considerations. Personally I want as few pieces of equipment as possible with as few connections as possible for the obvious reasons of wanting to use less equipment space, wanting to use less electricity, wanting to minimize distortion/introducing RF interference from additional cables, wanting to minimize loss of signal quality wherever there is or could be a signal mismatch, and to avoiding making everything more complex than it needs to be..yada yada, yada.

From what I read on several forums, many are using the 3600 or 3700 as a preamp/controller. Most opt for what I consider mediocre (at best) multi-channel amps to keep things simple and avoid the issues I just mentioned above and that's an "OK", fine affordable option that allows them to get just enough watts to get the job done without paying for more watts than necessary OR having to pay for audiophile/high end amps....those options would include Outlaw, Emotiva, Monolith, Marantz, and I'm sure a few others if you look around. Some choose to start adding multiple 2 channel amps...personally I don't get it, but hey, I have a friend who is real proud of his "6 stack" of medicre 2 channel amps. lol

I've been an audio enthusiasts for over 45 years and my personal approach is to always buy something better than my existing components whenever I upgrade or add another piece of equipment to my system. So my approach would be adding a high quality multi-channel amp OR to reduce cost, and avoid multiple pieces of equipment and all the signal issues I described above, I would consider buying the Denon 8500 from the get-go and most likely and end up spending less money in the long run, having one unit that does everything "cleaner" in less space, uses less electricity, and wouldn't require high quality jumper cables between the preamp and amp for all the channels. But,as I mentioned earlier there are definitely sonic audiophile benefits from an amp with high power, low distortion, high noise floor, high channel separation, high slew rate and a high damping factor that no current AVR can begin to offer. Gosh I wish I had more money...lol.

Now you have a good idea that say a minimum of 125 watts/channel should give you all the juice and headroom you need for your fronts and that's an important piece of information you didn't know or understand before. Now you just need to decide your best option to get there. (I also recommend using an amp with the same quality and power output for your center since the center content of surround sources can be as much as 80%...essentially the center channel is the "anchor" of the front soundstage) Ideally, the same amp would be used for L/C/R for those reasons.
Thanks again for the help and advice. Truly appreciate it.
 
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