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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,


I have a zone 2 on my Pioneer VSX-1120 which just isn't providing enough sound way being split over three different stereo zones (8" Solus Audio) with an ATON DLA4 switcher. The receiver is supposed to push 110 watts per channel but just isn't powerful enough. How would I add an amp into this setup, and which amp would be recommended.
 

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You need to realize that the receiver is only rated to put out 110 watts to two channels.


Its total available power is only around 250 watts.


If you divide that up between 5 speakers, that gives you a maximum of 50 watts per channel.


That is enough power for some speakers that have good sensitivity (90 db per watt or better).


On the other hand, if you are trying to drive more than 5 speakers at once,or their sensitivity is low, you are going to run out of power rather quickly. That seems to be your problem.


The main power supply of the receiver will just run out of current and crap out.


It might be cheaper to get a better receiver with more REAL power rather than add external power amplifiers.


You also must have preout jacks on your receiver in order to connect external amplifiers, and you do appear to have those available on yours.


The Parasound 275v2 amplifier is only $550, and it has 90 watts per channel. Connecting this to your front channel preouts to drive your main speakers would nearly double the total power available, and would possibly be a solution for you.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by esfan_adam  /t/1524019/how-to-add-an-amp-to-an-av-receiver#post_24521574


Hi All,


I have a zone 2 on my Pioneer VSX-1120 which just isn't providing enough sound way being split over three different stereo zones (8" Solus Audio) with an ATON DLA4 switcher. The receiver is supposed to push 110 watts per channel but just isn't powerful enough. How would I add an amp into this setup, and which amp would be recommended.

For openers you might consider reading the user's manual that comes with the AVR, or download it from here:

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/StaticFiles/Manuals/Home/VSX1120-K_OperatingInstructions1015.pdf


Downloading it has its moments over the paper version because you can search it with your computer for instances of "Zone 2"


It looks like this AVR has a full complement of pre-amp outputs for hooking to an external power amp.


It looks like the Zone 2 speakers are also available as "Surround Back" so it would be reasonable to find the same signal for application to an extermal amplifer on the Surround Back preamp outs.


Your switcher's manual is here: http://www.atonhome.com/xTras/Downloads/DLA2-4-6_Manual.pdf


Just for grins you might want to read both manuals. ;-)


Sizing the outboard amp so you can shake the house with zone 2 speakers can be estimated as follows:


The external speaker switcher probably divides the power by the number of speakers in use rounded up to the nearest power of 2. IOW if you use 3 sets of speakers, the power is probably being divided by no less than 4. If a 110 wpc AVR isn't doing the job, you probably want at least a 500 wpc power amp. You should search on brands like Behringer, Crown and QSC for an appropriate power amp.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by esfan_adam  /t/1524019/how-to-add-an-amp-to-an-av-receiver#post_24521574


Hi All,


I have a zone 2 on my Pioneer VSX-1120 which just isn't providing enough sound way being split over three different stereo zones (8" Solus Audio) with an ATON DLA4 switcher. The receiver is supposed to push 110 watts per channel but just isn't powerful enough. How would I add an amp into this setup, and which amp would be recommended.

that switcher is only rated to handle 110 watts input. If you are just running stereo (ie only using two channels of your receiver) it will be capable of getting very close to the switcher's max input level at 110 watts per channel. The additional 15 watts to get to the switcher's max input would make no audible difference. Exceeding the switcher's max input will certainly gain you unwanted distortion (it's rated at 1% - right on the potential edge of audibility with some real music - when used within its specified limits).


If you aren't hearing distortion, then you aren't really pushing the amp . . . If you think it's not loud enough because of a number on the volume display, be aware that generally can figure you know just about zero about an amp's output by looking at it's volume control setting. Don't be afraid to go to a higher number. You are not "out of power" until distortion becomes audible (the amp will probably make a lot more power at higher distortion levels, but you don't want that). And every three dB is half or double the power . . . every 10 dB is ten times or one tenth of the power.


So you might have a lot more power available than you think . . .or not. But those speakers appear to be rated at 91 dB sensitivity so unless they're in huge rooms you ought to be able to get loud with a relatively few watts (depending of course on what "loud" means to you. To me, 85 dB averages with peaks over 100 dB is loud . . . and ought to consume a watt or two for average and maybe 20 to 40 watts for the brief full out peaks)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHAz  /t/1524019/how-to-add-an-amp-to-an-av-receiver#post_24522459

Quote:
Originally Posted by esfan_adam  /t/1524019/how-to-add-an-amp-to-an-av-receiver#post_24521574


Hi All,


I have a zone 2 on my Pioneer VSX-1120 which just isn't providing enough sound way being split over three different stereo zones (8" Solus Audio) with an ATON DLA4 switcher. The receiver is supposed to push 110 watts per channel but just isn't powerful enough. How would I add an amp into this setup, and which amp would be recommended.

that switcher is only rated to handle 110 watts input. If you are just running stereo (ie only using two channels of your receiver) it will be capable of getting very close to the switcher's max input level at 110 watts per channel. The additional 15 watts to get to the switcher's max input would make no audible difference. Exceeding the switcher's max input will certainly gain you unwanted distortion (it's rated at 1% - right on the potential edge of audibility with some real music - when used within its specified limits).


If you aren't hearing distortion, then you aren't really pushing the amp . . . If you think it's not loud enough because of a number on the volume display, be aware that generally can figure you know just about zero about an amp's output by looking at it's volume control setting. Don't be afraid to go to a higher number. You are not "out of power" until distortion becomes audible (the amp will probably make a lot more power at higher distortion levels, but you don't want that). And every three dB is half or double the power . . . every 10 dB is ten times or one tenth of the power.


So you might have a lot more power available than you think . . .or not. But those speakers appear to be rated at 91 dB sensitivity so unless they're in huge rooms you ought to be able to get loud with a relatively few watts (depending of course on what "loud" means to you. To me, 85 dB averages with peaks over 100 dB is loud . . . and ought to consume a watt or two for average and maybe 20 to 40 watts for the brief full out peaks)

+1


The point about "If you think it's not loud enough because of a number on the volume display," is especially relevant.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jontyrees  /t/1524019/how-to-add-an-amp-to-an-av-receiver#post_24523250

Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman  /t/1524019/how-to-add-an-amp-to-an-av-receiver#post_24522385


If you divide that up between 5 speakers, that gives you a maximum of 50 watts per channel.
Soundandvision.com bench tested the VSX-1120 and it came in right at the approx 50wpc with 5 channels driven. http://www.soundandvision.com/content/pioneer-vsx-1120-av-receiver

It may need to be said again that this test methodology is by no means representative of actual use.


Music has a crest factor that is typically from 6 to 20 or more dB greater than sine waves. A power amplifier amplifying music puts 25% or less load on its power supply and heat sinks as it does on the test bench.


The nature of multichannel recordings is that all channels don't peak at the same time, unlike ACD bench testing.


This paragraph from the review cited is more representative of how this AVR delivers power in the real world:


"This graph shows that the VSX-1120’s left channel, from CD input to speaker output with two channels driving 8-ohm loads, reaches 0.1 percent distortion at 114.7 watts and 1 percent distortion at 153.0 watts. Into 4 ohms, the amplifier reaches 0.1 percent distortion at 167.6 watts and 1 percent distortion at 218.2 watts."




For some reason S&V lays this chart out in a way that is different from virtually every other source of technical tests. Everybody else plots power on a linear rather than logarithmic scale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman  /t/1524019/how-to-add-an-amp-to-an-av-receiver#post_24522385


You need to realize that the receiver is only rated to put out 110 watts to two channels.


Its total available power is only around 250 watts.


If you divide that up between 5 speakers, that gives you a maximum of 50 watts per channel.


That is enough power for some speakers that have good sensitivity (90 db per watt or better).


On the other hand, if you are trying to drive more than 5 speakers at once,or their sensitivity is low, you are going to run out of power rather quickly. That seems to be your problem.


The main power supply of the receiver will just run out of current and crap out.


It might be cheaper to get a better receiver with more REAL power rather than add external power amplifiers.


You also must have preout jacks on your receiver in order to connect external amplifiers, and you do appear to have those available on yours.


The Parasound 275v2 amplifier is only $550, and it has 90 watts per channel. Connecting this to your front channel preouts to drive your main speakers would nearly double the total power available, and would possibly be a solution for you.

I had thought it was 110 watts per channel @ 7 channels?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHAz  /t/1524019/how-to-add-an-amp-to-an-av-receiver#post_24522459


that switcher is only rated to handle 110 watts input. If you are just running stereo (ie only using two channels of your receiver) it will be capable of getting very close to the switcher's max input level at 110 watts per channel. The additional 15 watts to get to the switcher's max input would make no audible difference. Exceeding the switcher's max input will certainly gain you unwanted distortion (it's rated at 1% - right on the potential edge of audibility with some real music - when used within its specified limits).


If you aren't hearing distortion, then you aren't really pushing the amp . . . If you think it's not loud enough because of a number on the volume display, be aware that generally can figure you know just about zero about an amp's output by looking at it's volume control setting. Don't be afraid to go to a higher number. You are not "out of power" until distortion becomes audible (the amp will probably make a lot more power at higher distortion levels, but you don't want that). And every three dB is half or double the power . . . every 10 dB is ten times or one tenth of the power.


So you might have a lot more power available than you think . . .or not. But those speakers appear to be rated at 91 dB sensitivity so unless they're in huge rooms you ought to be able to get loud with a relatively few watts (depending of course on what "loud" means to you. To me, 85 dB averages with peaks over 100 dB is loud . . . and ought to consume a watt or two for average and maybe 20 to 40 watts for the brief full out peaks)

My hope is to have all three sets of stereo setups play music in conjunction with music on my 5.1 in my living room when we have guests over. Should I look for a stronger speaker switcher?
 
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