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Onkyo NR828 as a Main Channel Pre Amp

1318 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  AVGeek99
This question is more specific to the equipment that I am using instead of a general question. I have a new Onkyo TX-NR828 7.2 AVR that is the base for a 5.1 HT setup that I am currently building. I have an old HK Citation 24 amp that I wanted to use instead of just storing it away. The HK is rated at 100 wpc RMS both channels driven into 8 ohms. A big plus of this amp is that it is rated at 60 amps. I'm thinking the amp is better than what is in the Onkyo (but that is just a guess in my part) therefore I connected to the main L&R pre amps of the NR828. The system is working fine driving my old Dahlquist DQM 9 speakers as my main speakers but I have a few questions:

1 - Besides adding more power to the 828 is there a benefit to this setup? Anybody know if my front L&R is "better" i.e., cleaner, tighter, etc. Or should I just use the AVR as the total system without an external amp?

2 - Does the preamp out benefit from the processing power of the 828? I know this can be a pro and a con. I want it balanced to the other channels but also want it as pure as possible for stereo music listening. The 828 does have pure audio, direct and stereo mode that turn it into 2.0 and 2.1 modes.

3 - Audyssey wants to set my front speakers to 40hz but I set them up as full band when I first set the system up. The DQM 9 speakers are from the 1980's but rated at 28-22k and 95 spl and thus my reason for making them full band. BTW, the rest of my 5.1 is the Monoprice system but plan to upgrade the surround, center, sub in the near future. By setting the front to 40hz am I defeating the purpose of adding an external amp and the full band use of the Dahlquist speakers?

I guess another option is to use the amp on Zone 3 in the future. I do want to connect zone 2 and/or zone 3 in the future since I have in-wall speakers in the BR and BR, outside speakers in the patio and wired LR, office, and garage.

Thank you in advance for any help.


TX-NR828, Monoprice 5.1, DQM-9, PS 3, HK 24, HK 11, HK 12, B&O RX2, Apple TV
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Your questions are a little confusing and overlapping but I think I know what you're asking.

First, as long as it's in good working order and you make it sound like it is, I highly recommend you use the the Citation to power your front right and left speakers. There are no cons and many pros to this configuration. You will have much more good clean power going to the main left and right which will give you much greater dynamics. This configuration will also enable the receiver to devote more resources to the other 3 channels so they will benefit as well. There are too many pros to list and as I said no cons so just hook up the amp and don't give it another second of thoughts.

The Audyssey question isn't so cut and dry. According to Audyssey there's nothing wrong with increasing the crossover point, but they don't recommend reducing it. To understand why, you have to understand a little how Audyssey works. I'll try to explain in simple terms. When going through the set up process Audyssey determines, based on the current speaker placement, how low it feels your speakers can go. In your case it determined 40 hz, which is one step above full band. After the results are calculated and saved you can go in and change the crossover point if you like. With the crossover for your mains set at 40hz Audyssey will apply it's filters down to 40 hz on the front left and right channels and below 40hz it will apply the filters to the subwoofer channel. If you set the crossover higher than 40hz Audyssey will make the necessary filter adjustments. However if you set the crossover to full band there will be no filter applied to the front left and right below 40hz. It can't filter below 40hz because in set up it didn't hear enough below 40hz to know how much filtering to apply. The most common negative result with setting the crossover point lower would be boomy lesser controlled bass.

Because of this most people would recommend leaving it at 40hz (some will say to increase to 80hz) and let the subwoofer handle the rest. Since you are only one step up from full band I say set it at full band let your ears tell you if it's the right thing to do. If it sounds too boomy (not tight enough) for you then set it back to 40 hz and let the sub do the rest. I'm not familiar with your speakers but you could also try moving them a little closer to the wall and rerunning Audyssey set-up.

I am in the same boat. My speakers will not go lower than 40hz according to Audyssey, but they definitely will. For music I set mine to run full band with no subwoofer; I've just never been able to get my sub to blend well enough with my speakers to run with a sub on music. I couldn't be happier with the results.

I highly recommend checking out this thread for tips on Audyssey set up. You'd be amazed at the impact some of the little tweaks will have.

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