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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning to set up a 5.1 HT with GE Triton 7 mains, SuperCenter X and SuperSat 3 surrounds. I already have a Sunfire Signature sub for the LFE and bottom end. Looking for an AVR now, and notice that almost all 5.1 rigs only claim 70-80 watts (usually with 2 channels driven). Efficiency on the 7's is decent (89db), but I'm worried that I won't have enough reserve power with only maybe 60 watts RMS per channel (5 channels driven).

I've looking into the pre-amp option with a separate like Outlaw audio's 5 channel amp, but don't like the prospect of spending $1,500+ on that setup since I'll be forking out a large part of my budget on the GEs. All I really want out of an AVR is decent room correction (auto and manual adjustments) and plenty of headroom. I almost exclusively listen to movies - love the blockbuster action flics!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Forgot to mention that I have the Oppo BDP-103D, and intend to send the video directly to a projector...so not really looking for any video processing/upscaling in the AVR. Thanks for any feedback!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am looking at 7.1+ AVRs now - just seems like a waste of amps, d/a converters, etc... if I won't use them. That being said, I THINK I need 100w+ RMS to leave plenty of headroom for the GE Triton 7's. My room is 15dx17wx10h with carpet and upcoming acoustic paneling and bass traps, so I was assuming I would need a decent amount of power to handle dynamics of movies and music... Maybe I'm over-engineering it?

I like Denon and Yamaha, but didn't want to have to spend more than necessary - and also didn't know if these brands were "sufficient" to pair with the GE Tritans. I'd like to have auto room correction and capabilities for manual calibration/adjustment by speaker. I don't need any video processing/upscaling since I have the Oppo, but would like the latest (as of early 2014) surround format processing. I'd like to spend around $1,000.
 

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I am looking at 7.1+ AVRs now - just seems like a waste of amps, d/a converters, etc... if I won't use them. That being said, I THINK I need 100w+ RMS to leave plenty of headroom for the GE Triton 7's. My room is 15dx17wx10h with carpet and upcoming acoustic paneling and bass traps, so I was assuming I would need a decent amount of power to handle dynamics of movies and music... Maybe I'm over-engineering it?

I like Denon and Yamaha, but didn't want to have to spend more than necessary - and also didn't know if these brands were "sufficient" to pair with the GE Tritans. I'd like to have auto room correction and capabilities for manual calibration/adjustment by speaker. I don't need any video processing/upscaling since I have the Oppo, but would like the latest (as of early 2014) surround format processing. I'd like to spend around $1,000.
You might consider a new Denon AVR-X4000 on clearance for less than $1,000 if you can find them. Also check with Denon directly and jdsmoothie at AVScience.
 

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've looking into the pre-amp option with a separate like Outlaw audio's 5 channel amp, but don't like the prospect of spending $1,500+ on that setup
AV pre-power is worth it in the long run, go pre-power if you can, I certainly haven't looked back. I'd buy Outlaw 7125 then look for a second hand AVR a gen old, use that for a while then save up for replacement AVR using as a AV pre.

Or if sticking with 5 channel maybe Emotiva XPA-5.
 

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I am looking at 7.1+ AVRs now - just seems like a waste of amps, d/a converters, etc... if I won't use them. That being said, I THINK I need 100w+ RMS to leave plenty of headroom for the GE Triton 7's. My room is 15dx17wx10h with carpet and upcoming acoustic paneling and bass traps, so I was assuming I would need a decent amount of power to handle dynamics of movies and music... Maybe I'm over-engineering it?

I like Denon and Yamaha, but didn't want to have to spend more than necessary - and also didn't know if these brands were "sufficient" to pair with the GE Tritans. I'd like to have auto room correction and capabilities for manual calibration/adjustment by speaker. I don't need any video processing/upscaling since I have the Oppo, but would like the latest (as of early 2014) surround format processing. I'd like to spend around $1,000.
Don't overthink it. Only the cheap receivers have 5.1. The more expensive models, usually have many desirable features and spent the extra few bucks for a few more transistors. They almost certainly don't add more DACs, they just use one with more channels ( I have seen schematics.) The most expensive parts of the receiver aren't the amp parts, except maybe for the output transistors.

Anyway, it's economy of scale. The receivers they make the most of should be the ones you pay the least overhead for.

As for power, from lowest to highest model I would not expect much more than a 3 dB difference in max SPL. I would not sweat this too much. Look for features you want, buy from a good brand like Yamaha or Denon and you will probably be happy. If you want to play very loud music, you might want to get a receiver with preouts ( this does bump up the minimum price.) Then you can add an external amp later on if you really need a lot of power. Once again though, note that you are not going to get a huge amount more SPL (sound pressure level,) even when you double power.
 

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I am looking at 7.1+ AVRs now - just seems like a waste of amps, d/a converters, etc... if I won't use them. That being said, I THINK I need 100w+ RMS to leave plenty of headroom for the GE Triton 7's. My room is 15dx17wx10h with carpet and upcoming acoustic paneling and bass traps, so I was assuming I would need a decent amount of power to handle dynamics of movies and music... Maybe I'm over-engineering it?

I like Denon and Yamaha, but didn't want to have to spend more than necessary - and also didn't know if these brands were "sufficient" to pair with the GE Tritans. I'd like to have auto room correction and capabilities for manual calibration/adjustment by speaker. I don't need any video processing/upscaling since I have the Oppo, but would like the latest (as of early 2014) surround format processing. I'd like to spend around $1,000.
An avr will likely have things you don't need, but concentrate on the items you do want; some day you may want to go 7ch, too. As was mentioned, its about economies of scale. Separates will definitely cost you more than an equivalent avr. I don't think there's but one dac on board in any case. What type of connectivity do you need? Seems you might want to make sure the avr has pre-outs if you think you want to add outboard amplification later. Do you need any particular wireless/streaming features?

I've used Audyssey, the type of room correction the Denon has, and MCACC from Pioneer, but haven't used YPAO, the type Yamaha uses. Personally I'd try and get the best version of Audyssey, the XT32, especially for the bass eq capabilities (not sure but don't think much of the YPAO offerings do much for bass eq except perhaps their top of the line units). The X4000 mentioned does have the Audyssey XT32 and also has pre-outs and has plenty of power for most speakers and purposes. I have used separate power amps, they're generally overkill.

I think you're overthinking the amp needs in terms of watts/ch. As was mentioned, it takes a doubling of power to gain 3dB so if you're going to go outboard amps you'd have to get ones of significant power (250-300 w/ch) just to gain that 3dB over an avr like the X4000 (or most avrs for that matter). Start with the avr with pre-outs and then see if you need more power....which I doubt you'll need. You would probably do better by spending any additional money on another sub. Keep in mind that simply running a sub takes a significant load off the avr's amps.

LOL thought you had some weird General Electric speakers instead of Goldenear.....
 

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Generally, Onkyo comes closest to hitting its amp wattage numbers than other asian manufacturers. Cambridge audio has some receivers which use torroidal power supplies (usually only found in seperate power amps) and Anthem and NAD make generally very underrated receivers (their 70W is like anyone else's 120W). Nice thing about NAD is their upper level receivers with MDC are upgradeable, and they've released several upgrades over the years to prove they're serious about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for the feedback - I thought I might be over-thinking this a bit. I haven't been in the AVR market for 7 years, and a lot has changed.

The Denon AVR-X4000 looks like a great receiver. I did go with what I consider high end speakers (GE Tritons) and will be pushing video through an Oppo to a JVC DLA-X35.

For pairing with the Tritons (best speakers I ever heard!), is the Denon sufficient from an audio quality standpoint, or should I be looking at maybe a D-Class amp (Pioneer Elite) or something even more esoteric like a Marantz, Arcam or other? Maybe over-thinking it again... The speaker audition I did with the Tritons was using a dedicated stereo amp - not sure of the brand, but no Denon or Yamaha I'm sure.
 

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Yes you're still overthinking it, been reading too many advertisements/reviews for amps I think. Pairing is for wine/food. Your speakers will be happy with pretty much any amp you mention....the sound quality differences among solid state amps is negligible.
 

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Yes you're still overthinking it, been reading too many advertisements/reviews for amps I think. Pairing is for wine/food. Your speakers will be happy with pretty much any amp you mention....the sound quality differences among solid state amps is negligible.
True, but a receiver is SO MUCH MORE than an amp...at minimun you've got input/preamp sections, DAC sections (ADC), Amp, etc. Room furnishings probably should be inquired about also. I used to only have Denon receivers, then I moved into a house with thick carpet, fabric furniture, drapes and it lost all its sparkle...moved to a Marantz and all the sparkle was back. After 5 years my wife wants hardwood floors again so I'm anticipating another change. I understand ribbon tweeters are less susceptible to room reflection than domes so you're probably insulated a bit.
 

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Thank you all for the feedback - I thought I might be over-thinking this a bit. I haven't been in the AVR market for 7 years, and a lot has changed.

The Denon AVR-X4000 looks like a great receiver. I did go with what I consider high end speakers (GE Tritons) and will be pushing video through an Oppo to a JVC DLA-X35.

For pairing with the Tritons (best speakers I ever heard!), is the Denon sufficient from an audio quality standpoint, or should I be looking at maybe a D-Class amp (Pioneer Elite) or something even more esoteric like a Marantz, Arcam or other? Maybe over-thinking it again... The speaker audition I did with the Tritons was using a dedicated stereo amp - not sure of the brand, but no Denon or Yamaha I'm sure.
I bought a Denon X4000 due to the pricing on it. I am pretty happy with it. It has the latest Audyssey processing. Audio quality is an ambiguous thing. Personally, I want audio accuracy which receivers excel at. When they measure a receiver, pretty much any receiver they have a flat audio response and low distortion. Some people do buy receivers and are not happy with them, but it's not clear why.

Of course you can spend more money, but it's not clear to me how that guarantees anything. People have done blind listening tests and been unable to distinguish a cheap receiver from one of those expensive amps.

In my opinion, you have to get the receiver in your home, hook it up to your speakers and hope you will be happy with it.
 

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So you're saying I won't need the 2AWG silver cables either? :p
Those might be usefull as a metals investment... :D

Keep in mind that the difference between 80W 2ch driven and 160W 2ch is 3db of overhead. With almost all AVR's the on-board amps are only driving from 80Hz up. This is a much easier load than having to drive full range. If you're old like me you remember driving large floor speakers with hungry woofers for the low end. You needed 300W per side because of those woofers. All the other drivers in those old boxes were padded down. basically you used 120W to make sound and the rest to make heat inside the boxes.
 

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I would not have a AVR in the 2 channel Hifi.

If you want a powerful amplifier then consider a dedicated multi-channel power amplifier, unless you spend $2000 on a AVR, they have made compromises in amp section.

I mean what's so difficult, the Emotiva XPA-5 is only $1000 that's nothing and with 200W per channel you'll never need another power amplfier. You can then just buy a lower end AVR with pre-outs. Or maybe just get a XPA-3 using the AVR for side, rears etc.
 

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I am not sure how much heat is wasted in voice coils, but they don't seem very efficient. I have often wondered about these woofers that supposedly handle thousands of watts. I am pretty sure they use some sort of crest factor with noise. But even if the crest factor is such that average power is 200 watts and peak power is 2000 watts, that sounds suspicously like a 200 watt heater, and no one in their right mind touches a 200 watt heat in operation ( think 200 watt light bulb maybe.)

There seems to be this power myth in home audio. If you are setting up the PA system for Metallica, you are going to use a truckload of really efficient speakers and amps. They don't try to get it done with just one speaker. And due to noise ordinances, it's probably best to not put on rock concerts in your living room.

Also, there's a matter of hearing damage - don't be like me and develop tinitus 'cause you were too bad azz to wear hearing protection at rock concerts. Be smart and heed some reasonable levels especially for music. For music, 90 dB seems about as loud as you want to go if you want to preserve your hearing, and at that there's a safe time limit on it. 90 dB peak only takes a few watts, the rest of your power is for the peaks. You might not even be able to manage 90 dB average without some distortion. Anyway, if you can manage about 100 watts into your speakers without excessive clipping you are in good shape.

Few people may care if you can't hit 105 dB peaks unless you are stubbornly set on achieving reference level peaks with no chance for distortion - better ensure your speakers, amp and subs are all capable. Or you could back off 3 to 6 dB. Suddenly your power needs are really reasonable. On paper you can hit 102 dB with 64 watts of power with a typical speaker ( assuming an approximate 6 dB SPL loss for distance.) And that is per speaker. You will get some more dB from the sum of all the sound. And that doesn't subtract out the fact many people use powered subs crossed over from 80 to 120hz.

IMO, there's a myth perpetrated by some people that you must have a lot of power regardless of your actual needs. Sure some people are power happy and willing to spend the money to ensure they can easily hit reference level or higher, but everyone doesn't have to go down that road (nor are they giving up a lot with a more modest system.)

Some people do have hard to drive speakers and sometimes a specific receiver or amplifier doesn't seem to work out for them. We don't know if they are imagining things or not, but again just because one person has this problem doesn't mean everyone will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you everyone for the informed input. Given the fire sale that is going on now and the rave reviews I've seen for Audissey X32 (with subEQ) I am going with the Denon AVR-X4000. Not a powerhouse, esoteric amp I know, but if I'm not satisfied I can add a dedicated amp later using the pre-outs on the Denon, and won't be paying much more than a dedicated pre anyway...

Thanks again!
 

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X4000 is what I own now, having not been able to turn down the sale price for an Audyssey equipped receiver. It's power is light for it's MSRP, but power differences don't seem that big of a deal when you are talking 20 watts etc.

I think the features over power thing is an era we are currently in right now
 

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Thank you everyone for the informed input. Given the fire sale that is going on now and the rave reviews I've seen for Audissey X32 (with subEQ) I am going with the Denon AVR-X4000. Not a powerhouse, esoteric amp I know, but if I'm not satisfied I can add a dedicated amp later using the pre-outs on the Denon, and won't be paying much more than a dedicated pre anyway...

Thanks again!
Keep in mind that XT32 does eq subs itself, what SubEQ offers is setting distance/level for two subs individually (and only two)....so even an Onkyo with XT32 but without SubEQ will still work just fine.
 
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