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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently power my fronts, center, and rears with a Yamaha RXV-2300 receiver purchased 4 years ago. This receiver is great for home theater but I have always felt it was lacking something when it came to 2 channel music reproduction.


So I plan to take the first step in improving my a/v system by purchasing a pair of Outlaw 2200-M monblock amps to power the front speakers.


I own an a/v unit which contains 6 open shelves, three above each other horizontally. But all these shelves have a piece of equipment on them.


Therefore the only way I can add these power amps would be to place one on top of my CD changer and the other on top of my CD recorder. Each of these has the same length as the Outlaws, so the fit would be perfect.


Now it would probably make no difference to the outlaws themselves if they were placed on a shelf directly or on a piece of solid equipment.


But would there be any problems with the CD units themselves resulting from a power amp being placed on top of them?
 

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I would only stack as a VERY last resort. I wouldn't put power amps on the bottom because they usually need good ventilation and because the heat rises. that makes anything above run that much hotter. Heat shortens equipment life.


On a side note, what is it you feel is lacking in 2-ch? I'm curious because adding external amps may not be the cure for what ails...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 /forum/post/0


I would only stack as a VERY last resort. I wouldn't put power amps on the bottom because they usually need good ventilation and because the heat rises. that makes anything above run that much hotter. Heat shortens equipment life.


On a side note, what is it you feel is lacking in 2-ch? I'm curious because adding external amps may not be the cure for what ails...

I didn't say the power amps would be on the bottom. I plan on placing each power amp ON TOP of a component. It is the component (which has no vents on top) that will be underneath the power amp. There will be close to three inches space between the top of the power amp and the shelf above it. The space around the sides, front, and rear will be completely open.


I have read countless times that adding external power amps to an a/v receiver improves the sound drastically. When I purchased my Infinity RS2000.6 speakers 10+ years ago, they were powered by Adcom Two Channel separates. I remember how good they sounded then and I am not getting nearly that kind of sound now for 2 channel music. The Yamaha RXV-2300 is great for HT but I feel lacks in the 2 channel music department. I am hoping to recapture what I had years ago by purchasing separate power amps for the fronts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megalith /forum/post/0


I would place things on power amps, but not the other way around.

Really! Power amps have vents on top for heat dissipation. Wouldn't placing another power amp (or component) on top of a power amp cut off the necessary space for the heat to escape?
 

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thats the exception rather than the rule, then.


otherwise most amp / receiver manuals recommend at least 4" above the amp for ventilation
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by captnvideo /forum/post/0


I didn't say the power amps would be on the bottom. I plan on placing each power amp ON TOP of a component. It is the component (which has no vents on top) that will be underneath the power amp. There will be close to three inches space between the top of the power amp and the shelf above it. The space around the sides, front, and rear will be completely open.

Didn't say you were. I suppose I should have quoted Megalith because I was countering his advice.


The amps are probably OK on top of the CD changers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by captnvideo /forum/post/0


I have read countless times that adding external power amps to an a/v receiver improves the sound drastically. When I purchased my Infinity RS2000.6 speakers 10+ years ago, they were powered by Adcom Two Channel separates. I remember how good they sounded then and I am not getting nearly that kind of sound now for 2 channel music. The Yamaha RXV-2300 is great for HT but I feel lacks in the 2 channel music department. I am hoping to recapture what I had years ago by purchasing separate power amps for the fronts.

Sure, adding a more powerful amp will help if power is the fix for your dislike. However, merely adding an outboard amp isn't a cure-all fix; that's all I'm saying.


As I asked before, what do you feel is lacking from the 2-ch playback?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:

"Sure, adding a more powerful amp will help if power is the fix for your dislike. However, merely adding an outboard amp isn't a cure-all fix; that's all I'm saying.


As I asked before, what do you feel is lacking from the 2-ch playback?"

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I remember a much warmer, fuller sound on 2 channel music when my Infinitys were powered by Adcom 2 channel separates. And my listening room has not changed. What has changed is that I got into home theater and decided on scrapping the Adcom in favor of an A/V receiver. The Adcom had developed a problem which resulted from bad advice by the salesman who sold it to me. By going the A/V receiver route, I made the sacrifice for 2 channel music in turn for 5.1 surround sound. I suspected (and this was confirmed by many HT websites and people I have talked to) that most A/V receivers (at least the ones I could afford) were weak on 2 channel music reproduction. My Yamaha RXV-2300 is a great glitch-free 6.1 receiver but not for music. And Power has nothing to do with it. The Adcom was rated at 60 watts per channel and my Yamaha is rated at 110 watts per channel (all channels driven). Yet the lower-powered Adcom sounded much better for music than any receiver I have owned since (and they all were more than 60 watts per channel).


I honestly believe that I could not get back the sound I remember by upgrading speakers and leaving my Yamaha as is. I have researched the better floor-standing speakers out there and practially all of them are of lower impedance (4 to 6 ohms nominal) with less sensitivity than the Infinitys (which are 92db). I don't think the Yamaha would be able to drive any of them well. I think getting separate power amps like the Outlaw mono-blocks (200 watts/8 ohms, 300 watts/4 ohms) is a big first step. If I decide to upgrade speakers later on, I would have absolutely no worry about the capability of the Outlaws to drive them well.
 

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Something to consider is that you will be using the receiver as a pre/pro to drive the amps. If the sound you don't like for 2-ch is due to the receiver's processing/pre-amp circuitry, using outboard amps isn't going to fix it.


Most of the posts I've seen about adding external amps are from power junkies (no disrespect intended, I'm included) that want high power available for fairly loud playback with lots of headroom. Or, from people having special needs due to speakers that present low impedance and or low sensitivity.


OTOH, I've read a number of posts from people that have separate HT components (pre/pros and amps) that still don't like the sound for 2-ch. Some of these people have gotten analog preamps with HT bypass loops. This provides them a dedicated, separate path into their existing amps through a fully analog 2-ch preamp. These posts are a little harder to find, but they are out there. Adding a bunch of power is easy and it's easy to tell an improvment when you crank it up. Dealing with detail and "warmth" or "coolness" of sound from amps and other electronics is far more subjective and questionable, IMO.


Personally, I have added a 2-ch analog preamp with HT bypass to explore this avenue. But, I really have not done much for critical A/B comparisons between my pre/pro or through the 2-ch preamp as of yet. I'm in no way abandoning stereo or HT, but last fall I got a motorcycle and find I enjoy being outside and on the cycle quite a lot. It has provided a needed distraction from the HT obsession. I still spend way to much time on this forum though...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 /forum/post/0


Something to consider is that you will be using the receiver as a pre/pro to drive the amps. If the sound you don't like for 2-ch is due to the receiver's processing/pre-amp circuitry, using outboard amps isn't going to fix it.

I have read so many people swear that adding an external power amp to their 5.1 receiver's pre-outs makes a big difference in the sound for 2 channel music reproduction. Some people even do this for all channels, not just the mains. Since my concern is 2 channel stereo, I do not intend to add separate amps for the center and rear channels.


Anyway, Outlaw has a 30 money back guarantee. This only risk on my part is the return shipping. It is worth the gamble because otherwise I'll never know. Even if the improvement is not earthshaking, I'll still be future-proofing my system in case I want to go for less efficient, lower impedance speakers later on.
 

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if you are going to add one i would at least try to get 200w per channel to justify

adding one then at least the dynamics will take a vast improvement and you can

play it louder without fear of damaging your speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech /forum/post/0


if you are going to add one i would at least try to get 200w per channel to justify

adding one then at least the dynamics will take a vast improvement and you can

play it louder without fear of damaging your speakers.

Since I did not see any 2 channel power amps on Outlaw's website, I plan on purchasing two 2200-M monoblock amps. Each is rated at 200wpc into 8 ohms and 300wpc into 4 ohms.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megalith /forum/post/0


I wish someone could elaborate on how to integrate a stereo preamp into their existing HT as whoaru did.


I am completely confused as to how to share an amp between a 2-ch preamp and a HT receiver.

It's very straightforward.


The first step is to get a preamp with a HT bypass loop. This provides a unity gain passthough path for the front two channels.


Then, simply connect the front two channels to the preamp's bypass inputs and connect the preamp's bypass outputs to the amplifer inputs.


When you want to use the HT system, merely engage the bypass input/mode switch and the HT signal passes though the two channel preamp with no change in level so your HT calibration stay in adjustment.


When you want to use a dedicated 2-ch device, simply select the proper source input on the two channel preamp and that signal is routed to the amp instead of the HT signal.


IMO, it can be done with most any preamp but not as conveniently. If you use a non-bypassing 2-ch preamp, you just put the front channel HT signal into an auxiliary input and connect the pre-out to the amp. However, in this setup, you need to mark the volume control of the preamp so you can return to the calibrated level for the HT because you are using a variable output. That's the beauty of the passthough, unity gain so there is nothing extra to twiddle with when switching back and forth.
 
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