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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am seeking for your help and advise since my knowledge as far as audio is concerned is limited.

I have a system that includes the following:
1. A/V Yamaha RX-V2600
2. Front speakers: Focal_JM Lab SibXXL
3. Center and Suround speakers: Focal_JM Lab SibXL
4. Sub: Focal JM_Lab SW700S


The specs of the 2 front speakers are the following:
Type: 2 way bass-reflex floorstanding loudspeaker
Driver: 2x5" (2x13cm) Polyflex bass cones. OAL* 3/4" (19mm) aluminium tweeter dome.
Frequency response (+/- 3dB): 55Hz-35kHz
Sensitivity (2,83 V/1 m): 90dB
Max. power handling: 120W
Crossover: OPC 12dB/oct, 3,5kHz
Normal/min. impedance: 8 ohms/4 ohms


After having problems with my A/V in a party I held at home (the a/v kept shutting down when operated in 5-ch stereo and high volumes) people recommended to me to add a power amp to my system to drive the speakers and use the yamaha rx-v2600 as pre-amp. Others say that I should get a 2-ch power amp just for the 2 front spekers, others recommend 5-ch power amp for all the speakers while others believe that a 3-ch one just for the front and center would be enough.


I have the following questions:
1. If I add a power amp will I notice a difference in everyday use (watching movies and listening to music at normal volume) or the difference will only be noticable at high volumes? Will the quality of the sound improve regardless the volume level?
2. What should I choose? A 2-ch, a 3-ch or a 5-ch power amp?
3. Do you have any models to recommend? I don't want to spend too much. The cap would be around $1000-$1500. So far friends have recommended the 5-ch Rotel RB-1075 as great value for money solution, the 2-ch Audiolab 8000P as great pair for my speakers and the 2-ch Behringer EP-1500. What do you think?
 

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1. Some difference, yes. Not day-and-night difference for 90dB sensitivity speakers at "normal" volume.


2. Depends on your budget. I would recommend a 5-ch amp so that all channels pass through the same device (amp) thereby possibly having the same sound coloring (if any), especially if you are fond of multi-channel music (hi-rez like SACD/DVD-A). If you listen to stereo music only, perhaps a 2-ch or 3-ch amp may suffice.


3. Check out Audiogon for used amplifiers like Parasound (HCA-1205A for around $700), Rotel,...
 

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Your reciever will stop shutting down first off. Secondly, yes you will see an improvement, and there is a thread just recently about it. Everything will become less strained, sound better even at lower volumes even as there is more reserve power, and punch when called upon. If you've shut it down once, my guess is that you'll do it again, and thats not good for your speakers, or your reciever, one is bound to quit on you. But if you add a seperate amp, that doesnt mean necessarily that you cant do it again, but it will sure minimize the chances of really hurting something.

If you can afford it, look into Rotel, or Anthem, they are affordable, and put out some power.
 

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Wow, that was a loud party. 2600 is a pretty good unit and those speakers are reasonable at 90Db. At 64 watts continuous you can hit 108Db one meter away from the speakers.


Pro amps can be very affordable, but usually run fans. Some people have worked around the fan thing though. QSC, Crown and Behringer(sp?) have been used in some systems forum members own.
 

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IMO, the benefits of external amps are negligible at "normal" (what ever that means) listening levels.


It may be helpful for you to more clearly define what is your "normal" listening level.
 

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Afoundas...Check out thread linked below as it will be helpfull to you I believe:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=791823


Id be curious as to what exact volumes you were listening at when your 2600 shut down ..Since the 2600 is fairly beefy as recievers go, Id almost be inclined to think something may be defective in yours ( considering the speakers your driving )..Anyhoo some good bang for the buck amps are..

Parasound 2205 ( 200 watts x 5 ) used around 900.00 ( be warned though, Parasound do run hot..heck you may not need heat in the winter )

Earthquake Cinenova Grand ( 300 watts x 5 ) equals STEAL on the used market at around 1200.00 ( you would never use its full capability imo with those speakers but it wouldnt hurt )

Adcom makes a pretty decent 5 amp that can be had for a good price ( many models to choose from)..

And the Rotel you mentioned is priced fairly competively..


Just dont over pay for a " boutique" amp ...ALWAYS look at the specifications..a BIG clue to look for is , Does the amp double its wattage going from 8 ohm to 4 ohms ( or close to it ) .. Also the bigger the transformer the better ( torodial transoformer ia preferred )...and lastly ..oddly enough, how much does that bad boy weigh ( unless its a pro-amp of which will weigh very little but uses different technologie ).

YOU..with your speakers aint gonna need a "bunch" of watts...so dont get lured into paying to much for mega-watts ..Id say 100~200 watts will be more then enough ( that true rated watts not sony reciever rated watts )

But again, having said all this ..

if your 2600 is functioning properly ..then when it shut down, the volumes better had been just insanely loud..becuase I wouldnt think that even playing at near reference volumes with your speakers it shouldnt shut down

( Maybe you have it in a enclosed glass cabinent and it overheated ?)
 

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"even at normal levels the dynamic passages are greatly improved in music and movies"


What do you mean by that? I am a rookie and need a better explanation because I am thinking about doing the same thing.


thanks,


Wes
 

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I am actually doing the same thing. I currently have a 2 channel B&K amp and running the rest off my Yamaha 2700 receiver, but I am going to go ahead and upgrade to a 5 channel. Mostly because I want more power for my rear speakers, their only 86db. And I have several SACD & DVD-A I like to listen to and the 5 ch. amp would just sound a little better.

Dynamic passages are when something like an explosion etc. in a movie occurs. For music I noticed greater bass and stronger mids and slightly less harshness in the highs from my amp vs the receivers power. I'm going to do this and then possibly upgrade to a pre/pro unit in the future so if I do, I'll already have my amp.

I'm looking primarily at Rotel & B&K 200 watt/ch amps. I like Parasound too though.

I can't decide between the them at the moment. The B&K seems just a little to laid back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
First of all let me thank you all for your feedback.


Since a lot of questions rose about the level that the 2600 was playing at let me give you a few details about what was happening:

1. There were about 15-20 people in the room. The speakers are placed in a 4x5 (meters) space but the room is actually twice this size (4x9).

2. The source was my HTPC which is connected digitally to the A/V. The songs were in MP3 format and the program used was winamp.

3. The a/v was playing at 7-ch stereo mode.

4. The whole system has been setup autmatically with Yamaha's "Auto Setup". During this setup though the system set all my speakers as large (which is obviously not the case especially for the souround and center speakers).

5. Initially the a/v played for 2-2.5 hours at "normal" levels (-20dB said the volume control).

6. Then I put some dance music and gradually increased the volume to -10dB. That's when the a/v got REALLY HOT and then during a song with plenty of bass it shut down. I waited a few seconds and turned it back on. I removed a DVD player I had on top of it and put a fan throwing air at it. I gradually increased the volume again to -8dB and the A/V shut down again. Finally I ended up playing the a/v at -13dB for the rest of the night with the fan throwing air at it (it never really colled down though). The performance was good when the MP3 was written at high levels but poor when the MP3 was written at low levels (the room did not really fill with music in this case)...


I run some tests the following day after getting some advise from some friends and the performance improved significantly. I did the following:

1. I manually set the speakers to "small"

2. Raised the subwoofer's dB's (the auto program had set it to -6dB and I set it at +1dB)

3. Played music at 2-ch stereo instead of 7-ch stereo (I think that this was the most critical thing).

4. I put a fan sucking air out of the a/v

After doing all the above I was able to play the system for a long time at even higer levels (I reached 0dB). The a/v did not shut down.


What I also noticed was that the system was playing louder in 2-ch stereo than in 7-ch stereo at the same volume setting. The above made me think that I may actually need a power amp.


When I say "normal" volume levels I mean that the volume setting of the a/v is between -25dB and -15dB which is the level that I use to watch most movies.


I asked around and many people told me that they faced similar problems with their yammys so I doubt that the unit is defective...
 

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Quote:
I asked around and many people told me that they faced similar problems with their yammys so I doubt that the unit is defective...
Quote:
6. Then I put some dance music and gradually increased the volume to -10dB. That's when the a/v got REALLY HOT and then during a song with plenty of bass it shut down. I waited a few seconds and turned it back on

Hmm..well the 2600 with your speakers, Shouldnt shut down at at - 10 db , no way man


It sounds like you have an overheating issue ...What kinda of audio rack do you have ? ..is there plenty of ventilation on all sides ? ..


Plus your speakers should be set to small as far as the bass thing goes.. ( you said there only rated down to 55 hz which means they probably start to roll off at around 80 hz anyway ) ..so you did the right thing there..


Your listening volumes actually arent that high ..Anyway, it sounds like you found the culprit ( heat) ..


PS. I had the 2600 for awhile ..it was driving 7 NHT M5's which are much harder to drive and less effecient ( 6 ohm 84db effeciency ) ..I usually listened at extremely loud levels ( -4 to -10db of reference ) and never once did it shut down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't have a rack. All my devices are placed in a big shelve. Right now the 2600 is on top of the HTPC.

I think the issue was the 7-ch stereo and the fact that the speakers were set as large. Changing these combined with the fan that sucks air out of the a/v (guess it's necessary since I don't have a well ventilated rack) should solve the problem.

The whole thought about the power amp rose from the fact that I was listening better when the a/v was in 2-ch than when the a/v was in 7-ch...
 
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