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 Post subject: HT Upgrade Ideas?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:14 pm 
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Location: Markham, ON, CA
I am looking for some advice. I am running an Oppo BPD-103D thorough a Denon AVR-X2200 to CV U-321;s in front, Paradigm Phantom 9's in the rear. A CCC 300 center and a pair of Atoms for sides. I use the system equally between music and movies. The Denon is rated at 80W per channel, but I find I had to "drive" the paradigms pretty hard to clear up the sound. I tried my older CV U-321 3-ways in front and the stereo response is significantly improved. Nice and clean at lower volume settings. And I like the CV's in 7.1 mode as well. So, here is my question; I feel the AVR is a little "weak" on driving all these speakers and would really like to clean up the sound while playing music (typically CD's on the Oppo). If I had $800 or so, would my best bet be for a good amplifier(s)? I really want a simple setup that allows seamless switching between HT and Stereo modes.... Jim at Fab Audio (good guy by the way) suggested I look for some older NAD amps, but I want to find a setup that will seamlessly fit in with the 7.1 system.....I am just getting back into this after years without proper equipment; so I am looking for suggestions. Ideas? Thoughts? Pre-amps or post-amps? Better speakers?


Last edited by brownslane on Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: HT Upgrade Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:59 am 
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Location: West GTA, ON, CA
The challenge in such a set up is making changes. Does the Denon receiver have preamp outs? If so, then you could get a two channel amp to drive the fronts, while allowing the receiver to drive the centre & surrounds. If not, then you will have to think about replacing the receiver or the Paradigms. Receivers are compromise devices, they try to do everything at a set price.


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 Post subject: Re: HT Upgrade Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:47 am 
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Location: Charlottetown, PE, CA
An acoustic room plan.


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 Post subject: Re: HT Upgrade Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:54 am 
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Vinyl Guy wrote:
The challenge in such a set up is making changes. Does the Denon receiver have preamp outs? If so, then you could get a two channel amp to drive the fronts, while allowing the receiver to drive the centre & surrounds. If not, then you will have to think about replacing the receiver or the Paradigms. Receivers are compromise devices, they try to do everything at a set price.


The AVR-X2200W does not have preamp outputs, like most of these lower end, mass market HT receivers. Also, like pretty much every lower end HT receiver under $2k, its power ratings are grossly overestimated unless you are running only 2 channels at a time. Case in point: the AVR-X2200W is rated at 95WPC if only 2 channels (well hidden in the fine print) are running at a time. Run it in 5.1 and each channel is only putting ou around 30 to 35W, in 7.1, the real life figure is more like in the 25 to 30W range.

As you said, most receivers are compromise devices and when you know what to look for, it is fairly easy to determine if it will have the balls to drive your setup to the levels you want in your room. Any receiver whos' power output rating exceeds its power consumption is highly suspect. The AVR-X2200W is rated at 675W output but has a max power consumption for the whole receiver (pre-processor and power amp combined) of only 500W. Given that most pre-processors consume at least between 200 and 300W of electrical power, that leaves at most 300W to supply the power amp section. A typical power amp rated at the same 95WPC for 7 channels running simultaneously will consume around 1000W of electrical power or more. Specific example, an Anthem PVA-7, 7 channel amp rated at 105WPC consumes 1500W or 3X as much power as the whole Denon receiver!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: HT Upgrade Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:18 am 
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I believe the 2200xl DOES have pre outs (based on online images). In which case a good integrated amp would be ideal - look to Marantz 600X, 800X series for the most complementary sound for your denon. Or go on your own path with a used rega, cyrus or naim, all made in the uk.


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 Post subject: Re: HT Upgrade Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:38 am 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
hollinger wrote:
I believe the 2200xl DOES have pre outs (based on online images). In which case a good integrated amp would be ideal - look to Marantz 600X, 800X series for the most complementary sound for your denon. Or go on your own path with a used rega, cyrus or naim, all made in the uk.


The manual for the AVR-X2200W shows it has a pair of subwoofer outputs, and a single stereo pre-out designed for use with an external amp to power "Zone 2" speakers. There are no pre-outs for the primary audio channels.


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 Post subject: Re: HT Upgrade Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:53 am 
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I just clued into your speaker config. In addition to a proper acoustic room plan, I would deploy one of these for your system.

https://www.minidsp.com/ht-series/nanoavr-dl

For a meaningful recommendation room size and config are required. Pics go a long way as well. :cool:


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 Post subject: Re: HT Upgrade Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:08 am 
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Location: Port Coquitlam, BC, CA
Do you have a sub/s and do you use the Audyssey? Using a sub or even a pair of subs with properly applied room correction is likely going to have a bigger impact than adding an amp. If you crossover all your speakers at around 80hz (or higher for the surrounds) the load on the receiver drops significantly.

Yes receivers over-rate their power but that is largely due to a marketing strategy to satiate a missled buying public. Power required can be figured out with some math it's basically a combination of knowing speaker sensitivity, listening distance and desired SPL.

From Audiogurus;

"Note for Propeller Heads: The equation for calculating required amplifier power looks something like this:
Power in dB@1W = SPL@listening position – Loudspeaker Sensitivity + 20 * Log (Distance to Listener/Reference Distance) + Headroom
To calculate the required power (in watts) , you take 10 to the power of the above solution divided by 10. Sound confusing? It is, which is why we use calculators to help us. If you grab an amplifier calculator, then you merely need to plug in the critical numbers to arrive at the required power for your application. And in the case of home theater, most of this is unnecessary and overkill.."

(Crown Audio's site has a "plug the numbers in" amp power calculator on it.)


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 Post subject: Re: HT Upgrade Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:19 pm 
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Location: Markham, ON, CA
Thanks for the tips folks. Forst step is to get the speakers off the carpet. Looking into spikes, bricks or, as I own a machine shop, some custom aluminum spools (think of hockey pucks but in aluminum and 4 inches tall, with spikes on the bottom). I will do the crossover setup as well. I use a Paradigm 2200 V1 as a sub-woofer. I will get my kid to do a room drawing and will post. But dimensionally I am about 20 by 15, carpeted, 8 foot ceilings with a ceiling bulkhead running at 90 degrees to the mains built-in book shelves on about 30 feet of wall as well. Seating area is about 10 feet from the mains, so about the middle of the room.

I am generally satisfied with the HT aspect of the existing setup. Lots of bass, highs, and clarity of dialogue. But in the stereo music mode, there is a lot more to be gained. Let me do a little leg work and report back with pics and drawing.


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 Post subject: Re: HT Upgrade Ideas?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:52 am 
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Location: Markham, ON, CA
I have decided to give my (unused) Yamaha DSP-A2070 a try as stereo amp and use the Denon for HT only. The Yamaha has 180 watts per side in stereo mode and has a good rep for sound quality. Now here is a question; I want to use the CV U-123 (3 way) fronts as both HT and stereo speakers. Here is the question. Can I wire the CV-s back to BOTH receivers at the same time? In this way I can turn on the Denon for HT use, turn it off for stereo. I have the Oppo connected to the HT Denon via HDMI and will connect the Oppo to the Yamaha via analogue output. So the only "conflict" I see is the connecting of speakers to two amps at the same time. Will this cause a problem? I know if both units are turned on at the same time I could overload the speakers.....but if one is off when the other is in use, is there any risk of damage? Sorry for all the noob questions. :?


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 Post subject: Re: HT Upgrade Ideas?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:18 pm 
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brownslane wrote:
I know if both units are turned on at the same time I could overload the speakers.....but if one is off when the other is in use, is there any risk of damage? Sorry for all the noob questions. :?

We're all human - you're going to turn them both on by accident sooner or later. Get a 2nd set of speakers for the stereo.


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 Post subject: Re: HT Upgrade Ideas?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:01 pm 
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Agreed. Mistakes will happen. Is there such a thing as a powered-on bypass switch that could disconnect the leads from the HT unit when the stereo is turned on?
Thks


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 Post subject: Re: HT Upgrade Ideas?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:37 am 
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Location: Markham, ON, CA
Here is a picture. Room is 16 feet wide, 22 feet deep. Middle of the room has a three-person lounger. Ceilings are 7 ft 6 inch except for a dropped bulkhead directly above the lounger which is 2 feet wide and drops to 6 ft 4 inches in height. It runs perpendicular to the mains. (this is not good due to reflection) ...I can install some sound attenuation if needed.

Attachment:
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IMG_3020.JPG [ 250.21 KiB | Viewed 2553 times ]


Thanks for any thoughts.


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IMG_3019.JPG [ 274.59 KiB | Viewed 2553 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: HT Upgrade Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:59 pm 
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I'll keep it simple...

At the end of the day you are really not going to have much luck with an A/V receiver or even a multi channel amplifier (assuming your Denon does have pre outs). There are the higher end brands like the Arcam, NAD, Cambridge Audio, etc.... but although this may solve your problem in terms of sound many of these higher end products are glitchy when it comes to home theatre processing and HDMI. They also tend to lack current or upcoming formats and features. Also don't get me started on Classe', Bryston, McIntosh, so on and so forth.... That is just a long conversation...

First off you are definitely going to want a separate prepro and amplifier. Unfortunately they don't come cheap but depending on your budget you may want to look at the NuPrime gear. Its good stuff without spending huge dollars and its going to sound much better than a Denon, Marantz, or anything else in that category.

Here is the site... check it out

http://nuprimeaudio.com/index.php/produ ... d-ava.html

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 Post subject: Re: HT Upgrade Ideas?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:20 am 
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Location: Charlottetown, PE, CA
This is not a good site for modern home theater advice. Head to AVS.

The nuprime unit is a bad choice. No HDMI 2.0/HDCP2.2. No ATMOS/DTS:X. Obsolete out of the gate when considering a new purchase. Their website is full of misinformation too. Like the whole bit on "if we choose to go current tech, old media content will suffer" what?!

The outgoing Denon X4200W is considered the best bang for buck right now, and supports all current technologies. Hurry, they are being replaced in a month so units are dissapearing fast and priced to move.


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