Amplifier question

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by suckitTrebek, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. suckitTrebek

    suckitTrebek Extra

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    Alright guys. Longtime lurker, new joiner here.
    I wanted to check into some of the expertise on the site I often read about.
    My current setup is
    FR Definitive Mythos STS
    FL Definitive Mythos STS
    C Definitive Mythos 9
    RR Definitive Gem XL
    RL Definitive Gem XL
    Sub Definitive Supercube I
    AVR Pioneer vsx-21TXH
    Now my big question is what is the best part of this system to upgrade?
    I'm thinking an external amp (like mcintosh). But these are powered subs in each front speaker as well as self powered seperated main subwoofer.
    So really no idea where the best upgrade would be. I like sweet sound, and think I have that, but it could be better. For the record I enjoy movies as well as music on this system about 60/40 in favor of movies.
    Thanks gents!
     
  2. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    An AVR with multiple crossover points...
    Denon/Marantz
    Onkyo/Integra
    HK
    Anthem(I think Anthem has multiple)
     
  3. suckitTrebek

    suckitTrebek Extra

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    Forgive my newness. But what are multiple crossover points and why would that benefit me?
    My crossover is set to 80 right now. I think this is a good setting since the STS subs are pretty good.
     
  4. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    An external amp would give you more volume but not really too much of an improvement in sound quality. What are your source players? I miss my OPPO 83SE universal bluray player. Incredible sound out the mutli-channal analog outputs. The 95 and 105 are supposed to be even better.
    And I agree on a better receiver. I have an Elite 23-23TXH and it's a fine receiver but a good, used Integra 70.2 for example with it's three 32-bit dsp chips would be even better. And you would get a much stronger amplifier section.
    Multiple crossovers allow you to set different crossovers for the different speaker groups, like 40 hz for the fronts, 80 hz for the center and 120 hz for the surrounds.
     
  5. suckitTrebek

    suckitTrebek Extra

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    ps3 for blue ray. and I usually stream pandora through a apple tv
     
  6. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I've not downloaded the manual for those fronts you have...but I'll assume they work like the 8040/60 etc...
    I also don't know how you have the sub(s) connected. If you split the sub out of the receiver you have 3 ways..then you are sending 80hz and under to the bottom of your fronts. Based on the manual for the 8040, you aren't supposed to do that, cause the "non-powered" portion doesn't go down past 400-ish. So, you "might be" leaving a gaping hole from 400hz to 80hz.
    I would set your fronts full range since they get to 16hz. You can only do that with a multi-crossover AVR.
     
  7. suckitTrebek

    suckitTrebek Extra

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    Front left and right are connected by speaker wire only. Separate subwoofer is connected via LFE on the av receiver
    Front left and right are set to Large, every other speaker Small.
    With these settings the front should be full range with everything below 80hz going to the main subwoofer
    There is a specific setting in the menu of the AV for this. When you have a separate sub it can send everything below a certain point to that.
    Don't get me wrong, my system doesn't suck by far, I think it sounds great. I just want better and to know where it can be improved.
    A better center channel? From what i understand it's pretty much the most important speaker.
    An external amp? Small results maybe. But a great amplifier will last near forever and not need to be upgraded every two years because of changing technology.
    Maybe going from 5.1 to 7.1??
    An AV receiver with crossover I understand would be better, but how much of a return am I getting on money spent? And the receiver is old in less than a year.
     
  8. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    And $800 Elite vs a $1600+ Onkyo/Integra is no contest.
    But an $800 Elite is no contest against a $1600 Elite either...
    The main problem with the 21TXH is it only pulls 400 watts off the wall.
    The Integra DTR 70.4 pulls 1320.
    400 vs. 1320. Nuff said.
    Do I think you need the 70.4? No...but even the 50.4 pulls 972.
    Edit:
    By the way, Pioneer/Elite uses the new digital amp. But the "power off the wall" difference is too big to overcome.
     
  9. suckitTrebek

    suckitTrebek Extra

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    Ok. so what your saying is an external amplifier would be the best choice to upgrade?
     
  10. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Take your fronts off the burden of the "paltry" 400w....yes.
     
  11. suckitTrebek

    suckitTrebek Extra

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    Ok. I like that suggestion. But I'm sure you know the next one.
    What amplifier? I've got no problem dropping 6k on one. Because I know it will be good for 20+ years (hopefully)
    I've read about emotiva and mcintosh. Two very different price points.
    I appreciate build quality and classical looks. But if a 2k emotiva will do that job nicely then I don't need to spend
    6k on a mcintosh.
    I'm thinking a multi channel amp would do the job nicely with at least 200w per channel.
    Suggestions???
     
  12. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Before you spend "big bucks"...
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kenwood-M2A-Power-Amplifier-240wpc-/160934850655?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item257876f05f
    You need to see if you'll notice a difference. That amp "should" go around $300+shipping. If you notice no difference...re-sell it.
    Notice it pulls 6.9 amps off the wall. The M2A means business.
     
  13. suckitTrebek

    suckitTrebek Extra

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    In truth, there's no way I'd put that my AV rack.
    I already do understand that there would be a negligible difference in sound. Perhaps only when turned up or when hearing the louder
    more climatic parts of movies. And that's cool with me, should keep any AV receiver i'm running much cooler.
    I'm thinking the Emotiva XPA-5
    Anyone think that's a bad idea?
     
  14. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The M2A won't fit "in a rack". Mine(one of my theatres uses two of them...the only thing the AVR does is height and center. BTW, I have 5 M2A) sit on the floor of a closet. And yes, that one is ugly.
    There is no reason to cut off all five speakers. The XPA3 should be plenty. The AVR itself will keep up, if only tasked with two speakers.
     
  15. David Stanley

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    Can't say anything bad about Emotiva. I love my UPA-500.
    Just for comparison sake, take a peek at the highly regarded Outlaw amps. (outlawaudio.com)
    Emotiva XPA-5 .1% THD for $769
    Outlaw 7500 .03% THD for $1599
    Power output is same for both units. Which is the better option is strictly a personal decision.
    With your budget I'd probably go for the Outlaw. On my budget, the Emotiva was a no-brainer.
     
  16. suckitTrebek

    suckitTrebek Extra

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    Isn't that like comparing oranges to apples?
    The emotiva xpr-5 is $1700 with 400x5
    seems like it wins over the outlaw 7500
    I'm thinking the XPA-5 will get it done nicely. Don't really see the need for more than 200x5
     
  17. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    If you want to get fancy and not have your amp depreciate...
    http://app.audiogon.com/listings/multi-ch-sunfire-bob-carver-cinema-grand-5-channel-200w-x-5-power-amplifier-2012-11-27-amplifiers-93110-santa-barbara-ca
     
  18. David Stanley

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    Emotiva XPA-5 .1% THD
    Outlaw 7500 .03% THD
    If total harmonic distortion levels are a non-issue, Emotiva is the easy choice.
     
  19. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Sell the 21-txh, find a good, used Integra 9.8/9.9 and the 5 channel Emotiva amp of your choice. Triple-check your setup and calibration. Look into room treatments. If you enjoy 2 channel music give Pure/Direct Analog audio a try.
     

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