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External Amp Requirement?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by BraveHeart123, May 15, 2012.

  1. BraveHeart123

    BraveHeart123 Well-Known Member

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    I am building a new HT setup for a friend. Room size is 20'x14' with 12' high walls. The equipment bought is Onkyo 809 AVR, Klipsch RF-82 II, RC-62 II, Yamaha Surrounds, Klipsch SW-115 sub, Samsung blu-ray, Samsung 60" LED screen, and a media hub to play mkv files. The setup will be 80-20 movies-music.
    The main listening positing is 19 feet away. According to the maths I did, keeping in mind the speakers' sensitivity, I think Onkyo 809 is more than enough to easily drive this setup to 75dB spl with roughly 30dB of headroom.
    Since I am into HT craze for only a year and a half and may be wrong, I need advice on whether this setup requires external 2-channel amp for the mains. I can get an almost brand-new very sparingly used NAD S200 stereo amp for around $1000. I know it's an old amp, but it sure is a monster.
    But I am being skeptical if I really need that much external amplification keeping in mind I will be crossing the mains at 80Hz for the newly launched Klipsch SW-115 sub , which has 400 watts of continuous power and 800 watts dynamic headroom to deal with the power hungry lowest frequency spectrum.
    Loudness is not my main concern. Will I get any sonic benefit adding NAD S200 to this setup??
    Your comments are welcome.
     
  2. Mr645

    Mr645 Well-Known Member

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    I think just about any seperate amp will be more powerful then the receiver. I compared the built in amps (110x7) in my Pioneer Elite VSX-32 to an external Parasound HCA-855a (85x5) and the Parasound would deliver about 5 db more clean volume and better overall sound quality, even though it is rated as less powerful. I also noticed the the Parasound used nearly twice the electricity then the Pioneer receiver.
    I would suggest starting out without an external amp, and if the system exceeds your clients expectations, then leave it
     
  3. BraveHeart123

    BraveHeart123 Well-Known Member

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    My concern .... will NAD S200 give me any sonic improvement e.g. bigger/wider soundstage, better imaging, increased details in the mid-range and higher frequencies, increased bite in mid-bass, etc?? Is this amplifier any good for movies??? I know it sure is for 2 channel stereo.
     
  4. BraveHeart123

    BraveHeart123 Well-Known Member

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    Anyone???
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

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    Even a good amp isn't going to change your sound, it is just going to give you more of it. So if you are asking if this will make your system sound like a million bucks, the answer is no.
    An amp is no different for movies or music; it does the same thing no matter what signal you put through it.
     
  6. BraveHeart123

    BraveHeart123 Well-Known Member

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    No offence, but I don't know why people on this forum do not spell out what was asked. I never said the system was going to sound bad. I had listed the speakers and avr in the start of this thread. Also, I am using the same setup barring SW-115 and yammy surrounds. Mine are SUB-12 and RS-52 II. So, I know it sounds amazing even with Onkyo 809.
    All I wanted to know was if adding NAD S200 to drive the mains will offer any sonic benefit. A lot of people on this forum help less and sort of confuse more.
     
  7. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Well-Known Member

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    I don't see where you have a complaint. You asked if an you'd get any sonic benefit from an external amp. The reply correctly stated that an external amp will only provide more power (loudness) and not change the sound in any other way. If you're complaining about the "million bucks", that was just a different idiom for "sonic benefit". No one said anything about a system sounding bad, just that it wouldn't improve.
     
  8. Mr645

    Mr645 Well-Known Member

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    Ithink the NAD amp will improve sound. More power, more control, more headroom all helps. Plus when you use a receiver, your dealing with many compromises to fit the amps and processing in the same housing, all using the same power supply.
    Adding the Parasound 85x5 amp in place of the power built into the Pioneer Elite (110x7) delivers tighter, stronger bass from the main speakers, better soundstage and for movies 5 db more headroom when scenes call for it.
     
  9. BraveHeart123

    BraveHeart123 Well-Known Member

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    So what you are trying to say is that adding a $10K+ amps (Carver, Classe, Arcam) etc etc etc won't do anything whatsoever if the system aint sounding good without them.
    My basic idea for floating such a question was ......
    My friend has SW-115 sub. I will be crossing his mains at 80-90 hz on onkyo 809. Since the sub is already equipped with 400 watts rms with 800 watts of peak, is there any need to buy NAD S200??? Coz the power hungry frequency spectrum accouting for punch / slam / heft / thump is already routed to the potent sub.
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

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    Here's the way it works: your speakers are only as good as what they are. Adding an amp to them won't make them sound better than they are capable of, so the speaker's quality is ALWAYS the limit, no matter what amp you have powering them. An amp will only add "more control" if your current amp is not sufficient to provide adequate power for the level you are listening at. If you don't have distortion currently, adding an amp will provide no benefit. If you turn it up and find that the sound is distorted, aka unclear, then an amp will likely help by allowing you to turn it up louder before that audible distortion occurs.
     
  11. BraveHeart123

    BraveHeart123 Well-Known Member

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    Thanx John, I get it now.
    In my current setup, the speakers dont drool hint of distortion even beyond reference level i.e. past the 85 dB spl. They sound clean and distinct at near ear-bleeding levels. I mostly lisen at -15 to -20 dB below reference.
    Just out of curiosity, why do people add external amps in mid-sized HT rooms with somewhat very similar gear as I have when they do not hear any distortion with AVR?? If there is no sonic benefit, why do people spend crazy amount of money on external amps???
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

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    I bought mine because my speakers are all 4 Ohm and are pretty demanding on top of the fact that I do tend to listen loud when nobody else (the little lady) is around :) My previous and current rooms are quite large too. Generally owners of big amps are people with low impedance speakers, low sensitivity speakers, both of which make a speaker difficult to drive to higher levels. The other people who buy big amps are those who just for status (they don't really know the purpose), or thought it was going to make a big difference. To increase your sound level to a point where you will actually be able to tell (without measurements) a real difference in the sound level is about +6dB and that requires 200% more power than what one currently has to achieve that. It is exponential as well, meaning as you try to increase the SPL a given amount, the amount of additional power rises significantly for each dB.
     
  13. BraveHeart123

    BraveHeart123 Well-Known Member

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    It is lucent clear to me now. I was at the brink of throwing $1000+ each to buy external amps for myself and the friend, but after getting the info from this forum I'd hold my horses.
    Rather, I would spend money to upgrade my sub.....been waiting for a long time for SW-115, though REL Stentor, JM Labs Electra 1000 are easily available here, but way over my budget.
    Thanx again for filling me in with this valuable info.
     

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