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Upgrading Current Receiver to separates


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#1 of 5 OFFLINE   JohnEF

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Posted April 20 2002 - 11:33 PM

Currently I have a 3 and 1/2 year old Yamaha 793 receiver (80 watts times 5) with, I believe, efficient Pinnacle speakers (2 gold reference towers, a Pinnacle Wide-Center and 2 Pinnacle gold reference mini-monitors-all 92 db or higher in efficiency). The setup includes a 250 watt Pinnacle sub-woofer.

The room in question is about 14 feet wide times 24 feet long and 8 foot ceilings and the setup is against the 14 foot wall. I am considering upgrading to separates and I might consider getting an amp first as the Yamaha has pre-outs. Recommendations as to amp and watt per channel that wold make a noticeable difference? I listen to movies 80% and music 20%. I would like to stay under $2,000 for the amp and as for the pre-amp I am not sure (the Outlaw 950 looks like a good deal).

Suggestions appreciated. Thanks.

John

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   Jimmy Kilgour

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Posted April 21 2002 - 12:44 AM

John,
I was powering my Pinnacles (Aerogel towers and Classic Gold mini-center)with a Denon 5700 receiver and the setup sounded great.But then I also decided to go the separates route and first added a Acurus 200x3 amp to power the front 3 channels.Nice improvement-lower and tighter bass,more presence in the midrange.After 6 months I decided to go with a 5 channel amp,so I bought a Parasound HCA-1205A amp (140 watts x5,they can be had for $1000-$1200 on the net).Even more improvement-but I was getting some hum and hiss from my speakers and after much unplugging and replugging found that the Denon 5700 just doesn't make it as a quiet pre/pro.So last week I added a Parasound AVC 2500u pre/pro to my setup.Wow!Hum and hiss gone,2 channel music and multi-channel movies have never sounded this good.So, to make a long story even longer, I can say from first hand experience that both Acurus and Parasound amps will mate well with your Pinnacle speakers.If you have room you may want to go with separate 2 and 3 channel amps- I have only the room for one amp in my rack,so I went with a 5 channel.

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   Arthur S

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Posted April 21 2002 - 03:20 AM

John

Amplifiers do not all sound alike, though the differences are subtle in my experience. The only way to know what any given amp is going to sound like is to bring it home and try it. The best way is to have several contenders at home at the same time and decide which sounds best to you. Used amps are typically not too risky.

#4 of 5 OFFLINE   JohnEF

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Posted April 24 2002 - 11:25 AM

Thanks for the responses. I have been looking at the Outlaw 750 (now 755) but I am up in the air about 5.1 vs 6.1 or even 7.1. My original purpose was to save some money up front by buying a 5 channel amp and use the Yamaha as a pre-amp. At a later date I would get a regular pre-amp such as the Outlaw 950 when they become more available.

It is a good idea to borrow an amp to see for myself whether the increase in wattage per channel makes a noticeable difference. I will try an figure out if this is even possible.

John

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   Arthur S

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Posted April 24 2002 - 11:40 AM

John

As a college instructor I'm sure you have a credit card or 2. Some forum members have suggested that you use your credit card to bring home several top contenders and use your return privileges with those you don't like as much.