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5 or 7 Channel Amp? (1 Viewer)


Stunt Coordinator
Jun 27, 2000
I have an old Yamaha 793 receiver (with a 5.1 setup utilizing Pinnacle speakers) and am considering an upgrade to separates. I am looking at amps but I am not sure whether to to start with a five channel amp and utilize my Yamaha as a pre-amp (it has pre-outs) or go right to a 7 channel amp for possible future expansion.

For example, the Outlaw 755 5 channel amp is $500 less than its 7 channel model (770). Is 7 channel with a rear center really worthwhile and so I should plan for the future? Is the possible future alternate of a 5 channel amp now with 2 monoblocks to increase to 7 channels a viable choice? I do eventually plan to get a pre amp such as the Outlaw 950.

Any input on these choices would be welcome.


Ricky T

Supporting Actor
Oct 28, 1999
I would get the 5 channel amp: cheaper now, easier to move around, more flexibility. You can always get a 2nd 755 and do things like drive passive subwoofer and/or biamp your mains (for more power). Used amps are great deals too (ie, Outlaw 750 for under 800).

Kevin C Brown

Senior HTF Member
Aug 3, 2000
I had a 793 as a receiver-as-a-pre/pro. Great receiver, especially for the money.

I mostly agree with Ricky. :)

If you have the space and denaro, I say you should go to 7.1 now. I have yet to come across anyone (believable) who would say that the improvement in soundfield of 7.1 isn't worth the expense over 5.1. Depends on your room though too.

But, with that being said, I am also a very big proponent of a 5 channel amp plus a separate stereo amp (or plus 2 mono blocks) for 7.1. That way, you only need the stereo amp "on" for 2 channel listening.

So you could do a 5 ch amp now, save up some money for another stereo amp and the 2 more speakers later on...

Click on "My HT" below to see how I did it. I also did look heavily at Outlaw for the older 750 plus 2 200's. (The 755 was too big for my rack. Great amp though.) But I ended up staying with Acurus.

For mono blocks, the 200 is good, but I'd put the old Marantz MA-500/MA-700's above it.

Philip Hamm

Senior HTF Member
Jan 23, 1999
One would think that the advent of 7.1 systems would cause the used market to be flooded with old 5.1 amps. That's where I would look. Here, Audiogon, Ebay and other places may yield some nice gear for not a lot of money. I personally have a Sherwood Newcastle AM-9080. Right now I'm happy with 5.1 but if I want to upgrade eventually I would plan on powering a rear center with a cheap AudioSource amp.

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