Bad Idea Using A/V Receiver in 2-channel Setup?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Elliot_W, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. Elliot_W

    Elliot_W Agent

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    I have recently bought some Monitor Audio Silver 8 floorstanders for use in a music only 2 channel setup.

    I have a perfectly good NAD T761 A/V receiver (5 x 80W continuous, but is on par with other NAD amps for 2 channel dynamic power into lower ohms). My goal is to biamp the speakers. I am quite happy with the power and sonic quality the A/V receiver can muster up in 2 channel mode.

    Questions:

    1. Can I use the A/V receiver along with another power amplifier to biamp? The A/V receiver has pre-outs for all 5 channels.

    2. If so, must I use a NAD power amp to do so, or can I consider other brands so long as the gain is similar (and how can I find that out)? Is it a bad idea to mismatch amp brands when biamping?

    3. Or, does it just make more sense for me to sell the A/V receiver, and use the money to buy an integrated and a power amp? It's not like I'll be using the full complement of the A/V receiver's functionalities.

    4. Lastly, is it better to have one good high-wattage amp or two good low wattage amps for biamping?

    Please help, I'm quite confused!

    Elliot
     
  2. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Responses:

    1) Yes, you can use a power amp attached.

    2) You don't need to purchase a NAD amp. Purchase a brand that you're happy with (e.g. - right price, right sound).

    3) In this situation, you'd have to do the math and see what works best. If you're taking too much of a hit to sell you receiver, then you should keep it.

    4) Can't provide an answer to this question.
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    1. Yes, you could biamp with the NAD and an outboard amp, assuming the NAD’s amplifier sections aren’t disable when you plug something into the pre-out jacks. Some receivers are like that.

    2. What Wayne said. People often choose a particular amplifier if they have reason to believe it’s a better match for their speakers.

    3. You won’t make enough selling the receiver to buy another integrated amp outright. Typically when you sell something used about half it’s original street value is all you can expect to get, best-case.

    4. Biamping always requires two amplifiers.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    theoretically, you could turn on 5-channel stereo and have the same signal sent to the surround speakers, and use the surround channels to bi-amp (and switch off the center speaker in the receiver)

    or is this nonsensical? [​IMG]

    (I'm only saying because you can bi-amp this way with a Panasonic XR series receiver if you use it in stereo mode)
     
  5. Elliot_W

    Elliot_W Agent

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    Feisalk: thought of that, but isn't that just bi-wiring? Recall the NAD steps down its power output when going to more than 2 channels. Sounds impressive otherwise [​IMG]

    Wayne A:
    True Texan words, I just won't get the $$$ the A/V receiver is worth, especially way up here in these parts (Canada has a limited secondary market for audio compared to the US).

    Everyone:
    1. How do I ensure the gain for any given power amp matches my NAD?
    2. Also, please verify my suspicion that given I'd be using two different amp brands, it would be hard to predict the sonic quality without auditioning how they actually work together.
    3. Lastly, the NAD manual states, very confusingly....
    ..."Never connect the NAD T761's speaker outputs and the speaker outputs of an external amplifier to the same speakers. When the headphones are inserted the signals from all audio pre-out outputs will be muted..."

    What the hell? What's the point then in biamping...I am sure I am missing something...please help me with this all-consuming problem. I hope this is not what Wayne A. was getting at.

    Thanks!

    Elliot
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Have you tried it out? If not, how do you know if you even need to biamp?
     
  7. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    if the NAD has discrete amplifiers for each of the 5 channels then it's biamping IMHO

    what is the NAD rated at for 2 channels? in surround mode its 80Wpc
     
  8. Elliot_W

    Elliot_W Agent

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    No, I have not tried it out...I will 'borrow' something from a dealer, or perhaps biamp it with a (yikes) Yamaha HTR I have to see if it works....hardly the ideal components I wanted to be using.

    I was largely going under the assumption that biamping is a sure fire way to improve your system sonically....now that I have quality floorstanders in the Monitor Audios (rated at 6 ohms), I think there could be an improvement...besides, what else am I supposed to, clean the house? [​IMG]
     
  9. Elliot_W

    Elliot_W Agent

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    FeisalK: Ratings are as follows:

    80W x 5 continuous
    100W x 2 continuous
    Dynamic:
    160W x 2 into 4 ohms
    230W x 2 into 2 ohms
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Biamping will give you much more headroom, but it will generally not dramatically change your sound unless you do not have sufficient power for the levels you are looking for. The NAD is 4 Ohm stable, so 6 Ohm speakers shouldn't be a problem for it. The specs show that guy going somewhat deep at 35Hz, but it is also 91dB efficient, but it is going to depend on the size of room and the SPL that you are going to be looking for.


    It is biamping, but it is biamping off a single power supply, so it's not exactly the same thing as using separate amps to do it.
     
  11. Elliot_W

    Elliot_W Agent

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    John, I've read your posts before and respect....you're convincing me into selling the A/V receiver and investing in a more high-end integrated than the NAD....forget about biamping for now, more headroom is not an issue.
     
  12. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    As long as you take the jumper out of the speaker you are esentially making it 2 speakers (the tweeter and woofer)

    If you hooked up to amps with a speaker with only 1 set of binding posts you would instantaly fry everything.
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    NAD C370? [​IMG]
     
  14. Elliot_W

    Elliot_W Agent

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    Errr, I was thinking more with the likes of Jolida, Audio Refinement, maybe a couple of monoblocks I can rummage in some garbage dump....

    I find my NAD A/V a little warm...of course I have about 12 hours only on the MA Silver 8s thusfar.
     
  15. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I found some old school monoblocks sitting on a shelf in a record store in San Francisco a few weeks back. They had no names on them, so I have no idea what they were, but they looked pretty heavy duty and I was >that< close to buying them....but didn't because I had no way to test them until I got home (45 minutes away). I'm going to have to drop back into that place though, because he had a lot of vintage gear just stacked up doing nothing...

    Mmmmm Jolida. [​IMG] JD302B
     
  16. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Gee, my Nakamichi AV-1 has some of the finest 2 channel amps in it I have ever heard. Originally priced at $1,200 the Nak is the most natural sound amp I have heard. It is 5 channel, but has unusual ratings. 100 watts front L&R, 50 watts center, 30 watts surround.

    This thing is a thoroughbred. The harmonic correctness of the amps is quite something.
     
  17. Elliot_W

    Elliot_W Agent

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    Ideally I'd like to keep the A/V receiver hanging around, use it as a pre/pro/tuner etc. Still, there is that intangible feeling of "separates would be better", no matter how musically oriented my receiver is...especially if we're talking a tube or hybrid amp.

    So, as I prepare to list my NAD on Audiogon, here is a question....

    If I go with a relatively lower wattage amp vs. my receiver due to affordability, say 50W (vs 80W with the receiver), is there anything I'm giving up other than headroom/volume with the lower wattage? Sonic quality/detail is not a function of power, is it...even if we're talking bass?

    John: Ever bump into the charmed ones in SF?
     
  18. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    LOL [​IMG] No, not yet.

    IMO, detail is a function of amp quality, not quantity, as long as you have enough power to achieve the levels you are looking for. My Marantz PM7200 in class A mode is only 25w, but it provides more than enough power to fill my bedroom with plenty of depth and detail without having to crank it up.
     
  19. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    yeah! my 6W Tripath amp has detail in spades. course if i weren't using it in a near-field monitor type situation i'd need more sensitive speakers
     
  20. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    You would never guess my Thor TPA-30 monoblocks are only 30 wpc because they are so dynamic! Quality over quantity every time.
     

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