Do power amps improve sound quality ???

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by JasR, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. JasR

    JasR Auditioning

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    I am considering upgrading my system with some power amps but am concerned whether the extra expense is worth it.
    Present receiver: Yamaha RX-V3300 (7 * 130 watts).
    Am considering 2 Rotel power amps to be connected to the per outs of the receiver:
    Rotel RB1080 (2 * 200 watts)
    Rotel RMB1075 (5 * 120 watts)
    Will this system give a big difference in sound quality or will it be barely noticible.
    The present volume level is quite OK as I never have to go above -20db on the Yamaha.
    Does anyone use these Rotel models?
    Thanks
    Bob (Newcastle, Australia)
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    IMO, the Rotels are better amps and will sound noticably better. I have a Marantz 8300, which is rated at 120w, and when I moved to 125w Marantz monoblocks, the difference was immediately noticable. Unless your surrounds are particularly demanding or you are looking to make your ears bleed with insane SPLs, I wouldn't bother with external amplification for them.

    Your receiver is rated at 130x7, but that does not mean it will deliver 130 with 7 channels driven, and the more demanding your speakers are, the harder it will be for the receiver to meet that.

    WHAT SPEAKERS?
     
  3. Robert Hoffman

    Robert Hoffman Stunt Coordinator

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    If your internal amps are being overdriven, then you're likely to hear an improvement. If your speakers don't need any more power, then the improvement will likely be minimal.
     
  4. JasR

    JasR Auditioning

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    Thanks for the comments,
    My speakers are:
    B&W CDM7NT fronts
    B&W CDMCNT centre
    B&W CDMSNT wall mounted surrounds (4)
    B&W ASW750, B&W ASW675 & B&W ASW600 subwoofers

    Bob (Newcastle Australia)
     
  5. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

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    I'm with Mr. Hoffman... If you don't really need more power, the sonic difference will be minor. Now, if you plan to eventually upgrade to a pre-pro to round out the "separates" system, then it makes sense.
     
  6. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    I didn't notice much of a difference adding amps, but factors such as your speakers and room can make a big difference. I ended up keeping the amps even thought they didn't make much of a difference because I may move up to a prepro one day.
     
  7. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    The Rotel amps will (or should) sound very different than the Yamaha receiver's internal amps. If the Yamaha is being over driven the difference will be very noticable, but even if they aren't you should still be able to hear a considerable change. Yamaha's are generally considered neutral or even bright, in the opinion of some people. OTOH, Rotel amps have a warmer sound quality. The difference is pretty easy to hear, IMO.

    Please notice that nowhere did I say the Rotel would sound better, just different. From a straight design standpoint, the Rotel amps are certainly better than the amps in a mid-line Yamaha receiver. But whether they will sound better to you is strictly a matter of personal preference.
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    While the CDMs (I'm a long time fan of the CDMs) do not require a ton of power, I feel they will benefit from additional power. I'd start with a 2 or 3 channel just for the fronts and see what that does. By adding an amp, not only are you giving cleaner power to the speakers powered by the amp(s), you are also freeing up some headroom on the receiver for the speakers that it is powering due to lower demand. Your room and listening habits are definitely going to be factors as well.

    Maybe the question is, is there something you aren't happy with? Have you calibrated the speakers with an SPL meter?
     

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