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Home Theater United Episode 25 - More on amps with John Rice and John Dirk (2 Viewers)

Sam Posten

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John Rice returns to fill in some of the details on amps and separates we didn't get to. And longtime HTF member John Dirk joins to bring another perspective and talk about his journey from receiver to separates. Brian and Sam get schooled on why higher wattage doesn't necessarily mean 'louder'. And the John's get to show how they would spend Sam's upgrade budget to move to separates while being able to run HDMI 2.1, VRR and other new tech.

Introducing John Dirk
  • John Dirk’s history with amps
  • What John Dirk is running today
Round two on amps and separates versus integrated receivers
  • John Rice had points he didn’t get to make last time
Build Sam a recommended Amp stack
  • Can it do HDMI 2.1? Only two inputs or more?

Quick Good Band and Ugly:
  • Sam - Spiral from the book of Saw
  • Brian - Birds Of Prey
  • John Rice - Colossal
  • John Dirk - Cowboys and Aliens
 

Sam Posten

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JohnRice

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I'm going to post this video about amp classes by Paul McGowan of PS Audio again, because it's probably the best at explaining the main amp classes.




And another video that takes a different way of explaining the amp classes.




Another video by Paul McGowan briefly talking about Class H amps, which might become a little more common, but will never be as common as Class D is going to be.

 
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JohnRice

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Paul McGowan explaining his take on power supplies.




Followed by Lonnie Vaughn of Emotiva presenting an opposing viewpoint on evolving power supply technology.




Paul McGowan with a second video on power supplies.




Lonnie Vaughn explaining what happens when an amp is overdriven into clipping.

 

JohnRice

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I have two of the model T8. ANY modern receiver will benefit from one of these, even if it's on an open shelf, because they all run hot these days due to the amount of electronics in them. The most important one of mine is on the Marantz SR7012 receiver in my living room. Even though it's on an open Pangea rack, it still heats up a lot. I highly recommend ponying up for the T models, since they have such flexible programming.
 

JohnRice

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Since Sam needed to mention my fondness of Nicholas Sparks movies, I figured I'd post how I rank them. Three sections, each in alphabetical order. I like what I like about each movie. This isn't ranking the filmmaking, but the theme and how the story impacts me. The stories are actually a lot better than they get credit for.

The Best:
The Best of Me (Theatrical)
Dear John
The Longest Ride
Safe Haven
A Walk to Remember


The Good:
The Last Song
The Lucky One
Nights in Rodanthe
The Notebook
Message in a Bottle


No Thank You: (Though I still watch it)
The Choice


My overall favorite is Dear John, though it took a couple viewings for me to fully appreciate it. I think I like the epistolary aspect of the story, which a few of the other stories also have.
 

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JohnRice

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It's also available on Hulu. Although Hulu finally enabled 5.1 audio on Apple TV, the movie only has a stereo track on the service.
I can't emphasize this enough. No matter how much I enjoy and appreciate this movie, "Free" is the best way to see it, at least the first time. Like I said in the podcast, I absolutely do NOT guarantee anyone liking it.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Colossal is $15 on iTunes and Vudu. Sad panda.

It's also available on Hulu. Although Hulu finally enabled 5.1 audio on Apple TV, the movie only has a stereo track on the service.
I can't emphasize this enough. No matter how much I enjoy and appreciate this movie, "Free" is the best way to see it, at least the first time. Like I said in the podcast, I absolutely do NOT guarantee anyone liking it.

I don't do Hulu myself, but if you actually want to own it, seems to go on sale for $5 now and then -- IIRC, I've been tempted to blindbuy it a couple diff times over the past year or so (and on disc at some bargain bin price a long while back).... last time was just this past month I think...

_Man_
 

DaveF

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Not sure this was fully explained in the extemporaneous discussion:

“0 db” (zero decibel) on a receiver has no absolute meaning. And if your system has not been calibrated with your speakers, then that 0 dB volume could be anything. But it will almost certainly bear no relationship to a standard “reference level”.

If your system is calibrated to some reference level (e.g. with the internal Audyssey software or manually with a sound meter or etc), then 0 db will play at that volume on your system for content mastered to that same level.

For home theater, 0dB corresponds to the “reference level” of 75 dB*. But after calibration, trim levels can be adjusted to trivially dial that 0dB up or down so the volume knob is reading offset from whatever level you like, be it 65 dB or 85 dB or whatever you like.

But that only applies to content mastered to the same volume reference that your calibration used. If the movie / TV is calibrated for a lower level, then 0dB will play back at a lower level and you may want to dial up to 10dB to get that 65 dB source to play at your desired 75 dB nominal. Or vice versa, if the content is mastered “hot”, then you’ll want to dial it down -10 dB, otherwise your 0dB is now really an 85dB target for that particular movie.

There’s no fake, artificial, post-processing artifacts added when the volume knob is turned up past 0 db.


:)

*THX reference level explained - Acoustic Frontiers
In the home it works slightly differently. Most pre-processor and audio video receivers have embedded pink noise test tones used for level setting that are recorded at -30dB relative to full scale. Using these tones the level of individual speakers are adjusted to 75dB as measured with a C weighted SPL meter at the listening position.
 
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DaveF

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On having separates versus integrated AVR: big action movies at loud volumes over multiple channels can demand more total instantaneous power than a 100W single-channel driven AVR can provide and it will clip and/or distort. Separates can have the power to drive all channels simultaneously under that instantaneous power demand.
 

DaveF

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@Sam Posten You want sometime to come back down to hear dual SB3000 subs, we can work it out. I can give you the run of the theater and you can play around, demo with single and both subs. We could move then around to check out corner loading if you want. I’ve got a T-shaped room, so it might give you a sense of how your dogleg room might affect sound. I’m only HD still, so I’d want to pre-coordinate viewing material to make sure you can watch what you want. But I’ve got loads of demo scenes too.

If you’re in no rush, maybe sometime next year when I upgrade to 4K and get a new processor, there might be a time to do something crazy with a comparo between AVR and pre-pro with amps. I can’t promise, but I can imagine if I’m doing brain surgery on the system, this could possibly be accomplished.

@Brian Dobbs you’re invited too, albeit your drive time has gone up considerably, I understand ;)
 

DaveF

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On the recommendation for an AVR for Sam, I missed something for why the absolute top AVR was recommended. At a quick look, it seems like non-flagship models could work.

The 4700 offers VRR. Can process and output 11.2 preamp channels. So you can get 7.2.4 Atmos, and have the LCR sent to an external amp for power. That leaves the AVR power to drive fewer channels.

Caveat whatever tech specs you need that aren’t in current models. Maybe you need the flagship to get all your 8k HFR HDR VRR inputs, I don’t know. I’m a dummy on cutting edge video tech.
The Denon AVR-X4700H 9.2 channel 8K AV receiver with 125W per channel fully supports 3D audio formats like Dolby Atmos®, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, DTS:X®, DTS Virtual:X™, IMAX® Enhanced and Auro-3D®. Comes equipped with the latest in HDMI specifications such as 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz pass-through, VRR, ALLM, Dynamic HDR, HDR10+ and eARC support.
 
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Brian Dobbs

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Not sure this was fully explained in the extemporaneous discussion:

“0 db” (zero decibel) on a receiver has no absolute meaning. And if your system has not been calibrated with your speakers, then that 0 dB volume could be anything. But it will almost certainly bear no relationship to a standard “reference level”.

If your system is calibrated to some reference level (e.g. with the internal Audyssey software or manually with a sound meter or etc), then 0 db will play at that volume on your system for content mastered to that same level.

For home theater, 0dB corresponds to the “reference level” of 75 dB*. But after calibration, trim levels can be adjusted to trivially dial that 0dB up or down so the volume knob is reading offset from whatever level you like, be it 65 dB or 85 dB or whatever you like.

But that only applies to content mastered to the same volume reference that your calibration used. If the movie / TV is calibrated for a lower level, then 0dB will play back at a lower level and you may want to dial up to 10dB to get that 65 dB source to play at your desired 75 dB nominal. Or vice versa, if the content is mastered “hot”, then you’ll want to dial it down -10 dB, otherwise your 0dB is now really an 85dB target for that particular movie.

There’s no fake, artificial, post-processing artifacts added when the volume knob is turned up past 0 db.


:)

*THX reference level explained - Acoustic Frontiers
Thanks Dave, this is helpful.
 

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