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How to add 2 more speakers with existing 9ch AVR? (1 Viewer)

kalm_traveler

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Hey guys this is probably something I should have looked into years ago but I'm only just now running into a situation where I'm happy with my AVR (Yamaha RX-A3080) but want to add 2 speakers more than it can push.

It can only drive 9 channels at once, and the room is set up as 7.1.2 with 2 forward ceiling atmos speakers. I'd like to add 2 more atmos speakers behind the sitting position but I'm not sure how to do that as I'd rather not buy an 11 channel amp just for this.

Is there some kind of 2-channel amp setup I can get that will be fed a correct signal from the AVR for those rear atmos speakers? Also, if so what's the easiest way to make sure they're balanced with the rest of the system?

Thanks in advance!
 

JohnRice

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Hey guys this is probably something I should have looked into years ago but I'm only just now running into a situation where I'm happy with my AVR (Yamaha RX-A3080) but want to add 2 speakers more than it can push.

It can only drive 9 channels at once, and the room is set up as 7.1.2 with 2 forward ceiling atmos speakers. I'd like to add 2 more atmos speakers behind the sitting position but I'm not sure how to do that as I'd rather not buy an 11 channel amp just for this.

Is there some kind of 2-channel amp setup I can get that will be fed a correct signal from the AVR for those rear atmos speakers? Also, if so what's the easiest way to make sure they're balanced with the rest of the system?

Thanks in advance!
You can do this and it's actually fairly simple. Your receiver can process 11 channels, so you need an additional two channels of amplification to go to 7.1.4.

However, I highly, strongly recommend you use the external amp to power the front speakers. Not Atmos ones. If you look closely at the specs for your receiver, you'll see that it can only drive two channels to its rated output. that is because it only has enough power coming in to drive two channels to that power. So, with it driving nine channels already, it is exhausting its available power supply and it can't provide more power to the outputs.

Since the front channels (L/C/R) use the most power, it's best to take the load of those channels off the receiver and pass it to an external amp which has it's own power supply. Ideally, that means getting a three channel amp to power the front three channels, and let the receiver power the much less demanding surround channels.

As far as balancing the system once the external amp is installed, you do it exactly the same as you do with internal amps. You can use the built-in room correction, do it manually, or whatever. However you did it previously, you can do it exactly the same way. Having an external amp in the mix makes no difference whatsoever.

You just use RCA cables to connect the L/C/R preamp outputs on the back of the receiver to the inputs on an amp. Your receiver even has trigger connections, marked "Trigger Out 1/2" to connect a small cable to the amp that will automatically turn it on/off with the receiver.

The downside is, availability of a lot of gear is difficult right now. Many are currently out of stock, so you might have to wait until they are available. Some options are... Emotiva A-3 is the least expensive at $500, but out of stock. The Monoprice 3x200 is a beast at $1,300 and also out of stock. The Emotiva XPA-3 is also $1,300, a little more powerful than the Monoprice, in stock and 20lbs lighter due to its Class H design. Those last two amp a BIG. So consider the space they need. The Emotiva in particular is quite large. Of course, there are other options. Especially at higher prices. Those are just some good, basic recs.
 
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kalm_traveler

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ah ok that makes sense! I don't mind that Emotiva A-3 but the out-of-stock is certainly a problem.

I'll have to mull this over a bit but I'll report back if I have any more questions. Huge thanks again my friend!
 

JohnRice

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ah ok that makes sense! I don't mind that Emotiva A-3 but the out-of-stock is certainly a problem.

I'll have to mull this over a bit but I'll report back if I have any more questions. Huge thanks again my friend!
I would just wait for the A-3. It's a new amp and it's the first inexpensive 3 channel amp I'm aware of. Hopefully it won't be too long. Just sign up to be notified when it's available.
 

kalm_traveler

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I would just wait for the A-3. It's a new amp and it's the first inexpensive 3 channel amp I'm aware of. Hopefully it won't be too long. Just sign up to be notified when it's available.
hey John you got me thinking more about this - my main 5 speakers are all Yamaha NS-777 towers. Might it make sense to pick up an Outlaw 5000 and drive them with that, leaving the 3080 AVR to drive the rear surrounds and ceiling atmos speakers?

Looks like I could pick up a new Outlaw amp, and it's not that much more than that 3 channel Emotiva.

*edit*
realized I should share the setup details...

L C R, SL and SR are Yamaha NS-777 towers
RSL and RSR are Yamaha NS-333 bookshelf speakers high mounted on the rear wall
ceiling speakers are Yamaha NS-IC800
 

JohnRice

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Thanks! went ahead with the order, and figured I might as well add a 2nd HSU VTF-15H Mk2 sub to round everything off.
Dual subs are awesome. They can really solve a lot of room interaction problems. I went to dual SVS SB-16 Ultras back in May myself. After doing research, as well as guidance from HTF co-owner Dave Upton, I rearranged my HT room to facilitate opposing corners for placement. Many people who add a second sub don't do it in a way that yields the greatest benefit. Opposing corners is just naturally is most likely to have minimal room problems and yields maximum benefit.

So, if at all possible, I highly recommend you make it possible to at least try opposing corners. As in front left, back right corner, or front right, back left corner. Of course, it depends on your room layout and if that is even feasible. It's also best if no sub is particularly close to a viewing position. My room has plenty of space to the sides and behind the viewing position, so the subs really integrate easily.

HERE'S one explanation of the options.
 

kalm_traveler

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Dual subs are awesome. They can really solve a lot of room interaction problems. I went to dual SVS SB-16 Ultras back in May myself. After doing research, as well as guidance from HTF co-owner Dave Upton, I rearranged my HT room to facilitate opposing corners for placement. Many people who add a second sub don't do it in a way that yields the greatest benefit. Opposing corners is just naturally is most likely to have minimal room problems and yields maximum benefit.

So, if at all possible, I highly recommend you make it possible to at least try opposing corners. As in front left, back right corner, or front right, back left corner. Of course, it depends on your room layout and if that is even feasible. It's also best if no sub is particularly close to a viewing position. My room has plenty of space to the sides and behind the viewing position, so the subs really integrate easily.

HERE'S one explanation of the options.
oh yeah, I did the floor crawl again and opposing corners happened to also be the 2 cleanest-sounding spots so double win!

If I didn't already have one of these HSU's from 7 years ago I would have gone for two of those SVS SB-16 Ultras too, but they're much better than my Yamaha speakers so I'd have felt like rebuilding the whole thing from the ground up and I'm really just finishing this old system up while I wait for houses to be affordable again (the market here in Utah is insane and I refuse to pay 3/4 million dollars for a 2500 sq/ft 70 year old house in a decent town).

The 2 spots that I found while doing the sub-crawl today were about 4 feet from the front left corner, and kind of rear right (about 2/3 of the way down the right wall towards the rear).The room is not very big, 12' wide by 24' long, but since it's mainly just for me, all i have is a double reclining love seat thing with viewing position about 9 feet from a 75" TV. The ceiling speakers have been installed roughly 65 degrees in front and behind of the seating position, directly in line with the front L and R towers.

It's not great, certainly not ideal but I've tried to make the best of it without spending a fortune on equipment only to end up being held back by the non-ideal dimensions and that the room itself is floating - it used to be the back deck of the home but was built into an addition so there wasn't a ton I could justify doing to isolate it.
 

JohnRice

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oh yeah, I did the floor crawl again and opposing corners happened to also be the 2 cleanest-sounding spots so double win!

If I didn't already have one of these HSU's from 7 years ago I would have gone for two of those SVS SB-16 Ultras too, but they're much better than my Yamaha speakers so I'd have felt like rebuilding the whole thing from the ground up and I'm really just finishing this old system up while I wait for houses to be affordable again (the market here in Utah is insane and I refuse to pay 3/4 million dollars for a 2500 sq/ft 70 year old house in a decent town).

The 2 spots that I found while doing the sub-crawl today were about 4 feet from the front left corner, and kind of rear right (about 2/3 of the way down the right wall towards the rear).The room is not very big, 12' wide by 24' long, but since it's mainly just for me, all i have is a double reclining love seat thing with viewing position about 9 feet from a 75" TV. The ceiling speakers have been installed roughly 65 degrees in front and behind of the seating position, directly in line with the front L and R towers.

It's not great, certainly not ideal but I've tried to make the best of it without spending a fortune on equipment only to end up being held back by the non-ideal dimensions and that the room itself is floating - it used to be the back deck of the home but was built into an addition so there wasn't a ton I could justify doing to isolate it.
The problem is, the sub crawl isn't terribly reliable. It can actually lead you to choosing locations with a large peak, instead of the smoothest response. You also can't judge the response of the two subs together. If you're willing to do the work, spend $115 for a calibrated MiniDSP microphone and have a notebook computer, using REW (Room EQ Wizard) is vastly superior. It's also a lot of work and can be a downright time-suck. It'll remove all doubt, though.
 

kalm_traveler

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The problem is, the sub crawl isn't terribly reliable. It can actually lead you to choosing locations with a large peak, instead of the smoothest response. You also can't judge the response of the two subs together. If you're willing to do the work, spend $115 for a calibrated MiniDSP microphone and have a notebook computer, using REW (Room EQ Wizard) is vastly superior. It's also a lot of work and can be a downright time-suck. It'll remove all doubt, though.
ah interesting. I only went by smoothness, not loudness but curious to see if that ends up being peak even though to my ears it sounded smooth.

Is this the type of microphone you're talking about? https://www.minidsp.com/products/ac..._VWHCXreFOSRfCFr0wLI3NwK9DvHHnRAaAg5oEALw_wcB

Sadly there doesn't seem to be much by way of instruction for setting up more than a single subwoofer for home theaters - seems that while there are many who can justify a single sub, 2+ subs is more niche.
 

JohnRice

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Yeah, that's the mic.

Setting up two subs isn't necessarily that different from setting up one, except you need to deal with the phase between the two subs. There's several ways to address this. I started THIS THREAD for general sub integration, and will be adding info regarding integrating dual subs. I intended to do that weeks ago, but I've just been enjoying the subs so much, I haven't taken the time to get back into geek mode.
 

JohnRice

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How I did it was to integrate each sub separately using REW, then with both of them running, adjusted the phase to 90 degree one at a time and found that the result was the smoothest with the rear sub at 90 and the front at 0.
 

kalm_traveler

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How I did it was to integrate each sub separately using REW, then with both of them running, adjusted the phase to 90 degree one at a time and found that the result was the smoothest with the rear sub at 90 and the front at 0.
all right John, you convinced me to give it a go with that mic and REW. Is there a good resource for getting started other than their website?
 

JohnRice

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all right John, you convinced me to give it a go with that mic and REW. Is there a good resource for getting started other than their website?
Yeah, look at those videos that Dave Upton linked in my subwoofer integration thread. Prepare to lose some afternoons and weekends, but you will be able to put to rest any doubt that your system is performing the best you can reasonably achieve. Just do some experimenting to see what the results are.

Here's one curve that really shows how the two subs in my system complemented each other to produce a better overall curve. I over smoothed these curves and didn't save the actual sweep files, so I can't redo them with greater resolution.

This curve shows there might be a problem in the crossover area of the front sub, which I wasn't considering at the time, and a room problem at the low frequencies of the back sub. The combined curve does a lot to solve part of that, though there's still an issue around the crossover area.

Both First 5:8:21.png



This one shows how adjusting the phase on the individual subs improved the crossover area quite a bit, but I still need to go back and experiment more with the phase. Now that I think about it again, it does show that the front sub shouldn't be at 90 degree, so the crossover area drop with it is probably a room issue. I don't know why I didn't do both of them at 90 degree. I need to check that as well.

Both Phase 5:8:21.png



Never in a million years would you ever be able to hear these differences on your own, even though they do produce an improvement in the resulting sound. Its the smoothest bass response I've ever had. Even though it can still be improved. I've intended to dig back into it for a few months now, but I've been enjoying the results too much to take time away. I need to do a full SVS writeup, so I do need to hook everything back up again.
 

kalm_traveler

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waiting for the mic to ship, but I tried a tone sweep from 10-200 Hz and with a sound spectrometer app on my phone, the 2 spots I found by crawling are indeed the most flat. There are 3 spots with higher peaks but also low dips and one of them is right next to the listening position so that's a no-go.
 

kalm_traveler

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ok well the Outlaw 5000 is in along with a power conditioner, and the 2nd HSU VTF-15H Mk2 just with identical settings to the first sub for now.

Still waiting for the mic, and center NS-777 tower (i tried to use their C333 or whatever their sideways center speaker is but it just doesn't have the fullness of a tower and it's too jarring for me to hear voices move from one of the towers to that).

Haven't recalibrated anything but either I'm crazy or just offloading the L C R SL and SR speakers to that separate amp has somehow resulted in more detail coming through. I've been watching the 4k HDR Lord of the Rings trilogy to test and I swear after installing the Outlaw amp I'm hearing more detail from the 5 speakers it's driving - like more individual 'things' happening.

Is that just some weird placebo effect or can you actually end up with more detail offloading from the AVR like this?
 

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