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Receiver shopping for future Atmos

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by scottyh73, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. scottyh73

    scottyh73 Auditioning

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    Shopping for a new receiver but I'm a bit confused on something. I'd be looking at future state as a 5.1.2 setup, or 7.1.2 at most. My question being what should I be looking for in a 7 channel receiver, that will allow me the ability to add an amp for a 9 channel setup down the road? Also, is it way more cost effective to just spend the extra couple hundred dollars for a 9 channel receiver? I know the alternative would be an extra amp for 2 channels, but I have never shopped for a stand alone amp before. Thanks!
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Others here will disagree with me, but my opinion is that offboard amps are a terrible idea and make the process way too complex, especially WRT Audessey..
     
  3. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Lead Actor
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    I would go for a higher end receiver built for 11 channels even if you do not plan to use all built in channels now! You will have the larger power supply for running less speakers and you can always add power amps later if you find you do not have enough power in the receiver. I really like what Marantz and Denon are producing recently which are two brands that will give you Audyssey. Also look into Yamaha but you will not get Audyssey but Yamaha's proprietary YAPO which is not that bad and many actually like it. What ever brand you look at make sure it has all the connection you need or may need in the near future and make sure it has enough power to drive the speakers you plan to use. It is not a bad thing to have a large power supply and use less speakers than the receiver is made to handle as you will get more headroom out of the amplifiers you do use. You can also reassign two channels for another room if you choose to do so for listening to music if example. Additional power amps will give you the best performance but will also introduce extra power demand on your homes electrical system/breakers. And a higher end receiver is more likely to provide enough power depending on your listening habits, that is if you love to listen to movies loud or not. You also may consider a Sony ES receiver but for my taste it did not have the flexability I was looking for, didn't have Audyssey, it sacrificed inputs for including 8 ether ports on the back panel. But it's configuration may work for you. But I would put Marantz and Denon at the top of the list and look at at least 3 other brands to make sure you get what works best for you and will be something you like the sound of and will be happy with. Your the only one that has to be happy with it!
     
  4. Message #4 of 15 Jan 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
    JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Sam always speaks with such seeming knowledge of something he’s NEVER even tried. Having said that, for most people, it’s probably most reasonable to find a receiver with 9 amp channels. Going with Dave’s suggestion, there are models that can process 11 channels, but have 9 amp channels. They are quite a bit more expensive than ones with 7 amp channels.
     
  5. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I've never tried walking on hot coals either but I'm pretty sure it's not for me.
     
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  6. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    However, I’d like to add that companies like Emotiva have nice 2 channel amps, with the 12v switch you need to make using them automatic, for as little as $300.

    Sam and I have sparred on this for years, but he genuinely has some bizarre impression that external amps are some kind of absurd, complex process. They are one of the simplest and most potentially beneficial additions that can be made to a system.
     
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  7. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Oh, Sam, that comparison is idiotic.
     
  8. John Sparks

    John Sparks Cinematographer

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    I purchased a Denon 4300H 9.2 channel and added a Auto Source 100vsAmp for $125 to get 11.2 channels. One plug, 2 buttons and it's done. When I do an Audyssey test or listen to a Atmos/DTS:X test, the extra 2 top ceiling speakers sound perfect!
     
  9. Message #9 of 15 Jan 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
    Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    It's not complex at all. I had separates years ago then my pre-amp processor died and I just went with a receiver for a number of years and now I'm happily back with separates in a 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos setup.
     
  10. Message #10 of 15 Jan 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
    Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I think that's a terrible analogy. If it's true you never had separates beforehand then I find your stated opinion lacking in actual experience regarding the complexity of them versus just having a receiver.
     
  11. Message #11 of 15 Jan 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
    scottyh73

    scottyh73 Auditioning

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    Thank you to all for the great feedback for a noob! I think what I'll do is at least go for a 9 channel for right now, and maybe way down the road spring for an extra amp. I have always loved the sound of Denons, so I'll probably stick with that brand. Sonys have always sounded a bit dull for me, although I've never tried a Yamaha. I definitely understand that 11 channels doesn't hurt, but it's really more about justifying $800 to the wife rather than $1.5k+ :)
     
  12. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    One thing to keep in mind if/when you add an external amp. A lot of people get a lesser amp and drive surround/Atmos speakers with it, but you'll get the most benefit if you get a more powerful external amp and use it to drive the front L/R speakers, or get a three channel model and drive all three front speakers. The idea is to take as much demand as possible off the receiver and pass it to a more powerful external amp, and the front speakers put the most demand on it. I think Dave already talked about that a bit.
     
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  13. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    You're under the mistaken impression that the complexity is my primary objection. You are mistaking my objection to offboard amps as adding complexity for my objection to separates COST.

    Separates cost too much for the additional oomph they provide over an integrated receiver/amplifier. The reduced complexity here is a plus, not a primary motivation.

    Off board amps to add additional channels to a receiver are too complex for the average buyer. And I'd personally prefer to reduce complexity in the most complex part of my HT system, and fortunately have the option to do that for up to 7.1.4. Obviously people can and do use offboard amps and are happy with the results, but its not for me and it's a disservice to recommend this solution to novice hobbyists.
     
  14. Message #14 of 15 Jan 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
    JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Apparently I misunderstood you to say exactly what you said.
    Just to add, you always mention Audyssey. External amps have ZERO impact on how Audyssey is implemented or how complex it is. Plus, I never recommend this to novices. When people ask, I give answers, and I always direct them to the details of both options, just like I already did in this thread. You can't make absolute statements, then try to interject nuance to them.
     
  15. Message #15 of 15 Jan 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
    JohnRice

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    I don't remember the current receivers, but I recall that one level was a huge jump in price, mostly to add two channels of amplification. That's where it doesn't make sense, to spend an extra $700 or more, mostly for an additional two channels of amplification, when for $400 you can get a two channel amp like the Emotiva A-300 that's better than any amp built into any receiver made. And you can keep it with future receiver updates. It's not for everyone, but it's worth being aware of. A major factor is something Dave alluded to, which is that receivers run out of power supply LONG before they run out of total amplifier power. There isn't enough power coming in to power all the channels to their potential. Usually only two channels can be driven to capacity at a time.

    I won't go into it any more, unless you want me to.
     

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