To amp or not to amp that is the question?

Bordeaux

Auditioning
Joined
May 15, 2002
Messages
8
I have the Yamamha rxv2095 and was wondering if I should get a 5 channel amp to power my B&W cdm9nt? If so , what amp whould be a good match? Rotel,ATI, Outlaw, Parasound etc..Also, what cables and speaker cables would you recommend. Thanks,Bordeaux
 

Arthur S

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 2, 1999
Messages
2,571
Bordeaux

Is there something missing with your current set-up or are you coming down with upgraditis? If you like the way your system sounds save your money for a big screen.

Believe me, no one will fail to notice the difference between a larger screen and a smaller screen. Audio differences can sometimes be subtle at best.

If you want to be talked into buying a big amp, there are plenty of forum members who will help you make up your mind.
 

Ken Custodio

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 5, 2001
Messages
316
I agree with Arthur, I just added a parasound power amp to my setup and I have to say that the difference was not all that noticable. It did sound a bit better, but you have to really listen hard to notice the difference. Also you might get into a ground loop hum problem like I did. I have to use my power amp with the cable tv disconnected from my system until the cable company fixes the grounding problem.
I think I would have been better off spending the money on CD's and DVD's or saving up for the new widescreen tv I have been eyeing up for the past few months now.
Although, going with seperates have physical advantages, you can always keep using a nice amp(s)for years and just upgrade the pre/pro when the new formats pop up. But you can also do that with receivers
It just seems like after you get to a point in your system setup there are diminishing returns on adding more expensive equipment. Just my opinion. I'm sure I pissed off alot of people saying this but it seems that alot of people on this forum seem to have an excess of amount of money and no bills to pay
 

Camp

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 3, 1999
Messages
2,301
My experience with adding an amp to a receiver was the opposite. I thought I got a whole new system -the difference was that obvious.

List your budget and these guys will chip in with a ton of suggestions.
 

Ken Custodio

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 5, 2001
Messages
316
But I do agree that when you get demanding speakers, you definitely need a separate power amp to provide the high power that you won't be able to get from a receiver.
 

Bordeaux

Auditioning
Joined
May 15, 2002
Messages
8
Thanks for all the input. I was just wondering if I would benefit from adding a amp to my system. If I do decide to buy an amp, I would like to purchase one in the area of $1000-1500 new or used. Then again I might take your advice and keep the yammie.
Bordeaux
 

ChrisAG

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 26, 2001
Messages
503
I would think it depends on the receiver you start out with. A Yamaha 2095 is a fairly hefty unit, near-flagship, made in Japan, so the difference may not be as noticable as if you were starting out with the 995 or equivallent.

For those that have added an amp to your receiver, it would help those us with the urge to upgrade if you could post your equipment and what difference (if any) you noticed.
 

JackS

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
634
It's my feeling that any quiet high quality amp added to any receiver of acceptible quality will for all intents and purposes, work equally well. My point would be- theres no reason to prefer say, ATI over Parasound or Parasound over any other quality amp, you name the brand. People who own high end seperates and the means to make meaningful evualations may truely have a point when prefering one amp over another. For Us receiver users, we can shop for such things as power,price and even appearance when trying to match our components to a new amp. It's also my opinion that owning receivers ,and in the past seperates, we receiver users are not giving up much if anything in high quaity sound. Another advantage we receiver users have when using a receiver as a pre-amp, is the freedom and flexibility to purchase what we want versus the pro-seperates elitist and their "money no object" attitude.I've been both ways and eventually may migrate back, but for now, I'm perfectly satisfied with what I've got.
 

Camp

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 3, 1999
Messages
2,301
I added an amp to my h/k AVR-7000. That receiver is ALL amp. It's known for the amp and that's about it. It was h/k's flagship for good reason.

I added the Sherwood Newcastle AM-9080 amp and the difference is huge. I'm currently in an equipment flux and have the amp disconnected (receiver powering the system) and I cannot believe I lived like this before. The difference is startling.
 

John Royster

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
1,088
denon 3802 with old polk RTA11tl towers. The speakers wouldn't be considered "easy" to drive but definately not hard either. Two passive radiators, two active 6.5 mids and 6 ohm impedence.

When listening to the denon I always felt like something was missing with my music (2 channel direct). Just sounded thin, a lack of punch and bass. Like the 3802 just couldn't drive or control the mid drivers. Added my old HK amplifier (90x2) and back came the music.

Let's put it this way...wife came downstairs when I was listening to some Peter Gabriel and asked "WOW, what did you do to the stereo. that sounds so good now" She had no idea I added the amp.

Maybe others can chime in but I thought the CDM9NTs dipped a little low in impedence. See if you can demo an amp at home. That should provide your answer.
 

Wayne McRae

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 28, 2000
Messages
234
I added a Adcom GFA-7400 to my old Denon 2700 receiver.The amp is 5 x 100 and the Denon is 5 x 80.The difference was huge.It sounded like I had new speakers,movies had more slam and music was were I really noticed the improvement.Your Yammy is well above my Denon,so YMMV,but I would reccomend at least adding a 2 channel amp.The Denon only has pre-outs for the front 3 speakers,so I'm getting by while I wait for my Rotel 1066 to arrive
 

Arthur S

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 2, 1999
Messages
2,571
I added a 425 watt per channel amp to my Nakamichi receiver and the difference was subtle.

Keep your eye on the big picture.

Artie
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Messages
38
Anyone own or listened to the following equipment with
a Parasound-1201A(THD=.03%) or Adcom GFA-7400 (THD=.07%)
amplifier, was the sound very much improved?
Onkyo TX-DS898 HT-Receiver > THD = .08% w/110w x 7Chls
7.1 Polk Speakers Setup is > Front Left/Right 2-RT600i
> Center CS245i
> 4-Surrounds M2-Speakers
> A Powered 125W A/R-Sub
 

Ken Custodio

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 5, 2001
Messages
316
For those that have added an amp to your receiver, it would help those us with the urge to upgrade if you could post your equipment and what difference (if any) you noticed.
My equipment components are:

Paradigm Monitor 9 Fronts

SVS 20-39 PCi

Denon 4802 Receiver

and I added a Parasound HCA855

The improvement was subtle. I was always happy with my 2 channel music sound with my receiver and I thought a power amp would greatly improve things. In my case it didn't seem to.
 

Mark Romero

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 11, 2000
Messages
391
Real Name
Mark Romero
I have a Yamaha 2095 with a Yamaha M80 (front), Yamaha M85 (rear), and Carver TFM-24 (center & sub) hooked up. I never intended to use the internal amps on the 2095 so I never did a comparison. Maybe I will have to do that one of these days. However, I think separates are the way to go.
 

Kevin T

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 12, 2001
Messages
1,402
For those that have added an amp to your receiver, it would help those us with the urge to upgrade if you could post your equipment and what difference (if any) you noticed.
my gear:

sony str-db930 receiver

acurus a200five (currently aragon 8008x3b) amplifier

mirage frx-7, frx-center, frx-rear

no sub

when i add the acurus to the 930, there was a definite increase in the overall sound quality. the bass was tighter and more pronounced. this was the most obvious improvement. the improvement in mid/high was subtle. when i upgraded to the aragon, the improvement was even subtler. the bass again tighted a tad more and the mid/high become more forward as well. to date, the largest improvement i've noticed is when i replaced my sony 930 receiver with an ead encore. to be perfectly honest, the sound of the ead isn't $3000 better than the sound of the 930 but for what i paid (less than 1/3 it's msrp) for the ead, it's a definite bargain. i've come to understand that audio improvements are very subtle and if you are very familiar with your system, you can discern differences. that being said, the amount of money some ppl put into their gear is as much ego as it is audio. there is a certain level of satisfaction you gain from owning a "high-end" piece of gear. also, with the that boost in ego, also comes a boost in customer service. when i had an issue with my acurus amp, i called and spoke directly with paul rosenberg (mondial's founder) and received excellent support. the same goes for a issue i had with my encore when i received it early this week. i definitely wouldn't have received much help from sony if the 930 acted funny!

kevin t
 

Kevin T

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 12, 2001
Messages
1,402
hehe...thanks john. i've had that sig for over a month now and no one has commented or recognized it. glad to know there are a few fans out there. are you going to the show at bogart's in cincinnati on 6-17? i've got my tickets for the new orlean's show on 6-12! i can't wait.

kevin t
 

TedO

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 17, 2001
Messages
143
Starting out a few years ago I was able to by a Carver TFM35 at a good price so I added it to my system. WOW, what a difference. AT the time I had a mid line Pioneer and Infinity SM150's for mains. Well that receiver bit the dust and had to be replaced. I bought a Pioneer VSX36 and with this I thought I would sell my Carver. I compared the system with and without the amp. This test showed me just how much better it sounded with the Carver added so I kept it.

The second example of amp justification was with my subwoofer. I have an SVS 16-46+ sub and originally was running it with a Carver TFM15b bridged. This didn't seem to cut it, not enough power. So I bought a Samson 1000 to run the sub and shifted the 15b to run the surrounds. This sounded better and I gained more headroom, but I was not satisfied. The sub would start to distort and the amp would clip when pushed hard. After talking for awhile on the DIY forum here I thought the answer was to build a bigger sub and get a more powerful amp. Well I started building this beast of a sub and found a Crown CE2000 amp to run it so I sold the Sampson. I bridged the Crown and hooked it to the SVS until my DIY sub could be finished. Low and behold all the distortion is gone and the amp never clips. This amp makes my sub sound better than I could even hope all because the amp has enough clean power to push the sub to the high end of it's output. Even during the calibration on the bass management I can push the sub 3 levels higher before any distortion.

The bottom line is ANY speaker will sound better when given enough CLEAN power to push it to it's max, the kind you can only get from a separate amp.

I would rather have a powerful car(amp) with average tires(speakers), than an under powered car with race quality tires.
 

Alan Pummill

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 6, 1999
Messages
1,262
Just added a 5 X 125 wpc Carver AV-705X amp to my system, mainly for 2 channel music listening. I biamp my fronts!

Receiver...Pioneer Elite VSX-09TX

Front speakers...Paradigm Monitor 7's

Subwoofer...Paradigm PW-2200

The improvement was striking...much more definition, fuller, tighter bass, better mid and highs.

Fellow HTF member Kevin B. was over here last Saturday and couldn't believe it. BTW, he has virtually the same set-up as mine, minus the amp!!
 

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