7 channel amp recommendation?

J

jnboone

Junior Audioholic
Ratings
5
#1
You can see my setup in my signature. Just got the second SB13 Ultra. Thinking my next move is to add an amp. I've had multiple problems with the Denon 4520 (been replaced three times),and am wanting to be in a position to replace it the next time it goes out when it's not under warranty, and I don't wanna be stuck having to buy a high end AVR again just to get the power. Don't see myself ever going past 7.2 Have been thinking for a long time about the Emotiva XPA-7. I'm gonna buy something relatively soon. Have read a bunch of the threads, but just don't wanna make a mistake. Any better 7 channel amps out there for $2000? I'm 50/50 music and movies. When I'm in the mood I do listen to music at full volume on the 4520 :) Also, if I go with Emotiva, any authorized dealers on here willing to work on the price?
 
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R

rbdan

Enthusiast
Ratings
4
#2
Great minds think alike. ;)

I also have a Denon 4520 which I love but it doesn't support HDMI 2.0. I purchased up a Denon 3400 ($700) in August of last year and the difference in sound quality was night and day, so I packed up the 3400 and shipped it back. Very weak sounding.

I just picked up an Outlaw 5000 (5 channel) amp for $599 and my plan is to purchase the Denon 4400 on clearance for around $800. The reason I settled on the 4400 is that It has all the same technology and supports all the same audio formats as the 6400 and 8500 flagship models just with less power. I only have a 5.1 setup but I will be adding some Atmos speakers eventually and the 4400 receiver has way more than enough power to drive them.

Dan
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,325 17 37
#3
The Monoprice Monolith 7ch amp would be my consideration (made by ATI). I have a 4520, don't use external amps any more (and no problems with the 4520 either),but when I did I ran a few Crown XLS1500s for the mains. Not looking for 4k/Atmos at this time so fine with the 4520, but am curious what your issues particularly were that you had to send it in, and what was it, new or refurb?.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,727 7 1
#4
I agree with HD except my choice is the Monolith 200x5 because:
- $200 less
- More power reserve
- Fewer components in the box= better reliability/longevity
- your avr is totally capable of driving the other channels

Even the 3400's amps are quite capable but you didn't give it a chance. The 4400 is obviously a better choice if you need 9/11 channels of processing.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
4,483 22 4
#5
You can see my setup in my signature. Just got the second SB13 Ultra. Thinking my next move is to add an amp. I've had multiple problems with the Denon 4520 (been replaced three times),and am wanting to be in a position to replace it the next time it goes out when it's not under warranty, and I don't wanna be stuck having to buy a high end AVR again just to get the power. Don't see myself ever going past 7.2 Have been thinking for a long time about the Emotiva XPA-7. I'm gonna buy something relatively soon. Have read a bunch of the threads, but just don't wanna make a mistake. Any better 7 channel amps out there for $2000? I'm 50/50 music and movies. When I'm in the mood I do listen to music at full volume on the 4520 :) Also, if I go with Emotiva, any authorized dealers on here willing to work on the price?
I too an very curious about the failures you have had!

I'd give good consideration to either the 5 channel Outlaw or the 5 channel Monolith and use your AVR for two of the surrounds. Almost any AVR is pretty capable if you only ask it to power two channels...and even more so if you have a crossover to a sub to offload the bass from the AVR.
 
J

jnboone

Junior Audioholic
Ratings
5
#6
Every time it has been the HDMI card - which they can’t get anymore, so after the first one all the replacements have been refurb’s.
I’m really wanting a seven channel amp just in case I someday decide to get a pre instead of an avr
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
617 1 1
#7
Going to agree. AVR can probably handle the surround speakers. Monolith 5 is a good option. Good luck! :)
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,325 17 37
#8
Another consideration is if you do go for a pre-pro with 7ch or more later (for Atmos or whatever reasons) you could supplement a 5ch amp with another 5 ch amp or combos of 2ch amps as needed....
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,727 7 1
#9
Every time it has been the HDMI card - which they can’t get anymore, so after the first one all the replacements have been refurb’s.
I’m really wanting a seven channel amp just in case I someday decide to get a pre instead of an avr
After using two Marantz prepro, the second one being a costly flagship, I have just gone back to AVR and doubt I would ever look back. My 11.2 prepro is now used in one of my 2 channel system.

The reasons are:

- AVR, AVP both get outdated quickly.
- They are jammed pack, unless you are happy with 7 channels with the basic features.
- Either of the above may in theory and probability, result in the newer models being less reliable and/or more short lived.

So I feel much better now thinking that if the AVR decided to quit after the warranty period, or get outdated, I won't have to spend $4K-$5K to replace it. Also, even if you have a 7 channel amp, if you suddenly want to try 9.2, 11.2 or more, you are still going to fall short. With an AVR such as the very affordable X4400H, SR6012, you can use them to power the surround channels.

That's just my opinion based on my own experience, as always YMMV..
 
Z

zumbo

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
621
#10
After suddenly, and unexpectedly being thrown back into replacing components, I have a slightly different thought process on this.

I have been using a Yamaha RX-Z7 as a pre-pro for many years now. During this time of owning the unit, I have built many car audio systems. I have done both most of my life.

One main thing I am certain of these days in car audio system design, is being certain the head-unit not only is an "upper-end" model, but being certain it has a high output voltage.

I had ABSOLUTELY no idea the RX-Z7 had the same output voltage in pre-pro mode(1v) as a $500avr at my time of purchase. Didn't even cross my mind to research such.

Amps usually last, and last when operated within their design limits. My Adcom 7605 blew one fuse during my latest stuper, but I fried my RX-Z7. The AVR shuts down COMPLETELY in pre-amp mode, or as an AVR.

I moved-up to a dedicated pre-pro with 2.4v xlr outputs. Of coarse, I gotta buy a new amp with xlr inputs. LOL!

At least the Denon, and Marantz AVRs recommended have 1.2v through the rca outputs. More than my RX-Z7 1v. Shame on Yamaha.
 
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AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Seriously, I have no life.
Ratings
6,781 16 6
#11
1. If you set all RBH speakers to small and the dual subs are doing all the heavy lifting, I don't think you'll need more than the Outlaw 5000 5Ch amp. You could get 2 amps for 7Ch.

2. If you absolutely want a true 200W x all 7 channels driven (like 7Ch Stereo mode),then I would get 7 of the Outlaw 2200 monoblocks for $1789.

3. If you're okay with about 160W x 7Ch driven, then the Monoprice Monolith 200x7 amp will do.
 
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AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Seriously, I have no life.
Ratings
6,781 16 6
#12
After suddenly, and unexpectedly being thrown back into replacing components, I have a slightly different thought process on this.

I have been using a Yamaha RX-Z7 as a pre-pro for many years now. During this time of owning the unit, I have built many car audio systems. I have done both most of my life.

One main thing I am certain of these days in car audio system design, is being certain the head-unit not only is an "upper-end" model, but being certain it has a high output voltage.

I had ABSOLUTELY no idea the RX-Z7 had the same output voltage in pre-pro mode(1v) as a $500avr at my time of purchase. Didn't even cross my mind to research such.

Amps usually last, and last when operated within their design limits. My Adcom 7605 blew one fuse during my latest stuper, but I fried my RX-Z7. The AVR shuts down COMPLETELY in pre-amp mode, or as an AVR.

I moved-up to a dedicated pre-pro with 2.4v xlr outputs. Of coarse, I gotta buy a new amp with xlr inputs. LOL!

At least the Denon, and Marantz AVRs recommended have 1.2v through the rca outputs. More than my RX-Z7 1v. Shame on Yamaha.
So did you get a Marantz pre-pro? What amp are you thinking?
 
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KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
4,483 22 4
#14
The pre is on the way. Really want a Bryston 9B, or ATI 4005. Gonna probably go with the Monolith 5x, or Emo XPA-5 though. Unless you got something for me??????
The Monolith or the Outlaw is the obvious choice as far as function/cost.
However, if you are interested in (and willing to pay a premium for) matching your Marantz pre-pro, you might want to get one of these:


https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B003R7KMSI/ref=dp_olp_all_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=all

It is rated as 140WPC, but I suspect that is the power output for only two channels driven, so the Outlaw 5000 which produces (as verified by the AH review/bench tests) over 120WPC for all 5 channels at the same time is likely a more powerful unit.

I believe in letting you know what options exist so you can choose. If you like the way it looks and have the coin, more power to you!:)
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,727 7 1
#15
At least the Denon, and Marantz AVRs recommended have 1.2v through the rca outputs. More than my RX-Z7 1v. Shame on Yamaha.
Sorry about your RX-Z7, but you misunderstood the preout specs.

It is true that some AVR, such as some of the lower Yamaha models, have lower output than Denon/Marantz, but you can't just go by the spec'ed 1 V without knowing the conditions. Take a look of the higher end units and you may find in some cases they provide more information than just 1 V. That 1 V could simply mean at that voltage, an amp with the same sensitivity as the RX-Z7 will give you the same output (as the RX-Z7),or it simply means 1 V at a certain load impedance, such as 470 ohm for Yamaha's at a given THD.

Bench tests after bench tests, including Gene's on Audioholics.com, have shown that AVRs with 1-1.2 V specs managed to achieve above 2 V cleanly. The same apply to prepro and preamps, below are just a few examples:

Marantz AV8805 - $4,500, preout 1.2 V
Reotel RSP-1582 - $3,500, preout 1.0 V

Yamaha - CX-A5100 - 1.0 V/470 ohm, 4.0 V or more maximum (0.06% THD)

I am not trying to contradict you in anyway but simply want to point out the fact that the 1.0 V period kind of spec does not tell the whole story.

Another thing, if your prepro's preout is specified 2.4 V XLR, it it still just 1.2 V RCA and you obvious know that and for short distance of 6-12 ft, you are not going to notice any difference in SN, in fact most S&V bench tests show RCA did a little better.

By the way, you mentioned the 9B, that's a lot of money for less power, compared to the Monolith 200X5.
 
Z

zumbo

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
621
#16
With 2.4v input, I would be able to reach the amps output spec at 6dB lower gain compared to 1.2v from the same unit under the same circumstances. That should clearly result in a better situation.

The Monolith is at the top of my list, but I would certainly prefer a higher-end unit like an ATI AT4005.

The Bryston would be a used unit. It is my belief that with the selectable gain input settings it offers, I would be able to achieve the same levels I have been enjoying with my Adcom without one channel not being able to keep-up.
 
M Code

M Code

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
503 1
#17
When reviewing pre-out specs..
It is pertinent to also note the input source specs..
If on the low side the resulting pre-out voltage will be decreased accordingly..

Just my $0.02... ;)
 
Z

zumbo

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
621
#18
When reviewing pre-out specs..
It is pertinent to also note the input source specs..
If on the low side the resulting pre-out voltage will be decreased accordingly..

Just my $0.02... ;)
Definitely! This is why I have been using a UPS with buck/boost technology. Voltage clearly displayed on the front panel.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,325 17 37
#19
Sorry about your RX-Z7, but you misunderstood the preout specs.

It is true that some AVR, such as some of the lower Yamaha models, have lower output than Denon/Marantz, but you can't just go by the spec'ed 1 V without knowing the conditions. Take a look of the higher end units and you may find in some cases they provide more information than just 1 V. That 1 V could simply mean at that voltage, an amp with the same sensitivity as the RX-Z7 will give you the same output (as the RX-Z7),or it simply means 1 V at a certain load impedance, such as 470 ohm for Yamaha's at a given THD.

Bench tests after bench tests, including Gene's on Audioholics.com, have shown that AVRs with 1-1.2 V specs managed to achieve above 2 V cleanly. The same apply to prepro and preamps, below are just a few examples:

Marantz AV8805 - $4,500, preout 1.2 V
Reotel RSP-1582 - $3,500, preout 1.0 V

Yamaha - CX-A5100 - 1.0 V/470 ohm, 4.0 V or more maximum (0.06% THD)

I am not trying to contradict you in anyway but simply want to point out the fact that the 1.0 V period kind of spec does not tell the whole story.

Another thing, if your prepro's preout is specified 2.4 V XLR, it it still just 1.2 V RCA and you obvious know that and for short distance of 6-12 ft, you are not going to notice any difference in SN, in fact most S&V bench tests show RCA did a little better.

By the way, you mentioned the 9B, that's a lot of money for less power, compared to the Monolith 200X5.
As I posted for him in another thread AH dd a test on his avr and measured "The RX-Z7 was able to output 1.9Vrms at < 0.1% THD + N with the max limit of 3.3Vrms before turning off."
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,325 17 37
#20
Definitely! This is why I have been using a UPS with buck/boost technology. Voltage clearly displayed on the front panel.
He's talking about the level from your source, e.g. a cd player or other source. Not the line voltage. If your source is outputting 100mv instead of 200mv as another, there would be a difference (altho in some avrs you can raise source level).
 

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