Again, to be clear, my comments are based on the conditions I specified, there are always conditions under which an external power amp will contribute to less distortions at the spl the user needs, but then even under those exceptional conditions, we all know, 200 W (Monolith) vs 120 W (AVR) isn't quit 3 dB more and that's why for people who is after more power, I would tend to recommend 300 W amps, and those that could do much better in terms of dynamic output, in order to make a real\/significant difference.\n\n\n@PENG - I have a 7.2.4 configuration with 7' VMPS SuperTower III setup as surrounds. When I use multi-channel stereo it's to pair the bold sound of these monster towers with the high definition of the Ascend Sierra Towers with RAAL 70-20 tweeters (along with height speakers).\n\nThe Denon volume control has to be down by 10 clicks to level match with stereo mode vs multi-channel. You can play much louder or drop the volume as you suggest. I can't speak for others but when I play in multi-channel mode the preferred volume is almost always louder. In addition, the Monolith7 offers over 300 watts per channel with 4 ohm speakers like the Sierra Towers.\n\nMaybe my Denon 4500 height channels failed prematurely because the hardware was marginal? Or maybe multi-channel does cause additional strain? Or maybe when I used height channels as "B" fronts that caused a strain? I would need about 20 receivers to test each option with and without external amps. :cool:\n\nI understand your theory is the same power used over more channels should not add strain - but, I think it's more normal that multichannel is used with significantly higher volume levels rather than the same level.