Amp with existing receiver?

T

txbonds

Audioholic
I've just ordered a SVS PC-2000 Pro to replace my recently dead DefTech 800 sub based on guidance from the subwoofer forum section. I have DefTech Pro Monitor 800 speakers all around with a Pro Center 1000. I'd like to start upgrading some of the system slowly to include the front main 3 speakers, the receiver and my current Marantz UD7007 player since we just upgraded to a 65" Q80 4k TV.

I'm thinking on the front three of something floor standing like Canton 596 or thereabouts, but started looking at various upgrades in the other categories I mentioned. Came across the Outlaw Audio 976 processor and 7 channel amp that look great from a price standpoint, but am wondering about amps these days. Its been 20 years nearly since I dabbled in higher end audio. At that time I had magnepan speakers and tube amps.

So, should I be looking at 7 channel amps? 5 channel and 2 channel? 4 channel and 3 channel? mono blocks? Etc? I'm not on unlimited budget as the current room doesn't justify it, but want whatever I buy to be good to go whenever we later upgrade houses one day (even if 10 years from now). Is the Outlaw 7 channel amp for under $1k a good start? Looking for some direction and want whatever it is to have balanced XLR connection for later connection to a processor.

Also, would making the amp the next upgrade be a poor choice given my speakers and the receiver would have to feed it for a while? My thoughts were that getting the amp next helped set me up for the 3 main speaker upgrade as the step after. Then I could come back with a processor upgrade later. (not factoring the player into the process as it will not necessarily be in the same upgrade order)

Thanks for any insight and hopefully may questions make sense.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I've just ordered a SVS PC-2000 Pro to replace my recently dead DefTech 800 sub based on guidance from the subwoofer forum section. I have DefTech Pro Monitor 800 speakers all around with a Pro Center 1000. I'd like to start upgrading some of the system slowly to include the front main 3 speakers, the receiver and my current Marantz UD7007 player since we just upgraded to a 65" Q80 4k TV.

I'm thinking on the front three of something floor standing like Canton 596 or thereabouts, but started looking at various upgrades in the other categories I mentioned. Came across the Outlaw Audio 976 processor and 7 channel amp that look great from a price standpoint, but am wondering about amps these days. Its been 20 years nearly since I dabbled in higher end audio. At that time I had magnepan speakers and tube amps.

So, should I be looking at 7 channel amps? 5 channel and 2 channel? 4 channel and 3 channel? mono blocks? Etc? I'm not on unlimited budget as the current room doesn't justify it, but want whatever I buy to be good to go whenever we later upgrade houses one day (even if 10 years from now). Is the Outlaw 7 channel amp for under $1k a good start? Looking for some direction and want whatever it is to have balanced XLR connection for later connection to a processor.

Also, would making the amp the next upgrade be a poor choice given my speakers and the receiver would have to feed it for a while? My thoughts were that getting the amp next helped set me up for the 3 main speaker upgrade as the step after. Then I could come back with a processor upgrade later. (not factoring the player into the process as it will not necessarily be in the same upgrade order)

Thanks for any insight and hopefully may questions make sense.
I think you will be much better off with something like the AVR-X3700H, or X3600H if you can find one. Depending on your seating distances you may only need a 3 channel power amp, or get the Outlaw Model 5000 for cheap, though while it will give you tons of power output into 4 ohms, it does have higher distortions than any of the Denon/Marantz/Yamaha AVRs measured at ASR. I don't think it's THD levels are high enough to be audible, but that's just me. If you want something that measures well, there is always the popular Monolith 200WX3.

 
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KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
You need to choose your speakers before you settle on an amp. Some speakers require more power than others, so the best amp for you will vary depending on the speakers you will use them with.
I am about 95%/5% music/HT, so for me, it would make sense to put my serious money into the front two speakers and insure they had good solid power while saving money on the surrounds. You only mention replacing the front three, so I wonder if you are thinking the same way. If you intend to keep your surrounds and plan to have a 7 channel system, then buying something like the Outlaw 5000x is a good option. It is a good value on 5 channels and more than ample power for your DefTech 800 surrounds. For the question of whether or not you should use the 5000x for your center, it depends on the needs of your center, but would do fine with most. However, I am not sure you can find a better 4 channel amp for the price of the 5000x, so I still think it is a great option.

You did not specify your current AVR, but if you got the 5000x, you are now looking at the AVR to only drive the front two (or three) channels.

The 5000x is an update of the 5000. Outlaws claims the same performance (so I assume it is internally the same design). The difference is that the 5000X adds XLR connections!

On the speakers, I really hope you are looking at the Canton Chrono SL 596.2! The .2 is important because it has the ceramic tweeter that (at least in my subjective view) presents an outstanding
high end. (and also Accessories4Less is currently throwing in a free center channel which essentially makes it the same price as the 596 without the .2)
 
T

txbonds

Audioholic
Yes, I was looking at the Canton Chrono SL 596.2. I'm really not certain I want a horizontal center speaker that isn't wall mounted even though I realize it's a good deal. Once I hang my TV and remove the current large double sided entertainment stand in the alcove it currently sits in, I planned to replace with a single stack A/V stand and leave room for a front sub and floor standing center. maybe that is a bad plan though.

My current usage is mostly all TV and Movies, but it's mainly due to the room and home space. Eventually I'd like to be able to make that also include a healthy mixture of music when we have a different room layout. I just don't hang out in the current room often other than to watch TV/Movies. So, I'm just wanting to future proof as much as possible so the purchase now can support expanded usage later.

On the receiver, it's just a modest Onkyo TX-NR636 with firmware update to do Atmos. I'd like to eventually replace with a processor. Would it handle the Canton's now, or is this a situation of have to buy speakers and amp at same time if I go with something like the cantons?

Thanks.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
I would agree with PENG that the Denon would be a better option than the Outlaw pre-pro.
The Outlaw is one of few options for a pre-pro in this price range, but I am a believer in the economies of scale when buying a product like the Denon 3600 or 3700. These are very complex machines and Denon, Marantz, and Yamaha have all shown the ability to pull them off without major issues.
If you are dead-set on buying a dedicated pre-pro for under $1000, I think the Outlaw is probably your best bet, but the Denon AVR (even if you don't use the amp section at all) will give you a much more capable pre for less $!
PENG knows the details of AVR's and Pre-pro's better than I, but it is surprising how often it turns out that the components in in upper level flagship units are also used in an AVR like the 3600/3700.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Yes, I was looking at the Canton Chrono SL 596.2. I'm really not certain I want a horizontal center speaker that isn't wall mounted even though I realize it's a good deal. Once I hang my TV and remove the current large double sided entertainment stand in the alcove it currently sits in, I planned to replace with a single stack A/V stand and leave room for a front sub and floor standing center. maybe that is a bad plan though.

My current usage is mostly all TV and Movies, but it's mainly due to the room and home space. Eventually I'd like to be able to make that also include a healthy mixture of music when we have a different room layout. I just don't hang out in the current room often other than to watch TV/Movies. So, I'm just wanting to future proof as much as possible so the purchase now can support expanded usage later.

On the receiver, it's just a modest Onkyo TX-NR636 with firmware update to do Atmos. I'd like to eventually replace with a processor. Would it handle the Canton's now, or is this a situation of have to buy speakers and amp at same time if I go with something like the cantons?

Thanks.
Even TV/Movies, my inclination would be to put your money in the front 3 and stick with your 800's as surrounds.
IMHO, the best approach is to get a good AVR like the 3600/3700. For amps (depending on your speakers) you have the choice of either buying a very nice amp for the front 3 and using the AVR for the surrounds, or buying a 5 channel amp for the surrounds and center and using the AVR for the main channels. If you got the Cantons, either of these options would work fine - the Cantons do not have especially demanding needs.
The main idea here is to save as much money as you can (without compromising sound quality) on you electronics, and put any money saved into your speakers because the speakers are where you will really make a difference in your sound quality.
 
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T

txbonds

Audioholic
Okay, if I'm following, something like this would be a good path?

Canton SL 596.2 for Front Left and Right (with the free center as center)
Denon AVR3700H receiver (in place of my onkyo)
Outboard Amp for Front three (DefTech Promonitor 800 rear and front upper surrounds remain on AVR for power)


Is there a Marantz and Yamaha AVR that is similar to the 3700? I've always loved Yamaha and had one for 10 years as my main AVR. Finally moved it to another room and bought a top of the line model Denon (it was a AVR-4520CI model - just looked at my purchase history) from accessories for less and it died the month after the warranty ended. Was cheaper at the time for me to just grab the cheaper onkyo 636 than to get the Denon repaired. I ended up giving it away instead of repairing unfortunately.
 
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KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Okay, if I'm following, something like this would be a good path?

Canton SL 596.2 for Front Left and Right (with the free center as center)
Denon AVR3700H receiver (in place of my onkyo)
Outboard Amp for Front three (DefTech Promonitor 800 rear and front upper surrounds remain on AVR for power)


Is there a Marantz and Yamaha AVR that is similar to the 3700? I've always loved Yamaha and had one for 10 years as my main AVR. Finally moved it to another room and bought the top of the line model Denon (think it was a 2400 model back then) from accessories for less and it died the month after the warranty ended. Was cheaper at the time for me to just grab the cheaper onkyo 636 than to get the Denon repaired. I ended up giving it away instead of repairing unfortunately.
If you took that path, the Monolith 3 is a great option, or three of the Outlaw monoblocks is $999:

If you are paying MSRP for the 3700, I believe the Yamaha RX-A1080 is competitive assuming you have no interest in Audyssey XT 32. Unfortunately, you will be hard-pressed to find competitive product from Yamaha if you are looking at discounted pricing.
The Marantz SR-6014 is competitor to the Denon 3700.
 
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Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Okay, if I'm following, something like this would be a good path?

Canton SL 596.2 for Front Left and Right (with the free center as center)
Denon AVR3700H receiver (in place of my onkyo)
Outboard Amp for Front three (DefTech Promonitor 800 rear and front upper surrounds remain on AVR for power)


Is there a Marantz and Yamaha AVR that is similar to the 3700? I've always loved Yamaha and had one for 10 years as my main AVR. Finally moved it to another room and bought the top of the line model Denon (think it was a 2400 model back then) from accessories for less and it died the month after the warranty ended. Was cheaper at the time for me to just grab the cheaper onkyo 636 than to get the Denon repaired. I ended up giving it away instead of repairing unfortunately.
The Marantz SR6014 (6015 now?) would be close to the 3700. They're both made by the same company and share a lot of the same tech. I don't think the 2400 was ever a top model. It's 2nd from the bottom with entry level being the 1400. Then you have the 2400, 3400, 4400 and on up the ladder. Each rung gives you couple of additional features, better room correction and/or a bit more power.

I've had mostly Denon receivers, but have owned Yamaha and currently own Marantz. All 3 across the board have 100% reliability track record for me and all sounded very good with no real differences aside from feature set and different room correction. To that I prefer Denon/Marantz for Audyssey MultEQ XT32 in the mid and upper tier receivers (including the 3700). That with the $20 app and ratbuddyssey gives you a lot of control over fr.

I think your experience with the 2400 was likely a matter of just plain bad luck and don't consider Denon to be an unreliable brand. Also you did buy a refurb/return too. If you get a 3700 it'll likely be brand new, yes? I've owned 3 or 4 of them over the last 10 years and all of them are still in service somewhere and still working. The oldest one, an AVR 1910 is down the street in my neighbor's system.
 
T

txbonds

Audioholic
The Denon was factory refurbished. Only had 1 year warranty. The amps quit turning on, the hdmi quit switching and passing signals and a few other quirky things happened. I don't live near a service facility so no easy way to get repaired. It might have been something simple quite honestly but we just quit using it and went back to the 10+ year old yamaha (pre-hdmi). When I finally got around to setup the equipment again, there were new things out and I just decided to grab the onkyo at the local BB as a stop gap till a later day. That's been 3 or 4 years now. LOL

Anyway, in hindsight I should have shipped the old denon off for repair.
 
T

txbonds

Audioholic
The Marantz SR6014 (6015 now?) would be close to the 3700. They're both made by the same company and share a lot of the same tech. I don't think the 2400 was ever a top model. It's 2nd from the bottom with entry level being the 1400. Then you have the 2400, 3400, 4400 and on up the ladder. Each rung gives you couple of additional features, better room correction and/or a bit more power.

I've had mostly Denon receivers, but have owned Yamaha and currently own Marantz. All 3 across the board have 100% reliability track record for me and all sounded very good with no real differences aside from feature set and different room correction. To that I prefer Denon/Marantz for Audyssey MultEQ XT32 in the mid and upper tier receivers (including the 3700). That with the $20 app and ratbuddyssey gives you a lot of control over fr.

I think your experience with the 2400 was likely a matter of just plain bad luck and don't consider Denon to be an unreliable brand. Also you did buy a refurb/return too. If you get a 3700 it'll likely be brand new, yes? I've owned 3 or 4 of them over the last 10 years and all of them are still in service somewhere and still working. The oldest one, an AVR 1910 is down the street in my neighbor's system.
Thanks, I had the wrong model number from memory. It was a AVR-4520CI according to my order history at Accessories4Less. Still not the top, but it was one of the higher models with the front door and whatnot.

If I bought a 3700 now, it would be a new one since the price is reasonable. If looking at higher end, I might consider refurbished or used for pricing.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
The Denon was factory refurbished. Only had 1 year warranty. The amps quit turning on, the hdmi quit switching and passing signals and a few other quirky things happened. I don't live near a service facility so no easy way to get repaired. It might have been something simple quite honestly but we just quit using it and went back to the 10+ year old yamaha (pre-hdmi). When I finally got around to setup the equipment again, there were new things out and I just decided to grab the onkyo at the local BB as a stop gap till a later day. That's been 3 or 4 years now. LOL

Anyway, in hindsight I should have shipped the old denon off for repair.
Too late now, but I hope you at least tried a factory reset before putting it out to pasture!
 
T

txbonds

Audioholic
Too late now, but I hope you at least tried a factory reset before putting it out to pasture!
Yes, too late now. I did do that. I spoke to someone via Denon (or one of their service places) on the phone and they put me through some test paces. Obviously couldn't tell me anything about it without having it in their hands. This was years back though. Probably 6 or more years ago now. Anyway, when I looked at the cost of shipping and the minimal estimates to diagnose and/or repair (out of warranty), I just decided to shelve it over something cheaper and available. Just my temporary solution ended up staying longer than planned.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Yes, too late now. I did do that. I spoke to someone via Denon (or one of their service places) on the phone and they put me through some test paces. Obviously couldn't tell me anything about it without having it in their hands. This was years back though. Probably 6 or more years ago now. Anyway, when I looked at the cost of shipping and the minimal estimates to diagnose and/or repair (out of warranty), I just decided to shelve it over something cheaper and available. Just my temporary solution ended up staying longer than planned.
I feel for you!
I bought my 4520 from Accessories4less just like you and it continues to be a good, solid unit.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Thanks, I had the wrong model number from memory. It was a AVR-4520CI according to my order history at Accessories4Less. Still not the top, but it was one of the higher models with the front door and whatnot.

If I bought a 3700 now, it would be a new one since the price is reasonable. If looking at higher end, I might consider refurbished or used for pricing.
Ah, the 4520. Yeah, that's not a bottom rung receiver. I think that one is part of the last generation of AVRs that were still built like tanks. I bought my last couple of AVRs from AC4L and haven't had any problems. The thing I look for when shopping there are the specials they run from time to time that include a 3 year warranty. Last I checked I think they had the 4500 available for ~$1000 and includes a 3 yr warranty. That's what sold me on my current Marantz. As of last year I think It's officially outlived the warranty tho.
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
The Yamaha 2080 is what I would recommend. Good luck! :)
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
I can feel for ya on the 4520 refurb experience....I had two die (both with ability to return to A4L), but then bought a new 4520 from A4L and that's been a champ. It was their flagship avr at time of release. As to the question of using amps with your current avr, that's not possible as it has no pre-outs. Why are you wanting xlr? You have long runs of interconnects?
 
T

txbonds

Audioholic
I can feel for ya on the 4520 refurb experience....I had two die (both with ability to return to A4L), but then bought a new 4520 from A4L and that's been a champ. It was their flagship avr at time of release. As to the question of using amps with your current avr, that's not possible as it has no pre-outs. Why are you wanting xlr? You have long runs of interconnects?
Thanks. No on the long runs at this time. Just wanted it for future-proofing. I've had xlr connections in the past and prefer the simplicity as well. But its not an absolute need I guess.
 
T

txbonds

Audioholic
The Yamaha 2080 is what I would recommend. Good luck! :)
I was just looking at the 3080. I like that it has XLR input and XLR main speaker output, but not for all channels unfortunately. But that looks like a great unit.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Spartan
You Sir are on the Path to Audio Bliss. :p

Don't get to hung up on having (a must have) an External Amp. Get yourself that new AVR and after you've listen to it then decide if you need it
 

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