AVR output vs Discrete Amplifiers with 7.4.2 System, Maybe Atmos?

MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Junior Audioholic
Hello all,

Thank you for taking a moment to browse this multi-faceted questioning thread, and I do apologize for the agony of the repeats that some of you may be ever so tired of seeing pop up.

There is a TL;DR summary at the bottom for those that don't have the time or will to read this text wall. Thank you for at least looking.

I'm soon to build a new space on my property and will be able to have a better ability to have a space for my home theater and audio needs in general in the form of a second living room. I'm not rolling in money, so this is not an elaborate thing other than just having a second large room in the house that can be dedicated to audio in general. I'm not sure on the total size yet, but it will be standard ceiling heights (in the USA at least) of around 8 feet and I'm going to see if I can push towards a 30 feet x 20 feet or similar size space for this second room, opting for my other living room to be smaller and without all the gizmos of audio.

I'm at a crossroads in terms of deciding if I want to get a new AVR that can maybe handle most of the work, if not all of it, with efficient loads or if I want to go ahead and get an AVR or Processor with pre-amp output for at least the front mains and center and use discrete amplifiers for the speakers. I've been under the impression that an AVR can handle most smaller speakers just fine, but maybe larger speakers or setups with lots of drivers involved (say, 20+ drivers?) perhaps there's something different going on there? My previous 7.2 AVR with pre-amp output finally gave up the ghost a while back, and I've yet to replace it. I have been using a temp AVR in its place just doing stereo lately while waiting on this new build.

I have a very modest setup, nothing fancy, extremely entry based, but it sounds decent and I have a large array of speakers that fill a room nicely.

My now-dead AVR was the Pioneer VSX1121K (7.2 with 110wpc). I got it because it had decent output but also because it had the full array of pre-amp outputs so I could use discrete amplifiers as I fleshed things out. This AVR is now dated and cannot handle 4k and all that scaling with HDMI and doesn't have real time interface, its old, so that's ok. I don't mind replacing it. It's time. It still works, but it goes silent and displays an error code on the front after a while. Not worth fixing every few weeks with a heat gun, from what I've read. I'd rather go ahead and go modern finally. Since it died, I've been using a basic Yamaha RX V385 as a stereo AVR basically, as it allowed 4k (HTPC is my head source) and was dirt cheap while I wait to figure out what I want to do in my new upcoming space. So I have the freedom of selecting a new AVR or processor/amps at this point in time.

My modest little speaker line up is (for home theater and couch coop gaming with the kids):

Polk Monitor 70 II's x 3 (Left, Right and Center all matching towers)
Polk Monitor 50 II's x 4 (surrounds and back surrounds, all towers)
Polk Monitor 40 II's x 2 (additional surrounds or heights)
Polk Monitor 30 II's x 2 (additional surrounds or maybe use these on the ceiling at an entry to Atmos?)
BICF12 12" Sub x 2
PSW505 12" Sub x 2
3x Audiosource AMP-100 amplifiers (50 watt @ 8ohm stereo class A amps; these bridge to 150 watt @ 8ohm monoblocks); I had used them before for the M70II's discretely
Dead VSX1121K (needs to be replaced)

It's basically a 7.4 setup and I have extra speakers. I have lots of towers to avoid stands and tables and they tend to handle lower frequencies a little better.

Goal is to potentially have a 30x20 room or something close to that in the near future. We are building.

One of my main questions is.... can a newer AVR handle pushing the Monitor 70 II's (and all of that above) or would I be better off using discrete amplifiers for those? I am not looking to spend a ton as they're just entry towers and they're fairly efficient, but I already have several AudioSource AMP-100 amplfiers and I have tested them bridged and ran each M70II on 150watt mono blocks and they sounded different, better, more full, than how they sounded on just the AVR (with rated 110wpc); and I made sure they were set to full with no sub to have a fair evaluation and were not being treated as small speakers by the AVR. But, maybe there's really no difference? Maybe the AVR was only feeding 35~55wpc and the bridged amp was truly feeding out 120~140wpc and that's the main difference? I'm not sure. Conventional wisdom seems to be that AVR's don't output their advertised specs of course.

So naturally, this begs the question of whether to get an AVR with enough output to handle the above speakers on its own in a 20x30 room, or go for an AVR with pre-amp output and let the AVR handle all surrounds and let the monoblock 150 watt amps handle the mains and center. Or, go for a discrete encoder without any amplification and get discrete amplification for all of the speakers (in which case I will need 2 or 3 more amplifiers, as 50 watt stereo amps will easily drive the smaller efficient surround speakers). And of course, I'm at the point where I could introduce a little Atmos to this. I'm not interested in a 16 channel setup, as it's just not there yet. But I wouldn't mind at least playing around with an overhead voice of god type Atmos setup, just to have a taste. So maybe a 7.4.2 setup ultimately. I don't think I care to go farther than 2 Atmos speakers overhead at this time.

Some AVR's I'm looking at currently, assuming the AVR is enough to power the above speakers in a 7.4.2 or 9.4 setup depending on if I bother with a single overhead of Atmos or not:

Marantz SR6013

Integra DRX-4.2

Yamaha RX-V2085

If the above are not enough to handle all the above speakers in those configurations, they have pre-amp output and I can off load the work of the mains and center to my AMP-100 amps.

Or, I could go ahead with a Processor that is not an AVR, but I can't seem to find much between the 7.2 (like Emotivas) and 16 channel options so the range goes from $700 (Emotiva) to $4k (Monolith, Emotiva, etc, 16 channel) just to get Atmos with the ability to do 7.4.2 or just 9.4 as the main goal options. And then I would just add 2 or 3 more amplifiers to handle the surround speakers as they will not require much to do their jobs. I could either add three more AMP-100's so everything matches ($375 total maybe). Or I could add a single Emotiva BasX A-700 (7 channel 80 watts @ 8ohm all channels driven; $599). One of those two options would handle the other 6 speakers (either 4 surrounds and 2 atmos, or just 6 surrounds).

So that's it in a nutshell. I do thank you for reading this far, I realize it's a text wall.

TL;DR

Given the above modest speakers with a goal of 7.4.2 (Atmos) or a 9.4 setup, would you use (Option A) a modern AVR to output to everything, or would you go with (Option B) an AVR with pre-amp output and discrete amplifiers for the mains and center, or finally would go with (Option C) a processor with 4k and Atmos and enough channels to achieve the goals listed and an all discrete amplifier line up.

Thank you again for your time.

Very best,
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Hey man, that’s a lot to unpack so I feel like it will take a second read for me. However, my knee jerk reaction is to go with the 6013 or equivalent denon(I have a 6012 for 7.3.4) and use some of your current amps for mains/center. Save money on not buying amps, and put some money into serious subwoofage. 20x30 is a lot of airspace, 4800cuft with 8’ and that’s not adding in any other rooms.

I’m only saying this as a reality check, but the 505’s and the BICS just don’t have any authority especially below about 30hz. Also, Ime with the 505 it makes objectionable sounds when A) driven hard, and B) crossed over too high. If they’re not even on the radar, I get it, but it’s something that IMO should be addressed. Also, as far as loads go, many times larger speaker are easier to drive due to higher sensitivity. So that would be worth investigating too.

Sorry for the detour...
Anyway, as far as layout is concerned, I would recommend 5.x.4 over 7.x.2. With properly set up bed layer, it’s just more immersive. If you can do 7.x.4 that’s all the better, and sound like you might have enough speakers to get that done. The 6013+2ch amp will allow for that.
Ok, back to read that again lol!
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Hello all,

Thank you for taking a moment to browse this multi-faceted questioning thread, and I do apologize for the agony of the repeats that some of you may be ever so tired of seeing pop up.

There is a TL;DR summary at the bottom for those that don't have the time or will to read this text wall. Thank you for at least looking.

I'm soon to build a new space on my property and will be able to have a better ability to have a space for my home theater and audio needs in general in the form of a second living room. I'm not rolling in money, so this is not an elaborate thing other than just having a second large room in the house that can be dedicated to audio in general. I'm not sure on the total size yet, but it will be standard ceiling heights (in the USA at least) of around 8 feet and I'm going to see if I can push towards a 30 feet x 20 feet or similar size space for this second room, opting for my other living room to be smaller and without all the gizmos of audio.

I'm at a crossroads in terms of deciding if I want to get a new AVR that can maybe handle most of the work, if not all of it, with efficient loads or if I want to go ahead and get an AVR or Processor with pre-amp output for at least the front mains and center and use discrete amplifiers for the speakers. I've been under the impression that an AVR can handle most smaller speakers just fine, but maybe larger speakers or setups with lots of drivers involved (say, 20+ drivers?) perhaps there's something different going on there? My previous 7.2 AVR with pre-amp output finally gave up the ghost a while back, and I've yet to replace it. I have been using a temp AVR in its place just doing stereo lately while waiting on this new build.

I have a very modest setup, nothing fancy, extremely entry based, but it sounds decent and I have a large array of speakers that fill a room nicely.

My now-dead AVR was the Pioneer VSX1121K (7.2 with 110wpc). I got it because it had decent output but also because it had the full array of pre-amp outputs so I could use discrete amplifiers as I fleshed things out. This AVR is now dated and cannot handle 4k and all that scaling with HDMI and doesn't have real time interface, its old, so that's ok. I don't mind replacing it. It's time. It still works, but it goes silent and displays an error code on the front after a while. Not worth fixing every few weeks with a heat gun, from what I've read. I'd rather go ahead and go modern finally. Since it died, I've been using a basic Yamaha RX V385 as a stereo AVR basically, as it allowed 4k (HTPC is my head source) and was dirt cheap while I wait to figure out what I want to do in my new upcoming space. So I have the freedom of selecting a new AVR or processor/amps at this point in time.

My modest little speaker line up is (for home theater and couch coop gaming with the kids):

Polk Monitor 70 II's x 3 (Left, Right and Center all matching towers)
Polk Monitor 50 II's x 4 (surrounds and back surrounds, all towers)
Polk Monitor 40 II's x 2 (additional surrounds or heights)
Polk Monitor 30 II's x 2 (additional surrounds or maybe use these on the ceiling at an entry to Atmos?)
BICF12 12" Sub x 2
PSW505 12" Sub x 2
3x Audiosource AMP-100 amplifiers (50 watt @ 8ohm stereo class A amps; these bridge to 150 watt @ 8ohm monoblocks); I had used them before for the M70II's discretely
Dead VSX1121K (needs to be replaced)

It's basically a 7.4 setup and I have extra speakers. I have lots of towers to avoid stands and tables and they tend to handle lower frequencies a little better.

Goal is to potentially have a 30x20 room or something close to that in the near future. We are building.

One of my main questions is.... can a newer AVR handle pushing the Monitor 70 II's (and all of that above) or would I be better off using discrete amplifiers for those? I am not looking to spend a ton as they're just entry towers and they're fairly efficient, but I already have several AudioSource AMP-100 amplfiers and I have tested them bridged and ran each M70II on 150watt mono blocks and they sounded different, better, more full, than how they sounded on just the AVR (with rated 110wpc); and I made sure they were set to full with no sub to have a fair evaluation and were not being treated as small speakers by the AVR. But, maybe there's really no difference? Maybe the AVR was only feeding 35~55wpc and the bridged amp was truly feeding out 120~140wpc and that's the main difference? I'm not sure. Conventional wisdom seems to be that AVR's don't output their advertised specs of course.

So naturally, this begs the question of whether to get an AVR with enough output to handle the above speakers on its own in a 20x30 room, or go for an AVR with pre-amp output and let the AVR handle all surrounds and let the monoblock 150 watt amps handle the mains and center. Or, go for a discrete encoder without any amplification and get discrete amplification for all of the speakers (in which case I will need 2 or 3 more amplifiers, as 50 watt stereo amps will easily drive the smaller efficient surround speakers). And of course, I'm at the point where I could introduce a little Atmos to this. I'm not interested in a 16 channel setup, as it's just not there yet. But I wouldn't mind at least playing around with an overhead voice of god type Atmos setup, just to have a taste. So maybe a 7.4.2 setup ultimately. I don't think I care to go farther than 2 Atmos speakers overhead at this time.

Some AVR's I'm looking at currently, assuming the AVR is enough to power the above speakers in a 7.4.2 or 9.4 setup depending on if I bother with a single overhead of Atmos or not:

Marantz SR6013

Integra DRX-4.2

Yamaha RX-V2085

If the above are not enough to handle all the above speakers in those configurations, they have pre-amp output and I can off load the work of the mains and center to my AMP-100 amps.

Or, I could go ahead with a Processor that is not an AVR, but I can't seem to find much between the 7.2 (like Emotivas) and 16 channel options so the range goes from $700 (Emotiva) to $4k (Monolith, Emotiva, etc, 16 channel) just to get Atmos with the ability to do 7.4.2 or just 9.4 as the main goal options. And then I would just add 2 or 3 more amplifiers to handle the surround speakers as they will not require much to do their jobs. I could either add three more AMP-100's so everything matches ($375 total maybe). Or I could add a single Emotiva BasX A-700 (7 channel 80 watts @ 8ohm all channels driven; $599). One of those two options would handle the other 6 speakers (either 4 surrounds and 2 atmos, or just 6 surrounds).

So that's it in a nutshell. I do thank you for reading this far, I realize it's a text wall.

TL;DR

Given the above modest speakers with a goal of 7.4.2 (Atmos) or a 9.4 setup, would you use (Option A) a modern AVR to output to everything, or would you go with (Option B) an AVR with pre-amp output and discrete amplifiers for the mains and center, or finally would go with (Option C) a processor with 4k and Atmos and enough channels to achieve the goals listed and an all discrete amplifier line up.

Thank you again for your time.

Very best,

Since you are okay with A4L, the simplest solution is the one AVR That rules all:D, at the $999 price point with a 3 year warranty.

AVR-X4500H

The comparable Marantz is the SR7013, sound quality related specs are exactly the same but the Denon will most likely measured better on the bench. There will be no audible difference though as both have distortions and other other specs that are below or near the threshold of audibility.

I would have recommended the AVR-X3600H but that things seems to be out of stock everywhere, that probably tell you something I guess..

As for amplifier, if you tell me your seating distance and the model number of the left/right towers and center speakers, I do some calculations to find out how much power you need, or not. You mentioned some Polk models but I am not sure if that's what you are going to use with the new system.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
OP, you can read more about the AVR-X3600H here:


The AVR-X4500H is virtually the same but has a couple more features and a slightly larger power supply. The X3600H is the half brother of the SR6014.
 
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MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Junior Audioholic
Thank you all for taking the time to read and write back, I appreciate it greatly.

Hey man, that’s a lot to unpack so I feel like it will take a second read for me. However, my knee jerk reaction is to go with the 6013 or equivalent denon(I have a 6012 for 7.3.4) and use some of your current amps for mains/center. Save money on not buying amps, and put some money into serious subwoofage. 20x30 is a lot of airspace, 4800cuft with 8’ and that’s not adding in any other rooms.

I’m only saying this as a reality check, but the 505’s and the BICS just don’t have any authority especially below about 30hz. Also, Ime with the 505 it makes objectionable sounds when A) driven hard, and B) crossed over too high. If they’re not even on the radar, I get it, but it’s something that IMO should be addressed. Also, as far as loads go, many times larger speaker are easier to drive due to higher sensitivity. So that would be worth investigating too.

Sorry for the detour...
Anyway, as far as layout is concerned, I would recommend 5.x.4 over 7.x.2. With properly set up bed layer, it’s just more immersive. If you can do 7.x.4 that’s all the better, and sound like you might have enough speakers to get that done. The 6013+2ch amp will allow for that.
Ok, back to read that again lol!
Thank you; and I totally agree the four entry 12's are not going to deliver authority below 30hz at all. I do plan to eventually replace them with higher quality subs and plan to go bigger with those (either HSU, SVS or Monolith perhaps for value). As it is right now, these cheap four 12's help spread out the room in each corner so that there's no dead zone in sub-bass and it helps fill out everything nicely, while not being best at the lowest of frequencies, at least making for a rather consistent room at each listening position. I will certainly go back to the drawing board once I have the room so I can get a realistic idea of what will be needed.

The new room will have a focus of being able to shut the door and have seals around the doors to minimize sharing air volume with other connected rooms. It won't be perfect I realize, but it will be much better than open floor plans that share massive amounts of volume and soak up all the low frequencies. A well insulated sealed room with doors that shut and seal should be better than an open floor plan. At least, in theory.

I'm curious about your suggestion for 5.4.4 over 7.4.2 regarding Atmos. Do you think in all titles, including the emulation for non-Atmos prepared titles, that 4 channels of Atmos is very much worth it, compared to simply one set of over-head Atmos directly over the primary listening position(s)? That compared to say, having 2 surround channels (backs) instead of 4 surround channels (sides and backs)?

Since you are okay with A4L, the simplest solution is the one AVR That rules all:D, at the $999 price point with a 3 year warranty.

AVR-X4500H

The comparable Marantz is the SR7013, sound quality related specs are exactly the same but the Denon will most likely measured better on the bench. There will be no audible difference though as both have distortions and other other specs that are below or near the threshold of audibility.

I would have recommended the AVR-X3600H but that things seems to be out of stock everywhere, that probably tell you something I guess..

As for amplifier, if you tell me your seating distance and the model number of the left/right towers and center speakers, I do some calculations to find out how much power you need, or not. You mentioned some Polk models but I am not sure if that's what you are going to use with the new system.
Thanks; That is an big unit, I will certainly bookmark that unit for research and discussion. For simplicity it certainly would be easier if an AVR could handle all the juice on all the speakers (excluding subs) involved.

I think the listening position will primarily be around the 12 foot from screen distance. Maybe near centered, maybe not. Can't be sure until the room is made. But I would venture a guess of 12~15 feet, fairly easily, as the maximum distance. I will use the speakers mentioned above for now to get started. Later, after we're comfortable again, I will look into expanding into better quality speakers. For now, though, getting a new room and the ability to use them all again is a huge gain for me, after losing a lot of space to having two kids.

The Monitor 70 II's actually dig deep and sound great, when I equalize them to my current living room, just using them in stereo on my basic cheap Yammy AVR, set to large full range, no sub, and equalization to handle the room (open floor plan, so it soaks up all the bass). And that's at around 8 to 10 feet listening distance. I'm just not sure how the performance of an AVR will be in a larger room, with more distance, and a lot more load with many speakers, compared to just stereo output like I'm currently using. They're obviously not great speakers, but they do a good job for now for the price (cheap, and I already have three of them).

OP, you can read more about the AVR-X3600H here:


The AVR-X4500H is virtually the same but has a couple more features and a slightly larger power supply. The X3600H is the half brother of the SR6014.
Thanks again; very interesting. I'll go through this information. I'm not opposed to anything that has increased value like this. And I do not have golden ears, thankfully, while I enjoy good quality I'm totally ok with things a bit more crude than some perhaps in this hobby. Too rich for my blood for speakers. I allow my headphone setups to be a bit more fancy and elaborate in that respect, but for speakers and movies, I'm ok with entry stuff.

Very best,
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
If you're building your own room I'd consider building your own subs rather than settle for Polk/Bic stuff....

I like the avr suggestions with pre-outs for amp flexibility. One general thing to mention is that smaller speakers tend to be less sensitive than larger ones....good ol' Hoffman's Iron Law.
 
MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Junior Audioholic
If you're building your own room I'd consider building your own subs rather than settle for Polk/Bic stuff....

I like the avr suggestions with pre-outs for amp flexibility. One general thing to mention is that smaller speakers tend to be less sensitive than larger ones....good ol' Hoffman's Iron Law.
Thanks; the above speakers I already have, not just going for them, I have had them for many years at this point. Just trying to work with what I have currently, other than needing a new processor or AVR as my old one gave up the ghost. I already have the speakers. So I'm gaining a new, larger room that will be dedicated to this and need a new AVR/processor to drive my current speaker line up listed above. After that, I can start slowing getting into better quality speakers (even that is a loose term really, as I'm probably going to be happy for movies/games with entry and just over entry level stuff). For serious music listening, this is not the stuff I use. I use dedicated stereo and/or headphones in a quiet room. But I have kids and all that now, so it's rare to bother with quality listening sessions, so the focus is fun.... less so much top shelf quality, if that helps with perspective. I'm targeting some HSU, SVS or Monolith subs in the future after the new house is built and I have the new room to play with and do some measurements.

As soon as the miniDSP microphones get back in stock everywhere, post-COVID19, I'd like to pick one up just to play around with measuring the room(s) with REW. I know my subs are super entry, but I'm curious how 1 vs 2 vs 4 performs, since they're still cheaper than single good 12". I'd love a duo of HSU 12's I think. That old thing applies, never listen to something you can't afford right?

Hoffman's is another reason I have all towers (7 total tower speakers for the system)! My two attributes were efficiency and bass extension. I have space and no one cares how big my speakers are other than me, and I'm fine with huge as long as I can move them myself reasonably. :)

When the kids are grown and out of the house, I'll hopefully have some Salk Song Birds in a quiet dark treated room. Until then, headphones have to do that job (HE500's currently are my critical listening headphones).

Anyhow, the main question for now is what source equipment to look into heavily, as in, which AVR with potential Atmos to drive all speakers, or an AVR with pre-amp out to add in some discrete amplifiers (if the above mains are too much to fullfill with an AVR"s output, this I'm the least sure of), or if it's time to start dabbling in all discrete gear (most expensive, least friendly option for me at this time). It all comes down to what will play nice, best, with what I have and what will scale well if I get anything better eventually.

Very best,
 
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MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Junior Audioholic
Hello all,

So after the above dialog, this begs the now revised question:

Which AVR to accomplish 5.2.4, 7.2.2 and 9.2 with the same unit?

The goal being able to either drive all the above speakers mentioned, or at least have pre-amp output to allow the mains to be offloaded to my discrete amplifiers (each being a 150watt monoblock essentially). I think there's wisdom in having the ability to try 9.2 (no Atmos at all), 7.2.2 (just voice of god Atmos) and 5.2.4 (suggested better immersion over voice of god Atmos) with one setup to see what sounds best for us and gives us something to play with. I'm thinking to start off with the Monitor 70's as the front L/R and the 3rd Monitor 70 as the Center, then instead of using the Monitor 50's, use the Monitor 40's and 30's as surrounds. And I'll just pick up some inexpensive ceiling speakers to either suspend or mount. I don't think I want to hang the 30's or 40's off the ceiling, they're awfully big for that job I think?

Very best,
 
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P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Hello all,

So after the above dialog, this begs the now revised question:

Which AVR to accomplish 5.2.4, 7.2.2 and 9.2 with the same unit?
Based on using the Monitor 70 and 50's series ii, and sitting 15 ft from the left right speakers, the AVR-X4500H can handle them if you listen to 5 dB below reference level, that is 80 dB average, 100 dB peak. That is still very loud.

If you listen loud, like in the cinema, that's 85 dB average/105 dB peak, then you need to add an external amp for at least the front 3 channels. Something rated 250 to 300 WPC would be okay, the Monitor 70s are rated 275 W maximum. The 50's rated maximum is 150 W.

The Denon is a much better buy than the SR6014 that is a notch below by spec and will be worse in actual bench test measurements. So why pay more for less, A4L price for the two are $999 vs $1199, ridiculous but people fall for the hearsay, myth that somehow Marantz has a "warm" sound blablabla.... If one likes the look and will use the outdated 7.1 analog in instead of HDMI, then Marantz is your choice. Yamaha's may be more reliable but cost a lot more, all else being equal and specs/measurements no better, actually worse (don't let ADTG hear this please..).
 
MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Junior Audioholic
Based on using the Monitor 70 and 50's series ii, and sitting 15 ft from the left right speakers, the AVR-X4500H can handle them if you listen to 5 dB below reference level, that is 80 dB average, 100 dB peak. That is still very loud.

If you listen loud, like in the cinema, that's 85 dB average/105 dB peak, then you need to add an external amp for at least the front 3 channels. Something rated 250 to 300 WPC would be okay, the Monitor 70s are rated 275 W maximum. The 50's rated maximum is 150 W.

The Denon is a much better buy than the SR6014 that is a notch below by spec and will be worse in actual bench test measurements. So why pay more for less, A4L price for the two are $999 vs $1199, ridiculous but people fall for the hearsay, myth that somehow Marantz has a "warm" sound blablabla.... If one likes the look and will use the outdated 7.1 analog in instead of HDMI, then Marantz is your choice. Yamaha's may be more reliable but cost a lot more, all else being equal and specs/measurements no better, actually worse (don't let ADTG hear this please..).
Thanks, very interesting!

How much of a difference do you think it would make if the MLP was no longer 15 feet, but closer to 10~12 feet? Enough of a difference to not need 300WPC amps just to accomplish that, going a touch loud like cinema? Assuming my room size doesn't land at 30x20 and is slightly smaller, say 24x18 or 28x20 or something like that, not quite sure yet, depends on what I can alter in the plans.

I do not mind at all getting a three channel 200~300WPC amplifier as it would be a long term thing, but at the same time, if I can do it more efficiently, maybe I should consider it? For example, do I even need to bother with the M70's or do I simply use something more efficient?

Though that said, getting new speakers just introduces the same issue, where I likely need an AVR with pre-amp output and a fairly high powered multi-channel amp to handle anything less efficient, which is probably likely. I probably should try to stay in line with what I currently have and try to maximize it.

Maybe if I really wanted to go efficient, I should explore what speakers it would take to do this without needing extra amplification just for the mains? A 200WPC three channel is $1k along with the AVR. Seems like an inefficient way to get a step up from the $1k AVR.

Very best,
 
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AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
1. Room Size vs AVR? The salient thing is the actual distance from the listening position to the speakers, not the room size. So if your listening distance is less than 18FT, I say you're generally all good with these AVR's. In my living room I have the Yamaha 3080, which basically has the same amps as the 2080. My living room is about 23'x24'x13' ceiling, but it is very open to the formal dining and kitchen area. However, the listening position is about 18' from the speakers.

2. Which AVR? Currently, my personal belief is that Yamaha is the most reliable. This may or may not be true, but it's my current belief. I've only owned Yamaha Pre-Pro, Amp, and AVR recently (about 2 years on CX-A5100 and MX-A5000). Before that, I owned Denon's (AVP-A1HDCI, AVR-5308, and plenty of the Denon 3000's models.

Here is a thread comparing some AVR's:


Regarding Warranty Repairs - if you have to ship your AVR in for repair (no local authorized shops or if the repairs have to be sent to the main repair center since the local shops cannot repair), Yamaha will pay for shipping both ways for both New and Refurbished Warranty. All other brands will require you to pay for the shipping to the repair center.
 
MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Junior Audioholic
1. Room Size vs AVR? The salient thing is the actual distance from the listening position to the speakers, not the room size. So if your listening distance is less than 18FT, I say you're generally all good with these AVR's. In my living room I have the Yamaha 3080, which basically has the same amps as the 2080. My living room is about 23'x24'x13' ceiling, but it is very open to the formal dining and kitchen area. However, the listening position is about 18' from the speakers.

2. Which AVR? Currently, my personal belief is that Yamaha is the most reliable. This may or may not be true, but it's my current belief. I've only owned Yamaha Pre-Pro, Amp, and AVR recently (about 2 years on CX-A5100 and MX-A5000). Before that, I owned Denon's (AVP-A1HDCI, AVR-5308, and plenty of the Denon 3000's models.

Here is a thread comparing some AVR's:


Regarding Warranty Repairs - if you have to ship your AVR in for repair (no local authorized shops or if the repairs have to be sent to the main repair center since the local shops cannot repair), Yamaha will pay for shipping both ways for both New and Refurbished Warranty. All other brands will require you to pay for the shipping to the repair center.
Thanks, that's very useful information about warranty stuff. That's pretty important with a $1k AVR. My last AVR was used, around $500, and it died. Granted, it's technology level is old at this point and doesn't work with my newer source system due to lacking modern HDMI throughput and scaling (4k, etc). So I don't think I would have repaired it. But moving forward, something new like this it makes sense to at least have a good chance to repair something modern that is $1k.

It is good to know it's possible to drive efficient speakers at a decent distance with just the AVR. I'm certainly not after golden ear perfection, mostly just working with a system I already have (other than the new AVR) in a larger room that is fun but not totally sloppy and blooming with over the top warmth, though not seeking a clinical sound either.

Very best,
 
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William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
These regularly go on sale for roughly 1/2. Very sensitive, very good speakers.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
How much of a difference do you think it would make if the MLP was no longer 15 feet, but closer to 10~12 feet? Enough of a difference to not need 300WPC amps just to accomplish that, going a touch loud like cinema? Assuming my room size doesn't land at 30x20 and is slightly smaller, say 24x18 or 28x20 or something like that, not quite sure yet, depends on what I can alter in the plans.

I do not mind at all getting a three channel 200~300WPC amplifier as it would be a long term thing, but at the same time, if I can do it more efficiently, maybe I should consider it? For example, do I even need to bother with the M70's or do I simply use something more efficient?
For 15 feet, if you want reference level you need about 300 W and that's based on Polk's 90 dB sensitivity for the Monitor 70. They no longer provide sensitivity specs for the series ii, and Polk doesn't seem clear about if their sensitivity is 90 dB/W or /2.83V, if the latter than it depends on the impedance if we want to talk "Watts". So to be on the conservative side, the calculations below for 12 and 10 feet are based on only 88 dB sensitivity. Note that the results are for one speaker only. If two speakers are playing the same notes, you can expect about 3 dB more. I have assumed a room gain of only 3 dB, you most likely will get more, may be up to 6 dB depending on speaker placement, and your room's acoustic characteristics. If I assume 6 dB of room gain, the the calculated power requirement will be halved.

Here are the calculations for the 10 and 12 feet distance:

12 feet

Input data required:Input dataUnit
1) Speaker nominal impedance (Ohms)8.00Ohm
2) Sensitivity in dB/W at 1 Meter dB
3) Sensitivity in dB/2.83 V at 1 Meter88.00dB
4) Seating distance (1 foot = 0.3048 Meter, 1 Meter = 3.281 foot)3.66Meter
5) Room gain for speaker placement near walls/corners, enter 0 to 3 dB max., to err on the conservative side3.00dB
6) Desired additional amplifier headroom (dB) Recommended minimum is 3dB
7) Target SPL - THX reference is 85 dB, with 20 dB of headroom105.00dB
Calculated values from the input data:Calculated values
Sensitivity loss at seating distance (dB)11.27dB
SPL at seating distance calculated from the input data79.73dB
Amplifier power output based on 2.83 V and the assumed impedance at 1 Meter1.00Watt (W)
Power increase in multiples needed to achieve target SPL 336.21
Power increase in dB needed to achieve target SPL 25.27dB
Calculated amplifier output power required:
For the target SPL at seating distance336.59Watt (W)

10 feet

Input data required:Input dataUnit
1) Speaker nominal impedance (Ohms)8.00Ohm
2) Sensitivity in dB/W at 1 Meter dB
3) Sensitivity in dB/2.83 V at 1 Meter88.00dB
4) Seating distance (1 foot = 0.3048 Meter, 1 Meter = 3.281 foot)3.05Meter
5) Room gain for speaker placement near walls/corners, enter 0 to 3 dB max., to err on the conservative side3.00dB
6) Desired additional amplifier headroom (dB) Recommended minimum is 3dB
7) Target SPL - THX reference is 85 dB, with 20 dB of headroom105.00dB
Calculated values from the input data:Calculated values
Sensitivity loss at seating distance (dB)9.68dB
SPL at seating distance calculated from the input data81.32dB
Amplifier power output based on 2.83 V and the assumed impedance at 1 Meter1.00Watt (W)
Power increase in multiples needed to achieve target SPL 233.48
Power increase in dB needed to achieve target SPL 23.68dB
Calculated amplifier output power required:
For the target SPL at seating distance233.74Watt (W)
 
MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Junior Audioholic
For 15 feet, if you want reference level you need about 300 W and that's based on Polk's 90 dB sensitivity for the Monitor 70. They no longer provide sensitivity specs for the series ii, and Polk doesn't seem clear about if their sensitivity is 90 dB/W or /2.83V, if the latter than it depends on the impedance if we want to talk "Watts". So to be on the conservative side, the calculations below for 12 and 10 feet are based on only 88 dB sensitivity. Note that the results are for one speaker only. If two speakers are playing the same notes, you can expect about 3 dB more. I have assumed a room gain of only 3 dB, you most likely will get more, may be up to 6 dB depending on speaker placement, and your room's acoustic characteristics. If I assume 6 dB of room gain, the the calculated power requirement will be halved.

Here are the calculations for the 10 and 12 feet distance:

12 feet

Input data required:Input dataUnit
1) Speaker nominal impedance (Ohms)8.00Ohm
2) Sensitivity in dB/W at 1 MeterdB
3) Sensitivity in dB/2.83 V at 1 Meter88.00dB
4) Seating distance (1 foot = 0.3048 Meter, 1 Meter = 3.281 foot)3.66Meter
5) Room gain for speaker placement near walls/corners, enter 0 to 3 dB max., to err on the conservative side3.00dB
6) Desired additional amplifier headroom (dB) Recommended minimum is 3dB
7) Target SPL - THX reference is 85 dB, with 20 dB of headroom105.00dB
Calculated values from the input data:Calculated values
Sensitivity loss at seating distance (dB)11.27dB
SPL at seating distance calculated from the input data79.73dB
Amplifier power output based on 2.83 V and the assumed impedance at 1 Meter1.00Watt (W)
Power increase in multiples needed to achieve target SPL336.21
Power increase in dB needed to achieve target SPL25.27dB
Calculated amplifier output power required:
For the target SPL at seating distance336.59Watt (W)

10 feet

Input data required:Input dataUnit
1) Speaker nominal impedance (Ohms)8.00Ohm
2) Sensitivity in dB/W at 1 MeterdB
3) Sensitivity in dB/2.83 V at 1 Meter88.00dB
4) Seating distance (1 foot = 0.3048 Meter, 1 Meter = 3.281 foot)3.05Meter
5) Room gain for speaker placement near walls/corners, enter 0 to 3 dB max., to err on the conservative side3.00dB
6) Desired additional amplifier headroom (dB) Recommended minimum is 3dB
7) Target SPL - THX reference is 85 dB, with 20 dB of headroom105.00dB
Calculated values from the input data:Calculated values
Sensitivity loss at seating distance (dB)9.68dB
SPL at seating distance calculated from the input data81.32dB
Amplifier power output based on 2.83 V and the assumed impedance at 1 Meter1.00Watt (W)
Power increase in multiples needed to achieve target SPL233.48
Power increase in dB needed to achieve target SPL23.68dB
Calculated amplifier output power required:
For the target SPL at seating distance233.74Watt (W)
Thank you very much, that's a lovely spread sheet. Is this from software or a public calculator? I wouldn't mind learning to use this to test things out and compare to real world measurements with the right SPL measuring tool and REW. Handy!

I was just looking at this calc: https://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html
I'm curious how it incorporates things like multi-driver towers? A single driver bookshelf could be 88db sensitive, but how does one account for a 4 driver tower that is also 88db sensitive? Or is this where number of speakers generates the difference even though they're in the same cabinet and acting as a single radiator?

Looks like 10 feet is significantly more friendly towards efficiency, as it should be since the MLP is closer, but man, the difference in power requirements is significant, a 44% increase in power just for 2 feet of distance!

Very best,
 
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P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Thank you very much, that's a lovely spread sheet. Is this from software or a public calculator? I wouldn't mind learning to use this to test things out and compare to real world measurements with the right SPL measuring tool and REW. Handy!

Looks like 10 feet is significantly more friendly towards efficiency, as it should be since the MLP is closer, but man, the difference in power requirements is significant, a 44% increase in power just for 2 feet of distance!

Very best,
Its my own calculator, done in Excel as you can see. Don't forget it is generally believed that people would feel twice as loud for an increase of 6 to 10 dB, so 3 dB louder is immediately noticeable but it won't make or break. 10 dB louder in SPL means the amp has to output 10X more power so the THX's 20 dB peak on top of the 85 dB average means you need 100 times the power needed for the average. One good reason to add a very powerful amp is to avoid "clipping" during those 20 dB peaks that do exceed in movies such as the Star War and LOTR series.

If you want to get some ideas of how a 200 W power amp can help a AVR such as the AVR-X3600H, you can read up on the measurements of the 3600 and the Outlaw mono block M2200 over at audiosciencereview.com Numbers don't lie, they are repeatable and verifiable.
 
MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Junior Audioholic
Its my own calculator, done in Excel as you can see. Don't forget it is generally believed that people would feel twice as loud for an increase of 6 to 10 dB, so 3 dB louder is immediately noticeable but it won't make or break. 10 dB louder in SPL means the amp has to output 10X more power so the THX's 20 dB peak on top of the 85 dB average means you need 100 times the power needed for the average. One good reason to add a very powerful amp is to avoid "clipping" during those 20 dB peaks that do exceed in movies such as the Star War and LOTR series.

If you want to get some ideas of how a 200 W power amp can help a AVR such as the AVR-X3600H, you can read up on the measurements of the 3600 and the Outlaw mono block M2200 over at audiosciencereview.com Numbers don't lie, they are repeatable and verifiable.
Thanks; very helpful! I certainly believe a more powerful power amplifier would do the job, I'm simply looking at whether its necessary for my purposes or if an AVR can handle the speakers I have or the 150 watt@8ohm amplifiers that I also have, or if they're just not enough for these and a better modern AVR will handle this the same or not.

Very best,
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Thank you very much, that's a lovely spread sheet. Is this from software or a public calculator? I wouldn't mind learning to use this to test things out and compare to real world measurements with the right SPL measuring tool and REW. Handy!

I was just looking at this calc: https://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html
I'm curious how it incorporates things like multi-driver towers? A single driver bookshelf could be 88db sensitive, but how does one account for a 4 driver tower that is also 88db sensitive? Or is this where number of speakers generates the difference even though they're in the same cabinet and acting as a single radiator?

Looks like 10 feet is significantly more friendly towards efficiency, as it should be since the MLP is closer, but man, the difference in power requirements is significant, a 44% increase in power just for 2 feet of distance!

Very best,
The calculator works on a complete speaker, not the number of drivers. Just as you wouldn't consider the sensitivity of each driver....it's the whole system with crossover that counts.
 
MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Junior Audioholic
The calculator works on a complete speaker, not the number of drivers. Just as you wouldn't consider the sensitivity of each driver....it's the whole system with crossover that counts.
Thanks for clearing that up, it otherwise was producing "too good to be true" values.

Very best,
 
MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Junior Audioholic
Hello all,

So given the idea of using only the AVR as the main driving factor for the speakers involved and going towards a 4 speaker Atmos configuration, the Denon X4500H and Yamaha A3070 seem to be fairly similar, both allowing 11 channels to be used with an additional external amplifier; which I like the idea of being able to go with a 7.2.4 ultimately with one of these without losing the 7 channels to 5 channels just for Atmos (which may or may not be the long term use); with a output difference, but otherwise quite similar. The more flexibility the better! I'm curious which is the better unit ultimately and whether their likely unrealistic power outputs over that many channels would truly drive my mains (given a distance of 10 to 12 feet likely).

The more I think of the room, the more I realize the speakers will not be hugging the rear wall and likely have a little room from the wall and not just in the corners. So the listening position will not likely be exactly in the center, and likely a bit closer to the speakers. So 15 feet is likely not realistic. 10 to 12 feet is likely more realistic.

Very best,
 
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