Best Amp to drive center channel Klipsch PRO-250RPW LCR

H

HPNAviator

Audiophyte
Fairly new to Home Theater but many years of experience with 2 Channel HiFI. This is my first post on Audioholics.

My current setup is Denon X3600H in a 5.1.4 configuration. All speakers are in-wall or in-celling the LCR's are Klipsch PRO-250RPW, surrounds are PRO-160RPW, height channels are PRO-160RPC and the sub is a Klipsch R012SWi.

I recently added in my old Densen B300 2 channel power amplifier to drive the front left and right and the difference for both movies and music was substantial. The Densen is a Class A/B 100 Watt amplifier into 8 ohms and used to drive my KEF LS50's and RDM 2's.

I am now thinking about providing external application to my center channel and am considering several options.

1. Least expensive would be to add a single Outlaw 2220. However now I will have amplifiers from three manufactures.
2. Next in terms of sort would be to replace the Densen B300 with 3 Outlaw 2220's reducing the manufacture count down to two.
3. Most expensive would be to replace the Densen B300 with either a Monolith or Emotiva 3 channel amp.

Given the limitations of my speaker capability and placement in wall and ceiling I welcome your thoughts on the options above or any other options I have not considered.

Thank you in advance.
 
Gmoney

Gmoney

Audioholic Field Marshall
That AVR should drive your in-wall, in-ceilings without issues. Maybe add a Sub or two.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Well first off, the general wisdom here is if you already have enough power to hit the spl you want adding an amp won't really change anything. Clean power is clean power and most competently designed amps should be striving for the same goal- accuracy. It may help your AVR run a little cooler tho. When I added a Monolith 7 I didn't notice any significant changes to sq, but I'm not afraid to turn it up from time to time. You actually added a less powerful (than your Denon in 2 ch rating) amp for your fronts which seems like going a little backward, if anything.

If you're looking to improve overall sound quality that's going to be in your speakers (subs included). Whether you upgrade or work on optimization, positioning and integration. I'll tell you right now the glaring weak link in your setup is that subwoofer and I'd be focusing on upgrading it before even considering more amplification. You have a solid receiver with good power already.

All that said, you certainly have enough speakers to where I could see justifying some outside amplification for your front 3 to take some of the workload off your AVR, but would not expect any significant or audible improvements. I think 3 Outlaw 2220s would be the way to go, tho "reducing manufacture count" isn't a part of my consideration. I prefer matching speakers, especially the front 3 for consistent voicing, but matching electronics isn't necessary at all. Aesthetics and compatibility would be the only real reasons for that, imo.

Also if adding amplification I wouldn't bother unless you double down on power and you're getting pretty good bang for buck with Outlaw. They seem to run that 3-Fer deal with those all the time. It takes a doubling of power for every 3 dB of gain. So going from ~100w to 200w will give you a 3 dB more total spl, but again, no difference in sq (unless you're hitting limits now). Check out this spl calculator. It's kinda fun to play with and will give you an idea of the relationship between volume and power.


Every time I link that I end up playing with it for a few minutes, lol. I would absolutely be looking for better subwoofage first and foremost tho. Everyone underestimates good bass. Smooth, clean bass from a proper sub does more than just add thump. It gives everything more depth, texture and detail, and can elevate the entire system. Replacing my Klipsch subs with something from HSU made more difference to my overall sound quality than any amplification has done. It was a real eye opener for me.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Spartan
Your room dimensions and volume including openings would be helpful for recommendations for a better performing subwoofer.
Those speakers are very efficient and don't need High amplification to drive them.
When you install the Klipsch In-Walls did you install those speakers into engineered back boxes or did you just stick them in the wall?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
First step should be to use that linked calculator to figure out your power requirements, and go from there. Or just get an amp rated 200/300 W 8/4 Ohm, that will typically give you more than the 300 W peak that your speakers can handle. In other words, that's pretty much your upper limit.

If the B300 is bridgeable, the best option I see is to bridge it to drive the center and just let the X3600H to drive the others. Or, just grab a Monolith 200 WX3.
 
H

HPNAviator

Audiophyte
Thank you for your replies and comments. To clarify my original comments. My home theater area is a 15 x 15 box of 225 square feet but it is part of a larger open plan room of 23' x 15' with a 6 foot open area at the back into a den of 15' x 10'.The statement about the sound after adding in the Densen B300 from the Left and Right speakers was more about the absolute fidelity and clarity of the sound than volume level. While the current Klipsch subwoofer is serviceable and I find the bass and low end effects acceptable I have been considering upgrading the Klipsch subwoofer with the Rel HT/1205 and would be interested if that would be considered a significant upgrade or if I need to jump up to the Rel HT/1508. However my first objective is still to improve the performance of the center audio.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Spartan
JMO those REL subs aren't going to do the job. That's Alot of Volume.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
The statement about the sound after adding in the Densen B300 from the Left and Right speakers was more about the absolute fidelity and clarity of the sound than volume level.
Well, when I say "sound quality" or "sq" I'm talking about absolute fidelity and clarity of sound. Folks who swear they can hear a difference between amps tend to fail to tell a difference when comparing under controlled conditions like double blind testing. There can a number of reasons why someone might perceive differences. Differences in gain structure and DSP are a couple of measurable examples, but the one that gets everybody with sighted comparisons is just straight up placebo and expectation bias.


Several years ago, noted reviewer Tom Nosaine conducted a study for Stereo Review magazine in which he attempted to compare the sound of two systems to a listening group through blind A-B testing. One system was made up of the very latest SOTA components and connectors.

The other system was comprised of very “pedestrian” equipment, such as a 1970s-vintage Heathkit power amplifier, a garden-variety CD player, etc.

Both systems were connected via a switcher to the same pair of speakers, so unit-to-unit speaker differences and speaker placement issues didn’t enter the picture at all. An acoustically-transparent but visually-opaque drape was drawn in front of the systems and the room lights were dimmed to assure no visual distraction. Nosaine was well known for his adherence to the scientific process and his rabid attention to detail, so the scenario was well executed.

His results showed that as long as neither system was pushed into distortion there was no statistically-significant preference shown for either system by the group, using a very extensive and varied selection of program material. His listening panel included novice listeners, mild enthusiasts and self-professed “golden eared” audiophiles.


There's a lot more to the article and some back and forth so I recommend reading it in its entirety as well as watch the video. Here's another interesting article.


I have yet to see an article or read about anyone being able to do any better than chance guessing which is which in a properly conducted "all else being equal" DBT. As long as everything is operating within spec, functioning properly, level matched, no DSP, etc., I highly doubt even the most golden of ears can tell which is which in a DBT. I have personally never heard a difference between different amplifiers or receivers.

There's a lot going on with the placebo effect and it's more influential than I realized until I dug deeper and researched some more. This happens a lot in wine tasting too. Swap labels or just straight up hide them and the results are all over the place. Sighted comparisons simply can't be trusted.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Agreed with Pogre, the amps of your AVR is very good, I highly doubt the B300 could do better if it was designed for accuracy, that is, real hi fidelity.

If you feel that it improves sound quality for you, then perhaps it has high enough distortions that you happen to like. Specs and measurements aside, perceived sound quality is subjective, so since you like the "sound quality" of the B300, may be you should just get another Densen amp, did they make a monoblock? If not, is the B300 bridgeable?
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Welcome to the forums.

Hadn't heard of Densen and just took a look at their site, nice looking boxes, some of their descriptions are a bit flowery, altho the amps appear to have decent spec. How did you integrate the amp with the avr's amps, tho?

You can add amps in a few ways, or keep boxes to a minimum, I'd just pick a competent amp that suits your needs. If working on improving sound quality the speakers would be a better route than changing amps generally. The Klipsch are of reasonable sensitivity, so most amps should drive them well enough to fairly high levels, too. What's your typical listening level? I'd also recommend estimating with the spl calculator (but I'd knock off say 4dB off Klipsch sensitivity, as they tend to state in room type spec).
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Welcome to the forums.

Hadn't heard of Densen and just took a look at their site, nice looking boxes, some of their descriptions are a bit flowery, altho the amps appear to have decent spec. How did you integrate the amp with the avr's amps, tho?

You can add amps in a few ways, or keep boxes to a minimum, I'd just pick a competent amp that suits your needs. If working on improving sound quality the speakers would be a better route than changing amps generally. The Klipsch are of reasonable sensitivity, so most amps should drive them well enough to fairly high levels, too. What's your typical listening level? I'd also recommend estimating with the spl calculator (but I'd knock off say 4dB off Klipsch sensitivity, as they tend to state in room type spec).
If you want to have more fun and get some laughs, try reading user reviews, tons more flowery stuff.. both +ve and -ve though. Some said warm, some said bright, people just heard what they heard...


Subjective review is a real slippery slope lol..

OP, please don't get me wrong, as mentioned before, if it sounds good to you, that's all that matters. Some of us just don't put a lot of weight on subjective views on sound quality of amplifiers that are just supposed to amplify the signal accurately.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
If you want to have more fun and get some laughs, try reading user reviews, tons more flowery stuff.. both +ve and -ve though. Some said warm, some said bright, people just heard what they heard...


Subjective review is a real slippery slope lol..

OP, please don't get me wrong, as mentioned before, if it sounds good to you, that's all that matters. Some of us just don't put a lot of weight on subjective views on sound quality of amplifiers that are just supposed to amplify the signal accurately.
Omg. Some of the comments make me want to bang my head off the wall. Perpetuating the mythology. The guys in that first forum have been seriously drinking the Kool aid for a long time, lol.
 

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