Denon 4500 Running 7.2.2. Should I add a Power Amplifier

A

AndyChia

Enthusiast
My first post in the group. I just bought a Denon 4500 AVR (with two channels driver it is rated at rated 125watts per channel) and I'm running a 7.2.2 configuration (Infinity Primus towers 363's, center channel 250, right/left rear, right/left surround 160's and two Klipsch 3800 ceiling speakers set in the mid to rear position). I have two Polk Audio 12" PSW505 subs. Would you suggest adding a power amp? If so would you run the three front stage speakers off the power amp? Any suggestion on models and number of channels and watts per channel? I was looking at power amps such as the Outlaw 5 Channel and the Emotiva 5 Channel. Would a power amplifier make a huge difference in the details and clarity? Thanks for the advice!
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Details and clarity, no. Louder perhaps. Are you running into issues now? How far from the speakers are you and to what levels are you driving them now (if your Denon is calibrated, share your typical master volume settings).

I'd look at better subs first in most cases....
 
A

AndyChia

Enthusiast
The room is only 16'x12'. Not really running into problems but I have seen other reviews online where people talk about the clarity they get by adding a power amp. I know I need to upgrade my speakers and that is probably my next project. My Denon is calibrated and I running the volume at anywhere between 65-75 range. When I run the volume at 72-75 the decibles can reach 85 give or take during a loud scene such as an explosion...
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
How far from the speakers are you? Might want to play around with an spl calculator like this for an idea on the relationship.

FWIW at volume setting of 72-75 (equivalent to -8 to -5 on the relative scale per my Denon) you should be averaging in the neighborhood of 77-80 dB and peaks of 20dB beyond that, at least for movies recorded to such a standard....personally I'm more using mine at -20dB these days to be nicer to my ears but have used external amps on several avrs, but just not needed for my purposes with my current speakers (a bit less sensitive than yours generally, altho I may be a bit farther from speakers as my room is quite a bit larger). At higher volumes you may benefit from external amps, and keeping heat down in the avr is a good thing (as is using external fans to help).

I recently put some amps back into use on my 4520 in my main system (some Carver 250wpc amps as well as some Crown amps at 300 and 440 wpc) just more out of Covid boredom than anything else and plus I had them sitting around unused just staring at me :)....yeah I can go a bit louder but clarity/details....no change there. YMMV.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Don't listen to other people. Just listen to us. :D

My philosophy is that if you have an AVR like the Denon 3000/4000 series or Yamaha 1000/2000 series, then you most likely don't even need any external amps.

And if you just want to venture into separates for fun, then get a pre-pro and external amps at discounts.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
I’d recommend saving the amp money, and upgrading subs. Also, with .2 top speaker, they should be just a little in front of you vs behind. I would also go for 5.1.4 over 7.1.2. Especially in a smallish room. I definitely won’t talk you out of venturing into separates, but you should keep your expectations low, and prioritize subs and speakers first.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Don't listen to other people. Just listen to us. :D
Nice try, but this to happen, we have to defeat existing hearsay and replace such with one created by us. And we need to repeat this on the internet for at least 100 million times in order for a lot of people to believe ours is the truth:D, not going to happen right..
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
The room is only 16'x12'. Not really running into problems but I have seen other reviews online where people talk about the clarity they get by adding a power amp. I know I need to upgrade my speakers and that is probably my next project. My Denon is calibrated and I running the volume at anywhere between 65-75 range. When I run the volume at 72-75 the decibles can reach 85 give or take during a loud scene such as an explosion...
At volume 75, that is about -5, you should be getting closer to 100 dB peak. If you are getting only 85 dB peak during a loud scene in a movie that has the THX's 20 dB peaks, something is not right. The combination of the AVR-X4500H and P363 should be able to get you reference level from 11 feet.

My calculator shows at 11 ft, you need about 360 W to achieve reference level, that is 85 dB average 105 dB peak. That's for one speaker, in a loud explosion scene, you will have at least the FL, FR, C and the subwoofer producing sound so the AVR-X4500H that can easily push >200 W into 4 ohms with 2 channel driven should have no trouble doing even without the help of a capable subwoofer.

You should check your AVR's settings such as the impedance setting, ECO, crossovers, and the speaker level trims.

Below is the calculated results, you can see the input data used, based on the specs and measurements for the P363 and assume a sitting distance of about 11 ft, room gain of a very conservative 3 dB.

Input data required:Input dataUnit
1) Speaker nominal impedance (Ohms)4.00Ohm
2) Sensitivity in dB/W at 1 Meter dB
3) Sensitivity in dB/2.83 V at 1 Meter90.00dB
4) Seating distance (1 foot = 0.3048 Meter, 1 Meter = 3.281 foot)3.35Meter
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)10.51dB
SPL/W at seating distance calculated from the input data 82.49dB
Amplifier power output based on 2.83 V and the assumed impedance at 1 Meter2.00Watt (W)
Power increase in multiples needed to achieve target SPL 178.25
Power increase in dB needed to achieve target SPL 22.51dB
Calculated amplifier output power required:
For the target SPL at seating distance356.90Watt (W)
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Nice try, but this to happen, we have to defeat existing hearsay and replace such with one created by us. And we need to repeat this on the internet for at least 100 million times in order for a lot of people to believe ours is the truth:D, not going to happen right..
Well, we can only convince one audiophile at a time. :D

So in this case, we're just going to work with the OP and not think about all the other audiophiles. :D
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Well, we can only convince one audiophile at a time. :D

So in this case, we're just going to work with the OP and not think about all the other audiophiles. :D
Okay then, hopefully the OP will tell us that he believes us because we based our points on solid science, logic, and credible DBT events etc. Then we'll work on the next one.;)

It surprised me that people didn't hesitate to quote Dr. Toole on many things, but they didn't seem to take him as serious when he said listening comparison tests must be done blind, DBT in fact, and he said in that often posted video, that............."if you know what you are listening to, I don't care what you think........", yet people continue to believe and/or rely heavily on subjective reviews by reviewers who listened with both eyes and ears, and with price tags of the duts in full view.:D
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Okay then, hopefully the OP will tell us that he believes us because we based our points on solid science, logic, and credible DBT events etc. Then we'll work on the next one.;)

It surprised me that people didn't hesitate to quote Dr. Toole on many things, but they didn't seem to take him as serious when he said listening comparison tests must be done blind, DBT in fact, and he said in that often posted video, that............."if you know what you are listening to, I don't care what you think........", yet people continue to believe and/or rely heavily on subjective reviews by reviewers who listened with both eyes and ears, and with price tags of the duts in full view.:D
Well, I don't think his research team is without fault either.

They believe in "coaching" everyone in the study to listen for certain sounds that are "accurate", right?

Instead of just saying, "Tell us what you personally like".

Is the research to find out what people actually preferred or to find out if people can hear certain sounds?

DBT is great, but it has to be done almost perfectly.

Otherwise, you're giving your opponents ammunitions against the DBT itself.

People can say, "Oh, yeah, Revel COACHED all THEIR people to hear certain things. No wonder they chose THEIR speakers."

As long as people can find valid arguments against the DBT techniques, I think it's a waste of time.
 
Last edited:
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
And some, even having listened to a DBT comparison, will still not be convinced. They will get the external amp to try comparisons at home. because they are never satisfied with what they have.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
And some, even having listened to a DBT comparison, will still not be convinced. They will get the external amp to try comparisons at home. because they are never satisfied with what they have.
Yeah, I think DBT's might mainly be for preaching to the choir.

And those who don't believe sure as heck won't believe any YouTube video of some guy claiming DBT's with a piece of cloth over some speakers and electronics. :D
 
A

AndyChia

Enthusiast
Ok...If I was to spend the money on the subs what do you all suggest for a two unit set-up? Something in the $1,200-$1,400 range? I keep reading about the SVS PB-2000. I'd love to upgrade but don't want to break the bank. Also, what would you think would be fair price to ask on the two I'd be selling {Polk Audio 12" PSW505)? Both for $400-$450? I appreciate the help.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
The room is only 16'x12'. Not really running into problems but I have seen other reviews online where people talk about the clarity they get by adding a power amp. I know I need to upgrade my speakers and that is probably my next project. My Denon is calibrated and I running the volume at anywhere between 65-75 range. When I run the volume at 72-75 the decibles can reach 85 give or take during a loud scene such as an explosion...
You'll get more clarity with better subwoofage, imo. Everyone writes off good clean bass when they haven't heard it. I'm guilty too. It took me experiencing it to get it. Those subs you have leave some to be desired and you can do better. New amp money will get you some nice subs.

I had a pair of cheaper subs too and felt like I had plenty of bass, but it was mucking up my sound quality across the board and I didn't even know it. My experience was that my main speakers even sounded cleaner and clearer. Distorted bass is sneaky and doesn't smack you over the head like it does in higher frequencies. I didn't notice it until it was gone, and then it was like someone put glasses on my ears.

You're right, your room isn't huge and we aren't telling you to get monster subs. Just better performing, cleaner sounding ones. It was a real eye opener for me. SVS has been pushing their PB/PC2000s through their outlet to make room for the new pro series and the price is pretty nice for them right now.

 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Ok...If I was to spend the money on the subs what do you all suggest for a two unit set-up? Something in the $1,200-$1,400 range? I keep reading about the SVS PB-2000. I'd love to upgrade but don't want to break the bank. Also, what would you think would be fair price to ask on the two I'd be selling {Polk Audio 12" PSW505)? Both for $400-$450? I appreciate the help.
I was typing my post when you were! Yeah man, a pair of PB2000s would be a very worthy upgrade, imo. Great subs.
 
A

AndyChia

Enthusiast
I’d recommend saving the amp money, and upgrading subs. Also, with .2 top speaker, they should be just a little in front of you vs behind. I would also go for 5.1.4 over 7.1.2. Especially in a smallish room. I definitely won’t talk you out of venturing into separates, but you should keep your expectations low, and prioritize subs and speakers first.
Ok...If I go another 2 speakers in the ceiling so that will give me 4 in the ceiling and my 3 front/4 surrounds. I would need an additional amp as I believe the 4500 can process11.2 but power 9.2. So can I get by with a two channel amp for the additional two or maybe the front left and right? If so, any suggestions on which one and I would assume somethin gin the 125 -150 watt per channel range at least?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Kind of a coin toss there, huh? I think pricing would be pretty close with shipping from Hsu.

I'll admit bias on this one. I do love SVS.
I believe Hsu with shipping vs the SVS sale might be a tad more. Just another choice. I'd still just diy :)
 

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