RX-A3060 with NHT 5.2.4 setup - External Amp Needed?

P

PIR8

Enthusiast
First time posting, but have lurked on these forums for quite a while. I'm relatively new to all of this. I'm beginning to rebuild some new built-ins in the living room, and figured it may be a good time to revisit my existing setup. My wife is asking that the AVR equipment hide behind cabinet doors this time, where it was sitting on top of the base cabinet in the previous build. I know the equipment needs to breathe and be able to expel heat, so I started looking into the options, which led me down a rabbit hole as to how much heat it was generating in the first place due to how hard I was pushing it.

In short, I'm trying to plan the space in the cabinet, and I'm trying to wrap my head around whether an external amp would be needed or not in my existing setup. I have basic understandings of power and impedance, but trying to put it all together based on my specific setup has my head swimming a bit. Below are the specs of my existing setup. Do you think the 3060 has enough power to drive all of these, or would a 2 or 3 channel external amp provide enough of a benefit to justify the cost?

Yamaha RX-A3060- Bench tested from another forum I saw: (8ohm, channels driven continuously, .1% distortion)
2 Channels - 159 watts
5 channels - 102.3 watts
7 channels - 52.2 watts

Fronts- NHT C3 (6ohm nom, 4 min - 87db sensitivity) NHT recommends 50-150 wpc
Center - NHT C LCR (6ohm nom, 4.5 min - 87db sens) NHT recommends 75-200 wpc
Front Heights - Def tech Promonitor 800 (8ohm nom, 89db) DT recommends up to 150W
Rear Surr (with Atmos up firing built in)- NHT Media Series (6ohm nom, 4 min - 86db sens) NHT Recommends 35-100 wpc
2 SVS PB-1000 subs

If I understand all of this correctly, the 6ohm impedance, 86-87 db sensitivity on the mains, and the fact that I'm driving 9 channels with one AVR, I feel like I'm pushing this AVR either too hard, or the speakers aren't getting enough power to really sing (or both). Am I way off on my understanding?

I imagine running an external amp for at least the LR, or some combo of LCR/rears freeing up the 3060's power to drive the remaining would be beneficial, but enough to justify the cost?

90% movies/10% music
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
First time posting, but have lurked on these forums for quite a while. I'm relatively new to all of this. I'm beginning to rebuild some new built-ins in the living room, and figured it may be a good time to revisit my existing setup. My wife is asking that the AVR equipment hide behind cabinet doors this time, where it was sitting on top of the base cabinet in the previous build. I know the equipment needs to breathe and be able to expel heat, so I started looking into the options, which led me down a rabbit hole as to how much heat it was generating in the first place due to how hard I was pushing it.

In short, I'm trying to plan the space in the cabinet, and I'm trying to wrap my head around whether an external amp would be needed or not in my existing setup. I have basic understandings of power and impedance, but trying to put it all together based on my specific setup has my head swimming a bit. Below are the specs of my existing setup. Do you think the 3060 has enough power to drive all of these, or would a 2 or 3 channel external amp provide enough of a benefit to justify the cost?

Yamaha RX-A3060- Bench tested from another forum I saw: (8ohm, channels driven continuously, .1% distortion)
2 Channels - 159 watts
5 channels - 102.3 watts
7 channels - 52.2 watts

Fronts- NHT C3 (6ohm nom, 4 min - 87db sensitivity) NHT recommends 50-150 wpc
Center - NHT C LCR (6ohm nom, 4.5 min - 87db sens) NHT recommends 75-200 wpc
Front Heights - Def tech Promonitor 800 (8ohm nom, 89db) DT recommends up to 150W
Rear Surr (with Atmos up firing built in)- NHT Media Series (6ohm nom, 4 min - 86db sens) NHT Recommends 35-100 wpc
2 SVS PB-1000 subs

If I understand all of this correctly, the 6ohm impedance, 86-87 db sensitivity on the mains, and the fact that I'm driving 9 channels with one AVR, I feel like I'm pushing this AVR either too hard, or the speakers aren't getting enough power to really sing (or both). Am I way off on my understanding?

I imagine running an external amp for at least the LR, or some combo of LCR/rears freeing up the 3060's power to drive the remaining would be beneficial, but enough to justify the cost?

90% movies/10% music
You are right on with your thinking. I have the 3060 and its a great receiver, but like any receiver, its only got one power supply. I use separate amps for my front 3 channels and let the receiver do 4 surrounds. There's plenty of decent 200 watt amps available, pick your flavor!

I have a pair of Emotiva mono blocks that have had heavy use of the past decade and I would buy from them again FWIW
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Perhaps, but try using this to help determine your needs http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html as it is somewhat dependent on the distance you are from the speakers and your listening levels, which you didn't mention. A power amp could be helpful, but may not be necessary, and usually on the L/C/R channels is where most of the power needs would be. I'd at least double the power of the avr for an external amp (which is still only a 3dB advantage). Are you having any audible issues when you're listening at the loudest levels you use?

As to the venting of the cabinet, might look at cooling solutions from coolerguys.com or acinfinity.com.

ps speaker wattage ratings are not very useful in determining amp needs....
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
Likely the AVR can handle it just fine. My 2060 is doing 5.1.4 on its own with no issues for many years.

If extra money maybe I’d suggest trade up to the newer pro version of those SVS PB subs if you qualify for the trade up program at SVS. :)
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
First time posting, but have lurked on these forums for quite a while. I'm relatively new to all of this. I'm beginning to rebuild some new built-ins in the living room, and figured it may be a good time to revisit my existing setup. My wife is asking that the AVR equipment hide behind cabinet doors this time, where it was sitting on top of the base cabinet in the previous build. I know the equipment needs to breathe and be able to expel heat, so I started looking into the options, which led me down a rabbit hole as to how much heat it was generating in the first place due to how hard I was pushing it.

In short, I'm trying to plan the space in the cabinet, and I'm trying to wrap my head around whether an external amp would be needed or not in my existing setup. I have basic understandings of power and impedance, but trying to put it all together based on my specific setup has my head swimming a bit. Below are the specs of my existing setup. Do you think the 3060 has enough power to drive all of these, or would a 2 or 3 channel external amp provide enough of a benefit to justify the cost?

Yamaha RX-A3060- Bench tested from another forum I saw: (8ohm, channels driven continuously, .1% distortion)
2 Channels - 159 watts
5 channels - 102.3 watts
7 channels - 52.2 watts

Fronts- NHT C3 (6ohm nom, 4 min - 87db sensitivity) NHT recommends 50-150 wpc
Center - NHT C LCR (6ohm nom, 4.5 min - 87db sens) NHT recommends 75-200 wpc
Front Heights - Def tech Promonitor 800 (8ohm nom, 89db) DT recommends up to 150W
Rear Surr (with Atmos up firing built in)- NHT Media Series (6ohm nom, 4 min - 86db sens) NHT Recommends 35-100 wpc
2 SVS PB-1000 subs

If I understand all of this correctly, the 6ohm impedance, 86-87 db sensitivity on the mains, and the fact that I'm driving 9 channels with one AVR, I feel like I'm pushing this AVR either too hard, or the speakers aren't getting enough power to really sing (or both). Am I way off on my understanding?

I imagine running an external amp for at least the LR, or some combo of LCR/rears freeing up the 3060's power to drive the remaining would be beneficial, but enough to justify the cost?

90% movies/10% music
Didn't see you mention your room size and subwoofers crossovers to each?
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Warlord
First, I'd try your Yamaha AVR alone to see what it can handle. You might be alright without external amps.

If you do decide to get an external amp, consider one of the new Hypex NCore class D amps. They are high quality, low distortion & noise, and compare very well with older class A/B design amps that are larger, heavier, and produce more heat.

They can come in a variety of cabinets, in cases sized for 2, 4, 6, or 8 channels, depending on how many channels of amplification you choose. Because you're thinking of an enclosed cabinet for your AV gear, the sizes become important.
https://www.buckeyeamp.com/shop

I suggest this model, the 2-channel NC252MP that comes in a 7” wide × 13” deep × 3.5” high case. It's plenty powerful, 150W at 8 ohms, 250W at 4 ohms, and 180W at 2 ohms. It's price is hard to beat.
 
P

PIR8

Enthusiast
Perhaps, but try using this to help determine your needs http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html as it is somewhat dependent on the distance you are from the speakers and your listening levels, which you didn't mention. A power amp could be helpful, but may not be necessary, and usually on the L/C/R channels is where most of the power needs would be. I'd at least double the power of the avr for an external amp (which is still only a 3dB advantage). Are you having any audible issues when you're listening at the loudest levels you use?

As to the venting of the cabinet, might look at cooling solutions from coolerguys.com or acinfinity.com.

ps speaker wattage ratings are not very useful in determining amp needs....
So, I ran that calculator based on a couple of variables but want to make sure I gave it good input. Given that I am driving 9 channels, I lowered the power to 30W, seeing as 7 channels in the bench test was at 52W. Complete guess, but not sure how to arrive at a better number. By that calculation, I would be getting almost 99 db SPL at the LP?

Screen Shot 2022-08-03 at 4.22.23 PM.png





If I were to run the same numbers using something like an Outlaw 5000 with 150W per channel, it would reach reference level at the LP?

Screen Shot 2022-08-03 at 4.21.11 PM.png
 
P

PIR8

Enthusiast
Likely the AVR can handle it just fine. My 2060 is doing 5.1.4 on its own with no issues for many years.

If extra money maybe I’d suggest trade up to the newer pro version of those SVS PB subs if you qualify for the trade up program at SVS. :)
Ha! I've been eyeing a couple of PB Pros. I feel like the 3060 is handling everything well, but since I'm new at this, I don't know what I'm missing. I'm happy with the sound, but not sure if I'm whipping the 3060 hard to get it there, or if an external amp would open my eyes to what I've been missing.
 
Last edited:
P

PIR8

Enthusiast
Didn't see you mention your room size and subwoofers crossovers to each?
Room is about 13' wide, 45' long, and 9' high. The LP is about 16' from the LCR, and about 30' of open space behind the LP. They're all packed away at the moment, but I believe I crossover the subs at 80hz.
 
O

OHMisback

Audioholic
If your thinking of adding any more gear, (like power amps) you will be adding heat. Chose your equipment cabinet wisely.
Setting any equipment on top of ANY sub is not the best idea. Just moving the AV off that and isolating both will improve
a lot of things.

Room size and is there any treatment in the room? I'd start there for the money first. Treat the room then use correction
if you must.

BTW It can look very nice and NOT look like a studio at all. At 21 the studio look was cool, at 67 it just a dust trap of nasal Congestion. LOL
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Why use an ACD rating of 50 for anything? ACD ratings are largely meaningless, altho if you use the all-ch stereo mode it would be closer to that sort of use (don't use that myself except for maybe a party). Largely a useless spec as it doesn't reflect real world use. I generally run the calculator based on just the mains to start, and don't use any boundary reinforcement (near walls/corner etc). OTOH it shows you well how little power you need to get fairly loud. Did you setup/calibrate using YPAO or manually with an spl meter? What are the master volume settings for your loudest listening? Or readings with your own spl meter at loudest listening?
 
P

PIR8

Enthusiast
If your thinking of adding any more gear, (like power amps) you will be adding heat. Chose your equipment cabinet wisely.
Setting any equipment on top of ANY sub is not the best idea. Just moving the AV off that and isolating both will improve
a lot of things.

Room size and is there any treatment in the room? I'd start there for the money first. Treat the room then use correction
if you must.

BTW It can look very nice and NOT look like a studio at all. At 21 the studio look was cool, at 67 it just a dust trap of nasal Congestion. LOL
Yeah, the WAF is first and foremost here. While she admits that she loves the sound, she's not exactly thrilled with giant black boxes sprinkled throughout our living room.

Since I'll be building these cabinets myself, I can afford a little preventative planning. I'm kinda thinking the AC Infinity Airframe T7 might do a lot of good, and hopefully a bit overkill. It's designed for closets, and moves 204 cfm.
 
P

PIR8

Enthusiast
Why use an ACD rating of 50 for anything? ACD ratings are largely meaningless, altho if you use the all-ch stereo mode it would be closer to that sort of use (don't use that myself except for maybe a party). Largely a useless spec as it doesn't reflect real world use. I generally run the calculator based on just the mains to start, and don't use any boundary reinforcement (near walls/corner etc). OTOH it shows you well how little power you need to get fairly loud. Did you setup/calibrate using YPAO or manually with an spl meter? What are the master volume settings for your loudest listening? Or readings with your own spl meter at loudest listening?
That's where a lot of my understanding is lacking. I guess by referencing ACD, I would have an idea of how much power each channel is getting if I'm driving all of them during a movie. But, I see your point in that all channels are not drinking at the same rate, and the amount of power sent to each one largely depends on the content.

I ran that calculator on my mains, but I guess I'm trying to determine what my actual target is so I can determine if what I have is adequate, and not getting overtaxed to get it there.

I calibrated my channels through YPAO, but also tried my hand at REW, a MiniDSP and a UMIK to calibrate my subs.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
That's where a lot of my understanding is lacking. I guess by referencing ACD, I would have an idea of how much power each channel is getting if I'm driving all of them during a movie. But, I see your point in that all channels are not drinking at the same rate, and the amount of power sent to each one largely depends on the content.

I ran that calculator on my mains, but I guess I'm trying to determine what my actual target is so I can determine if what I have is adequate, and not getting overtaxed to get it there.

I calibrated my channels through YPAO, but also tried my hand at REW, a MiniDSP and a UMIK to calibrate my subs.
But your amp isn't sending out equal amounts to power to each speaker generally at any given moment....many times the center speaker is getting most of the content/power in a movie, in music the L/R channels get the action (thus why most start with those three channels if supplementing with external amps). Still, need to know your actual listening levels. 16 feet from speakers is a significant distance and will require some power. THX levels are roughly 85dB average level with allowance for 20dB peaks (105dB). What is the reading on your volume control when listening loudly?
 
P

PIR8

Enthusiast
But your amp isn't sending out equal amounts to power to each speaker generally at any given moment....many times the center speaker is getting most of the content/power in a movie, in music the L/R channels get the action (thus why most start with those three channels if supplementing with external amps). Still, need to know your actual listening levels. 16 feet from speakers is a significant distance and will require some power. THX levels are roughly 85dB average level with allowance for 20dB peaks (105dB). What is the reading on your volume control when listening loudly?
So this is where I'm fuzzy since it's been a while since calibration and everything is stashed away while I rebuild the built-ins. If I remember correctly, I adjusted my channel levels to reach somewhere around 75db +/- at a loud volume (-14 if I remember correctly).
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
So this is where I'm fuzzy since it's been a while since calibration and everything is stashed away while I rebuild the built-ins. If I remember correctly, I adjusted my channel levels to reach somewhere around 75db +/- at a loud volume (-14 if I remember correctly).
The levels used in calibration are adjusted....they used to use 85dB as a basis for test tones but was deemed too loud, so they simply adjust internally using 75dB as a basis. I should have specified THX reference level (on the reference volume scale, "0"). Just how did you go about changing levels, tho? Not using YPAO?

ps This might help? https://www.audioholics.com/frequent-questions/how-to-manually-level-match-speakers
 
P

PIR8

Enthusiast
The levels used in calibration are adjusted....they used to use 85dB as a basis for test tones but was deemed too loud, so they simply adjust internally using 75dB as a basis. I should have specified THX reference level (on the reference volume scale, "0"). Just how did you go about changing levels, tho? Not using YPAO?

ps This might help? https://www.audioholics.com/frequent-questions/how-to-manually-level-match-speakers
From what I remember, I let YPAO do it's thing and calibrate everything. A little later on, I opened up REW and used my UMIK to check db levels. I turned the volume to something like -14, and then went around to each channel and adjusted the white noise level until all of my channels were reading 75db at the LP. I remember having to increase the levels to get it there.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
From what I remember, I let YPAO do it's thing and calibrate everything. A little later on, I opened up REW and used my UMIK to check db levels. I turned the volume to something like -14, and then went around to each channel and adjusted the white noise level until all of my channels were reading 75db at the LP. I remember having to increase the levels to get it there.
Not quite the way to do it manually, bet YPAO was just fine and didn't need particular manual tweaking. Generally you turn the avr volume to 0 when using test tones to measure 75dB....but varies a bit with avr.
 
P

PIR8

Enthusiast
Not quite the way to do it manually, bet YPAO was just fine and didn't need particular manual tweaking. Generally you turn the avr volume to 0 when using test tones to measure 75dB....but varies a bit with avr.
Ahh. OK. I can certainly do that when I get things hooked back up.

As I mentioned in a response to snakeeyes above, I don't really have a complaint about the sound it was producing before. But, I don't know if I was slowly killing the 3060 trying to drive all these speakers at the volume I like for movies, or if it was handling them without much sweat. I honestly couldn't tell you exactly what distortion sounds like, LOL. I just know the AVR never shut off on me unexpectedly, so at least that means it wasn't overheating?

I just don't have much as a point of reference, so I don't know what (if anything) I should change before the wood starts getting cut. Now seemed like a good time to double check what I've forgotten in the few years since I set it up.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
No, don't think you're doing anything but "using" the avr in driving the speakers at the volume you liked....or your avr would have gone into shutdown or made adverse noises that were not pleasing. Outside of that I wouldn't worry about it a lot. If worried about the avr might consider adding external cooling to help it out.
 

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