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  1. #1

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    Default Regarding multiple amps in a HT setup

    Out of curiosity suppose one ran multiple different amps in their HT setup. Let's also say that one of the amps has a lot more power then the rest of them. Now when watching a movie how does this power difference come into play? Will whatever is hooked up to the more powerful amp be louder then whatever is hooked up to the weaker amp or how would this work out?
    |Fronts - Peerless RTA-12B | Center(s) - Peerless Monitor 5 | Rears - Peerless Monitor 4 |
    |Amp for fronts - Yamaha CA-1010 | Preamp (and amp for center/rears) - RX-V667 |
    |TV - Philips 46" Smart LED | Gaming - Xbox 360 | Headphones - Fidelio X1 |

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    Be more specific. In general, you'd want the front 3 speakers on the same amp, with the less powerful one doing the surrounds. Just because one is more powerful than another doesn't dictate loudness, the amps don't put out full power at low to modest levels anyway. The front 3 speakers will use the most power so stick the big gun up front.

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    I haven't done this yet, but I plan to do that. I am going to take my previous two channel mono amps, and put them in the HT. One for the left channel, and the other for the right channel. Then I will use my 5 channel amp for the center, and two surrounds. Other than sounding better when used as a stereo, and perhaps also for movies, there should be no sound level difference between it, and the current setup. The reason why is because you do a setup on the HT where you adjust the volume level to be the same on all 5 speakers. So, it will not be any louder with the new amps as with the current amp.

    Of course, if the current setup was a 50W/ch AVR, and I added two 800W mono blocks there might be a difference, but my current HT amp is a Sunfire TGA-5400.

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    Let's use an extreme as an example. How about the front channels are on 300 watts and the rear channels are on 100 watts. Will the rear channels increase in volume at the same rate as the front channels as you turn the volume knob up?
    |Fronts - Peerless RTA-12B | Center(s) - Peerless Monitor 5 | Rears - Peerless Monitor 4 |
    |Amp for fronts - Yamaha CA-1010 | Preamp (and amp for center/rears) - RX-V667 |
    |TV - Philips 46" Smart LED | Gaming - Xbox 360 | Headphones - Fidelio X1 |

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    The calibration program will level the channels or you can and should fine tune it yourself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    The calibration program will level the channels or you can and should fine tune it yourself.
    This makes perfect sense, thanks!

    Also, then, whatever calibration program your receiver has can be disabled during 2 channel listening? Excuse my ignorance, I do not own the mic for my Yamaha's YPAO and have never used it.
    |Fronts - Peerless RTA-12B | Center(s) - Peerless Monitor 5 | Rears - Peerless Monitor 4 |
    |Amp for fronts - Yamaha CA-1010 | Preamp (and amp for center/rears) - RX-V667 |
    |TV - Philips 46" Smart LED | Gaming - Xbox 360 | Headphones - Fidelio X1 |

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightfall View Post
    Let's use an extreme as an example. How about the front channels are on 300 watts and the rear channels are on 100 watts. Will the rear channels increase in volume at the same rate as the front channels as you turn the volume knob up?
    Yes.....up to a certain point of course but that point will be pretty loud. In other words, at higher volumes, the 100 watt amp will run out of steam quicker than the 300 watt amp. All things being equal. The only other difference which may be slight is the dynamics will be more pronounced on the front than the back, but again, at modest levels this may not be noticeable. Plus the surrounds are usually for more ambient sounds rather than dynamics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Yes.....up to a certain point of course but that point will be pretty loud. In other words, at higher volumes, the 100 watt amp will run out of steam quicker than the 300 watt amp. All things being equal. The only other difference which may be slight is the dynamics will be more pronounced on the front than the back, but again, at modest levels this may not be noticeable. Plus the surrounds are usually for more ambient sounds rather than dynamics.
    So if you want to take advantage of the full 300 watts as well as not clip the rear channels in this made up situation you would have to set the rear channels to an extreme negative value in the AVR/Pre's setup menu?
    |Fronts - Peerless RTA-12B | Center(s) - Peerless Monitor 5 | Rears - Peerless Monitor 4 |
    |Amp for fronts - Yamaha CA-1010 | Preamp (and amp for center/rears) - RX-V667 |
    |TV - Philips 46" Smart LED | Gaming - Xbox 360 | Headphones - Fidelio X1 |

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    Also, then, whatever calibration program your receiver has can be disabled during 2 channel listening?
    Yes, if you select pure direct or the like.
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    So if you want to take advantage of the full 300 watts as well as not clip the rear channels in this made up situation you would have to set the rear channels to an extreme negative value in the AVR/Pre's setup menu?
    The rears don't produce anywhere near what the fronts do. It shouldn't be a problem.
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    I think I have a pretty firm grasp on how this would work. Thanks to the three of you!
    |Fronts - Peerless RTA-12B | Center(s) - Peerless Monitor 5 | Rears - Peerless Monitor 4 |
    |Amp for fronts - Yamaha CA-1010 | Preamp (and amp for center/rears) - RX-V667 |
    |TV - Philips 46" Smart LED | Gaming - Xbox 360 | Headphones - Fidelio X1 |

  12. #12

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    The channel levels for the surrounds....and the fronts too, are used to balance out the sound along with distance levels from your listening position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightfall View Post
    I think I have a pretty firm grasp on how this would work. Thanks to the three of you!
    Not trying to be argumentative here, but I'm not sure you do.

    The eq program for you Yamaha will help to level match what the source is providing. Movies and multi surround track music are generally not designed to be equal levels of loudness all the time. Otherwise explosions to the left or right would not be as dramatic and different than dialogue coming out of the center speaker.

    For movies a lot of the important action and speech comes out of your front 3 speakers so you don't want them to run out of steam. Give them the big amp and let the surrounds run off the amps inside your avr or the less powerful separate amp. As a general rule, your surrounds will not be asked to deliver balls to the wall sound for long. Short bursts to make a point or show location cues in movies. This all depends on how the soundtrack is mastered. If the effects call for huge dynamic range in the surround locations then a lesser AVR or amp may struggle to keep up. Very few punish the surrounds.

    Have a good sub and nice center and the rest is gravy for movies at least.

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    I run three separate amps (5 separate if you count the amps in both subwoofers) in my 7.2 setup and you could us a db meter to adjust the volume in your receivers manual mode to get the level adjusted for all the channels the same. Like F1 said the receiver will take care of this. You could get a Radio Shack meter for a little more accuracy or use an app for your smart phone or tablet if you have one. I don't think the app would give you as accurate of a reading compared to a meter but for just getting the levels adjusted the same I think it would work fine.
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    If you do try the smart phone app, keep in mind most smartphones have automatic sound dampening at the mic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zane77 View Post
    You could get a Radio Shack meter for a little more accuracy or use an app for your smart phone or tablet if you have one. I don't think the app would give you as accurate of a reading compared to a meter but for just getting the levels adjusted the same I think it would work fine.
    The SPL Meter app for iPhone by Studio Six Digital is as good as you can get in a smartphone sound level meter. The app is designed as a serious tools for engineers and sound professionals when used with their iTestMic external microphone.

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    Last edited by Glen B; 10-19-2013 at 01:32 PM.
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    Also you don't need the mic to do the YPAO for your calibrations.You can go on screen tv like I do or by the LED readout on the avr itself and then go into manual mode and adjust accordingly.For me my rears were doing nothing until I turned them up.

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