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  1. #1

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    Default amplifier or receiver????

    which is better and does an amplifier offer the same things as a receiver how do they differ and which is the better way to go with polk monior seriesi appreciate the help guys some of this stuff can be overwhelming but im learning through the forums

  2. #2

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    Default AVR vs. Pre-Amp and Amplifier

    Quote Originally Posted by K-daugh View Post
    which is better and does an amplifier offer the same things as a receiver how do they differ and which is the better way to go ...
    I think everyone will agree that an amplifier (or external amp) is nearly always better than a receiver (AVR). Basically, a receiver has a built in amplifier that never puts out the power it claims (except possibly brands like NAD), although some are better than others (Denon and harman/kardon come to mind, Onkyo Yamaha, and Marantz ... among others, are also considered "high current" AVRs). If you get upgraditis, which many do that frequent these forums, your receiver will probably end up as a pre-amp, connected to fewer speakers (or none at all) using only the pre-out terminals some have on the rear panel to send a processed, but unamplified audio signal to an external amplifier that will do the grunt work more effectively (at least for the front three speakers, leaving the AVR to handle amplification for just the surround channels).

    A receiver also acts as a tuner and sound processor, as well as, usually these days, a video processor (decoding signals such as DTS or Dolby Digital in the case of audio, or, in the case of video, upscaling 480i/p to 720i/p or 1080i/p).

    An amplifier, on the other hand, does only one thing: it takes one signal per channel, amplifies it and sends it out to the speakers. It cannot work without a pre/pro (that has no amplification capabilities at all usually) or a receiver with pre-out connections for the appropriate channels on the rear panel. Amplifiers can be monobloc (one channel only), stereo (two channels, which can be bridged into one - in some cases - for more power) or multi-channel (five or seven). You cannot connect outside sources such as a CD player or DVD player directly to an amplifier.

    If you look at these images of the rear panel and insides of a receiver/AVR, you will notice it has all the connections for video and audio devices as well as speaker terminals.
    http://www.emotiva.com/expandedpages/dmr1expanded.html

    If you look at these images of a pre-amp/processor, it has all the same audio and video connections but no speaker terminals. It cannot amplify sound, only process it.
    http://www.emotiva.com/expandedpages/dmc1expanded.html

    If you look at these images of an amplifier, you will see that the front panel has no controls for a tuner, input selections or even volume. The insides are just for amplification and cooling. There are only audio channel input connections on the rear panel as well as speaker terminals:
    http://www.emotiva.com/expandedpages/ips1expanded.html

    Here is an article about external amplification and its benefits:
    http://www.hometheatersound.com/feat...c_20010901.htm

    Here is an article about a "high power" receiver (NAD), just to muddy the waters and confuse you some more:
    http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazin...04/nadt763.htm

    This is obviously over simplification, but that's how I would explain it! Oh ... and welcome to the forum BTW!

  3. #3

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    Default

    Simple things are, AVR's usually are rated at 8 ohm. Speakers come in various rages 8,4 and 2 ohms. The current draw from the speakers can clip the signal going to the speakers and damaged the speakers and/or AVR. Amps are made to deliver the amp loads and current to drive speakers better.

    engtaz
    Last edited by engtaz; 11-15-2007 at 08:29 PM.
    engtaz

    I love how music can brighten up a bad day.

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    seperates are always better if you have the coin to drop on some decent gear.



    P
    Life without music would

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    Welcome KDaugh.

    Get a receiver that has all the bells & whistles you want that has PREAMP OUTPUTS for all channels. I always recommend 200wpc 5-7 channel amps. Just to get it done in one shot.

    However, if you do have the money, get all separates to begin with & you'll be all set.

    Good companies for separates are Outlaw Audio, Parasound, Rotel B&K Sunfire, Nad, & Adcom. You will get more bang for your buck buying used from Audiogon.

    Kex, OUTSTANDING breakdown post!!!
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

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    Quote Originally Posted by cfrizz View Post
    Welcome KDaugh.

    Get a receiver that has all the bells & whistles you want that has PREAMP OUTPUTS for all channels. I always recommend 200wpc 5-7 channel amps. Just to get it done in one shot.

    However, if you do have the money, get all separates to begin with & you'll be all set.

    Good companies for separates are Outlaw Audio, Parasound, Rotel B&K Sunfire, Nad, & Adcom. You will get more bang for your buck buying used from Audiogon.

    Kex, OUTSTANDING breakdown post!!!
    He might only want 2 chnl


    P
    Life without music would

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by cfrizz View Post
    ... Kex, OUTSTANDING breakdown post!!!
    Why thank you kindly cfrizz! Praise from a Polk Godess is high praise indeed! I did my best, but it was very late here in SoCal when I typed that out!

  8. #8

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    ok so I only want to amplify my front speakers so i would probably go with a 2 channel amp but i also have a sony 500 watt receiver i want to run the surrounds through this...no???????i also have my tv/dvd/cd hooked up to this ...but my question is how do incorparate the two if i use the receiver as a pre amp do i still get the tv/dvd/cd and where would a run the amp from?? what terminal do i runn off of and what type of cable do i use p.s. my receiver is 5.1 channel 500 watt old style sony (its about 8 years old)

  9. #9

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    Does it have pre's on the back?
    Life without music would

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    my receiver does not have pre outs that sucks is there any other way ??? thanks for all the help by the way guys

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    I know im going to upgrade so when i do do i buy a receiver and an amp or a pre amp and an amp so i take it the pre amp will run my tv/dvd/cd sound and the amp will juice up my fronts (if i go with the 2 chnnel)

  12. #12

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    2 chnl is the shiznit


    P
    Life without music would

  13. #13

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    i take it the cheaper but better way would be to buy a quality receiver then add a 2 channel amp to it

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    Default

    Im just realizing that my mirage bps150i subwoofer has a built in 5 channel amp does anyone have feedback on this

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    Quote Originally Posted by K-daugh View Post
    i take it the cheaper but better way would be to buy a quality receiver then add a 2 channel amp to it
    Seperates are the better yes, depending on your budget. You can get older good gear thats affordable and just upgrade from there. If you stick around here you almost have too constantly upgrade. Highly addictive :)


    P
    Life without music would

  16. #16

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    right now i have a polk cs1 center with monitor 60s as fronts and older style bose 201 bookshelfs for rears ....i want to swap those out for monitor30s or 40s ....i also am pumpen the system with a mirage bps150i sub which is very stellar...my receiver needs to be upgraded the most im thinking another sony looking to spend under 800 what do you guys think

  17. #17

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    Default New Sony AVR?

    Quote Originally Posted by K-daugh View Post
    right now i have a polk cs1 center with monitor 60s as fronts and older style bose 201 bookshelfs for rears ....i want to swap those out for monitor30s or 40s ....i also am pumpen the system with a mirage bps150i sub which is very stellar...my receiver needs to be upgraded the most im thinking another sony looking to spend under 800 what do you guys think
    Well, you are in the same boat as me, to some extent: your existing AVR has no pre-outs, so you cannot get enough power to permit your speakers to show their best performance without upgrading it. If your receiver budget is $800, why not get the Emotiva LMC-1 for $518 including shipping? It's getting rave reviews compared to reputedly much better than average receivers such as harman/kardon.

    http://www.emotiva.com/lmc1.html

    If you think you like this idea, they have a special with the LPA-1 five channel amplifier that comes to a total of $950, including shipping (I don't know about their policy on sales tax).

    http://www.emotiva.com/lpa1.html (125 wpc x6)

    If you are not in a hurry, they will have a more powerful 200 wpc model due in the next six months (reportedly much sooner), but it will cost about $200 extra.

    Fellow Polkster brijenjas bought one of these to replace a h/k AVR 340 (with an Adcom two channel external amplifier) and posted a review. He says it's excellent (most of the initial issues encountered seem to have been corrected by firmware upgrades). He highly recommends it, after five months of ownership:

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...90&postcount=1

    P.S. If your receiver has no pre-outs: no, there is no other way. I feel your pain, but just imagine your future gain (and mine)!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by K-daugh View Post
    which is better
    A stand alone amplifier.

  19. #19

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    Default More Amp Questions

    I'm in a similar fix as K-daugh, and given the excellent info here, am considering an amplifier (cuz I THINK my Front speakers - RTi10s are underpowered) but... my Receiver does have pre-outs

    My current SETUP:
    Onkyo 705 Reciever:
    • 100 watts minimum continuous power per channel, 8 ohm loads, 2 channels driven from 20 Hz to 20 kHz with a maximum total harmonic distortion of 0.08 %
    • 115watts minimum continuous power per channel, 8 ohm loads, 2 channels driven at 1kHz, with a maximum total harmonic distortion of 0.7%Others: 600 W
    • 125watts minimum continuous power per channel, 6 ohm loads, 2channels driven at 1kHz with a maximum total harmonic distortion of 0.1%

    Quote from Manual: "If you want to use a more powerful power amplifier and use the AV receiver as a preamp, connect it to the PRE-OUT jacks, and connect ALL speakers and the subwoofer to the power amplifier. If you have a powered subwoofer, connect it to this AV receiver/AV amplifier’s PRE OUT SUBWOOFER jack."

    CURRENT SPEAKERS (All Polks)
    Fronts: RTi10's: Recc'd Amplification: 20-300 watts/channel
    Surr's: RTi 6's & 4's Recc'd Amplification is 20-125 watts/channel
    Center: CSi3 Recc'd Amplication 2-180 watts

    Reason for considering purchasing an Amplifer:
    when playing classical music, pianissamo (sp?) passages are all but lost, bass sounds muddled and boomy. I'm currently ASSUMING the problem is that my recently purchased RTi10's are underpowered. I could be wrong as the tonal quality (tho not detail) improves when I use one of the 7 channel modes.
    I like the features (including 3 HDMI v1.3a inputs) and ease of use of the Onkyo Reciever. I'd probably pay up to $2500 for a receiver with these benefits but adequate power, but my sense is that no such item exists...

    QUESTIONS:
    What's the difference between 'Reference Amplifier', 'Integrated', and 'Power' amplifers?

    Can I assume Onkyo is really outputing 100 watts when in stereo mode - or is it really closer to 50watts per speaker?
    Apx: How many 'True' watts am I getting per speaker when in 7 channel mode? -- would this be (100w/7?)

    If i bi-Amped the fronts would I be doubling the power sent to the fronts? (Onkyo requires that you use the surround back connects to do so - thus reducing to 5 channel output) Crutchfield told me that I can't bi-amp this Reciever?!

    Can I amp only 2 channels (given the Onkyo quote above)
    • If so Given my specs:: would a true 125 watt amp be a marked improvement, or am I better off with 2@200(+)
    would I be better off going with 200w x 2 channel amp or a 5-7 channel @ 125watts?

    If 200watt x channel: Can anybody point me to true 200 watt 2 channel Amp under $1000 (preferably well under)

    Options I've run into (and spec confusion) --- comments please:


    2 channel x 200(+) I'd like to keep this Under $1000, but this is what I turned up...

    Parasound: Model 2250: 2 channel x 250watts RMS x 2@8ohm $1200
    http://www.legacyaudiovideo.com/paclmo22new.html (also avail at audio advisor)

    Emotive RPA-1: 2 channel x 200watts watts RMS per chan in a dual mono configuration $699
    "Reference Power Amp"
    http://www.emotiva.com/rpa1.html
    seemingly conflicting specs: also says " • 200 watts RMS per channel into eight ohms"
    is this 200watts per speaker in stereo mode??? or by dual mono

    OTHER OPTIONS:
    NAD C272 Stereo Power Amplifier
    2-channels 2 x150W Mini. Continuous Power into 4/8 ohms --$799
    799.99
    HUH ON THESE SPECS:
    •2 x150W Mini. Continuous Power into 4/8 ohms
    • 220W, 340W, 460W IHF Dynamic Power into 8, 4 and 2 ohms, respectively

    MULTICHANNEL by 125watts:

    EMOTIVE: LPA-1 6/7 chan. 5x125w + 2x50* $499
    EMOTIVE: LPA-1 6/7 Channel Audio Power Amplifier
    http://www.emotiva.com/lpa1.html *
    Sounds like the best deal at 125watts, reccomended elsewhere on this site, BUT??? If my issue IS power then will this be a SUBSTANTIAL improvement. IS THIS 125 watts per channel or 50???
    5x125 watts + 2x50 = 7 or
    6x125 watts, configurable
    • Rated Power Output: Channels 1-5 (All Channels Driven at 0.04%THD, 120vAC/ 60HZ supply) 8 ohm: 125 watts / 4 ohm: 225 watts
    • Channels 6-7 (All Channels Driven at 0.05%THD, 120vAC/ 60HZ supply) 8 ohm: 50 watts / 4 ohm: 95 watts

    Adcom - GFA-7605 5 Chan HT Amp : 5 channel 125 watts RMS x 2@8ohm $799(demo)
    Adcom - GFA-7605 5 Channel Home Theater Amplifier
    $799 Audio Avisor
    http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ADGFA7605
    Power rating: 125 Watts continuous x 5 (8 ohms 20 Hz-20 kHz, all channels driven);


    Outlaw Audio Model 7125 7-channels 125 watts RMS x 2@8ohm -- $999
    http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/7125.html
    •Power Output: 7 x 125 watts RMS at 8 ohms, all channels driven from 20 Hz to 20kHz with less than 0.05% THD
    -------------
    sorry so long, but soooo confused and intimidated.- Alexandra

  20. #20

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    What's the difference between 'Reference Amplifier', 'Integrated', and 'Power' amplifiers?
    an Integrated amp combines the preamp and amp in one box. you can connect your source directly to it (CDP, SACD ..) a Power amp, needs a preamp unit. most integrated amps in your budget can be used as power amps (skipping the pre circuit). what you're after is a Power amp (the Onkyo is the pre).


    Can I assume Onkyo is really outputting 100 watts when in stereo mode - or is it really closer to 50watts per speaker?
    Apx: How many 'True' watts am I getting per speaker when in 7 channel mode? -- would this be (100w/7?)

    Well .. yes and no. The Onkyo has one simple low current power supply for all channels.
    a stereo amp in your budget will have a nice high current toroidal transformer. Higher current = better driven drivers = better sounding 10s




    If i bi-Amped the fronts would I be doubling the power sent to the fronts? Onkyo requires that you use the surround back connects to do so - thus reducing to 5 channel output) Crutchfield told me that I can't bi-amp this Reciever?!
    No. Forget biaping this way, or biwiring. none will deliver more power to your 10s
    As I said the Onkyo has one power supply for all channels. I see no electrical benefits in your suggested connectivity.


    Can I amp only 2 channels (given the Onkyo quote above)
    Definitely. 2 channel music will sound much better. 5 channels are used only in HT (and fancy surround modes). The rears require less power, and used just for effects. your center will enjoy more power, but again, you've mentioned Music as you main goal, and the center will get more power from the Onkyo if you use a separate power for the mains.


    If so Given my specs:: would a true 125 watt amp be a marked improvement, or am I better off with 2@200(+)
    would I be better off going with 200w x 2 channel amp or a 5-7 channel @ 125watts?
    I see no need for you to go this route with your current setup and budget, better go for a better stereo amp. If 200watt x channel: Can anybody point me to true 200 watt 2 channel Amp under $1000 (preferably well under)


    All the brands you've mentioned would yield better sound for music in comparison to your Onkyo, and are considered good value.
    Other brands you might want to consider:
    odyssey audio (karthago , stratos)
    Adcom (GFA 5400)
    Rotel (1080 RB)
    Cambridge audio (640D 740D 840D)
    Xindak
    and many more

    Good luck
    Lea
    Last edited by carpenter; 11-19-2007 at 02:50 PM.

  21. #21

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    Adcom 555 or 555II 200 wpc for around 350.00 or less. Very Nice class A/B amp. Great price per watts amp. Carver also.
    engtaz

    I love how music can brighten up a bad day.

  22. #22

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    Thumbs up

    I jumped on this website because years ago with absolutely no knowledge I decided to spend some coin on a really good pair of speakers. I went to a local audio video store and auditioned all of the big names at the time. Infinity,Martin Logan, Klipsch, JBL, Kef etc, etc. Funny thing I kept going back to the big old coffins from Polk. I went against the accepted wisdom and let my hearing do the talking. I took the big boys home and the wife had a meltdown. She did agree that they sounded unbelievable but !@#!$%$!. I won my first and last argument and I have been thankful ever since. Well on to your question and how this all relates. I don't possess the knowledge that a lot of the other audiophiles on this website do. I have always trusted what I heard because it was all I really had. I started with Sherwood then on to Onkyo and last was the Denon 5700 at 170 wpc X 5.1. I was really happy with that setup but I kept coming back to this site and decided to go separates. I kept the Denon and used it as a pre for a couple of months until buying the matching pre for my amp. Once I amped up some of my favorite music I immediately noticed the broader sound stage and the depth of the music. When we went to the HT I was struck by the clarity of the background sounds that we all enjoy; the background restaurant chatter and clatter, the rustling of the landscaping behind the characters, sirens off screen coming onto the screen. Everything we appreciate in Home theater was more pronounced and clearer at lower listening levels. Once again I am not a techno wizard I am merely stating what my hearing has told me. If asked I would say unequivocally that separates are better. But I must also add that the quality of the separates may dictate the level of the sound improvement. My experience with separates is limited to what I have. I do not possess the broader range of equipment knowledge, I leave that to others on this site. If a Denon 5700 is better than some low end separates, others on this site will know and speak up I am sure. All I can say is first trust your hearing before you open your wallet. Once you are zeroed in on what it is you like pull the trigger, life is short.
    Home Theater
    Amp: sunfire cinema grand signature 5ch 425 wpc
    Side surround amp: Sunfire 2 X 300
    Processor: sunfire theater grand V
    Fronts:: polk sda-srs 1.2
    Rears: Polk LSiFX
    Side surrounds: Fxi5
    Center: (2)polk LSiC's
    Sub: svs pb-13 rosenut
    Hd-Dvd: toshiba xa-2
    Blue Ray: oppo bdp83se
    Projector: sony vw60
    Screen: Da-Lite 106"
    APC S20 Power conditioner

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    BAD ASP, nice write up.

    engtaz

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