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  1. #1

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    Default RTI A7/Receiver Help and Upgrade Questions

    Hello, I have a few questions and hope that those of you who are much smarter than me on the audio subject can help me out. I currently have an Onkyo TX-SR601 receiver. I am just using Onkyo bookshelfs as fronts and I have a Polk CSI30 as a center channel and Tru Audio CP-8 in ceiling rears and an Infinity 12" subwoofer. Basically I am wanting to do an all around upgrade to Polk speakers except maybe the rears because of my room setup restrictions. I am looking to get the RTI A7's as fronts but mainly am wondering if my receiver can handle them or if I need a receiver upgrade as well. My center channel has been fine so far so I don't know if I should keep that or upgrade to a center that matches the RTI A series. My sub has been great but I don't know if a Polk sub would better suit the setup. I was considering the Onkyo TX-SR805 but still don't know if that's enough for the A7's or if I would need external amps or anything like that. I was also considering the RTI A9's but don't know about pairing them with the 805. Everything I have read pretty much says the A9's will need extra amps and I don't know where to start. I have read a lot of posts and threads in this forum but can't find exactly what I'm looking for! Any input/help would be much appreciated. Thank you so much! I guess I should also add that my usage is about 85% home theater/movies and 15% music. Thanks!
    Last edited by grumlenz; 06-06-2008 at 03:02 AM.

  2. #2

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    welcome to club Polk grumlenz,

    upgrading your receiver would help some.. but speakers really benefit and work to their full sound potential when given better power than what a lot of receivers can handle. Yes your current receiver will work fine.. but often times people are not pleased with the sound after living with it for a while.

    the next step is where people go.. keep the receiver and if it has pre amp outputs.. then add a amp, 2, 5, 7 channel amp, depending on what you want the amp to power.

    Basically a receiver has to do a lot and it may not have enough power/current to give you the best sound from your speakers. an external amp on the other hand does one thing and only one thing and it doesn't share it's power transformer with anything else. that's why people like separates... = pre amp, amp, tuner, etc. You're also looking at quite a bit more money going with separates though.

    my suggestion.. if your current receiver has pre amp outs (i don't know why anyone would buy one without pre amp outs, but that's another story), then you may want to just an a 2 channel amp for your fronts.. and have the receiver power the center and surrounds.
    Last edited by danger boy; 06-06-2008 at 03:11 AM.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the information! Based on what I see here under features http://onkyousa.com/model.cfm?m=TX-S...s=Receiver&p=i my receiver does not have pre outs other than the subwoofer one. That's a mistake I made from being a lot younger and not researching before buying when I got it around 5 years ago. No big deal, I know that the 805 does have pre outs. Are there any brands or types/models of amps that you recommend. I will probably get the 805 and the RTI a9's I just don't know anything on separate amps. When you are talking about separates saying pre amp, amp, etc. is one of those my receiver? Is the receiver considered the amp or the pre amp or neither? Thank you so much for your help I really appreciate it!
    Last edited by grumlenz; 06-06-2008 at 03:30 AM.

  4. #4

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    If you use the pre-outs on the receiver to connect to an external amp, then the receiver is acting as your pre-amp. Basically, the receiver as a pre-amp will do all of the processing like digital-analog conversion, decoding, and equalizing/DSP.

    As far as a separate amp to start with, many people seem to start with Carver or Adcom as they are relatively easy to get (can find them easily on craigslist as well as here and Audiogon) and a good place to start. If you're going to start your amp shopping already, start with Adcom or B&K. Both of those sound good with the RTi's and will give you a few different tastes of quality amps. You can also look on other threads that people in similar situations have started. I think you'll find there is lots of good information from people with almost identical setups. Good luck with the new speakers.

  5. #5

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    I would go with the onkyo 705. I think the major difference between the 705 and 805 is the amp inside it. If you’re going external, then the extra power you get with the 805 is pointless. It still has the pre-outs and will save you a few $$ too.

    Theres some good information if you want to read it HERE.
    Last edited by Imperitor; 06-06-2008 at 09:06 AM.
    7.1 HOME THEATER:
    Center: CSi3
    Front: RTi10
    Surround: RTi A3
    Rear Surround: RTi4
    Subwoofer: Mirage Omni S10
    TV: Sharp Aquos 42" 1080p LCD
    Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR805
    Blu-Ray Player / CD Player / DVD Player / Media Server / Game Console / Best money I've ever spent: 60GB PS3

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by GEBBY44 View Post
    If you use the pre-outs on the receiver to connect to an external amp, then the receiver is acting as your pre-amp. Basically, the receiver as a pre-amp will do all of the processing like digital-analog conversion, decoding, and equalizing/DSP.

    As far as a separate amp to start with, many people seem to start with Carver or Adcom as they are relatively easy to get (can find them easily on craigslist as well as here and Audiogon) and a good place to start. If you're going to start your amp shopping already, start with Adcom or B&K. Both of those sound good with the RTi's and will give you a few different tastes of quality amps. You can also look on other threads that people in similar situations have started. I think you'll find there is lots of good information from people with almost identical setups. Good luck with the new speakers.
    Thank you for all of this information! I bought the Onkyo TX-SR805 today at Circuit City for $610 (they are on closeout and the TX-SR705 is $120 less) so now I need to get some amps or an amp...this is where I really need help. I will be getting the RTI A9's so what amp do I need to get? I read a lot and it seems people have good luck and suggest the Adcom amps. I have no idea what to get as far as wattage and number of channels etc. I want an amp that will help the A9's reach their full potential. Also, do people amplify the center channel? Just wondering. Since my rears are in-ceiling speakers I don't need them amp'd. Any suggestions/model numbers would be much appreciated. I just need pointed in the right direction. Thanks a lot!

  7. #7

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    If you go with Adcom, depending upon your budget, I'd get one of the newer Adcom's and one with at least 150 watts just to be safe. Those A9's have some good potential with lots of power.

    The most popular choice would be the GFA-555, but some people don't like the sound of the that one with the RTi's (very raw, forward sound as most people describe it). Adcom's newer models, the ones that have 4 numbers instead of 3 in the title, sound slightly different and I think work great with the RTi's. You could start with the 555 or the 5500 just to see if you like the sound. If you are thinking about powering the center channel also, take a look at the 5503, which is the same as the 5500 but with 3 channels. There's one on Audiogon right now, though the price is just alright.

    What you'll undoubtedly find is that experimenting is the best method. But it's not always helpful for your wallet in the short term.:(

    Also, don't overlook the interconnects from the receiver to the amp. Those can change the way a system sounds just like an amp. There are lots of good starter interconnects like Signal Cable (a very helpful company for the wallet) and Audioquest.

    Like I said before, the search feature will be useful as you can find lots of information from previous posts.

  8. #8

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    I have a quick question since amps are being talked about. I am new to all this and have a Pioneer Elite 92 receiver, some RTi10's, CSiA6, and RTiA1's. Now if i was to get an amp for this setup, forgive me for asking but how would you set up the amp? As in hooking up the speaker wires and such.

  9. #9

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    The back of your receiver has labeled pre-outs for left,right,center, surrounds,sub yada yada....you simply connect an I/C cable or coaxle cable from those pre-outs to the amp and connect speaker wires to the amp.Now depending on how many channels you want to amplify.....lets say you just want a 2 channel amp for the 10's.You connect 2 I/C's to the pre-outs on the receiver marked front left and front right,to the same on the amp.Then simply connect your speaker wires to the amp.Got it?

  10. #10

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    Grum- Your 805 will drive them but I wouldn't be knocking down walls with the volume dial without an amp,know what I mean? Amps come in all different flavors but some that alot like around here and are good starters for you,on the used market,would be B&K,Adcom,Rotel,Emotive,Carver/Sunfire,Parrasound,Outlaw,And a few more that escape me at the moment.You can snag a decent 2 channel amp to get your feet wet for a couple hundred.You can add it later if cash is tight or you want to wait for that good deal to come along.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Grum- Your 805 will drive them but I wouldn't be knocking down walls with the volume dial without an amp,know what I mean? Amps come in all different flavors but some that alot like around here and are good starters for you,on the used market,would be B&K,Adcom,Rotel,Emotive,Carver/Sunfire,Parrasound,Outlaw,And a few more that escape me at the moment.You can snag a decent 2 channel amp to get your feet wet for a couple hundred.You can add it later if cash is tight or you want to wait for that good deal to come along.
    Thank you I will definitely take a look and see what I can find to get a good 2 channel amp. I don't think amping the center channel is really necessary, do you? This could sound like a dumb question but here goes: The 805 is rated at 130 watts per channel, so if for example I got a 2 channel amp rated at 200 watts per channel, am I giving the speaker 330 watts per channel (130 + 200) or am I just giving it the 200 from the amp? The RTI A9 says recommended 50-500 watts per channel so what do you suggest as a good wattage for an amp? Thanks again, I appreciate your help!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by grumlenz View Post
    The 805 is rated at 130 watts per channel, so if for example I got a 2 channel amp rated at 200 watts per channel, am I giving the speaker 330 watts per channel (130 + 200) or am I just giving it the 200 from the amp? The RTI A9 says recommended 50-500 watts per channel so what do you suggest as a good wattage for an amp? Thanks again, I appreciate your help!
    you're just giving it 200 watts from the amp. but they will be cleaner, more powerful, higher current watts.. improving the sound and efficiency of the speaker.

    people get caught up to much on watts. watts from a receiver don't compare to the same watts and power you'll get from an external amp.. i will go out on a limb and say that even if you got a 90 wpc external amp, it will have more power than a 130wpc receiver. and certainly sound better too. :)

    I used to use a Marantz receiver and it was rated at only 70wpc, but with all 5 speakers hooked up and running off that receiver, it probably brought my wpc output down to about 30 or 40 instead. I don't know for sure.. but i know it wasn't running them at the rated 70wpc, that's for sure.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    The back of your receiver has labeled pre-outs for left,right,center, surrounds,sub yada yada....you simply connect an I/C cable or coaxle cable from those pre-outs to the amp and connect speaker wires to the amp.Now depending on how many channels you want to amplify.....lets say you just want a 2 channel amp for the 10's.You connect 2 I/C's to the pre-outs on the receiver marked front left and front right,to the same on the amp.Then simply connect your speaker wires to the amp.Got it?
    Oh ok i see, yeah i got it. Thanks for the taking the time to explain that man i appreciate it.

  14. #14

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    I don't think amping the center channel is really necessary, do you?
    I have very similar setup (using Onk 705 -100watts + 2x250w Parasound Amp for RTi10 (olderversion of A7) fronts -- and the center speaker sounds fine without additional amplification.
    RTi10/A7's are power hungry so unless you have enuf dinero for a 5x200+w Amp, go with a good 2channel amp

    Too bad there aren't many (any?) options for 3 channel amps, but I was pleasantly surprised how well the CSiA6 blended with the fronts after adding the amp.
    LR Setup:
    Polk RTi10's, RTi6's, CSiA6 (5 ch setup)
    Onkyo 705 & Denon 3808ci Receiver, Onk 875
    Parasound 2250 Amp
    Sony 26" KDL series Bravia LCD
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    Thank you everybody so much for your help. I ordered the RTI A9's and a CSI A6 and a DSW 600. I have just a couple more questions for you smart audio guys. I still have not ordered an amp. After much reading i think the Adcom is the way to go for my setup. I am looking at probably getting the GFA 5500 or the GFA 5503. What would you say is a good price for either in used condition? I have been checking ebay and audiogon but I don't know what price is a good deal. Definitely looking for one in real good condition. I appreciate any input on what a good deal for either of those would be. My last two questions...what brand/type of cables should I get to go from my receiver to the amp when I get one? And finally...I am using monster speaker cable for all my speakers. Is that good for the new speakers or will I need better speaker cable for the newer better speakers? Thank you so much you all have helped me emensely and my system is almost complete!
    Last edited by grumlenz; 06-10-2008 at 11:32 PM.

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