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  1. #1

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    Default Ok so why do i have an external amp?

    Ok, i was sitting here thinking about something, early in the morn.. damm its cold here for florida 38o at 7am, No i was thinking of my onkyo amp i have, and why i had it. Well i had everything wired through the receiver and sounded fine, I ran across a deal on this amp locally and had wanted this amp since it came out and i seen it new about 6-7 years ago. Big meters and large size really had me going first time i seen it at Circuit city in 95 or so, so i said i want this when i found it. Not for the sound becuase back then i didn't know much about particular sound per say like i do now. So now i'm wondering does it make that big a deal? and 2, do i need it knowing my receiver puts out 100 wpc as it is running rti70's speakers.. The amp is 165 wpc, or should i sell it to buy something else i want/need more for the setup?? This is my question to everyone?? why use a power amp? and do i need it? sound wise, its to hard to listen as is and then hook up the speaks to the receiver as i have all hard wire no pins or connecters to swap amps real fast. so maybe today i will rehook it up to the receiver and see what i hear.
    what should i listen for??? to decide if i need it or not. Listen to 1 cd both ways at same volume and with no sub turned on?? are these idea;s on what to do when determing what sounds best. after all its a older amp, and although it works great.. you have to push that darn power button everytime you wanna listen to the radio or dvd's/cd's..... i know big deal and i like it i do, I just want some idea's, no lots of idea's on what you think? what you would do if you had a amp like this, or hooked up the way i do. any and all reasonable idea's welcome. Thanks in advance
    MY HT RIG:
    Sherwood p-965
    Sherwood sd871 dvd
    Rotel 1075 amp x5
    LSI15 mains
    LsiC center
    LSIfx surround backs
    Lsi7 side surrounds
    SVS pb12/plus2


    2 Channel Rig:

    nad 1020 Pre-amp
    Rotel 1080 stereo amp
    Polk sda 2B
    kenwood grunt Tuner
    realistic lab 450 TT
    Signal cable IC

  2. #2

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    Alright,
    Adding an amp to a reciever can benefit you for 2 channel music.This however comes at a price.Home theater suffers as the external amp usually has more more,more dynamic range and a different sonic signature.This all means for Home Theater is the following:
    1.The main speakers(or whatever pair you connect to it)will play louder when a dynamic pass happens.Example:Pod racer scene in Star Wars Eposide I.When the pods race from left speaker into the centerchannel speaker,the sound will drop off slightly,depending on the differences of.Then when the sound reaches the right speakers the sound will increase like the left(assuming amp is on the mains as you are going to/had them).
    2.Tone,this is a big one.The amp and the built in amps will not sound the same.most external amps are clearer then internal amps.If a car drives by,or the pod racers,the sound will differ.another example would be someone talking.....there voice will sound one way in the left and right,then another way in the centerchannel due to the differences in amps.

    Now I know alot of you aren't as cridical with your sound as I am.And these suttle differences might not matter much to you as much,the trade off is worth it to some due to the increase ability of purity of 2 channel with a surround setup.

    My opnions of mating,tone,clarity need to be in as perfect harmony as possible.

    I have tried this with 2 different power amps and 3 different receivers.All setups I felt sounded better when all amps where the same.It was for me distracting when the external amp was involved.
    My 2 channel listening was increased........but at the expense of my movies pleasure.
    This choice.......not right or wrong(it took be awhile to say that)it's really up to the listener.
    faster100,
    You amp you own should mate closer then if your amp was made by another company.You only problems I can see will alie in dynamic range more...I Believe.Tone,clarity will also be a factor but not as big of deal.
    Take the time,listen for yourself and reply your findings.

    Helpful Ideas,
    1.Use the same movie and the same chapter.Run this over and over.(Make sure you calibrate your system everytime you switch out the amp)
    2.Listen to a cd one track of choice you know really well.Take away and add the amp after listening 1 to 3 times each.To get a good idea of sound quality.
    Weigh out the differences,see if this is where you want your system to be.
    If your sadisfied with the performance of it with the amp installed both ways.......use it that way.If you don't care for the receiver,and adding the amp sound is more on your lines of where you want your sound to be,then I think it's time to start planning a receiver upgrade,adding a 5 or 7 channel amp(depending what you run 5.1 or 7.1),or going full seperates of your choice.
    This isn't out of the ordinary.Upgrading is fun but expensive.I traveled down this road more times then I'd care to admit.I made some mistakes but learned from each one of them.......money wise that is.I could have gone seperates or Flagship along time ago(2 years ago)But I choose to stay within a 1200.00 dollar limit.My SOUND just didn't lay there.Now today I know where it does.
    Good luck man,have fun along the way would yeah.
    Last edited by mantis; 01-05-2003 at 11:28 AM.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  3. #3

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    Power amps sound better than a receiver. Period.

    The big advantage to adding power amps to an existing receiver rig is that it offers you a flexible and affordable upgrade path. It also is less taxing on the receiver. Yes, it does take a little time and effort to 'get right' but it can be done.

    Just MHO.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

  4. #4

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    Originally posted by mantis
    Alright,
    Adding an amp to a reciever can benefit you for 2 channel music.This however comes at a price.Home theater suffers as the external amp usually has more more,more dynamic range and a different sonic signature.
    I see where you are headed with this but I think just the opposite overall and is only my opinion.

    My thought is that 5.1 HT has a greater dynamic range and if you don't have the overhead in your amp clipping will occurr during special sound effects.

    Most definetly 2 channel will benifit but I believe HT is moreso enhanced with additional power.

    HBomb

  5. #5

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    Agreed, Hbomb. I never found that adding a power amp in my rig ever detracted from HT in the slightest. While I am more of a 2ch guy than an HT guy, I think I have reasonably descriminating tastes in terms of sound quality. As we pointed out, it also takes a huge load off the receiver allowing for improved dynamic range in the other channels.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

  6. #6

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    Ok so i have 1 power amp only hooked to my front mains and these amps are kinda large to have a stack of them and run kinda pricey on e-bay at 450-525, so should i later get a set of amps to power all the channels, or a multi channel amp one or the other, My problem is i don't think just having one amp helps much besides when i listen to 2 channel stereo. and if matching sound is a factor then adding more amps aren't going to match for the above reason, these are to large and heavy to get 3 stacked for my 6.1 steup i want. at 50 pounds each and huge size
    MY HT RIG:
    Sherwood p-965
    Sherwood sd871 dvd
    Rotel 1075 amp x5
    LSI15 mains
    LsiC center
    LSIfx surround backs
    Lsi7 side surrounds
    SVS pb12/plus2


    2 Channel Rig:

    nad 1020 Pre-amp
    Rotel 1080 stereo amp
    Polk sda 2B
    kenwood grunt Tuner
    realistic lab 450 TT
    Signal cable IC

  7. #7

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    Default

    also onkyo makes a small 2 channel amp(i owed this one and sold it) 100 wpc x2 @8 ohms.. which i was told is the exact same amps that are in the integra receiver that i have now, so i could also get 2 or 3 of these and use them for front mains, center front and rear, and either surround rears or use the internal amp for just those channels... what ya think on this

    specs:
    Ideal for THX Surround EX and multiroom/multichannel systems, the M-282 has got to be the best upgrade value in the home-theater world. Everything you need in an additional amp is here, including Onkyo’s WRAT to maximize signal accuracy.

    Power Amplifier


    Power Output 2 x 120 watts/channel into 6 ohm


    Dynamic Power**

    2 ohms N/A

    6 ohms N/A

    8 ohms N/A


    THD N/A


    IM Distortion Rated Power N/A


    Damping Factor N/A


    Frequency Response N/A


    Signal-to-Noise Ratio N/A


    Dimensions (W x H x D) N/A

    Inches 17-1/8" x 5-11/16" x 12-7/16"

    Millimeters


    Weight 18.7 lbs.
    Attached Images  
    MY HT RIG:
    Sherwood p-965
    Sherwood sd871 dvd
    Rotel 1075 amp x5
    LSI15 mains
    LsiC center
    LSIfx surround backs
    Lsi7 side surrounds
    SVS pb12/plus2


    2 Channel Rig:

    nad 1020 Pre-amp
    Rotel 1080 stereo amp
    Polk sda 2B
    kenwood grunt Tuner
    realistic lab 450 TT
    Signal cable IC

  8. #8

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    Default

    and the back panel
    Attached Images  
    MY HT RIG:
    Sherwood p-965
    Sherwood sd871 dvd
    Rotel 1075 amp x5
    LSI15 mains
    LsiC center
    LSIfx surround backs
    Lsi7 side surrounds
    SVS pb12/plus2


    2 Channel Rig:

    nad 1020 Pre-amp
    Rotel 1080 stereo amp
    Polk sda 2B
    kenwood grunt Tuner
    realistic lab 450 TT
    Signal cable IC

  9. #9

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    Originally posted by HBombToo


    I see where you are headed with this but I think just the opposite overall and is only my opinion.

    My thought is that 5.1 HT has a greater dynamic range and if you don't have the overhead in your amp clipping will occurr during special sound effects.

    Most definetly 2 channel will benifit but I believe HT is moreso enhanced with additional power.

    HBomb
    HBomb,

    Mantis is correct in the way that faster described the imparticular amp that he's using. It's only a 2 channel amp, so it's not a matter of the sound being worse. It's a matter of the front soundstage being off-balance. With just the mains hooked up to an external amp, and his center and surrounds being connected to the receiver, as Dan described, he would be peaking at his mains, and valley'ing at his center. For a more seamless sound, at a minimum, faster should have a 3 channel amp running his entire front speaker setup, then have the surrounds connected to the receiver.

    Like you said, in a 2 channel listening setup, with the external amp, undoubtedly it would sound MUCH better than listening to his 2 channel through his receivers amps. But when you take that set-up and push movies and such through, there is going to be a pretty noticeable tonal shift between the mains and center.

    I'm going to have to deal with this one here in the near future, but I think that I'm going to get a 5 channel amp and use my receiver as a pre/pro only. I know that's not the ideal way to do it, but for purely monetary reasons, it's what makes sense to me right now.
    Last edited by brettw22; 01-05-2003 at 02:32 PM.
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  10. #10

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    I also think that the change in 'sonic signature' is an issue but I don't think it's a deal breaker Ideally, yes, get the same amps all the way across the front. However, I think that all things considered, I think the pros outweigh the cons.

    Just my .02

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

  11. #11

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    brettw22,
    good call.I feel if your going to add power amps to a receiver,a multichannel or pairs of amps all equal would yield the best performance gain.
    There's nothing wrong with adding a multichannel amp to a receiver.You on your way to seperates.Down the road,you should consider the matching peramp to the amp of choice.Another good tip for adding power amps to receivers would be to use the same exact unbalanced rca innerconnect.Lenght as well.
    You know this has been talked about so many times in the past.I feel if this is the road you choose for whatever your reasons,mating everything will yield max performance.
    I was going to go down this road despite the way I feel about doing so,untill I listened to the matching preamp and decided to wait to buy both amps and the pre amp all at the same time.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  12. #12

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    My only feeling against the matching preamp, of course depending on which brand chosen etc, is that it's a pretty limited and expensive way of going about it. My problem is that I'm as into my system LOOKING impressive as I am the way that it sounds. I've seen preamps that are just knobs and switches, and I'm sure for all intensive purposes they work great. They just don't wear the WOW factor that I want. (my dad has been trying to impress upon me the difference between wants and needs for years, and I have to say, I don't see the difference...:D )

    Most recently, the Anthem amp is what I'm looking at, but I refuse to spend $3000 on a preamp that just 'matches' the amp that I have. I'd rather get a receiver as a pre/pro and just upgrade that every couple of years and use all external amps. It's a LOT cheaper, and a LOT more flexible in the whole upgrading scheme of things.
    .
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  13. #13

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    you can get a b&k 7 channel amp at 200 wpc for around 2k. it has dubble the power of the onkyo amps and would be about the same price. if i ever decide to go pre pro i will get the b&k 7 channel amp.
    Gonzo's World
    BenQ 8700+
    115in screen
    PS3,X-Box 360 and Wii
    Sunfire Theater Grand III
    ADCOM GFA-7607
    four avalanch 18 subs 26.12l of displacement
    Crown xti 4000

  14. #14

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    Thats way to much and i don't think i could spend that much at one time on just an amp.. I have 2 kids and can't spare that kinda cash unfortunalty. The onkyo amps sell for around 200-250 each, so even if i bought 3 thats only 600- 750.00 total. MY ht room is to small and i won't be useing 7.1, only 6.1 for now. Ok i get the main idea of this, I am with brettw22 far as the cost of a pre-amp and not doing all that much, then youn need all separete componets to get all the bells and whistles that my receiver yields. not totally out of the question, but just not now. also onkyo doesnt make just a pre for these amps, and integra home theater website only had receivers and 1 amp like the above pictured only with the integra name instead of Onkyo. I really would like to keep this M504, and get the M282 pictured but again a difference in wattage, sound maybe, and the 282 is currently made. onkyo made a matching M501 amp without the meters but they werent as heavy duty or beefy as this 504 i have and some even had crappy spring clips for speaker wire... I am going right now to do some testing and will check back on here later/ Thanks everyone, any more idea;s let me know..
    MY HT RIG:
    Sherwood p-965
    Sherwood sd871 dvd
    Rotel 1075 amp x5
    LSI15 mains
    LsiC center
    LSIfx surround backs
    Lsi7 side surrounds
    SVS pb12/plus2


    2 Channel Rig:

    nad 1020 Pre-amp
    Rotel 1080 stereo amp
    Polk sda 2B
    kenwood grunt Tuner
    realistic lab 450 TT
    Signal cable IC

  15. #15

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    I'll jump back in and say that changes are as fun as a new purchase.

    I think that enough members have the position that a large gain was realized in the Center Channel being in a Bi-Amp configuration.

    Split the preamp out into each amp and run a pair of cables to the Center.

    my suggestion

    H
    ***WAREMTAE***

  16. #16

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    I am not following you??? split what where?? sorry just didn't understand what you meant, at this point i won't be buying anything but for the future i was wondering. However i have listened to the amp now, and just wired the speaks to the receiver and am trying this way with the same cd, I am having a hard time determing what the difference is, I did notice the sound being more bright with the receiver than with the amp. had to turn down the treble from +4 to 0 flat to sound the same. what about the center? I have it bi=wired now, are you suggesting to use the amp for the center channel Bi-amped? let me know
    MY HT RIG:
    Sherwood p-965
    Sherwood sd871 dvd
    Rotel 1075 amp x5
    LSI15 mains
    LsiC center
    LSIfx surround backs
    Lsi7 side surrounds
    SVS pb12/plus2


    2 Channel Rig:

    nad 1020 Pre-amp
    Rotel 1080 stereo amp
    Polk sda 2B
    kenwood grunt Tuner
    realistic lab 450 TT
    Signal cable IC

  17. #17

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    run your pre amp outs of your center to your main pre amp ins. and you can bi amp your center. sence you will not be using your main outswith the new amp.
    Gonzo's World
    BenQ 8700+
    115in screen
    PS3,X-Box 360 and Wii
    Sunfire Theater Grand III
    ADCOM GFA-7607
    four avalanch 18 subs 26.12l of displacement
    Crown xti 4000

  18. #18

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    good thing you are bi-wired because thats less materials you have to purchase.

    Yes... 2 seperate amps per set of binding posts on the center channel.

    sorry for the confusion here.

    HBomb
    ***WAREMTAE***

  19. #19

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    Ok ok i understand now, But what is he talking about main pre-amp "ins" ?? am i just lost today, LOL Ok i run the center now from the internal amp of the receiver with 2 sets of speaker wire going to each binding post(bi-wired) but is he talking if i get another 2 channel amp to use the left and right outputs on the amp to bi-amp the center or something else.
    MY HT RIG:
    Sherwood p-965
    Sherwood sd871 dvd
    Rotel 1075 amp x5
    LSI15 mains
    LsiC center
    LSIfx surround backs
    Lsi7 side surrounds
    SVS pb12/plus2


    2 Channel Rig:

    nad 1020 Pre-amp
    Rotel 1080 stereo amp
    Polk sda 2B
    kenwood grunt Tuner
    realistic lab 450 TT
    Signal cable IC

  20. #20

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    Because i understand that if i buy another amp, But what i wanted to know was did i need this amp? or should i get a few of the amps i mentioned or similiar? and power all channels or none at all is what i wanna know, I actually had the rti70's bi-amped with this 504 amp i have and didn't hear a noticable diff, so i wen't back to bi-wire. see the amp had 4 outputs (A&B switches) but only 2 inputs via rca jacks, so i can only run 1 set of speakers on for for HT.
    MY HT RIG:
    Sherwood p-965
    Sherwood sd871 dvd
    Rotel 1075 amp x5
    LSI15 mains
    LsiC center
    LSIfx surround backs
    Lsi7 side surrounds
    SVS pb12/plus2


    2 Channel Rig:

    nad 1020 Pre-amp
    Rotel 1080 stereo amp
    Polk sda 2B
    kenwood grunt Tuner
    realistic lab 450 TT
    Signal cable IC

  21. #21

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    Originally posted by HBombToo


    Split the preamp out into each amp and run a pair of cables to the Center.


    H
    The receiver, if like my h/k has binding posts which seperate the pre amp from the amp. Long story short... put a Y on center out and then attach the two lines into two amplifiers with good rca connectors.

  22. #22

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    Yeah thats what i thought you guys meant, so you mean try this if i get another amp?

    Should i try and sell this large amp and get a few smaller ones to power each channel? or atleast say the front mains, and bi-amp the center and maybe just use the receiver to power the rears...

    see as of now i'm back to 5.1 as i sold the infinity center i was useing for my 6.1 so that i could get a polk to match for my rear back center. and i just havent purchased the rear center yet, will do that later on, I just wanted to altamitly know if useing the amp just on the mains was needed, we watch alot of movies but music is on everyday also.
    MY HT RIG:
    Sherwood p-965
    Sherwood sd871 dvd
    Rotel 1075 amp x5
    LSI15 mains
    LsiC center
    LSIfx surround backs
    Lsi7 side surrounds
    SVS pb12/plus2


    2 Channel Rig:

    nad 1020 Pre-amp
    Rotel 1080 stereo amp
    Polk sda 2B
    kenwood grunt Tuner
    realistic lab 450 TT
    Signal cable IC

  23. #23

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    Originally posted by faster100
    Yeah thats what i thought you guys meant, so you mean try this if i get another amp?

    Why don't you just try to bi-amp the center first. Use your receiver to power your left and right and bi-amp the center with you PA. If you like what you hear then a purchase would be worth it.....

    HBomb

  24. #24

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    Thats not the route i was looking for, I now have hooked everything through the receiver, did the tests. amp versus receiver and i could not really tell a difference, I also don't want to waste a 2 channel amp just to bi-amp the center speaker. I had my mains bi-amped before and they didn't sound any different, or not enough to tell/yeild a amp purchase as in the center channel debate. My idea as for now is run the HT with the receiver and later get additional amps for the rest of the 5.1 or 6.1 setup.... might sell the m504 , don't know yet
    MY HT RIG:
    Sherwood p-965
    Sherwood sd871 dvd
    Rotel 1075 amp x5
    LSI15 mains
    LsiC center
    LSIfx surround backs
    Lsi7 side surrounds
    SVS pb12/plus2


    2 Channel Rig:

    nad 1020 Pre-amp
    Rotel 1080 stereo amp
    Polk sda 2B
    kenwood grunt Tuner
    realistic lab 450 TT
    Signal cable IC

  25. #25

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    faster100 if i were you. i'd hang on to the M0504, you may regret it later down the road. It sounds like a big beefy amp to me.. hang on to it guy.

    I guess i'm in one of those situations right now that someone mentioned already. I have to MA500 mono blocks powering the 800s on the fronts. The center, and surrounds are running off the receiver. I do notice a drop in the front soundstage from left to right or right to left panning, with the center lacking the oomph in movies. My solution, and it me makes the most sense right now it to add another mono block amp to the center and later down the road add a two channel amp for the surrounds. Cheaper and i like the mono blocks ok. they are decent and can be found pretty cheap.
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