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  1. #1

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    Default Will an amp make a difference?

    I recently purchased some polk speakers. 2 RTI a7's for fronts, csi a4 center, and atrium 45's (free with purchase) for rears. I previously had a sony HTIB. The sound is definitly an upgrade from the htib, but I feel like I should be getting more bass and overall better sound. My receiver is a denon-889, and I use ps3 or denon 1904CI for playing cd's. I also feel like I have to really turn it up to get any bass or clarity to the music. I have the front speakers bi-amped, which i have heard that doesn't make that much of a difference. I still have the sub from the htib but didn't want to use it, or think I needed it with the A7's. Would adding an amp give me that extra bass or clarity that i am looking for? Or am I just expecting too much from these speakers? Are there any other suggestions or changes that i can make?

  2. #2

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    As long as your receiver has preouts you can put in a external amp.
    I am not familar with your receiver so not sure if it has preouts or not. But yes a amp will change everything, your A7's will thank you for it.

    Larry.

  3. #3

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    Not sure how you are bi amping with the AVR, don't know that model, but I would not do that.

    Check to see the cross over settings are on the AVR. You might have the RTI's set too high so you could be missing out on the lows that way.

    I am guessing the AVR is in the 90wpc range. You can never go wrong with having more power. I would suggest something closer to 200 wpc for your mains. You can pick up a Carver or Adcom used amp in that rating between $250 and $350 and your speakers will come alive.
    Sunfire TGP, Sunfire Cinema Grand, Sunfire 300~2 (2), Sunfire True Sub (2),Carver ALS Platinum, Carver AL III, TFM-55, C-19, C-9, TX-8, SDA-490t, SDA-390t

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by thuffman03 View Post
    Not sure how you are bi amping with the AVR, don't know that model, but I would not do that.

    Check to see the cross over settings are on the AVR. You might have the RTI's set too high so you could be missing out on the lows that way.

    I am guessing the AVR is in the 90wpc range. You can never go wrong with having more power. I would suggest something closer to 200 wpc for your mains. You can pick up a Carver or Adcom used amp in that rating between $250 and $350 and your speakers will come alive.

    rongove,

    thuffman03 is giving you excellent advice and I couldn't agree more.
    The "speakers will come alive" thing is an understatement.

    You can also check out this website to get an idea about what high quality amps you could purchase at very reasonable prices. www.vintagehifipgh.com

    I hope this helps you out. Take care and happy listening.-------BB3
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  5. #5

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    Depends too on how you have them set up in the room. Too close to the rear walls,cramped in a corner ? Placement is just as important as settings.It's not rocket science,but you do need to be aware of things that will change the sound.

  6. #6

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    ^^^what he said ^^^^ Placement is key. For music try seeting your Denon in Direct mode.

    Too lazy to look up you RTiA7s but I had RTi8s and could never get the bass I wanted for music, tried sub/s and was not happy with music until I got SDA-1Cs.

    BUT once you have placement right and you are still not happy try to borrow an AMP and see how you like it. More current will wake them up and my Denon 2808 by itself did not do the trick for me even with the SDAs.
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
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  7. #7

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    Absolutely! I love the RT line and have ran my RT's with as little as 3w/ch SET amp up to 200w/ch digital amps. A lot of people seem to think RT's don't benifit from external amps but they do.

    An external amp will give you the bass, clarity and impact you're looking for (compared to a receiver), BUT, keep in mind that if you use your receiver as a pre amp, you are sending the receiver's sound signature to the external amp. So if the pre section of your AVR is lacking bass or impact, your amp won't be able to flex their muscles as much.
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
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    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  8. #8

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    Until very recently I was running RTiA7's as my front speakers on both Home Theater setup and two channel. I acquired some SDA 1C's and moved the A7's to surround duty. However before I did, when using the A7's with my Yamaha AVR they certainly were not being used to full potential. When I flipped the switch the A7's then were being driven by my Carver TFM-25 two channel amp (225 wpc) and let me tell you those A7's came to life! Loads of bass and clarity. They really love lots of high current power. They are rated at up to 300 watts and they can handle it as long as it's clean.

    I also agree about the importance of room placement but of equal importance is power. If you want those speakers to sing with music feed them some good high current and I promise you won't be disappointed. By the way welcome to Club Polk.
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  9. #9

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    Thanks for all the comments and suggestions guys. My speakers have about a foot of space on the left and right side of each, and about 2 feet of space behind them. Is that enough room? I am definitly going to get an amp, it just might be a little while. When I do have the money saved, is it ok to buy used? I dont want to buy used and have it break in a week. I really don't like to have nicks or scratches on my equipment either. Would I be wasting my money buying new? Thanks again.

  10. #10

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    Ron, Most of the Carver TFM series are 18 years old or so and if they have not been serviced they will need it soon. Can not speak for Adcom AMPs.

    Try to find a recently serviced (By Rita or Rolland ideally) TFM-25. You will not be disappointed.

    I can not comment on new AMPs.
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

  11. #11

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    I say buy used, you will find a better amp for the money you will spend on a new one.

    I learned the hard way, I will have a hard time buying anything new again. Plus if you decide to sell it for something else down the line you will lose very little or anything at all on what you paid for it.

    Just shop smart and you will do good, and don't be afraid to ask questions here on a amp your looking for befor you buy it. Lots of good people here to help you along the way. If not for this place I would not have the system's I have now.

    Good Luck..
    Last edited by Toolfan66; 09-11-2009 at 10:45 AM.

  12. #12

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    Used amps are the way to go IMO. I love my Carver TFM's. If I did not buy used I would not have even half of the equipment I have now.
    Sunfire TGP, Sunfire Cinema Grand, Sunfire 300~2 (2), Sunfire True Sub (2),Carver ALS Platinum, Carver AL III, TFM-55, C-19, C-9, TX-8, SDA-490t, SDA-390t

  13. #13

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    Used is the way to go. I think the only thing bought "new" in any of my setups was my cables and power conditioner. And technically my cdp, but that was open box for ridiculously cheap.
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

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    Sorry to report, but your Denon does NOT have preouts necessary to plug in a separate amp. You would have to upgrade your receiver first.
    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

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by cfrizz View Post
    Sorry to report, but your Denon does NOT have preouts necessary to plug in a separate amp. You would have to upgrade your receiver first.
    Well that is not good news at all. I would then suggest picking up a used AVR with the features you want and make sure it has pre amp outs and go from there.

    I knew there is a reason I don't like AVR's much.
    Sunfire TGP, Sunfire Cinema Grand, Sunfire 300~2 (2), Sunfire True Sub (2),Carver ALS Platinum, Carver AL III, TFM-55, C-19, C-9, TX-8, SDA-490t, SDA-390t

  16. #16

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    You also mentioned that you're lacking bass but you don't have your sub hooked up. If that's the case, then make sure you check your settings on the AVR. If your reciever is anything like my Onkyo, then it'll have a setting in the speaker setup for yes/no to a subwoofer and also a crossover frequency. Set it to 'no' for the sub and it'll play all the low frequencies to the stereo channels. Also it's helpful to set your R/L channel to 'Large' in the setup.... the AVR will send more low freq. sound toward the stereo channels that way also.

    The real answer to this question though, is that you need an amp, AVRs just don't perform like external amps do.
    ~Matt
    -----------------My System------------------
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by rongove View Post
    Thanks for all the comments and suggestions guys. My speakers have about a foot of space on the left and right side of each, and about 2 feet of space behind them. Is that enough room? I am definitly going to get an amp, it just might be a little while. When I do have the money saved, is it ok to buy used? I dont want to buy used and have it break in a week. I really don't like to have nicks or scratches on my equipment either. Would I be wasting my money buying new? Thanks again.
    I would say at least 18-24 inches out from the rear wall,and 24 inches out from any side wall. Not etched in stone,you have to play around a bit.Also play with toe in,depending on where you sit. Power never hurts too. Get an amp on those sombitches.

  18. #18

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    amps can make a world of difference. any dedicated unit usually provides and edge over an all-in-one system. In your case, although you don't have a unit with pre-outs, an external amp would give you punchier bass.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by rongove View Post
    Thanks for all the comments and suggestions guys. My speakers have about a foot of space on the left and right side of each, and about 2 feet of space behind them. Is that enough room? I am definitly going to get an amp, it just might be a little while. When I do have the money saved, is it ok to buy used? I dont want to buy used and have it break in a week. I really don't like to have nicks or scratches on my equipment either. Would I be wasting my money buying new? Thanks again.
    Lots of guys buy used and are very happy. I refuse to buy anything used anymore. I bought a used preamp and the seller had to send me 4 before I was satisfied with the performance and appearance of the piece. That is not to say you can't do well in the used market, you can. You just have to be very careful on what and whom you buy from.

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  20. #20

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    O/P if you haven't already done it rip the connector bar's off the back of the A7's and replace with a small piece of speaker wire and hook up that lil' sub you got. I think you would be surprised at the difference ;)
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  21. #21

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    rongove,

    everything matters, the trick is organizing everything into a plan, then executing the plan based on what matters, which is of course everything.

    You are on your way to building a system of interdependant parts, of which both yourself and the room are a part of. You will find the problems of the system are systemic. Lastly, understand there is no perfect audio component, however, Tubes Rule.

    Enjoy the path.

    RT1
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