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Audio Nerds Help!

Discussion in 'Home Theater Audio' started by Brandon428, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. Apr 6, 2012 #1 of 33
    Brandon428

    Brandon428 Hall Of Fame

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    I have a Denon 3311ci pushing 4 Definitive BP8s(200 watts each),1 CLR 2002(250 watts) and 2 Cerwin Vega 380SEs(405 watts each). It pushes 125 watts per channel and I know I’m not getting anywhere near my speakers full potential. I want to get a preamp but I am baffled at how that exactly works. I have a older pioneer amp that pushes 100 watts per channel. Could I use that Pioneer AVR as a pre amp with my Denon AVR to boost the watts? Thanks in advance!

    Pioneer amp http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/AV-Receivers/Pioneer+Receivers/VSX-D711


    Denon amp http://usa.denon.com/us/Product/Pag...Id=AVReceivers(DenonNA)&Pid=AVR3311CI(DenonNA)
     
  2. Apr 6, 2012 #2 of 33
    spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    That's not a Pioneer Amp, it's an A/V Receiver. To improve the performance of the Denon, you'd need an actual Amp that you would connect to the Denon via it's pre-outs on the back panel.
     
  3. Apr 6, 2012 #3 of 33
    jdskycaster

    jdskycaster Legend

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    You already have a built in pre-amp in the 3311CI with pre-outs on the back. I have the same receiver and use it this way. About all you could do with that Pio recieve is to power a couple of your surrounds which would not relieve the Denon and buy you much of anything.

    If you want more power to your mains (front Right, Left, Center) which is where you need it by a three channel or five channel amp from Emotiva.com (look at the 3 channel XPA-3 or 5 channel XPA-5) or Outlawaudio.com and use that to power your mains and just continue to use the Denon for powering your surround channels.

    JD
     
  4. Apr 6, 2012 #4 of 33
    Brandon428

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    Would it be completely worthless to use the Pioneer AVR for the surround speakers till I get a real external amp?
     
  5. Apr 6, 2012 #5 of 33
    spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    Yes, useless and impractical.
     
  6. Apr 6, 2012 #6 of 33
    Brandon428

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    Alright,thanks a bunch guys!
     
  7. Apr 6, 2012 #7 of 33
    spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    Why do you think you need an Amp?

    Is there something you think is lacking?

    You've run Audyessy, right?
     
  8. Apr 6, 2012 #8 of 33
    John Williams

    John Williams Legend

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    As has been asked already:
    Is the system not loud enough for you? Are you turning it up to the point it starts distorting and wishing it could go louder?
    To have a noticable increase over the power the Denon has, you are going to have to get an amp rated at least 200 watts per channel on more (pushing those speakers to the max).

    [edit]: Reading your post again, I think I might need to clarify something for you.
    A speaker is connected to an audio amplifier. That amplifier is what drives the speaker, completely and whole by itself. You can NOT take (for example) a 40 watt amp and hook it to a 60 watt amp and get 100 watts to a speaker - it doesn't work like that.
     
  9. Apr 6, 2012 #9 of 33
    CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    Another thing to point out, is you listed the power rating for each of your speakers...its actually pretty irrelevant, just to let you know in simple terms that you can power them with amps up to the rated wattage without causing damage to them....it doesnt mean thats what you need to to power them. As others have asked, what do you mean by your speakers full potential? That said, if you want an amp to provide more juice to your speakers, look at something like this:

    http://www.rotel.com/NA/products/ProductDetails.htm?Id=475
     
  10. Brandon428

    Brandon428 Hall Of Fame

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    What I have been told is that with an external amp I will be able to achieve more clarity at a louder volume. What I mean by full potential of my speakers is I want to get all the possible wattage out of them. I just wanted to find a cheap alternative to gaining more power without having to upgrade to a higher end Denon AVR.
     
  11. Brandon428

    Brandon428 Hall Of Fame

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    Is PYLE any good? I see a lot of those online for cheap.
     
  12. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    There is no cheap alternative.

    First, let's look at the signal path. I'm not sure you have that correct in your head. This will be for a DVD player but substitute a DVR at the beginning of the chain and you have the same thing for DirecTV.

    DVD > receiver's preamp section (input selector to surrround sound modes to volume control) > receiver's power amp section (the 7.2 channels of amplification) > speakers

    Your receiver does have preamp outs for each of the channels. You could substitute the power amp section of your receiver with a separate, more powerful 5 or 7 channel power amp.. If you got the right amp, it also would be better power. More power is not necessarily better power. But to get more and better power, it would cost money. Maybe a lot of money. It would certainly cost more than your reciever.
     
  13. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Cerwin Vega's should be able to blast your ears out with 85W. If your denon is like mine, there is a limiter in it, that you can set to prevent the volume from going to high and blowing out cheap speakers. If your is set that way, you might need to change it.

    If your volume setting is at or about 0db on the front panel display to get comfortable listening, then your settings are wrong. When I had my Cerwin Vega's, and now Klipsch, comfortable listening is -27db, and at -17 the speakers are jumping off the shelf.

    Download the Denon manual, if you dont have it, run the auto-setup, then go back and modify the settings for the limiter.
     
  14. jdskycaster

    jdskycaster Legend

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    No. Adding a cheap low quality amp will do nothing to improve the sound you are hearing. In fact spending more on a high quality amp may not make a difference depending on the size of your room and how hard you are really pushing those speakers with the 3311.

    My advice is since budget seems to be an issue. Just stick with the 3311 for now and if in the future you have an extra 600-$1000 laying around step up to one of the external amps I mentioned. There is no cheap solution to what you are trying to do.

    JD
     
  15. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    One other thing: speakers aren't like beer glasses. A 16 oz. beer glass should be filled with 16 oz. of beer. A 200 watt speaker doesn't need to have 200 watts to drive it. Besides the fact that speaker power ratings are often as accurate as throwing a dart at a dart board, it just means this is all it can take. Less watts may drive the speaker perfectly loud enough. That is determined by the speakers effeciency.

    Think of a speaker as a sports car. A lightweight sports car may be able to go really fast with a small four cylinder engine. The car is effecient. If you have a dump truck, I don't care how much power you put under the hood, it will never go fast.

    More power is almost never the answer. It may drive the speakers a little louder. But adding more power almost never changes the overall character of a stereo or home theater system. Your speakers, the quality of the various sources and the room are much bigger determining factors.

    Adding more power will only make a stereo play a little louder. It might tighten up the bass. It might make the system more dynamic. But it won't make it sound better louder, at least not a lot louder. The difference in volume between a 100 watt amp and a 200 watt amp is just three decibels. One decibel is loosely defined as the sound of a pin dropping. A two decibel volume increase is the smallest volume increase you can hear. Imagine I turn up a stereo and you say, "Yes, that's a hair louder." That's a two dB increase. A doubling of power from 100 to 200 watts is a 3 dB increase. Yes, it's louder, and maybe better sounding, but only a bit.
     
  16. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    Huh? There is no limiter on an amplifer. Given the rest of your description, you may be confusing gain with amplification. They are two separate things.

    Gain is like the old mechanical linkage on a gas pedal. If it is out of adjustment, you may just touch the pedal and the car will jump forward. Or you may be able to push the pedal to the floor and the car won't go more than 45 mph. In the old days, you'd have to adjust the linkage so that the pedal moved the right amount to start the car off slowly and be able to take the engine past redline.

    But the speed of the car was ultimately determined by the engine and other factors, not the linkage of the gas pedal.

    Gain is the process of pressing down on the gas pedal over the range of two inches in order to go from zero to 150 mph. It's the drive train that really determines if your car will make it to 150 mph, not the gas pedal. The drive train is the amplification.
     
  17. Brandon428

    Brandon428 Hall Of Fame

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    Gaining a lot of knowledge,thanks guys!
     
  18. jdskycaster

    jdskycaster Legend

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    Not quite true. You forgot the recently retired and highly sophisticated dump truck called the space shuttle. Very fast = 17,500mph!:D
     
  19. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    That is what Denon calls it, not me. I understand what you are saying, however. This is just a preamp output limit.

     
  20. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    What a misnomer by Denon. But then, owner's manuals are never written by engineers.

    You have it right, Davenlr. They are reducing the gain of the preamp section of the receiver. I imagine it would be a handy feature if Mom and Dad were going out of town, leaving the home theater in the hands of their 14 year old child. Limit the gain so that even if the volume control was pegged, the system would only get so loud.
     

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