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Butterman

Noob needs help. Jumped in with both feet...

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I've been rocking my old Bose and Kenwood for 15 years now and decided it was time for a much needed upgrade. I have a finished basement, carpeted, and the main area measures app. 26'x17' with 9' ceilings.

About a month ago I ordered-

Denon 4200

RF-7 Black

Epson 5030ub

Silver Ticket 135" fixed screen

DVDO HD wireless transmitter

Right after I got the AVR and RF-7's I immediately broke them open and hooked them up in the middle of the floor. I must have looked like it was Christmas morning!

So long and short, I loved the speakers and now HAD to have a good center.

I ordered the RC-64 II and , again, once I got it hooked her right up. Wow! Now I had my RF-7's and the RC-64 running. Sounds awesome! But now I need some bass and rears. Again, my old Bose just couldn't dream of keeping up.

Earlier this week I ordered

RF-7 for the rear

2 R-155SW and WA-wireless for back sub.

XPA-5 amplifier

Now I'm in deep. I have lots of questions (can I borrow some money, it seems I've developed a hole in my pocket)

I want to use the rear RF-7's for surround for movies but would like to use it as a second set of fronts (I used to use a and b channel back in the day) when listening to music.

My thoughts were to use the XPA 5 to drive both sets of RF-7's (fronts and rears) and the RC-64. Plug both subs into AVR. Is this the best way to do it?

Now my AVR will have un used power. Is bi-amping the fronts and rears viable? Worth it?

What is the best wire to use and are banana plugs the optimum connection for speakers?

It seems my AVR has has 2 RCA pre amp outputs and the XPA 5 has either a single unbalanced RCA and a single balanced cable connection. What is the right way for me to connect the Denon 4200 to the XPA5?

I think I should hide my wallet after cocktail hour from now on!

Any help would be tremendously appreciated as I think I jumped before I looked.

Thoughts and feedback about my selections would be highly appreciated as well. Im hoping I did well for myself, especially considering the financial commitment.

Thanks

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Noob just got a KILLER upgrade in his sound system.  :D

 

my old Bose just couldn't dream of keeping up.

Unfortunately, you are among the many that have finally discovered this truth. Bose has just done a fantastic job at marketing hype.

 

Earlier this week I ordered RF-7 for the rear 2 R-155SW and WA-wireless for back sub. XPA-5 amplifier Now I'm in deep.

You aren't kidding!  This system is going to blow you away!  I'm excited for you.

 

I want to use the rear RF-7's for surround for movies but would like to use it as a second set of fronts (I used to use a and b channel back in the day) when listening to music.

Back in the day, receivers had A / B before "Surround Sound" was introduced.  Honestly, there is no benefit or reason you should need to use 4 speakers up front when listening to music.  You may find that you prefer to listen to all 5 speakers when listening to music, some prefer to just change a setting in the receiver to Stereo so that only the front to speakers and a sub are playing while other use a "Direct" setting which often plays only the front two channels with no sub playing.  It's all about preference.  Sorry...I just re-read your question and it appears you want to have both the front and rear speakers playing when listening to music.  No problem.  Most receivers have either a "Music" setting that will play all 5 of your speakers, there is another setting called "All Channel Stereo" (I don't prefer this setting).  Once you get your receiver setup, you can go through the different sound fields to see what your ears prefer most.  Your receiver may have a Zone 2 but that is more for having the receiver play a 2nd set of speakers in another room (say the patio or pool area).

 

My thoughts were to use the XPA 5 to drive both sets of RF-7's (fronts and rears) and the RC-64. Plug both subs into AVR. Is this the best way to do it?

Yes, as long as your receiver has pre-outs for all 5 channels, you would connect RCA out of your Receiver's Preouts to the Inputs of the Emotiva.  Then speaker cables from the amp to your speakers.  If your receiver has two sub outs, you can connect one to each sub.  If it only has one sub out, buy a "Y" adapter and connect both subs to the single sub out on your receiver.

 

Now my AVR will have un used power. Is bi-amping the fronts and rears viable? Worth it?

I tested it once with my setup and heard no sonic benefit.  Your amp will be MORE than sufficient for your 5 speakers and has a much larger power supply than your receiver will have. 

 

What is the best wire to use and are banana plugs the optimum connection for speakers?

I use 12 or 14 gauge wire from Monoprice.  Super inexpensive (also for interconnects) and great quality.  I love banana plugs just for convenience.  They offer no sonic improvement or degradation of sound quality.  Merely nice if you plan on switching speakers in and out.

 

It seems my AVR has has 2 RCA pre amp outputs and the XPA 5 has either a single unbalanced RCA and a single balanced cable connection. What is the right way for me to connect the Denon 4200 to the XPA5?

I just looked at the rear of your Denon....it has preouts for all speakers.  So you would connect 3 pair of RCA Cables as follows:

 

RCA Cable 1 (Red "Front" Output to Input 1 on XPA-5, then speaker out to Front Right Speaker)
RCA Cable 1 (White "Front" Output to Input 2 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Front Left Speaker)
RCA Cable 2 (White "Center" Output to Input 3 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Center Channel)

RCA Cable 3 (Red "Surround" Output to Input 4 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Surround Right Speaker)

RCA Cable 3 (White "Surround" Output to Input 5 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Surround Left Speaker)

 

Any help would be tremendously appreciated as I think I jumped before I looked.

You made an AWESOME jump!  Well done!

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I'm not sure how you connect the wireless adapter for your back sub.  Others can help with that.

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I just looked at the rear of your Denon....it has preouts for all speakers. So you would connect 3 pair of RCA Cables as follows: RCA Cable 1 (Red "Front" Output to Input 1 on XPA-5, then speaker out to Front Right Speaker) RCA Cable 1 (White "Front" Output to Input 2 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Front Left Speaker) RCA Cable 2 (White "Center" Output to Input 3 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Center Channel) RCA Cable 3 (Red "Surround" Output to Input 4 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Surround Right Speaker) RCA Cable 3 (White "Surround" Output to Input 5 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Surround Left Speaker)

 

Great advice but I believe that should be (5) individual RCA cables.

 

Congrats, that will be a killer set up!

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I'm not sure how you connect the wireless adapter for your back sub.  Others can help with that.

I have to pre outs on the AVR for the subs. The wireless receiver is plugged into the sub and the transmitter to the pre out. As far as I understand anyways. If not, please let me know.

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Noob just got a KILLER upgrade in his sound system.  :D

 

my old Bose just couldn't dream of keeping up.

Unfortunately, you are among the many that have finally discovered this truth. Bose has just done a fantastic job at marketing hype.

 

Earlier this week I ordered RF-7 for the rear 2 R-155SW and WA-wireless for back sub. XPA-5 amplifier Now I'm in deep.

You aren't kidding!  This system is going to blow you away!  I'm excited for you.

 

I want to use the rear RF-7's for surround for movies but would like to use it as a second set of fronts (I used to use a and b channel back in the day) when listening to music.

Back in the day, receivers had A / B before "Surround Sound" was introduced.  Honestly, there is no benefit or reason you should need to use 4 speakers up front when listening to music.  You may find that you prefer to listen to all 5 speakers when listening to music, some prefer to just change a setting in the receiver to Stereo so that only the front to speakers and a sub are playing while other use a "Direct" setting which often plays only the front two channels with no sub playing.  It's all about preference.  Sorry...I just re-read your question and it appears you want to have both the front and rear speakers playing when listening to music.  No problem.  Most receivers have either a "Music" setting that will play all 5 of your speakers, there is another setting called "All Channel Stereo" (I don't prefer this setting).  Once you get your receiver setup, you can go through the different sound fields to see what your ears prefer most.  Your receiver may have a Zone 2 but that is more for having the receiver play a 2nd set of speakers in another room (say the patio or pool area).

 

My thoughts were to use the XPA 5 to drive both sets of RF-7's (fronts and rears) and the RC-64. Plug both subs into AVR. Is this the best way to do it?

Yes, as long as your receiver has pre-outs for all 5 channels, you would connect RCA out of your Receiver's Preouts to the Inputs of the Emotiva.  Then speaker cables from the amp to your speakers.  If your receiver has two sub outs, you can connect one to each sub.  If it only has one sub out, buy a "Y" adapter and connect both subs to the single sub out on your receiver.

 

Now my AVR will have un used power. Is bi-amping the fronts and rears viable? Worth it?

I tested it once with my setup and heard no sonic benefit.  Your amp will be MORE than sufficient for your 5 speakers and has a much larger power supply than your receiver will have. 

 

What is the best wire to use and are banana plugs the optimum connection for speakers?

I use 12 or 14 gauge wire from Monoprice.  Super inexpensive (also for interconnects) and great quality.  I love banana plugs just for convenience.  They offer no sonic improvement or degradation of sound quality.  Merely nice if you plan on switching speakers in and out.

 

It seems my AVR has has 2 RCA pre amp outputs and the XPA 5 has either a single unbalanced RCA and a single balanced cable connection. What is the right way for me to connect the Denon 4200 to the XPA5?

I just looked at the rear of your Denon....it has preouts for all speakers.  So you would connect 3 pair of RCA Cables as follows:

 

RCA Cable 1 (Red "Front" Output to Input 1 on XPA-5, then speaker out to Front Right Speaker)

RCA Cable 1 (White "Front" Output to Input 2 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Front Left Speaker)

RCA Cable 2 (White "Center" Output to Input 3 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Center Channel)

RCA Cable 3 (Red "Surround" Output to Input 4 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Surround Right Speaker)

RCA Cable 3 (White "Surround" Output to Input 5 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Surround Left Speaker)

 

Any help would be tremendously appreciated as I think I jumped before I looked.

You made an AWESOME jump!  Well done!

Thanks a lot for all the great feedback and info!

I'm pretty sure I've got it. One thing I'm still not sure of though-I have two RCA pre outs on the back on the AVR per channel (other than center) and only one input on the back of the XPA. Do I only use 1 from the Denon? Also, what does balanced or unbalanced mean?

Thanks again

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I just looked at the rear of your Denon....it has preouts for all speakers. So you would connect 3 pair of RCA Cables as follows: RCA Cable 1 (Red "Front" Output to Input 1 on XPA-5, then speaker out to Front Right Speaker) RCA Cable 1 (White "Front" Output to Input 2 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Front Left Speaker) RCA Cable 2 (White "Center" Output to Input 3 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Center Channel) RCA Cable 3 (Red "Surround" Output to Input 4 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Surround Right Speaker) RCA Cable 3 (White "Surround" Output to Input 5 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Surround Left Speaker)

 

Great advice but I believe that should be (5) individual RCA cables.

 

Congrats, that will be a killer set up!

Thanks-what are the pro's/con's of bundled rca's versus individual. I'm really starting to realize how much I don't know about AV

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Great advice but I believe that should be (5) individual RCA cables.

I mentioned 3 pair of RCA cables before I looked on Monoprice and found the 5 Single RCA bundled cable.  3 pairs of cables will work just fine, you will just have a single cable that will not be used.  This is what I used for many years when I had my external amps.

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One thing I'm still not sure of though-I have two RCA pre outs on the back on the AVR per channel (other than center) and only one input on the back of the XPA. Do I only use 1 from the Denon? Also, what does balanced or unbalanced mean?

Re-read my comments about how to hook it up.  There are two channels on the back of the AVR (Left and Right) for Front and (Left and Right) for Rear.  You will need to use both.  It doesn't matter which input you connect them to on the XPA-5, but to me, it just makes sense to connect to something like Front Left (White) output to Input 1 on the XPA-5, then Front Right (Red) output to Input 2 on the XPA-5 etc.

 

what are the pro's/con's of bundled rca's versus individual.

Only benefit would be if you want individual cables or the cables to be together.  To me, bundled just offers a better cable management (helps reduce the rats nest clutter of cables behind your AVR).  No sonic benefit one way or the other.

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I have to pre outs on the AVR for the subs. The wireless receiver is plugged into the sub and the transmitter to the pre out. As far as I understand anyways.

That sounds pretty logical to me.

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I just looked at the rear of your Denon....it has preouts for all speakers. So you would connect 3 pair of RCA Cables as follows: RCA Cable 1 (Red "Front" Output to Input 1 on XPA-5, then speaker out to Front Right Speaker) RCA Cable 1 (White "Front" Output to Input 2 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Front Left Speaker) RCA Cable 2 (White "Center" Output to Input 3 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Center Channel) RCA Cable 3 (Red "Surround" Output to Input 4 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Surround Right Speaker) RCA Cable 3 (White "Surround" Output to Input 5 on XPA-5, then speaker cable from XPA-5 to Surround Left Speaker)

 

Great advice but I believe that should be (5) individual RCA cables.

 

Congrats, that will be a killer set up!

Thanks-what are the pro's/con's of bundled rca's versus individual. I'm really starting to realize how much I don't know about AV

 

There's no difference aside from price maybe. I was just conveying simpler terms. You currently have 5 channels so you only need 5 cables. :)

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Re-read my comments about how to hook it up.  There are two channels on the back of the AVR (Left and Right) for Front and (Left and Right) for Rear.  You will need to use both.  It doesn't matter which input you connect them to on the XPA-5, but to me, it just makes sense to connect to something like Front Left (White) output to Input 1 on the XPA-5, then Front Right (Red) output to Input 2 on the XPA-5 etc

So I would plug RCA into both outputs on AVR but only plug one into XPA input and leave one unplugged?

Sorry, I'm a little slow today....

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no, your receiver has 5 pre outs that you will be using into the 5 inputs on the amp FR (Front Right) / FL (Front Left) / Center / SR (Surround Right) / SL (Surround Left)

 

 

Those will plug into the corresponding RCA inputs on the amp which is also labeled as same.

XPA5_REAR_0.png?itok=p3LVK_3z

 

g033AVX4200-B.jpg

Edited by Tasdom

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Those will plug into the corresponding RCA inputs on the amp which is also labeled as same.

 

Sorry, I didn't realize it actually had labels for the different speakers on the back of the XPA-5 but hopefully it makes more sense now.

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Youthman-you're a true Rockstar! I get it now. I really, really appreciate the visual. I think I'm getting overload and was a little slow on the uptake.

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Youthman-you helped out a ton. I was completely mistaken on the outputs. The visual helped. Now if you could just pay for all the new equipment, that'd be great.....

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Youthman-you're a true Rockstar! I get it now. I really, really appreciate the visual. I think I'm getting overload and was a little slow on the uptake.

His is much better, I'm just a roadie... :P

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