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Why should I have a separate 2 channel amp?


gigantic
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Denon x7200WA running centre (RC-7) and surrounds (1980 modified Heresy) and Luxman R-117 running front L/R (1984 modified Heresy).  In 2 channel mode, the Denon is just a preamp with all inputs including; phono, music server, BluRay CD etc player, TV via eARC and BlueTooth (I know all y'all are fans of BlueTooth).  The Luxman then is the stereo amp including preout to sub woofer.  In HT mode, using the Luxman helps relieve the Denon of all 5 channels, and provides lots of punch... including preout to sub woofer.  I think using a separate 2 channel connected to an AVR gives you the best of both worlds.  And if the AVR helps with room correction that's nice.  Just my 2 cents having just setup one of these systems.

 

 

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21 hours ago, Shakeydeal said:

Tubes....

that's the goal, but in the interim, I realized that I have the perfect temporary solution to drive the Heresies right under my roof: in my spare bedroom recording studio, I have an Alesis RA-100 power amp hooked up to my laptop to drive a pair of vintage, unpowered KRK near field monitors. a little shuffling, sending the old Denon back to the studio and the amp to the living room, I'll have it totally sorted. bully!

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On 9/27/2022 at 7:12 AM, gigantic said:

Tubes really have my interest, but I’ll concede they’re not necessarily better, just different.

 

I know you already have a temporary solution with the amp swap, but (pause) if you like the different, wouldn't that make them better. 😉

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10 hours ago, 82 Cornwalls said:

 

I know you already have a temporary solution with the amp swap, but (pause) if you like the different, wouldn't that make them better. 😉

Who's to say? 🤷‍♂️ I do know that I want tube power, I just need to choose between vintage options (dynaco, Fisher, HH Scott et al), which likely means a soldering project; a vintage clone, a kit or chi-fi- the Willsenton R8 looks promising. I have a bit of time to decide, I have a check coming in the next 1-2 months which may or may not give me a little slush to make it happen. That said, apart from a Fisher console receiver I pulled in the late '90's and ran until it melted down (in retrospect, I should have recapped it, but I was a 20-something kid who didn't know jack-sh¡t...) and a plethora of tube guitar amps (60's Fender & Silvertone; recent PCB reissues), I'm a noob to tube hi-fi. While I have assumptions about the pros and cons of the various options, I don't really know for certain.

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37 minutes ago, gigantic said:

Who's to say? 🤷‍♂️ 

 

Only you.

Of course the converse is also true, if you don't like the difference, that would make tube amps worse*. 🙂

 

*I assumed that would be understood without me typing it (it is hard to put "tube amp" and "worse" in one sentence).

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On 9/27/2022 at 9:29 AM, MC39693 said:

Denon x7200WA running centre (RC-7) and surrounds (1980 modified Heresy) and Luxman R-117 running front L/R (1984 modified Heresy).  In 2 channel mode, the Denon is just a preamp with all inputs including; phono, music server, BluRay CD etc player, TV via eARC and BlueTooth (I know all y'all are fans of BlueTooth).  The Luxman then is the stereo amp including preout to sub woofer.  In HT mode, using the Luxman helps relieve the Denon of all 5 channels, and provides lots of punch... including preout to sub woofer.  I think using a separate 2 channel connected to an AVR gives you the best of both worlds.  And if the AVR helps with room correction that's nice.  Just my 2 cents having just setup one of these systems.

 

 

 

I have a sort of similar setup, and it can’t be beat for convenience.  The front Centre, rear Centre, and side Surround speakers are powered by the Yamaha RX-A2060.  The two  Paradigm subs are connected to the Subwoofer Outs on the receiver as well.

 

The Main Left and Right speakers, however, are different.  They’re modded and bi-amped La Scala IIs.  The signal goes from the Pre Outs on the receiver to an ART CLEANBoxPro, which corrects the receiver’s RCA connections to the XLR connections of the Electro-Voice Dx38 processor.  The CLEANBox also corrects the voltage difference between the home audio voltage and the pro sound voltage used by the processor.

 

The processor does all the functions of the crossovers in the speakers, plus something they can’t do:  it time-aligns the tweeters and woofers.  The signal goes from the processor to the amplifiers, one for the woofers and one for the tweeters, with no capacitors or transformers in the signal path, and from the power amps right to the drivers.

 

The result is clean and clear sound, with very low harmonic distortion due to each amplifier only covering part of the frequency range.  The amps are very quiet, but thanks to the CLEANbox, there’s no hiss at all, in spite of the extremely sensitive speakers.

 

For the very best sound, I use just the Main Left and Right speakers, for TV and movies I use all 6 speakers in Surround mode, and sometimes, mostly late at night, 9 Channel Stereo is just right.

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Just in the spirit of piling on, beating a dead horse and giving my two cents on every subject.  If you have a quality AV receiver that plays with ease at the volumes you require and makes music you enjoy there is NO reason to switch to dedicated two channel amplification.  Anything else is cork sniffing.  The goal of audio components IMHO is to play music you enjoy listening too.  If that Denon gets your feet tapping and doesn't do anything untoward to the music you hear leave it alone and enjoy the music!  Regards, Tony

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2 hours ago, sunnysal said:

Just in the spirit of piling on, beating a dead horse and giving my two cents on every subject.  If you have a quality AV receiver that plays with ease at the volumes you require and makes music you enjoy there is NO reason to switch to dedicated two channel amplification.  Anything else is cork sniffing.  The goal of audio components IMHO is to play music you enjoy listening too.  If that Denon gets your feet tapping and doesn't do anything untoward to the music you hear leave it alone and enjoy the music!  Regards, Tony


That only works until you are exposed to something better. And since the bar is pretty low, it’s only a matter of time….

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6 hours ago, sunnysal said:

Just in the spirit of piling on, beating a dead horse and giving my two cents on every subject.  If you have a quality AV receiver that plays with ease at the volumes you require and makes music you enjoy there is NO reason to switch to dedicated two channel amplification.  Anything else is cork sniffing.  The goal of audio components IMHO is to play music you enjoy listening too.  If that Denon gets your feet tapping and doesn't do anything untoward to the music you hear leave it alone and enjoy the music!  Regards, Tony

I agree. In a perfect world ( one with unlimited financial resources) we could have separate systems for differing purposes. For many of us, living space, and dual purposes demand solutions. There are a number of AVRs that sound great in two channel mode. I added mono blocks to my system and truth be told I hear a nickel's worth of difference. The blocks are now set aside for some unknown future use. My trusty old Marantz AVR gets the job done in a very enjoyable fashion in my space. Down the road who knows? I'll deal with that later.

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22 minutes ago, YK Thom said:

 I added mono blocks to my system and truth be told I hear a nickel's worth of difference. The blocks are now set aside for some unknown future use. My trusty old Marantz AVR gets the job done in a very enjoyable fashion in my space. Down the road who knows? I'll deal with that later.

 

 A good preamp could easily wake up those mono-blocks. I've had a couple really high end Denon AVR's years back and they did sound really good to me, could have easily been "good enough" at the time but I was still in the discovery phase and trying out lots of gear. I find with movies or TV I do not need fancy set ups, just the right hook ups, features and adequate power but for music I'm a bit more picky. 

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8 hours ago, sunnysal said:

Just in the spirit of piling on, beating a dead horse and giving my two cents on every subject.  If you have a quality AV receiver that plays with ease at the volumes you require and makes music you enjoy there is NO reason to switch to dedicated two channel amplification

I agree.

5 hours ago, Shakeydeal said:

That only works until you are exposed to something better. And since the bar is pretty low, it’s only a matter of time….

I'm not sure what this means but preamp sections in upper-end AVRs are of higher quality than years past because of what goes into them. 

2 hours ago, YK Thom said:

I agree. In a perfect world ( one with unlimited financial resources) we could have separate systems for differing purposes. For many of us, living space, and dual purposes demand solutions. There are a number of AVRs that sound great in two channel mode. I added mono blocks to my system and truth be told I hear a nickel's worth of difference. The blocks are now set aside for some unknown future use. My trusty old Marantz AVR gets the job done in a very enjoyable fashion in my space. Down the road who knows? I'll deal with that later.

If you enjoy what you are hearing then there's no reason to spend money on trying to "upgrade " unless you are yearning for something else.

2 hours ago, jjptkd said:

I find with movies or TV I do not need fancy set ups, just the right hook ups, features and adequate power but for music I'm a bit more picky. 

I guess different strokes for different folks, but I listen to multichannel music and my upper-end Denons work great for me. Insofar as 2 channel? I'm never going back! 😎

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Ideally for me anyway, would be the release of a three channel "stereo" amp. It could be called TV mode or something along those lines. I can live without the rear speakers very easily but value the centre when watching TV (and movies). Many of us watched TV with audio going through a two channel revievers for years before the advent of 5.1. Stereo was fine until I got hooked on having a centre.  As more people drift from HT systems one would think a demand for a product like this would materialize.

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I don’t think people have drifted from home theater. If anything, people have drifted from serious music appreciation. All people seem to care about is how many speakers and subwoofers  they can shove into a room with a gigantic screen. Who remembers back in the day how important it was to have the best stereo in your circle of friends? That’s long gone now. Who has the best and loudest home theater system is top dog these days. Shameful as it is…..

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There is some of that, however I know a good number of people switching back. Over time the novelty has worn off, weariness of a room full of speakers and not that many good movies anymore. I'm in that boat myself.

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5 hours ago, Shakeydeal said:

I don’t think people have drifted from home theater. If anything, people have drifted from serious music appreciation.

I think Home Theater has probably plateaued with the rising costs and needing more speakers to keep up with the new formats. It has been commented on before but I also think there is an age gap of critical music listeners because of everything else out there for young people to get involved in.

5 hours ago, Shakeydeal said:

 

All people seem to care about is how many speakers and subwoofers  they can shove into a room with a gigantic screen.

I admit to digging a nice, clear image, big screen and AMAZED at the video content out there. Everything from "being there" travel video on YouTube, to outstanding cinematography in Movies are pretty darn cool to appreciate in your home, but truthfully I have caught myself enjoying well made concert videos on a regular basis and they sound phenomenal on our 9.2 Home Theater! 

5 hours ago, Shakeydeal said:

 

Who remembers back in the day how important it was to have the best stereo in your circle of friends? That’s long gone now. Who has the best and loudest home theater system is top dog these days. Shameful as it is…..

I remember those days! It was amazing how much credit card debt I accumulated when I was younger. 😯 That said, I took about a 25 year hiatus from the old "stereo" days and started my journey into Home Theater in the late 90s. It was early 2000 when I first got into multichannel music and have quite the collection of DVD-As, SACDs, and DTS music disks of records/CDs I enjoyed and really couldn't believe the sound quality and experience a really nice sound system could bring out in this material (along with concert videos).

 

Well, now I am a dinosaur in this regard and will agree there are more "2 channel" aficionados nowadays but I do appreciate quality sound a 2 channel doesn't do it for me anymore...That's my story. :)

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5 hours ago, YK Thom said:

There is some of that, however I know a good number of people switching back. Over time the novelty has worn off, weariness of a room full of speakers and not that many good movies anymore. I'm in that boat myself.

Not me! Fwiw, I no longer watch a ton of movies like I use to but LOVE multichannel music. I have everything from the Talking Heads library to Depeche Mode's, with Bowie, Elton, T-Rex, Alice Cooper, Clapton, and too many others to mention. :) I also didn't appreciate Donald Fagan and Steely Dan until I went multichannel and really like those on DVD-A and SACD.  We still enjoy a movie now and again and that's like a bonus to our "Multichannel Music System." {Note: We still call it Home Theater though. 😉

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54 minutes ago, Zen Traveler said:

Not me! Fwiw, I no longer watch a ton of movies like I use to but LOVE multichannel music. I have everything from the Talking Heads library to Depeche Mode's, with Bowie, Elton, T-Rex, Alice Cooper, Clapton, and too many others to mention. :) I also didn't appreciate Donald Fagan and Steely Dan until I went multichannel and really like those on DVD-A and SACD.  We still enjoy a movie now and again and that's like a bonus to our "Multichannel Music System." {Note: We still call it Home Theater though. 😉

I’m with you , I prefer multi channel music, always had a bit of a weak center image with the Khorns so far apart, Lascala center fixed that , to me multi is  far superior . BTW I’ve been watching lots of old classic movies , lots of good stuff out there for theater  .I used to reject the idea of a multi channel  stereo presentation, I think it was the purist in me saying no , but I’ve seen the light and never going back, give me a room full of sound.🤓

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