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Advice on power amplifier and upgrade

pseudoid

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....far better than the nutsos at the top end of things at least.... :)
JeeperZCreeperZ!
Please stop calling other people names because only they can decide how to spend their own money, even while asking for financial opinions.
I am really not here to defend those with higher discretionary income than myself (AND you) or how they decide to spend it.
DSOP$
(DSOP$ = DON'T SPEND OTHER PEOPLE's MONEY)
...or call them names, it is not necessary!
 

Chrispy

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Which 7 channel amplifier do you recommend?
The Monolith 7 looks pretty nice in general....if you really need a 7ch amp at all. Or you could way overspend on silly expensive amps and make pseudoid happier.
 

Bombadil

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Hello,



First post in the forums. Recently discovered AudioScienceReview and this is just amazing. Great work @amirm and all contributors!

My current set-up is:
  • DENON AVC-X3700H
  • 5.1.2 home theater with KEF speakers: KEF Q950 Tower Speakers x 2 • KEF Q350 Bookshelf Speakers x 2 • KEF Q650 Centre x 1 • KEF's Cutting Edge Kube 10 Subwoofer x 1 and • SVS Prime Elevation speakers in ceiling x 2
  • Turntable: Rega Planar 3 with Exact cartridge
  • Pre-amp: Rega Fono MM (connected the the Denon)
I don’t have the option to separate the music dedicated equipment from the movie equipment in separate rooms.

I would like to improve both the movie experience and music listening experience.

I thought (based on what I have read online) that adding separate amplification would be the best way to achieve that and I am looking for recommendation from the experts in this forum.

I have shortlisted the Audio Control Savoy G4 as power amp. I cannot find any good review or feedback on what seems a good product on paper.

I considered several other amplifiers during the process (ATI, Emotiva, McIntosh, NAD, Monolith, etc). I am open to considering other amplifiers (including from the brands listed above) as well if you think one of their product is better suited to my use case.

The best amp from @amirm reviews seems to be the Benchmark ahb2 but it’s only for 2 speakers. Is it worth considering for my setup (and use case) a mix of ahb2 and 7 channel amplifier?

I am based in Dubai and not all equipment from US is available here. But I can place an order from US online and get it imported if it is required.
Any advice or shared experience would be very helpful.

Thanks in advance.
Redan94
Welcome aboard. The chief problem with this hobby is a lack of credible information; that's why we so appreciate the work Amir is doing. What we all hear in our rooms is an extraordinarily complex phenomenon and difficult to predict. When you ask for advice (on any forum) you will be deluged with opinions from self-appointed experts. Does external amplification improve your audio experience? Maybe, it would depend on many factors and to my knowledge has not been studied. I would encourage you to respond to these experts asking for credible blinded and controlled studies that support their opinion.
 

coonmanx

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Correct me if I am wrong on this because when I read this here is what came into my mind...

Is there a way to set up a classic 2 speaker stereo setup with a separate amp (the AudioControl) and that would just be used for music. The speakers for that would be the towers and possibly a sub. Then when wanting to do movies the AVR could be used as a 5.1 system... Am I correct in thinking that is maybe what OP is asking?
 

MarkS

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Why are you making this analogy? Did you try this amplifier or tested it? Which alternative amplifier do you recommend instead? PS: I have no issues spending $3000 on a 7 channel amplifier. Thanks
I recommend the 7-channel amp in Denon receiver that you already own.

You said that you want to improve the sound of your system. A new amp will not do that. You said that you listen to vinyl at modest volume (60 to 70 db average). There is absolutely no way that the dynamic range of vinyl is taxing the amps in the Denon at those average volume levels. And as all ASR members know (or should know), all solid-state amps operated below clipping sound the same.

Therefore, for you, buying a new amp is indeed like setting money on fire.

Now, some people here like owning electronics with the very best measurements, even though they know that they can't hear any differences. If you're in this category, fine. But that's not what you said in your original post.
 
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Redan94

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I recommend the 7-channel amp in Denon receiver that you already own.

You said that you want to improve the sound of your system. A new amp will not do that. You said that you listen to vinyl at modest volume (60 to 70 db average). There is absolutely no way that the dynamic range of vinyl is taxing the amps in the Denon at those average volume levels. And as all ASR members know (or should know), all solid-state amps operated below clipping sound the same.

Therefore, for you, buying a new amp is indeed like setting money on fire.

Now, some people here like owning electronics with the very best measurements, even though they know that they can't hear any differences. If you're in this category, fine. But that's not what you said in your original post.
I use the whole system for vinyl, digital music and movies. In this thread there was a response above with a video showing how the power required can go up to 400 watt even at my listening level. For movies having a separate amp with more power and higher/better dynamic headroom could provide better movie experience. (I also noted that my subwoofer might be too small and that I might think of adding a second one). What I feel I am lacking now and I am trying to improve is more punch and feeling that I am in a cinema when I watch a movie. I hope I clarified why I am thinking of adding extra electronics. I am really not an expert at all and couldn’t find an trustworthy expert in Dubai who is not just trying to sell me an extra product…
 
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Redan94

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All I can say is that I looked it up online and it is one sexy beast... Very nice.
Me too! But I was hoping someone tested it or had it and could share his experience with it. But with no luck so far!
 

MarkS

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Your receiver's amp is fine. If you need more punch, get more/better subwoofers.
 

MarkS

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First I suggest you get REW (room EQ wizard) software (free) and a microphone (Umik 1 is good, about $100) and measure what's happening in your room. You may not need a new sub at all, just a more optimal location for your current one. And even if you do get a new sub, if not placed properly it could do more harm than good.

And I would try different curves in Audessey before buying anything.

All this is assuming that what you are really after is good sound. It's entirely possible that you have all the equipment you need already.

Somewhere here at ASR is a subwoofer spreadsheet with measurements. There are also several threads on subwoofers. I don't have any current model and can't comment on them.
 
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Walter

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I have no idea what is available in Dubai, but if AFTER using Audyssey and REW you do feel as if you need a new sub, some of the more well regarded brands are the two I mentioned previously as well as SVS, Hsu, REL (maybe overpriced, however) , and RSL. KEF also makes some nice subs, but they don't seem very cost effective when lack of space is not an issue.

Note: a quick online search turned up SVS as being available there. Their SB series is well regarded for music, and the PB for home theater--which is not to say that either is unsuitable for both.
 

Spkrdctr

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At post #24 he said he listens at 60 to 70db levels. Only one other person recognized this and mentioned it correctly. All the rest of you ignored what he said and just ran with spending his money on new amps. For no gain in sound quality and just wasting money. Then he says he wants punch from the system. Clearly he needs a MUCH bigger sub. A big SVS (PB4000) would be great. No more amp power needed. He can then get the fullness he wants. Now those that kept on spending his money after the 60 to 70db comment, shame on you! You should all scold yourselves in the mirror.

Where is that Catholic Nun with the ruler? She needs to visit this thread.......:p
 

Walter

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At post #24 he said he listens at 60 to 70db levels. Only one other person recognized this and mentioned it correctly. All the rest of you ignored what he said and just ran with spending his money on new amps. For no gain in sound quality and just wasting money. Then he says he wants punch from the system. Clearly he needs a MUCH bigger sub. A big SVS (PB4000) would be great. No more amp power needed. He can then get the fullness he wants. Now those that kept on spending his money after the 60 to 70db comment, shame on you! You should all scold yourselves in the mirror.

Where is that Catholic Nun with the ruler? She needs to visit this thread.......:p
Not sure if you just skimmed the thread, or what, but there were several of us who suggested he only consider external amps after he tried a new sub. However, in the interest of NOT spending his money unnecessarily by buying a new sub that he may not even need--especially one that costs over $2000--we also suggested that he first try room EQ and/or room treatment. Hell, it is very possible that all he needs to do is MOVE his existing subs to a new location.

Also,since he did not specify how he arrived at his listening levels, I rather suspected he was just guessing. I can't imagine anyone listening at 60-70 dB if they feel the sound is not exciting enough.
 

Rottmannash

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At post #24 he said he listens at 60 to 70db levels. Only one other person recognized this and mentioned it correctly. All the rest of you ignored what he said and just ran with spending his money on new amps. For no gain in sound quality and just wasting money. Then he says he wants punch from the system. Clearly he needs a MUCH bigger sub. A big SVS (PB4000) would be great. No more amp power needed. He can then get the fullness he wants. Now those that kept on spending his money after the 60 to 70db comment, shame on you! You should all scold yourselves in the mirror.

Where is that Catholic Nun with the ruler? She needs to visit this thread.......:p
Are we certain he's measuring his listening levels accurately? I'd guess it's simply an estimation and if he's using his phone app, well...
 
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Redan94

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Are we certain he's measuring his listening levels accurately? I'd guess it's simply an estimation and if he's using his phone app, well...
For the 60-70dB I used the NIOSH app from my seating area which is 4.3m from the front speakers.
 

Spkrdctr

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Just get the biggest SVS PORTED sub you can afford. Do not buy a sealed sub. The ported subs have passed sealed by and all the advantages of a sealed from 20 years ago are gone. Ported do it all and do it better. Unless you are buying a $199 sub of course. But a big SVS PB sub is the way to go and you said they have them in your area. Good Luck! Oh, and let us know which sub you get. Thanks!
 

Walter

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Ultimately, it is up to Redan94 to decide what to do. Buying new amps is fun, but realizing they make almost no difference isn't. Big subs are fun, but taking advantage of the EQ ability already built into your AVR when it only costs a little more money is even more fun. So is finding out that moving your sub 1 meter to the left fixes the huge null in your bass response and and costs nothing. All just my opinion, of course.
 

MarkS

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