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AV Receiver "stacking" for more power, any thoughts?

lookstoomuch

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New here but reading some posts can tell this is the perfect forum for this sort of query. Short back story..recently tried an Onkyo TXS-Nr838 as an upgrade to my TX-SR805 but found it's interface to be lacking with slow turn on times and it was somewhat unpredictable (presets for listening modes would not stick), would not show up in Spotify, etc.. in sum I really liked the sound quality but in word, found it frustrating.

Fast forward to stumbling on a Denon AVR-x3200w for $250 so I grabbed it. Overall I find the user interface to be a huge step up from the Denon, seems to be more consistent, and it has more features but the only thing I think it is short on is....power. I firmly believe in providing more power than needed.

My setup is a typical 5.1 (plan to expand to 7.1.2), consisting of:

- B&W bookshelf fronts (CDM1SE)
- Polk Lsim704 center
- Ceiling mounted rear (don't know the brand)
- SvS PB-12NSD subwoofer (Crossover @ 40 hz for fronts / 60 for center & rear)

I listen to 70% music (multi channel stereo mode, sometimes fairly loud), 30% movies.

I thought to buy a seperate amplifier to supplement the Denon but then I looked at the plethora of AV Receivers I have sitting around and thought with my remotes ability to control multiple devices, why not repurpose one of these in a "Pure audio" mode as a seperate amp? Receivers I have to choose from:

Denon AVR-2309CI
Onkyo TX-SR701
Yamaha RX-V650
Onkyo TX-SR805

May I ask, collective thoughts on doing this and which receiver should be use to "offload" work from the Denon for which speakers? Any gotchas to look out for?

Seems like somethig worth trying for little cost (other than time).
 

Kal Rubinson

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There's not much to choose among them as they are all nominally 100wpc (in stereo) and the Onkyo TX-SR805 outweighs them all. So, I'd just stick with what you have or buy a real power amp.
Note that there is no such thing as stacking. Only one power amp per channel at a time.
 

Kal Rubinson

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AV recivers typically don't support being used as a power amp.
These have analog inputs but they are wimpier than what he has already. I suspect that he can connect the power amps serially and that they will sum. Obviously, that is not so.
 
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lookstoomuch

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There's not much to choose among them as they are all nominally 100wpc (in stereo) and the Onkyo TX-SR805 outweighs them all. So, I'd just stick with what you have or buy a real power amp.
Note that there is no such thing as stacking. Only one power amp per channel at a time.

Thanks, yes I think wrong terminology used. Idea was to offload via preamp out.
 
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lookstoomuch

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These have analog inputs but they are wimpier than what he has already. I suspect that he can connect the power amps serially and that they will sum. Obviously, that is not so.

Understood for stereo mode there'd be zero benefit, how about any benefits when pushing all 5 speakers? Example, maybe setup as follows:

Denon x3200W: Center, Rear Left / Right
Denon AVR2309CI: Front Left / Right

Can these AVR's put out more power in 2 channel mode, so if a receiver is rated 100x7, can it push say, 160Wx2? I'm sure the answer could be "it depends". I've searched and not finding a great answer....
 
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sigbergaudio

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These have analog inputs but they are wimpier than what he has already. I suspect that he can connect the power amps serially and that they will sum. Obviously, that is not so.

Yes, but it'll pass through the preamp and have an active volume control etc, so not an optimal setup. And as you say not really more power. In theory I guess it might be more in total given the additional power supplies.
 

sigbergaudio

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Understood for stereo mode there'd be zero benefit, how about any benefits when pushing all 5 speakers? Example, maybe setup as follows:

Denon x3200W: Center, Rear Left / Right
Denon AVR2309CI: Front Left / Right

Can these AVR's put out more power in 2 channel mode, so if a receiver is rated 100x7, can it push say, 160Wx2? I'm sure the answer could be "it depends". I've searched and not finding a great answer....

Typically it's not rated with all channels driven. If they claim it has 100W, it's normally 100x2, and significantly less when all channels are driven.
 

Blumlein 88

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Also remember that doubling power is only 3 db more SPL. So with the units you have on hand there just isn't enough difference much to matter. It isn't worth the hassle of the multiple pieces of gear. You'd be better off getting a good stereo class D unit for the channels in which you want more power.
 
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lookstoomuch

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Typically it's not rated with all channels driven. If they claim it has 100W, it's normally 100x2, and significantly less when all channels are driven.

K, so is this a rational way to think about it and potential power available:

Scenario 1:
X3200W ~= 5 x 60WPC

Scenario 2:
X3200W ~= 3 x 90 WPC (C, RR, LR)
AVR 2309CI ~= 2 x 100 WPC (RF, LF)

Am I in the ballpark?
 
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lookstoomuch

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Also remember that doubling power is only 3 db more SPL. So with the units you have on hand there just isn't enough difference much to matter. It isn't worth the hassle of the multiple pieces of gear. You'd be better off getting a good stereo class D unit for the channels in which you want more power.

Fair enough! Just having a tough time buying more amps when I have AVR's coming out of my ears so trying to better understand the the "what if" throwing more metal at it would net.

Also struggle with how light this x3200w is and how can it possibly have the power it claims, maybe just old school way of looking at these things.
 
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Blumlein 88

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Fair enough! Just having a tough time buying more amps when I have AVR's coming out of my ears so trying to better understand the the "what if" throwing more metal at it would net.

Also struggle with how light this x3200w is and how can it possibly have the power it claims, maybe just old school way of looking at these things.
The 100 watts vs 60 watts will give you 2.2 db more loudness. 1.76 db more on the 90 watts.

Unless you are really pushing the limits already, it isn't worth the complication. Just sit happy with the x3200 for now.
 

Kal Rubinson

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K, so is this a rational way to think about it and potential power available:

Scenario 1:
X3200W ~= 5 x 60WPC

Scenario 2:
X3200W ~= 3 x 90 WPC (C, RR, LR)
AVR 2309CI ~= 2 x 100 WPC (RF, LF)

Am I in the ballpark?
Relatively inconsequential differences in practice.
 

Kal Rubinson

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Fair enough! Just having a tough time buying more amps when I have AVR's coming out of my ears so trying to better understand the the "what if" throwing more metal at it would net.
Find them worthy and appreciative new homes so that their presence is not a distraction. All of them represent lateral moves in terms of power amplification.
 
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lookstoomuch

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The 100 watts vs 60 watts will give you 2.2 db more loudness. 1.76 db more on the 90 watts.

Unless you are really pushing the limits already, it isn't worth the complication. Just sit happy with the x3200 for now.

Thanks all, as I suspected great feedback. Pretty sure the wife appreciates it too given that the amount of receiver swapping I have done lately has led to some "instability" in our main living area.
 

swampbrain

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After finding this site while looking for a dac I initially wondered about the same thing as you........ how can I use the AVR's (2 onkyo's, a new Sony that set me back around $600 and a old harmon karden) I already have laying around to get the most clean power to my speakers. BUT after thinking about it for awhile I realized that all the AVR's I'd been buying for years had shitloads of features that I didn't use and probably never would and those were a big part of the cost of these units.

Fast forward a little and I decided to give my girl my newest reciever (along with my Athena center, bookshelves, and sub) so she could have some upgraded tunes and get myself a proper power amp. If everything goes according to plan I'll be ordering my 2 channel hypex powered amp in 3 or 4 days and I hope/expect that it combined with the D70 I recently got will give me the cleanest/best sound I've had up to this point in my life!

I'm mostly looking for music fidelity as opposed to home theater use but I think the argument for a power amp/s to provide the "juice" as opposed to an AVR is still equally valid. More power, less distortion etc.

Best of luck figuring your situation out.
 
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polmuaddib

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I think people worry more about All channels driven load in AVRs then they should. That might be important only if you are listening All channel stereo option, meaning you play stereo source over fronts and surrounds without much bass management. Then you might have loss of power in most AVRs.
But, true surround sources and upmixed stereo content are not that demanding. The big load is on fronts, then on center channel and a lot less on all the surrounds. Active subwoofer helps even more for surrounds and can help with fronts, too, if bass is lacking.
 

sigbergaudio

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My go-to setup is adding an active subwoofer (or two :) ), and a power amplifier for the front channels. Then you've offloaded your AVR significantly. You can also then get away with a cheaper AVR (thus paying for the poweramp), since you don't need one with massive power reserves.

The Marantz NR-series receivers combined with the XTZ Edge A2-300 - killer combination for reasonable amounts of money.
 

Head_Unit

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the plethora of AV Receivers I have sitting around
I feel ya! But almost no AVRs have the main-in RCAs you would need to do this well. Running two separate AVRs and trying to have the volume track...ugh, sounds like a lack of success surely ensues...
 
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