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(Denon AVR-X3700H) Getting conflicting advice

shroddy9

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Hi folks,

I've been getting some conflicting advice from home theatre stores locally in Australia, and I'm really hoping all of the experts in here can lend some guidance to help clear up the confusion I'm currently working through.

For my new house build, I'm wanting to put 6 x 8 inch speakers in the living room ceiling, and then 2 x 8 inch speakers in the Alfresco area, and ideally have them hooked up to the same AV Receiver with multi-room/multi-zone functionality between both areas.

I've been told by one store here that by going with Denon for the AV-Receiver (AVR-X3700H) using their HEOS multi-zone feature it'll capably handle all 8 speakers since it's a 9ch unit.

The speakers I've been recommended to go for (by the same store) are these bad boys:
Bowers & Wilkins CCM382 8-Inch In-Ceiling Loudspeakers Pair | Humidity Resistance

Now, when speaking to another local home theatre store about the desired setup, the guy immediately said "no way, that won't work, you'll fry the inputs on the AV Receiver by running all 8 speakers into the same unit, due to the impedance of all 8 speakers" so he recommended potentially splitting up the 8 speakers in total (6 in Living Room and 2 in Alfresco) into groups of 4, for one group to be handled by the Denon AVR-X3700H, and the other 4 to be handled by a dedicated Power Amp.

Today, when I went back into the store I was originally talking to and mentioned the potential risk of "frying" the AV Receiver due to the impedance of the speakers, he said "Nope, no chance, won't happen - because the AVR-X3700H has individual power rails available for each individual channel, so that would stop the overheating or potential damage to the Receiver".

I just don't know who to believe here, and I haven't been able to find enough easy-to-understand advice online to put this one to bed and make a definitive decision on which way to go.

Can anyone in here share some thoughts/experience on which way to go?

Thanks all so much in advance!
 

Helicopter

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As long as each speaker is plugged into its own output you should be fine. If you run multiple speakers in parallel from one speaker output you will draw too much current and maybe damage the amp.

There is only one power supply, so if you crank it that will be the limiting factor, but it should work alright. You're not going to fry it though. Try it, and if it isn't as loud as you want, goes into protection mode, or whatever, then add some power amps at that time.
 

SKBubba

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Are you wanting the six speakers in the living room for surround sound (not recommended in that in-ceiling configuration) or three two channel pairs playing stereo?

The AVR is designed for multi-channel surround sound using front, left and center speakers, one or two powered subs, and various combinations of surround, rear and height speakers. It also allows assigning two of the amps to a pair of remote "zone two" speakers.

This doesn't sound like the right amp for what you are trying to do. Unless you are proposing to use the six speakers in the living room for "mulit-channel stereo" mode, which plays a stereo source on all the "surround" speakers at the same time, and set up the patio as the "zone 2" speakers. I suppose that would work.

Heos is irrelevant. It is just Denon's crappy streaming system and remote app.

Both sales people sound not very knowledgeable, or maybe they just aren't clear on what you're trying to do.

It sounds like you might be better served getting some sort of multi-zone distribution setup. Something by Niles or Russsound maybe? Monoprice has this...

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=10761

All that said, I have a multi-zone setup based on a Denon AVR-X3600H, last year's model of the one you are looking at. The main zone (living room) is set up in a normal 5.1 channel surround configuration for TV and movies. It is also used for 2 channel stereo music using just the left, right and sub speakers.

I also have a "zone 2" that feeds two pairs of speakers on the patio, one pair in an office, and another pair in an upstairs "bonus room." These are in-ceiling and outdoor speakers that were wired when we built the house. At first they were all connected from the Denon zone 2 assigned speaker outputs to a Niles speaker distribution/selector box with built-in protection and load balancing. From there, speaker wires run to in-wall volume controls in line with the remote speakers. I recently changed it a little to use the AVR zone 2 pre-outs to an inexpensive 50 watts-per-channel amp, with niles box/speakers hooked up to it instead of the AVR. This sounds sort of like what you want to do, but not exactly.

Anyway here are some links...

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-aqRCa...IJhcsIX_w8qGQBxso-INoX7J9f43rVrxoCB5sQAvD_BwE

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p...xZFVrLWTbRHS5y2kDpcLp2azYLejtp7xoCq2wQAvD_BwE

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p...gRNytZjMXsSqWIRzDN7c4Fcr8XFjO2_RoCW2oQAvD_BwE

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-UYDPAMRbAIW/learn/learningcenter/home/multiroom_power.html
 
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shroddy9

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Thanks so much @Helicopter and @SKBubba for the really helpful replies!

Sorry I should've been clearer with my explanation - the desire isn't to have a "proper" surround sound home theatre experience in this living room, it would be just what you said @SKBubba as using the 6 speakers in the living room in a multi-channel stereo mode, and then the same thing of course for the 2 speakers in the alfresco. I've drawn up a very rough concept here if it helps:

Home.jpg

We wouldn’t be treating this room as a true home theatre setup, it would be more for playing music wirelessly as mentioned, maybe some background music for gatherings in the living room, and outputting the tv sound via Optical to the AVR-X3700H. 95% of the time we'd only ever be using the 6 speakers internally, but on the off chance when we have guests over or something, we'd like to atleast have the option of playing speakers through all 8 at the same time.

Cheers!
 

FrantzM

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A SONOS system could be a better solution . For multi room, there is nothing close. Easier to setup, operate and install, than what you have in mind. And it will sound good.

Peace.
 
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shroddy9

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Thanks @FrantzM I'm curious - what would that involve/require? Would I still need a dedicated AVR for Optical from the TV and other HDMI inputs to be used for that living room, and then have a dedicated SONOS receiver/unit specifically for the multi-room speaker solution?
 

Chrispy

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Why getting audio advice from most salespeople is useless :) It's not the ideal way to have audio (ceiling speakers) and assume you care little for surround or even good 2ch stereo?
 
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shroddy9

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Why getting audio advice from most salespeople is useless :) It's not the ideal way to have audio (ceiling speakers) and assume you care little for surround or even good 2ch stereo?

@Chrispy this is why I validate the advice with all you fine experts here ;)

Correct, I'm not really after a "true surround sound experience" for these ceiling speakers in the living room and alfresco - I'll have a dedicated home theatre where I'll invest in a respectable 7.1.2 setup.

I'd like to have good quality speakers with ample power and range for background music, wireless music casting, playing whatever content is on the tv in the living room, and perhaps entertaining guests with either all 8 ceiling speakers together, or perhaps even just the 2 outside for a BBQ or something.

Cheers!
 

Chrispy

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I'd think more just about a distribution amp as is typically used in whole home installations like that. You'd probably just want to run mono in any case as the stereo effect will be lost. I'd check out htd.com offerings.

ps Altho in party mode and other uses of zones, the Denon may work well enough, too.

nm You're in Australia so htd.com is probably not a consideration.
 

FrantzM

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Sonos is a multi room system, they have a range of active speakers, wireless amplifiers and Soundbar that could suit your use. They sound good but the main feature IMHO. Is the ease of use/operation and of installation.
 
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shroddy9

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Yeah tbh I was hoping the Denon AVR-X3700H would allow me to hit two birds with one stone by handling:
  • All 8 ceiling speakers (Living room: 6, Alfresco: 2)
    • Give me multi-room support for either using one room at a time, or party mode altogether
  • Optical from the living room TV
  • HDMI input from likely an Apple TV and perhaps one other input
This should be achievable to a respectable degree with the Denon AVR, right?

Again, totally agree there could be much better and more capable setups using beefier AVR units, switching to SONOS, dedicated amps, etc......but just wanting to be sure that the advice from one of the stores here to go with the Denon AVR-X3700H would be sufficient!
 

Chrispy

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Yep, not sure the Denon will enable mono mode for all that, tho I suppose multich stereo mode could be acceptable. It at least has 9 discrete amp channels so 8 is doable. Zone 1 for the 6 in the living room and zone 2 for the other area should work well enough. Just this sort of application I have better choices than an avr that won't be used for most of its strengths :)
 
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shroddy9

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Awesome thanks @Chrispy I'm happy with that for now.

Just out of my own curiosity, when you say "9 discrete amp channels" does that mean each channel effectively has its own dedicated power route/rail? i.e. they've all got their own "lanes" so to speak, and they're not hogging channels to "fry" the AVR like the other store was claiming?
 

Chrispy

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Awesome thanks @Chrispy I'm happy with that for now.

Just out of my own curiosity, when you say "9 discrete amp channels" does that mean each channel effectively has its own dedicated power route/rail? i.e. they've all got their own "lanes" so to speak, and they're not hogging channels to "fry" the AVR like the other store was claiming?

I don't think each get their own power rail particularly but I'm not that technically advanced as to determing one unit's ability vs another unless someone I trust to test/analyze confirms that beyond marketing talk. They each have their own discrete channel of amplification but at some point the common power supply has limitations. Many people don't need to go beyond these normal limitations.

I think the other guy for some reason thought you were going to wire all the speakers to one channel/amp output. I'd be surprised if he could explain coherently what he meant in any case. Salespeople generally don't have a standard for this particular product type (let alone any product type). Better to educate yourself.
 
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shroddy9

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Roger that - I'll continue doing my own reading then.

Just for additional peace of mind, if I WERE to invest in a dedicated small amp to help carry the load of the 8 speakers, are there any inexpensive 2-4 channel amps you'd recommend to use off the 3700 pre-outs?

Or again - not really worth it at this stage - best to try the 3700 alone first?
 

Chrispy

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Roger that - I'll continue doing my own reading then.

Just for additional peace of mind, if I WERE to invest in a dedicated small amp to help carry the load of the 8 speakers, are there any inexpensive 2-4 channel amps you'd recommend to use off the 3700 pre-outs?

Or again - not really worth it at this stage - best to try the 3700 alone first?
Yes I always say use the avr alone first. Not that there's an issue with taking some load off with external amps, but various Denon units have ability to reduce certain circuit uses for a finer effect, so there's some variance in the efficacy of that effect as well.

Personally I use avrs ranging from 100-150wpc (2ch rating) and with my speakers/rooms and desired listening leveles, not a particular need for external amps (altho in my main system I did just because I have extra power amps hanging around :) ).
 

amper42

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The Denon 3700 will do the job. However, it's not really designed for ceiling only setup. It will require you to use the Fronts, surrounds and rear surrounds for the living room and the Height speakers for Zone2. The hidden power of the Denon 3700 is pre-amp mode and use of external amps. But, you may not need it.

I would not consider the B&W speakers. They typically offer a colored sound that is less desired than the Focal or Monoprice in wall speakers - at the same price point. Focal speakers is what I would check out 1st.

You should understand a 6 ceiling speaker setup won't offer the quality you would expect for the price tag. A good pair of bookshelves in the room will do a better job. But, if you are looking for that grocery store background music effect then they will work. Personally, I would be happier with a set of BMR's in each room.
 

Chrispy

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The Denon 3700 will do the job. However, it's not really designed for ceiling only setup. It will require you to use the Fronts, surrounds and rear surrounds for the living room and the Height speakers for Zone2. The hidden power of the Denon 3700 is pre-amp mode and use of external amps. But, you may not need it.

I would not consider the B&W speakers. They typically offer a colored sound that is less desired than the Focal or Monoprice in wall speakers - at the same price point. Focal speakers is what I would check out 1st.

You should understand a 6 ceiling speaker setup won't offer the quality you would expect for the price tag. A good pair of bookshelves in the room will do a better job. But, if you are looking for that grocery store background music effect then they will work. Personally, I would be happier with a set of BMR's in each room.

Yeah I lean more this way altho I think a bit exaggerated :) My biggest complaint would be lack of subs actually.....just a bunch of elevator speakers so far :)
 
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