11.2ch AVR vs 9.2ch with additional amp

kitp

Active Member
Hi, I am unsure which way to go...
Installing the wiring for 7.1.4 speaker set up (atmos).

Cost difference between some of the 9.2channel amps and the 11.2 channel amps is quite considerable.

Considering Denon x6700h or am I better off going for a 9.2 amp model and adding a cheap 2 channel amp for the rear height channels?

getting very confused with it all and being on a budget for this am already looking into open box and refurb options...

any help gladly accepted.

thanks
 

SeanBrothers

Active Member
My thinking was that a separate power amp would add more power and cost less. I went with a 100WPC power amp and a Denon AVR-X3700H for a 7.1.4 setup and I am very happy.

Using a stereo receiver with HT bypass for the front LR is also suggested by some.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Depends on how big your room is and the load that your speakers will put on the amp. The X6700 is a good fairly powerful amp. I have a X6500 and for surround sound I'm more than pleased. Because there are full pre-outs available the addition of extra external amps is very easy to integrate.

A two or three channel power amp is the cheapest addition for the front three and leave the remainder to the Denon. Your other option, but more costly, would be a stereo integrated amp with HT by-pass to drive the front left and right, a set up that I use but I've had the stereo amp for a long time.
 

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
The main advantages over a X6700 of going for a lesser model and adding a power amp is that, depending on the power amp, you may end up with significantly more power headroom and the AVR's power supply will be less taxed.

The downside is that you'll lose some features and the benefits of better DACs and pre-amp stage but depending on your use and the rest of your kit these benefits may go unnoticed.

Something like a X3700 or X4700 plus a 3x140W Emotiva BasX A3 power amp (£589) on the front three channels makes a lot of sense for 7.x.4, particularly if you have difficult to drive speakers (low sensitivity and/or low impedance), a large room and like to listen very loudly.
 
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kitp

Active Member
So for a smaller room, say 4m x 5m, driving fairly low end speakers (at present likely to be the kef t-series for wall speakers and 4 monitor c265 in ceiling speakers), mainly for movies with a 75inch screen, a single avr option such as the x6700 might be okay for now, with the option to add more oomph in the future should the need arise?
 

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
The variable that impacts the power requirement the greatest is the listening level as every 3dB increase in volume (about 23% louder) doubles the amplifier power needed.

At typical -10dB to -20dB listening levels the X6700 should be fine on its own, even with relatively low sensitivity speakers. If you needed more output then you could either use higher sensitivity speakers and/or add a more powerful power amp. If you plan on staying on AVR power, personally I would always choose relatively high (say 88dB+) sensitivity 8-Ohm speakers for the front three channels which require much less amplifier power to drive.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I would say for the X6700 you're over specing the amp for the speakers. Nothing wrong with that at all as the more power the better. If you have T305 then, I believe, the sensitivity is 91dB at 8 ohm so that is an easy drive from most amps. I don't think you would need an external amp even with a full speaker package. The speakers themselves would be the limiting factor in how loud you play any audio.

I would get a good sub, if you've not already got one, as the bundled sub is poor and the sub will be doing a lot of the lifting from around 100hz down.
 

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
I would say for the X6700 you're over specing the amp for the speakers.
I agree. Personally I would always spend far more on speakers and sub(s) than on an AVR as it will make a much bigger impact on the sound quality. It's bit of cliché but it's true that a system is only as strong as its weakest link.

According to Audioholics, research by Harman concluded that the respective impact on perceived sound quality from a given source is 50% room acoustics, 35% speakers and 15% electronics/amplification.
 

kitp

Active Member
Unfortunately my speaker selection is limited by both budget and design aspects (ie the other half not wanting the speakers to interfer with the room design 😅). Hence the flat speakers ( kef t301 ) being considered for the fronts (with kef t101 surrounds x 4). I guess I could compensate with a better sub. The ceiling speakers are already bought (monitor c265 x 4). So now I have to decide on the AVR selection, and additional amp and sub... back to the research I guess. If you have any options I should consider to compement this level of power / speaker selections. I would gladly appreciate any advice.
 

kitp

Active Member
I would get a good sub, if you've not already got one, as the bundled sub is poor and the sub will be doing a lot of the lifting from around 100hz down.
would something like: Rel Acoustics Quake Sub Bass Speaker System 100 Watt Mosfet be a good substitute subwoofer (older model I know but some good second hand options available)
 

gibbsy

Moderator
would something like: Rel Acoustics Quake Sub Bass Speaker System 100 Watt Mosfet be a good substitute subwoofer (older model I know but some good second hand options available)
I'm the wrong one to ask about subs. I've had the same small REL for the last ten years. It refuses to die so that I can sneak a more powerful one past you know who.
 

Michael7877

Active Member
I'd go with the 3700 and add an amp if needed (probably not needed for 4x5m). You can get a really nice amp for the $2k you'd save choosing it over the 6700.

I have the 3700 in a 5x6m room and speakers of similar sensitivity to yours - it's more than loud enough. A 6700 giving you another maybe 2db headroom isn't going to make much of a difference. It's DACs aren't much better either. Even with speakers much better than yours (reference studio monitors), the ~3db better THD+n of the 6700's DAC would be hard to discern. Even with the best speakers, the quality of content is often lower than what the DAC is capable of (in this and last year's upper tier Denon's, almost all other receivers excluded), making its difference irrelevant.

If your primary purpose is music, that's a different story - but even with the half decent DACs finally present in a few AVRs, you shouldn't be using them (even a 6700) with $10-20k studio monitors for music, there are much better stereo options for $3k /tangent
 
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Deleted member 901590

Guest
would something like: Rel Acoustics Quake Sub Bass Speaker System 100 Watt Mosfet be a good substitute subwoofer (older model I know but some good second hand options available)

No, not in my opinion. Your T series speakers are likely to require crossovers between 100 to 150Hz. That subwoofer only has useful output (depending on placement) up to between 90 and 110Hz.

As has already been said, you're going to be relying a lot on the subwoofer in this setup. You're better to allocate as much of your budget as you can to the subwoofer. And you need to ensure that the subwoofer will have meaningful output up to at least 150Hz.

Here's my recent Audyssey results for a T301 mounted to the wall:

1635166250754-png.1591577
 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
(ie the other half not wanting the speakers to interfer with the room design 😅). Hence the flat speakers ( kef t301 ) being considered for the fronts (with kef t101 surrounds x 4). I guess I could compensate with a better sub.

If you are definite that these are the permitted speakers and you don't see any different (bigger) speakers being installed either for ever or a very long time, then that negates the need for an AVR with pre outs to connect external amplification. Would you agree @Mr Wolf ? Just the max. SPL of the T series alone would limit listening levels and speakers shouldn't need huge amplification.

I say that to suggest that maybe consider going for a 7 channel AVR (e.g. x2700), use two ceiling speakers, then you can get two really good subwoofers, which EQed properly would really work with your T series. With high crossovers, the two subwoofers will help to reduce localisation of the sound.

Just an idea... IMO you would end up with better system this way.
 

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
I would probably not want to go any lower than the X3700 to get the XT32 version of Audyssey (my old AVR-3312 has regular XT version and I'm not very impressed) and to have the option of adding additional channels and/or power amp down the track as needs may change. Yes it's more money but worth it IMO.

Getting a good pair of subs is a priority here though.
 
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Deleted member 901590

Guest
Very true. I forgot about that, XT32 would be essential, you can see from that graph above!

And, if there's no MiniDSP, they'll need Sub EQ HT as well which the lower models don't have.
 

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