Question Connection 818 to external power amp. (also posted in 818 owner section)

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by aim-n-shoot, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. aim-n-shoot

    aim-n-shoot

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    HI All
    I have a quick question that i hope some one will be able to answer. I am finding that the 818, in a 7.1 setup, seems to struggle with some sound tracks at high levels, especially if the sound track is busy. It starts to sound rather busy or harsh and I find myself lowering the volume to improve the staging. Reading and speaking to people its seems this happens because the amp is struggling to drive all the speakers.

    So to improve this I am thinking of add external power amp the improve the sound staging. this should take the loading off the amp and improve sound quality The idea is to let the AVR power the back speakers while the power amps drive the front three L/C/R.

    Am i right in assuming to achieve this i simply have to connect the relevant pre outs from my amp to the in puts of the power amps. Then connect the LCR to the power amps. And if i want to move to a 9.1 setup i simply connect the pre-outs from the FW/LR to a second power amp.

    Speakers which are all B&W s3.
    Front L/R 603 S3,
    Center LCR 600 s3
    Rear L/R 601.2
    SB L/R 600.
     
  2. dante01

    dante01
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    Yes, although you will also have to recalibrate your setup as well. If wanting a 9.2 setup then you'd have to use an external 2 channel power amp to power the Front Wide or Front Height speakers, I don't think you are given the option to reassign the internal front amplification to power these speakers if using a power amp for the front L and R speakers?
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015
  3. aim-n-shoot

    aim-n-shoot

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    Thanks. Your right I will have to connect an external amp for the 9.x setup.
     
  4. aim-n-shoot

    aim-n-shoot

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    Thinking about it, if I did divert the front speakers powers to the front high. That would leave me back to where I started.
     
  5. dante01

    dante01
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    Not if you were diverting the power from the internal front amps to power height speakers while using a power amp to powr the front L and R speakers, but your receiver hasn't the ability to reassign the internal front channel amplification to power the heigh or width speakers with. If it had this ability to reassign the front amps then you'd not need another 2 channel power amp to power the front height or width speakers with , but it hasn't.

    Sorry if I'm confusing issues. I should have said initially that I was talking hypothetically when talking about reassigning the front onboard amps to other duties. This is possible with some receivers, but not yours.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
  6. aim-n-shoot

    aim-n-shoot

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    Thanks for your help.
     
  7. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    Perhaps Onkyo & B&W aren't a good combination? I have S1's and I find them pretty bright.

    If you think the Onkyo power is lacking, what is it like in 2 channel? Can you drive L/R to high levels? Also are you using bass management?
     
  8. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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  9. aim-n-shoot

    aim-n-shoot

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    I have tried it with less channels in use sound improved which is why I opted to add the power amps.
     
  10. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    Fair enough. What's your budget?

    The best value power amplifier is the Nakamihci AVP1. 7 channels, 110W x7. £400.
     
  11. aim-n-shoot

    aim-n-shoot

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    I've been looking at denon POA T2/3 pair in the classified section. About that range
     
  12. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    How old are they? Have the main capacitors been replaced?
     
  13. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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  14. hifix

    hifix
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    Any AV receiver and speaker combination should be auditioned before buying. A big tell tale as to how good the receiver is, and how well a receiver and particular speaker package marries up is two channel performance. Listen to familiar music, without room EQ - does it sound like a hi-fi system? Or a half decent stab at reproducing one? If the pairing doesn't sound good in two channel mode without any processing, then there's not much hope of any improvement later other than a flatter response when you use room EQ.

    I'd say your particular B&W set up will benefit from better amplification, and maybe even better pre-amplification further down the line - your amplification can be doing a top job of telling your speakers what to do and allowing them to do what they're capable of, but the pre-amp section can still hold things back.
     
  15. aim-n-shoot

    aim-n-shoot

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    Hi thanks for the feedback David, I had tried the 818 with 2 channels and the sound improved which is why I went down the POA route.
     
  16. aim-n-shoot

    aim-n-shoot

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    Right just a quick update. Got the POA on Friday and after setting them up I can say the sound stage has improved. There is a clear difference with and without the amps. The speakers, or should I say the amp, no longer sounds as though it is struggling to reproduce the sound at ref levels.

    I still have a few tweaks to make to speakers settings but overall Happy with the choice to separate the amps out.
     
  17. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    go tell FMW that. he'll flip.
     
  18. aim-n-shoot

    aim-n-shoot

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    Not sure what u mean????
     
  19. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    according to him all amps sound the same, and adding poweramps is a waste
     
  20. aim-n-shoot

    aim-n-shoot

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    Ok so ... wats do u guys think of using the spare terminals on the POA ro bi amp my speakers.
     
  21. ROLLI666

    ROLLI666
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    I use an external for my low fronts to carry the more difficult 4 ohm and below load. This opens up a huge amount of reserve power. The problem I find is the Onkyo unit remains in low power mode when not put under a significant load as it is a class G amplifier. Though I have truly enjoyed this unit the amplifier does have its quirks. I have tried running external amps on all channels and the fronts; if you have a larger or lower impedance front channel, does clean up the sound enormously. I find when in high power mode and really in low also, I very much like the sound of the 818's amplifiers and really have just been lucky they blend well with the large amp I have running the low fronts, though it did take so time to set the high/low levels correctly before running setup. A great piece of software on my Ipad called Audio tools helps enormously.
    Oh and I use Bowers and Wilkins transducers, and I find they fit this receivers amplifier so well, as I said I use it to drive the just the high half of the front, as I find it sounds better than running externals. If you set the amp up in Bi-amp the front out rca sends the low signal only. This is the same with the digital crossover mode.
    In theory amplifiers should be amplifiers and sound the same but I do not find this to be the case as I have owned many. Anywhere you can reduce the load on the 818, your signal will be cleaner, reducing stress on the already hot head unit, and protecting your speakers drivers. I personally have not been able to find a multi channel amplifier anywhere near my price range I find worth investing in but you may have better luck. They are a great way to go to prolong the life of that great receiver/processor. Try many different arrangements. I find bi-amping the fronts helps somewhat. Depending on the crossover frequency and slope of your tweeters and mid/woofer using the digital crossover may be of benefit also.
    I can 100% relate to trial and error with this extremely great middle of the road receiver. I think you have made a great choice in transferring the load outside the 818. I have not heard a Denon POA. I hope you enjoy the setup.
     
  22. aim-n-shoot

    aim-n-shoot

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    Hi Rolli
    Thanks for ur in sight. I must say, after adding the POA amp the sound improved. The Denon where supposed to be higher end of the range when there were new and I can hear why. I am still trying out different configuration to see which sounds better.

    I will post results of the configuration I am happy with.
     
  23. ROLLI666

    ROLLI666
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    Awesome! Nothing beats the feeling of upgrade success. Enjoy
     
  24. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965
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    I had good experience connecting a separate power amp (Arcam P7) to an 818. I found it removed much of the harshness that the 818 suffered from when trying to drive my 4ohm MK speakers. I did find that eventually changing the 818 for a better pre-processor further improved the sound, so treat it as a stop gap. ;)

    One other point; don't use the 4/6 ohm setting on the 818 as this is purely there to meet some electrical spec in USA. It actually limits the output to around 22 watts when it was measured by a magazine. Just use the 8 ohm setting and it'll be fine (well as fine as an 818 is...).
     
  25. aim-n-shoot

    aim-n-shoot

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    Rolli! Thinks about it are you running 5.1. Because if I remember correctly . You can run bi amping or front wide. I don't think you can have both.

    At the moment I'm running 9.1
     
  26. aim-n-shoot

    aim-n-shoot

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    Mate I've come to learn everything in av is a stop gap until you upgrade.

    I haven't see an 8 ohm setting on the 818... i check again when I get home.
     
  27. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965
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    It's in the set up menu somewhere. It gives you an option to set 4 (or might be 6) ohm or 8 ohm.
     
  28. Suave

    Suave
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    Hi All,

    May I ask a question regarding using external Power Amps to the 818 please? I currently have a Parasound Zamp v3 2 Channel Power Amp connected to my 818 to run my Front Wides in a 9.1 Set Up. The Zamp V3 has a 12v Trigger input & this is also connected to the 818.

    I understood this would allow the ZampV3 to be allowed to automatically be switched on or off whenever the 818 was but this is not happening - it stays on all the time - can anyone help me rectify this please?

    The Zampv3 is a very slim & compact amp with tightly cramped components inside & can get quite hot which is why I really do not want it left on all the time!

    Suave!
     
  29. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965
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    I couldn't get the 12 volt trigger to work properly when I had an 818 either. There was some suggestion about using the zone 2 trigger, but that meant pressing the zone 2 'on' button on the remote after switch on...seemed easier just to push the front button on my Arcam P7.
     
  30. aim-n-shoot

    aim-n-shoot

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    Hi guys with regards to powering off. I simply connected my poa trigger input to the output of zone 2 triger. I then programmed a macro on my 818 remote, which turns the amp on, POA, and the pj. I assigned this macro to the my video button. I then did the reverse macro order and assigned it to my music button to trun off everything. It seems to be working fine.
     

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