Answered Gain, help for an idiot, and other questions....

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by 1jay5, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. 1jay5

    1jay5
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    Hi everyone,
    I would like some help with gain, no maths please, just a simple guide for an idiot!

    My set up is;
    Arcam AVR360, Kef Q35.2 (fronts/LR), Kef HTS7001 (back/sides/centre), Kef C4 (Sub), MacBook Pro (source, EyeTV, Kodi, Apple Music streaming and Lossless CD rips).

    I love music and movies equally and I am happy with the surround sound performance at the moment.

    What I want to do;
    Add at least one Power Amp to improve stereo performance with no negative effects on surround convenience of a single volume control. I do not want to use switching boxes or add more speakers for stereo duties (my wife hasn’t complained about ‘too many speakers’ and boxes and I don’t want to push my luck too far).

    My questions are:
    1. What Gain should the Power Amp be (if you know some brands that use the same gain, please let me know)?

    2. If the Gain is not matched, will it mean as I change the volume the levels will go out of sync when in surround sound mode?

    3. The AVR puts out 90w in stereo, does it matter if the power amp has a lower/higher watt rating?

    4. Am I better off trying to stick with Arcam Power Amps to make life easier?

    5. I would also prefer to use the triggers from the AVR to power up the Power Amps, again would sticking with Arcam make life easier.

    5. At some point I will be upgrading the stereo pair and might add an additional matching Power Amp, what is better:
    A. Mono bridge the Power Amps, dedicating a Power Amp to each speaker (jumpers across HF & LF on speakers)
    B. Stereo bi-Amp each speaker (split the HF & LF and link the Power Amps in serial).
    C. (for example 2xArcam P85) mono bridged, HF connected to A speakers, LF to B speakers on each Power Amp, and with the Arcams is this even possible?

    I have been looking at Meridian, Cyrus and Arcam Power Amps.

    Many thanks in advance, if you have a Arcam AVR and have added stereo/monobridged amps please let me know what your experiences have been.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  2. Best Answer:
    Post #3 by Mark.Yudkin, Nov 28, 2018 (1 points)
  3. ShanePJ

    ShanePJ
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    You could look at adding a dedicated stereo amp which has a USB DAC built in to it.

    The Musical Fidelity M3SI is one such product and this will take care of your main fronts speakers in place of the Arcams for stereo (re-run the room eq once setup). The HT bypass links to the L/R front pre-outs on the Arcam. The Arcam will use the Musical Fidelity as a power amp for movies taking charge of the front L/R speakers (in the same way a power amp will do) and when you wish to use the MAC for music (the MAC will use the M3SI as an external sound card), you simply select the USB input on the Musical Fidelity and ignore the Arcam altogether

    There are many other stereo amps with this configuration at differing price points, but as you are already using quite a capable Arcam for musical ability, you will need to look at that level to truly open your musical experiences for the better
     
  4. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    Best Answer
    1. Doesn't matter.
    2. No. The AVR 860's setup will balance the levels to cope with different gains and sensitivities.
    3. No, unless the new amp is underpowered and clips.
    4. Yes, but it's not critical.
    5. Yes, but any power amp with a trigger will work.
    5b. I wouldn't bother with any of this. It's all way over the top.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
  5. meagabyte

    meagabyte
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    Or just add a two channel power amp.
    These dont have any controls on them mostly. you would re-run your AVRs room correction and it will compensate for the added power. Simples
     
  6. 1jay5

    1jay5
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    Thanks everyone!

    I think the simplest solution is if I can find a decent used Arcam power amp.

    Now to find a P85/90/25/35/1/38/49!

    Maybe a good DAC would be a good move too!
     
  7. meagabyte

    meagabyte
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    The arcam stuff really is lovely but expensive. There are much cheaper solutions if you plan to only bump up the front LR channels. Check out the XTZ Edge.
    Or is your want something with more clout the Emotiva range is nice.
     
  8. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    I'm not so sure. Your AVR360 is no slouch and since you're looking for a used power amp, I guess you have a limited budget. If you were buying new you could ask about borrowing something to try out first.
     
  9. 1jay5

    1jay5
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  10. 1jay5

    1jay5
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  11. 1jay5

    1jay5
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    Hi Mark,
    I see in your profile you have the p1000, what do you think as I’ve seen mixed reviews. Did you try the P7 as well? I keep thinking to keep it simple and just get a stereo PA, but then I am tempted to run a multi-channel for the front three bi-amped
     
  12. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    As the matching power amplifier, the P7 was my preference, but its depth precluded our purchasing it (the hi fi unit is on a side wall and I would have needed a deeper unit). The P1000 is quite capable of handling my ESLs with their difficult impedance load (now Martin Logan, then Quad).
     
  13. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    I don't consider the comparison fair. Emotiva have a direct sales model in the US, whereas for your country there is an additional dealer involved, and he isn't going to work for free. You also need to consider the costs of shipping, both of the product and of parts for servicing, and the hefty UK VAT.
     

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