Improving my Atmos setup with an AMP?

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by mrxjav, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. mrxjav

    mrxjav
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    My current setup is a 5.2.4 setup. I have a few concerns after reading on some sites that some amps could be too powerful for my speakers and could potentially kill them. I feel like I dont get much out of my front and center speakers or when watching atmos based movies, I sometimes dont notice the ceiling speakers too much unless its a big action scene. My question is what should I do to improve the sound quality/Loudness of my 5.2.4 setup. I was looking at the Crown XLS1002 Two-channel, 350W at 4Ω Power Amplifier for the Front speakers. But then I found this XPA-3 Gen3 for the front speakers and center. However I think this amp would be too powerful for my speakers. I then found this one Emotiva Audio A-700 BasX 7-channel Power Amplifier, Black.. Which I figured I could use for the front, center, and the ceiling speakers. I would then keep the surround speakers for the receiver. I am confused that this AMP is a 7 channel but offers 110W per channel.. Is this too weak for my setup? Any recommendations would be helpful.

    Yamaha AVENTAGE Audio & Video Component Receiver,Black (RX-A3070BL)
    My front speakers L,R T301 Satellite Speakers

    FREQUENCY RESPONSE 80Hz - 30kHz
    CROSSOVER FREQUENCIES 1.7kHz
    MAXIMUM OUTPUT 110dB (SPL)
    AMPLIFIER REQUIREMENTS 10 - 150 W
    SENSITIVITY (2.83V/1m) 88dB (floor stand mount)
    IMPEDANCE 8 Ohms
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    My surround speakers
    KEF T101 Satellite Speaker - Black (Pair)

    FREQUENCY RESPONSE 80Hz - 30kHz
    CROSSOVER FREQUENCIES 1.7kHz
    MAXIMUM OUTPUT 107dB (SPL)
    AMPLIFIER REQUIREMENTS 10 - 100 W
    SENSITIVITY (2.83V/1m)
    90dB (wall mount)
    87dB (floor stand mount)
    IMPEDANCE 8 Ohms
    INTERNAL VOLUME 0.7 Litres

    ------------------------------------------------------
    My (4) Ceiling speakers
    KEF CI160CR Round In-Ceiling Speaker Architectural Loudspeaker

    NOMINAL IMPEDANCE 8 Ω
    SENSITIVITY 89dB (2.83V/ 1m)
    FREQUENCY RESPONSE 52Hz - 20kHz (±6dB) 2pi/open-backed
    CROSSOVER FREQUENCIES 3.4kHz
    DRIVE UNITS LF: 160mm (6.5in.)
    HF: 19mm (0.75in.)
    RECOMMENDED AMPLIFIER POWER 10-100W

    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    My Center Speaker
    Q Acoustics Concept Centre

    • Enclosure type: 2-way reflex
    • Bass Unit: 2 x 100mm
    • Treble Unit: 25mm
    • Frequency Response: 75Hz - 22kHz
    • Nominal Impedance: 6ohm
    • Minimum Impedance: 4ohm
    • Sensitivity: 88dB
    • Recommended Power: 25 - 75w
    • Crossover Frequency: 2.9kHz
    • --------------------------------------------------------------------

      KEF T101 Satellite Speaker - Black (Pair)
     
  2. Rambles

    Rambles
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    You would have to be very careless or unlucky to damage your speakers through too much power. If you are pushing the speaker beyond their limits they should obviously start behaving strangely, so just lower the volume.

    With an AVR as the pre-amp, as long as you have run the auto set-up and got the levels and distances correct, you should be fine to add power amps without fear of speaker damage. In fact you are more likely to damage them by not having enough power, as the amp could then clip / distort and sending that audio at high volumes to the speaker, would not be good for the amp or the speaker.

    If you don't feel that you are getting much from the front and centre speakers, you could just raise the level on those speakers. But, your Yamaha A3070 is known to drop down in power output when running 7 or more speakers (bench test of the 3060 here: Yamaha Aventage RX-A3060 A/V Receiver Review Test Bench) and more headroom is always good, so a power amp for the front two or three will almost certainly bring about improvements.

    I use pro audio amps in my set up, I have the Crown XLS 1002 on the fronts and the Behringer A500 on the centre. They are fine, powerful and cost effective, and you get VU meters. Downside is that some don't like their looks and there are no triggers, so I have to use my finger to turn them on and off old school style.

    There are some retailers selling these that have good return policies:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Behringer-...qid=1514972177&sr=8-1&keywords=behringer+a500

    Crown DriveCore XLS 1002 PA amplifier for sale | Bax Music

    So, it would be fairly low risk to try one out. Or, if you would prefer to use a more consumer based power amp, such as the Emotiva that you mention, that would also be a good option.
     
  3. mrxjav

    mrxjav
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    Wow thank you for that information. I had no clue that the Yamaha A3070 has that issue... I was planning to put the amps inside my tv stand. However I can only fit devices that are like 17" in D. otherwise they would be sticking out.. Just curious why did you go with 2 different amps? Especially since they are both 2- Channel. Wouldnt a 3- channel be more efficient? Currently My setup is a 9 channel. I think the Emotiva 7 channel would benefit all of my speakers if I'm not mistaken that way the surround speakers would be the only ones using the Yamaha receiver . I wish amps wouldnt be so big :/ How do you manage your amps? I only have one outlet. I dont want to risk a fire if I have all my devices connected to one power strip.
     
  4. Rambles

    Rambles
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    It's not just the Yamaha AVR's that drop power when driving multiple speakers, all AVRs do it, but the Yamaha ones do seem to score particularly weakly in that area on bench tests.

    Yes, one 3 channel power amp would be more convenient than using 2 x 2 channel ones, but the price difference is so ridiculous that I couldn't justify the expense. Both of the pro audio ones are bridgeable so can be used as a single mono amp. For a total cost of £450 I have got 2 x 215 watts in the Crown, plus 2 x 120 watts or 1 x 375 watts in the Behringer.

    The Emotiva 7 channel one that you mention is £770, but is only rated at 110 watts in 2 channel mode, and drops down to 80 watts with all channels driven. Now that might be plenty enough for you. But I wanted a bit more power on my front two speakers, to give more headroom for 2 channel music listening, and also on my centre speaker which does most of the work when running my set-up in the 5.1.2 config. If you go up in the Emotiva range, and look at their higher power rated 3 channel option, for example, the XPA Gen 3, that will do 3 x 275 watts, so more than enough, but the cost is £1419!

    I have my power amps, and an integrated amp, stacked up on a rack behind my AVR. There is some space between each one, and they are all out in the open, rather than in a cupboard, they do get warm, but not scarily hot. The Marantz AVR actually gets hotter.

    And with regard to power outlets, I have everything going through a Furman AC-210A:

    https://www.thomann.de/gb/furman_ac210_power_conditioner.htm

    EDIT: I just spotted that you are in the US, I am in the UK so the pricing may well be quite different for you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  5. mossym

    mossym
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    i recently picked up a rotel 1066 from ebay for a really nice price. it's 6*60w, you can bridge for higher power, but i'm using it as an atmos amp to drive my atmos speakers, with my mains driven by a bryston and my surrounds on a rotel 1075. the lower power rating on the 1066 is fine for atmos speakers and with 6 outputs can handle all 6 channels in an x.x.6 setup if you were so inclined
     
  6. Nupe1911

    Nupe1911
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    Glad to see this feedback. I am looking to add the Crown XLS 1002 for my atmos set-up.
     
  7. Neil Davidson

    Neil Davidson
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    I attached an output from the amp power calculator at www.cinema-tools.com that shows the expected performance for the OP @mrxjav using his T301 fronts with the A700. I would say that this combo would be borderline but probably just about Ok for a livingroom type setup but IMO it would be best served with one of the more powerful options.
     

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