Is it possible to... ?? and if so, what?

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by butcherpete, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. butcherpete

    butcherpete
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    I have just recently bought some reasonable gear, namely a 5.1 Anthem MXR 520 A/V amp (100 watt), a pair of Amphion Argon 1's, BK XXLS400 sub, Q Acoustics centre and utilising an old pair of MS 10i Classics for rear duties. I listen to a fair bit of CD based music as well as a lot of Netflix and Blu Ray.
    My question is.... would a 2 or 3 channel amp for the rear L and R and centre free up the Anthem to power just the front L and R + the sub, giving them more power (as not powering the other speakers).
    I only ask, as the fronts seemed to be "lacking" when the Anthem amp is running at quite a high volume.... or just get a more powerful Anthem 5.1 amp like the 140 watt versions
    Thanks guys
     
  2. indus

    indus
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    Conventional wisdom would be to by a 2ch amp to power your L and R speakers if concerned about 2ch hifi
     
  3. butcherpete

    butcherpete
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    I agree, but having just spent quite a bit of hard earned on the Anthem (circa £1600), I would have preferred something a little cheaper for driving the rears and centre, if poss or if push came to shove, just a 2 channel amp for the rears, as they just really provide effects etc :)
     
  4. Rambles

    Rambles
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    If funds are tight, these 2 channel amps can add some cheap power, and work well in a home set-up:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B000CZ0...N=B000CZ0RL0&linkCode=df0&smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

    Behringer A800 class-D amplifier, 2x 400W @ 4 ohms for sale | Bax Music

    Crown XLS 1002 - Muziker UK

    To improve music performance and add a bit of extra power, you could add a 2 channel integrated amp to power the front left and right speakers, which will also work as a power amp with the AVR. An amp with HT bypass mode will make this easier, but they aren't low cost.
     
  5. butcherpete

    butcherpete
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    Thank you for that, I will have to do some research into them, and the other suggestions (as one does)
     
  6. indus

    indus
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    I get what you are saying however I'm not sure using an amp to 'offload' the rear speakers will have the effect you desire on your L and R speakers. Having less channels driven will increase output of the driven channels. However if you are unhappy with 2 channel CD performance then how will offloading the rear channels help?? They were never being used during 2 ch playback anyway.
     
  7. indus

    indus
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    What's your obsession with these amps? You recommend them to EVERYBODY regardless of the application or budget:D
    Somebody could be building a £100k system for a footballer's mansion and you would recommend a Behringer:laugh:
     
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  8. butcherpete

    butcherpete
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    I thought (rightly or wrongly) that if I gave up the rear speakers from the Anthem, then it would increase the load to the fronts, am quite new to all this, and do not know how multi channel amps work, power wise, when not utilising all 5 channels.

    as an aside, with my other hat on, as someone who makes simple recordings, I would never really use anything microphone wise or mixer made by Behringer. Their amps on the other hand, I know nothing about:D
     
  9. Rambles

    Rambles
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    I've used Behringer and Crown power amps in my systems, they are very good value and sound identical to me to any other power amp.

    I mention these quite often as if you can save money on the power amp section, it will leave you more to spend on DAC's, pre-amps, speakers, and the room, which is where you can really hear the difference (in my experience).
     
  10. indus

    indus
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    Theoretically you are correct, I'm just not sure if theory will translate to results.
     
  11. Rambles

    Rambles
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    If you don't like the look, or idea of the Behringer or Crown pro audio power amps, they could be used as an experiment so that you can try out your theories, and see if in practice, you can hear improvements by adding power amps to 2 or more channels. They can both be bridged to be made into high power mono blocs. They also hold their value pretty well, so can be sold on if you don't think they will fit in to your system permanently.
     
  12. stevelup

    stevelup
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    I really wouldn't worry too much about this. Loud effects aren't usually coming from all the speakers at the same time so the load is shared.

    The Anthem amplification is very good.

    Another point I would make is that the centre speaker is arguably one of the most important in the system, so offloading that onto some cheap external amp is not a sensible move.

    A huge amount of the load is offloaded onto your sub anyway. Just enjoy it how it is for now would be my advice.
     
  13. Rambles

    Rambles
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    This is the point I was making above. Many people equate cheap with being bad, that has not been my experience with these amps. I think there is some audiophile snob value in these assumptions, so without taking this thread massively off topic, I just wanted to point that out.
     
  14. butcherpete

    butcherpete
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    I agree with all that has been said. And yes, the word audiophile, when alluded to, seems to add a few noughts. I will look into these more closely
     
  15. butcherpete

    butcherpete
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    IF I went down the route of the
    Behringer A 500 - Amplifier - 2-channel - 250 Watts x 2
    the connection between the Anthem amp and the Power Amp (for the rear 2 speakers)... would I still control the overall volume on ALL speakers by the main volume button on the Anthem?
     
  16. Rambles

    Rambles
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    Yes. When setting things up, you would set the gain knobs on the Behringer to the spot where the volume of the speakers connected to that amp are (more or less) the same volume as the ones connected directly to the AVR. Then you don't touch them again, and everything is controlled by the pre-amp (Anthem).
     
  17. stevelup

    stevelup
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    Yep. But I'm sorry, I really don't think agree that this is a good idea. You want to be looking at a decent two channel hifi amp, not a cheap DJ unit.

    You have exotic and expensive speakers and you want to hook them up to something that's sole reason for existing is to be cheap and go loud?
     
  18. Rambles

    Rambles
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    What do you think the difference is between a 'decent' two channel hifi (power) amp and a lower cost 2 channel pro audio power amp?
     
  19. butcherpete

    butcherpete
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    now now chaps, don't start the power amp debate;) I am looking at the specs and figures quoted for a decent "hi fi" amp and the Behringer one. The speakers to be driven by another amp are the rear pair, which are an old set of 1990 MS 10i classics. the front 2 (Amphions) and the centre (Q Acoustic 3090i) will be driven by the superior Anthem AV amp:D
     
  20. indus

    indus
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    You don't actually know whether using external amps for the rear speakers will improve the sound of your front speakers.

    Seems like a somewhat bizarre approach to the problem you are trying to solve.
     
  21. butcherpete

    butcherpete
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    I am hoping that the quality of my Athem amp will let more watts into the front speakers, as it has had the duties of not powering the rears taken away. The Anthem amp will provide just the power to the front left, centre and front left. I am new to all this, hence the question, OR I could just part ex the Anthem for its bigger brother or the Anthem 5 channel power amp (£3500).
    But want to see if there is a valid alternative, before going down the very expensive route
     
  22. indus

    indus
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    As I said before I understand your theory but nobody really knows whether it will translate. Remember, often the surrounds aren't pulling that much power during large parts of a film anyway.
    I don't think you need to px your avr or spend mega bucks on the Anthem PA.

    Firstly you need to decide whether your issue is just with 2ch playback or with LCR.for films.

    If 2ch then you can pick up a very good second hand poweramp in the classifieds here or on pink fish media etc. For example I recently sold an amp for about £350 that drove my large floorstanders for years and made them sing.
    Yes, it was a good few years old but cared for by me and faultless.

    If the issue you have is with LCR then I would look at your centre speaker. Remember, the centre does a fair proportion of the work in movie playback, more than L and R.

    Apologies if I have this wrong but it seems like you have well regarded £1000 L and R speakers and then a £100 centre speaker? If I have that right then that is your issue with movie playback. The centre is not up to the job, nothing to do with your AVR.
     
  23. Rambles

    Rambles
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    I am of the opinion that the best way to know if a power amp would improve the performance of your system is to add a power amp and try it out.

    Second hand is of course always an option. The last two second hand amps that I bought, arrived in perfect working order, then broke within a few months. I guess I was unlucky.
     
  24. John7

    John7
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    The cheapest way to "prove" your theory is to disconnect your centre and rear speakers. This will unload the amplifier(s) and PSU and allow you to hear any difference to your L/R speakers. If there IS a gain, then you know that adding an external amp will work! Simples!!
     
  25. indus

    indus
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    They probably broke because they were made by Behringer:D
     
  26. Rambles

    Rambles
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    Ah, no, these were 'decent' expensive when new hifi amplifiers.

    The pro audio amps are reasonably priced when new and come with a warranty, no need to buy them second hand, unless funds are *really* tight.
     
  27. stevelup

    stevelup
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    Focus. They are focussed on delivering and achieving completely different things. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Behringer. It's just utterly inappropriate for this task.

    The aim of the Behringer is to whack out 2 x 400W into a 4 ohm load whilst weighing in at just a few kilos. It's a perfect bit of kit for a small mobile DJ. A superb choice. But look - do they quote the distortion figures anywhere? On the website? In the manual? In the datasheet? Nope... That's because it doesn't matter - no-one in the target market cares. Some other Behringer products in the past have quoted the max output figures based on 1% THD. That is nothing that anyone would accept in the home environment.

    That is in total contrast with an audio amp intended for the home environment where the first and primary consideration will be low noise and as close as possible to unmeasurable distortion.

    I still remain absolutely unconvinced by this whole strategy of 'unloading' the Anthem's built in amplifiers. As has already been suggested, just put it into two channel mode (no need to disconnect any speakers). If still not happy with the sound from the front L+R speakers, then adding another amp to do the rears is totally pointless.

    And if the front speakers need better amplification than the Anthem is offering, the solution is surely a two channel amp for the front speakers that does them justice, not a dirty DJ amp.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  28. Rambles

    Rambles
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    They are not Personal Address amplifiers, they are pro audio amplifiers, simply, they are power amplifiers. Why pay more for a hifi amp that is lower powered and comes with a pre-amp and probably a DAC that is not needed?

    Also, you are misunderstanding the power specifications. They can be bridged to be used as high powered mono amplifiers, but if used as 2 channel amps they are:

    Behringer A500 2 x 120 watts into 8 ohms for £200

    Behringer A800 2 x 200 watts into 8 ohms for £150

    Crown XLS1002 2 x 200 watts into 8 ohms for £250

    All brand new, with warranty.

    What alternative hifi amp would you suggest for the OP's use?
     
  29. stevelup

    stevelup
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    Focus. They are focussed on delivering and achieving completely different things. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Behringer. It's just utterly inappropriate for this task.

    The aim of the Behringer is to whack out 2 x 400W into a 4 ohm load whilst weighing in at just a few kilos. It's a perfect bit of kit for a small mobile DJ. A superb choice. But look - do they quote the distortion figures anywhere? On the website? In the manual? In the datasheet? Nope... That's because it doesn't matter - no-one in the target market cares. Some other Behringer products in the past have quoted the max output figures based on 1% THD. That is nothing that anyone would accept in the home environment.

    That is in total contrast with an audio amp intended for the home environment where the first and primary consideration will be low noise and as close as possible to unmeasurable distortion.

    I still remain absolutely unconvinced by this whole strategy of 'unloading' the Anthem's built in amplifiers. As has already been suggested, just put it into two channel mode (no need to disconnect any speakers). If still not happy with the sound from the front L+R speakers, then adding another amp to do the rears is totally pointless.

    And if the front speakers need better amplification than the Anthem is offering, the solution is surely a two channel amp for the front speakers that does them justice, not a dirty DJ amp.
     
  30. Rambles

    Rambles
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    I'm sorry, but you are simply wrong. Distortion is inaudible to the human ear if below 1%

    The Distortion figures for all of the above amps are specified.

    Behringer A500 <0.01%

    Behringer A800 <0.08%

    Crown XLS1002 <0.5%

    Focus? I don't know what that means.

    Whether a power amp will bring about audible benefits to the OP is impossible to know, just have to try it and see. Every set-up is different.
     

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