Which Denon amp to expand X4200W to 9 channels?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by NinjaMonkeyUK, Apr 23, 2016.


    1. NinjaMonkeyUK

      NinjaMonkeyUK
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      Hi all,

      Back in January I bought a Denon X4200W and have been massively impressed with it so far. I am currently running a standard 5.1 setup but soon will be buying a house, so I want to go down the Atmos / DTS:X route and I go to either 7.1.2 or 5.1.4...

      I currently have a Monitor Audio Bronze 2 5.1 kit and I'll be adding either:
      • Two more Bronze FX speakers and two CT265 ceiling speakers for 7.1.2 or
      • Four CT265 ceiling speakers for 5.1.4.
      Obviously I will need an extra amplifier to power the extra two channels so I have a few questions:

      1. Would either the Denon PMA-520AE or PMA-720AE amplifier be suitable for driving the extra two channels?

      2. I've read it might be better to run the front left and right channels from the additional amp... What is the advantage of this? Or would it be better just running the additional surround / ceiling speakers from the amp?

      3. In a room 15' x 12', (with 120" screen) would it be better to go with 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 for a more immersive sound experience?

      4. Would the 3.5mm "remote input" trigger work with the X4200 for switching the unit on and off with the receiver?
       
      Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
    2. Bbos37

      Bbos37
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      You can use those amps to drive the surround speakers,you can use the trigger with a relay to switch the additional amp.
       
    3. Hillskill

      Hillskill
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      I use a Rotel 1575 to drive the front 3 LCR and leave the Denon to drive the surrounds and atmos channels. For me there is an added detail and clarity from the LCR and two remaining channels left on the Rotel should I want to add rear atmos in the future. I actually ended up putting a lot more money into a power amp then my actual AVR with the rationale that the Rotel could be with me through several more upgrades. If later in the year I go for am Arcam 550 say I'll just swap out the Denon and still have all my added channels catered for.
      Hard to really articulate just how much a power amp gives you without hearing it yourself. It's not about volume, with the right speakers you may find a more expansive sound stage and details in the mixes.
       
    4. NinjaMonkeyUK

      NinjaMonkeyUK
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      Thanks for your reply Bbos37! Can you explain what you mean by a relay? I thought I could just use a stereo jack to jack lead between the X4200W and the PMA-520AE or PMA-720AE and that would be enough for the X4200W to control the power state of the additional amp... Is this incorrect and will I need some additional equipment?

      I can set my Philips Pronto and Harmony Ultimate remotes up to power the amp via IR but I thought if I could simplify things with a jack to jack cable I would go that route instead.

      Thanks, Hillskill. I just looked up the Rotel and I think it may be a little over my budget! I was thinking more along the lines of a £100 to £200 amp plus a £300 set of speakers, not £1500 for a power amp! :) My whole audio setup currently cost me £1500 so I'm looking to just add a few bits to it over time.

      Anybody got any thoughts on the 5.1.4 versus 7.1.2 issue? I'm leaning towards 7.1.2 at the moment because I figure there are more 7.1 soundtracks out there than Atmos / DTS:X tracks and I'm not sure my room would be big enough for an additional two height channels as there will usually only be two of us listening to it.
       
    5. Hillskill

      Hillskill
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      FWIW I'm in no way suggesting that you need to spend £1500 lol! There are some amazing deals to be had if you look second hand and even a lower end new amp will offer similar benefits. I went for the higher powered Rotel as I felt my Kef R700s would/do benefit. That won't necessarily be the case for your MAs.
      I'm running 7.1.2 and I love it. You have the fun of atmos but also the setup to fully enjoy 7.1 mastered mixes. I plan to go to 7.2.4 by the end of the year. BTW, the dts-X up mixer on the Denon has been blowing my mind this week. Godzilla and Star Wars ep7 particularly sang using height channels.
       
    6. mtenga

      mtenga
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    7. Bbos37

      Bbos37
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      You are right about the cable connection.
       
    8. Hillskill

      Hillskill
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      Yes, same for me too. 3.5mm jack cable between the Denon and Rotel. Both power up and down in sync.
       
    9. NinjaMonkeyUK

      NinjaMonkeyUK
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      This is what I figured would be the case! I think it's best not to limit my normal soundspace to 5.1 and it would be better to go 7.1 because the room allows for it. This is my planned setup:

      upload_2016-4-24_12-41-1.png

      The door on the right-hand side of the picture is the entrance to the room and the one on the left is into a cupboard above the stairs which I plan to use for storing my receiver. We're planning to build a false wall and hang a 120" screen on it. Behind it I will sit the LCR speakers.

      Not sure whether to go for two subs at this time as I think one may be enough. We will have neighbours behind the screen wall but it's really thick and I will be adding some soundproofing to it.

      The windows will have to have blackout blinds of course!

      Right now there is a chimney breast right where the projector is to go so I'll have to get it knocked out or fire the projector at an angle from the side of it.

      Two ceiling speakers just in front of the sofa will complete the Atmos / DTS:X configuration so I'm not really sure there would be a need for four up there.

      Atmos and DTS:X mix their objects to the available channels anyway so I think 7.1.2 is probably the best idea because it will give me standard 7.1 playback plus more room for objects to move around me with the new formats.
       
    10. NinjaMonkeyUK

      NinjaMonkeyUK
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      Thanks :) I figured this would be how it worked :)
       
    11. mtenga

      mtenga
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      On the two subs thing moving to two was only of very limited benefit for me. Sure I'd rather have two than one but certainly not worth the grand I paid to do that. With hindsight I'd just buy a better single sub.
       
    12. NinjaMonkeyUK

      NinjaMonkeyUK
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      Thanks for your advice mtenga. I'm not sure two subs would actually benefit me at all as I will pretty much be sat right next to the one I have and I think it's probably wiser to put an extra £500 into surround back speakers and an amp to drive them, than to add more bass.
       

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