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#420740 - 10/17/16 08:15 PM 3rd home theater, trying to do it right....
aarons Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/17/16
Posts: 122
Starting to gather up components for my third home theater. I have a grand master on wall Axiom system which I ran on a few different receivers in my last2 theaters. Trying to get more clarity from my sound in the new room I am building and considering getting a preamp- amp combo which I have never done before. First receiver was an old Denon with 100w per 5.1. Second was a Yamaha with 125 per 7.1 Now considering going with a preamp and amplifier as I hear I will get better sound and clarity at higher volumes. One of the websites our there had a rep who recommended the Yamaha CX-A5000 along with the MX-A5000. Was a bit pricey for my taste.

Should I go with the preamp-amp combo to improve clarity at volume? Is it worth spending the money? My room is about 20X17. my Grand Master is a 7.1 on wall. Once I get this down I'll need to figure out projector / screen and such. I may also add a second sub. not sure
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#420741 - 10/18/16 12:09 AM Re: 3rd home theater, trying to do it right.... [Re: aarons]
SteveInCC Offline
regular

Registered: 09/30/16
Posts: 9
Loc: Nevada
It's been a while since I went with separates. I did it then because I had speakers that required more power than available receivers had. Now most speakers can run on a lot less. I recently chose a Marantz SR7010 AV Rcvr over their pre-amp and a separate power amp. The 125W/ch is plenty for my (mostly) Axiom speakers. It has the same processing / switching capabilities as the Pre-amp. It can be used as an 11ch pre-amp if I go to less efficient speakers somewhere down the road (not likely), and costs half as much (which is why I can go 11.x / 7.x.4 now, and add Auro-3D).


Edited by SteveInCC (10/18/16 12:38 AM)
Edit Reason: Clarify no loss of quality.
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#420743 - 10/18/16 10:45 AM Re: 3rd home theater, trying to do it right.... [Re: aarons]
aarons Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/17/16
Posts: 122
Thanks, that helps. The recommendation from the "expert" was the Yamaha pre amp paired with the Yamaha amp. Why would a 150watt pre amp use a 150watt amp? What is different about the 150watts in the amp that a 150 watt receiver cant do? I am leaning to Yamaha only due to familiarity with it. the Yamaha RX-A3050 is a 150watt per channel 9.2. Is there a reason I should spend extra for the pre-amp and amp really or will the RX-A3050 give me the same performance?
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#420747 - 10/18/16 10:22 PM Re: 3rd home theater, trying to do it right.... [Re: aarons]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 4709
If you want more clarity, get rid of the on - walls and go with M80s.

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#420749 - 10/18/16 10:53 PM Re: 3rd home theater, trying to do it right.... [Re: aarons]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10627
Welcome to Axiom. What you've heard about "better sound and clarity" is almost certainly wrong. If your present receiver isn't being operated at an extremely loud level(dangerous to hearing)which exceeds its designed power limits(unlikely), spending money on a unit with a still higher power limit can't improve "clarity". This is the situation regardless of whether the amplifier is inside a receiver or is a separate unit.

If you want new features, consider a receiver that has them. A higher maximum power limit in a separate box is about the least likely change to be helpful.
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#420751 - 10/18/16 11:23 PM Re: 3rd home theater, trying to do it right.... [Re: aarons]
nickbuol Offline
axiomite

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 5325
Loc: Marion, IA
I toyed with that Yamaha combo, but went with an Anthem MRX-1120 receiver and never looked back. It can be spendy, but it is a huge jump up in audio quality over my 5 year old Onkyo receiver (was about $900 at the time) and that Onkyo was a massive leap forward from my previous Pioneer Elite receiver.

So yes, you can get better sound quality depending on the system, and while the Yamaha is nice, it still falls into the same or similar sound camp that lessor expensive receivers do (again, another reason why I stayed with a receiver vs. separates which I really thought that I wanted to go with).

That said, you can only push on-walls so far. I love my 8 M3 on-walls, but they are for surround and Atmos duty only. I have M60 fronts and VP180 center. I don't know if I would have really noticed so much of a night and day improvement in receiver with smaller speakers (on-walls) all around.
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#420753 - 10/19/16 02:18 AM Re: 3rd home theater, trying to do it right.... [Re: aarons]
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 3123
Loc: CA, USA
I'd go with a good receiver and an outboard 2 channel amp for front L/R. Pioneer, Onkyo (watch out for HDMI board failure), Denon, Yamaha, Sony, make excellent mid-range AVR receivers ($1,000-2,000).

I had an Onkyo 1003 and replaced it with a Pioneer 9.2 receiver with a gaggle of SABRE ESS 32 DACS. I use an Integra M504 2 channel (big power meters) for front L/R (Thiel CS 3.6s) center VP180.

Sound quality is ridiculously good.


Edited by 2x6spds (10/19/16 02:21 AM)
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#420754 - 10/19/16 07:33 AM Re: 3rd home theater, trying to do it right.... [Re: aarons]
MatManhasgone Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/06/14
Posts: 998
Loc: Lost in the great wide yonder
Aarons. I fell into the same trap as you with the going MYTH that separates will give you better sound. That may have been true 30 years ago when the vast majority of receivers were crap and used high voltage no current to get impressive numbers on paper but could not drive a speaker.

I spent too much money trying to get better sound with big box store components that never worked. I ended up like Nickbuol and bought an Anthem pre-amp as I owned external amps already. Can't say why but the sound quality was night and day better.

You can buy the MRX-720 if you don't need the atmos right away and save some coin. They have some of the best room correction out there,

But reality is, a better designed room will give you better sound. That is where i would start looking.
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#420756 - 10/19/16 10:17 AM Re: 3rd home theater, trying to do it right.... [Re: MatManhasgone]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 6075
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By MatManBobbleHead
But reality is, a better designed room will give you better sound. That is where i would start looking.

This ^^

If Axiom made VP160 or VP180 on-wall center channels one of those would be nice too.

EDIT - hey, I just noticed there are "in-cabinet" versions of VP160 and VP180... if you are making a new room then it may not be too late to frame a horizontal opening for one of those.

I do think this would get you more "great sound for the $$" than new electronics.


Edited by bridgman (10/19/16 10:26 AM)
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#420767 - 10/20/16 02:23 PM Re: 3rd home theater, trying to do it right.... [Re: aarons]
aarons Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/17/16
Posts: 122
I have the VP150 and M22s along with 4 QS8's and 1 EP350. I may add another EP350 if budget allows in the end. I'll certainly run the cable as well as the wires for resonance speakers to utilize all 9 channels eventually. Doing my best not to change my current speakers again. My currents are already upgrades from the smaller on wall package. I went with the Yamaha RX A3050 mostly because I have a confident familiarity with the brand, it got good reviews all around and I have a feeling with proper set up I will be happier. One thing I am working on is room set up and sound insulation. I've been reading a lot up on that and excited to hear any helpful advice. One question I have is I have seen some hang their QS8's on the wall and other hang off the ceiling and angled slightly downward. Any comments on that? What about acoustic panels versus movie posters? Love my posters but if it's a huge hindrance for sound I'd look at other options...
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