M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp?

Posted by: Scamp

M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/22/10 09:24 PM

I'm looking to pickup 3-M80's as part of my home theater (fronts +center).

To drive them, I was planning on using the soon to be released Denon 4311ci with ~130w/channel.

A friend suggested that I drop back to the Denon 3311ci and add an Emotiva XPA-3 to power the fronts and let the 3311 drive the four QS8 surrounds.

What do you all think? Which is a better solution for use with the m80's?

I'll be using them for movies, but my son is a musician with musician ears so musicality will rule the day in terms what we end up purchasing. I just need it loud. smile




Posted by: Ichigo_Kurosaki

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/22/10 09:45 PM

Hi Scamp! Welcome to Axiom forum! I am here to give you a great welcome to the Axiom family! Taking in consideration I am a great noob on HT matter, can't really help you. I will leave that to the pros around here. I gotta say! They are really helpful as my HT set is being setup right now, this is one thing I can say for sure!
Posted by: Wid

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/22/10 09:55 PM


How big is your room? Either set up you have listed should serve you well. With the Denon being 130 watts and the Emo being 200 per it's really a toss up. Denon is known to have a very robust amp section.

There have been some, not all, folks running M80s and Emo amps that have had problems. Not so with Denon and M80s.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/22/10 10:02 PM

You could actually try the 3311 WITHOUT a power amp first, then if you feel you need an external amp, go for it. Alot depends on your listening level. As Rick mentioned, there have been some problems with some Emo amps and M80s(not sure which specific amp).
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/22/10 10:23 PM

I would try the Denon as is first before getting extra outboard amps. The difference between 130 watts and 200 is less than 3dB's, which is hardly noticable. Considering that the M80's are very loud at 1 watt/1 meter, you will unlikely notice any difference.
Posted by: fredk

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/22/10 10:31 PM

The Denon will be able to deliver in the range of 200w into 4 Ohms. As sirquack points out, that will get your M80s plenty loud with no clipping.
Posted by: Scamp

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/22/10 10:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Ichigo_Kurosaki
Hi Scamp! Welcome to Axiom forum!

Thanks!

Originally Posted By: wid

How big is your room?

It's a divided room. 22'x14 for the theater area with a half wall into a similar sized space.

Originally Posted By: Adrian
You could actually try the 3311 WITHOUT a power amp first, then if you feel you need an external amp, go for it.


I'd have no idea if I need the external amp at all, assuming we are talking degrees of goodness. I have no real point of reference since all I have now are the speakers built into the old TV. Plus I need a way to decide if I'm better off with the 4311ci over the 3311. Unless of course I looked at the 4311 with the amp.

While we are on the subject, obviously there are amps with a much higher price tag than the XP-3 what do they buy? Just more power/volume?
Posted by: fredk

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/22/10 10:43 PM

Bragging rights. The illusion of better. A very nice car and mansion for the guy that owns the expensive amp company.

Buy the receiver with the features you need/want. With 125w the 3311 will give you all the power you ever need.
Posted by: bdpf

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/22/10 10:50 PM

My room is a little smaller than yours 20x11 and my denon is 105W/ch. I only play at max volume when I want to show off a little or upset my neighbor and only for a short period of time. Way to loud! I would probably go with an external amp if my room would be 2 or 3 times this size. Use the $$$ from the amp to buy yourself other equipment, surrounds maybe or a sub?
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/22/10 10:52 PM

Scamp, the majority of the time you will only be using 1-3 watts to play pretty loud, with brief jumps "maybe" up to 100 watts or so. I am not going to quote what JohnK says about unused headroom as I'm sure he will be along soon. smile The M80's are rated at 95dB's (that is very loud) "in room" using 1 watt at a 1 meter distance. So even at normal distances back from the M80's your still only going to be using a few watts most of the time.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/22/10 11:06 PM

Scamp, welcome, and what I say about unused headroom is that it's simply that: unused. Get a receiver with the features that you want at the best price. Don't worry about maximum power ratings.
Posted by: Scamp

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/22/10 11:26 PM

Thanks. I think that clears it up. In this case less is more.

Denon receiver, M80's, no amp, extra butter on the popcorn.

Thanks for that warm welcome everyone.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/22/10 11:30 PM

wait for it....wait for it...her come the Denon setup questions... smile
Posted by: Scamp

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/22/10 11:39 PM

Not from me. I know the secret! BatPig. wink


Not to mention I'll spend the days (weeks?) waiting for my M80 v3's to arrive obsessively reading every post on this forum.
Posted by: fredk

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/23/10 12:26 AM

For a second there I thought you were going to write that you read the manual. I had the number to the mancard police half dialed before I saw that it was forum posts you were reading.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/23/10 12:33 AM

Hey, I read the manuals for everything I own. Usually in PDF format before I even buy it.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/23/10 01:18 AM

Reading a Denon manual and understanding it are two wholly separate things.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/23/10 08:58 AM

Originally Posted By: wid
Either set up you have listed should serve you well. With the Denon being 130 watts and the Emo being 200 per it's really a toss up. Denon is known to have a very robust amp section.

I thought the general consensus was that, if the volume is pushed, there were still advantages in using a separate amp because of the limiting factor of a single power supply of the receiver being used alone?

I had assumed (as a real-world example) that if I bought three Outlaw Monoblocks at 200/wpc, I would gain headroom. Not necessarily because I've supplied my three front channels with 200/wpc instead of the 130/wpc my Denon offers... but because none of the four power supplies now being used are likely to start hitting their limits as quickly as just the single one available if the Denon is used alone.(?)
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/23/10 09:41 AM

That would be my consensus as well. But probably only noticeable when that extra oomph is produced during explosions, etc, would be my guess.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/23/10 10:15 AM

Originally Posted By: HomeDad
Reading a Denon manual and understanding it are two wholly separate things.

I'll probably never own a Denon, but I'm tempted to give their manual a shot, just to see if it really is as bad as everyone makes it out to to be. Perhaps then I could be a little more helpful in Denon related threads too.

But for now I have datasheets, and reference implementations for HDMI 1.4 chipsets to read up on.
Posted by: Scamp

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/23/10 10:55 AM

So the consensus is, for volume levels below "risk of long term hearing loss" I won't hear a difference between what the Denon can pump out and what the Denon+Amp can pump out to the M80's and I'll have plenty of extra room.

For example, I read a review for the DVD-A disk of the 1812 Overture. It warned of speakers not being able to handle the sudden volume change that accompanies the cannon fire. If I pair the M80's with a Denon 33xx/43xx receiver I won't have to worry about things like that correct?
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/23/10 11:07 AM

I think my next receiver will be a Denon $1k+ because it seems to have more options built in than the Pioneers do.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/23/10 11:24 AM

Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
Originally Posted By: HomeDad
Reading a Denon manual and understanding it are two wholly separate things.

I'll probably never own a Denon, but I'm tempted to give their manual a shot, just to see if it really is as bad as everyone makes it out to to be. Perhaps then I could be a little more helpful in Denon related threads too.

But for now I have datasheets, and reference implementations for HDMI 1.4 chipsets to read up on.


Denon manuals aren't as bad as they are made out to be. They have the information you need, but you have to know how to interpret it. Much like any code book. Like the NEC, you need the guide book to go along with it. Unfortunately, Denon doesn't supply a guide book, but batpig has done well his.

As to the OP's original question, you don't NEED the outboard amp. It's a matter of WANT. I would pass on the Emo stuff though, if you really WANT an amp.
Posted by: fredk

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/23/10 03:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Scamp
For example, I read a review for the DVD-A disk of the 1812 Overture. It warned of speakers not being able to handle the sudden volume change that accompanies the cannon fire. If I pair the M80's with a Denon 33xx/43xx receiver I won't have to worry about things like that correct?


Correct.

Using this calculator we see that at 100Db average volume with 10 Db of head room the M80s will use 198 W of power. Note this is using Axiom's in room response of 95 db to account for room gain. I believe that the 43ll you were looking at will deliver this quite easily into 4 Ohms.

Turn that down to a much more reasonable but still loud level of 85 db and you are using 6 watts.

Give yourself 20 Db of headroom that may be demanded by the most dynamic of classical recordings (like the 1812 Oveture??) and you are using a whopping 62 watts peak. That means your 4311 will have around 140 watts in reserve that you will never use unless you move your system into a much bigger room.

I don't know why people so happily ignore simple physics in their quest to spend thousands of dollars on amplification that, as John always points out, will not be used.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/23/10 04:09 PM

Scamp, keep in mind that if it's an older CD (like, when the format was just emerging), sometimes those "warnings" were put on the discs as a marketing point. What early adopter could resist a warning that the recording was "so real, and so dynamic, that you have to be careful with it"?

I have a Billy Cobham CD like that....
Posted by: Scamp

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/23/10 05:13 PM

Fredk:

That's exactly what I was looking for, err... Had I know what I needed to be looking for. Much thanks.


Physics. It works Bitches!
Posted by: Joebob

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/23/10 06:29 PM

If you don't have to have all the latest bells and whistles, they are blowing out the Pioneer SC-27 (it is now last years model) for less than $1000 U.S. Just a heads up for anyone looking for a good deal on a pretty powerful receiver.

I picked one up recently and I like it very much. It has the 140 watt Class D amps and drives my M80's very well. It seems to have a lot of dynamic power on tap, it never seems to run out of steam.

The latest Denon's do have a lot more bells and whistles though.
Posted by: fredk

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/23/10 07:25 PM

Quote:
Physics. It works Bitches!

You are most welcome. Thanks for the new sig line. grin
Posted by: Scamp

Re: M80's: Recevier, or Recevier+amp? - 07/23/10 10:20 PM

Originally Posted By: fredk
Quote:
Physics. It works Bitches!

You are most welcome. Thanks for the new sig line. grin


I can't claim credit for that one. It and many other pity sayings came from XKCD