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How To Connect Amplifier To Receiver?

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by techguy31, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. techguy31

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    Hi, so I was looking into 4ohm speakers and found out that they need more powers to drive them. So the receiver I am getting might be the Onkyo TX-NR609 or an Onkyo HT-RC260 depending on my budget. The front channel speakers I am looking at are the Polk Audio LSi9. Well, I thought it was as simple as plugging the Polk Audio LSi9 to the receiver I am going to get, but it seems like both the receivers I might get don't have enough power to drive the Polk Audio LSi9, which means that I have to get an amplifier. I have searched on google on how to connect amplifier to receiver, but can't seem to find any tutorials. I wanted a simple system at first meaning one reciever and 5 separate speakers and a subwoofer, but now I have to add a amplifier which is something I tried to avoid.

    My Questions:
    1. Since the Polk Audio LSi9 are rated at 4ohm, do I need an amplifier? Will the two receiver I posted above be able to handle a pair of the Polk Audio LSi9 as front channel (I am also going to bi-amp it) as well as handle a set of 8ohm bookshelf speakers as surround and a Polk Audio PSW505?
    2. Does anyone know how to hookup a amplifier to a receiver (can't find any on google nor youtube)?
    3. JBL L830 or Polk Audio LSi9 as front channel speakers?



    Thanks.
     
  2. twilyth Guest

    There's no point in getting a receiver if you are going to use one or more independent amplifiers. In that case, you would get a pre-amp, not a receiver. If you also plan to pick up radio stations, you would also get a stand alone tuner.

    The recommended wattage on those speakers is 20-200 watts per channel. So any amp will drive them, the only issues is how loud you want it to be.

    If you still want to get a receiver, and use an amp, then you will need to find one that has pre-amp outputs so you can bypass the receiver's power amp.

    I haven't listened to those speakers, but I have NHT classic 3's for front and center channels. I think you get better performance with a traditional woofer, midrange, tweeter arrangement.
     
  3. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    I don't think you can connect a pre-amp or amp to the Onkyo TX-NR609 or RC260. you need a receiver with either phono or XLR pre-outs like the RC270.
     
  4. techguy31

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    So if I am correct, the two receivers above do not support pre-amps. That means that I have find a receiver that does? You recommended that I don't need a receiver at all, but where would I plug the HDMI cable to get picture and sound?

    My question:
    1. Do I need a preamplifier, if not I prefer not to have one because I just want to use one receiver? The reason I brought up amplifiers was that I thought the two receivers would not be able to handle the Polk Audio LSi9 which would then overheat and break the receiver.
    2. Will the two receiver be able to handle the Polk Audio LSi9 at 4ohm without any overheating or conflict?
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  5. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    I think you should start with a basic setup that you can upgrade. your talking about pre-amplifiers and power amplifiers when you probably haven't even mounted a speaker on a stand before. it sounds like your new to this so I suggest you read some material.
     
  6. twilyth Guest

    Not to be rude, but as BB mentioned, you don't really seem to have any idea of what's involved. Even your questions don't make much sense.

    A receiver is an integrated unit consisting of a pre-amp, tuner and power amp. A pre-amp is what processes and manipulates the sound. When you increase the treble or bass, that is happening in the pre-amp. The tuner is just what it sounds like, it tunes in radio signals. The power amp does nothing but amplify the signal from the pre-amp so that it can drive a speaker.

    Clearly you don't understand any of this, so either you're not really serious about buying a system and you're just jerking our chain, or you are, but you are not prepared to do even basic research at this point.

    I would start with a site like How Stuff Works and try to understand the basics. Their explanations are usually quite good and also fairly brief.
     
  7. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    there is a lot of work that goes into mounting a speaker lol

    - mounting plate, no mounting plate
    - what materials make good stands
    - how much weight the stand has
    - keeping the speaker balanced
    - positioning the speaker for proper imaging
    - decoupling the stand from the ground
    - what speaker wire to use
    - what banana plugs to use
     
  8. Robert-The-Rambler

    Robert-The-Rambler

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    Buy something like this

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003P2V52M/?tag=tec06d-20

    You can try the onboard amp and see how that goes or you can use the pre outs to use any external amp you want that has RCA connections. It has everything you need.

    For a shade over $350 you have a very good processor/pre amp and a chance for expansion. Take the KISS approach. Too many complicated wires leads to frustration. Give a decent receiver a try. :)
     
  9. techguy31

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    You guys are absolutely correct, when it comes to the Home Theater, I am completely noob at it. I know the basics of how wire a 5.1 system. But what really troubles me is the speakers I am going to get. If I am correct, people get preamplifiers or amplifiers to increase wattage which would mean having a louder sound. I have thought of starting with a basic setup at first ( Yamaha RX-V467 with Klipsch Home Theater 1000), but I realized it would be more expensive if I would start small and then throw out the cheap stuff to be replaced with expensive stuff (that's alot of money going to waste). An example would be that I bought the Logitech z-5500 ( I know that these speakers are not really considered HT quality) but I feel that when I play music it just doesn't sound good at all. Movies on the other hand (on the Logitech Z-5500 are great). So I just want to "Go Big And Not Worry For A While". As far as mounting the speakers and wires, I have already taken in consideration of how much and where the speakers will be placed. Now all I need is the right type of speakers that I have debating for weeks. I plan to use 12 Gauge wires and banana plugs so that the setup would look neat. As far as mounting, I am going to mount them on the wall facing me regardless if the port hole is in the front or not. I have found all these materials at a reputable store that is cheap and has great service (monoprice.com).
    I believe I know how to setup a basic 5.1 or even 7.1 speaker system solely using a receiver; however, I am noob when it comes to connecting preamplifiers and amplifiers. I did research before asking, it is just that I can't seem to find the right answers or it is simply that I am asking the wrong questions.
    As far as speakers, I have been researching extensively, reading reviews and comparing them with each other, but everytime I feel that I have found the right one I find another one that interest me.
    To conclude, I do believe that I know the basics of hooking up a receiver and 5.1 or 7.1 system. As far as "jerking your chain", I would never do, because I am actually in the process of building a new Home Theater system and I am very excited. I actually do research before asking and then ask in the forums for suggestions as sometimes people don't really explain well enough.
     
  10. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    your asking questions on topics I am just learning and I have been designing my home theater for 2 months!

    Logitech speakers are not very good. PC audio isn't engineered for high fidelity. Logitech doesn't use tweeters and their speakers have no resolution, detail and the bass is over powering and loose.

    I don't recommend Monoprice Banana plugs. here is a nice little thread on making your own speaker cables.

    http://forum.blu-ray.com/home-theater-construction/57127-speaker-cable-sleeving-diy.html
     
  11. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

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    Two words: Impedance Matching.

    At this point, buying preamps and discrete (seperate) audio components may well be getting you in too deep. There's a lot of knowledge you need to have before you try to do anything in that route. Especially since you're talking about 4-ohm speakers. Almost all consumer-level equipment is 8-ohm

    If you use different impedance equipment (say 4ohm speakers with a receiver rated for 8ohms) without taking into consideration all the factors, you can easily damage or destroy your speakers and the amplifier section of your receiver (or discrete amplifier, etc etc) It is possible to run mismatched equipment but speakers have to be hooked up in groups (bye bye 5.1, hello 2.0 on 6 speakers) and they need to be hooked up very specifically. There is such a thing as a bridgeable amplifier, but no, you can't hook two high-ohm receivers together to run a low-ohm speaker. As for how much power you need, 100-150 watts per channel is more than enough for most people's home theatre. Go much above that and you'll be getting the cops called on you for noise complaints.

    You were asking me about running this system for listening to mp3s and downloaded movies off your computer. To be brutally honest, you're going way overkill. The Yamaha RX series receivers you were looking at were perfect for what you're wanting to do. Even they might be a bit overkill. Buying $10,000 worth of equipment is overkill, period. Let me tell you a secret: 50% of the price on this stuff (speakers especially) is brand name alone. Starting off with a quality receiver, and a nice set of floorstanding or bookshelf speakers is all you'll need. If you start messing with preamps and discrete components, you're going to be opening a can of worms.

    My advice is to buy an 8-ohm receiver and an 8-ohm speaker set. Why? It's the most common impedance. You'll have a much easier time selling an 8-ohm set to most people if you ever do upgrade, or if you buy a new set and move the old set to another room, or replace a speaker or two it will be much easier to find compatible products.

    Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with using preamps, discrete tuners, decks, and amplifiers if you know what you're doing, but that takes quite a bit of forethought and knowledge and gets REAL expensive, REAL quick.


    To sum it up:


    Don't go with the Klipsch HT1000 speakers, if you're worried about sound fidelity. Chances are you'll be missing some of the mids, and the only lows will be coming from the sub - like your logitech system.

    Don't buy the most expensive thing you can find, just because the reviews are great. It takes a trained ear to tell the difference between mid-range and high-end stuff, and it's near impossible to tell the difference between high-to-ultra high end stuff in terms of quality. Different brands and models will have a different sound color which might be easily distinguishable, one might sound "bright" another "warm", but most if not all should have a "good" reproduction of the sound spectrum. Unless you already have a very specific picture of what you want your speakers to sound like (and you've pretty much proved that you don't) then the price difference isn't worth it. This right here, the hopping around between reviews is why I recommended you go to a store to listen. You can't listen to the speaker online. Look to be spending between $100-$200 per speaker. I really recommend 8-ohm speakers and equipment, or if not, at least buy impedance-matched equipment (4-ohm speaker to 4-ohm amp)

    When it comes to Preamps, preouts, etc... I don't think you need it. The amplifier section on any quality receiver should be more than enough, both in terms of power and quality. You aren't planning on running an actual cinema, are you? If you really really want the option to add discrete amps later, go for a receiver with pre-outs (such as the V667) like robert-the-rambler suggested. My vote, however, is to go with the RX-V471 you had picked out, (or the V571 if you want 7.1) I don't think you'll be disappointed. It's important to note, you need a seperate amp (or at least seperate amp channel) for each channel of the 5.1 to use the preouts (not including the subwoofer, as that usually has a built-in amp). That's 5 mono amps or 3 stereo amps or a very expensive purpose-built 5-channel amp for 5.1 if you use discrete amplification.

    Download some FLAC or other lossless audio to try out. Your music may very well just not sound good because it isn't good.

    Careful. A more accurate statement is: Devices marketed as "Computer Speakers" aren't engineered for high fidelity.

    PC audio can very well be high fidelity, if done right. My father's Digidesign and Presonus PC-based studio audio recording equipment dispute your statement
     
  12. techguy31

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    Thanks for the tutorial on how make speaker wires look nice. That just seems like too much work and I would rather save the extra 2 dollars or so for a drink after I finish setting up my Home Theater. As for the Banana plugs, why don't you recommend Monoprice's Banana plugs, the customer reviews raves that they are great.

    Thanks.
     
  13. twilyth Guest

    OK, I can respect that, but knowing how to wire the speakers doesn't mean anything when you start talking about what kind of architecture you're going to use. IOW, do you intend to go all out with separate amps for each channel and $10-20K in speakers or do you just want a good mid to high-end system that you can grow into.

    I would suggest following Robert's advice and getting a very good integrated receiver with pre-amp outputs so you can play with bi-amp and separate channel amps and what not - when you've got the budget and inclination. I seriously doubt that you will be able to hear a significant difference between a high end component amp/pre-amp setup and a very good receiver like a Yamaha or Onkyo. In fact, I doubt most people could tell the difference at all.

    But if you're setting up a home theater, then why are you only buying 2 speakers? And why those speakers in particular? For that money I would be looking at a brand like Paradigm. Not to say there is anything wrong with Polks, but I would want to see a detailed analysis from a source like Sound and Vision, Stereo Review, etc.
     
  14. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

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    I recommended Polk brand to him when he was still talking about the Klipsch HTIAB speakers, as a quality but not overly expensive brand, with the proviso that I had limited experience with speakers.
     
  15. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    monoprice banana plugs will get the job done but there are higher quality and more convenient banana plugs available. there are a couple recommendations in that thread.

    you're welcome.
     
    techguy31 says thanks.
  16. techguy31

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    I absolutely agree with you that I am going OVERKILL with this build; however, I do not want to regret it like before (buying the Logitech Z-5500, thinking that it would be the best for watching movies and listening to music). I could have saved the $350 and added to this setup and I would have no problem of finishing this setup by this week. But I have to wait about another week until I could finish the first part of my build (which is the Home Theater parts, not the computer).

    As far as speakers, I have opted to solely look at 8ohm rated speakers to reduce more things that I will have to buy. Well, I believe after all the questions I have asked, I could build this rig without any problems.

    Final Speakers Build:
    Front: B&W 685
    Center: (will update once I have enough money)
    Surround: (will update once I have enough money)
    Sub: Polk Audio PSW505
    Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR609 or Onkyo HT-RC260 (so I could bi-amp)

    Thanks all for the help.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  17. techguy31

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    The reason that I am only looking for 2 speakers are that I only have enough money for two as of right now, and I just setup the wires before hand and as I get more money I just simply buy the speakers and plug them in. I plan to mount the front speakers which is the hard part, the surround and center are easy, when I have enough money I just buy the speakers and plug them in.
     
  18. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

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    Either of those receivers should be more than what you need. The one thing I'd caution is that Onkyo receivers tend to overheat in enclosed spaces. If you plan on putting this in a closed entertainment center, expect to be buying one of these.



    Bi-amping is different than Bi-wiring.

    Bi-amping is running a seperate amp for the high and low section of a given channel. It has its benefits. Your onkyo HT-RC260 can do this, but only on the front-left and front-right speakers, it seems.

    Bi-wiring is running a seperate set of wires to the high and low section of a given speaker from a single amplifier channel. It's snake oil. Waste of money. They promote this to sell speaker cable.

    I'm saying this more for anybody who happens to end up here from google than for your benefit. Clearly you meant bi-amping.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
    twicksisted says thanks.
  19. techguy31

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    Oh yeah and I believe that the two receiver I might get my uncle has too. His receiver makes a very loud click noise when it chances decoding (what I mean is that if you watch blu-ray movies in the beginning where they show trailers, after every trailer the receiver clicks to change the decode format (I think). I have asked others is there suppose to be a click noise when it changes decode formats and they said yes. But the click I hear is quite loud and annoying. Does this happen in your reciever, or is it only Onkyo receivers? If so I guess I might get the Yamaha receiver.

    I am getting about 100ft worth of 12AWG cables, so if I do in fact have extra cables and banana plugs lying around, heck I will just bi-amp.


    Thanks
     
  20. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

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    I'm running an older Onkyo, the only click I hear is when the receiver powers on or off, it's relays turning on and off in the powersupply. Sometimes you hear it too when changing between analog and digital inputs, or between multichannel, all stereo, and pure audio modes as the receiver turns unneeded portions of itself off to prevent introducing noise into the sound.

    Oh, and, You're welcome.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  21. techguy31

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    Well, that is extremely strange as I think it might be the digital spdif connection then. He connected his ps3 via the onkyo receiver with a spdif cable rather then the hdmi way. Well when we watched blu-ray movies the clicking noise is most noticeble and loud during the transition between the trailers. I think he did not configure his settings right.
     
  22. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

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    Its really hard to say. It may be exactly as you've been told with that one, or it may be that there is a little delay when the optical out on the PS3 is switching from two-channel uncompressed to the 5.1 DTS/Dolby that the receiver is picking up as noise.

    Is it coming from the speakers or the receiver itself?
     
  23. techguy31

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    It is coming from his speakers and receiver and it is very irritating when we crank the volume up from the receiver, the switching noise then emits to the receiver and the speakers (the noise from the speakers gives out like a oomph noise and the receiver emits a click noise).
     
  24. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

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    I find that strange...

    If it's the receiver itself, it should be coming from the receiver only, as it should be designed well enough that anything the circuitry does doesn't come out of the speakers as noise (not that that's law or anything, just best practices as a manufacturer)

    Any noise in the audio stream would be on the speakers only.

    Without hearing it myself I can't say. I'm not sure if the Yamaha would be any different, either, sorry.

    Offtopic, I know, but when watching blu-rays via optical, you aren't getting the DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD audio track. SPDIF doesn't support it, all you can get is regular DTS/Dolby or 2.0 uncompressed. If his receiver supports it, use HDMI to get the high-def audio track.

    EDIT - after re-reading that, it almost sounds like it might me oxidized contacts on the internal relays, if it only comes out when the volume's up. Nothing you can do about that though. Could still be a delay in the SPDIF signal causing the OOMF noise, but the click seems like relay noise from the receiver. Anybody else have any other ideas?
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  25. techguy31

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    Thanks for trying to help m4gicfour, I am almost certain that his receiver is the Onkyo TX-NR609 which is fairly new (He also has very cheap plastic speakers). Well anyways, I just wanted to make sure that if it was only his receiver that had such a weird problem or it was for all receivers in general that had this problem. Actually even when the volume is down you will still hear that oomph from speakers and click sound from receiver. The click noise from the receiver remains at the same clicking volume. As for the oomph it still emits, if the volume is turned down then the oomph will be less loud, but you will still hear it.

    A side question, should I get this cable -->http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00006RHZG/?tag=tec06d-20 or this cable --->http://www.monoprice.com/products/p..._id=1023603&p_id=2680&seq=1&format=4#feedback for the subwoofer?

    Thanks for trying to help...
     

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