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Discussion Starter #1
I've got b&w dm-7 (200w at 8 ohms) for fronts, b&w dm302's (100w at 8 ohms) for rears and no center as of yet. Looking to get an hd33 for projector and I have Xbox and ps3 an Apple TV.

I was thinking emotiva's XPA-5 (200w x 5 at 8 ohms $809) and UMC-200 (7.1 $599). Read some poor reviews with the UMC-200 and the two together are too expensive.

I can get the Denon 3808ci for $400 cash and then maybe buy an amp that can power my fronts. Trying to keep the cost low. I heard that the 3808ci may have hdmi issues. I'm not sure how the receiver hdmi in and out work. Am I better to go straight from the source instead of through the receiver first? Ie ps3 to hd33?

Should I just buy a receiver that can output the full 200w per channel at 8 ohms. I'm trying to figure this out and it's making me loose sleep and waste time at work!

Please help!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
IMO, start with a well-equipped and well-rated Marantz SR5007 ($599, shipped, at Amazon.com).

Use it to power your mains + CC speaker, and add an Emotiva UPA-200 (reg. $349, shipped; currently $299, shipped) for your surrounds.

- OR -

Alternatively, get an Emotiva XPA-200 (reg. $499. shipped; currently $429, shipped) to run your mains, and use the Marantz for everything else.
If I were to go with the XPA-5 is there a receiver that focuses on video, and audio boosts etc and doesn't have any watts like the umc-200? The umc doesn't give me what I'm looking for in a receiver like 4k and fancy stuff like that.

Sorry for noob ish comments
 

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I don't know of any receivers that can by-pass their amp sections, but if you can get an AVR that has the features you want for a good price, there's no reason to overlook it just because it happens to have an amplification section.

(The SR5007 + an XPA-3 - as you ask about in your latest thread - would be a great combo, IMO.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't know of any receivers that can by-pass their amp sections, but if you can get an AVR that has the features you want for a good price, there's no reason to overlook it just because it happens to have an amplification section.

(The SR5007 + an XPA-3 - as you ask about in your latest thread - would be a great combo, IMO.)
Thanks eljay. It's really not easy making decisions like this!
 

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FWIW, when I was AVR shopping a few years ago, my goal was to find a receiver within my budget range that had the features I wanted AND multi-channel outputs in case I needed external amplification. If I were AVR shopping today, that's exactly how I'd go about it again.

And if I had the cash, I'd buy a Denon AVR-4311 (~$1,600 on Amazon.com), because it has everything I could possibly want, including Audyssey MultEQ XT32 w/ Sub EQ HT. Given a relatively more modest budget, the SR5007 would be my next choice.

Just my 2¢, and YMMV. :)
 

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The dm7 speakers specs are stated in a very interesting manner. Per the B&W support page they state 8 ohms throughout the operating range (this is very good) and 95 dB SPL at 10V rms at 1 meter.
That works out to be 12.5 watts.
Most speakers today are rated at 2.83V (or 1 watt). So these speakers are about 84-85 dB SPL at 1 watt at 1 meter.
depending on how loud you want to listen any good mid range AVR should get the job done.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The dm7 speakers specs are stated in a very interesting manner. Per the B&W support page they state 8 ohms throughout the operating range (this is very good) and 95 dB SPL at 10V rms at 1 meter.
That works out to be 12.5 watts.
Most speakers today are rated at 2.83V (or 1 watt). So these speakers are about 84-85 dB SPL at 1 watt at 1 meter.
depending on how loud you want to listen any good mid range AVR should get the job done.
I don't just want to get the job done I want it to get the most out of them. Would the amp add much better sound or am I wasting my money?
 

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IMO: If you have a good receiver (AVR), the benefit of external amplification is only really evident if you play your system at fairly loud volumes, where the AVR alone might be "running out of steam" trying to power five or seven speakers. At low to moderate volumes, the benefit is minimal to negligible, so you likely wouldn't notice any.

If you can swing the SR5007 + XPA3, go for it. You'll be set for up to seven-channel audio, no worries, no regrets. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
IMO: If you have a good receiver (AVR), the benefit of external amplification is only really evident if you play your system at fairly loud volumes, where the AVR alone might be "running out of steam" trying to power five or seven speakers. At low to moderate volumes, the benefit is minimal to negligible, so you likely wouldn't notice any.

If you can swing the SR5007 + XPA3, go for it. You'll be set for up to seven-channel audio, no worries, no regrets. :)
The DM7's are a 200 watt speaker. Are you saying that the speaker will sound no different at 120 watts compared to say 80 watts? I wouldn't buy the XPA-3 if ill get the same sound quality with the sr5007. I guess my question is, how loud do I need to be listening to the speakers before i need more than 80+ watts to power them. Surely a 200 watt speaker needs more than 100 watts to sound nice at a normal movie watching volume.
 

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IMO, the 5007 should have no trouble cleanly powering a pair of mains to fairly loud volumes cleanly. ("How loud is loud" is a relative question that I can't answer definitively.) It might even handle a pair of mains and a CC speaker cleanly. For five- or seven-channel, though, I would want an external amp, especially in a larger room and for louder volume levels.

Surely a 200 watt speaker needs more than 100 watts to sound nice at a normal movie watching volume.
Not necessarily. That 200W figure likely represents the recommended or maximum amount of power the speakers are designed to handle, not the amount of power required to make them sound nice.

FWIW:
- My SR6003 (rated at 7 x 100W/ch., but measured at 130W/ch. into two channels) powers my Studio 60v4s (rated 15-200W input power) just fine.
- My Emotiva UPA-5 (rated and measured at 5 x 125W/ch., and likely putting out no more than 150W/ch. into three channels) powers my Studio CC-690v5 (rated 15-300W input power) + my Studio 20v4s (rated 15-150W input power) just fine.
- My speakers have never sounded "not nice" because they weren't getting 200W or 300W of power.

With your speakers, the combination of XPA-3 to handle your mains + CC, and the SR5007 to handle your surrounds (and all A/V processing) would be an excellent combination that would not leave you wanting.
 

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When i said get the job done, i did not mean 'barely get the job done', I mean the AVR will most likely be all you need. When in doubt about this it is best to hedge your bet and get an AVR with preamp outputs so if you are the rare person that 'needs' an amplifier it can be added later.

A speakers power rating (or amplifier power recommendation) is more of a do not exceed recommendation instead of a requirement.
If you have a 1000 watt amplifier and a 100 watt AVR and you play those speakers at 95dB SPL @ 1 meter both the AVR and the 1000 watt amplifier will be producing 12.5 watts of output power and there will be no difference in the sound.

On the + side, according to the spec sheet your speakers are 8 ohms across the entire range, this means they will not present any low impedances that give some AVRs problems at very high volume levels.
On the - side the speakers are not very efficient, this is a 'problem' that you really cannot overcome by throwing power at.
For example.... It takes 12.5 watts for you to get 95dB (which is actually pretty loud in a room) out of one of your speakers. To get 98dB will take 25 watts, 101dB = 50 watts, 104dB = 100 watts.
So if you have an AVR that can output 100 watts you only get 3dB more SPL by going to a 200 watt amplifier.

While many people claim to have better sound quality after adding an amplifier, those claims have never been substantiated in a double blind listening test.

I am not anti-amplifier, I believe people should get what makes them happy and as soon as I win the mega million lotto I am going to get myself a McIntosh mono block separates system along with some fancy speaker wires to connect to my new Sono Faber or B&W 800 speakers.

I would get the AVR that has all the features you want and give the system a month long tryout to see if it performs to your expectations.
If it does not, I would then invest in the measurement tools (REW and calibrated mic) necessary to determine what the problem is and go from there.

There is also nothing wrong with getting an amplifier just because you want one and if you 'think' it makes the system sound better, then it is worth the money to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
When i said get the job done, i did not mean 'barely get the job done', I mean the AVR will most likely be all you need. When in doubt about this it is best to hedge your bet and get an AVR with preamp outputs so if you are the rare person that 'needs' an amplifier it can be added later.

A speakers power rating (or amplifier power recommendation) is more of a do not exceed recommendation instead of a requirement.
If you have a 1000 watt amplifier and a 100 watt AVR and you play those speakers at 95dB SPL @ 1 meter both the AVR and the 1000 watt amplifier will be producing 12.5 watts of output power and there will be no difference in the sound.

On the + side, according to the spec sheet your speakers are 8 ohms across the entire range, this means they will not present any low impedances that give some AVRs problems at very high volume levels.
On the - side the speakers are not very efficient, this is a 'problem' that you really cannot overcome by throwing power at.
For example.... It takes 12.5 watts for you to get 95dB (which is actually pretty loud in a room) out of one of your speakers. To get 98dB will take 25 watts, 101dB = 50 watts, 104dB = 100 watts.
So if you have an AVR that can output 100 watts you only get 3dB more SPL by going to a 200 watt amplifier.

While many people claim to have better sound quality after adding an amplifier, those claims have never been substantiated in a double blind listening test.

I am not anti-amplifier, I believe people should get what makes them happy and as soon as I win the mega million lotto I am going to get myself a McIntosh mono block separates system along with some fancy speaker wires to connect to my new Sono Faber or B&W 800 speakers.

I would get the AVR that has all the features you want and give the system a month long tryout to see if it performs to your expectations.
If it does not, I would then invest in the measurement tools (REW and calibrated mic) necessary to determine what the problem is and go from there.

There is also nothing wrong with getting an amplifier just because you want one and if you 'think' it makes the system sound better, then it is worth the money to you.
This may sound funny but I didn't actually debate buying the AVR without an amp an trying it out first. I've been using a 25 watt 2 channel amp for my b&w dm302's and am quite happy with the sound even though they max out at 100 watts.

Thank you for your detailed explanation an advice. I've been longing for guidance and I just got that eureka moment after reading the above. I'm going to get the sr5007 and try it out for am month and see how it works. This will save me a boat load of cash.
 

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I think you will be very pleased with the 5007.
Now is there any way I can talk you into getting a Pioneer .... J/K
Enjoy your new AVR.
 

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When i said get the job done, i did not mean 'barely get the job done', I mean the AVR will most likely be all you need. When in doubt about this it is best to hedge your bet and get an AVR with preamp outputs so if you are the rare person that 'needs' an amplifier it can be added later.

A speakers power rating (or amplifier power recommendation) is more of a do not exceed recommendation instead of a requirement.
If you have a 1000 watt amplifier and a 100 watt AVR and you play those speakers at 95dB SPL @ 1 meter both the AVR and the 1000 watt amplifier will be producing 12.5 watts of output power and there will be no difference in the sound.

On the + side, according to the spec sheet your speakers are 8 ohms across the entire range, this means they will not present any low impedances that give some AVRs problems at very high volume levels.
On the - side the speakers are not very efficient, this is a 'problem' that you really cannot overcome by throwing power at.
For example.... It takes 12.5 watts for you to get 95dB (which is actually pretty loud in a room) out of one of your speakers. To get 98dB will take 25 watts, 101dB = 50 watts, 104dB = 100 watts.
So if you have an AVR that can output 100 watts you only get 3dB more SPL by going to a 200 watt amplifier.

While many people claim to have better sound quality after adding an amplifier, those claims have never been substantiated in a double blind listening test.

I am not anti-amplifier, I believe people should get what makes them happy and as soon as I win the mega million lotto I am going to get myself a McIntosh mono block separates system along with some fancy speaker wires to connect to my new Sono Faber or B&W 800 speakers.

I would get the AVR that has all the features you want and give the system a month long tryout to see if it performs to your expectations.
If it does not, I would then invest in the measurement tools (REW and calibrated mic) necessary to determine what the problem is and go from there.

There is also nothing wrong with getting an amplifier just because you want one and if you 'think' it makes the system sound better, then it is worth the money to you.
excellent post!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Guess my next question is where the do I get one (sr5007) for a decent price? Accessories 4 less has it for 499 right now but I live in Ontario, Canada. They will not ship. I can have it delivered to the border but I loose my warranty when I cross.

It's 899 in stores here brand new. Which exceeds my current budget for a receiver.

Any Canadians know a better website to use?
 

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Glad to help. :) Marantz is a brand that has been around for decades. Like any brand, they've had their ups and downs, but in recent years - and IMO - they've been on an 'up' trend. I've had my SR6003 - which, coincidentally, I purchased at Gibby's - for ~4-1/2 years, and it's been solid since Day 1.
 

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Not trying to put a downer on the Marantz SR5007 but to believe that it will actually output 100wats per channel even into two channels is a bit over stated. The receiver only weighs 22lbs so it does not have a very large power supply. I would think realistically it will do about 85wats per channel and even less if driving all 7 channels. That said the speakers you have are quite efficient so it should do just fine as long as your not rocking out your system.
 
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