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Discussion Starter #1
Given a 130w x 2 20hz-20khz rated AV 7ch receiver, do you guys believe performance would improve using a 100w x 7 20hz-20khz rated separate amp using preouts? I know most amp builders are offering 125w or 200w/ch in multi-channel amps, but is the add'l 25w worth the cost?

Another question, is $350 total a good price for such an amp (used Outlaw) in good condition? A comparable new one with 125w/ch x 7 runs ~$1050 total.

Thanks for any help.
 

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Hello,
I believe this to be a question entirely predicated on what kind of speakers you are using. Please state the model or models. Some speakers are difficult to drive and greatly benefit from enhanced power and current. Also, what model receiver do you have. There are vast differences in true power output between manufacturers.

Dedicated outboard power amplifiers almost always offer more peak output and stable operation at high volumes. In addition, outboard amplifiers generally have larger power supplies and capacitors. In addition, outboard amplifiers generally put out more power into 4 ohms than AVR's.

To answer the original question, the difference of 25 watts would make no audible difference whatsoever.
However, there are many Av Receivers which are rated 100x7 or 100x5 which put out less than 50 watts all channels driven. Which brings me back to what receiver are you using?

350 Dollars sounds like a good deal for a 5 channel amplifier and Outlaw makes excellent gear. Do you know which model you are being offered?
Cheers,
JJ
 

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I'd say $350 is a good price and if you play your movies at a loud volume, you should hear an improvement in dynamic range.

If you only play your system at moderate volumes, the difference may not be noticeable.

Now, before you spend $350 on an amp, you should ask yourself if you'll see/hear greater performance gains putting that $350 elsewhere. If you have a high-resolution TV and sit less than 2x the screen diagonal away, you should consider a blu-ray player. If you have a blu-ray player, but your AVR doesn't decode Dolby TrueHD, I'd try to get one that does. Would $350 buy you a more dynamic subwoofer or better speakers? Have you treated you room (in not, and you can DIY, $350 will go a long way and make some very noticeable changes)

It's all about attacking the weakest links first, and if you have a modern receiver, it's less likely that it's your weakest link.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the quick replies.

The receiver is an onkyo 806, the outlaw a 7100. My room is quite open (an svs pc12 wouldn't do, so I built a llt mal-x with 2200w proamp) and acoustics seem good as it has three doors, a carpeted stairway, and one open wall (balcony) to the expansive downstairs. I currently -only- have 5.0 in-ceiling speakers with the mains/ctr having 125-150w ratings, but will leave them when I move in a year or two, so they will likely be upgraded substantially and if switch receivers/separates, I'd like to upgrade in the process.

One of my beefs (which I found out after purchase) is the onkyo runs hotter than I like-and it's always hot here in TX! Right now, it's with the volume minimized and its still hot-I don't need more heat in my house:R
 

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Hello,
Given your situation, I would purchase the amplifier. Here is a review of it:http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_10_2/outlaw-audio-7100-power-amplifier-6-2003.html
It is a solid amplifier that can be a building block as you upgrade your system.

Unfortunately, your Onkyo will still run warm when used as a preamp. However, when/if you purchase the Outlaw, set the Onkyo to 4 Ohms and the 706 will restrict current and consume less energy and run slightly cooler.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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The Onkyo 806 is an ok receiver the processor is above average quality for that kind of receiver however the power supply and amp section is not going to hold up to driving hard to drive speakers. That said in ceiling/wall speakers are not what I call hard to drive and 130watts per ch will do just fine.
My 805 (witch has a much beefier amp section) gets hot as well so I added a 120mm clear PC fan that just sits over top the rear right side (sucking out) and you cant see or hear it when at the seating position. The key is keep it out in an open space so it can breath.
 

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Well, any amp will get hot, some more than others due to inefficient design. Depending on the quality of your in-ceilings, I don't think you'd see much benefit from an outboard amp, and I don't think this deal is so good that you won't see it again. I'd personally sit tight right now.
 

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Unfortunately, your Onkyo will still run warm when used as a preamp. However, when/if you purchase the Outlaw, set the Onkyo to 4 Ohms and the 706 will restrict current and consume less energy and run slightly cooler.
Cheers,
JJ
The heat is not actually caused by the amp section as much as its the processors used in the Onkyo that get really hot (the rear right section).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If I were to pick up this amp, what processors would be an improvement, or run cooler? I saw questionable issues with one of the outlaw processors. I certainly can't complain about the feature set of the onkyo, maybe I could wait out the fall/winter with the add'l warmth it provides:whistling:
 

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Most digital processors run pretty warm at idle. Amp stages produce heat when turned up.
 

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Seriously just stick with the 806, Its a good receiver and if you really need to use an external amp just use one for the front two and just get a two channel amp for far less thats good for around 150watts per ch. The Onkyo will never have issues driving the other 5 channels. The Onkyo has a on demand fan for cooling the amp section built in.
 

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Hello,
I believe that the heat with the Onkyo's is caused by both. The 805/875/876/905/906 Series used a three stage inverted Darlington circuit which greatly added to heat output. However, in addition, the HDMI and Reon chip section of the receivers ran hot as well in the back section of the chassis.

However, 350 Dollars is a good value for the 7100. As I wrote, sonically there should be no difference between the amplifiers given how close the ratings. In addition, while the 806 is not the powerhouse the 805 was, it still puts out decent power. This is why I was so interested in what his AVR was in the first place as some 100x7 AVR's put out 50 watts ACD.

The thing is the OP is speaking of ditching the 806 and upgrading to separates. In which case, the 7100 is not a terrible choice at that price. Furthermore, a cheap multichannel channel amplifier is always easily sellable on Audiogon.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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The thing is the OP is speaking of ditching the 806 and upgrading to separates. In which case, the 7100 is not a terrible choice at that price. Furthermore, a cheap multichannel channel amplifier is always easily sellable on Audiogon.
Cheers,
JJ
I have never understood the need to go with separates if a person has a receiver like the 806, your not going to get much better quality processing unless you spend alot more. Just use the pre outs of the receiver and laugh knowing that you have the best of both worlds without breaking the bank. I do agree that the 7100 is a good deal though.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the candid responses. I thought $350 would be a good buy- the seller agreed to $335 total...I'm mulling it over for future expansion's sake as I have in-wall speakers because of the difficult environment of my living room. So I gather most current receiver use processors that get extremely hot, and that the processing is the best feature in the mid-range pricepoint, with amplification being secondary. I'm just amazed it is so hot to the touch in the back, as stated, for a processor and no driving of anything:scratchhead:
 

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Hello,
I totally understand. I am letting my little Brother use my DTC-9.8 while I am using a TX-SR875 as a prepro with a Aragon 8008BB and Parasound HCA-2205AT amplifiers. At times I alternate the 8008BB for my Parasound HCA-3500. I am completely satisfied with the 875 as a prepro. However, only with 875's with firmware 1.04 onward as it addressed the color space irregularities.

I totally advocate using a high quality AVR as a prepro. It was not until the release of the Integra DTC 9.8 and Onkyo PR-SC885 that using a separate SSP was even a consideration for many, many people.

Before these Onkyo's came out in the 2k range, almost all SSP's were 5 thousand Dollars and up and were invariably behind in technology and features. This became especially acute when HDMI and its permutations came on the scene. It is only now that Denon is releasing something close the the DTR 9.9/886 with a SSP based off the AVR-4310. It is still going to be more expensive than the Denon. Stop me if you have heard that one before.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Hello,
I believe that the heat with the Onkyo's is caused by both. The 805/875/876/905/906 Series used a three stage inverted Darlington circuit which greatly added to heat output. However, in addition, the HDMI and Reon chip section of the receivers ran hot as well in the back section of the chassis.

However, 350 Dollars is a good value for the 7100. As I wrote, sonically there should be no difference between the amplifiers given how close the ratings. In addition, while the 806 is not the powerhouse the 805 was, it still puts out decent power. This is why I was so interested in what his AVR was in the first place as some 100x7 AVR's put out 50 watts ACD.

The thing is the OP is speaking of ditching the 806 and upgrading to separates. In which case, the 7100 is not a terrible choice at that price. Furthermore, a cheap multichannel channel amplifier is always easily sellable on Audiogon.
Cheers,
JJ
If these are the units using that the three stage inverted darlington, IIRC the first stage essentially operated class A, and temperature compensation was critical, so they probably do run hotter in the amp even at idle. I don't do much Onkyo work, but the one that I do recall seemed to be a rather bold design. As a service tech I have never been a big fan of darlington output stages, and a three stage inverted design could be rather difficult to implement reliably.
 
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