Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier

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Studio19atx

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Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« on: 22 Nov 2018, 04:23 pm »
I see manufacturers offering different number of channels in multi-channel amps. Most common being the 7 channels, but I have also seen 6. 8 or 11.

I want your opinion on what you think ideal number channel are and possible use cases.

Studio19atx

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Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #1 on: 22 Nov 2018, 04:24 pm »
I see manufacturers offering different number of channels in multi-channel amps. Most common being the 7 channels, but I have also seen 6. 8 or 11.

I want your opinion on what you think ideal number channel are and possible use cases.

witchdoctor

Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #2 on: 23 Nov 2018, 03:47 am »
I think quality is more important than quantity. If you just want quantity the trend for receivers is to have enough channels to support a dolby atmos setup- 11 channels.

Early B.

Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #3 on: 23 Nov 2018, 04:38 am »
There's no reason to move beyond 5.1 for 99% of home theater enthusiasts. The 1% are for those with really large rooms. 

artur9

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Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #4 on: 23 Nov 2018, 02:33 pm »
I like, with no evidence, to have the surround backs because I like spooky movies that may utilize them sometimes.  And Disney movies also have 7.1 channels.

For that reason I like 6 or 7 channels.  I've also had double centers in the past so 6 channels works well for that as well.

mcgsxr

Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #5 on: 23 Nov 2018, 04:43 pm »
I am very satisfied with my 5.1 setup.  I use bipolar surrounds placed at the side of the main listening area.  Those fire forwards and back, creating a diffuse surround experience. 

The dedicated HT/2 channel space is roughly 13x15 or so but open to the entire basement which is around 26x20. 

witchdoctor

Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #6 on: 23 Nov 2018, 05:41 pm »
For an office or bedroom a 5 channel system is fine. For a theater or media room I think it is worth the investment to have an auro 3d setup. 5 bed channels and 5 height channels. A 5 channel amp is perfect. Buy one and when you are ready to upgrade to immesrive audio buy another.

http://www.hiddenwires.co.uk/images/default-source/features/auro-room-setup-10-1.jpg?sfvrsn=0


Phil A

Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #7 on: 23 Nov 2018, 06:04 pm »
I agree that quality is more important than quantity.  It also depends on what your room set-up is.  I do Atmos in 2 systems, 7.1.4 (or 11 channels) in the main system which is a large room and I have a back-up HT where I also do Atmos 5.1.2 (or 7 channels with one set of in-ceiling Atmos speakers) in an average sized spare bedroom.  I have 5.1 in the master bedroom and 4.1 in an upstairs bonus room which is more or less a guest bedroom (I rarely use that system at all and never for HT - perhaps a couple of times a year for 2-channel).

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #8 on: 23 Nov 2018, 07:15 pm »
There's no reason to move beyond 5.1 for 99% of home theater enthusiasts. The 1% are for those with really large rooms.
This.... ^^^

Although, I'd like to hang out with Phil for a day. No doubt there's something awesome going on at his place.

witchdoctor

Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #9 on: 23 Nov 2018, 09:05 pm »
Phil, you must be selling tickets over there :)

What is your favorite brand of receiver? Amp?

Phil A

Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #10 on: 23 Nov 2018, 09:25 pm »
Phil, you must be selling tickets over there :)

What is your favorite brand of receiver? Amp?

Everything is system (e.g. other components and speakers) and room dependent.  I have most of my systems listed and pics in the My Gallery.  I have mostly Thiels in the main system (except for the rear Atmos speakers which are Axiom in-ceilings).  I use my Onkyo 3100 in the main system for all the channels except the left and right (my Thiel 3.7s are a difficult load).  I actually now have a Class D (Mivera Audio Icepower 1200AS) driving them.  I have a Marantz 5010 in the other system with Atmos driving everything except the left and right (Emotiva XPA200).  I have a 2-channel system with a Hegel H190 Integrated/DAC/Streamer driving Ohm Microwalsh Talls.  I have an old Onkyo in the master bedroom driving the (5) in-ceiling speakers and power the outdoor speakers.  On my back-up computer in the master bedroom I have a Denon 1000 (but that seldom gets used).  I have an older Marantz (6003) driving the 4.1 system upstairs.

I watch mainly Netflix or sports in the master bedroom system.  I have an Epson 8350 projector with a 92 inch Da Lite screen (pic below) that folds in the ceiling.  I have one 4k system with an Oppo 203.  The main system gets used more often for 2-channel audio but I have a 100 inch screen and an Epson 5030 projector.  I'm using the Oppo 203 right now on repeat to break in a new cable design prototype to see if I like it.




witchdoctor

Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #11 on: 23 Nov 2018, 09:55 pm »
Can you tell a difference between Onkyo, Emotiva and Hegel amplification that you can describe?
How do the Ohm speakers compare to the Thiels?
When you find out what recording engineers have to do to make recordings you appreciate why audiophiles try different approaches to reproduce it.
I use a Marantz preamp in my HT. I like Audyssey and the various sound modes. It gives you the ability to change things up depending on the recording and format you are listening too. Recordings from the 40's and 50's are night and day different from today (tubes vs protools). Live recordings are different from studio recordings. The Marantz also does two channel pretty good using Pure Direct mode. I like DTS-Neo X for live recordings, Auromatic and Pure Direct for studio recordings.


Bendingwave

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Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #12 on: 23 Nov 2018, 11:01 pm »
There's no reason to move beyond 5.1 for 99% of home theater enthusiasts. The 1% are for those with really large rooms.


I agree...…..unless one wants bleeding ears spl in a small room then they could go more channels. :lol:

Phil A

Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #13 on: 24 Nov 2018, 01:19 am »
Can you tell a difference between Onkyo, Emotiva and Hegel amplification that you can describe?
How do the Ohm speakers compare to the Thiels?
When you find out what recording engineers have to do to make recordings you appreciate why audiophiles try different approaches to reproduce it.
I use a Marantz preamp in my HT. I like Audyssey and the various sound modes. It gives you the ability to change things up depending on the recording and format you are listening too. Recordings from the 40's and 50's are night and day different from today (tubes vs protools). Live recordings are different from studio recordings. The Marantz also does two channel pretty good using Pure Direct mode. I like DTS-Neo X for live recordings, Auromatic and Pure Direct for studio recordings.

Keep in mind, that I have them in different systems in different rooms.  I do make many of my own cables and that can give somewhat of a clue as to sensitivity to such changes among the various combos of things (besides what I mentioned, I do also own a NuPrime IDA-8 in the main system, which is an integrated amp/DAC.  The NuPrime, which is in my office system, drives Selah Audio SA2 speakers which are a two way big bookshelf with a ribbon tweeters).  The Thiels, when they were made were their flagship speaker.  The Ohms are their entry level floorstander.  The Ohms are in a small bedroom (and are not recommended for a big room) and use a Walsh Driver (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Walsh).

Amps built into receivers share power supplies, probably similar to the entry level (I think there was one model below it but back with the old Emotiva line, I'd consider almost all of their amps as entry level high end) older Emotiva amp in that regard.  The amp in the Hegel, which, I believe is one up from the bottom of that line is quite beefy (150 into 8 and 250 in 4 ohms) and should be considering its $4k list price (I think their top of the line integrated/DAC/server is $11k).  None of the receivers would even be able to drive my Thiels (I'd be lucky to get dentist office background levels without causing a problem).  For 2-channel in the system with the Emotiva (which doesn't get used often in 2-channel mode), I use it in conjunction with a Sherbourn preamp (which has HT Bypass).

I basically buy refurb receivers (from Accessories4less.com) and view them as disposable and I upgrade if there is a new format I think will be appropriate and I can wait a year and get a bit better of a deal.  I'll rotate what I was using, assuming it still functions, to another system and either sell or give away what gets displaced.  As to my main system, per most of the local audiophiles I've had, it's more or less said that if they go to an audio show with the silly expensive stuff, there might be 2 or 3 systems in the show that might be a bit better.  It's really high end and when I had a friend who worked at a local audio shop many years ago I did basically almost all his set-ups and deliveries with him (over about 6 years, and many of the them were more expensive than mine (and for the most part not really better).  I have listened to the receivers driving some of my other speakers and while I wouldn't call them terrible by an means, they just don't compare with something designed properly solely for audio vs. designed to be a jack of all trades.  It's much like if one bought a stock $500 Oppo for CD playback vs. a well designed CD only player in the same price range (e.g. https://www.crutchfield.com/p_745C546BEE/NAD-C-546BEE.html?awkw=75621373705&awat=pla&awnw=g&awcr=47439156025&awdv=c&awug=9011833&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4ciBiu7r3gIVWbjACh00awaMEAQYAiABEgKGZfD_BwE)

bcg27

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Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #14 on: 24 Nov 2018, 02:13 pm »
5.1 is all I need. Unfortunately to get pre amp outs you usually need to step up to a receiver with more channels.

witchdoctor

Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #15 on: 24 Nov 2018, 05:50 pm »
Very interesting Phil, I like the concept of disposable receivers.  accessories4less is great and I have been thinking of trying out yamaha aventage line in my office. Have fun.

fredgarvin

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Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #16 on: 24 Nov 2018, 06:41 pm »
In my Experience, 7.1 sounds more enveloping than than 5.1 with movies. But since my room is small I stick with 5.1 so It's not cluttered with audio boxes. If I ever get ambitious enough I may install in-ceiling speakers as rears and switch the Klipsch to sides and go 7.1. If I moved the theater system to the big room where my sound system is i would probably go 11.1.

Studio19atx

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Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #17 on: 27 Nov 2018, 07:25 pm »
Thank you for all the posts. I would assume then ideally a multi channel has 7 or 8 channels? For atmos may be use multiple amps.

Studio19atx

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Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #18 on: 27 Nov 2018, 07:31 pm »
Keep in mind, that I have them in different systems in different rooms.  I do make many of my own cables and that can give somewhat of a clue as to sensitivity to such changes among the various combos of things (besides what I mentioned, I do also own a NuPrime IDA-8 in the main system, which is an integrated amp/DAC.  The NuPrime, which is in my office system, drives Selah Audio SA2 speakers which are a two way big bookshelf with a ribbon tweeters).  The Thiels, when they were made were their flagship speaker.  The Ohms are their entry level floorstander.  The Ohms are in a small bedroom (and are not recommended for a big room) and use a Walsh Driver (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Walsh).

Amps built into receivers share power supplies, probably similar to the entry level (I think there was one model below it but back with the old Emotiva line, I'd consider almost all of their amps as entry level high end) older Emotiva amp in that regard.  The amp in the Hegel, which, I believe is one up from the bottom of that line is quite beefy (150 into 8 and 250 in 4 ohms) and should be considering its $4k list price (I think their top of the line integrated/DAC/server is $11k).  None of the receivers would even be able to drive my Thiels (I'd be lucky to get dentist office background levels without causing a problem).  For 2-channel in the system with the Emotiva (which doesn't get used often in 2-channel mode), I use it in conjunction with a Sherbourn preamp (which has HT Bypass).

I basically buy refurb receivers (from Accessories4less.com) and view them as disposable and I upgrade if there is a new format I think will be appropriate and I can wait a year and get a bit better of a deal.  I'll rotate what I was using, assuming it still functions, to another system and either sell or give away what gets displaced.  As to my main system, per most of the local audiophiles I've had, it's more or less said that if they go to an audio show with the silly expensive stuff, there might be 2 or 3 systems in the show that might be a bit better.  It's really high end and when I had a friend who worked at a local audio shop many years ago I did basically almost all his set-ups and deliveries with him (over about 6 years, and many of the them were more expensive than mine (and for the most part not really better).  I have listened to the receivers driving some of my other speakers and while I wouldn't call them terrible by an means, they just don't compare with something designed properly solely for audio vs. designed to be a jack of all trades.  It's much like if one bought a stock $500 Oppo for CD playback vs. a well designed CD only player in the same price range (e.g. https://www.crutchfield.com/p_745C546BEE/NAD-C-546BEE.html?awkw=75621373705&awat=pla&awnw=g&awcr=47439156025&awdv=c&awug=9011833&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4ciBiu7r3gIVWbjACh00awaMEAQYAiABEgKGZfD_BwE)

I did something similar. I have had good luck getting open box/demo units from my local Magnolia. For the price, it is easy to keep up with the changing HDMI standards.

I am interested in trying a more simpler approach. Use the HDMI to analog switch along with a room correction hardware (minidsp or Audyssey) and use Nuforce MCP-18 as preamp. This way I can keep changing the HDMI switch.

I do not know how good the HDMI to analog switches are.

witchdoctor

Re: Ideal no. of channels in a multi-channel amplifier
« Reply #19 on: 27 Nov 2018, 07:32 pm »
Yes, for surround get a 7 channel and for atmos add a second 5 channel amp, have fun.