Adding an amp to an AVR using speaker level-to-line level converters

Hi Experts,
I recently upgraded my AVR from a nice but older Sony STR-V333ES to an Onkyo TX-NR575. This new one is nice, but under-powered. My old AVR has 5.1 RCA inputs. My new Onkyo does not have Pre-outs. I see where I could get speaker level to line level converters & use the Onkyo as a Pre-amp (essentially) & the Sony as an amp. Is this do-able? Good idea, bad idea? Do I lose quality? Thanks!

Comments

  • ken brydsonken brydson Posts: 7,129
    What speakers?
    HT/Main- Panny 50" G10 Plasma, Pioneer SC-1222k AVR, Panny DMP-BD60 BDP, Polk LS90 mains, CS350LS center, LS/fx side surrounds, LS50 surround backs, SVS 25-31PC+ sub, Harmony One

    Office Rig- Marantz 2252B, Denon 2910, Kenwood KD2070 TT, Polk RTA 12B's/ RTA8t
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 4,588
    Bad idea, lose quality big time. Works in car audio where fidelity is not as important (cabin noise is a ****) but not in home audio because it will add noise and distortion.

    Can you send back to Onkyo? Or run the hdmi through your tv and run optical out of the tv into the Sony and just not use the Onkyo? Unless you are taking advantage of the new hi-def codexes on blu rays or atmos then the Onkyo doesn’t offer much advantage...
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio Nova Integrated; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Emit 10 + MartinLogan Dynamo (original) sub; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - SVS PB10-ISD; LG UP870 4K BDP

    Master Bedroom
    Marantz SR-5007; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; Audiosource Amp Two, PSB Imagine B, Boston VR-10 center, NHT Super One CI surrounds, ACI Titan subwoofer, Squeezebox Touch
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 10,813
    edited September 10
    Bad idea. Use one or the other. The old Sony can't be that much more powerful and if it is just use it. Buy a receiver that has pre-outs then go from there. I just see a lot of unnecessary noise introduced into the chain for very little benefit.
  • It will be all Polk: TSx220B bookshelf fronts, TSx250C center, HTS12 sub, & TL3 rears
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 4,588
    edited September 10
    Or just buy this: http://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/183221/denon-avr-3806-7-1-120w-receiver-w-as-new-denon-accessories-175-shipped#latest

    HDMI and lots power. Denon makes great mid to upper level recievers and this is a classic. I know I love mine!
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio Nova Integrated; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Emit 10 + MartinLogan Dynamo (original) sub; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - SVS PB10-ISD; LG UP870 4K BDP

    Master Bedroom
    Marantz SR-5007; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; Audiosource Amp Two, PSB Imagine B, Boston VR-10 center, NHT Super One CI surrounds, ACI Titan subwoofer, Squeezebox Touch
  • I don't need massive power (I don't think I do. It's a small room) but with this Onkyo, I have to turn it up to level 60 just to hear at a decent level for theater.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 10,813
    edited September 10
    Have you ran any of the room correction software on the receiver?


    Yes that is a nice receiver @rooftop59 pointed out.
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 4,588
    edited September 10
    As Ken asked, what speakers? Source, room size, and have you run the calibration?

    And we don’t know what 60 means without knowing minimum and maximum. I am running a nice powerful denon with an external amp for the mains and I am on 72 right now. 60 is typical causal listening with the current settings...
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio Nova Integrated; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Emit 10 + MartinLogan Dynamo (original) sub; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - SVS PB10-ISD; LG UP870 4K BDP

    Master Bedroom
    Marantz SR-5007; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; Audiosource Amp Two, PSB Imagine B, Boston VR-10 center, NHT Super One CI surrounds, ACI Titan subwoofer, Squeezebox Touch
  • rooftop59, Do you think this is a nice upgrade to my Onkyo? I left a message on that listing. pitdogg2, I have no idea. Maybe it does, as there was a set up mic included. I just think that the signal processing was better on the Onkyo than my old Sony. It might have just been the proper speaker synchronizing. I'll try that Denon, if the Seller responds. Thanks again!
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 4,588
    Yes, it’s better as far as power is concerned, but not current features. But run the setup first. That should improve things and let you know where you are at!
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio Nova Integrated; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Emit 10 + MartinLogan Dynamo (original) sub; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - SVS PB10-ISD; LG UP870 4K BDP

    Master Bedroom
    Marantz SR-5007; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; Audiosource Amp Two, PSB Imagine B, Boston VR-10 center, NHT Super One CI surrounds, ACI Titan subwoofer, Squeezebox Touch
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 310
    60 on the volume is just an arbitrary number and means nothing about the max "power".

    From what I see your Sony is 110 WPC into 8 ohms and the Onkyo is 80 WPC. I doubt you will hear a difference. At max output you are talking about a difference of 1.2 dB. (you have to double the power to get 3db)

    What is interesting about the Onkyo is they also claim 170 watts into 6 ohms. I don't believe this number though. It takes a very good power supply to double the watts into half the Ohms and most receivers don't even come close. Still It might hint the onkyo has a decent power supply.

    Change both level readouts to DB. It probably shows how in the manual. At -10 it will be loud and at 0 VERY loud. I will be a rare occasion probably fueled by some alcohol that you will go higher.

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,742
    rooftop59, Do you think this is a nice upgrade to my Onkyo? I left a message on that listing. pitdogg2, I have no idea. Maybe it does, as there was a set up mic included. I just think that the signal processing was better on the Onkyo than my old Sony. It might have just been the proper speaker synchronizing. I'll try that Denon, if the Seller responds. Thanks again!

    The onkyo is fine for those speakers. You have to set up the receiver, read your manual, You don't just connect the speakers and turn it on to use. Use the set up mic, put it where your ears will be in your listening position. House has to be dead quiet too. After that, you can fine tune it manually.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1430 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • Thanks, Guys. I understand that 60 means nothing. I'd only assume that by the manufacturer assigning a dial reference numerically, that this would be 60 out of 100. I can say that this receiver resets itself to level 5 on a restart. I would then have to hold down the volume button as it would scroll up to 60. That alone for this novice didn't seem right. If you're engineering a volume control, why would you retain such a wide range at the lower spectrum that was inaudible? A second feature (or limitation) of this AVR is that during speaker setup, it specified only 4 or 6 ohm speakers. Those were the only 2 options. I realize that all of my speakers, being 8 ohm, would not hurt the receiver, but logically, why would this unit only have 2 rarely used impedances as options?
    I'm using Polk TSx220B bookshelf front, & the center, rears & sub were all Cambridge Soundworks. All 8 ohms.
    FYI, I've just ordered the Polk TSx250C center, & the Polk HTS 12 sub. I believe I'll order the Polk TL3s for the rear next.
    With the Onkyo, I did run the setup, including the calibration mic, placed on a tripod in the main place of listening. Surround sound was much better than it was with my Sony. (I probably didn't have my Sony properly calibrated.
    As far as the room, it's about 12 x 12, one open wall, hardwood floors & tongue & Groove wood ceiling, 2/12 pitch, so approx. 10 degree vaulted ceiling.
  • @delkal, Thanks for looking into that. Others have also said that I shouldn't notice much of a power difference between the old Sony & the new Onkyo, but it sure seems like I did. I'd blow that room out with the Sony easily. I really haven't pushed the Onkyo, as it seemed like I would be pushing it.
    I find it interesting the quality of construction from all devices. When I was younger, we'd have receivers that would last until we'd get married & our wives wouldn't put up with the AV Shrine that was the focus of our living rooms. Those systems would get passed down to the next oldest. Those receivers were heavy too! This Sony is about 17 yrs old, & weighs a ton. Great remote too. This Onkyo & remote are light weight & seem cheap. Feature packed but built cheap. Just like today's newest TVs.
  • PSOVLSKPSOVLSK Posts: 3,746
    Thanks, Guys. I understand that 60 means nothing. I'd only assume that by the manufacturer assigning a dial reference numerically, that this would be 60 out of 100. I can say that this receiver resets itself to level 5 on a restart. I would then have to hold down the volume button as it would scroll up to 60. That alone for this novice didn't seem right. If you're engineering a volume control, why would you retain such a wide range at the lower spectrum that was inaudible?

    Many AVR's have a feature that allows you to set the volume so that it is at a certain level each time you turn the unit on. Yours most likely has this feature and it just needs to be adjusted. I have a Marantz and I have it set to power on at "45". I really like this feature because it prevents you from accidentally having the volume turned up high when you power on the unit.
    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.-John Wooden
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 4,588
    ^^^ I do the same thing, especially good with small kiddos in the house...
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio Nova Integrated; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Emit 10 + MartinLogan Dynamo (original) sub; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - SVS PB10-ISD; LG UP870 4K BDP

    Master Bedroom
    Marantz SR-5007; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; Audiosource Amp Two, PSB Imagine B, Boston VR-10 center, NHT Super One CI surrounds, ACI Titan subwoofer, Squeezebox Touch
  • I thought I'd leave an update to my home theater situation. I know it's been a while, but I'm still not finished.
    The speaker situation is complete, all Polk: TSx220B bookshelf fronts, TSx250C center, HTS12 sub, & TL3 rears. I also took your advice & bought the used Denon AVR-3806, since I was unhappy with the under-powered Onkyo. The funny thing is that I committed to buying the Denon before I received all of my speakers. Once they came in, this set up produced much better sound then the set up I had prior to coming to this forum. The not-so-funny thing, is that last night was my first opportunity to switch out the Onkyo AVR for the Denon. Once I completed all transfers, this Denon would not fire up. No indication of the unit getting power, what-so-ever. I spend the day Googling, (Yes, the main power button was on), trying to initialize & reset, opening the cover & inspecting fuses & any possible capacitor leakage, or burn marks on the boards. Unhooking all connections & trying to fire up. You name it, I tried it. It came very sufficiently packed, & I saw no signs of box damage. I'm also sure that the Seller (a member of this forum) shipped this unit in working order. So, it's a mystery. I'll have to send it out to a shop. If by chance any of you Techs are in the Atlanta area & want to take a stab at it, Lemme know. Otherwise, I'll be driving an hour each way to Norman's Electronics & the cost will probably exceed what I paid for this. Oh well, Stuff happens.
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