Amplification for Home Theater - Semi-Newbie Question

Ok, I'm not an audio newbie but I haven't done any serious hookups since before multi-channel audio became a thing.

Before we start, let me say that a link to a URL where I can do some serious reading on setting up a modern AV system would be just fine, but randomly googling seems like it might be counterproductive (maybe not, and feel free to tell me so).

Here's my question - let's say I want to get some serious juice running in order to get the best out of my speakers. I've got Monitor 70 Series II in the front, Monitor 40 in the rear... which I know are "entry level" in the audiophile world... but I don't have the juice to run them. My AVR is a Yamaha with 100WPC, and frankly I know I'm not getting the best out of my system.

Now in the olden days, I would have a tuner/receiver... and pipe left and right into an equalizer, and then into an amplifier (often with TUBES in it), and then out to the speakers. How does that translate into the HDMI/Optical digital world with 7 channels? Are there... digital amps? My Yamaha doesn't have preamp out, and it seems to have AV line level outs but only left and right analogue. How does the center and surrounds get amped?

Or is the solution to invest in a (very expensive) beefier AVR?

A quick nudge in the right direction would be appreciated. Thanks!
Home Theater:
Yamaha RX-V377 AVR
Polk Monitor 70 Series II (Front)
Polk Monitor 15C (Center)
Polk Monitor 40 (Rear)
Polk PSW-110 (Sub)
LG 60" Plasma (6650)

Comments

  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 2,867
    A better AVR will certainly help, but it doesn't have to be expensive. Ideally, you get a newer AVR with pre outs and run into a separate 5 channel amp like a Rotel. Any extra channels can easily be handled by the AVR. If you shop around, both could be had for under a grand. Don't be afraid of used...
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 4,626
    Yes you need an avr with preouts. Then I would just get a good 2 channel 200 WPC (or so) amp to power the 70s, and let the AVR power the rest. The monitors are not at all power hungry until you get to the 70s, then it’s a very different deal.

    Definitely buy a used amp: rotel, B&K, parasound, NAD, or Adcom are some of the best solid value amps that are readily available on the used market. If you’re an old tube guy you probably like a warmer sound, so I would look for a B&K or parasound.
    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
  • recoveryonerecoveryone Posts: 613
    edited October 12
    Your question can lead you and a host of others down a deep rabbits hole. In addition to your gear it would help to give info on the size of the room and placement of the speakers. IMHO I would direct to get a book (Practical Home Theater by Mark Fleischamann) this will give you a base line on terminology, with helpful insight on what to look for. Just as with 2 channel, Home Theater is very subjective to ones taste/preference.
    Family Room HT 7.2/i]:
    Vizio P55-E1UHD Pioneer Elite SC-LX502 Pioneer Elite BDP 85FD Pioneer Elite N-50 Panamax M5300-EX
    Living room 2ch:
    Integra ADM 2.1 Teac EQ MKII Squeezebox Touch Fluance SX Speakers Panamax M5100-EX
    Upstairs media room:
    Vizio D1 32" Pioneer Elite VSX 32 Sony PS4 Squeezebox Touch Polkaudio Rti 6's fronts Polk CSR Center Pioneer 8" sub Panamax M5300-EX
    Master bedroom:
    Vizio VF550M Pioneer Elite VSX 33 Pioneer Elite BDP 80FD Squeezebox Touch Polk audio Monitor 40 II fronts, Rears Optimus LX5s Jensen CCS center Acoustic Audio sub Panamax 5100
  • Gurm42Gurm42 Posts: 30
    Thanks for the immediate feedback!

    The room is ... 2/3 of a family room, I've squared off about a 15'x15' area. Super traditional placement - TV front and center, front mains in the corners of the area (one of which is an actual corner, yeah I've got a little compensating to do), and a recliner couch about 12' back with the rears at listening level and just behind the couch. Center above the TV, angled downward. Sub placement TBD, I'm still playing with positions, but for now it's below the TV "aimed" at the listener. The components all live on a nice rack in between the TV and left speaker, although I'm debating snugging the speakers up to the TV and putting the components in the corner.
    Home Theater:
    Yamaha RX-V377 AVR
    Polk Monitor 70 Series II (Front)
    Polk Monitor 15C (Center)
    Polk Monitor 40 (Rear)
    Polk PSW-110 (Sub)
    LG 60" Plasma (6650)
  • ken brydsonken brydson Posts: 7,183
    I'd budget for a better sub as well....
    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
  • Gurm42Gurm42 Posts: 30
    Yeah yeah. I know my sub is lacking. Next time I've got $300 kicking around, I can shop.
    Home Theater:
    Yamaha RX-V377 AVR
    Polk Monitor 70 Series II (Front)
    Polk Monitor 15C (Center)
    Polk Monitor 40 (Rear)
    Polk PSW-110 (Sub)
    LG 60" Plasma (6650)
  • Jimbo18Jimbo18 Posts: 1,839
    edited October 12
    Maybe try something like this....

    https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/marsr6012/marantz-sr6012-9.2-ch-x-110-watts-networking-a/v-receiver-w/heos/1.html

    It has pre-outs but you might find that you don't need the power amp right away.
    Modest HT - Pio Elite SC-63, RT800i, CS400i center, FXi50 surrounds, Def Tech PF 15TL+, Belkin PF30, Samsung UBD-M7500.
    Even more modest Bedroom - HK AVR 340, Monitor 5jr+ Series2, CS300 center, Furez 10/2, Roku Premiere+
  • recoveryonerecoveryone Posts: 613
    Thanks for the updated info, also what is the floor made of (wood,carpet,tile). The reason I ask such questions this will affect the sound of your system.
    Here is a sample of mine


    The AVR is Pioneer Elite VSX 32
    most of the music is Mp3 320bps
    my system is a 7.2
    Fronts: Optimus Pro LS3 (old Rat shacks)
    Center: Polk audio CS10
    Sides: Optimus Pro LS3
    Rears: Optimus Pro X77
    Subs: Polk audio 505 & Optimus Pro 12

    Now I put this out there to point out this, the speakers are not closed to being mid to top of the line, but they are tonally matched. I have my speakers set to small and let the subs do their job. I like the detail sound I get and I prefer a more directional effect from my surrounds instead of a blended ambience.
    Family Room HT 7.2/i]:
    Vizio P55-E1UHD Pioneer Elite SC-LX502 Pioneer Elite BDP 85FD Pioneer Elite N-50 Panamax M5300-EX
    Living room 2ch:
    Integra ADM 2.1 Teac EQ MKII Squeezebox Touch Fluance SX Speakers Panamax M5100-EX
    Upstairs media room:
    Vizio D1 32" Pioneer Elite VSX 32 Sony PS4 Squeezebox Touch Polkaudio Rti 6's fronts Polk CSR Center Pioneer 8" sub Panamax M5300-EX
    Master bedroom:
    Vizio VF550M Pioneer Elite VSX 33 Pioneer Elite BDP 80FD Squeezebox Touch Polk audio Monitor 40 II fronts, Rears Optimus LX5s Jensen CCS center Acoustic Audio sub Panamax 5100
  • Gurm42Gurm42 Posts: 30
    Carpet on concrete. It's a basement, I confess.
    Home Theater:
    Yamaha RX-V377 AVR
    Polk Monitor 70 Series II (Front)
    Polk Monitor 15C (Center)
    Polk Monitor 40 (Rear)
    Polk PSW-110 (Sub)
    LG 60" Plasma (6650)
  • Gurm42Gurm42 Posts: 30
    How do people feel about Sumo amps? A guy a couple houses down from me wants to get rid of his Polaris 310...
    Home Theater:
    Yamaha RX-V377 AVR
    Polk Monitor 70 Series II (Front)
    Polk Monitor 15C (Center)
    Polk Monitor 40 (Rear)
    Polk PSW-110 (Sub)
    LG 60" Plasma (6650)
  • recoveryonerecoveryone Posts: 613
    edited October 12
    If the basement is finish (Walls & Ceiling) we can discount any affects (loss of sound) from those elements. Not to put a damper on the other suggestions (power up), but getting the most out of what you do have is key. how are you running your speakers (Large or Small) it's temping to run the fronts large as they are tower speakers and are capable of handling much of the lower spectrum, but the trade off is that you are taking away from the sub. It may work better to run them small and adjust the crossover from the standard 80hz to 70 or 60. That way the sub gets what it suppose to get and the 70's fill in the rest. These are just suggestion, I would rather work it than just spend money and still not be fulfill.
    Family Room HT 7.2/i]:
    Vizio P55-E1UHD Pioneer Elite SC-LX502 Pioneer Elite BDP 85FD Pioneer Elite N-50 Panamax M5300-EX
    Living room 2ch:
    Integra ADM 2.1 Teac EQ MKII Squeezebox Touch Fluance SX Speakers Panamax M5100-EX
    Upstairs media room:
    Vizio D1 32" Pioneer Elite VSX 32 Sony PS4 Squeezebox Touch Polkaudio Rti 6's fronts Polk CSR Center Pioneer 8" sub Panamax M5300-EX
    Master bedroom:
    Vizio VF550M Pioneer Elite VSX 33 Pioneer Elite BDP 80FD Squeezebox Touch Polk audio Monitor 40 II fronts, Rears Optimus LX5s Jensen CCS center Acoustic Audio sub Panamax 5100
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,919
    Personally, I'd invest in a better sub before an amplifier. Your speakers are not power hungry speakers, fairly efficient. They need even less power with a subwoofer in the mix handling those lower freq. that suck up power.

    Look for an SVS SUB, HSU...you'll be amazed at what you've been missing.
    HT SYSTEM-2 channel
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Dynaudio Audience 72
    Polk FX500 surrounds
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k Ref 4420 amp

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • ken brydsonken brydson Posts: 7,183
    Gurm42 wrote: »
    Yeah yeah. I know my sub is lacking. Next time I've got $300 kicking around, I can shop.

    $300 isn't gonna get you much more sub than you already have. Double it and we can talk. Like @tonyb said, look at SVS or HSU..
    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: 4,626
    tonyb wrote: »
    Personally, I'd invest in a better sub before an amplifier. Your speakers are not power hungry speakers, fairly efficient. They need even less power with a subwoofer in the mix handling those lower freq. that suck up power.

    I’m gonna have to disagree here. The monitor 70s have four 6.5 inch woofers each and a 2.5 way cascading crossover. They don’t really come alive without good power.

    I will say that $300 can get you a used amp with some juice if you shop around the used market and are patient, but if your avr doesn’t have preouts then that’s another cost to consider...
    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
  • Gurm42Gurm42 Posts: 30
    So my Yamaha does NOT have preout for digital sources. Not that I'm not eventually going to upgrade it, but ... yeah.

    I can definitely hear the lack of power on the 70's. The 40's in the rear sound more juiced-up in spite of only being literally half the speaker. That being said, a new AVR and amp combo aren't really in my budget this month.
    Home Theater:
    Yamaha RX-V377 AVR
    Polk Monitor 70 Series II (Front)
    Polk Monitor 15C (Center)
    Polk Monitor 40 (Rear)
    Polk PSW-110 (Sub)
    LG 60" Plasma (6650)
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,494
    If the basement is finish (Walls & Ceiling) we can discount any affects (loss of sound) from those elements. Not to put a damper on the other suggestions (power up), but getting the most out of what you do have is key. how are you running your speakers (Large or Small) it's temping to run the fronts large as they are tower speakers and are capable of handling much of the lower spectrum, but the trade off is that you are taking away from the sub. It may work better to run them small and adjust the crossover from the standard 80hz to 70 or 60. That way the sub gets what it suppose to get and the 70's fill in the rest. These are just suggestion, I would rather work it than just spend money and still not be fulfill.

    This is the second time you have posted the wrong information. The sub does not take anything away from the other speakers regardless if they are set to small or large because the sub has its own amplifier.

    The correct way is to set the Left and Right to small in order for the sub to do the heavy lifting and fill out the bottom end, which helps to lessen the burden of the AVR trying to product low bass.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • recoveryonerecoveryone Posts: 613
    edited October 12
    Well Thank you for stating it correctly, When I said about changing the fronts to small from large in some AVR that will limit the signal being sent to the sub. not the output of the sub (power, but the lower spectrum (hz).
    Family Room HT 7.2/i]:
    Vizio P55-E1UHD Pioneer Elite SC-LX502 Pioneer Elite BDP 85FD Pioneer Elite N-50 Panamax M5300-EX
    Living room 2ch:
    Integra ADM 2.1 Teac EQ MKII Squeezebox Touch Fluance SX Speakers Panamax M5100-EX
    Upstairs media room:
    Vizio D1 32" Pioneer Elite VSX 32 Sony PS4 Squeezebox Touch Polkaudio Rti 6's fronts Polk CSR Center Pioneer 8" sub Panamax M5300-EX
    Master bedroom:
    Vizio VF550M Pioneer Elite VSX 33 Pioneer Elite BDP 80FD Squeezebox Touch Polk audio Monitor 40 II fronts, Rears Optimus LX5s Jensen CCS center Acoustic Audio sub Panamax 5100
  • rpf65rpf65 Posts: 1,775
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,494
    Well Thank you for stating it correctly, When I said about changing the fronts to small from large in some AVR that will limit the signal being sent to the sub. not the output of the sub (power, but the lower spectrum (hz).

    Hmmmm, I wasn't aware of that. Why would an AVR be designed to limit the lower end being sent to the sub? That's the opposite of what should be happening.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • CH46ECH46E Posts: 731
    Well Thank you for stating it correctly, When I said about changing the fronts to small from large in some AVR that will limit the signal being sent to the sub. not the output of the sub (power, but the lower spectrum (hz).

    My Yamaha does change the mains when the sub is turned on even when mains are set to Large. I know this because when I toggle the sub off and on in the AVR while the actual sub amp is off there is a clear Audiable shift.

    I thought I read in the manual that when the the subwoofer is turned on it limits the overlap between frequencies for the mains and the sub. But I could be mistaken.
  • CH46ECH46E Posts: 731
    If budget is tight but you still want to run an amp for the mains you could use a hi-low converter. I had to do this with my Denon AVR before I purchased my Yamaha. Worked just fine.

    Let me see if I can find you a link.
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 10,163
    I rarely turn my sub on, so my speakers are set to Large. Of course, my HT is in a 10’ x 11’ room. :)
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin S1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
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