Is it my receiver choking sound and power gain?

So I posted awhile back saying I was using just a Marantz NR1607 receiver to power my rtia7’s. I then bought a Parasound 1203a and the difference was very noticeable. Unfortunately I’m still “stuck” using the Marantz for a few more months as my DAC/PRE.

I just bought a Parasound 2200ii and I’m not seeing a huge gain in power, but detail and imaging seems to have definitely improved. Is it my receiver that’s bottlenecking the power increase? Meaning I have to still turn it up 1/2 -3/4 to get decent amount of sound.

I know you have to double the wattage in order to just gain 3db. But I was thinking with the amperage gain, and wattage it would’ve been much more noticeable.

In a few months I plan on getting an actual DAC/PREAMP to bypass that receiver. Eventually upgrading my speakers as well, but that’ll be a lil while.

Thanks

Comments

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,489
    Did you run the calibration program after adding the power amp?

    If so, keep in mind that the calibration program gets you in the ballpark and final adjustments should be done by you. Having an SPL meter helps with that.

    To answer your one question, no the pre amp in your AVR is not acting as a bottleneck.
    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."


  • TNTsTunesTNTsTunes Posts: 754
    Going from a 140 watt amp to a 250 watt amp won't even gain 3db at full volume. The extra amperage comes into play when powering low impedance speakers like 4 ohms or below. Your speakers are 8 ohm speakers.

    My question would be how does your Marantz preamp's output voltage compare to the amps input sensitivity? A mismatch here would be noticeable.
    "Make a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day. Light
    a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,489
    BTW, the volume scale on your AVR isn't like the type found on 2 channel pre amps. That is 50 on the scale is not half volume.
    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."


  • SUbearsSUbears Posts: 29
    Are you referring to the Audyssey calibration program F1? When listening to music I go into Pure Direct, wouldn’t that bypass that?
  • SUbearsSUbears Posts: 29
    I was wondering about the voltage mismatch myself. That’s why I’m hoping when I can replace the receiver with an actual dac pre it’ll improve. I didn’t realize the amperage would only be noticeable in lower ohm speakers.

    Thanks guys.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,489
    I think you'll find things sound better by not using pure direct.

    Read my last post again, 50 on the display does not mean half volume.
    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."


  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 11,089
    F1nut wrote: »
    I think you'll find things sound better by not using pure direct.

    I have to question why on this?
    Would this be any different than straight through a pre-amp without tone controls.


  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,789
    I believe it has to do with how the manufacturer chooses to implement the feature, especially on what is arguably an "entry level" AVR.

    For example, it could just be another fake/lossy EQ algorithm that gets applied to the signal path, while claiming to be "pure direct". As long as it "changes" the sound in some way, most consumers would be satisfied.

    Now, if you look up go up the chain and look at Marantz's higher end real integrateds, they call this feature "Source Direct", and I would bet it actually physically changes the signal path and directs it down different ICs.
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    I have to question why on this?
    Would this be any different than straight through a pre-amp without tone controls.

    Got Dayens?
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,489
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    F1nut wrote: »
    I think you'll find things sound better by not using pure direct.

    I have to question why on this?
    Would this be any different than straight through a pre-amp without tone controls.


    All I can tell you is when I've tried pure direct on my HT AVR for 2 channel music it sounds like crap.
    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."


  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,789
    I noticed the same on my Onkyo, although they don't even try to call it "pure direct", they call it "music optimizer", but yeah, not good.

    I figured it's just because AVRs suck at music.
    F1nut wrote: »
    All I can tell you is when I've tried pure direct on my HT AVR for 2 channel music it sounds like crap.

    Got Dayens?
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 11,089
    Clipdat wrote: »
    I believe it has to do with how the manufacturer chooses to implement the feature, especially on what is arguably an "entry level" AVR.

    For example, it could just be another fake/lossy EQ algorithm that gets applied to the signal path, while claiming to be "pure direct". As long as it "changes" the sound in some way, most consumers would be satisfied.

    Now, if you look up go up the chain and look at Marantz's higher end real integrateds, they call this feature "Source Direct", and I would bet it actually physically changes the signal path and directs it down different ICs.
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    I have to question why on this?
    Would this be any different than straight through a pre-amp without tone controls.

    I will tell you on my older yamaha gear (integrated amps & receivers) it most definitely was NOT any sort of algorithm. Pure direct engaged take the shortest signal path and only the volume was in the path. It bypassed all DSP and tone controls.


    I never had the pleasure of using that feature on any other Onkyo or Marantz product. Yamaha had the feature long before anybody else I believe. My integrated was back in the 80's and receiver early 1990's.

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,893
    I will tell you on my older yamaha gear (integrated amps & receivers) it most definitely was NOT any sort of algorithm. Pure direct engaged take the shortest signal path and only the volume was in the path. It bypassed all DSP and tone controls.

    Agreed, but an entry level AVR probably needs all those whiz bang software gizmo features to sound halfway decent.
    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
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,893
    SUbears wrote: »
    So I posted awhile back saying I was using just a Marantz NR1607 receiver to power my rtia7’s. I then bought a Parasound 1203a and the difference was very noticeable. Unfortunately I’m still “stuck” using the Marantz for a few more months as my DAC/PRE.

    I just bought a Parasound 2200ii and I’m not seeing a huge gain in power, but detail and imaging seems to have definitely improved. Is it my receiver that’s bottlenecking the power increase? Meaning I have to still turn it up 1/2 -3/4 to get decent amount of sound.

    I know you have to double the wattage in order to just gain 3db. But I was thinking with the amperage gain, and wattage it would’ve been much more noticeable.

    In a few months I plan on getting an actual DAC/PREAMP to bypass that receiver. Eventually upgrading my speakers as well, but that’ll be a lil while.

    Thanks

    Your RTIA7'S are fairly easy to drive, the amp you had on them was fine. The bigger power is wasted because the speakers can't really use it being 8 ohm with a good efficiency factor. Doesn't take much power to get those 7's rockin', they will sound a bit better with a good amp behind them though. Clarity, punch, dynamics, etc.

    When you turn on an amplifier, it doesn't automatically throw out it's rated power. This is something I wish more would understand. Another aspect is that your output sensitivity on the receiver is probably around 1 mv on the line level outputs. The amps input sensitivity is probably around 2mv to drive it to full power. Which means....even at higher volumes, your only using half the power of the amp. This is why you have to turn up the volume to hear the differences.

    Dedicated pre amps usually run a higher output sensitivity than receivers which is why amps are more suited for pre-amps or HT processors. Not that you can't use an amp with a receiver, you certainly can, you just have to match the amp up better by paying attention to specs so they are more suited for each other.

    So yes, a pre amp will eliminate one "bottleneck", but I also suspect your cabling may be another if your not using good quality cables....not from monoprice or home depot either.

    Hope that helps some, good luck to you on the audio journey. Stick around, ask more questions, we are here to help....spend your money and drink your beer. :)
    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
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,789
    "They don't make em like they used to!"
    tonyb wrote: »
    I will tell you on my older yamaha gear (integrated amps & receivers) it most definitely was NOT any sort of algorithm. Pure direct engaged take the shortest signal path and only the volume was in the path. It bypassed all DSP and tone controls.

    Agreed, but an entry level AVR probably needs all those whiz bang software gizmo features to sound halfway decent.

    Got Dayens?
  • SUbearsSUbears Posts: 29
    Thank you guys! I knew that the wattage wasn’t instantly available, but I am certainly informed now on the voltage mismatch. Thanks again!

    I’m not using complete garbage speaker wire I don’t think. But no they’re not MIT, Kimber, Audioquest. They’re Sewell 6ft, 12ga. wires. I am using Kimber PBJ’s for my interconnects tho.
    I was never planning on spending or getting addicted to all this as much as I have tho haha.

    Any thoughts on the NAD M51 DAC/PRE? I’m thinking it’s my next purchase.
  • SUbearsSUbears Posts: 29
    Running balanced from the NAD to the Parasound should be much better than the way I’m goin about it now correct?
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,489
    You keep ignoring the fact that 50 on the volume display is not half way.

    Forget the voltage mismatch because that's not it.
    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."


  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,789
    Not necessarily. I doubt the Parasound is a truly balanced design.
    SUbears wrote: »
    Running balanced from the NAD to the Parasound should be much better than the way I’m goin about it now correct?

    Got Dayens?
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,564
    I've found that typically the gain is slightly higher using the balanced inputs.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

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