Your Denver Home Theater Receiver may not be performing optimally and one of the most common questions we get in our showroom is:

Do I need more power for my home theater receiver?

A recent forum post that I found had a gentleman asking if he needs more power for his system. I’m going to try to approach this. Some of it will be hypothetical because I don’t know his exact situation and if you’re in Denver and you’re looking for a more powerful receiver for your custom home theater, stop by the showroom for some live demos!

I’ll lead you through some of my thoughts on this and approach it from a few different perspectives. 

He’s actually got a pretty solid receiver down here in the equipment liss. It’s a Denon AVR 2311 which currently is about a decade old. I popped over to sound vision and just for a basis of what we’re discussing and what this guy has in particular.

This amplifier, this surround sound receiver, is rated for 105 Watts into eight ohms.

An eight ohm speaker load with all channels driven. That’s really important because a lot of manufacturers might rate their receiver or amplifier. And it won’t say all channels driven, so they may only be driving two of the seven or nine channels.

And so they’re bumping up the marketing specs and what they can say that the receiver can do per channel. Nevertheless, just for a basis of reference, this receiver does have a good spec on it. I will preface that with saying, amplifiers are not all created equal. Power is not created equal.

There are amplifiers with significantly less power than this that will, by far and away, outperform it. If you’re asking yourself, “How do I get more power out of the receiver I already have,” contact us today! We just have to kind of preface that, and that can be a whole other video discussion that we can get into. But I really liked this comment that he makes. He says, I just saw the new Terminator movie with some friends.

I had one of the highest volumes I’d had in a long time, and he’s referring to the volume that he had on a system. We said that he had the volume turned up to minus eight DB on the Denon after a while he had turned it to minus twelve. So he’s just giving us a reference point of where he had the volume level set on his receiver.

In all honesty, it doesn’t give us enough reference because we don’t know the size and the shape of the room. We weren’t there. Right? We didn’t experience it with them. But, what he’s basically saying is, as he turned it up, cause he was really excited, he loved the movie and he was looking for that impact from a system and he wanted to show it to his friends.

He was really excited about it. And he said the sound was good for his friends as they were impressed, but that something was missing and he said he’s not sure if the Denon, in this case, the surround sound receiver, that piece that’s amplifying the speakers or the speakers themselves are the issue.

I’ll point out too, that it could just be, the room is an issue as well.

There might just be some simple things that you could do with sound treatment in the room to address some of this. But in this case. If I had to guess, it sounds like the system was being overdriven and that the amplifier itself was clipping. So when a sound wave is coming in and it’s just kind of doing a nice S pattern, and the receiver is no longer able to keep up with that load, it will come up and instead of having a nice curve at the top, imagine that sound wave getting completely cut off.  And so the, the system was just being overworked. More than likely, it’s an answer to the question. Yeah. He could probably benefit from not necessarily more power, maybe just better power, a better amplifier.And possibly too, it could just be an amplifier that’s capable of more power and having more head room available there. Just to show an example here, right? He could look at any number of options. One possibility too it’s maybe just separating out the preamp and amp stage.

Having two components do the same work that the receiver’s doing.  As an example here, if I pull up a company Parasound, they are well known for solid engineering. A lot of performance for the money and you can see here, this entire chassis, is a five channel amplifier, three channel amplifier that you can add until you get to the number of channels you need for your system.

This component’s only job is to provide good, clean power.

And just for the heck of it, we’ll go ahead and compare specs. Even though a watt in this product, versus a power increment in another product are not necessarily equal. This one is rated at 250 Watts by five at eight Ohms, all channels driven.And in this case they also specified. That they did it across the entire fee frequency spectrum from 20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz, which I think is also important to point out in the test. At the same point, they say, if you can put a four ohm load, meaning your speakers are four ohm, or the way you wire it ends up at four ohm load on the amplifier, then you’ll get 400 Watts continuous out of all five channels.

This is significant amount of power increase over what he has. It’s also coming from a dedicated piece with a better power supply and better internal components. You can see here just by having a component that is engineered specifically for this job, that it may very well give this guy what he’s after, which is the ability to increase the sound pressure in the room and not have the system start to give out.

You might pair this with preamps or processors but you’ll want to pair it with a component that is just handling the preamp stage.

In this case, I just pulled up this company Acurus and they’re part of Indy Audio Labs. This guy’s primary job is to handle all the processing.

All the video and audio sources come into it. And then you literally just feed those out  into the amplifier. These two components together would handle the processing application for the space. 

Now, earlier I mentioned the room. Some more simple things that I would probably try first is, is to maybe move the subwoofer.

If you can and just try different placement options with the subwoofer you might just notice some really hard surfaces in the room possibly, and look into some sound treatments. So the sound treatments might be the thing that fixes the room and allows the system to presumably perform at a higher level.

Another thing that’d be really interesting to know is if there were particular areas in the frequency spectrum that were struggling more than others.

Was it the low frequency spectrum, like the part that the subwoofers handled that may have been struggling? Or was it the mids and highs there?

And in this case, coming from the BMW speakers.  You might look at, crossover settings and adjusting some of the calibration features of the receiver. These are all things that might just lead to the type of impact that you’re looking for in the room. And sometimes, once we find that really sweet spot with the volume level and everything has been set, all of that, we will personally, oftentimes then set a volume limit on the receiver.

If we notice that the system performs flawlessly and beautifully up to minus five DB as an example, or zero or whatever the volume level is, we’ll put that volume limit in there. 

And that way, in most cases, you can just go ahead and crank it up and you’re not going to enter that, that distortion realm and then in the back of your mind, you just know that eventually when you want to cross that bridge, you can look at upgrading the components. Rather, it’s the speakers, the receiver, whatever’s identified to need to change in order to give you what you’re looking for. And then at that time, you can go ahead and entertain the possible swap or upgrade components.

All right, today I attempted to answer the question, do you need more power? I use this guy’s system as a specific example. And at the same point too, I was trying to shed light on,  some other things that you could do that may not be directly tied to increasing the power of the system that might also give you what you’re after in terms of the overall performance of the room in the system as a whole.

I hope this was helpful and if you’re looking for a more powerful receiver for your home theater in Denver, keep QAV in mind!  Let me know if you have questions. I definitely encourage you to start the conversation. Leave us a comment below with any feedback or questions that you have. And be sure to like, follow, subscribe and until next time, this is a Tyson Rabani with Quality Audio Video in Centennial, Colorado,, we’ll see you later.