When buying a new amp and you have a 5.1 system should you only buy a 5.1 capable amp?

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Just curious really. The 11.2 and 13.2 amps are the flagship amps but what happens it terms of quality if you buy a lower range model that just caters for your setup? Cheers.
 
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What for example would be the difference in terms of a 5.1 setup for both these amps in terms of quality:



The entry amp here has 150 watts per channel and the flagship Denon has 205 watts per channel what difference will that make here in terms of quality and power?
 
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I think this has answered my power question in terms of watts:


And with the quality of the sound I suppose both amps get 5 stars by WHF, so both will sound great, but to be honest I am of the opinion the more you spend on a amp the better the sound quality will be.
 
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nopiano

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About a decade ago I went to the old Teddington studio location of WHF for one of their reader panels. We heard several AV receivers ranging from a modest Sony costing about £400 to top Marantz and Yamahas costing several grand. The costlier ones were dramatically superior on clarity, dynamics, location of effects, and musical realism.
 
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About a decade ago I went to the old Teddington studio location of WHF for one of their reader panels. We heard several AV receivers ranging from a modest Sony costing about £400 to top Marantz and Yamahas costing several grand. The costlier ones were dramatically superior on clarity, dynamics, location of effects, and musical realism.
I remember reading about that, but I couldn’t remember the results. Thanks! :)
 
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But within the same brand and range, you're only paying for extra channels without necessarily paying for quality. Anthem MRX 540 for example.
The only problem for me with an Anthem amp is that it’s not so easy to setup unlike the Denon’s where I am sure quality does come into the equation.
 
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I am quite tempted by this amp then:


What do you think?
 
As far as I’m concerned, all home theatre amplifiers/receivers should be compared on their basic performance, meaning they should either be compared as a 5.1 setup, or in a stereo situation, with the latter telling you far more of the quality capabilities. The more channels you add in to an audition/comparison, the harder it is to assess. Atmos is Atmos, but with a large number of speakers around the room, it’s harder to hear how well an amplifier can steer surround effects, or its ability to make all the channels sound like they’re working together. A 5.1 setup has a bare number of speakers for surround sound, and because they’re spaced out more, getting them to gel together is harder - the closer they are together, the easier it is.

By all means listen to a full setup, but comparisons are easier with less speakers.

A more expensive receiver provides better connectivity, a little more power, more channels, and usually some extra superfluous bits and bobs, but a £2000+ receiver from mainstream brands will usually have different DACs to a £600 one, which will likely be where much of the sound difference lies. Some may be the same, as BB mentions above.

But it’s all relative to the speaker package being used. In my opinion, £600 receivers are fine for small 5.1 packages, and maybe for entry level speaker ranges like MA Bronze or KEF Q, although these packages do tend to sound much better with better receivers. I’ve always been of the opinion that 5.1 speakers packages around the £1,000-1,500 mark should really be used with better receivers than entry level ones, even if it’s for a bit of extra power that could make the difference between an average sounding system and a good one.
 
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As far as I’m concerned, all home theatre amplifiers/receivers should be compared on their basic performance, meaning they should either be compared as a 5.1 setup, or in a stereo situation, with the latter telling you far more of the quality capabilities. The more channels you add in to an audition/comparison, the harder it is to assess. Atmos is Atmos, but with a large number of speakers around the room, it’s harder to hear how well an amplifier can steer surround effects, or its ability to make all the channels sound like they’re working together. A 5.1 setup has a bare number of speakers for surround sound, and because they’re spaced out more, getting them to gel together is harder - the closer they are together, the easier it is.

By all means listen to a full setup, but comparisons are easier with less speakers.

A more expensive receiver provides better connectivity, a little more power, more channels, and usually some extra superfluous bits and bobs, but a £2000+ receiver from mainstream brands will usually have different DACs to a £600 one, which will likely be where much of the sound difference lies. Some may be the same, as BB mentions above.

But it’s all relative to the speaker package being used. In my opinion, £600 receivers are fine for small 5.1 packages, and maybe for entry level speaker ranges like MA Bronze or KEF Q, although these packages do tend to sound much better with better receivers. I’ve always been of the opinion that 5.1 speakers packages around the £1,000-1,500 mark should really be used with better receivers than entry level ones, even if it’s for a bit of extra power that could make the difference between an average sounding system and a good one.
This amp is a few years before the Denon 2700 and WHF use their reference system around £10,000 (I think), to test and use this amp and they say it sounds amazing though:


Amazing is good enough for me personally.
 
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I can’t seem to find this Denon amp available to buy! I think that goes for most things coming out of Japan currently.
 
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There also seems to be issues with HDMI 2.1 connecting to the Xbox but the PS5 seems fine. Perhaps I will wait for the newer ones to come out.
 
This amp is a few years before the Denon 2700 and WHF use their reference system around £10,000 (I think), to test and use this amp and they say it sounds amazing though:


Amazing is good enough for me personally.
Using a £700 receiver (so I notice on their website) with a £10k speaker package really isn’t a pairing. In the past, I’ve never really found any AV receiver to be good at handling 4ohm loads (not in the last 10 years or so anyway). A sub £1k receiver really needs to be used with a suitable speaker system, something rated 6 or 8ohms nominal. Using high crossover points to the sub will help (although you don’t want to go above 80Hz ideally unless you’re using very good subwoofers), shifting some of the heavy load to the sub and ease the load on the receiver, but you’re still limited by the dynamics the receiver is capable of - there’s a limit to everything, and that’s set in stone.

I’ve used the later Twenty5.23 with a Cyrus One (just to see how a sub £1k amp would cope with the £3k speaker), and I chose the Cyrus as it’s probably the most capable under £1k as far as power output is concerned. It actually did a decent job, but a similarly priced AV receiver won’t have the stability or dynamics of the Cyrus One. Even this combo sounded a tad rough in the top end, lacking some refinement.
 
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Using a £700 receiver (so I notice on their website) with a £10k speaker package really isn’t a pairing. In the past, I’ve never really found any AV receiver to be good at handling 4ohm loads (not in the last 10 years or so anyway). A sub £1k receiver really needs to be used with a suitable speaker system, something rated 6 or 8ohms nominal. Using high crossover points to the sub will help (although you don’t want to go above 80Hz ideally unless you’re using very good subwoofers), shifting some of the heavy load to the sub and ease the load on the receiver, but you’re still limited by the dynamics the receiver is capable of - there’s a limit to everything, and that’s set in stone.

I’ve used the later Twenty5.23 with a Cyrus One (just to see how a sub £1k amp would cope with the £3k speaker), and I chose the Cyrus as it’s probably the most capable under £1k as far as power output is concerned. It actually did a decent job, but a similarly priced AV receiver won’t have the stability or dynamics of the Cyrus One. Even this combo sounded a tad rough in the top end, lacking some refinement.
Does your shop do setups and installations for the Anthem amp?
 
Does your shop do setups and installations for the Anthem amp?
I’ll be looking into installations more when I get to move premises, but I’m not sure how that’s going to logistically work out for me, as I currently work alone. I’d need to find a team to be able to do that for me really. Most people replacing a subwoofer or an AV receiver in an existing system are usually quite competent to do that themselves. It’s those looking for their first system and know nothing about it that really need installation. I’m hoping to promote set packages which will make this sort of thing easier for people - and I’m not talking about bundles like online places, which are just bundled together to make money.
 
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I’ll be looking into installations more when I get to move premises, but I’m not sure how that’s going to logistically work out for me, as I currently work alone. I’d need to find a team to be able to do that for me really. Most people replacing a subwoofer or an AV receiver in an existing system are usually quite competent to do that themselves. It’s those looking for their first system and know nothing about it that really need installation. I’m hoping to promote set packages which will make this sort of thing easier for people - and I’m not talking about bundles like online places, which are just bundled together to make money.
Ok, cool. Thanks!
 

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