I'm not sure about the Paradigm 40's but when I went from 140 watts to 300 watts (into 4ohms) with my dynaudio 1.8s, I noticed that I had real bass at lower levels, and didn't need to be cranked as much to get a coherent soundstage. I'd guess around 150 solid state watts (into 8ohms) from a quality amp (no mass market recievers).
changing the amp won`t help @ low levels. Change the spkrs. if you can. A fair # of spkrs. sound like sh*t @ low levels.
What's your room like, acoustically?
well the room is about 14Ft wide by 24 ft long 8ft ceillings - open into dining room so it is set up firing the shorter way .
there is carpet on the floor leather sofa & love seat -also a large bay window about 4 ft tall and 5 ft wide . What else do you need to know ?
I can get some PIX of the room if it helps
Ideally, I'd like to see some measurements but.....
Are there any other absorbing materials like drapes?
Is the carpet thick and have a pad?
What is the construction? Plaster/lath, concrete, wood....
When you clap your hands, can you hear a slap or echo?
What is voice intelligibility like? Can you hear whispers?
What I am getting at is that if the room is really lively and ringing, low level sounds will get swallowed up.
Probably getting different speakers would do a lot more for you than getting a different amp...
Surely the amp is important, but if your speakers lack bass extension and resolution at low levels then no amp is going to fix that. The room could also be part of the problem, but to know that you'd need to try a few different "known" speakers in the same location as your present speakers. Maybe you could borrow a set of speakers just to check that possibility.
I'm using Energy C-7s as mains in my HT system and I'm very happy with their resolution at all levels and they have very good bass extension and articulation.
You are right that changing the speakers will be a bigger change than swapping amps. OTOH, there's little point if the room is the problem.
However, you raise another issue: The OP never said what it was that was wrong with the sound at low levels except for asking if he would get better lows. I am familiar with the Paradigms and they have decent lows but, again, he doesn't say if he has a sub and/or how it's used.
If everything's OK with room and speakers I'd suspect source having not enough output level to feed Denon.
You may have to sit closer if you want low level detail in a room that big. (and more power with a detailed amp won't hurt.)
I put up with that from my B&W N804s for a year ... increased energy brought out why they were such outstanding speakers, but a morning read with some nice background music was IMPOSSIBLE ... far too flat and lifeless. Give them juice and ... ZOWIE!!! Shifted to Tyler Taylos w/sub and didn't regret it.
Thanks all for your thoughts -
The carpet is thick & has a thick pad,the walls are sheetrock, I do not think there is much ehco from a clap
I will take some pictures and post a link so you can see the layout or the room there are material blinds on the windows but not heavy drapes.
As for the set up the Denons crossover is set to 80 HZ and the paradigm 40's and CC-350 are set to large the rears are set to small, I also have a Paradigm PDR 8 sub The sub setting on the 3805 is set to LFE NOT Lfe& main.
At work I set up a large recption area with Paradigm SA-35s wich are similar to the 40's but they are in wall speakers They are driven by a Carver DSC-60 Pramp tuner and a Crown D-75 amp and there are Much more lows than my 40's Much more noticable at low listning levles and that is why I thought if I added an amp and used the denon as a preamp It would delliver more power to the speakers & get better lows and detail at low listning levles.
Thanks again & I will take som pix tonight
I can answer your question 2 ways. 1st, yes an amp will improve not only the bass but the overrall sound of your 40s. Generally, the amplification is the weakest aspect of most receivers, and their ratings are often based on a narrow frequency range driving 1 channel. Not 2 or much less 5 simultaneously. I have an Arcam AVR100 with Maggies, and was amazed at how better my bass response was when I added an Ayre V-3 amp. The Arcam is no slouch, but it has an almost nostalgic sound that can be a touch soft. The Ayre drives the speakers with more bass, dynamics and slam.
A 2 channel amp would also allow you the option of adding a 2 channel preamp for music later on. And just using the 3805 for movies, and to drive your center and surrounds.
2nd, the 40s are good speakers, and like most monitors don't have a great deal of bass anyway. If you stepped up to the 60s you'd be surprised at how much more bass you get. Whatever way you go, I'd get an amp 1st to better drive the mains, then decide later on if you need to look at changing out your speakers or the Denon.
I'm not sure of your price range, but an NAD 218, Rotel 1080, or perhaps a Parasound A23 is where I'd start.
You have great speakers but they have small base cones (I believe 2x6.5 inch on both fronts and an 8 inch cone on the sub woofer) and you have a large room....I suspect that this might be the base issue that you perceive at low levels.
You also mention that you have in-wall speakers in your other similar setup at the office..... but not only are they in-wall but the fronts are Paradigm SA 35's, which have 2 x 8" cones giving a total of four 8 inch cones and a wall mount versus one 8 inch and no wall mounts .....this could be the factor in the different base sound you are hearing at low levels. Bigger cones with correspondingly bigger cabinets generally amount to better defined base - even if they are ugly!
Suggestion: Try auditioning a PDR 12 sub....it might be your cheapest solution to get that missing lower end at low levels at home...alternatively you could just boost the base at low levels....in any case, a larger cone and cabinet will generally give you better defined base.
I should think that the Denon 3805 at 120 WPC is enough for these highly efficient speakers (91 db at 1 meter for 1 watt), especially if your problem, as you have described, is at low listening levels.
A bigger amplifier will ONLY help at higher output levels where the lower power amplifier will CLIP...of course this can happen at low listening levels too... provided the source has a heavy amount of base like in an earthquake or dinosaur footsteps during a movie.
(Aside: Tweeters require almost no power...50 watts is about the most they ever require at any sound level....base is a different matter, however, and a single 15" cone in a professional quality sub woofer will generally need several hundred to one thousand watts....typically under powered amps will clip when driven too hard and then the distorted sound will burn or damage your tweeter as the coils get overly hot from being driven by a square wave.)
These days almost all solid state amplifiers have a VERY flat frequency response for a variety of speaker loads and Denon will be no exception.
Your room and speakers will NOT be flat frequency reponse....especially at the low end ....where the small size cabinets of the 40's will rely on speaker placement (walls) and the built in tuned port to generate low end (below 120 Hz).
I'm curious about the speaker wiring you are using, I have experimented around with different speaker wiring, especially the center channel, and found a great difference in "intelligibility" with different cables on the Paradigm CC I was using for quite awhile. It seemed like with some wires I needed to turn volume up quite abit to get center voice frequencies properly. My current 5.1 setup has speakers that do not require any thing special in the way of cabling (TBI).
But even those are helped with some wire that favors mid-voice range.....let us know how it all works out...good luck, Mike.
Hey Cheapmike , I am using 12 gague SJ Cable for speaker wire
I have herd good things about using power extition cord wire as speaker wire
I was also thinking about trying better cables wires & bi-amping BUT I can not bi-amp my denon & run an outdoor set of speakers on zone 2
Shadorne you got me more confused now I am looking for better lows for music not HT -low listning backround music
Antman; I think it is time to step up and buy "real" speaker cable. The original set-up spec for 5.1 is all 5 speakers the same and I assume it means cabling to those speakers also. Most of us do not use the Multi-thousand dollar cables needed to the rear (side) speakers as the length is too long. A good place to start (and consider this a reference to compare other wires to) is Monster Cable "original" twin lead. Not too expensive and 100 ft can usually do the whole room for experimental purposes, or at least the rear/side speakers long term. Next step up smoother sound is Audioquest cv4, have not had success with other cheap/bulk cables, this stuff will also help your bass response. Lots and lots of other combinations but you need to rationally start somewhere, let us know and good luck, Mike.
I am not familiar with the Denon 3805 surround processor. I assumed that for two channel music that you program this Denon amp to send the audio signal also to the subwoofer as well as the left and right channels (many surround processors allow this option). If this is not possible then my suggestion to try a beefier sub woofer (PDR 12) will not help you at all with your music... in this case you might want to look at a surround processor that does allow you to drive your PDR 8 when playing stereo source music or, alternatively, larger front speakers with more defined base reponse (usually means larger cones and may unfortunately be much less esthetic for your room).
I posted some Pix
Dont mind the mess Look at the HT Pix
Let me know your thoughts
No Thoughts on my room set up ?
I had a similar Paradigm setup in a 13x23x8 room with a Yamaha rec. similar in features to your Denon. Everything sounded lifeless and dead until I ran a 5 ch. amp to the reciever main outs, all listening levels greatly improved. I suggest adding a 5ch. amp preferbly 125wpc. min.Paradigms love clean power. Set your center/rears to small,fronts to large. denon sub crossover at 60mhz, and the sub at perhaps 100mhz. The results should be well pleasing at low and moderately loud levels. Hope this helps.