Dolby Atmos 7.4.2 using all in wall Speakers


Hi all,

Been a long time "lurker" here at Audiogon, just recently joined as a member.

So I am a big "Diyer" and truly enjoy the pursuit of achieving the final result (As well as enjoying the final product!). I am setting up an Atmos 7.2.4 set up in my basement and I have purchased all the speakers (speakercraft cinema one series) and built two subs using Dayton Audio 18"drivers.  Am using a Berringher amp for the subs and I have the Yamaha A3040 for the full range speakers.  The only piece remaining to buy is the additional amp needed to power the front L and R speakers since the A3040 only has amplification for 9 speakers.

So my dilema is what amp should I purchase...what brand and how many channels; 2, 3, 5, or 7.  Ideally it should have a similar acoustic sound to the Yamaha (not sure if that is possible).  I don't know too much about how amps sound aside from what i have read here and other audio websites.  My max budget is $1000, preferable like to stay in the $750 range.  I know the key will be to have the front stage sound similar, so a 3 channel or 5 channel would be optimal.

Anyone have experience with Speakercraft cinema one series and what amps work well with them?  I prefer a neutral sound open sound with tight controlled bass.  Not an overly bright or harsh sound.  Am considering Parasound, Rotel & Outlaw Audio.  (Leaning towards the outlaw audio from what I have read).  Not opposed to purchasing used, really like the Threshold amp on sale here at Audiogon, but not familiar with how the Class A and A/B hybrid will sound.

I hope i have given enough information for you gurus to advise me.  Looking forward to reading the replies!
h1-vltg

IMHO, I would use a 5 channel amp for all of the front speakers or a 2 channel amp for 2 of the rear speakers keeping all the fronts on the Yamaha.

If I used a 5 channel amp for the fronts, should I bi-amp the front right and left?  or Just use 3 of the 5 channels on the front stage.

Sorry, to be more specific,

1) 5 channel amp - L, C, R, and front ceiling pair, then the surround, surround back, and rear ceiling pair on the Yamaha 

2) 2 channel amp - rear ceiling pair, then the rest on the Yamaha 

and actually I think option 2 would sound the best due to the fact that only a single pair of speakers are being driven from a different amp and likely the least significant pair as well.


Ahh, that makes sense.  Thanks!
I just realized that I forgot to mention it will also be used for stereo playback not just theater. Does that change the way you would set it up, meaning amp selection vs. speaker configuration.  I "think" I would be ok with powering the L & R with a solid dedicated amp to get the best sound for stereo.  Or possibly using a 5 channel amp for the traditional 5.1 speaker set up. 

If you want to use a 5 channel amp, I still recommend option 1. I'm thinking that would have the least adverse effect for HT.

Sorry for the late reply on this, but I would think especially if you are using this also for 2 channel playback that a separate 3 or 5 channel amp for the front channels is the best option. As long as you're talking about adding a quality amp, which it sounds like you are with the brands and budget mentioned especially if you're open to a good used amp. An Emotiva XPA Gen 3 in 3 channel config would be just over your budget ($1100) and would easily outperform any receiver. The front channels have easily the highest demands placed on them and your Yamaha receiver would benefit more from offloading the power used by those. 
Thanks for the reply I picked up a Krell 5 channel amp that plan on using for the fronts.  I was thinking out loud that maybe I should use the Krell for the main 5.1 set up, and use the Yamaha for the 4  atmos speakers and the right and left surround.  My thought is that most of the theater playback is in 5.1 so those 5 speakers would benefit the most with the Krell. Thoughts?