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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by PaulXH, Oct 5, 2002.
If you had $3500 to buy a 5 & 2 channel amp or a 7 channel amp what would you buy???
How much power do you want? You'll have to make some sort of decision here, since the more powerful amps at any given price point *generally* don't sound as good. Are you considering used amps?
I'd recommend spending about half of your money on the main channels and the rest on the other five, especially if you listen to music a lot.
How about going with a used Audio Refinement Multi-5 or the Musical Fidelity HT600 both can be found used for 1300 to 1600. Then match use the rest for a good two channel tube amp. Perhaps a Kora Galaxy or Conrad Johnson Premier 11a for the Multi-5. Rogue Audio M-120 or Audio Research VT-100 for the HT600. There are a lot of choices, but I would definately consider going used.
It all depends on the speakers and/or source equipment.$3500 would buy you a nice 6B SST, or comparable 2 channel amp.That's what I would do, you can always find yourself a good surround multi-channel amp for your surrounds in the meantime but don't short yourself on your main amps.
I'll second the Audio Refinement Multi-5 suggestion, then look for a strong 2 channel amp either tube or solid state depending on which sounds best to you. I do really like the Conrad-Johnson Premier 11a though.
if you're looking for a 5+2 combination, i'd suggest:
aragon 8008bb (~$1200-$1500) + acurus a200five (~$800-$900)
i can't comment on any of the other amps. i have owned the two listed above though not at the same time. i currently have the 8008bb plus the 8008x3b so i can attest to the build and sound quality of aragon amps.
There are some really good deals out there right now on B&K multichannel amps. The 7250 (5 X 200) and 7270 (7 X 200). B&K has there new line of amplifiers coming out in the next couple weeks (Ref200.5 & .7) hence, the smoke'n deals..
You could stay, probably, well under $3500.00 and get the 7270.
Thank you all for the input. I am 85% Home Theater. I have a Sunfire TGIII and my speakers or Paradigm's Studio line all the way around (100s,CC,ADP,20s). My room is about 22X25 (pretty large). Would that change anyone's mind on what power amp to use?
Yeah, my opinion is that although the Paradigms are a quality speaker, they don't justify spending $3500 on amplification. This is no slam on the Paradigms--it's just my opinion about how HT money should be allocated.
What kind of subwoofers do you have and how many of them are you using? A couple of VERY nice subwoofers would allow you to crossover at 80Hz, thereby significantly reducing your amplification requirements. And you'd readily hear the improvements for HT.
That's just my opinion, tho.
I have (2) Paradigm PW2200 subs, but I am thinking of selling them and replacing them with (1) paradigm servo 15.
Paul - What kind of amp/receiver do you have now?
I'd recommend you spend about $1000 on a new amp for your high quality, power hungry Studio 100s and save the rest for something else. If you have a receiver now, that would be a huge improvement (there'd be less improvemnt per $ by putting an expensive 5 channel amp on your surrounds). Well, maybe you could get a real good 3 channel amp since a better sounding center would be worthwhile too.
Switching from dual PW-2200s to a Servo 15 would improve the bass quality a bit, but you'd lose significant output (which is probably not what you want). If you're looking for a subwoofer upgrade there may be better options.
I find Paradigms to be slightly forward so I would mate them with slightly warmer amps. I would stay away from neutral and forward amps. I like neutral to warm sound so my first choices in that $$$ range would be:
1) B&K 7270 or 7250+2220.
2) Parasound 2205+1500.
3) Rotel 1095+1090.
4) Marantz MA 700 mono blocks all around.
I would stay away from Anthem, Aragon, Bryston as they tend to be neutral to forward in sound.
However there are members that swear by the Bryston-Paradigm combo. Even though there would be many opinions about what amps you should choose you should only use them to narrow down your choices and not buy based on any one opinion. The best thing for you would be to audition different amps that people have recommended and choose the best you like. After all everyone hears differently.
ya, I agree, perhaps the $3500 is a little much for amplification of your speakers.
I am not sure when it is going to be available, you may want to look into Sherbourn's new 7 channel amp. It sounds like it might be pretty nice.
Check it out here.
Good luck with your search.
Here is my recomendation
ATI AT1505 (5x 150watts) $1695.00
ATI AT1502 (2x 150watts) $ 795.00
Save the $1000.00 and us it for cables etc.
I have used the 1505 for several years and I couldn't be happier. Plenty of power, runs cool, sounds good, inexpensive. What else can you ask for.
It has been discussed here before but don't confuse the ATI amps with their Outlaw cousins. There are several important differences. (number of transistors per channel, etc.)
Since the original poster is looking to spend $3500 I don't want to go too far off topic, but the newer Outlaw amps have 10 op-amps per channel vs. ATI's 8 per channel. The old Outlaw 750 had 6 per channel.
I'm in the same boat want excellent 2 channel sound + HT. I just purchased the ATI 1505 for $1100 for surround. Thant leaves about $2500 for a 2 channel amp.
Now, the new outlaw is more powerful and has more op-amps or whatever. But does it have a more powerful power supply. Can it pull more current??? this is really what matters.... The old ATI had lots more headroom and several reviews found it to be more musical... Who knows???
Bottom line... If you want the best 2 channel sound Outlaw ain't it (neither is ATI but its a good cheap amp if you can still find one).
Krell, Bryston, Classe, ect... These are some of the companies with better sounding amps and can be had in the price range. Rotel is good but second tier.
It's pretty rare for anyone to make use of all the power even the old Outlaw 750 could produce. Maybe 5 Dunlavy SC-VI's all run full range could do it on transients at high SPLs. For most purposes it's overkill, the ATI 1505 has a slightly larger transformer = more overkill.
"Bottom line... If you want the best 2 channel sound Outlaw ain't it (neither is ATI but its a good cheap amp if you can still find one)."
That does seem to be a common perception, however even more interesting is how those differences go away in comparisons where the listener(s) can no longer see which SS amplifier is in use.