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Amp question


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22 replies to this topic

#1 of 23 OFFLINE   ChadLB

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Posted April 09 2003 - 01:45 AM

This will go out to people who own amps already. Is it better to have a 2 channel/mono amp for the 2 front speakers and a 3/5 channel for center and rears? I have read some different opnions on this but am looking for more thoughts/personal experiences.

#2 of 23 OFFLINE   Yogi

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Posted April 09 2003 - 03:02 AM

Only if your top priority is 2 ch music should you invest in higher power/quality stereo/monoblock amps for your two fronts. If multichannel music or HT is your priority then it doesn't get you any added advantage in going that route. You could rather purchase some more DVD-A and DVD-V discs with the money saved.
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#3 of 23 OFFLINE   John Tompkins

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Posted April 09 2003 - 03:18 AM

If you are using a reciever as a pre-pro you could always go out and get a good three channel amp across the front and use the recievers amps to drive the rears.For HT the center channel (imo) is every bit as important as the l/r.If using a pre-pro for 7.1 it is my preference not to use a 7 channel amp as such I would opt for a 2/5 channel configuration anyway. If pre-pro is used in a 5.1 ht system a good 5 channel amp is fine but would echo Yogi's statements about a two channel music/ht system being optimum with a 2/3 configuration

#4 of 23 OFFLINE   ChadLB

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Posted April 09 2003 - 04:05 AM

I would be using my Pioneer 811 as a pre-pro and It is mainly for HT. I listen to music but that is not my main concern. Also I am still thinking of getting the HCA855a which seems to have great reviews. That is why I am asking this question. Thanks.

#5 of 23 OFFLINE   John Tompkins

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Posted April 09 2003 - 04:25 AM

I owned the hca855 and its a very nice amp. It will easily beat your recievers amps. Other moderately priced amps that I reccomend are the Sherwood am9080..this amp actually stood its ground with more expensive amps and is built like a tank (weighs 70 lbs) and has 3 transformers plus its a pretty looking amp (brushed aluminum). I would describe the sound as being on the warm side with nice dialog qualities for HT. Also the H/K PA5800 is a great value. Is the Pioneer a 7.1 or 6.1 reciever ? and does it have 6 or 7 amps in it.

#6 of 23 OFFLINE   ChadLB

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Posted April 09 2003 - 04:48 AM

6 pre-outs Front L/R Center Rear L/R Surround back Pioneer 6.1 Expanded Theater 6-channel stereo 7.1-channel preamp input 6.1-channel preamp out

#7 of 23 OFFLINE   Roy Van Nostrand

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Posted April 09 2003 - 12:04 PM

I recently upgraded to a single five channel amp and discovered a more cohesive soundstage, that really opened my eyes and ears. Timbre matching speakers in the home theater is a vital concept. Different amplifiers, especially different brands do indeed influence this balancing/matching of the speakers. Some may be subtle, but in my case the difference was glaring. And until I straightened it out with one amp, I wouldn't have believed it. With matching speakers (except for size ...slightly smaller rear full range towers, same size drivers but one less driver each and the horizontally-oriented, considerably smaller drivers in the center, I bi-wired my fronts to an Adcom 5800 two channel amp, my center channel was powered by a Cinepro 600x in bridged mode and my rears were powered by another Cinepro 600x unbridged stereo. I thought the sound was great for four or five years. I bought an ATI 2505 five channel amp in January and the difference was a big deal in my situation. Much smoother and pallatable at all levels, even with television viewing.
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#8 of 23 OFFLINE   MikeTz

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Posted April 09 2003 - 01:30 PM

I have a 7.1 speaker configuration and use a 5 channel amp for fronts, center, and sides as well as a two channel amp for the rears. Both amps are made by Bryston and the 5 channel unit was bought for two reasons. First, it alleviated a space problem (one amp vs. three), and second, it consumes less power than three separate amps. I really tried hard to hear the difference between the sound of the 5 channel Bryston vs. a stereo Bryston amp (of the same power level) but they sounded identical. So I selected the 5 channel for convenience (the 5 channel also cost less than 3 equivalent stereo amps). Power consumption, ventilation, size, and weight are real considerations when considering a multi-channel amp. My 5 channel amp weighs about 50 pounds and requires 18 amps at maximum output, that's more than a toaster oven. MT

#9 of 23 OFFLINE   John-Tompkins

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Posted April 09 2003 - 01:36 PM

Good answer Mike, Many different reasons as to which to choose. Another option could be to have a more powerful two channel amp for your l/r towers if you have bookshelf sides/rears cut off at 80hz anyway..I opted for the 250 watt two channel bryston for my l/r and 125 watt bryston for my center/rears.

#10 of 23 OFFLINE   Ricky T

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Posted April 09 2003 - 02:48 PM

Chad, If you list some of the amp models you are considering (like some you mentioned on our PMs), some people might be able to say if some of the 2 channel models are materially better than the 5 channel models.

#11 of 23 OFFLINE   ChadLB

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Posted April 09 2003 - 02:48 PM

Thanks for the great answers. Since I feel it it more important for HT it sounds like a five channel would fit my needs or a 2 channel up front and 3 channel for center/rears. I have been looking at the Parasound 855a and 1205a but can't seem to justify that the 1205 is worth the extra $350 for maybe +3db in sound.

#12 of 23 OFFLINE   ChadLB

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Posted April 10 2003 - 03:59 AM

List of what I have been looking at: note I will probably buy used equipment... Outlaw 750/755/7100 and M200 Parasound HCa 855a, 1205a or Parasound 1000a for Front L/R and 855a for rest Sherwood Newcaslte am9088 Rotel I seem to be hooked on the Parasound though... Some general thoughts...buy a more powerful 3 channel for upfront(125*3) and use the reciever for rears for now and later on buy a smaller 2 channel for rears. The HCA855a seems like such a great bargain I think I will end up getting that since it is hard to find a 3 channed used parasound.

#13 of 23 OFFLINE   ChadLB

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Posted April 11 2003 - 08:13 AM

Not sure is someone can answer this one but how does Parasound compare to Acurus?

#14 of 23 OFFLINE   ChadLB

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Posted May 15 2003 - 07:25 AM

Well the time has come. I need suggestions/opinions on a 5 channel amp. I really don't want to spend more than $500. I would like to spend less. Parasound HCa855a Sherwood m9080 Carver 704?? Rotel 985 Any help....anyone selling any of the above at a good price.

#15 of 23 OFFLINE   Yogi

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Posted May 15 2003 - 07:38 AM

Parasound sounds warmer to my ears than Acurus. Acurus leans towards forward and bright sound, IMHO.
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#16 of 23 OFFLINE   ChadLB

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Posted May 15 2003 - 07:42 AM

Yogi I think you are in love with Parasound...jk.. Do you think the HCA855a with be a vast improvement. I did test a parasound 75*2 with my pioneer 811 and def techs at my local hi fi shop and noticed a difference but of course that test was only with music and not my speakers. I want something that will last 5 years(maybe less).I just don't want to drop a lot of money since the rest is going towards my HDTV....within the next year..hopefully sooner. Oh by the way my new room is only going to be about 11'6" w * 13' l * 7' 6" h. You can view it at my website.

#17 of 23 OFFLINE   Yogi

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Posted May 15 2003 - 08:23 AM

I think in your room the Parasound should be plenty powerful. Actually I love B&K more than the ParasoundPosted Image so if you can find an AV5000ii (two generation older) for less than 500 you should go for it. For 125Wx5 this amp kicks serious butt. No distortion at any volume level in a mid sized theater(15'x 22'x 9'), just clean, warm, detailed, rich, smooth, tubey sound. Now you can tell how much I love B&K.Posted Image
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#18 of 23 OFFLINE   Ricky T

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Posted May 15 2003 - 08:30 AM

Chad,

You are gonna drive yourself crazy going in circles, just get the Parasound 885 Posted Image

#19 of 23 OFFLINE   Yogi

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Posted May 15 2003 - 09:30 AM

Rest easy Ricky, Chad is going to drive himself crazy going in circles no matter what he buysPosted Image. Isn't that what this hobby is all about? Worry about the transient decay of bass guitar with amp X vs amp Y, the collapse and expansion of soundstage (with in an accuracy of few mm) with amp X vs amp Y, the mid bass bloom with amp X vs amp Y. Once you are in the hobby you will drive yourself crazy going in circles no matter what you buy at a given point in time. Unless you do something quick about this disease your head will be spinning no matter what.Posted Image

MHO.
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#20 of 23 OFFLINE   ChadLB

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Posted May 15 2003 - 09:48 AM

I know but that is how I am when I spend any money.....I do research, ask opinions, think about what I want out of the item.... For instance I had the SVS 25-31pci not anymore....the 25-31pc+ is on its way..... But I did set a limit.....well if someone would get back to me maybe I will have the parasound within the next week.... :b




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