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5 channel power amp 250-500 watts per channel


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19 replies to this topic

#1 of 20 OFFLINE   NicholasY

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Posted October 13 2004 - 03:15 AM

I am new to power amps so I don't know which brands are better than others.

I currently have a Denon 3805, which pushes 120 watts/channel
I am driving a 5.2 channel setup of Infinity Prelude MTS's speakers.

I want a very good 5 channel amp with 250-500 watts of output per channel.

How much of a difference will I notice with the additional power? What amps would you recommend? What prices would I be looking at?

#2 of 20 OFFLINE   JohnSmith

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Posted October 13 2004 - 03:41 AM

Rotel would be a good affordable and introduction into seperate poweramps,and upgrade from the Denon's. There are better amps out there though. However this question "What prices would I be looking at?" is up to you. How much do you want to spend?

You can pickup a second hand poweramp, that'll get you higher range amps for the same money.

I really doubt you'll need upto 500W, unless you have one or more of the following..

A huge room
Unefficient speakers, like 83dB or lower
Listen to the system incredibly loud.

In most cases 100W-200W of quality amplification is more than plenty. A poweramp with ability to drive lower impedance speakers is always good as well (4ohm nomimal)

Also checkout Anthem, Parasound (better than Rotel IMO) then Bryston, NAD, Proceed, Lexicon etc etc. You could checkout high end 2 channel "hi-fi" poweramps, again second hand. I have five Hi-Fi 2ch poweramps(totalling 10 channels, and PSU is shared only for 2 channels, instead of one PSU for 5 like in a standard non-monobloc 5 ch poweramp)- for the same money I could have bought (fairly medicore by comparison) two Rotel RMB-1095's- in fact the two Rotel's would cost £1110 more!

#3 of 20 OFFLINE   Girish

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Posted October 13 2004 - 03:44 AM

Another option would be try Harman kardon Signature 2.1 amp. Its a five channel amp with 100wpc. The MSRP was $1500 few years ago but can be had for 500-600 used. Its an awesome amp and looks cool too.

#4 of 20 OFFLINE   Drew_W

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Posted October 13 2004 - 03:56 AM

There is a thread on this forum somewhere where I went on a huge rant about wattage. I'll see if I can dig it up for you as I think I (in "discussion" with another member) covered a whole bunch of important ground about amplifiers.
I gave up on tracking my collection and actually started watching what I have.

#5 of 20 OFFLINE   NicholasY

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Posted October 13 2004 - 03:59 AM

Price range is between $1000-$3000

The infinity's are 4 ohm speakers, and the room is 24' long x 15'wide.

I don't have cabinet space for five 2 channel amps, that was the reasoning for wanting a 5 channel amp. If the 2 channel amps are better then I will make the cabinet space though.

By second hand do you refer to used equipment or generic brand names? I have looked at Ultimate Electronics locally and they carry Sunfire, are they any good? Sunfire makes a 5 channel 200 watt/channel amp and a 5 channel 400 watt/channel amp.

I don't mind buying used equipment, I am looking for the biggest bang for my buck.

Would the benefit be worth the extra cost as my Denon puts out 120 watts per channel already?

#6 of 20 OFFLINE   Drew_W

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Posted October 13 2004 - 04:01 AM

The thread is here:

http://www.hometheat....hreadid=207887

Pardon the copy paste from a previous thread, but:

Quote:
Forget wattage. I'm going to wave my magic wand and remove that word from your vocabulary. Why? You need to double wattage to make only a 3dB difference in sound. The 25W difference in sound...will make no appreciable difference whatsoever.

Which has me begging the question WHY do you (feel) you need 250-500W?
I gave up on tracking my collection and actually started watching what I have.

#7 of 20 OFFLINE   Drew_W

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Posted October 13 2004 - 04:05 AM

Quote:
Would the benefit be worth the extra cost as my Denon puts out 120 watts per channel already?


An Arcam A65+ integrated that is 40 watts per channel x2 would probably sound better than your Denon. Wattage isn't everything. THERE IS LIFE BEYOND THE SPEC SHEET!!!

Quote:
By second hand do you refer to used equipment or generic brand names?


Second hand means used...audiogon, eBay, HTF Marketplace, etc.

Quote:
I don't have cabinet space for five 2 channel amps, that was the reasoning for wanting a 5 channel amp.


You'd only need 2 2-channel amps and a monoblock, or 3 2-channel amps with a spare channel. Or you could get a 3 channel amp and a 2 channel amp. Oogles of possibilities, especially for the $$$ you're looking to spend.
I gave up on tracking my collection and actually started watching what I have.

#8 of 20 OFFLINE   NicholasY

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Posted October 13 2004 - 04:33 AM

Drew,
Thank you very much, the thread you posted was very informative.

Everyone I talked to told me that I was only getting about 50% of the Infinity's potential because I was running them off of the Denon Receiver. Yet most of the people I talked to didn't know crap about separate amps. I have found group forums to consist of the most knowledgable folks around.

How does Sunfire compare to the other brands already listed?

#9 of 20 OFFLINE   Drew_W

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Posted October 13 2004 - 04:41 AM

No experience with Sunfire here. Do a search and you'll turn up some great posts.
I gave up on tracking my collection and actually started watching what I have.

#10 of 20 OFFLINE   Sam A

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Posted October 13 2004 - 04:44 AM

unless you do multichannel music, I would get a nice 3 channel or even 2 channel 200 watt amp and have the denon push the rest of the channels. the denon will have to only split the current 3 ways instead of 5 and the mains or front speakers will be the meat of the information anyway.

#11 of 20 OFFLINE   George Caronan

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Posted October 13 2004 - 07:36 AM

Hello Nicholas. I own two of the Sunfire Cinema Grand amps. They run at 200 watts per channel at 8 ohms. I can vouch that they are excellent. They look good and run cool. Other bonuses is that they have an auto turn-on features along with balanced inputs. Attached is a review thread of the unit:

http://www.audiorevi....4_1583crx.aspx

I hope this helps. I previously owned Parasounds too. I recommend them as well. Good luck.


#12 of 20 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted October 13 2004 - 07:42 AM

Given that you're running 4 ohm speakers you're quest for power is made a little easier as even the Rotel 1075 will do 200 watts into 4 ohms. Really though as the others have pointed out not all watts are created equal...and most receivers can't meet spec either so your Denon likely isn't anywhere close to 120 * 5 so any well made power amp will be a big step up.

#13 of 20 OFFLINE   aaron campbell

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Posted October 13 2004 - 08:31 AM

These seem to be getting alot of talk http://www.partsexpr....=245-462&DID=7

Hard to beat for the price/watt

#14 of 20 OFFLINE   NicholasY

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Posted October 13 2004 - 09:03 AM

What about the new monster amps, how good are those? In comparison to Sunfire and Parasound?

#15 of 20 OFFLINE   Felix_H

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Posted October 13 2004 - 12:01 PM

You can try reading about the Earthquake Cinenova Grande.

I dont own one as I own a Bryston but this one should be up there.

#16 of 20 OFFLINE   Robin Chen

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Posted October 14 2004 - 06:09 AM

Onecall.com has the ATI2505 on clearance. $1409 for 250w/325w 8/4 ohm.

#17 of 20 OFFLINE   NicholasY

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Posted October 14 2004 - 09:16 AM

Does anyone know of a local place in salt lake city utah where I can audition some of these amps? All the reviews of the above amps looks really good but there is so many to choose from.

While I'm amp shopping what traits should I be watching for while auditioning amps?

#18 of 20 OFFLINE   Shiu

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Posted October 14 2004 - 01:21 PM

Quote:
so your Denon likely isn't anywhere close to 120 * 5 so any well made power amp will be a big step up.


NicolasY, please read this:
http://www.hometheat....on/index2.html

The 3805 can do 114.9W X 5 at 0.1% or 125W X 5 at 1% distortion. I use my old Adcom to power the front mains. The 3805 runs quite cool driving only the centre and surround channels. I see no need to upgrade to a multi-channel amp. My next upgrade will be to a 2 channel Byrston amp for better sound quality.

#19 of 20 OFFLINE   Jimmy Harmon

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Posted October 14 2004 - 04:09 PM

I don't pretend to know if you need the power or not, but if you decide you do, here's one good option:

Emotive MPS-1

Lots of other great choices in your price range as well. Many of them have been mentioned. Outlaw is the only other brand that pops to mind that I didn't see mentioned. Generally regarded as good bang for the buck. Sunfire is a brand people either seem to love or hate. I have no experience their gear. Parasound, Rotel, and ATI get lots of good reviews.

Since you're using a receiver as your pre/pro have you considered instead getting a good 2 or 3 channel amp to power either your front mains or front mains + center and letting the 3805 handle the surrounds? Typically the signal directed to your surrounds isn't nearly as power hungry as your front soundstage. Good luck!

#20 of 20 OFFLINE   Eric Ha

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Posted October 15 2004 - 02:50 AM

I'm also in the market for an amp and have two questions:

I am looking for improved sound quality for my front soundstage at normal, to slightly loud levels. I'm currently running an HK AVR 630 with 75 wpc (8ohm) and a current capacity of +- 50 amps. I see that the HK Signature amp spoken about above is rated at 100 wpc (8ohm) and a current capacity of +-100 amps. Is this better than say, a 200 wpc (8ohm) amp with a current capacity of +-60 amps? As Drew stated, I should forget about the wattage and look at the current capacity, but it seems that most manufacturers do not list current capacity figures.

The big question for me is, will extra wattage and-or current capacity give me a significant improvement in sound quality at LOWER, as well as higher listening levels?

Thanks, Eric.


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