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Mixing Amps???

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6 replies to this topic

#1 of 7 OFFLINE   DavidCooper


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Posted June 16 2005 - 02:22 AM

Ok, I have a Parasound HCA-855A 5-channel amp running my mains/center/side surrounds. If I decide to go with a more powerful amp to run my mains I was thinking of picking up a decent used 2-channel amp with bit more juice to power them. I'm consider the the Parasound HCA100A which is 125w and can usually be found for about $300-350. However I have found several Rotel 980BX 2-channel amps that is also 125w for around $250. So, my question is.....anyone have mixed amps? Pros/Cons? Thanks for any help! David

#2 of 7 OFFLINE   brentl



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Posted June 16 2005 - 03:07 AM

Amplifiers should never add their own sonic signature to the signal. Better quality amp should be fine together. Brent

#3 of 7 OFFLINE   Dave Lindhorst

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Posted June 16 2005 - 03:17 AM

How many watts is your current amp? Going up by say 50 watts will not make it any louder if thats what you are looking at.

#4 of 7 OFFLINE   DavidCooper


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Posted June 16 2005 - 03:31 AM

The Parasound I currently have is 85w. I realize that going to 125w won't be a noticable difference but I wanted to put that power to just the mains and free up the other 2 channels to possibly run a pair of rears for 7.1 if I decide to go that route

#5 of 7 OFFLINE   Kevin Deacon

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Posted June 16 2005 - 04:36 AM

You will be fine if you mix two brands. The extra wattage will give your mains cleaner power at higher volume than the Parasound. BTW, I run a Parasound 2200II(220 watts/channel) for my mains and a Parasound 2003A(220 watts/channel) for my center and rears. These are workhorse amps and allow my room to get very loud when necessary.

#6 of 7 OFFLINE   DavidCooper


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Posted June 16 2005 - 05:44 AM

Thanks for the help. I know both Rotel and Parasound have a good rep for being very neutral amps.

#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted June 16 2005 - 12:46 PM

I would check the gain (sensitivity) of each amp too. If that is different, then when you change volume from how you calibrate them, the respective power outputs from both amps will not track. If the gains are close, no problem. But some are not.

Just an example, for the Rotel 1080, the sensitivity is 1.5V. For the Parasound A51, it's 1.0V. So these 2 amps would not be a good match.

IMO, it's always preferable to pick amps from the same manufacturer. #1, usually the gains are exactly the same, #2, the sonic signature is usually exactly the same too. It's not impossible to mix and match amps, but there's a little bit of work involved.

The good thing is that both Rotel and Parasound make good amps. (Although I've always slightly preferred Parasound. Posted Image )
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ...

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