A little help... The benefit of external amplification

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jay Mitchosky, Jul 16, 2001.

  1. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    This weekend I finally got around to making some changes in my rack (this is more of a production than one would think - trust me). In so doing I decided to implement a single Parasound HCA-1201 monoblock for center channel duties, thereby taking off some of the strain on my Denon AVR-5700. A good thing, too, as my room opens up into the rest of the house and the Denon needs to work pretty hard with all that space.
    The 1201 is located directly behind my center channel (refer to my theater pics). It is connected via IXOS 6002 Super Gamma 7 bi-wire speaker cable and an IXOS 1000 Gamma interconnect.
    The extra power and isolation of the monoblock amp for the center channel has allowed for greater dynamics for the entire system. Dialogue intelligility has also improved. My primary test sequence was the Saving Private Ryan laserdisc - the opening battle at Normandy. There is more headroom, no sense of harshness, with a feeling that the levels can be pumped up more and more. With all the chaotic acitivity in the other channels dialogue is still clear in the center as the 1201 has, well, nothing else to do.
    I feel the sound of the 1201 is very similar to the Denon. It seems the addition of more power and isolation from the monoblock are the biggest contributing factors. I'm very pleased with the results.
    ------------------
    --Jay
    "No one can hear when you're screaming in digital."
    My Home Theatre Pictures...
    "You're no mesiah. You're, you're a movie of the week. You're a ... t-shirt, at best."
     
  2. Charles Ledbetter

    Charles Ledbetter Auditioning

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    Yea, your results are pretty typical. The benefit mainly comes from freeing the amp in your receiver from the CC duties and providing more power to the other speakers. I went this route as well adding external amps to my receiver one or two at a time until I wasn't using the amp in the receiver at all. Then I sold the receiver and replaced it with a Lexicon DC-1. That made an enormous improvement.
    Charles
     
  3. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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    Congrats! Adding an external mono block is an excellent way to power the center channel. Since the center channel is where most of the action is, with a receiver of a design where all the channels share the power supply, giving the center its own source of power can make a dramatic difference. As you have experienced, that takes a load off the receiver and "opens up" the sound all around.
    It can make a noticable improvement in other situations, too. Even though I was already using power amp "separates", I recently added a monoblock to my setup to give the relatively inefficient Magnepan MGCC-1 center a power boost, and it certainly helps. I had been driving it with one channel of a three channel amp that also drives the surrounds, and that amp has one power supply, and wasn't really rated for low impedence use, so moving to the monoblock (which is almost true Class A in the increase in its wattage numbers as the impedence drops) was a welcome upgrade.
    Enjoy!
    Burke
     
  4. Steve T

    Steve T Stunt Coordinator

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    So, in a typical HT receiver the power supply will provide power for the main amps and preamp? It sounds like adding external amplification would definitely improve the sound. Guess I'll have to add my HK3370 receiver to the HT setup and use it's main amp input.
     
  5. Trevor Schell

    Trevor Schell Supporting Actor

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    Hey Jay!
    Good to hear you have some postive results.
    Any plans on adding seperate power to the Front left and right speakers also.
    I will be test driving the Parasound HC-2205 this weekend.
    Just want to see if it makes much of a difference.
    The Denon will operate the four ADP's in the rear.
    I will post the results.
    ------------------
    Trevor
    http://www.joey6p.com/trevor
    Equipment List updated
    New digital pictures!
    June 12,2001
    [Edited last by Trevor Schell on July 16, 2001 at 08:28 PM]
     
  6. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    I tentatively added a B&K ST140 amp to my Denon (DD only)AVR85 receiver, I got it for a good price in excellent sonic condition. WOW! Not only is 2 channel a league apart, but HT is much better also. IMHO, this is the biggest sonic improvement one can make after higher line speakers. In fact, I am so convinced I went amp crazy and bought 3 MA500's and a B&K Ref Dual Mono 4420. Yes, I have 7 channels of amps for 5 channels lol. Anyone want/need a good looking great sounding B&K ST-140?
    So now I'm in a bit of a bind. Do I go full separates? If so, what affordable pre/pro?
    Or do I sell the MA's and ST and upgrade to a Denon 3801?
    ------------------
    http://www.sdiver.org
     
  7. GregoriusM

    GregoriusM Second Unit

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    KEEP THE MA's!!! And upgrade to a Denon 3802, not a 3801.
    Using the 3802 as a pre-amp with the MA's makes for EXCELLENT sound. You'll love it.
    Plus, you'll get all of the goodies.
    The 3801/2 makes for a great pre-amp. But, keep the MA's!
    IMHO.
    ------------------
    .... "just me up on my pony on my boat".
     
  8. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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  9. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    DAMN Duplicate post... the dang enter key should EITHER work the next line function, OR the post button... NOT BOTH or EITHER!!!
    Sorry for my apparent incompetent typing....
    See my real post below.
    [Edited last by John Morris on July 16, 2001 at 11:32 PM]
     
  10. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    Keep the MA's and use it for center/rear? Or across the front? Versus the B&K Ref 4420 which I planned on using main L/R. Then Ma's may be nice but are no Dual Mono 220 W B&K's!
    And would the Denon 3802 make a better pre-amp than the Outlaw 950 or even Sony Ta-E9000ES? That is, assuming I keep all the amps.
    TIA
    ------------------
    http://www.sdiver.org
     
  11. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

     
  12. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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  13. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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    Glad to hear that you are enjoying the new amp. I wondered why you chose the Parasound 1201 over, say, the MA-700, which seem so popular on this board.
    Again, enjoy!
    ------------------
    SAM
     
  14. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Sorry if this is an idiotic question...
    I've got a two-channel Harman/Kardon receiver that's not pulling any duties at the moment. Is there anyway to work it into my home-theater system, say to ease the strain of my center channel like Jay's done with the monoblock?
    Thanks,
    Al.
     
  15. GregoriusM

    GregoriusM Second Unit

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    John Morris:
     
  16. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

     
  17. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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    Come on Jay!!!!
    Break open those other 1201's you have and start pumping those Studio 60's!!! [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Thanks,
    Steven R. Simon
    HTF Administrator
    Theater Pics Updated 6-11-2001
    Send Email: [email protected]
     
  18. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Jay welcome to the Parasound mono block club!
     
  19. Trevor Schell

    Trevor Schell Supporting Actor

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    Jay,
    I will be using 4 channels of the Parasound 2205 to Bi-amp the Studio 100's ,,just for kicks to see if it makes me go [​IMG]
    I will let you know of the results. [​IMG]
    I agree with Steven,,crack open the stack and juice up those 60's. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Trevor
    My HomeTheater S.E. Sonically Enhanced
    Updated new digital pictures!
    June 12,2001
     
  20. Haywood

    Haywood Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys, After reading this post the other day I decided to hook my center back up to an old two chanel Pioneer receiver/amp that I have. The first time I tried this I really didn't notice a difference. Probably because I only tested it out with regular pro logic material. Anyway this time I watched a few Dvd's and the sound field was great. The surround channels seemed to come alive, they really sound better this way. So now my (Pioneer VSX-D508)receiver is only pushing the mains and surrounds, and the whole system sounds great. I wish I had more preouts though,only center and sub for now.
    Later Haywood [​IMG]
     

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