Amplification under $1500

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dana_W, Jul 6, 2002.

  1. Dana_W

    Dana_W Auditioning

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    I've got the bug.

    I'm looking to improve the experience. We are 80%HT/20% Music. My current system while not the latest equipment serves us fairly well. However, I know my speakers are capable of producing much better sound. My receiver produces 90 watts L/C/R and 50 watts to surrounds at 8 ohms and .08% THD.
    I have read a number of posts which indicate the quality of sound when amplified will be dramatically improved. That being the case, and given the type of equipment I have, and a price ceiling of $1500, which Amplifier would create the most spectacular improvement.
    Should it be a 5 channel, or should it be a 3 channel with the Receiver powering the surrounds, Should it be 3 two channels with one bridged for the center. Should I spend, spend, spend?
    Thats the problem with upgradeitus, nothing gets left in my pocket.
    Opinions and feedback would be appreciated


    Equipment

    Sony KV32-XBR100-2 TV
    Onkyo TX-SV828THX Receiver
    Pioneer DV-626D DVD
    Pioneer CLD-D503 LD
    Mitsubishi HS-U780 SVHS
    M&K S-150THX L/C/R
    M&K SS-150THX L/R Surrounds
    Klipsch KSW150 150W 10" Powered Sub
    Room 16X16X9 = 2300 CF
     
  2. Eric Wood

    Eric Wood Stunt Coordinator

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    Try the LeAmps! Monoblocks @ around $500/pair
     
  3. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Outlawaudio.com sells a 5 x 200 wpc amp for about 1299.

    Is your receiver DD / Dts? Perhaps look at that first??

    Regards

    Gregg
     
  4. David S

    David S Stunt Coordinator

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    See if you can listen to a Parasound 2205AT. At this point/time you may find new around this price. For reference, I paid $1,649 new in October 01. Great Amp, MSRP new was $2,599. 5x220, 90lbs.
     
  5. Dana_W

    Dana_W Auditioning

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    Gregg,

    Thanks for the lead on the outlaw I will check it out.
    Regarding the receiver.

    I bought it back in Aug 97 as an AV manager and processor. Back when THX was just starting to take hold. Onkyo had this model as a little brother to the 929(twin to the Marantz at the time) which really took off. It is only THX Pro Logic capable and requires an external decoder for Digital & DTS. I have not ever felt the need to purchase the decoder since the separation of channels and quality has always been good.

    My DVD has DTS and Dolby Digital capabilities and when fed to the processor it handles the channels extremely well.

    There are a lot of processors out there. Is your suggestion to look into a processor allowing the Receiver to act as the Amp.

    Ultimately I would like to spend no more than $1500 and be able to experience significant improvement in experience.

    Thanks again for your post
     
  6. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    If you can find 'em (try eBay or Audiogon), Marantz MA500 monoblocks are killer! Plus, they're modular as you can buy one at a time when you find one. They are no longer being produced, but you can usually find one on eBay for $150-$175 a piece. They mate wonderfully with M&K speakers for HT use.

    If you also enjoy music (like I do), you may want to go with a nice stereo amp to power your fronts and let the receiver power the rest.
     
  7. Bob Wilson

    Bob Wilson Agent

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    Another option to look at is teh Anthem PVA 7. list is 1500. great review in the May Stereophile guide to home theatre. Rated at 105 per channel all 7 channels driven. Claims a 122db SN.
     
  8. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    When it comes to amplification you really can't go wrong if you buy second hand in mint condition. I can't say enough for quality amplification and along with your speakers are the only components that most likely will last through numerous upgrades and house moves.
    A quality 2-channel amp 200 watts class A can easily be bought second hand for way less than what you're willing to pay. There are also some good new 2-channel amps that are worth the money but why settle when it comes to your power and the overall quality of your unit?
    Check this link out.
    Good Luck.
    ** I also second using the receiver for the center and surround duties and going with a high quality 2-channel amp over a mediocre all in one 5-channel amp.
     
  9. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    At around that budget, perhaps a tad more unless you go used, my 3 favorites are the Rotel RMB-1095, the Parasound HCA-2205AT and the Sherbourn 5/1500A. The MSRPs of these 3 units are just below $2000 actually, but I think their worth it. If you only have $1500 and don't wanna go used, the new Outlaw 755 seems to have similar specifications as the above 3 and list for only $1299. The jury's still out on its performance though.

    Other choices off the top of my head are the ATI1505, Anthem MCA50 and Parasound HCA-1205AT.

    Personally I have the Rotel RMB-1095.
     
  10. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Sihan,

    Oh yeah, the Sherbourn 5/1500A...good call! I've read many good reviews on this amp.
     

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