Amplifier question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bhagi Katbamna, Sep 17, 2001.

  1. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    I have a minor dilemma. I have a Parasound HCA 1500A(220 w/ch)powering my PSB Straus Goldi's. I also have an Anthem MCA-3(200W/Ch) powering 2 passive subs and the center channel. I honestly cannot tell the difference between the mains and centers(as far as the sound of the amplifers). My question is would a Sunfire Cinema Grand(200w/ch 5 channels) offer the same or better performance in one box rather than 2. I would like to free up some space in my rack. The PSBs are 4 ohms so the Parasound is likely putting out over 300 w/ch. The subs are 4ohms(SVS 16-46) and 6 ohms(Citation 7.4) so the Anthem is probably putting out close to 300 watts to the subs.
    I am happy with the performance and if a single 5 ch. amplifier can match this performance, I would be happy and get it. Any other suggestions besides a Sunfire would be welcome but I can get the Sunfire for around $1400(which is the upper limit of my budget).
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Both Parasound and Anthem make great amps. I would personally stick with what you have.
    A not very flattering review of the Sunfire amp in the latest Audio Critic (issue 27):
    "... The frequency response isn't totally flat; it has a step in it centering on approx 1 kHz, so that the 10 kHz level is 0.5 dB below the lower freqs, which begins to be marginally audible. ..."
    And,
    "The low signal-swing section of the analog power amp is made up of low, low-end TL072 and TL081 op-amps, yet this amp has been very well received by the subjective community. Why? Maybe the not-so-flat freq response is why. This lumpy response comes from a second-order allpass filter that delays the signal into the input of the analog power amp."
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  3. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for your response. In my heart-of-hearts I feel that it would be very difficult for a 5 ch amplifier to equal the performance of a separate 3 and 2 ch. amplifier. Of course if you are talking the Theta, Earthquake, or Cinepro among others, that might be different.
     
  4. chris c

    chris c Stunt Coordinator

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    "Of course if you are talking the Theta, Earthquake, or Cinepro among others, that might be different."
    That it would, and a lot more expensive to boot!
     
  5. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    The Outlaw 750 is 5 channels, 165 wpc and sells for $1100.00.
    It has been very highly rated by some of the trade magazines.
    Russ
    [Edited last by Russell _T on September 19, 2001 at 07:51 PM]
     
  6. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    Russell, the setup I have now offers at least 200w/ch but more like 320-350w/ch because I am using 4 ohm loudspeakers(PSB stratus Goldi's, Citation 7.4 sub, SVS 16-46, Atl. Tech 453C). I don't want to reduce the power into any of the loudspeakers if possible because my room is large. So I am probably looking at the Cinepro or Earthquake. My personal opinion is that anything more than $2,000 is too much to spend on an amplifier. I might just save some money and keep what I have because I like the sound that I have now.
     
  7. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Bhagi- The B&K multichannel amps look entriguing. (The Ref 7250 and 7260 at 5 and 6 channels.) But I'm similar to you now with 2 Acurus A200x3 amps. I also believe that it would be hard to get the same performance in a single box than multiple boxes. But it's obviously related to a robust design too.
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  8. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    As a counterpoint to the Audio Critic(a very polarizing publication), their negative review of the Cinema Grand is the only one I'm aware of in the 5 year existence of the amplifier.
    I haven't read the whole review, but I get the impression that the author has a problem with Pulse Width Modulation designs in general, and that bias leaks into the review. While PWM amps have had their problems in the past, proponents will say the Cinema Grand is a heavily modified design that overcomes the inherent weaknesses of traditional PWM.
    But should you make a change? It's a tough call. The amps you have are good quality, but you should gain a 100 more Watts with the 4 ohm load using the Sunfire(400 wpc).
    Good luck,
    DJ
     
  9. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    It's going to be tough to get better than what you have for $1400 unless you look for something used. If you can up your budget to around $1600-1700 street price, you have a few more choices. The Rotel RMB-1095, the Parasound HCA-2205AT, or the Sherbourn 5/1500. All of them are at 200+wpc. You'd probably won't be giving up much in terms of sound quality either.
     
  10. Nick_Gray

    Nick_Gray Agent

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    The Sherbourn is a monoblock design amp; I believe the only shared component among any of the channels is the power cord. Also, most owners rave about it. Certainly worth taking a listen.
     
  11. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    The tests of the Parasound with all channels driven put out about 160 w/ ch into 8 ohms.
    The Sherbourne was about 180 w/ch under similar conditions.
    The B&K was about 175 w/ch under similar conditions.
    I don't mind buying used. One idea that I had was to get mono-blocks like the Marantz MA 700 but they are discontinued. They have a replacement for the MA-500 but not as yet for the MA-700.
    One other idea is an EAD PM1000 which can be gotten for about $2000 used. I have not seen it tested anywhere however.
     
  12. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    If you are considering monoblocks, I have heard that Carver's are very available on E Bay for $200.00 or so, But I thought you were trying to save space, not use up more of it. Also, since I mentioned Outlaw, their new 7 channel 200 wpc amp is supposed to be out at the end of next month. $1800.00, just a tad more than you wanted to pay.
    Russ
     
  13. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    The Marantz monoblocks are deep and narrow and 5 of them would be as wide and tall as a single 5 ch. amplifier. I don't need any more than 5 channels because I use my Onkyo receiver(989) to power the surrounds.
     
  14. Jah-Wren Ryel

    Jah-Wren Ryel Stunt Coordinator

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    Bhagi, I just finished reading the hardware forsale section here, there is a guy selling 5 MA700s for $1700 including shipping. Just thought you might want to know.
     
  15. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    I saw that. I think I am going to wait a little bit and make a decision that will be final and want to make it the last amplifier I will buy.
     
  16. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    Just to update you all. I bought a Cinepro 3K6 Series II. It will be my second to last amplifier cause if I get another one, my wife will kill me. Sereiously, they have them for about 50% off of list price on their website. This will have more than enough power for my speakers and an extra channel to power a potential extra subwoofer.
     

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