Anthem MCA Series II vs new MCA 30/50 Amplifier

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gil D, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    I am considering getting either the 3 channel version or the 5 channel version. Has anyone had the opportunity to compare the new model against the old to see if their is a significant improvement?

    I would like the amp to able to drive at least one pair of 4ohm nominal speakers with a minimum of 3 ohms over the frequency spectrum. Will the Anthem be acceptable or should I look at the Acurus A200, Sherbourne or Parasound. Also heat is a consideration, so I would like it to not run on the warm side if I can help it.

    Also, how important is damping factor and slew rate. I know the Anthem specs are considerably less in this area than some of the competing amps.

    Thanks.
     
  2. DaleV

    DaleV Agent

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    I'm in the process of using a MCA5 II right now. Trying to decide between it and the Sherbourn 5/1500. After using the Anthem for the first time last night the sound improvement over just the amps in an Onkyo 696 was amazing. Even the wife noticed a major difference. However, it did seem to run a little on the warm side, maybe even hot at times. Today I'm going to relocate it in the system to see if that helps the heat issue. The speakers I'm using are Polks and the Onkyo didn't get this hot.Is it worth the upgrade? YES without a doubt. Still have to try the Sherbourn.Will be using this one about a week or so, so I'm in no rush to purchase. My problem is having to go to Houston to listen to the Sherbourn. Maybe while I'm there I'll listen to the Rotel 1075 and a Parasound.
     
  3. Darren_Falco

    Darren_Falco Auditioning

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    Gil,

    If you are concerned about the Anthem series running hot I am assuming that you don't have alot of space for amp's. In reading the manual for the MCA 5 II it says that there should be 12" inches of free space above the amp to provide efficient cooling. I haven't hooking up my system yet(building underway) so I can't answer the heat question.

    Darren
     
  4. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    I have a 2-channel Anthem MCA2, and it runs warm at most, in fact I think the only thing that runs cooler is the DVD player, and I only have maybe 5-6 inches of clearance above the amp, and I'm running 4 Ohm speakers on them (with a nominal rating down in the mid 3 ohm range). My B&K amp get's hot to the touch.

    Anyways the MCA stuff is rated down to 2-Ohms, and delivers some nice power at that range as well, so it should cover you for awhile.

    Andrew
     
  5. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    Dale,

    I am very interested in your thoughts on the Sherbourne vs Anthem. I like the monoblock design which helps isolate. The MCA5 has two transformers, so I suspect I could run the front mains on separate xformers and get the benefit for 2-channel. Could also pasive biamp with the MCA5 as I need only 3 channels right now, but would like to save the $ on the 3 channel now.

    Darren,

    Your right about the rack space. I have a 7" high space available right now that gives me 2" free space with the Series II, but have to find more room for the new series with it's 7" height. An Anthem Tech said I should be OK with a fan at the rear. They have had MCA5 running with only 1" clearance without any problems in the past.

    Ajay,

    Thanks for letting me know about the 4/2 ohms.

    Gil
     
  6. DaleV

    DaleV Agent

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    OK, after moving the MCA5 II to another position and giving it some room to breathe its running much cooler. I gave it approx. 6" of room and that helped a lot. Now its barely warm. The place I picked up this amp from says its not even near broken in yet, has only about 10 hrs. on it. If it sounds better than this after breaking in I can hardly wait. I may not even go listen to the others. It has plenty of power and is very impressive. My interest has always been on the MCA5 first and only became interested in the Sherbourn after reading an article on the 5/1500 on another website. The site is www.hometheaterhifi.com They have run test on all the amps you and I are interested in. Just click on their master index file for amps and check out their reports. This site and that one are the ones you will get the most help from. Good luck, I'm sure which ever one you choose you will love.
     
  7. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Anthem MCA50 replaces MCA5 II from 200 to 225watts into one chl and a higher price tag.

    My MCA5 II has been running for a week on front stage only and is barely warm to the touch running 24/7 for three days... But I haven't run a DVD movie thru it yet, just FM. CD and tv audio.

    Before it came, I made a HUGE hole at the bottom of my oak entertainment center by removing the doors from the bottom storage space and sawing out the rear panel. This amp is deep (17.5in to 18in with banana plugs). It's totally surrounded by air with 9in above.

    I asked SonicFrontiers two email questions: bi-amp? No, 400 watts is, like, TOO much, at least in HT mode; and can I use an interconnect with one XLR fitting from the amp to RCA on the AVR -- ans. No, there's no balance achieved so it's fruitless.

    The two torroidal trannies work this way, a/c to John Johnson of SECRETS (copyright 1999)

    The power supply on the MCA-5 appears to be very big. There are two toroidal transformers, 0.55 kVA each. One supplies the front left/right channels and has 40,000 µF of capacitance (four 80V 10,000 µF caps). The other toroid supplies the front center and rear left/right channels, and has 60,000 µF of capacitance six 80V 10,000 µF caps). The capacitors have 70 volts DC on them, providing 98 Joules for the front two channels (as a group) and 147 Joules for the center and rear left/right (as a group). Each channel has 8 output devices (Toshiba bipolar transistors), which is more than most similarly powered amplifiers have. My impression in handling the MCA-5 is that it is built like the proverbial tank.
     
  8. FrankB

    FrankB Agent

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    I have the Anthem MCA-30. I only have about 4" free space above it but the back of the rack is completely open and the front is partly open. It never gets hotter than luke warm. It sounds great and it won't have any problem with 3 or 4 ohm loads. The 30s and 50s are taller than the 3s and 5s and have much more heatsink area.
    Damping factor is defined as the speaker impedence divided by the amplifier output impedence. In the real world the resistance of the speaker cables gets added to the amplifier output impedence to find the real damping factor in your system. Very high damping factors drop very quickly when you add the speaker cables into the equation. See: http://www.trueaudio.com/post_013.htm for a good discussion. See: http://www.mogami.com/e/cad/wire-gauge.html for calculating speaker wire resistance.
    For the Anthem MCA amps they spec a damping factor of 130 with an 8 ohm speaker. Figure in 10 feet of 12 gauge wire and the damping factor is down to 85. B&K Reference 3220 amps have a damping factor spec of 400, and with 10 feet of 12 gauge wire the damping factor is only 153. If the amp damping factor was 1000, then with 10 feet of 12 gauge wire the damping factor is only 200. With a perfect ideal amplifier (infinite damping factor) and 10 feet of 12 gauge wire and and a 8 ohm speaker the damping factor is 250. For any real amplifier it drops from that point.
    For 10 feet of 16 gauge wire an ideal amp would have a damping factor of 97, so any real world setup will be less than that. Looking for amps with damping factors of several hundred just doesn't buy you much, if anything. If you have a 4 ohm speaker you just divided the damping factor by 2.
     
  9. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for that explanation Frank.

    Did you get the opportunity to compare the MCA3-SII to MCA-30? If it's just more power and they sound the same at normal listening levels I'd prefer the SII with it's smaller form factor. Also, how much is the new retail price on the MCA-30.
     
  10. FrankB

    FrankB Agent

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