Best "budget" amp from this list

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Allen Longcor, Aug 21, 2002.

  1. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Most of these amps can be had for $700 or less. Most for around $500 or less (though from unauthorized dealers or used). Which of these would you consider the best amp? I'm looking for an amp to drive some Polk LSi speakers (4ohm). If picking a clear winner is too difficult then perhaps you could rate them by what they do best ie most musical etc..


    AMC 2N100-5 150WX5
    Sherwood AM9080 120WX5
    Adcom GFA7400 100WX5
    Marantz MM9000 150WX5
    Parasound HCA 855a 85WX5
    Acurus A125X5 125X5 (All into 8 ohms)
     
  2. DanielM

    DanielM Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    all of the above amps with the exception of the sherwood
    (because I know nothing about it)are good and will have no problem with your polks..if it were me I would give serious consideration to the adcom and the parasound both have been known to guve serious bang for the buck
     
  3. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2002
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The Sherwood, in my opinion, has the best bang for the buck of those amps in the used market. Their treble is a little laid back so it works well in taming metal dome tweeters.
     
  4. Jeff Hoak

    Jeff Hoak Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2001
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I just installed a Marantz MM9000 into my system. I'm using it with a Pioneer VSX-39TX as the pre/pro and a set of JBL S38's.

    So far after only a few of hours with it I'm very impressed. I'm no audiophile by any stretch but I know wht my ears like. I see everybody here refer to "sound stage" and other terms that I don't fully understand. All I can say is that it made a very noticable difference in my system. The sound doesn't seem as shrill (bright?) and there's a new "fullness" (for lack of a better term) to the overall reproduction.

    I can't speak for any of the other amps on your list but in my house the Marantz is a keeper.
     
  5. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,422
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Although I own the Parasound, I've heard nothing but great things about the Acurus, Adcom, and Marantz. My deciding factors came down to price and availability during my time of purchase.

    Also, I am in no way knocking the AMC or the Sherwood, but I haven't heard any info about them.
     
  6. KC Alewine

    KC Alewine Extra

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 1999
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    >I just installed a Marantz MM9000 into my system.

    I second the motion for the Marantz MM9000. I'm using it with a Sony STR-DA30ES (soon to be upgraded to a DA4ES) and Paradigm Titan speakers. Sounds terrific.
     
  7. Phil Mays

    Phil Mays Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Messages:
    361
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have the AMC amp and I have been very pleased with it. I use it to bypass the internal amps in a Onkyo TXDS797 100WPC. The AMC provided extremely clean power and low distortion. I have been totally pleased.
     
  8. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Great feedback so far. You guys aren't making it any easier since you guys all love these amps. Of course I did choose them because they had a reputation of being very good at a very good price. I'd love to hear if anyone has compared any combination of them though, and how they stacked up against each other. [​IMG]
     
  9. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 1999
    Messages:
    689
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'd add the Parasound 1205a to the list (put it at the top). 140 wpc....check out audiogon.com. Saw one for around $700.
     
  10. Sean_B

    Sean_B Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2000
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I just purchased an Parasound Hca-855 85 x 5 and it has made my paradigm speakers sing. Got it for $306 off e-bay.
    It looked brand new, not a scratch on it. This is my first venture into seperates. I use a yammy receiver as a pre-amp.
     
  11. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The price of the 855 is so very very tempting. Basically every review I've read of it says it's a steal. I'm just wondering how much or if any of the above mentioned amps are better. Certainly in wattages and headroom, but I wouldn't rule out the 855 as an entry level unit and then upgrading to a Parasound 3 channel for the fronts and leaving the 855 for the surrounds.
     
  12. Erik Farstad

    Erik Farstad Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2001
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Like Phil, I too have the AMC 2N100-5, I also have the 2100, and could not be happier. Picked mine up for $450 new (unauthorized of course). Home Theater Magazine actually had a review back in April of 1999 of this amp and they (for what it's worth) thought it outperformed the Sherwood AM9080. Designed in England but manufactured in China, it has a definite "warm" sound to it...and since AMC makes some fine tube gear perhaps that's why. I mate it with my Energy speakers and the combo is very nice.

    But like everyone has mentioned, you probably can't go wrong with any of them.

    E
     
  13. Herman S

    Herman S Agent

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Have you considered a Marantz SR-7200? You could pick one up brand new from an authorized dealer (trust me it makes a difference) for a little over $700. Maybe the price would drop when the new range is available. You would get 6.1 output instead of 5.1 and the performance is outstanding at that price level.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  14. Herman S

    Herman S Agent

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sorry disregard my reply, I forgot you were looking for an amp and not a receiver
     
  15. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hehheheheeh. Thanks for the advice anyways =)
     
  16. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Allen,

    With the choices you started out with it would be hard to go wrong with any of them, especially when you add in the 1205.

    I have the 855A paired with the H/K 510 in a room roughly 11.5'x17' and pushing 6 Ohm towers all around. I haven't begun to tap all the power reserves available in either Music or HT. Price-wise your idea of starting with the 855 and upgrading through further addition over time is a smart one. With a minimal investment you get to test the waters.

    Good Luck with your selection.
     
  17. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    add B&K and Outlaw to your list....
     
  18. Phil Mays

    Phil Mays Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Messages:
    361
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Allen,

    BTW, what are you using now. If amperage is an issue I question if the Parasound 855 will do the trick for you.
     
  19. Wayne McRae

    Wayne McRae Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2000
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Allen,I'll make things more difficult by telling you that I've had the Adcom 7400 for 6 months now.It's made a good improvement for H.T. and a huge improvement for music.I run it from a Denon 3802.My dealer was getting out of seperates[​IMG] so I bought it brand new for $500 with a 5 year warranty[​IMG] Sorry though,I can't offer a opinion on any of the others,but I have heard many times that Marantz is always a sweet choice for music.Hope this helps.
    Wayner
     
  20. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2001
    Messages:
    491
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    110
    As long as you take the Marantz' power rating with a huge grain of salt, the Marantz is a nice amp. I had one briefly in my system, but when I could make it overload at a very-loud-but-not-ear-bleeding volume with reasonably efficient speakers (Paradigm monitor), I took it back. It sounded nice but the power rating is overstated to say the least.
     

Share This Page