Best way to get 7 channels of amplification?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by erikk, Aug 14, 2001.

  1. erikk

    erikk Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the Lexicon MC-1 which provides for 7.1 channels. And I know some other pre-amps/receivers do 7.1. I currently have a 6 channel amp running the front 3 and the 2 side rears (1 channel not in use) and then a spare receiver acting as simply an amp running the 2 rear rears.
    How would you amplify those channels? 6 channel amps are becoming more common (presumably for the new 6.1 setups). But I have yet to see any 7 channel amps. So how would you go about getting 7 channels? I am looking both for recommendations on amps and also thoughts on how to split it up (2 mains on a 2 channel amp, 5 remaining on a 5 channel; 2 rears on a 2 channel, 5 remaining on 5 channel; 7 monoblocks; 3 2 channels and a monoblock; etc). Also including opinions on wattage to channel (i.e if a 200wpc 2 channel and a 150wpc 5 channel which channel gets the wattage).
    I'm hoping for the whole package to be in the 4k range.
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    Erik K
    SV Subwoofers
     
  2. erikk

    erikk Stunt Coordinator

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    Have to add that one of my main concerns is getting a enveloping soundfield. Assuming matched speakers all around of course. Right now I have Polk all the way around (RT2000P mains, CS350-LS Center, RT/FX side rears, and RT5 rear rears) but thats the next upgrade (before or after amp I don't know yet).
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    Erik K
    SV Subwoofers
     
  3. chris c

    chris c Stunt Coordinator

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    If you can double your budget, the 200 wpc Theta Dreadnaught can be configured for 7 channels, although four of the channels would be 100 wpc if I remember correctly.
     
  4. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

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    Isn't Outlaw's new amp going to be 7 channels? That might not be up to par with the rest of your system, though....
    Aaron
     
  5. erikk

    erikk Stunt Coordinator

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    I presume you are talking about the Outlaw 770. I looked on Outlaw's website and the only thing I could find on it was that it was going to be 7x200wpc. Sounds pretty good and I've heard a lot of good things about Outlaw. Does anyone know of any hard info on this amp. Also since its only half my budget obviously I am still open to other ideas.
     
  6. Michael D

    Michael D Stunt Coordinator

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    I think B&K is coming out with a 7 channel amp also, you might want to check their website at www.bkcomp.com Also Anthem just announced a 7 channel amp, can be viewed at www.sonicfrontiers.com
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  7. Henry W

    Henry W Stunt Coordinator

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    I was faced with the same dilemna and decided to go with a pair of Bryston 4B ST two channel amps for the four surround channels and one of the Bryston 6B ST three channel amps for the front and center speakers. Right now, I've purchased the two 4B ST amps and have one hooked to the two front speakers and the other amp bridged to drive the center channel. Later on I'll buy the three channel amp and move the two channel amps to the rear and use the three channel amp for the center and front speakers. I have to admit my decision was was hastened by the availability of the two Bryston amps at a bargain basement price of $1499 each at a dealers closeout.
    Best regards-Henry
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  8. Drew Eckhardt

    Drew Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    4 stereo amplifiers:
    left front + left side
    right front + right side
    center (+ sub)
    left + right surround back
    The reasons being
    1) Two channel amps are usually biased closer to class-A operation than their "home theater" counterparts so you'll be less likely to encounter cross-over distortion on music where audio quality is more noticeable.
    2) Two channel amps often have beefier power supplies, and may handle transients better.
    3) You get mono-block operation for stereo listening when you're not distracted by video, but aren't paying for monoblocks (and limiting your choices in amplification) when that's the case.
    4) Two-channel amps depreciate the most (whether you're looking at the Adcom or Krell end of the spectrum), so you can spend less and still get good quality.
    [Edited last by Drew Eckhardt on August 14, 2001 at 07:45 PM]
     
  9. Tony Lai

    Tony Lai Stunt Coordinator

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    I would go a 5 and 2.
    Or a 6 and 2.
    To me 7 channels in one box is beginning to get a little weird.
    Parasound won't be doing this and many others won't either.
    Box size and weight rises and sound quality doesn't get better.
    I would buy a premium grade 2 or 3 channel and match it to your current 5 or 6 channel.
    T.
     
  10. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    One thing you may want to consider is your mains and your center get the most usage. So if you use a combination of three and two channel amps, or something similar, put your center on a different amp then the main. Then you could use a more powerful amp for the mains which tend to require the most power.
    I've been considering buying the Adcom 5802 (2-channel, 300w @ 8 Ohms) for the mains and a 5503 (3-channel, 200w @ 8 Ohms) for the center and surrounds. If I go to 7 channels I can add the 5500 which is the same as the 5503 for the other surround channels. While the 5802 and 5503 have different specs, their construction is similar that I believe the sound will be matched well. According to AudioReview.com's prices this combo would be about 4k.
    Then again, Drew's setup sounds like it would work real good. The main thing to consider is this, often the weak point in any amp (or at least the point where it begins to lag) is in how much power the power supply has to offer. By connecting your most used speakers to different boxes, you spread the power usage out better.
     
  11. Trevor Schell

    Trevor Schell Supporting Actor

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    A two channel amp and matching 5 channel amp would be suitable and likely a better choice because of the seperate power supplies. Many manufacturers offer a 5 channel and 2 channel amp with matching power specs. However you could boost your mains a little with a beefier 2 channel amp and let the 5 channel run the rest.
    Thats the sweet thing with a recever/Seperates combo..
    My Denon 5800 powers up the back four channels,while the Parasound HCA2205a bi-amps the mains and drives the center. Definately a convenient set-up.
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    Trevor..[​IMG]
    My HomeTheater S.E. Sonically Enhanced
    Updated new pictures!
     
  12. JohanK

    JohanK Second Unit

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    What amp are you currently using? If it is sufficient, I would just buy a monoblock for the center channel and call it a day.
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    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/bbs/equipment/28687.html
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Chris White

    Chris White Second Unit

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    I recommend the B&K 7270 7-channel amp. I'm very pleased with mine.
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    [​IMG]
     
  14. Shawn Sefranek

    Shawn Sefranek Second Unit

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    Here’s another vote to get a separate 3-Channel Amp.
    Before I bought my Lexicon, I was powering my Dolby Digital 5-Channel system with a B&K Video 5 Sonata Amplifier (105 Watts x 5).
    To upgrade to Logic-7 I bought a Parasound HCA-2003A (220 Watts x 3) Amp to power the front (3) speakers and the B&K now runs my (4) surrounds.
    I don’t know if Parasound makes the 2003A anymore, but it is an AWESOME Amp that never runs out of power.
    You might be able to still find one sitting at a dealer or a reputable used shop.
    If you buy NEW they come with a 10yr warranty.
    Shawn S
     

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