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Can someone please list of some warm sounding amps I can research? (1 Viewer)

james e m

Second Unit
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Jun 3, 2001
Messages
497
I'm looking to buy an amp or two for a Paradigm Reference Studio set up and I want something that will give a warm sound. I was told B&K was a warm sounding amp, are there anything others? The amp will be powering a Sony DA 5ES.
James
 

Shane Martin

Senior HTF Member
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Sep 26, 1999
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James,
As you know this is a heated debate at times over the "sound" of an amp. I just hope people respect your wishes and give you the answer you seek rather than an objective opinion that you don't seek.

Parasound is a WARM sounding amp to me. Those and B&K are the two top amps I think for that. Classe is a little higher end amp that sounds Warm as well. They are a bit more $$ though but they are worth it IMHO.
 

DanaA

Screenwriter
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Nov 21, 2001
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Shane is correct that both B & K and Parasound have reputations as warm sounding amps. I use the Parasound 1205A to tone down the brightness of my Klipsch and it does a great job as far as I'm concerned. Don't let the other thread intimidate you. Both amps would probably meet the criteria of reasonably priced, solid amps from either the objectivist or subjectivist camps.

As to what Chu's saying, and I don't mean to put words in his mouth, but, from my Chuological studies (I'm contemplating an advanced degree) :D , he might suggest that, before going the amp route, you might explore other possibilities for improving the sound like very expensive, exotic boutique cables er uh, I mean, room accoustics and the like.
 

RobWil

Supporting Actor
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Mar 17, 2003
Messages
733
And make sure you have a multimeter handy! :D

"Chuological studies" !! LOL! I'm thinking of enrolling too!
 

Scott Oliver

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Aug 30, 2000
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What great timing for a post like this!

Perhaps we could rehash the discussions from last week. I mean come on the thread only had 223 posts, didn't the tube vs. solid state thread break 1000 posts. I feel this forum is slacking as a whole. :D

Search the forum for "warm sounding amps", Lord knows its been discussed before.

Personally, if I were you I would visit the local dealers near you and let your own ears decide what you feel you need. And if you can't bring the amp in question home to try, you could probalby drag your receiver along and at least insert it into the chain for a demo.
 

Chu Gai

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Jun 29, 2001
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Hell, I thought that was a pretty honest question on my part. Dana's probably looking for me to post more pictures for him. Sheesh. Nah, they don't have to be expensive, there's tons of inexpensive DIY designs that don't do anything either!
Seriously though, if the sound is perceived as harsh, and you're not prepared to change your speakers, then the most logical thing to investigate and critically analyze is your room and the placement of the speakers within that room as well as where you sit. That information is also useful in dictating reasonable amp choices whether you want to call them warm, neutral, or whatever. Inadquate power is inadequate power pure and simple.
I'm not so quick to recommend to people that they sell their equipment at a loss and and then offer to take their credit cards out for them so they can buy something else. And most certainly without understanding which particular speakers he has and both the size of his room as well as his listening tendencies to suggest any particular amp is premature. It's like saying i've got a trailer, what vehicle should i buy to tow it. Weight, distance, terrain, etc. all need to be considered before one makes an informed choice.
And Rob, what can I say about your failure to understand the importance of a multimeter in ensuring level matching other than it's a failure.
 

Yogi

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B&K and Parasound are the two top amps that are warm and musical. Classe is also warm but at a considerably higher price. My personal favourite is B&K after auditioning several amps at various price ranges. If you want opinions about amps dont listen to Chu's opinion on amps:) just kidding. Actually in his posts Chu brings up very interesting and valid points and that is, by far the most profound effect on sound comes from your speakers and your room acoustics. Once you have maximized your returns on these two parameters should you explore going into changing components for a better sound. I believe that amps certainly sound different although much more subtly than room acoustics or speakers.
 

james e m

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 3, 2001
Messages
497
Thanks for the advice guys. Although I think a couple of you were jumping to conclusions. First, I am not buying an amp to change the sound of my speakers. The fact of the matter is that I do not have a separate amp right now, I only have a receiver. So I just wanted a list of amps that traditionally have a warm sound so I could go audition them. Second, my speakers do not sound harsh to me I just want to buy a warm sounding amp because I prefer that type of sound. So I will take the list of warm sounding amps (Parasound, Halo, NAD, Pass, and Classe) and I will seek out some dealers and demo them. Thanks for the advice.

How do Anthem, ATI, Adcome, and Aragon amps sound? Amps starting with the letter "A" seem to be popular! :D

James
 

Chu Gai

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and to think Yogi, i put aside all that stuff on wires and gave you links to silver wire sources. Well! Don't count on any more sources ya make believe nooooo yawker!
 

RobWil

Supporting Actor
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And Rob, what can I say about your failure to understand the importance of a multimeter in ensuring level matching other than it's a failure.
We prolly shouldn't intrude on this thread to continue our exchange, but...(I apologize James)
You keep assuming I only tested the receiver at one volume level...that I didn't try many volume levels from soft all the way to too loud. When it didn't make it at any volume level in that range, you're right....I fail to understand what good it would have done. I'm sure I hit at the same level sometime during my testing.
And after debating the issue with you I re-connected the Kenwood and tried again. I had changed the room around since the first test, and I don't think I had my new sub at the time either. I must say I got it to sound pretty darn good, even good enough to contemplate going with it and saving some $300. But in the end it still was missing something the Onkyo had, and the Onkyo's features beat it out for sure. The Onkyo just sounded more realistic? spacious sounding? I don't know...it's hard to put subjective impressions into words. We ARE talking about a $299 receiver vs one that originally sold for over $1000, also.
And....I DO have a multimeter and you're tempting me to use it, although if I still heard a difference I'm afraid you still wouldn't buy it.
 

Yogi

Screenwriter
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I was only kidding Chu. In all seriousness I think you are valuable resource to this forum so keep those pearls of wisdom coming.
 

Chu Gai

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Jun 29, 2001
Messages
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be honest, the wife made you change it :D anyways we can discuss it in PM.
just buy enough power for the speakers, the room, and your listening habits :) when in doubt, double it is my motto.
 

ChrisHeflen

Supporting Actor
Joined
Sep 9, 2002
Messages
912
As an ATI owner I consider it bright. I have heard and read that the other "letter A" amps might be on the same side as far as leaning toward the brighter side. I'm not saying they are too bright but they may LEAN that way.

I think Rotel might be a little on the warm side, to throw another one in the pot.

I think you'd be fine with either of these amp though.http://www.gryphon-audio.dk/indexmain.html

or
http://www.mbl-hifi.com/products/mbl9006_en.htm


(I can't wait for the up-roar)
 

Shane Martin

Senior HTF Member
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Sep 26, 1999
Messages
6,017
James,
I think the other thread should be closed. Your situation could be talked about here just fine. This thread seems to be going well(shockingly) or perhaps I cut it off with a pass ;)

2 things to consider:

1.) Paradigm Reference 100's are power hungry suckers. They may seem easy to drive(specs) but they desire LOADS of juice. 200wpc is ideal.

2.) You don't do HT as much as music.

I would use your Sony as a prepro and buy a high quality 2 or 3 channel amp to fit your needs/budget/desire etc and let the receiver power your rears and center channel. Then later down the road if you feel that your rears and such are underpowered you can buy another amp to fix that. I know Classe has a 3 or 6 channel amp(you can bridge this) that would work, B&K has a 3 channel as well as a 2 channel and I know Parasound has a 2/3 or 6 channel you could make work. You could attempt to find a Parasound HCA3500 and go for the whole hog and you shouldn't be lacking power ever again(350wpc 8 ohms).

That's what I would do if I was in your shoes. Since I'm more of a HT type guy I have to go another route. If you were I'd suggest a totally different route but you may be satisifed with just what I suggested or something close.

My opinion of the other amps you suggested are the following:
Ati: bright
Anthem: very neutral.
Aragon: very neutral.
Adcom: bright to neutral. Supposedly they have changed. I haven't heard their new amps but their old ones were shrill/bright to me.
 

Brett DiMichele

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Sep 30, 2001
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Real Name
Brett
Shane,

I agree with what you say about power hungry speakers and
not to always go by the specs. It would be nice if all
manufacturers would provide a real time impedance spike
curve with all drivers driven.

For example my speakers are 92Db @ 1 Watt, 1 Meter 2.83V
but they contain dual 10" subs on the LF side of the
split crossover network and those subs have super low
impedance swings which make them very hard to drive with
certain amps. My Onkyo Reciever (100WPC x 6 Channels) would
not drive my mains without going into thermal overload. It
got to the point where I bought an external Onkyo 2 Channel
Power Amp and just used my Reciever as a Pre/Pro because it
simply could not power the buggers.

Eventually I got myself a Carver Sunfire TDC Sub Amp that
puts out 500 watts RMS Mono @ 4 Ohm or 1Kw @ 2 Ohm and I
wired my 10's Parallel on the LF side of my XO Network and
I use the 2 Channel Onk to power the HF side for movies
and for music I use my 20 watt Class A Tube Mono's.

Boy I sure do babble alot.. But my point is that sensitivity
does not always tell the whole story about a speaker. The
Digm's are probably impedance hogs on the low end and that
could cause amplifier distress in amps not up to the task.
 

james e m

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 3, 2001
Messages
497
Alright guys, I just wanted to give everybody an update on my findings. But first I wanted to say thank you very much for the wealth of information I have been provided with by you guys. So, thank you very much!

One quick question I have is what does bridgeable mean and do I want an amp that is bridgeable?

Ok so I went to a couple dealers (more to follow tomorrow:D) and based on what I saw there I have two options so far. If I went with a dealer I could get:

1. A Rotel RMB 1080 (2 x 200) and a Rotel RMB 1075 (5 x 120) for just under $2,000 new.

2. A Demo Anthem MCA 2 (2 x 200) and A Demo Anthem MCA 5 (2 x 200) with a full warranty for under $1400. These are the older Anthem amps, not the MCA 20 and MCA 50.
 

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