Does separate amp make a difference?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by WilliamJay, Mar 12, 2002.

  1. WilliamJay

    WilliamJay Stunt Coordinator

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    My setup:

    Denon 2802

    Diva 4.1s (mains)

    Paradigm CC-370 (center)

    Paradigm Monitor 5's (rears)

    Would a two channel amp for the 4.1s makea significant difference in performance for stereo and HT or would it throw the system out of balance overpowering the rest of the system? If it would make a difference, I would appreciate any recommendations under $400 if they exist.

    Thanks,

    Bill
     
  2. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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    I would say first match up the rest of your speakers with some Paradigm floor standings for mains for the purpose of Timber Matching your soundstage. After that, a nice 2 channel Parasound would do you wonders. An HCA-1000 (300 Bucks on EBay) at 125 Watts per Channel would be a big improvement over the DENON 2802's amps, especially for music. As far as HT, if you go on that path you may need to match your CC with the same quality amp.... You can find a Parasound HCA 1201 Monoblock for the CC Duties.....

    Good Luck.....
     
  3. WilliamJay

    WilliamJay Stunt Coordinator

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    I do not plan on changing my main speakers. If anything, down the road, I will change my center channel to the Diva C3.

    I would also appreciate any other opinions.
     
  4. Sankar

    Sankar Second Unit

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    I agree with Steven that having matched speakers and amps for the front soundstage helps a lot. Since you are already thinking of changing the center to a Diva later, you may wish to invest in a 3-channel amp for the fronts. You can either do this in 2 stages -- buy a 2 channel amp and then add the center later with an amp from the same manufacturer, or you could buy a 3 channel amp directly. Buying a 3 channel amp will go over the $400 budget (unless you skimp heavily on power), but it will be more economical in the long run and will also provide a balanced front soundstage.

    Does the 2802 have pre-outs for the surrounds as well?
     
  5. Ron Duca

    Ron Duca Stunt Coordinator

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    Because of cost factors, I am interested in adding a 3 channel amp to my front soundstage, then adding a two channel amp later for the surrounds.

    Can anyone recommend some "new" 3 channel amps? They seem to be a dying breed.

    Thanks,

    Ron
     
  6. Sankar

    Sankar Second Unit

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    What is your budget?

    Adcom GFA5503 : 200Wx3

    AT1506 : 150Wx6 or bridged to 450Wx3

    Acurus A200x3 : 200Wx3

    Parasound HCA-1206 (now discontinued, but can get used):

    135Wx6 .. or can bridge 4 channels to get 350Wx2 and 135Wx2
     
  7. Ron Duca

    Ron Duca Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I would like to keep the total for the two amps under $2,000, so maybe $1,000 to $1,200 for the 3 channel amp.
     
  8. Sankar

    Sankar Second Unit

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  9. WilliamJay

    WilliamJay Stunt Coordinator

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    Any thoughts on which is better, a used Parasound HCA 1000 of an Audio Source Amp 3? Thanks.
     
  10. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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    William,

    I can only speak for Parasound. I have had the amp your are interested in, and it's a fine piece for the money. Your 2 mains will sound warmer, and you will gain plenty of head room with that amp.... Good Luck,
     
  11. WilliamJay

    WilliamJay Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve, I appreciate the input. Thanks.
     
  12. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    William,

    I have a Parasound HCA855A 5ch. amp added to my Onkyo TXDS797. The Onkyo is rated at 100X6 and the Parasound is rated at 85X5. The Parasound is FAR SUPEROIR. Most receivers are not rated at RMS All channels driven. The Parasound is 85X5 RMS all channels driven. This amp has plenty of headroom and dynamic range. It power my front soundstage and my 2 center surrounds. The best thing about this amp is that it now be had in the $400 range. I am also gonna pick up an HCA1000A to have 7channels of Parasound amplification(hopefully getting the Outlaw 950 soon). Good Luck.
     
  13. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    Do you think this is a worthwhile purchase? I've been looking for a reasonably priced amp too.
    Parasound 1205
     
  14. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    WilliamJay,

    LOL, you got your priorities right in respect to the speakers.

    Russ
     
  15. Aslam Imran

    Aslam Imran Second Unit

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    All a separate amp does is allows to go to higher volumes.
     
  16. Brian Schucher

    Brian Schucher Supporting Actor

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    Aslam, says who??
     
  17. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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  18. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    Ahem, I won't link to some rather contentious threads on this very subject matter in the interests of keeping this constructive...

    William, if I were you I might consider swapping out that center channel first for the C3 before getting the amp. The timbre match is critical.
     
  19. WilliamJay

    WilliamJay Stunt Coordinator

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    While I really would like a 5 channel amp, cost is a limiting factor. Also, from what I have read, it appears that the amp is more important in 2 channel listening. That said, I could be completely wrong. But, for that reason, switching to the C-3 is not my immediate concern. Besides, the CC-370 works very nicely.

    I have also seen the Parrasound 805 for approx $400, well $425, and was wondering if I would notice a significant improvement over the 2802? Supposedly the 2802 operates at 70 watts with five channels driven.

    Again, thank you to everyone for their input.

    Bill
     
  20. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    If "critical" stereo listening is your bag (and from your speaker setup it appears to be so) then by all means go with a stereo amp and see if you like the difference (if you can detect one).
     

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