Help! Diving into the world of amps!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Trevor-H, Jul 11, 2002.

  1. Trevor-H

    Trevor-H Auditioning

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    Alright, so I have finally decided to dive into the world of seperates. My first purchase I have decided is going to be the amp. My only question is which is the most recommended for HT & Music? Money isn't really an issue, however, I would like the best deal I can get. I have been looking at Marantz (ma500, ma700), Parasound (hca 2205, 1205, 1500, 1200 etc.), and Rotel and just can't seem to decide on one. Should I go the monoblock route (i.e. Marantz ma500's and 700's), the 2-channel route or go for the 5 channel amp. Is there better sound found from 5 monoblocks as opposed to a 5channel? Any info/opinions would be appreciated. And if you guys need any more information from me, I'd be happy to provide. Thanks!
     
  2. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    Have you narrowed it down to the Marantz, Parasound, and Rotels, or are they just what you have seen. And what is your budget? What are you using for speakers? What is the size of your room, and what is your ultimate goal?

    As for which configuration sounds better- it all depends. Monoblocks in theory are the best. However there are countless multi channel amps out there that will out perform many monoblocks.

    -rob
     
  3. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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  4. Trevor-H

    Trevor-H Auditioning

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    Sorry about that guys! First post :b.

    I'm leaning towards the parasounds for multi-channel, and the marantz for monoblocks because i have read good things about both (although parasound mono's aren't out of the question). I have also read that both amps tend to be a bit "warmer" (however, correct me if i'm wrong), which would tend to help with the "brighter" JBL's I have. I have listened to both and like the sounds that they produce, however, they weren't on my own system.

    As for my setup, I have the following:

    Mains: 2 - JBL Studio Series S312
    Center: 1 - JBL S-Center
    Surrounds: 2 - JBL Studio Series S26

    Although they are "bright" speakers, I couldn't pass up the deal I got on them. So I would like an amp that is perhaps a bit "warmer" as stated above. I'm also looking for an amp that will be perform for both music and HT as both are a passion of mine.

    As of right now, i'm looking to buy an amp(s) for the mains, with a purchase of an amp for the rest to come later, unless it's a high-end 5channel. Right now my budget is somewhere around $1000. Again, more than anything i'm looking for info on which route will get me the "most bang for the buck" as they say. I like the idea of monoblocks because you can buy them one at a time and each channel has it's own amp. Yet, if multi channel will save me some money and provide the same experience...Bring it ON!

    Sorry again, and thanks for any info provided.

    Trevor
     
  5. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    Hi Trevor.
    Welcome to the world of separates. First off your speakers are very efficient so you won't need much power to push them. However, buying an amp isn't about buying what can handle your speakers now but what difficult to drive speakers you might get in the future as well. You don't want to have to purchase certain components over and over again, so if you have the chance, purchase the best amp you can get and be done with it. I have only one NEW power amp that I can recommend at your price and it happens to be considered a world class amp at that.
    CLICK HERE
    AND HERE FOR REVIEWS
    If you buy a power amp I say (and a few others on this forum) that you buy the best available within your price range.
    You may be able to find competitive and possibly superior amps in regards to power, second hand (which is not a bad thing)on this SITE site as well. If you click on the amp section you'll see numerous second hand and new amps for sale. If you see one that intrigues you, go to the discussion forums and look it up on that site. Then come back to this site and see if anyone has heard the amps that you're looking at. Many will make recommendations on amps (just like I am doing) but none of us can ultimately say that you'll like the amp in your system.
    Here's a very informative thread that a few of us participated in yesterday and today. It's right up your alley.
    THREAD
    I personally think that for the money you can do much better in regards to amp power then the ones you are looking at presently. Take your time, research and listen to what you want to buy. If you can't hear the amp in person, make sure that you have a NO QUESIONS ASKED return policy.
    Supposed "WARM" amps:
    B&K
    ADCOM
    PARASOUND
    Good Luck
     
  6. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    Hey Trevor,

    I think that your next decision should be wether to buy new or used. Considering your listening habits (music), I would reccommend getting a two channel amp first. I have had a lot of success on used sites like audiogon, audioweb, and audioreview. There is an obvious disadvantage to buying used, and you need to be careful. However it gives you the opportunity to obtain a really good amp. With $1000 you could get a sweet 2 channel solid state amp.

    -rob
     
  7. Trevor-H

    Trevor-H Auditioning

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    Thanks for the websites guys, and the info. I think that I have finally decided upon a 2-channel amp to go ahead and power my mains, and i'll look for another 2 or 3 channel in the future. With that being said, I'm still looking at a parasound 2 channel and will attempt to find a dealer with adcom in my area to go listen to those as well. Even though I do have the budget for a pretty good 2 channel amp, i guess i'm still not sure as to what that amp would be, so any further help would be great.

    (btw...i'm looking at the Adcom GFA 5802, 5500, & 5400 now also)

    Trevor
     
  8. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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  9. Steve Morgan

    Steve Morgan Second Unit

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    Location:
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    Steve
    Trevor, if you decide on the Parasound I have a Parasound HCA2205a for sale.Check the hardware for sale.

    Steve Morgan
     
  10. Trevor-H

    Trevor-H Auditioning

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    To answer your questions Martice....no i haven't decided on a final amp, however, with your help I think that I will be narrowing my search to a 2 channel amp for now to simply power my mains for music. Then in the future I will look to add another 2 or 3 channel amp to the amp i am about to buy. Make sense? I'm just now finishing college and have some $ saved up. So I believe that I'll spend some of my budget on a good 2-channel amp and continue to save for another amp in the future.
    As for the amp I will buy, I am still looking but have taken your advice and narrowed the search to 2 channel B&K, Parasound, and Adcom. Having done some reading tonight, I think i'm still leaning towards a Parasound however, with B&K in a close second. I have found the Parasound HCA-1500a online at about $450 and this seems to be a great deal (although i've been wrong before [​IMG] ) I was looking at this amp as a 2 channel solution for now, with the purchase of a used Parasound HCA-2003 3-channel in the future. Tell me what you think and if this helps at all.
    Trevor
     
  11. Trevor-H

    Trevor-H Auditioning

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    Hey Steve,

    I actually have looked at that add before but $1200 is just a little out of my price range. The $1000 I put aside already was pushing it a little to begin with. But if you don't mind my asking, why are you getting rid of the Parasound? And what were your impressions of the amp itself?

    Thanks,
    Trevor
     
  12. stephen_z

    stephen_z Stunt Coordinator

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    Trevor,
    There are some 5-ch amps that are basically mono-block in design (i.e. Sherbourn 5/1500A @200w/ch, Bryston 9BST @125w/ch). The Sherbourn is often available for $1200 on Audiogon, but wouldn't be characterized as "warm". Unless you're looking for >200w/ch, the Rotel RMB-1075 (not a mono-block design)is a 5-ch amp @120w/ch listed at $999 and is considered "warm" or "laid back". As for true mono-blocks, do you really want to find room for 5 power plugs?
     
  13. ricky ho

    ricky ho Stunt Coordinator

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    hey trevor
    if your still open for suggestions, take a look at .http:// IRD a pair of 100 watt mono-blocks cost $499.00 shipped to your door. they weigh 23 lbs. each and are made to last. they are characteristically neutral
     
  14. Phil Mays

    Phil Mays Second Unit

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    Trevor,

    What is your pre-amp? Thast may assist in a reccomendation as well if we know what you currently have that you are not satisfied with.

    I just moved to amps. I use a Onkyo 797 as a pre/pro and placed a AMC 2n100-5 @ 150 x 5 WPC in the system and it really helped. You can get these on line around $600 each new. I paid like $950 locally but I like doing business locally and not off the net.

    Having said that I also purchased, on-line, a carver AV 405 to power my rear channel and bi-amped my surrounds.

    It really made a huge difference. I can only imagine what something like a Aragon 200 x 7 would be like.

    Good Luck!

    Phil
     
  15. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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  16. Trevor-H

    Trevor-H Auditioning

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  17. David Werner

    David Werner Stunt Coordinator

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    I second the recommendation for the IRD's, I have 5 of them. Try them for 30 days if you don't like, send them back.
     
  18. Will Gatlin Jr

    Will Gatlin Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    I use five 2-ch amps(2 NAK-PA7A II...1 NAK PA5A II...2 ONKYO M-508 "Grand Integra's", and 2 MA-500 for my double centre. The NAK amps are a "John Threshold" design. I bought all of my amps in the classifieds, and in mint condition. I bi-amp my front/rear spks in a passive mode.

    I believe that multi-ch amps are not as good as the same amp in a 2-ch design. JMHO!!
     
  19. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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  20. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    For around $1000, you're not gonna get a lot for a 5 channel amp if you buy new, without some discount. At this price range, you have choices like the Adcom GFA-7300($1000), the Marantz MM-9000($1000), Parasound HCA-1205A($1199), Rotel RMB-1075($1300). If you buy used though, you could probably get amps in a difference league, such as my hot favorite trio - Rotel RMB-1095, Sherbourn 5/1500A and the Parasound HCA-2205AT. The new Outlaw 755 should be interesting too.
     

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