I am ready to buy an amp!!! I need a few recomendations

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Fred DeGrandis, Dec 12, 2001.

  1. Fred DeGrandis

    Fred DeGrandis Stunt Coordinator

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    I am ready to buy an amp!!! I need a few recomendations

    I have spent the last 3hrs tonight looking through the different posts, and archieves, for info about amps, and I am getting really sick of looking at the screen. Its 4:00 in the morning here, and I am tired. Ok, now to the relevance of this post:

    I am ready to take the plunge and pick up an amp( 5 channel would be great, unless I am crazy for sugesting it on my budget). I have a Marantz SR7000 receiver(100x5) and a paradigm reference setup(Studio 80's, Studio 20's, and a Studio CC), with an Infinity 12, which I will be replacing with 2 count em 2 SVS 20-39CS, and the 700Sampson amp that SVS sells. My question is,

    Awhile ago, in a smaller room than I am in now, the Marantz powered these no problem. Now, down in a big room(28x18x8ft) It doesn't quite cut it. I want to upgrade the amp, if I can expect an improvement in sound, and if the speakers will be louder at lower levels on the volume knob on the receiver.( I use to be able to listen to movies at -20db, and that was plenty loud, now -20db wont cut it) I am wrong for assuming that this is somthing adding a new amp will yield? My budget is around 1,000. give or take a little. I am looking for the best" Bang for the buck" route.

    It also wouldnt hurt if this thing was so loud that it made my ears bleed

    Now, after countless hours of lurking through posts, and research,

    I have came up with several candidates.

    In no particular order:

    1. The Outlaw 750(I have read alot of good things, but have not eard from anyone who owns one).

    2. Marantz Mono Blocks(Would using these yeild better results?)

    3. The Marantz MM9000( dont know if this will do the trick though?)

    4.Anthem MCA-5( I have read some nice things about this one)

    5.Rotel RB-985mk2

    6.
     
  2. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Fred,

    Even though the room is bigger is the layout of the HT centre the same as in the small room? Are you sitting the same distance from the front speakers? If I remember right for every 1m back from the speakers you lose 3db and too gain that back you have to double the wattage of the amp. So if you receiver is 100 then a 200watt amp will get you back that 3db. Adding an external amp in my opinion will give your speakers new life. If you pickup a 3channel amp you can let the receiver run the rears. This will ease the strain the receivers amp if you have to take the volume above -20db.

    Kevin
     
  3. Mike Witt

    Mike Witt Stunt Coordinator

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  4. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Fred,

    I just recently augmented my system with a 2-channel Odyssey Stratos amp and I couldn't be happier with the performance I'm now getting. I run the front two speakers full range which, I imagine, put a heavy load on my Denon 3802. After hooking up the Stratos to the fronts this past weekend, the whole system sounds better in 5.1 and the stereo performance on CDs is downright incredible. Odyssey is certainly worth a look. The 2-channel Stratos goes for around $1000 and they also offer a 3-channel and (I believe) a 5-channel amp. Plus, the customer service is awesome.

    Regards,

    Ron
     
  5. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Fred: Alot of good suggestions already given. As for the Oddessey, I believe that Klaus has said he is NOT going to make a 5 channel version of the Stratos. If you are considering the 2 + 3 Stratos, then we are in a whole new ballpark with regard to price, and a whole lot of other options are available to you. Otherwise, keeeping within your stated $1K budget, I can second the Parasound amps. Many have reported that they are a great match for the Paradigm speakers. You might even be able to find a perfect used 2205 for just over $1K or so if you shop hard. I would only go with the ATI or Outlaw (very similar in sound and build)if you don't mind a very detailed sound. Some have reported that using the ATI with Paradigm speakers produce a bright, tiring sound. I have some upper level hearing loss due to years of listening to loud music, so I would prefer that sound, but YMMV. I'd recommend that you try to listen to a few amps at home with your Paradigms if possible or buy from a shop which has a great return policy. Good Luck, and Have Fun with your Amp Hunt!
     
  6. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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  7. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    Hi Fred,
    There are certainly lots of choices out there. I just picked up a pair of nOrh monoblock amps (Le Amp) http://www.norh.com, and they are very high quality for reasonable price. You can pick them up for $495/pair, which is a screming deal. YOu could get 5 of them for $1240 shipped.
    Odyssey has already been suggested, and there are others to consider (parasound, etc).
    Have fun!
    John
     
  8. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Doug_B,
    Yeah, the 2-channel Stratos is now $1070 (I got mine when it was $995[​IMG] ). I wasn't sure about the 5-channel...I just knew that I saw it somewhere on their site. So, you're waiting on the 2 and 3-channel? That's going to sound killer! I was always big on video, but since the Stratos arrived, I've found myself spending a lot more time re-listening to my old CDs. Of course, the Stratos sounds great on HT also. You will not be disappointed by the Odyssey amps...they deliver and I've still got plenty of break-in time left! Indeed, Klaus is a cool cat!
     
  9. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Fred,

    I have the Paradigm Studio 40's as mains, 20's as surrounds and the CC as well all mated with an Anthem MCA 5. Sounds great. All these products are part of the Sonic Frontiers family. I don't think they are manufactured to be paired together, but give them a listen and you will wonder if that's the case or not. The Anthem MCA 5 is a great piece. I love the auto on/off feature. I never have to get off my couch to turn the thing off! Buy with confidence. Living in Ohio, you can get a great deal if you head north of the border with the exchange rate. I got mine for just north of $1K.

    -Evan
     
  10. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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  11. PaulHeroy

    PaulHeroy Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Fred, one question immediately sprang to mind that was slightly touched on by another poster:
     
  12. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Fred,

    About a month ago, i got the Rotel RMB 1075 (120 X 5), which is the replacement for the 985. I now have my Yamaha 995 running as the preamp.

    All I can say is that I am utterly amazed at the improvement in sound, particularly music. I am rediscovering my CD collection. It really is like listening to a brand new system.

    Also Stereophile Guide to HT, just gave this amp their Gold award for amplifiers (I think the Theta Dreadnaught got the Platinum). IMO that says something.

    Hope this helps.
     
  13. Mark C.

    Mark C. Supporting Actor

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    Count me in as another Rotel fan. I, too, just purchased the RMB-1075. It can be had for around $1,100 new. I have an all-B&W speaker setup and the combination is tremendous. When I crank the volume, the sound doesn't distort. It just gets LOUDER! Tremendous quality for both music and HT. I also looked at Parasound and B&K when amp shopping. Both are also good quality lines. Have fun shopping.
     
  14. Barrett

    Barrett Auditioning

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    I'll cast another vote for Rotel. I own the RB-985MkII that you listed in your original post, and I love it! I used it to upgrade the amplifiers in my Sony STR-DA50ES receiver (sold for $1000 about 3 years ago), driving Monitor Audio Silvers in front, Mirage satellites in back. Despite the step down in manufacturer's power rating (120W x 5 for the Sony rcvr, 110W x 5 for the Rotel amp), the Rotel is a noticeable improvement. I heard the difference the first time I plugged it into my system. Suddenly, I could listen to my mains (for stereo music) full-range, without needing the subwoofer to fill in the bottom end. Soundstaging got significantly better, as well; not just a solid center image (which I had with the rcvr alone), but a seamless distribution of sound across the whole front of my room, with instruments distinctly placed in space. I think these observations in stereo mode just speak to the effortless power (from high frequencies to low) and the clearer presentation of fine sonic detail that the Rotel is capable of putting out.

    As mentioned previously, the RB-985MkII has been replaced by the RMB-1075. The two are similar; the replacement has a slightly higher power rating, adds a 12-volt trigger (mine has no remote turn-on capability), and bumps up the price a tad. I wouldn't hesitate to pay $1100-1200 for the Rotel; it's a great bargain, and I think you'll find it to be a big improvement over the amps built into any sub-$1500 receiver. Good luck!
     
  15. Fred DeGrandis

    Fred DeGrandis Stunt Coordinator

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    After you changed rooms, did you do any calibration of the Marantz?
    Yes I did, the settings used to be at a +1 or 2 for the different channels, calibrated with the Avia disc, and now to get a 75db rating I have the settings on all channels between a +8 and +10, which is the most it will do. A huge question is, first off, is this bad to do? and also, will adding a power amp make me able to turn these numbers down into there previous state?(around +1-4db) I gather that it will definatly sound better, and It will give me the ability to listen at higher levels cleanly, but will it give me the ability to have the volume, at lets say a -20db on the receiver, and be as loud as it was at -20 in the smaller room? I know this is kinda a wierd question, but I dont like turning it up that high on the number scale, unless I am giving a demo or something. You guys are great, Please keep the amp suggestions coming. I know what I will be doing over my next month of X-mas break.[​IMG]
     
  16. Fred DeGrandis

    Fred DeGrandis Stunt Coordinator

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    I am sorry, but I forgot to add that I am only sitting a few feet further back than I was.

    Thanks again, Fred
     
  17. David J Wang

    David J Wang Agent

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    how do the Odysseys sound with a paradigm reference studio system.... and does a odyssey stratos + stratos ht3 sound better than a Parasound 2205, Rotel 1095, Anthem mca 5 or a Citation 7.1?
     
  18. Vinny Petronio

    Vinny Petronio Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Fred,
    You need to check out the Parasound amps the 1205a is what I have 5 channel 140 watts at 8 omes pushing my CDM 7NT speakers set to large on my parasound 2500u my room size is 20'X 30' and will it ever rock your world or check out the 2205a which puts out 220 watts at 8 omes but its twice the price that you are wiling to spend go audition them and see for yourself you wont be desipointed.They are a very high quality amp and well built.[​IMG]Also go to parasound.com and you can down load all the specs. and see how good they are and look
     
  19. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    Hmmm...I'm also thinking amps for 2002. I'm surprised that more folks are not using the Outalw amp on this forum.
     
  20. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Ron
    I too am looking to attach amps to my SR5000. I've been kicking around the 5-channel vr. monoblocks and have decided to go with monoblocks. I've been told that multi-channel amps, because they share the same power source, can rob power from one channel to the next, thus affecting performance. Seems logical. But also, I have no plans to amp my surrounds so a 5-channel really does not fit the bill.
    Depending what size bonus santa brings this year, I'm hoping to pick up 3 monoblocks, well at least 2, before years end. My local dealer is selling the MA6100 125watt monoblocks for $225.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     

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