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Looking for 2 channel amp to work w/ my Denon...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Sean L, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. Sean L

    Sean L Stunt Coordinator

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    I am interested in adding an affordable 2 channel amp (150-200w @8ohm) to my current HT setup so that I can offload the mains (Kef Q7s) from my Denon 2802. I will be using the 2802 as the processor for the amp. I have been told several times that my KEF’s will respondly nicely to some real power. Can anyone suggest some products that will fit my needs?

    Thanks,

    Sean in Nor Cal.
     
  2. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    Harman Kardon PA 2000
     
  3. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

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    On the used market:
    Rotel 980/981/991
     
  4. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    Under $500;

    Acurus
    Adcom
    Rotel
    Chiro


    -rob
     
  5. Sean L

    Sean L Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the recommendations....will some of these amps auto power on when a signal from my receiver's pre-out hits it?

    -Sean
     
  6. Phil Mays

    Phil Mays Second Unit

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    Any reason for not getting a 3 channel amp? Whats your budget?
     
  7. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    The new amp from PS Audio looks amazing. Here's a review from Stereophile (including a comparison against the Bel Canto eVo-2): http://www.stereophile.com/showarchives.cgi?729

    (Get me one while you're at it! Make that two!)

    And Parasound's Halo JC-1 dual monoblock got a nice review in this month's issue, but both the Bel Canto and PS Audio amps strike me as slightly more interesting.

    If you're looking for something more affordable, Outlaw Audio is about to debut its "M-Block" series of single-channel 200-watt amps, retailing at about $299/each. If you like the sound, you can get two for now, add a third when you can, and get a couple more for the rear channels after that. Each amp is only a single rack-space tall. If the sound quality is there (the power certainly is), then these might be great, low-cost options.
     
  8. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    Outlaw's M-Blocks are out; I have 3 of them driving the front soundstage, replacing those amps in my Denon 3802. In my environment, they have slightly more noise/hiss at low volumes but less hiss at higher volumes. They seem to add some detail and clarity, particularly in the midrange. I can't speak to whether they are better or worse than Adcom, Rotel, etc. which are certainly good brands for this price range.

    Yes, the Outlaws do auto-on based on signal if you want that. However, an amp that can't auto-on could still be automated. If the amp has a trigger in, you could get a 12V wall wart, plug it into the convenience outlet on the receiver and use that to run the trigger. Alternately, Sears sells an auto-switch that will turn on other devices when a trigger device is turned on.

    Oh, and the pricing is as quoted, except that former Outlaw customers can get them for only $275, and once you buy one you become a customer, so you can get a pair for $574 (plus shipping.) Still a tad above the original requested price range, alas.

    Another monoblock in the same general price range would be nOrh's Le Amp, which seems to be well regarded.
     
  9. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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    I've heard the Kef Q-15's with NAD amplification and thought it was a pretty good match. Those Kef's were a little recessed in the high treble but other than that were really, really nice. It is true about the Kef's, they can really use some quality current to come alive.
     
  10. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

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    The outlaw monoblock amps hiss? Do other amps in your setup hiss, or just the Outlaw?

    If Outlaw has two products that hiss that is unacceptable.

    Otherwise that is a good price for a powerful little amp.
     
  11. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    It is a good price, and I've got my eye on them! The thing is, I'm more concerned with the quality/character of sound than the big wattage rating, and there seems to be a "sweet spot" in that 100-150 watt range with a lot of amps. Of course, a lot of those amps are waaayyyy more expensive than the Outlaw M-Blocks...
     
  12. Phil Mays

    Phil Mays Second Unit

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    I have an AMC 150 watt per channel x 5 channels. Very clean power and am totally happy with it. Beat the heck out of the Onkyo TX DS 797 internal amps. A three channel amp ca be had for around $600 dollars I guess. I overpaid at $950 for a 5 channel.
     
  13. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    My Outlaw M-Blocks hiss a little bit; if I hold my sound meter up to the tweeter of my Studio/60s, it just barely registers at around 50 dB, and does not vary with the volume setting on the pre-amp (indeed it stays constant with the pre-amp disconnected entirely.)

    I can't hear the hissing from my listening position; I haven't heard the hissing people say was a problem with early Outlaw 950s but the descriptions make it sound a lot worse than this. Other owners I've talked to of the M-Blocks don't report noticing hissing (but I wouldn't have noticed it either if I didn't make a habit of sticking my ear up to the tweeter just to check.)
     

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