Looking for best Amp Price/performance in the 200w range

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KyleS, Aug 27, 2001.

  1. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Heading says it all. I think I have finally made my mind up on which Paradigm speaker system I will go with and I will need a nice amp to go with them.
    First the speakers should be as follows
    Studio 100's vs2 (Fronts)
    Studio CC (Center)
    Studio ADP (Surrounds)
    I know from seeing the reviews that everyone says you need plenty of power to make the 100's sing so what amp would be the best value right now since the MA700's are discontinued?
    Second where is the best place to look for your recommendation to get the best price?
    Thanks,
    KyleS
     
  2. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Would the new Marantz MA6100's do the trick to power the Studio 100's? or would I need to Bi-Amp them? If they would indeed need to be Bi-amped then cost effectively wouldnt it be cheaper to say buy the Rotel RMB-1095 or the Parasound HCA-2205AT? (both are around $1999 right?)
    KyleS
     
  3. Brandon_T

    Brandon_T Screenwriter

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    I have a set of the studio 100'sv.2 and am running a Anthem MCA5. It is 200wpc and drives the speakers wonderfully. Before that amp I had a Sony Tae9000 amp that was adequete, but just did not drive the speakers to the full potential. I have heard some people felt that this combo is a bit bright, but I moved from Klipsch speakers, and those were bright. The Anthem amp is a great match in my opinion. I don't even know what they retail for as I picked mine up off of ebay from some guy who did not know what he had. I got it for $500. What a deal. Good luck in your search.
    Brandon
     
  4. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    Kyle,
    From what I've heard, you're on the right track. You may do a search on those 100's....you'll find a fellow HTF'er that uses that Parasound 2205 and bi-amps the 100s with it.
    Trevor Schell is who I'm talking about, he suggested the same to me when I found out that the MA-700s were no longer available. By bi-amping the 100s you would utilize 440 watts to those speaekrs....should sound very sweet.
    Good Luck,
    And make sure you have enough electricity where you're going to set this gear up at....I don't and that's my current (get it) battle [​IMG]
    Jeremy
     
  5. Brandon B

    Brandon B Second Unit

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    Check out Stratos amps at Odysseyaudio.com. They make a 2, 3 and 5 channel amp. I'm looking at these right now, and everything I read seems to be pretty positive. 53 reviews at audioreview.com and still 5/5 stars (admittedly, audioreview is pretty polar or skewed sometimes, but 53 perfect scores is still kind of impressive).
    The guy running Odyssey also has customer service almost in Tom and Ron of SVS' league.
    BB
    not affiliated with Odyssey, blah blah blah.
     
  6. Rob Blakeslee

    Rob Blakeslee Auditioning

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    Kyle,
    What is your budget and are looking specifically for a five channel amp ? You might want to consider the used market as well. This might allow to purchase an amp that may have been out of your price range.
    Good Luck,
    Rob
     
  7. Steve Morgan

    Steve Morgan Second Unit

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    Steve
    I used to own 100's and it seems the Parasound amps have a nice synergy with the reference series.After trying recievers and amps,Citation 7.1,RX-V1, DSP-A1, Carver(can't remember model #)the Parasoound 2003a and the 2205at made the 100's open up and sing.I bought both amps less than a year old off of audiogon on amps I try to buy used to save money.The 2205at was $1250 and the 2003 was $800.
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  8. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    I agree with two other folks before me... the John Curl Parasound amps are a nice match with the Paradigm speakers. Check em out for yourself! BTW, I would not pay more than $1400 for the 2205 amp. Parasound just recently reduced the price on this brute, and you can find some bargains if you try.
    ------------------
    Take Care,
    merc
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    DFAST, 5C, DVI, HDCP, SafeAudio, Macrovision and Lewinski!!!
     
  9. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    Kyle,
    The favorite combo on this forum is the 100s with Parasound. I have been demoing the 100s but have not yet had the opportunity to mate the 100s with a Parasound yet (and the combo is at a place 2 miles from me [​IMG] ).
    Re the Anthem MCA5, I coincidentally happened to audition the 100s (real wood veneer version) with the MCA5 yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised that they mated well. The dealer even walked in on me stating that he hadn't heard the 100s sound so good (I was playing a bass-prominent tune). Methinks the MCA5 retails for $1500.
    I'm also going to be looking at the EAD Powermaster 1000 with the 100s as well as with another speaker line. I may be able to get a great deal on it.
    Brandon,
    Question for you concerning the Odyssey Stratus line. How are you able to "look at them"? Did you purchase under the 14 day return policy, or do you know someone who has one of them? I'm puzzled by the fact that they say it takes a couple of months for the amps to completely break in, yet they provide only a 14 day return policy. I don't see how that can cut it for a brand that does only internet sales. By the way, although I have heard raves for the line, I'm suspicious of all those "5" audioreview ratings (although I have no proof of any wrongdoing).
    Thanks.
    Doug
    ------------------
    "Today is a good day to die." ...Old Lodge Skins
    [Edited last by Doug_B on August 27, 2001 at 11:07 PM]
    [Edited last by Doug_B on August 27, 2001 at 11:08 PM]
     
  10. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    "Kyle,
    What is your budget and are looking specifically for a five channel amp ?"
    Well it will depend a little on what kind of a deal I can get on the speakers. I hope I will have about 1500 for the amp and a 5 channel is not necessary if I can get adequate single channels with the same power/cost ratio. (or less [​IMG] )
    By the way I guess that brings me to my next question what can I expect to pay for the speakers I am looking at?
    Studio 100's (Assuming wood Veneer is more money)
    Studio CC
    Studio ADP surrounds
    ??????
    I know you guys will say 10% or so below list but heck what is that [​IMG]
    And remember that I am more then willing to drive to Canada to get this package so what can I get them for up there? Thanks again for everyone's help.
    KyleS
     
  11. MarkO

    MarkO Second Unit

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  12. Rich G

    Rich G Stunt Coordinator

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    Acurus seems to be on sale all over the place. Don't know why, but there are some great prices. Used prices for a new unit.
    my two pennies
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    Rich G.
     
  13. KeithR

    KeithR Second Unit

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    About Odyssey amps--
    Yes, I have one. Yes, it is better than any amp I have demoed under 2k (including my former rotel, parasound, classe, b&k, etc.) The only way you could do possibly better is on the used market.
    The 53 reviews at AR, while some may be bogus, still attribute to the success of the product. Go look at the Merlin reviews, the only other product with this known fame (and the Merlin was reviewed in Stereophile).
    Go to www.theabsolutesound.com where they compare the Odyssey to the B&K and Rotel....basically says it is the value of the year. Soundstage also reviewed it, and it was an Editor's Choice last year.
    About break-in, mine took about a week to soften up a bit. It does get better after a month or so, but when you receive it, I guarantee you will be like "WOW!" The build quality is 2-3x that of anything in its price range, from the WBT binding posts to the anodized face plate. It is twice as heavy as my former Rotel. Does it sound good though? Yes, it does. Very neutral, very fast, and can drive just about anythign, despite it's conservative power rating (although Paradigms are easy to drive, and you won't ever use 200 watts). If someone wants to bring over an amp to compare, I would be more than happy.
    Some products are all hype, but this one delivers. This is the "SVS" of amps. No one seems to mind they are an internet direct company! I do invite you to call Klaus...he is a true gent and will not sell you. He even will refer you elsewhere if he doesn't feel his product is right for you.
    Anyways, stepping down off my soapbox...
    PS. There are some 160+ Stratos on backorder...it will take 2-3 months to receive yours right now.
     
  14. KeithR

    KeithR Second Unit

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    Oh yeah, another thing. Are you dead set on the Paradigms? the nOrhs at www.norh.com are really outstanding for the money. You could get marble 7.0s for the fronts, 3 marble 4.0s for the center and rears all for under 3k.
     
  15. Brandon B

    Brandon B Second Unit

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    Doug B
    Sorry, wasn't clear. By "looking at", I meant looking at any reviews, comments or complaints I could find about them. Everything I've seen, including comments on this forum, AVScience, Audioasylum and in the press has been pretty positive. I have not, however, heard one myself, so that's why I only suggested Kyle investigate them, rather than endorsing a purchase.
    Keith's comments are pretty typical of what I've seen, and I'm planning to buy one of their HT3 3 channel versions. As he says, they're only rated at 150, but from what I can tell, they are probably equal to many of the 200W amps out there. I'll post some reviews when I get mine (which will evidently be some months from now. Crud).
    BB
     
  16. chris c

    chris c Stunt Coordinator

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    I had the 2 and 3 channel Stratos amps for a few weeks last Christmas. They are indeed fantastic sounding amps for the money. The reason I sent them back was they were too big for the space I had (it was kind of an impulse purchase and was quickly vetoed by other residents). They are large, built like tanks and sound great. The 3 channel Stratos actually did have a bit of a hum, but Klaus (ownder of Odyssey) definitely stands by his products and would have fixed the hum expediently had I been able to keep them. I agree, though, audio review is essentially worthless, but you can usually trust soundstage.com
     
  17. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Keith,
    No I am not totally against Nohr speakers but I just cant see how those smaller speakers could compete in the same performance range as the Paradigms. I have heard a lot of great reviews about the Marble 4.0's but when it comes down to it for speaker range I would think they just couldnt produce all the ranges the same.
    So anyone out there have an idea on pricing in Canada on these puppies? [​IMG]
    KyleS
     
  18. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    Keith,
    Brandon,
    Thanks for the info on the Stratos line. I would be interested in their 5 channel version. I guess it's probably a good idea to give Klaus a call, but that 2-3 month backlog would be tough to synchronize with my plans (assuming a couple of dealers cooperate) to bring home some speakers and amps to demo. Right now, my room awaits custom drapes on my window and doorways, for which I will have to wait up to 3 months. I wonder if I should commit to an Odyssey order in advance of this.
    BTW Keith, what speakers does your Stratos drive now, and have you used other speakers with the amp? Right now, I'm down to either Paradigm 100s or Monitor Audio Gold Reference 20s, although I will also be listening to Von Schweikert 3.5s for the first time this weekend. If the Stratos is neutral and gives the speakers what they need to do their job, I would imagine no mismatches with any of these speakers.
    Thanks again.
    Doug
    ------------------
    "Today is a good day to die." ...Old Lodge Skins
     
  19. Ryan Schnacke

    Ryan Schnacke Supporting Actor

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    You might consider the nOrh Le Amp. Its officially rated at 100 watts but its built to extreme overkill. The 400VA transformer alone speaks volumes. $500/pair and we should hear soon from people receiving the first shipment. Watch for news at www.harmonicdiscord.com
     
  20. KeithR

    KeithR Second Unit

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    Doug,
    I had PSB 5ts hooked up originally, and obviously had no problems with the >90db sens. Then I had ACI Sapphire III LEs, which are 86db sens. and I could drive them until my ears bleed. Now, I have marble nOrh 4.0s, and no problems. They are about 87-88dbs.
    Jetsons is a guy on AR and here, and has heard the Stratos at my place, so maybe he can chime in here.
    You are more than welcome to come take a listen as you are located in NJ. I can setup the Stratos with the nOrhs and a sub, driven by just a CAL cdp. Simple, but until I go SACD, it ain't changin. Klaus also has a dynamite line of speakers coming out in October, that will be superb. I heard them at the Hifi show in May. Very lush, beatiful, and top of the line ScanSpeak revelator drivers. You should call him and talk to him for a bit, and see what he recommends.
    Kyle,
    Well, if you already have subs (SVS, Hsu, etc.), then full range speakers don't do a whole bunch of good IMHO. I think magic occurs when you have 5 identical speakers. A marble nOrh 4.0 set runs 1600 now. When you see a real marble enclosure, it just takes your breath away. I can't go back to mdf! So 5 4.0s with dual SVS subs, and you will be in HT heaven! The great thing about the nOrhs is they image SO well...better than almost all brands I have heard lately. The soundstage is humongous, and you really can't tell where the sound is coming from. If this is mostly for music, then go with the 6.9 or 7.0s for mains instead of the 4.0s, as these are "full range" speakers. Otherwise, the 4.0s are the gems in the nOrh lineup IMHO.
    Cheers,
    Keith
     

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