Looking to make an inexpensive move to seperates?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tyson, Jan 20, 2002.

  1. Tyson

    Tyson Stunt Coordinator

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    You might want to check out the following review on nOrh's LeAmp:
    http://www.tnt-audio.com/ampli/norhleamp_e.html
    TNT-Audio is a little off the beaten path as far as review sites, so most of you would probably miss the review (which is why I am posting it).
    I've demo's the LeAmps (for use in my HT) pretty extensively in a variety of systems over the past few months myself, and I concur almost completely with this particular reviewer's take.
    Ultimately I ended up with Odyssey Stratos amps in my HT, mainly because I had the $$ to splurge for them. However, at $495/pair or $1250 for 5 (deliverd), I don't think there are many amps out there that can compete (the LeAmps are monoblocks, BTW).
    If you head to www.harmonicdiscord.com there is a nOrh forum, where a friend of mine and I did some extensive shootouts with a variety of amps (Bryston, Aragon, Odyssey, LeAmps, Counterpoints, Denon 5800 amps, etc. . .). They might be having server problems right now though (I couldn't get in today for some reason). He ended up with Aragons, I ended up with Odysseys. But we both thought the LeAmp was extremely impressive at its price point.
    To put it in perspective, I thought the LeAmps bettered competively (or somewhat higher) priced offerings from Rotel, Parasound, Adcom, and NAD. And that the LeAmps were slightly better than the Bryston amps I was looking to replace in my HT. Brian Cheney (of VMPS speakers, which just won "Best of Show" at CES - go Brian!) compared them with a Plinius SA250IV and a pair of Marantz monoblocks. Obviously the Plinius outclassed both amps, but the Marantz was a distant 3rd to the LeAmp.
    Aaannyywwaaayyy, the reason I am mainly posting this is the LeAmp is a very nice product for those looking for very good sound at a pretty cheap price. In speakers we have several very good options for quality sound at a nice price (ACI Emeralds, Swan Diva's, nOrh 4.0's, Ascend Acoustics, Home Theater Direct - see www.cheaphometheater.com). Also subwoofers (HSU, SVS, Adire). And DVD players (Panasonic RP-91). And now a very good amp (LeAmp). HOPEFULLY the Outlaw pre/pro will live up to expectations, and people can end up with a truly high quality HT setup without having to dip in to the kid's college fund. nOrh is a bit off the beaten path, so I hope no one minds my unprovoked post on this topic.
     
  2. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Question for you - what kind of protection circuitry does the LeAmp have? My system will eventually be DIY speakers (GR Research Paradox 1) and a DIY pre (Bottlehead Foreplay), so I've been hesitant to try something like the AKSA for an amp - I think a commercially built product is a better idea, to protect my speakers and my pre from each other [​IMG] Anyway.... DC and overload protection are primarily what I'm looking for, thermal would be good too. Does the LeAmp have these?
    Thanks,
    Saurav
     
  3. Tyson

    Tyson Stunt Coordinator

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    The LeAmp has thermal and overload protection built in to the output stage itself. And it can be ordered with a DC blocking cap (but such caps will tend to smear detail and shrink the soundstage - but this applies to any amp). I would just get a volt meter from Radio Shack & test the pre-amp outputs to see if it is passing any DC. If it doesn't, then go with a DC coupled amp, you'll get better performance that way. Here is the specs from IRD (IRD builds these amps for nOrh). http://www.ird-thailand.com/amp_mb100.htm
    There is also a forum at that web site and Curt Wishman (the amps designer) answers questions.
     
  4. Rob Curtis

    Rob Curtis Stunt Coordinator

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    Tyson,

    Thanks for the link to that review.

    I was wondering when the review was going to be posted.
     
  5. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Thanks. I'm aware of the DC cap issue, actually, I should have thought about that. I've corresponded with Curt over email, and I followed the threads about all the various ways of bypassing that cap. their sonic and safety difference, and all of that. So the output stage has thermal and overload protection built in? That's the info I was looking for.
     
  6. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    I own the DC blocked version of Le Amp and am very happy with it. Tyson is right that these represent a very good first step into separates. I might eventually modify to take out the blocking cap, but for now, I am quite happy with the amps. For two-channel music, these are a huge improvement over my Onkyo 787 amp section. For HT, I use the Onkyo to drive everything but the mains.
    John[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Thanks for pointing these out again. I remember seeing them a while ago, but didn't pay it too much attention. After looking at them some more, I think they'll move to the top of my list of amps to consider when I get the extra cash to make the move to seperates.

    I just sent an email asking for a shipping quote. As long as the shipping cost to Canada doesn't add to much to the cost (hopefully it won't add anything, you wouldn't think there would be that much of a difference in cost shipping by sea to the US or Canada) I think they will be the way I go.

    My other current contenders are the Outlaw 750 or the Parasound 1205A. But from what you guys and the reviews are saying the Le Amp would easily best them both.

    I plan to mate them with a full set of Adire kits. Hopefully the new three ways Dan has mentioned across the front and 281 for surrounds. Mated with my Tempest Sonosub (although I'll have to try and change that to a larger Dual Tempest or I just couldn't call my self a good HTF member) I'll be one happy camper.
     
  8. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Well got a reply back that the Le Amp ships out of NC (although he didn't give me the zip). So I found a zip that is in NC and calculated UPS standard for 5 boxes that weigh 25 pounds and are 15"x8"x9". Probably packaged a little bigger and weighs a little more but close enough.
    Quote was $85 for shipping. This is the only thing that bugs me. The $1240 includes shipping to anywhere in the lower 48 states. But to Canada that included shipping cost just becomes part of the cost of the amp [​IMG]
    Then add brokerage, tax and a really weak dollar and it begins to really suck. Like literally almost $2500 CDN for 5 of them.
     
  9. Dzung Pham

    Dzung Pham Second Unit

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    Does anyone know if the LeAmps have a standby mode and can be turned on by a 12V trigger or signal sensing? This is an important feature for me since I don't keep my amps in an accesssible area of my HT.
     
  10. Rob Curtis

    Rob Curtis Stunt Coordinator

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    They do not have a trigger, but in a thread over at www.harmonicdiscord.com Michael Barnes said that they only draw about 5w each when idle and run cool. He recommended leaving them on all the time in your situation.
     
  11. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Well I miss understood their site. The price on the site includes shipping from Thialand to their NC distribution point only.

    The examples he gave were that last pair shipped within states was $33 for shipping and last pair shipped to Canada was $65 shipping.
     

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