Monoblocks, AudioSource any good?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brett DiMichele, Dec 20, 2001.

  1. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    In the newest catalog from Parts Express they have Audio Source

    Monoblock Amps listed.

    The Monoblock that catches my eye is the AMP 5.3 which

    produces 150W @8 Ohm and 250W @4 Ohm 95 DB S/N with a 200

    Dampening Factor @ 4 Ohm and a Total Harmonic Distorsion of

    0.1% and a Freq Resp of 20hz-20Khz for $235.00 each and

    they are rack mountable.

    Anyone know how good these amps are? They have Balanced XLR's

    as well as unbalanced RCA level inputs, Torodial Transformers,

    Fan cooled etc..

    I was thinking 4 of these coupled to a Tube Line Stage Pre

    Amp coupled directly to a SACD or DVD-A or high quality CD

    Player source would make for a great 2 channel only system

    that would blend in with my HT setup..

    Any comments?
     
  2. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Stunt Coordinator

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    Those audiosource monoblocks are best suited to a dedicated equipment closet because the fans are loud. If that fits your profile, I think they are a pretty good value.
    Either way, you might also want to check out the Norh LeAmp. Very solid design and they are even a little less money @ $250.00 each.
    http://www.norh.com/products/leamp/index.html
     
  3. Randy G

    Randy G Second Unit

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    The Audiosource compared to the Norh????
    Even as an Audiosource owner(pair of Amp2s), I wouldn't even CoNsIDeR putting the Audiosource monoblock up against the Norh. I'd take the Norh without hesitation.
     
  4. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I use an AudioSource Amp Two to drive my multi-room speakers. It can drive 3 sets of 8 ohm speakers pretty loud all day long (that's a 2.67ohm load). A real workhorse, and I've never noticed anything objectionable about the sound.

    I'd consider using them in my main setup when I need MORE POWER! I was actually looking at the Class T 6.x series, as they are a WHOLE lot more efficient, and generate a lot less heat. Interestingly, their THD figures are no higher than their "regular" amps.

    Todd
     
  5. Randy G

    Randy G Second Unit

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    Brett,
    If looks are important to you, then they ARE important. So happens that they're important to me as well. As for the robustness of the two amps, it just appears to me that the Norh looks so much more overbuilt, that's all I'm saying. I would also hazard a guess that that they are capable of passing more current...I could be wrong, but I'd put my money on the Norh. Sadly, it costs a boatload of cash to ship it back if you don't like it. Good luck on your decision.
    Randy
     
  6. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Stunt Coordinator

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    The norh amp is more robustly built - that transformer is freaking huge for a 100 watt amplifier. However, the audiosource amp has a lot more features (balanced inputs, gain controls, automatic switch on/off, it's daisy-chainable, it's rack-mountable).
    My overall point is that they are both fantatic values when you compare them to something like Marantz's monoblocks which cost about $100.00 more each.
    Personally, it sounds to me like the Norh is the better fit for Brett's situation (unless he really needs those balanced inputs) just because of the fan noise problem with the audiosource amps. I know someone who has them and you CAN hear that fan. Of course if you listen to Metallica at ear-splitting levels then maybe that's not a consideration [​IMG]
     
  7. Randy G

    Randy G Second Unit

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    I did forget to mention that I will NEVER buy an amp that has a fan in it...period.
     
  8. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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  9. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    I'm another one who won't buy an audio component containing a fan. Several times, at audio shops, I've been told "the fan is inaudible from a few inches or feet away," only to be able to hear the bugger from my listening chair during quiet chamber-music passages.

    One time, a salesman, initially convinced I couldn't hear the "whisper" fan, gave up after about 6-7 on/off cycles in a blind test. I correctly identified when the amp was on or off every time.

    Give me a power amp with well-designed, heavy-duty heat sinking. Ahhh, silence...
     
  10. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Good points all..

    The transformer in the AMP 5.3 is also a Torodial. I am not

    sure how large of a Torodial it is in comparison to the Le

    Amp (which does have a huge power supply for what they rate

    the amp at, though they do hint it can sustain peaks of 400

    or more watts)

    As for the fan issue, I can imagine if the fan noise is infact

    audible then 4 of these sitting side by side could get quite

    noisy.

    I wonder is there is much if any heat sink in the AMP5.3

    that would allow me to disable the fan, or atleast add in a

    thermal sensing PCB that would only kick the fan on at a

    predefined temp.

    I like the idea that the AMP5.3 is rack mountable. i can

    mount 2 per rack and they should fit inside my AV cabinent.

    But the LeAmp's would look sweet sitting beside each other

    as well.

    Does the LeAmp have a trigger input? One thing I read that

    the AudioSource amps lack is any type of turn on circuit and

    this presents a problem, I don't want to have to turn on 4

    amps every time I listed to music.
     

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