New 200wpc Amp - Outa-the-box

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bill Kane, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Since I like Paradigm speakers, Monitor 7s for now, I chose SonicFrontiers 200-watt Anthem MCA5 as my first separate amp. The amp is rated at 170wpc ALL chls driven. It came today.

    I quickly but carefully threw it together with 3 RadioShack Gold audio connects until the five CatCables BlueTigers arrive. The Yamaha RX-V800 still powers the two MiniMonitors.

    First off (breathe held) I dont have the dreaded AMP HUM (ground loop). Yay. The noise floor is dead quiet, EXCEPT I hear a slight hiss from the Center and Right Main at 5 inches. No big deal. Listening around I detected a hum in the SVS sub for the first time, but reversing the plug polarity eliminated it. I get no MCA5 transformer hum either.

    The main difference is front stage speaker output. WOW.

    Whereas -40 dB for CD music previously hit 75dB listening level in my room, it now takes just -52dB for the same level. The receiver's log-scale volume drops out at -99dB. I now can begin to hear some faint output around -90dB, I mean at the BOTTOM. All existing AVIA sound level calibrations are left unchanged.

    Break-in is 70 hours, so I can report more after this weekend with all new interconnects. And I may switch out speaker banana plugs to spade terminals at the amp so I can push this 17.5-inch deep, 56-lb beast farther back in the cabinet.

    There is a great deal more clarity, but it may be too soon to judge the two parameters I was looking for: that "lifting of the veil" others report from separate amps, and the Robert Fowkes-effect he reported from his Marantz 700 monoblocks tale, that raising the volume wasnt just LOUDER but rather becoming more IMMERSED in the sound. Mine begins to sound harsh at louder volume. We'll see...my tinnitus is acting up today, but that's another story...
     
  2. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Bill, glad to see you like your new amp! Being a MCA-5II owner myself, it's a quality piece. IMO, that harshness you are hearing at high volumes MAY (and I say MAY) be a result of your speakers, not the Amp or a combo of both. I have mine hooked up to Paradigm speakers as well, but the 40's from the Reference series, not the Monitor line and I don't hear the harshness at high volumes you describe. If I do, it's very, very subtle. Seeing as you are hearing this harshness at volume levels that is obviously hurting your ears, it sounds like you should be find with the volume ranges and the sound it produces under normal listening conditions, no?[​IMG]
     
  3. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Bill,

    hope your feeling better tommorrow...glad the amp is working nicely too. 170 WPC-all channels driven! Wow.. Your going to really like the Blue Tigers.. i've got 8 of them for my SCD-C555ES SACD/CD changer. Great cables.
     
  4. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    tks for comments.

    Evan, I must admit that your sig has been in my subliminal thinking since the beginning of the year, so this is all your doing!

    Picking up the amp box today, I saw that my dealer has a pair of Studio 40s in black ash and Studio 60s in lush rosewood in his demo room. He agreed to let me bring home one of the pairs any weekend...you see where this is going...

    Regarding speaker level calibration, since my center and surrounds are in the plus range now, I'm thinking if I should try setting my receiver's Main Level feature to the -10dB position, so I can recalibrate and get a wider rcvr volume range? (haven't run a DVD yet to check DD/DTS)
     

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