nOrh Le Amp vs Marantz MA-6100? War of the monoblocks

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James Zos, Jan 27, 2002.

  1. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    Since I don't have the option of listening to either one before I order them, I thought I'd turn to the members of this forum for advice...

    I want to add separate amps to my Denon 3802, driving Klipsch RB-5s, RC-3 center, KSW12 subwoofer, etc.

    I have pretty much narrowed it down to the two monoblocks listed in the title.

    The Marantz puts out 125 watts into 8 ohms.

    The nOrh is rated at 100 watts. I know that information by itself is pretty meaningless.

    People who have them, really seem to love the nOrh.

    I haven't heard as much about the Marantz.

    I hate to say it, but in my personal opinion, the nOrh looks kind of silly. It has a big silver face plate that makes it look like a toaster, and blobby fat silver feet, while the Marantz would fit in a lot better with my all black HT setup...Maybe I could hide the nOrh, I don't know.

    In the end, sound should of course be the deciding factor...

    So--if you have heard either of these, please give me your opinion! And, even if you HAVEN'T heard them, but think you have something of value to add, well, I'll listen to you too...
     
  2. Eric Wood

    Eric Wood Stunt Coordinator

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  3. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Personally from what I've read (I'm in the same situation as you not having heard either). I'd be going with the Le Amp.
    By the way , what do the Marantz blocks cost?
    Appearence wise, have you only seen the pictures on nOrh's site? If so, for some strange reason, from what I understand the pictures on their site are not the same as what you get when you order it. They actually looks more like this:
    http://www.tnt-audio.com/ampli/norhleamp_e.html
    2-7 of those white face plates with the dull nOrh logo on them won't look all that bad. And if the silver feet really bother you, take them off, paint them black and put them back on.
     
  4. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    nOrh states the amp has 100 watts output. One was tested by John Curl, it's output was 75 watts.

    I've heard them, they're OK certainly nothing special. But of limited long term value given the low power, and the fact that they are just using an integrated 'amp-on-a-chip', instead of FET's or discrete op-amps, etc.

    I'd suggest saving your cash and waiting until you have enough to get something that represents a better longterm investment and has more power.

    BTW TNT audio reviews are quite suspect IMO......

    They recently reviewed a Balanced Power Tech device. The reviewer states he grounded it to a HOT WATER pipe???? Later he states that it made funny noises when he plugged a quartz space heater into it. Talk about an idiot.......
     
  5. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    Wow, thanks for all the great responses!

    Still not quite sure which way I should go, though. I wonder why more people don't have experience with the nOrhs, if they are as great as some say.

    Dustin, the Marantz are going for $200, plus shipping, while the nOrh are $295 plus shipping (from Thailand).

    The picture from that review is roughly the same as the pictures nOrh posts on its website. Maybe I could paint that front faceplate? If it were black, it wouldn't look so bad...(not to be mean, but their speakers look even sillier!)

    Thanks again for the links and responses, everyone! Anyone else want to weigh in?
     
  6. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    James there is also one thing to think about.

    Remote triger.When you have 2-5 more amps it would be a pain to turn'em on manually all the time.According to the pictures the nORH amp don't have this feature.I belive the Marantz has it,at least on the older models they did[500,700].
     
  7. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Well I've done some more looking and now I'm just confused. Some swear buy it, some figure it is hog wash. Some say it is under powered, some say it has plenty to spare.
    I did find a link to IRD, who calls the Le amp the MB100. They listed these specs:
    0.010 % @ 72 Watts Continuous Average Output into 8 Ohms @ 1 KHz
    0.014 % @ 105 Watts Continuous Average Output into 4 Ohms @ 1 KHz
    http://www.ird-thailand.com/amp_mb100.htm#Final SPECS
    Those do look like pretty dismal power ratings. Yet on the same page that gives these specs, this is also sed:
     
  8. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Dustin
    I'm not impressed with the little nOrh amp. To me it's a dead end product. Slightly better than the amps in most receivers but not in the same league a most separates
    If you want a new 5 channel amp take long look at the Anthum.
    My personal suggestion is to get used Aragon 8008ST/BB off of Audiogon.
    Power amps are the safest thing to buy used. I've gotten 8 Aragons from Audiogon all were in mint condition. Now these may seem pricy, but by one at a time and you'll end up with something that's an investment instead of a stop-gap-measure
    http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.p...600&class&3&4&
    http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.p...014&class&3&4&
    http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.p...013&class&3&4&
     
  9. Glen_L

    Glen_L Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a pair of Le Amps and will definitely not be returning them, nor do I consider them a "stopgap measure". They are very solidly constructed, and I've had no problems driving my nOrh 4.0 speakers to unbearable levels. And when I say unbearable, that's cleanly unbearable--even at those levels it did not sound audibly distorted.
    I jumped on the bandwagon way back when the Le Amps were announced and thus got them from the first shipment. Since then, they have decided to tone down the bright green LED and remove the DC capacitor by default. The DC cap was originally intended to keep tweeters from being damaged by DC offset, but it also negatively affects imaging and soundstage (or so I'm told). Mine sound awesome as is, but I'm considering having the modifications done.
    Perhaps the biggest nOrh skeptic at one time was Brian Cheney of VMPS audio. Have a look at some of the things he had to say about Le Amp in Audio Asylum. Well, Mr. Barnes took him up on his accusations, and eventually Brian found somebody with Le Amps nearby that was willing to have them tested and auditioned. Brian wrote up a review, and publicly apologized to Mr. Barnes. All agreed that the Le Amp blew away the Marantz monoblock that was brought for comparison.
    Here is one more thorough review from Harmonic Discord. The Aragon 8008st was preferred to all incarnations of Le Amp, but you should keep the price differential in mind, too.
    Hopefully this will help you make a more informed decision.
     
  10. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    No one doubts that the Le Amps are able to drive little mini-monitors like the nOrh 4.0 to reasonably loud SPL's.

    I know what I heard, and the Le Amps (yes they had ALL the 'mods') just don't cut it when used with more revealing loudspeakers.

    As for Cheney's review, he's finally learning it's better to make friends if you want to sell product.
     
  11. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Are they not making 3 and 5 channel versions of the Aragon 8008 any more?

    Is the 200W into 8ohms just a conservative rating so they can say the 4ohm output is 400W and make the amp look like it doubles its' power with a load halving like ideal amps are supposed to?
     
  12. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Dustin
    Go for the black models, they offer the best pricing. Klipsch bought Mondial and are now introducing a complete new product line, all are silver. As a result pricing on the 'old' Aragon models is very good. Aragon amps have VERY 'stiff' power supplies. That means they double down the power output every time the resistance halves. They aren't fudging anything, at 2 ohms the amps deliver a staggering 800 watts/channel. And they'll will drive 2 ohm loads 24/7 and not break a sweat. The amps are massively overbuild. Their construction makes most amps appear cheap in comparison. Aragon is really the low end of true hi-end amps, but they are priced with the higher end of mid-fi products.
    Yes the new product line offers multichannel amps but they aren't cheap. Getting the discontinued black models from someplace like Audiogon is the best bet for affordable pricing.
    This is an amazing price for 5-200 watt amps in a single chassis Aragon on Audiogon Only down side is that it weighs 107lbs!!!
     
  13. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    Thomas W--If you HAD to choose between the Marantz and the Le Amp--which would you pick? I only have around $500 to spend and at this point I'm not going to save up towards a more expensive amp....

    So let's say some evil Bose agent held a gun to your head, and demanded you pick one of the above. Which would it be?
     
  14. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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  15. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Stable 800W at 2ohms. That is impressive. Do you think the 8008x3 will still be findable in good shape on Audiogon in 1 to 2 years?
     
  16. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I'd totally agree with ThomasW on this.

    While these amps are inexpensive they are only a stop gap measure if you purchase more demanding loudspeakers. Take a speaker that is not very efficient 86db at 4 ohm nominal(typical for an audiophile speaker) and hook it up to the n0rh amp and you have an amp this is gonna run out of gas very quickly.

    You might not have demanding speakers now but you might in the future.
     
  17. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Dustin

    Yup they'll pop up from time to time, just like they do now. There was lots of movement in the the last few months after Klipsch introduced the new models. All the dealers were dumping stock to make room for the new ones. The 8008-3B at $1400 is a steal.

    Actually the older 4004's are pretty good too. These are currently selling for $800 or so.
     
  18. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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    Thomas- I have 2 questions for you if your still monitering this thread. First, I have a 3 channel Anthem MCA series 2 and a pair of modded Le Amps. I am planning to use these 5 channels to triamp a music only 2 channel system with a single sub. One of the Anthem's channels is for the sub (sealed tempest), so I have a choice of driving the tweeters with the LE Amps and the mids with the remaining pair of anthem channels, or the other way around. Obveously, your best advice is to clean house and use an 8008 for everything, but given what I have, does one way make more sense than the other ?

    Second question- I see on anthem's web site 2 new lines of amps but can't quite figure out how they are different from the MCA II's. Do you know anything about the MCA 20/30/50 or the PVA series ? That site crashes my browser for some reason. Thanks.
     
  19. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Hi

    If you already have an active XO I'd suggest experimenting. My best guess would be using the Le Amp on the tweeters, Anthem on the mids. But to make sure, hook them up the other way as well. Sometimes it works out better to have the 'best' amp on the tweeters. There is no hard and fast rule so let your ears be the guide

    Regarding Anthem, MCA =225 watts/channel vs PVA =125 watts/channel
     
  20. Glen_L

    Glen_L Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian,

    Out of curiousity, did you modify your own Le Amps or did you have somebody do it? I may be interested in having the mod done, provided I don't have any DC offset (I haven't measured with a voltmeter yet).

    Thanks,

    Glen
     

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