Parasound 2205a, Anthem MCA5, or Acurus 200X5??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James Elvick, Dec 16, 2001.

  1. James Elvick

    James Elvick Supporting Actor

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    Anyone have personal experience with these amps driving Paradigm Reference 100 v2's? Can buy very close in price:
    1. Acurus 200X5 $975
    2. Anthem MCA5 $1100
    3. Parasound 2205a $1300
    Whatta ya think??[​IMG]
     
  2. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    James, I have an Anthem MCA 5 ready to go with a pair of Paradigm Studio 40's in the front, 20's in the rear and a CC for the center. Only problem? I lack a pre/pro and just waiting for the guys from Outlaw to solve that problem. If you can wait 6 weeks or so....three to receive the processor (I hope) and a couple weeks to analyze the combo, I can get back to you. But for right now the Anthem looks great in my rack unutilized (my receiver has no pre outs). Sorry I can't be of more help, but if it matters, I chose that amp based on recommendations from my dealer and other testamonials that Paradigm and Anthem are a great match.
     
  3. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    Of the 3, the Parasound is probably arguably the "best". It has 5x200W of power output, the same as the Acurus, except IMO Parasound is a better brand than Acurus(Acurus is the lower end brand of the now defunct Mondial Designs). The Anthem MCA5 is a value leader, but it has less power. The 200W output is misleading, since it can't output that much when all 5 channels are driven. Its more like 160W for the mains and some other figure for the center/surrounds. I can't remember the exact figure.
     
  4. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Hi James: Hope you are well! With another quarter point drop, I'd guess you are still keeping very busy...[​IMG] Anyway, here is my take on your search. Of the three you mentioned, I'd opt for the Parasound. Many folks have the Paradigm/Parasound combination and swear by it. Acurus amps tend to sound a bit like ATI amps. Although I like them, they may not be the best match for your speakers. As for the Anthem, I had one for a few weeks and it was noisy and grainy as hell. It was never determined if the unit I had was broken, but shortly thereafter Anthem release their MCA II series, which is supposedly a bit better. Finally, the Parasound amp puts out a bit more power which will give you a bit more overhead during those BIG music transients. Good Luck and let us know what you choose.
    PS. - I sold the 3801 and am now waiting for the 950...
     
  5. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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    I have the MCA series II and it is an outstanding amp. Does very well with low impedance loads which may be an issue for you later. Dead quiet, runs cool. Has a self power up feature like a sub amp that is well implimented.
     
  6. Trevor Schell

    Trevor Schell Supporting Actor

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    The Parasound HCA 2205 actually outputs 220 watts X5.

    A great match for the Studio 100's..

    You can also use the 2205 to bi-amp the 100's and then use the last channel to drive the center..balancing out the front soundstage..

    $1,300 is a heck of a price for the 2205.
     
  7. Randy G

    Randy G Second Unit

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    Although it may be out of your price range, the Sherbourn 5/1500A is an incredible amp for its $1499($2000 list) price. It's 200 watts X 5, but what's really cool is that it consists of 5 monoblock amps with a single chassis...yep, with 5 400VA transformers. Also has the auto turn-on feature and balanced inputs as well. You might want to check out the reviews at audioreview.com. If interested, I can hook you up with a brick&mortar dealer who is great to work with. email me at [email protected]
    Regards,
    Randy
     
  8. James Elvick

    James Elvick Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for all the replys. As many had said before, the Parasound is supposed to match very well with Paradigm's slightly forward presence. I also have to admit the Parasounds weight really impresses me. 93lbs.[​IMG]
    Hi John,
    I've had a ATI also and it had brutal power but sort hurt my ears on the upper end with my former NHT's :F So if the the sound is similiar I'll pass!
    Any other Paradigm owners with big amps?
    James
     
  9. RobertW

    RobertW Supporting Actor

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    a parasound 1500(205 watts/channel) used to drive studio 20's. only stereo for now, but plan on adding a 2205 and studio 100's in the future. great match for the paradigms, much better than an ati.

    warm, detailed, open, but never bright or harsh sounding. work great together with the paradigms.

    but i'll defer to trevor, as when it comes to parasound/paradigm, he is the man!
     
  10. Brandon_T

    Brandon_T Screenwriter

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    James,

    I have an anthem MCA5 v.1 running my Studio 100'sv.2, along with the StudioCC and ADP rears. I think the combo is outstanding. Someone mentioned earlier about the power not really being 200W when all channels driven. That might be true when it comes to actual ratings, but this thing sings beautifully at reference levels. The 100's do dip down to a lower impedence, and the amp has shown no sign of fatigue. I love this amp, and I highly recommend it. Good luck in your choice.

    Brandon
     
  11. Sean D

    Sean D Stunt Coordinator

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    I have an Anthem MCA5 series II that I am running with a Marantz sr-7000 as a preamp until the Outlaw comes in. I am using Energy 22.3 's as my mains with an Energy AC-300 center and RVSS surrounds. I think it sounds great. Very clean and definately enough power for my 26' X 16' X 7 1/2 ' room.
     
  12. Alan Wild

    Alan Wild Stunt Coordinator

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    I've also been considering purchasing some extrenal amplifications for my Paradigm's. The problem? I have a 7 speaker arrangement so a 5 channel amp isn't (enough) of a solution.
    I need to power 2 Studio 100's, a studio CC, and 4 Studio 20's (two for rear center, 2 for RL and RR).
    Now, the good news I have a bigger budget... I would be willing to spend up to $2500 (but less is certainly better [​IMG] ).
    I was thinking about the Outlaw 770 (if it's ever released) or possibly a Parasound HCA-1500A for the 100's and a Parasound HCA-1205A to drive the others.
    But frankly I just don't know. Anyone else have recommendations? Baring in mind the power capabilities of the 100's vs. the other speakers.
    Paradigm Specs.
    Thanks,
    -Alan
     
  13. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    I'm thinking about the same thing although to a lesser degree because I currently just plan to buy the Elite 49tx receiver instead of going separates. But I do want a 7ch setup and it seems you have to break the bank in order to get a good amp to drive all 7speakers
     
  14. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Hey Alan,

    Have you considered Anthem's 7 channel amp? I think it's called the PVA-7 or something like that. Not nearly as popular as the MCA series, but I think that's simply because there aren't that many people out there with the budgets, let alone the room, for 7 speakers.

    Something you can check out.

    -Evan
     
  15. Paul Gere

    Paul Gere Second Unit

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    James,

    I have a Parasound HCA-2205 with Studio 100 v.2's, Studio CC and ADP-450 surrounds. I can't say I've had the benefit of auditioning the other amps you mention above, but I feel this combo. is absolutely outstanding. Great detail, soundstage and pleanty of slam when you need it.

    FWIW,

    -Paul
     
  16. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    The Anthem is a fairly decent amp at an extremely reasonable price, but I've compared it to the Rotel 1095, and there was no comparison. The 1095 plays louder, clearer, has better soundstage/imaging, and is more dynamic. Of course, it costs quite a bit more...

    From what I've heard/read, the Sherbourn 1500 is pretty good too.
     
  17. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    I'll add my 2 cents for the hell of it. I've auditioned the 100s this year with both the 2205a and the MCA 5 mkII. I was very pleased with both of them. I expected the anthem / 100s combo to be a bit on the bright side, but I didn't hear that (however, the room was fairly deadened). It delivered punch down low as well; the dealer hadn't heard the 100s sound that good before (he doesn't normally have the 2 connected). I also listened to Monitor Audio Gold reference 20s with the anthem in the same room with the 100s. Reason I mention this is because the Golds I would consider less "bright" than the 100s, but I still heard a lot of clarity and detail from them with the anthem. This leads me to think that the anthem may do well with a wide range of speakers.

    The parasound also mated well with the 100s, in a more reflective (what I would call normal) room. Pushed mucho air down low and opened up the mids and highs. The only question I would have for the Parasound is whether they would mate well with other speakers, if you should choose to upgrade down the line. There's a lot of on-line verbiage about them being warmer than neutral. Since I haven't heard the 2205 with any other speakers, I don't know.

    FWIW, I decided to go with a 2 ch and a 3 ch Odyssey Stratos, for which I am still waiting. I have never heard them, but all the glowing on-line feedback was too tempting.

    Doug
     
  18. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    Anyone know of any reviews (accessible from the web) on the 2205?
     

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