Power amp shootout...!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by aaron.r, Aug 25, 2002.

  1. aaron.r

    aaron.r Extra

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    I've narrowed down my search for a 5-channel power amp to the following candidates:
    * B&K Reference 7250 (200wpc)
    * Rotel RMB 1095/1075 (200/120wpc)
    * ATI AT2505/1505 (250/150wpc)
    * Sunfire Grand Cinema II (250wpc)
    * Adcom GFA 7700/7500 (175/150wpc)

    I would greatly appreciate personal impressions of any/all of these amps...

    I am currently running the following:
    Meridian 565 pre
    Energy Veritas 2.4

    I will soon be purchasing the matching Energy Veritas center/surrounds, and a Velodyne sub (either HGS 10, or SPL 12... not sure which)

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Michael Roderiques

    Michael Roderiques Stunt Coordinator

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    Aaron

    Given the choices you have listed, I would choose any ATI over the Sunfire or Adcom units.

    The ATI 2505 will out perform these units, hands down
    I found it to be very neutral and clean.

    Two People who I worked with listened to the ATI and both now own them, both had Cinemas before.

    I have not done more than auditions of the B&K or the Rotel, so I can't make a good recommendation or comparison.
    I think I would still choose the ATI based on this.

    On the SPL1200, please e-mail me private


    Michael
     
  3. aaron.r

    aaron.r Extra

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    Thanks for the advise, Michael.

    Anyone heard the B&K or the Rotel?...
     
  4. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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    You're missing the CineNova 5 channel (300wpc)
    http://earthquakesound.com/serv01.htm
    On the street the price is in the same neighborhood as the ATI 2505 and the Sunfire, and it is in a whole new league in power to distortion (300wpc with .003% distortion 20-20)
    John
     
  5. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    I have auditioned all of these amps and prefer the sound in exactly the order that you mentioned except I'd switch the adcom and sunfire's places. They all are solid amps with a slightly different top end on each.
     
  6. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    It's tough to make a decision, all are great amplifiers, but may or may not work well with your system.

    You have a spectacular pre/pro, so noise issues shouldn't be a concern from there. The next thing you should do is audition as many as possible in your house with those speakers and base your decision on your findings.

    It is critical to match the amp with your speakers since you already own them. One amp may not hum, where another may...one may accept banana plugs, spades, or whatever your choice is. Don't pay attention to the numbers, they are all quality amps...which one will sound best is up to you.


    Jeremy
     
  7. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    What exactly is your budget? Out of the few mentioned, the Rotel RMB-1095 is probably the best price/performance amp, and will definitely outperform the Adcom, and probably the ATI 1505 too. I've not auditioned any of the rest, but there are 2 other very comparable amps that you missed out - the Parasound HCA-2205AT and the Sherbourn 5/1500A.
     
  8. aaron.r

    aaron.r Extra

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    My price point is a bit flexible, but I'd like to stay under $2000 for sure.
    Retail on the B&K is around $2500, but I've seen them around for $800 - $1000 less (new in the box) I've heard the Energy reps use B&Ks to demo their stuff, so it stands to reason that I might have a good match there...
    I've heard really good things about the Rotel, but I haven't seen any discounted or pre-owned anywhere ( ...which should probably tell me something right there)
    I'm not familiar with Parasound or Sherbourne, but maybe I'll check them out too...

    Thanks for the great feedback!
     
  9. Michael Mathius

    Michael Mathius Screenwriter

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    Aaron, I'm using a Parasound 1205A with my Veritas 2.4's and 2.0's and loving it. Incidentally, Hometheater magazine recently reviewed the Veritas and used the same amp.

    Michael.
     
  10. Ken_Thomson

    Ken_Thomson Auditioning

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    I have been using the B&K Ref. 7250 in my theater for about the last 6 months. I auditioned most of the others you mentioned, but kept coming back to the B&K. I have been very impressed with it, but it does require a lot of break-in time before you get optimal sound.

    Ken
     
  11. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    There are only two words I have for B&K: warm and musical. They mate with pretty much all kinds of speakers. I have heard them with Klipsch's (quite bright) and I have heard them with Vienna's (quite warm), and no matter what speakers in between they are mated with they sound musical and warm. The only downside to a B&K is that they tend to run a bit on the warm side (due to the use of MOSFETs) and require more than average ventilation esp. in the multichannel kind. The two and three channel ones can be run like any other amp.
     
  12. Mitch E S

    Mitch E S Stunt Coordinator

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    I actually find my B&K ref2220 to run pretty cool. Now the Anthem MCA5 (200wpc x 5) runs a bit hot... but I've found it to be an incredible value (less than $1000) and is a workhorse (driving Dynaudio 4ohm speakers all around). As good as the B&K sounds I find the Anthem sounds just as good (and was less money than the 2 channel B&K to boot). In fact I'd have to say its been the best price/performance piece of equipment in either of my HTs!!! AND, Anthem has come out with a new more powerful version, MCA50 I believe.
    Just thought I'd help make your decision a little tougher [​IMG]
    Good Luck, Mitch
     
  13. Bordeaux

    Bordeaux Auditioning

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    I listened to the b&k, rotel,ati,and sherboun. Since I have b&w speakers,It was a toss up between the rotel and b&k. I couldn't find the rotel cheap enough so I decided to get the b&k. I found it on audiogon brand new for $1350. I do agree with your order of listings on the most part except that you didn't add parasound as stated from another reply[​IMG]
     
  14. Newell

    Newell Extra

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    AVS Science has the Sherbourn 5/1550A for $1499 (just bought one, it replaced my Adcom 7500). It's basically five mono blocks in one chassis. Plenty of great reviews.

    The head of Sherbourn is Ron Fone (former President of McIntosh). Ron is very pleasant to talk to and will personally return your phone call if you don't get in on the first try.

    I was considering the Rotel 1095, but the personal service at Sherbourn and the reviews swayed me toward the Sherbourn.

    Hope this helps.
     
  15. Mark R O

    Mark R O Stunt Coordinator

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    Aaron,
    Newell's advice is dead on. The amps you have listed are all fine pieces. No doubt you would be happy with any selection from the group. However one amp I think you would be remiss not to audition before plunking down your hard won dollars. The Sherbourn 5/1500 is a very special unit. While the amps you mentioned are very competitve against one another, and are made to go head to head, the Sherbourn was made to challange the entire market. No consideration to class or niche placement was given during it's design, other companies product was not of interest. Ron Fone and Eugene Tang put their half century plus of hi-fi success together and made the best amp they could without stepping into the Voodoo zone of high end mystical amps, or pushing the absurd 5 figure prices of the "Class A Recommended" clan. Their efforts resulted IMHO in one the better amplifiers available, cost be damned. I have used the 5 channel unit with a selection of speakers, Paradigm, Mirage, Monitor Audio and NHT and even my beloved Electrostats. While amps from Cinepro, Adcom, Marantz, Parasound and EAD all performed admirably in my set ups, the 5/1500 stepped forward in every case. Mind you, we are not talking about vapor like nuances described with "reviewer-speak" in an overpriced magazine. There were audible, consistant differences, which in my case have been preferred every time. I'm not suggesting Krell, Levinson, ARC, VTL etc. give up and quit the biz in humiliation. The Sherbourn served duty in our 2 channel system driving 3.3's. It was marvelous. But soon as I could manage, it had to step aside for Rogue monoblocks. They sound far better. (Rogue seems to be the Sherbourn of tube amps.) But in the Theater system, the 5/1500 dominated the Rogues. The only change has been adding a couple of the Sherbourn Mono's. A big bonus to all of this is that Mr. Ron Fone sets the bar for creditable business practice and principled ethics. Call him. He will tell you far more eloquently than I why the amp performs, but after owning one I doubt you will care about all the science. Okay, my Sherbourn advertisement is over. Geeez, sorry all.
    Good luck, Aaron.
     
  16. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    Hello Arron

    I also would have to agree that they are all good solid choices. There are alot of great sounding amps out there now adays. I have heard the Adcom and the Sunfire which both sound good. I too am looking into purchasing amplifiers down the road. I am looking at the following:
    1.Parasound
    2.ATI
    3.Cinepro
    4.Acurus
    5.Aragon
    6.Rotel
    Would like to hear what people how have these amps think?
     
  17. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    Has anyone listened to or have an amplifier from Pass Labs? Was wondering what price range they are in and how they sound ?
     
  18. mark mann

    mark mann Auditioning

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    I just picked up the B&K 7250 for $1650.00 and it really kicked my speakers to life,i have Vienna Acoustics all around and im told they love power,the bass is alot stronger and the highs are really alot nicer now,the preamp is a Onkyo integra 6.2,looks like this amps a keeper for shure,I checked out the rotel rb1095 and really liked it also it was a monster,and the b&k was cheaper brand new,they were blowing them out
     
  19. Newell

    Newell Extra

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    Sherbourn 5/1500 price clarification. The price I posted was incorrect. The price I paid was based on an even exchange for another piece of equipment that I returned to AV Science.

    To get the current price for the Sherbourn, interested parties should contact Jason at AV Science.

    Sorry for the confusion.
     
  20. Marc_E

    Marc_E Supporting Actor

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    I own the RMB-1095 which power B&W's and some old crap CSW's but I LOVE it. I also have a RB-1090 for the mains. I love these amps.
    Marc
     

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