Seperates terminology

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MarkW, Sep 26, 2002.

  1. MarkW

    MarkW Auditioning

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    I'm looking into seperates for a HT. Being new to the idea of having seperates, I had a couple questions.
    What is biamping? Monobloc? How much processing power is adequate? Can a great prepro & amp be had for under $1000? Maybe somebody had a threat they'd like to point me to. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    The cheapest combo I can think of that would produce real nice quality would be the Outlaw 950 matched with an amp like the Parasound 855. The total for the two would probably exceed $1000 by three or four hundred though. As far as biamping, it requires that you have two power sources (amps) and connect one to the midrange/tweeters and the other to the bass. Monoblocs, and here I don't know for sure, are one channel power amps. I'm not sure what you mean by processing power, but if you mean how much power do you need, it depends on factors such as speaker sensitivity, the size of the room, and your listening levels.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  4. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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  5. MarkW

    MarkW Auditioning

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    Dana: I guess I meant speed when I mentioned processing power.

    So, with a 5.1 HT, do you need 2 2ch amps and one monobloc? I guess I don't understand what a surround sound setup looks like when using seperates. Thanks for you input.
     
  6. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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  7. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Stunt Coordinator

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    with multichannel amps design can vary significantly from one to another. A lot of them use one giant power supply to drive all 5 (or 6 or 7) channels. That's okay if the power supply is big enough, but it is possible to get into a situation where you are trying to drive all 5 channels simultaneously at high volume levels and there's a chance that you could run out of power. With truly separate monoblock amplifiers this won't ever happen since each channel has it's own power supply to draw from. Some more expensive multichannel amplifiers actually have separate power supplies for each channel in them (some of these are modular designs which essentially means there's a single outer chassis with room inside for 5, 6 or 7 mono amplifier modules and you can buy them with as many channels as you need).

    You can use any combination of amplifiers you wish to drive your speakers. I personally use three 2-channel amplifiers to drive 6 channels. In my case the amplifiers are what's known as 'dual-mono' because while they are 2 channel amps internally it is like 2 monoblocks - there are totally discrete power supplies and signal paths for each of the 2 channels.
     
  8. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Stunt Coordinator

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    Another thing to consider with your budget limit would be to use a home theater receiver with preamp outputs as your pre / pro. The Outlaw 950 (and most of it's competition) isn't going to leave you with much left over for amplification if you keep things under $1000.00. There are several models of AV receiver that you can effectively use as a pre-amp which cost less than any of the dedicated pre/pro's out there. The nice thing about going this way is you can spend more on a higher-quality amplifier which may not necessarily have as many channels as you need but in the meantime suppliment the system by powering the other channels with the receiver. Then you can add more separate amplifiers as budget allows.

    It is true that the processing capabilities of a $600.00 receiver may not be as high as those of a dedicated $900.00+ preamp processor. However, personally I think from a limited budget perspective the place to spend the extra money is in the amplification, not the processing. Think about it from a long term perspective. Preamp / Processors are almost disposable - new surround processing technologies are always popping up (dolby surround, dolby pro-logic, dolby digital, dts, dolby surround-ex, dts-es, pro-logic II, logic 7, etc. where will it end?) Unless you spend mega-bucks on an upgradeable unit from someone like Lexicon (who then charge additional mega-bucks to upgrade it) you are eventually going to want to ditch your current home theater processor for a new one with the latest whiz-bang processing mode, and no one is going to want to buy your old one because it won't be state of the art any more.

    On the other hand, you can ALWAYS use a good, solid amplifier. My amps are 12 years old, and I have no intention of replacing them. A clean sounding amp will always be a clean sounding amp.
     

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