Sunfire Amplifiers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JohnCro, Feb 8, 2003.

  1. JohnCro

    JohnCro Extra

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    Does anyone have experience with Sunfire Amplifiers? I recently purchased a Sunfire Theater Grand III processor and am looking to upgrade my amp, an Adcom 7500. Which I now consider the weak link in my system, that also includes a Sunfire TrueSub mkII and Martin Logan Speakers, (Scenarios/Cinema/Scripts). Would a Sunfire Cinema Grand II make a noticable difference my system? Any other amp recommendations for my system? (Electrostatic Speakers) What about the Sunfire Ultimate receiver? It would seem to have the same specs as the TGIII+CGII? Plus it has seven channels. Does anyone have any experience with the Ultimate receiver?


    Thanks
     
  2. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    Lot of questions. I'll try;

     
  3. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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    I don't have a Sunfire, but I'm interested in the design. I called Sunfire last week and asked if they have a 7 channel amplifier. I was told that the Sunfire Cinema 7 and Cinema 7 Signature will be available in March.

    Sunfire White Paper on Amplifiers
    http://www.nortek.net/learning_cente...te_paper-1.htm

    Bob Carver interview
    http://www.audio-ideas.com/interview/carver.html

    Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature review
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...signature.html

    Sunfire Cinema Grand review
    http://www.vxm.com/21R.116.html
     
  4. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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  5. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    I used to own a Sunfire Cinema Grand 5-channel amplifier, but when I sold my surround speakers (don't ask why), I returned to my standby, a Crown Macro Reference, 760 watts/channel. I've owned many amps in my life, many of them quite expensive, and I've never heard a fraction of a difference between any of them (outside of power output), but my Crown 2-channel definitely had more and better bass than the Sunfire. Not that the Sunfire was bad in this respect. Outside of that, I can recommend Sunfire amps. They run cooler than anything - my damn vcr runs much hotter - and for the several years I owned it, it was reliable.

    Have you ever though of pro amps? When it comes to power output/cost, QSC has Sunfire and every other consumer amp beat by a wide margin. You could get five channels and more power for less than the Cinema Grand. Check it out.
     
  6. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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    Sound & Vision magazine reviewed the Sunfire Ultimate Receiver in the February/March 2003 issue. Incredible power for a receiver, "excellent all-around performance" but noise levels were 3 to 4 dB worse than the theoretical target. Note this comment on Sunfire's web page:

    "for those uncompromising audiophiles who require the ultimate in power amplifiers with a lower noise floor, more power, virtually limitless dynamics, and one-ohm stability that can drive any speaker made, our separates systems are for you."

    http://www.sunfire.com/products/ultimatereceiver.shtml
     
  7. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    I have a Cinema Grand and I'm very pleased with it. As mentioned, they have alot of power & run cool, but aren't gigantic and heavy because they don't require large heatsinks.

    They also give you two output options for the front channels--a current source output that has a more tube-like sound and a voltage source output that is traditional solid-state. I biwire my fronts with the current source output for the highs and voltage source for the woofers(as Sunfire recommends).

    I used an Adcom 5400(125x2)for my fronts before I got the Sunfire and then relegated it to subwoofer duty. They are well-built amps, as well, and are a very good value.

    I do prefer the Sunfire in my setup, but feel that Adcom amps are very underrated. The Sunfire will deliver more to the 6 ohm Logans though, so it might strain less at higher levels and during transient peaks than your current amp.

    DJ
     
  8. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    I've owned adcom amps for some time with my martin logans. But in all honesty the sunfire amplier I demoed (signature series two channel) was in a whole other league. The adcom seems to strain/distort at any volume level while the sunfire did not.

    For martin logans you really need an amp that can drive low impedance (1-2 ohm loads) effortlessly. Sunfire fits that bill and worked great with mine.

    Given your setup I can't think of a more suitable amplifier than sunfire. Amps I've used with marin logan include classe, aragon 8008bb, krell and adcom. The sunfire easily competes with these and its a matter of preference which you prefer I believe.

    Good luck.
     
  9. Mike Poindexter

    Mike Poindexter Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    I am puzzled at your statement that the Adcom amp seemed to strain or distort. Which model were you using? I ask because I have never had this problem with the GFA-565 and GFA-5800 that I used for many years with phenomenally demanding speakers (Infinity Kappa series and IRS series).

    My experience with the Adcoms is that they handled the low ohm impedance very easily, while the older Carver TFM-45 I had prior to them couldn't even handle normal listening levels before switching off. Of course, the older Carver was in a different league than the Sunfire, but still, I have a hard time believing that the Adcom was giving you problems.

    Mike
     
  10. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Mike,

    The adcom would shut down when I drove the speakers hard and had a thin/compressed sound at normal listening. The model was one of the original 555s.
     
  11. Mike Poindexter

    Mike Poindexter Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    I know that amp was bridgeable and if bridged, it would show signs of low impedance strain much quicker. Also, there was a mkII update for that amp, but I am not certain exactly what was done to it. The mkII are fairly commonplace, whereas the earlier versions are not encountered often. It could be that the mkII is when it really became an audiophile hot item. I don't know, as it is a little before my time in audiophile history.
     

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