The best mid-priced monoblock amps available?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dan Hitchman, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    I am curious as to what monoblock amps do people here think are worthy of checking out in the under $1,000 per amp category.
    Yeah, I would love to be able to go with Mark Levinson, Proceed, Theta, etc. but that's just not in the cards, baby! [​IMG]
    I had read one review of the Sherbourn 300MB in SGHT magazine that stated they were pretty good for the money.
    However, now I see that the 300MB is discontinued and Sherbourn isn't making a monoblock amp anymore.
    Has this market dried up? Is Parasound coming out with their own monoblocks (not a rebadge of some other company's line)?
    The reasons I've always like the monoblock concept are: 1) Zero cross-talk interference from the other channels, 2) Separate transformers and the load requirements of the other channels' amps due not effect each other, 3) Wider soundstaging, and 4) Unlimited channel configurations.
    Any recommendations?
    Dan
     
  2. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

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    Parasound should be releasing their Halo series JC-1 monoblock soon, but i believe it's going to be somewhere in the range of $3000 per channel.
     
  3. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    Dan- If your power requirements arn't huge, I'd like to promote the nOhr Le 100 monoblocks. Check the nOhr website for full info and description. High quality at a great price and an excellent company to deal with.
     
  4. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    B&K Ref 220M. The best IMO in the 1K range. They have been compared to the Krell 300FPB in one of the reviews this past March and although they are with their shortcomings (compared to Krell FPB) they achieve most but the very extreme performance of the Krell esp in the bass department and the soundstaging department. I love the sound of their stereo amps (Ref 2220) and the 220M could only be better.
     
  5. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Yogi,

    How far into the $1,000 range is the B&K Ref. monoblock?

    Dan
     
  6. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    i would check out the Odyssey Stratos mono's, they are said to be incredible, just like the rest of the odyssey stuff.
    And BTW, if you at all interested in the Norh's, I have a set up for sale. I could give you any information you could need concerning these amps. They are truly worth every penny, if not twice more.
     
  7. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    MSRP is about $1295. You might be able to find deals on new ones online for around $1000. I know that Tweeter has a semi-annual customer appreciation sale when the 220M (and the 2220) are marked down to $1160 and when I apply my mail coupon for a $100 off (on purchases over 1K) I can get it for $1060. If you go online I am sure you will be able to find it for less than 1K.

    If you go used I see frequent deals on Audiogon for a pair of newer 220Ms going for about $1400 or a pair of older Sonata monoblocks going for about $800. I don't know if B&K is discontinuing its monoblock and stereo amps. They are coming out with new multichannel amps so there are some good bargains to be found on the multichannel amps. If they are doing the same to their mono and stereo amps then you might find good deals on them.

    Also the other monoblock amp in that range to check out is Odyssey's monoblock amps that retail for $2195 for a pair. Although I haven't listened to them I hear nothing but rave reviews about them. Something to check out.
     
  8. KevinHunt

    KevinHunt Stunt Coordinator

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    The Marantz monoblocks have been pretty well regarded and the old MA500s were on Stereophiles recommended component list for a long time. I think both the 700 and 500 are discontinued. They are currently making an MA6100 monoblock which is similar to the old 500 with slightly improved output stages. It all depends on what you want to drive. I have 3 MA6100s(125 watts into 8ohms) driving my M&K S150 center(4 ohm) and 550 surrounds(4 ohms also), but it's a pretty benign 4 ohm load. I personally like the Marantz monoblocks and they are cheap, but there is better out there. The Bryston Powerpac 120 & 250 would be ones to look at also.
     
  9. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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  10. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

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    Yogi,
    This year's B&K's amps are as follows ref200.1, 200.2, 200.3, 200.5, 200.7........
    very sensible and very soon for me.....
     
  11. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Thanks Matt for the info. I had no idea if they were changing their mono and stereo amps too. The new nomenclature seems very sensible.
     
  12. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Count me in for Two: Ref200.1 monoblocks & One: Ref200.5 amp [​IMG] (to go with my Ref50)
     
  13. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Chip you should have one sweet honkin smooth system once you put it all together. Cant wait to hear your impressions. Will you be able to do a comparison between your 5803 and the B&K separates? Even though it wouldn't be a fair comparison (@ probably twice the price) it will be worthwhile to know how the sound compares between the two.
     
  14. rajiv

    rajiv Stunt Coordinator

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    Yogi,
    Wow. Since you live in Middletown, CT, I would think you cut us a great deal on Mark Levinson or Proceed amps. [​IMG]
    I have a pick up truck and could really help you out if got some deep deep discounts from the factory. [​IMG]
     
  15. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Rajiv, Madrigal is walking distance (1 mi) from where I work. I know some people at Madrigal because they used to work at my company. Levinson is my favourite amp. Now if only they would hire me into their R&D department...[​IMG]
    Seriously, at some point in time I will apply for a job at Madrigal. Just have to get some more experience at my current job and work harder on my evening MBA.
    For now I am extremely happy with their Proceed amp that drives my main L/R channels.
     
  16. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    Let me throw something else out there that you may not have considered. Getting all monoblocks is a considerable expense, so I'm wondering if you've thought of going all active? As in each speaker has 2 amps built-in, no passive crossovers, etc.

    I'm not sure what your speakers are, but a HT built around something like 3 Mackie HR824's plus a pair of HR624's would seriously rock! Plus your choice of sub, doesn't have to be the Mackie, obviously....
     
  17. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Okay, how about stereo amps besides monoblocks to keep my options open?

    Dan
     
  18. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    So, up to $2k per stereo amp then I'm guessing? Well, you have a ton of options then.

    Solid stereo amps are made by quite a few companies. Check out Bryston, though. They are supposed to be awesome!
     
  19. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Yogi,
    I'll certainly post my impressions when my new gear comes in and i have a chance to set it all up and properly calibrate it. As for side by side comparisons, i'm sure i could if i really wanted too but, i'm moving on [​IMG]
     
  20. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    "Sherbourn isn't making a monoblock amp anymore"

    Actually ALL Sherbourn amps are monoblock designed. You could get the 5/1500a (which I use) which has 5 mono's contained in one chasis. Each channel has a seperate 400va transformer. They list for $2000 but I paid about $1250 for mine.
     

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