Two Channel Amp Recommendation (Going from 5 to 7 channels)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Will, Feb 13, 2002.

  1. Will

    Will Guest

    Hey,
    I'm looking for recommendations on a 2 channel amp, that has about 200 wpc, that doesn't get too hot to put in a semi-enclosed cabinet. I use a 5 channel Sunfire Cinema Grand now. I'll be needing two more channels of amplification when I buy a 7 channel pre/pro like the Outlaw 950.
    I would definitely consider something used. But again, I don't want it to run too hot to put into an enclosed area.
    Price is of course a consideration, which is one reason why I'm not considering Sunfire's 2 channel amp.
     
  2. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Will, something like the Carver 500 thx 250 watts X 2 may be a close match for your carver grand..I know it runs fairly cool and can be picked up for about 375.00
     
  3. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    I agree, a carver would be perfect for driving your rear centers.
     
  4. Will

    Will Guest

    I'm very unfamiliar with the older Carver amplifiers. I see ads for used Carver amplifiers with for example, the following names: M-500T, A-500x, M-1.0t, M-1.5t, M-4.0t. Some of the Carver amps, based on their pictures, look like they are rack mountable with huge handles on their sides. Some of the others look like medium-sized cubes. So, there are some different shapes and sizes in the legacy carver amps. Any advice on which of these legacy Carver amps to stay away from?

    Did amplifiers, even in those days, have an auto-on, to turn them themselves on whenever the pre/pro sends them a signal on either channel? (I know my 5 channel Sunfire Cinema Grand only turns on if a signal is sensed in the two main channels. The other channels aren't sensed in that way.) Also, how old are these older carver amps? Almost 20 years old?
     
  5. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Will, I had the Carver thx 753 which is the 3 channel version of the thx 500. As far as looks, this thing is impressive..The needle meters are lighted and if I remember correctly it had handles. Black in appearance and weight was about 50 lbs. These units ar not very old, maybe 2-4 years. This was the last of the Carver amps made by Bob, I believe.

    I also had the 4.0T which was about 10 years old, brushed aluminum with handles and no meters. VERY light about 30 lbs and ran so cool you could keep your beers ready to gulp.

    I totally preferred the looks, sound, build of the 753 THX.

    Forgot to mention the 4.0T is like 375 watts @ 8 ohms, but to me didnt seem as powerful as the 753..

    Sorry, I dont remember about the triggers as I never used anyway
     
  6. Will

    Will Guest

    Anthony,
    Thanks but I'm looking for an amp that runs cool when on.
     
  7. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Will, I had to turn them on each time, I wish I could remember if it had a trigger but my little boy has always been my remote control.[​IMG]
    A buddy of mine has the m-500t, That thing is old,early 80's I believe, but they seem to go on ebay for higher amounts then I think they should, possibly the cool looking meters. I have never heard his but will ask what he thinks. I thought it was only 200 watts.. I cant really speak to the m-500t but just from the pictures and little bit I have read, I would go with the newer 500 thx..
    I would stay away from all the carver cubes based on what I read when I researched them..Cheap speaker connections etc.
    Oh, I just wanted to add that the reason I said 375.00 for the 500 THX is about a year or 2 ago, Onecall.com was blowing them out at 600.00 for the 753 and 400.00 for the 500THX. I have also seen them go on ebay for 375.00 but they go quick as there wasnt to many made. I actually picked up the 753 at onecall and then sold on ebay for 850. The next day I saw another 753 on audioreview.com for 425.00!! I couldnt resist so I bought a second one.
     
  8. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    I have an Aragon 4004 MKII and it's an awesome 2ch amp and can be found used for $800 or less.
     
  9. Will

    Will Guest

    John,
    OK, I'll stay away from Carver cubes. They probably won't fit on a low shelf anyway. I watched an m-500t go for about $450 on eBay, and an A-500x go over $750. Both went for well over their "buy it now" price. I also see a Carver C-500 and while I'm not sure what it is, I understand it's 2 x 250wpc.
     
  10. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] GEEZ, you gotta love ebay 750.00!!
     
  11. Will

    Will Guest

     
  12. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    How about an ATI 1502 power amplifier like i have. Best amp for the money in my opinion.
     
  13. Will

    Will Guest

    Thanks for the suggestion but again, I'm looking for an amp that runs cool *not* hot when used.
     
  14. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Will,

    From my experience ATI amps do not run very hot. I have a 5 channel ATI amp and it only gets semi-warm. I'd expect their two channel amp to run even cooler. You do need some ventilation of course.

    Dan
     
  15. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

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    I heard the Carver cubes had a tendency to blow up.
     
  16. Rob Jo.

    Rob Jo. Agent

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  17. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    But Wills already said money was a consideration and thats why he wasnt going for the sunfire two channel. I beleive the Odysses is 1100.00 and he could buy the sunfire for less then that used.

    Will another thing that you probably know but I will say it anyway. The TFM carver series run fairly cool and they are on ebay all the time. They are VERY nice amps and there are so many models, you can could chose your watts. TFM-25 I think is the 200 watt version and the TFM -24 is the same without meters as you could pick this one up even cheaper. I have read nothing but good things about the tfm series.

    A question for you Will, do you use the voltage or current connection on the cinema grand ? The reason I ask is that the TFM stands for "transfer function modified"

    Bob Carver designed these with a resistor, so as to sound more like a tube amp. Apparently he succeeded because there was a a/b dbt performed for a big group of audiophiles several years back comparing the TFM units to the 25,000 silver seven t mono blocks which were highly regarded. None could tell the difference..

    This will probably start a war which is not my intention, but like I said the TFM has always been reviewed well, especialy by actual users... specs and power are good and I have not read of to many reliability complaints
     
  18. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    the aluminum heatsinks on the ATI 1502 are huge!. This amp is built like a tank, runs very cool and i bought it on Audiogon for $350 used with 4.5 years left on the warranty. For warranty purposes, the serial # in the back of the amp is all you need, no receipt required.
     
  19. JimN

    JimN Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are looking for a two channel that runs cool you may want to check out an old Adcom 555. Almost as good an amp as the mono 565's, powerful, clean and run cool even with some nasty speaker loads. You can pick them up pretty cheap on ebay. They are pretty neutral but I'm not sure how well they would match up to your sunfire.
     
  20. Will

    Will Guest

    John T
    I have used both the resistor and the non-resistor setting on the Sunfire Cinema Grand. Only the Left and Right channels have the resistor option. The other three channels, including the center channel, don't have it. That's one reason I tend not to use it. There is a smoother sound when the resistor is in, which adds a pleasing sweetness to music. But I'm not sure it's accurate and while it may soften the harshness of some pre/pro's, I'm hopeful the new batch of pre/pro's won't need this type of softening. I think the resistor modifies the sound by softening it. Albeit in a very pleasing manner, it's a modification nevertheless.
    Serge and JimN
    Do you know if the amps you recommend auto-sense and turn themselves on when a signal comes in from the pre/pro? I want this feature, alot.
    Also, do you know if the amps you recommend are tall or extremely heavy? I don't want those features, if possible. I may end up looking into the amps you recommend, in addition to those from Carver, since the Carvers tend to cost more than $500 these days. The $500 is the most I'd like to spend on a good used two channel amp, that's not too tall, not too heavy, and not hot when on.
    Thanks again for all your suggestions!
    Will
     

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