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Which Amp "should" be better to power a SVS sub?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steve_D, Aug 4, 2001.

  1. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    I have 2 amps to choose from. One is a B&K ST-140, rated at 105 w/p/c BUT with a big cap, high current design. Also, I would only use 1 channel and into 4 ohms I suspect rated output would be closer to 175.
    The other is a Marantz MA-700 mono-bloc, rated at 300 watts into 4 ohms.
    Now, I think many people would say well 300 is better than 175. But, when used on my mains on 2 channel, the B&K clearly outperforms the Marantz in bass control.
    So, is there something to the Big Cap, high current design that makes it more suitable for delivering controlled bass? I don't have the damping factor of either amp but maybe that would tell part of the story?
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  2. Zane Johnson

    Zane Johnson Agent

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    both of those are great amps... the only way you would be able to find out is to hook em both up and take a listen..
    i'm suspecting the B&K is a 5 channel amp? correct? well if so i would run the Marantz since it's a mono block... i just don't like to see amp channels going to waste [​IMG]
    kiddin...use whatever sounds better
     
  3. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Which SVS sub are you talking about?
    If Ultra, you probably need more power to max its' performance.
    If CS, either would work very nicely. Deciding between the two would depend on the amp's costs. If priced alike, and if I liked my music and movies at high levels, I'd opt for the Denon monoblock. If you have a small room or playback at more sensible levels, and if you may want to upgrade to 2 subs in the future, then the BK may be the one.
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  4. Chad Isaacs

    Chad Isaacs Supporting Actor

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    If the one is a 5 channel amp..just get 4 more subs [​IMG]
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  5. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    Thanks.
    Well, cost is not an issue, I own them both. The sub is a CS 16-46 in a 2500 sq foot room.
    The BK is a 2 channel amp.
    I was really looking for input on higher wattage (Monobloc)rating versus big cap, high current design (BK) for subwoofer power. I will try them both, but first wanted to learn a little more on the theory of different amplifier designs.
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  6. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    You say the B&K outperformed the Marantz on 2 channel music. Do you have a pair of Marantz monoblocks? How did you do that test?
    Anyway, if the B&K seemed to control the bass better for your mains, I would guess that it would also be better for the SVS. Unless you listen really loud, you might not even be pushing the limits of the B&K, so it might be the better choice in this case.
    If possible, just try both and see what you think.
    RichardH
     
  7. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    Hi Richard,
    Yes, the B&K ST-140 very clearly outperformed Marantz Ma-500 Monoblocs, though to say the B&K outperformed the Ma-700 is a stretch because that is from my current subwoofer use AND extrapulating from my MA-500 test.
    When I say clearly, I mean my wife could hear the difference, and she's happy with a clock radio. Not only hear the difference, but she explained back to me the major differences without hearing me say it first.
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  8. Derrick G

    Derrick G Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve,
    The hi cap design will usually results in a higher damping factor which will give you tighter, cleaner bass. With equal power the amp with the better damping factor should sound better. In your case your amps have a fairly big difference in power, so it really depends on what you're after. The Marantz would probably give you more overall volumn, but the B&K will give you better sound quality. The hi cap design also has more reserve energy available to handle the demands of sub frequencies without tapping out the power supply.
    Hope this helps,
    Derrick G
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  9. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Steve: IMO, I seriously doubt that you will hear any difference between the two amps when playing back sub 80Hz bass notes during a movie playback. Damping factor theoretically should be important for powering a subwoofer, but I tested both a NAD 208(low damp) and a Parasound 1500(high damp) and could not tell any difference in driver control between the two during most movie and music playbacks. Of course, my current sub amp has an immense damping factor so who am I to talk...? [​IMG]
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  10. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    Thanks all. Another option is to sell both and buy a better 2 channel amp, which I am leaning toward since I now have 2 high quality passive subs and the extra channel will be nice to power the second sub. I'm going to use the ST-140 first, and wait until I see a good deal on a more powerful amp.
    Truth be told, though of course I would like to say I can produce 120db clean, I rarely watch movies at anything higher than -5 db, most of the time between -10 and 15. Also, quality is more important to me than absolute quantity, and I compare quality with 2 (or more accurately 2.1 lol) channel audio. I agree that with movies, for me, quality is less important than impact ability.
    Hopefully, between my 2 subs, ART 351, bass management on my 3801 and amps I can have both
    [​IMG]
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    [Edited last by Steve_D on August 07, 2001 at 09:17 AM]
     
  11. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    >>>I now have 2 high quality passive subs and the extra channel will be nice to power the second sub. I'm going to use the ST-140 first, and wait until I see a good deal on a more powerful amp.
    Truth be told, though of course I would like to say I can produce 120db clean, I rarely watch movies at anything higher than -5 db, most of the time between -10 and 15.>Also, quality is more important to me than absolute quantity, and I compare quality with 2 (or more accurately 2.1 lol) channel audio. I agree that with movies, for me, quality is less important than impact ability.
    Hopefully, between my 2 subs, ART 351, bass management on my 3801 and amps I can have both
     
  12. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    "But a well designed woof should handle both music and HT equally well IMO."
    I agree. However, as you know, there are many cases where sub's can sound great on one and not the other. Certain very musical sounding subs may only go down to 35HZ, and conversely many high impact subs sound slow for music.
    Of course, the argument can easily be made these are not "well designed".....which is why I chose to go with your 16-46, most musical (flattest) sub according to your own Q and FR ratings not counting the ultra or SS.
    I thought -5db would be 110 db? And the room is ~2500 sq feet, and of course both subs (the other being a Citation 7.4 THX) will be corner loaded unless I find something that works better due to room nodes. And really, right now I only have 2 seats and really only care about mine which is perfectly centered and calibrated for :)
    As it is, 99% of people are blown away and wouldn't recognize a mid-bass hump if it hit them in the .... and that's BEFORE the SVS!
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