Which Is A Better Upgrade: Separate Amplification or More Speakers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JustinP, Nov 21, 2002.

  1. JustinP

    JustinP Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm planning on making an addition to my system before the end of the year. Right now I'm leaning towards picking up a used 2ch amp (thinking Parasound HCA-1000a)in the $300-400 range to be connected to my Denon 3802 / Paradigm Studio 60 setup, but I'm wondering if investing in a center channel (used studio cc) would be a better choice. Right now I've only got the one pair of 60's as L & R channels. Should also mention my budget's pretty firm at about $400 tops. I'd say I lean about 60% Music / 40% Movies as far as system usage goes. I'd really appreciate any advice.
     
  2. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    Since your listening habits lean slightly on the music side, I'd say go with separate amplification first, as you'll derive maximum benefit on 2ch. playback. In addition, the Studio 60s will probably experience slightly improved imaging with the dedicated amp--very handy when watching TV/movies.

    To my mind, you wouldn't be using the center channel for music listening anyway--unless you really, really want to do music listening with DPLII. If this is the case, then go with the center channel (provided you already have the surrounds, that is). Good luck!
     
  3. Bob-N

    Bob-N Supporting Actor

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    I'll second the amp recommendation. The 60's will probably open up more for 2 ch music with better amplification.

    Bob
     
  4. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Since you are into 2 channel music I would also say go with the amp upgrade.
     
  5. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Yogi,

    Why are your amplifiers for sale ?
     
  6. Brian Treinen

    Brian Treinen Stunt Coordinator

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    Justin,

    I'd go amp as well. Wait for the center until you can get surrounds too - that will make a big difference.

    I've also got a 3802 and after about 2 months added a Sherwood Newcastle AM9080 5 channel amp to it. WOW what a difference! It was like going from listening to 2 channel in black and white to in color. Biggest difference was in the low end but everything was improved. You might be able to find one of these for near your price range if you look around. That's about what I paid. I was torn between going 2,3 or 5 channel and I'm really glad I got 5. 3 of the channels power the L, R and center while the other two power our zone 2 patio speakers. Awhile ago ubid had a great deal on the 5x85WPC Parasound amp which has gotten great reviews. Also check out audiogon and the forum for sale areas. Good luck!
     
  7. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    The amp 5 is not mine. I use an amp 2. I am selling it for a friend. The B&K is mine as I am getting the opportunity to upgrade to an HPA 3 for a nice price. So I am going to go with HPA3 for the fronts and Amp2 for the rears and will only have 5.1 capability. All this would be possible if the B&K sale went through as planned.
     
  8. Massimo N

    Massimo N Stunt Coordinator

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    I recently added an amp to my system and it made quite a noticable improvement. If I had to make the choice between a center or amp, I'd go with a decent amp, especially since your listening preference is towards music.
    The big benefits I noticed was a larger soundstage, the speakers were more transparent, detail was increased dramtically. I can also drive my system at reference effortlessly without strain, and it doesn't sound that loud [​IMG]
    If I was building a system in parts, I'd sooner add rear surrounds over a center. I found that the real benifit of a center for movies is in off axis seating, and anchoring the voices to the screen, while the surrounds will provide the most dramatic effect.
    BTW, my speakers are Paradigm 40s, receiver (using as pre/pro) is Yamaha RX-V995 and my new amp is the Anthem MCA-50.
    Cheers!
    Mass
     
  9. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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    That's a nice little 2 channel amp the HCA 1000...... Go for that first for sure....
     
  10. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I can't resist, but do they reappear once you turn the lights on Levesque?:b
     
  12. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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    Should learn to check my post before posting... My 1st reflex was to edit the post... but I will leave it for posterity!

    LOL. You got me there! I think you understand what I meant... But you are right...LOL... they reappear when I open the lights! .:b

    What I wanted to say is that the sound was all around me, really not directional. It was impossible to know the sound was coming from the speakers directly in front of me, because the sound was blending so well, melting, like if I was in the middle of the fight. In complete darkness, there was only the big screen and the sound. Quite an experience.

    Good speakers REALLY deserve good amplification.
     
  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    that's what you get for handling medication all day long Levesque!!
     
  14. JustinP

    JustinP Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the response. Like I mentioned, I'm thinking of getting a used Parasound HCA-1000a, and I've already had one strong recomendation in favor of doing so. Has anyone else had experience with this amp, or with Paradigm Reference / Parasound combinations in general? Also, if anyone has a recommendation for a similarily priced 2ch amp ($300-400 used) that would mate well with the 60's, I'm all ears.
     

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