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Which of these 5 amps would 'YOU' buy? And 'WHY'? (1 Viewer)

Alan Pummill

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This is kind of a follow-up to my GFA-5500 post. I have found a site that seems to offer some great deals on amps. I think? I want to buy an amp soon. I could go shopping locally, but I've read so much talk about how good amps are hard to differentiate in comparison listening test.
Here are my choices: (all @ 8ohms)
1)Marantz MA-6100 Monoblocks...1 x 125wpc $229 per
2)B&K ST-2140..................2 x 140wpc $570
3)Adcom GFA-5400...............2 x 125wpc $569
4)Parasound HCA-1000A..........2 x 125wpc $458
5)Sonance 2120T................2 x $546wpc $546
The other thing that I am wondering, how important is it to have all 3 front channels of a HT driven with the same level of power? (3 x MA-6100)? BTW, receiver = Pioneer Elite VSX-09TX, speakers = Paradigm Monitor 7's(front), CC-350 (center), sub = PW-2200. My room is 20' x 24', pretty big! Is 125wpc enough for this room? As you can see, I have a lot of questions. (Newbie to seperates)
Any help would be appreciated...I will share with you my decision!;)
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Those are mostly good, reputable amps (don’t know much about Sonance, though). Prices seem a bit high – I paid $325 for my Adcom GFA-555I’s back in ’96 (250 watts per channel, I think). But I did get an exceptional deal. :)
Have you checked e-bay? Do a search each amp and them click on “Completed Auctions” to see what they have recently sold for. That should give you some idea on the market.
Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

Chris Tsutsui

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I'd get a Parasound HCA-1000A off ebay. Wow that sonance with 546wpc is probably the best deal :)
Why isn't Rotel on your list? They are also popular on Ebay.
 

Jeff D.

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Alan;
Ultimately any differences between these amps will be sonic differences. Yup, that means the only way to find a winner is to audition them (preferably in your own system) and see which one you prefer.
The two on the top of your list strike me as the best. I have always loved the B&K sound and would put that on the top of any list - though they are also the most expensive. :) Marantz monoblocks will suit if you have bright sounding speakers and/or a bright (read: live) listening room. However, if the rest of your system is leaning on the warmer side, you may find them too laid back.
Adcom can be good also, though I sometimes find them a bit hit-and-miss. I describe the Adcom sound as 'American' (yeah, I know - what does that mean!?), but they can vary somewhat from amp to amp, so YMMV.
Also, I think the concern is not to have the same power rating across the front three, but rather the same sonic signature - thus the reason for using the same amp across the front.
/Jeff
 

Michael Lee

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Sonance are known to make really solid, stable amps that never break down. They are mostly used for multiroom audio applications though.
 

Alan Pummill

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Thanks folks. That Sonance should read 2 x 120wpc for $546.

Jeff, I would consider the Monitor 7's to be on the bright side. My room has been toned down a bit with the use of Sonex accoustic tile on the front and both side walls.

So 125wpc should do the trick???
 
J

John Morris

I'd go with the Parasound for your monitor 7s. My second choice would be the B&K. Check out Ebay and Ubid for the Parasound amps. Alternatively, you could find some Parasound 1201 monoblocks and get three of them for your front three channels.

Good Luck and Have Fun!
 

Jeff D.

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Alan;

Silly me, I didn't see your list of speakers below. Definitely then, with Paradigm, I'd audition the Marantz receivers. The Marantz/Paradigm combo is sweet sounding. The B&K would also be appropriate. I think you'd prefer the sound of the B&K - it won't accentuate the brightness of the 'Digms, but neither will it soften it as much as the Marantz.

/Jeff
 

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