Best SS Amp under $3K? - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 70 Old 02-26-2011, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mazbl View Post

Have been looking @ the A21 Halo (Parasound)..
Seems to be one of the best @ it's price point..

I would stick with the A-21. Of course, I might be a little biased.

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post #62 of 70 Old 12-27-2011, 05:16 AM
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I'm very new here and to the 2-chl arena but I do have an oppion so here goes.For me and my budget restraints led me to a very small window of amps and used at that.I am throughly pleased w/ my choice of amplifier and for the $ I think it would be very hard to do any better.You do have enough to go the way of Parasound which by all appearences looks and performs extremly clean,also MCintosh is within your budget and even a used Krell.As for my amp that produces no audible hum,hiss or even gets warm is an Adcom gfa555 w/ 200wpc enough to push any speakers.I got mine from Audio Classics for $300 not $3000 so there is a very wide window of spending.Good luck w/ your search and you will see that your head will probably start to spin from all the prospects out there.
2-ch-Adcom gfa555---Onkyo P-301 pre--Infinty SM112s--Signal Cable analog ICs---Denon 1940ci cdp
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post #63 of 70 Old 12-27-2011, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by bxboyjh80 View Post

I'm very new here and to the 2-chl arena but I do have an oppion so here goes.For me and my budget restraints led me to a very small window of amps and used at that.I am throughly pleased w/ my choice of amplifier and for the $ I think it would be very hard to do any better.You do have enough to go the way of Parasound which by all appearences looks and performs extremly clean,also MCintosh is within your budget and even a used Krell.As for my amp that produces no audible hum,hiss or even gets warm is an Adcom gfa555 w/ 200wpc enough to push any speakers.I got mine from Audio Classics for $300 not $3000 so there is a very wide window of spending.Good luck w/ your search and you will see that your head will probably start to spin from all the prospects out there.
2-ch-Adcom gfa555---Onkyo P-301 pre--Infinty SM112s--Signal Cable analog ICs---Denon 1940ci cdp

He won't likely find any NEW 555. But when OP is opened to getting used stuff, the same amount of money can buy much more exotic amps.
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post #64 of 70 Old 12-28-2011, 03:48 PM
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I have been listening to, designing, and evaluating the distortion of amplifiers in the lab for 40 years. Any goof who says amplifiers all have low distortion or all sound the same is an incredibly ignorant person, in my opinion.

And as for the dorks who ask if you have data, statistics, or graphs to show this or that, let me ask you this; if you have a blue car, do you need statistics or graphs to tell you that it is blue, or do you trust your eyes?

I can HEAR the difference between amplifiers that have low distortion (for example a Musical Fidelity M3i or a Bryston 3B-SST), and those that have higher distortion (for example ANY HT receiver that sells for under $1000). You can throw your sophomoric challenges at me all day long, and my EARS still hear the difference clearly, just like my eyes tell me my Corvette is blue and my Prius is gold. I DO NOT need no stinking test, survey or graph to tell good-sounding music from distorted crap music.

Furthermore, I have tested dozens of amplifiers with a Hewlett-Packard Distortion Analyzer costing $30,000 and I know exactly how much distortion they put out under real-world conditions with a speaker for a load, with its large capacitive reactances and inductive reactances, which cause the kind of cheap-ass amplifier in most HT receivers and less-expensive stereo amplifiers to distort like crazy (often 5-10 % with a speaker for a load).

The engineering, component parts, and packaging needed for EACH CHANNEL of a 100 watt amplifier that will produce less than 2% distortion playing REAL MUSIC into a REAL SPEAKER will have a retail cost of $500 and up! Realistically then, don't expect any stereo amplifier for under $1000 to sound all that great (or any HT receiver under $3000).

I spent years designing amplifiers and I can tell you that decisions on which transformer, capacitor, or transistor to use are COST decisions which determine the distortion of the final product, and there ain't no free lunch.

That is why professional audio people whose livelihood depends on their ability to know what is what when they listen willingly spend many thousands of dollars on high-quality low-distortion amplifiers like Brystion, Audio Research, Ayre, Musical Fidelity, and Mark Levinson; they know the difference in sound quality (low distortion) because they can damn well HEAR THE DIFFERENCE!!!

If YOU can't (or won't) hear the difference, just crawl under a rock and kindly don't challenge people more knowledgeable than yourself. Go away...you bother me.


P.S.- Anything I have ever heard from Bryston sounds wonderful, and when they are tested for distortion with various speakers, their distortion tests as good as they sound.

The Parasound A21 is pretty good and the A23 is a piece of shrill high-distortion crap, on the bench or in actual listening.

The Musical Fidelity M3i tests well and sounds very good.

Audio Research equipment has very low distortion and sounds wonderful.
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post #65 of 70 Old 12-28-2011, 04:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I have been listening to, designing, and evaluating the distortion of amplifiers in the lab for 40 years.


my EARS still

I would rather rely on people between the age of 18 - 21 for hearing tasks than someone over 50. It's just the nature of our senses and there's nothing we can do to change that at this time.
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post #66 of 70 Old 12-28-2011, 04:29 PM
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IF I don't hear so well at my advanced age, explain why an amplifier that sounds not so good to me invariably also shows high distortion levels when tested (with the same speaker for a load) on the distortion analyzer; and why those that sound good to me invariably test at much lower distortion levels on the analyzer.

My experience has been that even people with a documented high-frequency hearing loss can still readily tell a good amplifier from a bad one in a listening test; tested that many times under controlled conditions.

I know a professional audio engineer who sustained hearing loss in the army artillery and he can tell a Bryston amplifier from a NAD or Pioneer or any other low-cost ampifier by its sound alone in ten seconds.



Quote:
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I would rather rely on people between the age of 18 - 21 for hearing tasks than someone over 50. It's just the nature of our senses and there's nothing we can do to change that at this time.

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post #67 of 70 Old 12-28-2011, 04:46 PM
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Get a Musical Fidelity M3i. The only thing comparable for under $3000 is the Exposure.

Junk:

2-ch-Adcom gfa555---Onkyo P-301 pre--Infinty SM112s--Signal Cable analog .. ICs---Denon 1940ci cdp[/quote]
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post #68 of 70 Old 12-28-2011, 04:52 PM
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The Bryston 3B-SST will drive the heck out of them and give wonderful sound. I use that amp to drive my Vandersteen 3A speakers with an Audio Research preamp, and the sound is to die for.

Don't buy anything else if you can afford a Bryston.




Quote:
Originally Posted by mazbl View Post

I know I was pretty vague, just wanted to get the conversation going. @ the heart of my system are my beloved Celestion A3, being a mid-range lover as I am, these are wonderful speakers. When I was younger I liked the whole 5.1 thing. Got tired of all the space it took up & started using my Rotel Rmb-1095 for 2 channel only. I was running an AC4 Celestion Center & B&W 604's for rears. Once I bridged my 1095 for 2 channel use, I noticed what people meant by "headroom". That's when I knew I needed to go with something at least 300wpc @ 4 ohms to really open these speakers up. I read that the A21 has VERY good mids, so thinking well matched there. I was also considering the Bryston 2 Channel..

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post #69 of 70 Old 12-28-2011, 05:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

tested that many times under controlled conditions.

What was controlled?
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post #70 of 70 Old 12-28-2011, 11:02 PM
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I for one can definitely hear differences between amplifiers as long as i'm not on my Clozaril.
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