ADVICE for AMP that "gravitates toward those with grip, dynamics, and speed" - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-11-2012, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I just purchased some Opus 2-1 speakers. The sixmoons review of the Opus 2-3 suggests selection of an amp that "gravitates toward those with grip, dynamics and speed as well as resolving power. A somewhat lighter, slimmer tonality - contingent on room size of course -- might be an added advantage."

I currently have a Marantz SR6004 that I will use as a processor. I also have 4 Marantz MA500 monoblocks that could be used to bi-amp each speaker.

Would any inexpensive amps perform better than my current set up? I have a limited budget (up to $1,000).

Some thoughts are below

1. Emotiva XPA-2
2. Used Parasound 5250
3. Other used amps?

Again, looking to mate the amp with the speakers based upon the criteria above. Emotiva has a good return policy, so I was thinking about a comparison to my current set up.

Suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-12-2012, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcm2128 View Post

I just purchased some Opus 2-1 speakers. The sixmoons review of the Opus 2-3 suggests selection of an amp that "gravitates toward those with grip, dynamics and speed as well as resolving power. A somewhat lighter, slimmer tonality - contingent on room size of course -- might be an added advantage."
Rule 1: do not listen to anything 6Loons say. They are full of __it.
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Originally Posted by jcm2128 View Post

I currently have a Marantz SR6004 that I will use as a processor. I also have 4 Marantz MA500 monoblocks that could be used to bi-amp each speaker.
Use the monoblocks for the mains if you want to, but I doubt it will make any audible difference.
Don't waste your time passively biamping with the 4 monoblocks - passive biamping makes no worthwhile difference.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-12-2012, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcm2128 View Post

I just purchased some Opus 2-1 speakers. The sixmoons review of the Opus 2-3 suggests selection of an amp that "gravitates toward those with grip, dynamics and speed as well as resolving power. A somewhat lighter, slimmer tonality - contingent on room size of course -- might be an added advantage."
I currently have a Marantz SR6004 that I will use as a processor. I also have 4 Marantz MA500 monoblocks that could be used to bi-amp each speaker.
Would any inexpensive amps perform better than my current set up? I have a limited budget (up to $1,000).
Some thoughts are below
1. Emotiva XPA-2
2. Used Parasound 5250
3. Other used amps?
Again, looking to mate the amp with the speakers based upon the criteria above. Emotiva has a good return policy, so I was thinking about a comparison to my current set up.
Suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

What does "grip, dynamics and speed as well as resolving power" mean? Are these common or uncommon properties? What physical properties can they be equated to? I say that statements like this are poetry, and not even the person who wrote it can tell you how to reliably test or otherwise rationally sift the market for.

The better question is whether or not any amplifier in existence would actually improve the sound quality of your system.

There is an extant technical test:

http://www.hometheater.com/content/marantz-sr6004-av-receiver-ht-labs-measures



That technical test, while far from complete (the corresponding Stereophile magazine test report would be far more complete), would point out many audible failings were they to exist.

Let's look at your speakers:

http://hometheaterreview.com/wharfedale-opus-2-3-loudspeaker-review/

"The Opus 2-3 is a full range, floorstanding speaker with a quoted frequency response of 33Hz to 43kHz. They carry a 91dB efficiency from a relatively easy to drive six Ohm load. The drivers consist of a one-inch Textile dome tweeter that sits at the very top of the front face, with a three-inch soft dome Textile midrange below and a pair of 10-inchTri-lam woven carbon fiber composite woofers for the bass. The speakers themselves are 48 inches tall, 12 and a half inches at their widest point and just over 17 inches deep and weigh 88 pounds each."

These appear to be well-designed speakers that will do a good job of exploiting the amplifiers in your receiver, and vice-versa.

If you are looking for improved sound quality your two apparently as yet totally unexploited avenues are adding a subwoofer and investigating room treatments. Your receiver also has Audessey, which may also provide some benefits, although it will provide more benefits the better the acoustics of your listening room become.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-13-2012, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the assistance. I appreciate the help. I think I will continue using the Marantz for now (I bought it because the decent reviews). I was just curious if external amplification would be worthwhile. I do need to calibrate using Audessey. The room would be considered on the darker side since it has wall to wall carpet and big upholstered couches. Thanks!
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-13-2012, 08:20 AM
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'Grip - 'dynamics' - 'speed' - nebulous words that strike a parallel to 'a veil lifted' - etc etc. I call such terms 'nuance'. Words to enlighten or confuse? Inaudible to mere mortals - and who among us think those who pen those words are merely mortal? I think those words confuse us more than they enlighten us - but thats always been the problem - using words of the physical world to describe a wholly subjective experience. The exact opposite in audio terms is 'measurements'. Arny has it right - look at the measurements (power - channel separation - THD etc) of a given amp and not the velvety honey laden words of some magazine huckster who'd trying to inject as much prose as possible (the more velvety the prose the more the amp sells for) into a 'story' about what a wonderful amp this (fill in the blank) really is. The best ever? Did it lift that eternal veil? And aren't veils audio transparent???
More nuance? Just what the hell is nuance? I liken nuance to infinity. A number if you will. How many 'nuances' are there in audio before you should have to give up your usage rights to that word? Its like asking - how many times can you get half way to the edge of a cliff without falling off? There are exactly an infinite number of halves. And the closer you get the smaller the distance (or nuance - and some of these guys have been writing for 40 years or more. How many 'nuances' do these writers get anyway?

Those 'nuances' are so close together...

So many of the audio terms seem like BS - they've become shopworn. You can always tell the difference between an amateur vs a pro when they describe an audio experience - the amateur uses terms like 'night and day' - the pro uses 'nuance'.

Good (and bad) amp designs are a dime a dozen. Most good amp designs have been around for more than 19 years - the point at which royalties are no longer paid out for copying a given design. So now everyone is producing Carvers (or whomever's) best (older) amp designs. Amps in AVRs are often a compromise - if you are trying to fill a 3000 square foot room with audio with 86db efficient speakers most of them will have deficiencies - but totally adequate for your 300 square foot living room. Find an audio calculator (free ones online) and do the math. It'll tell you if your AVR will run out of gas before you get the SPL you're wanting and needing.

Damn - I'm cranky this morning - need another cup...

And don't get me started on lifts and cables...biggrin.gif
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-13-2012, 09:12 PM
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I actually have extensive personal experience with the marantz monoblocks. These are a perfect fit for your speakers. In fact, they may have been my first suggestion even if you had not already had them. They are exceptional operating full range, and attempting to biamp with them, especially with opus speakers, will sacrifice some speed. Your best option by far is to use two of your existing amps and keep the others for future use. No other amplifier in existence will sound better with those speakers.

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post #7 of 10 Old 10-14-2012, 01:56 AM
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^^ I actually thought you were being serious for a moment there.
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-14-2012, 08:11 PM
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Oh, I meant every word of it. I speak the truth!

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post #9 of 10 Old 10-14-2012, 10:11 PM
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IF those speaker are 91 db, they are a very easy load to drive. You Reciever will be ok to drive them, but those are very good audiophile speakers and I am sure you would want to get the best performance possible out of them. For you budget, I would take a hard look at the Parasound - Halo A23 Balanced Amplifier http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PAHA23 Its a nice amp and it has MOSFETS transitors and would actually be a good fit with your new speakers in two channel mode. You could use the reciever as a preamp until you got a dedicated preamp. Another option would be Music Hall - A35.2 Integrated Amp , or Arcam - A18 - Integrated Amplifier ...all in your budget at Audioadvisor.com
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-14-2012, 10:35 PM
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^^ He already has perfectly good monoblocks to use should he choose to. The Parasound will offer nothing more than an emptier wallet.
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