High end but uncomplicated 5.1, 7.1 or 7.2 amps - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 06-12-2014, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Question High end but uncomplicated 5.1, 7.1 or 7.2 amps

Hello all, I would like some recommendations on high end 5.1, 7.1 or 7.2 amps. I am looking for a high end amp, not an integrated receiver/amp. Here are my needs:
No less than 100 watts per channel
Will consider tube amps but not a necessity
Cost is not a major factor
As both my wife and I am visually impaired on screen displays and menus don’t do us any favors. Good old fashion knobs and buttons are better.
I’ll trade bells and whistles for simplicity and quality.
Any and all suggestions would greatly be appreciated.
Frank
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post #2 of 22 Old 06-13-2014, 12:00 AM
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You already have a pre-amp or processor? Amps come in 2 or 3 or 5 or 7 channel flavors rather than 5.1 or 7.1 (there's only a single LFE channel, the .2 designation generally means there are two sub pre-outs) as the LFE channel wouldn't normally be amplified by the main amp. Even passive subs normally use a separate amp than the rest of the speakers. Do you have passive subs?

What's your budget? You say its not important but numbers are good to keep in mind....

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post #3 of 22 Old 06-13-2014, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I do have preamps on the input sources. I would prefer a 5 channel amp, but would consider a 7 channel amp. The two subs are self powered with built in adjustable crossovers. Budget is under 3 grand but that is very flexible.
thanks
Frank




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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
You already have a pre-amp or processor? Amps come in 2 or 3 or 5 or 7 channel flavors rather than 5.1 or 7.1 (there's only a single LFE channel, the .2 designation generally means there are two sub pre-outs) as the LFE channel wouldn't normally be amplified by the main amp. Even passive subs normally use a separate amp than the rest of the speakers. Do you have passive subs?

What's your budget? You say its not important but numbers are good to keep in mind....
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post #4 of 22 Old 06-13-2014, 09:48 PM
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Lot of different opinions out there.

For the higher end I like

1) Parasound Halo
2) Earthquake Cinenova

For great amps that are more budget friendly

1) Outlaw Audio
2) Emotiva

I went from an Earthquake Cinenova to an Outlaw and am hard pressed to hear any differences other than less money falling out of my wallet.

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post #5 of 22 Old 06-14-2014, 11:17 AM
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A choice of amps should start with your speakers and their power requirements: What is their sensitivity, nominal impedance, and are they full-range or sub-sat? I'm assuming yours are sub-sat, so low frequencies are sent to the subs. If your speakers are typical (sensitivity 86-90; nominal impedance 6-8 ohms) most any 100X5 power amp would do. For the budget conscience Emotiva has been well received, though I have never used them. At your budget level I would consider something better, and I would start with the ATI amplifiers that are available from 2-7 channels at several power levels. I would get the balanced-circuit amps if you can afford them. Note ATI amps come with a 7-year warranty, including their "refurbs."

Here's a link:

http://www.classicaudioparts.com/ind...mplifiers.html

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post #6 of 22 Old 06-14-2014, 07:40 PM
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Another vote for the Halo's great amps.
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post #7 of 22 Old 06-15-2014, 05:09 AM
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I recommend you check out Primare. The A30.7 ticks all your boxes. High end, beautiful sound, excellent build quality, very simple to set up (just needs the 12V trigger).

Last edited by symphara; 06-15-2014 at 05:13 AM.
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post #8 of 22 Old 06-15-2014, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayStateTech View Post
Thanks, I do have preamps on the input sources. I would prefer a 5 channel amp, but would consider a 7 channel amp. The two subs are self powered with built in adjustable crossovers. Budget is under 3 grand but that is very flexible.
thanks
Frank




Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
You already have a pre-amp or processor? Amps come in 2 or 3 or 5 or 7 channel flavors rather than 5.1 or 7.1 (there's only a single LFE channel, the .2 designation generally means there are two sub pre-outs) as the LFE channel wouldn't normally be amplified by the main amp. Even passive subs normally use a separate amp than the rest of the speakers. Do you have passive subs?

What's your budget? You say its not important but numbers are good to keep in mind....
Pardon me if I'm being dense, but I'm not sure you can get by with just an amplifier. By themselves, your input sources can't run 2 subwoofers, or if one source is connected to the subs, then the others won't be, neither will they be connected to the amplifier unless you physically disconnect the one source and connect the other source to the subs/amp.

Maybe I'm missing something here. But you seem to need one preamp that you connect all your sources to. It typically would also take the video of each source and send it to your viewing device. Of course, it would be connected to the amplifier you want to buy. Your solution may be a 7.1 receiver, although they tend to be overly complicated with too many bells/whistles, but it would have a built in amp section.

Perhaps it would help to describe the rest of your system, the sources, tv, speakers and room size.

Last edited by audio4life; 06-15-2014 at 08:32 AM.
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post #9 of 22 Old 06-15-2014, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayStateTech View Post
Thanks, I do have preamps on the input sources. I would prefer a 5 channel amp, but would consider a 7 channel amp. The two subs are self powered with built in adjustable crossovers. Budget is under 3 grand but that is very flexible.
thanks
Frank
That makes more sense. Your preamp has all the controls, you don't need to worry about on-screen displays unless you specifically want an amp with such a setup feature (some pro amps might have this, generally the consumer amps don't). I don't think any of the amps mentioned by the others so far even have a gain control. If your preamp has balanced (xlr) preouts you might want to take advantage of that and like suggested get an amp with balanced inputs (pro amps sometimes only have this type of input).

Like someone mentioned, helps to know if your preamp has bass management and that you're using it (i.e. let the preamp handle the crossover, not the sub). Helps to know what particular speakers you have (or their specs) and what listening levels you use to help out with an appropriate amp power selection.

How important is appearance of the unit?

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post #10 of 22 Old 06-15-2014, 07:12 PM
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Lovinthehd, do you see what he said? That he has preampS on the sources? That letter "s" is what confused me, because it suggests he has more than one preamp. If it's a typo, it's an odd one because it's on the opposite side of the keyboard from the letter p. Anyway, we'll see if Baystatetech responds...
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post #11 of 22 Old 06-15-2014, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audio4life View Post
Lovinthehd, do you see what he said? That he has preampS on the sources? That letter "s" is what confused me, because it suggests he has more than one preamp. If it's a typo, it's an odd one because it's on the opposite side of the keyboard from the letter p. Anyway, we'll see if Baystatetech responds...
Dunno, oddly worded/misspelled is all I took it for.... not a lot of information forthcoming from the OP and doesn't seem to understand the basics....

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post #12 of 22 Old 06-16-2014, 06:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayStateTech View Post
Hello all, I would like some recommendations on high end 5.1, 7.1 or 7.2 amps. I am looking for a high end amp, not an integrated receiver/amp. Here are my needs:
No less than 100 watts per channel
Will consider tube amps but not a necessity
Cost is not a major factor
As both my wife and I am visually impaired on screen displays and menus don’t do us any favors. Good old fashion knobs and buttons are better.
I’ll trade bells and whistles for simplicity and quality.
Any and all suggestions would greatly be appreciated.
Frank
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by audio4life View Post
Lovinthehd, do you see what he said? That he has preampS on the sources? That letter "s" is what confused me, because it suggests he has more than one preamp. If it's a typo, it's an odd one because it's on the opposite side of the keyboard from the letter p. Anyway, we'll see if Baystatetech responds...
Dunno, oddly worded/misspelled is all I took it for.... not a lot of information forthcoming from the OP and doesn't seem to understand the basics....
Yeah, I had to read it two or three times. Putting it all together, I think the OP is actually hunting for an AV receiver (which he calls an "amp"). When he's saying he doesn't want an "integrated receiver/amp", I think he's referring to the all-in-one "5000W" player/amp units out of a HTiB system. I didn't think he was actually after a power amp because he needs knobs and buttons rather than a slick GUI; a power amp has neither except for an on/off button.

Hopefully @BayStateTech checks back in soon to let us know if this is something like what he wants:



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post #13 of 22 Old 06-16-2014, 08:02 AM
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Giegar, you may indeed be right. Pro amps do have more than an on/off switch, almost all have gain controls and sometimes dsp features as well, but doubt the OP knows much about that in any case. Then he does mention a tube amp and don't think there are any tube receivers out there any more?

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post #14 of 22 Old 06-16-2014, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all and thanks for all the replies. I really apologize I wasn't too clear at first. Let me try to clarify. The room is 18' x 10' with windowson three sides. I have four Klipsch FR-82 speakers which were connected to an old low end Audiosource amp I had which is now deceased. The amp was connected to a much newer (recent) Parasound Halo P5 preamp which I have several sources input to it (sorry about the incorrect pluralization I mean multiple inputs to the preamp, not multiple physical preamps). The subs are also connected to the preamp and self powered Klipsch SW-110s. The audio outs (RCA) from the TV, CD Player, and Airport Express (for audio streaming) are the inputs to the preamp. What I was asking is what should I replace the old audiosource amp with? I liked that amp because it had only three buttons on the front power, and one button each for speakers a and b. The amp did have adjustable gain controls on the rear but it had no DSP functions. I would like something with that level of simplicity but much higher quality. I certainly wasn't asking about an integrated receiver/amp. Does that make any sense? Sorry about the poor composition and spelling, I have pretty severe dyslexia.
thanks for all the help
Frank
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post #15 of 22 Old 06-16-2014, 12:47 PM
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That helps a lot Frank, no worries. Does it matter how it looks? Color? Do you need A&B speaker selection?

ps A pair of these if the color/looks and possibility of small cosmetic issues (being B-stock) aren't a problem might be nice and come in well under budget. A pair of pro amps could do the same thing but may come in silver and not be as attractive...http://www.classicaudioparts.com/ind...ock-120-v.html


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post #16 of 22 Old 06-17-2014, 04:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for those suggestions. I really don't need a and b speaker selection buttons. Appearance is not a major factor. At my age I am usually listening at a much higher volume level than I did years ago. I really do appreciate the suggestions.
Frank
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
That helps a lot Frank, no worries. Does it matter how it looks? Color? Do you need A&B speaker selection?

ps A pair of these if the color/looks and possibility of small cosmetic issues (being B-stock) aren't a problem might be nice and come in well under budget. A pair of pro amps could do the same thing but may come in silver and not be as attractive...http://www.classicaudioparts.com/ind...ock-120-v.html
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post #17 of 22 Old 06-17-2014, 06:03 AM
 
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Emotiva's X Series offer very good value in a range of configurations.

Another avenue to explore is Class D amps from the likes of D>Sonic.
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post #18 of 22 Old 06-17-2014, 06:33 AM
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Buying an amp when price is no object, I would definitely take a look at Bryston. Excellent build quality backed by a 20-year warranty.
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post #19 of 22 Old 06-17-2014, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayStateTech View Post
Thank you very much for those suggestions. I really don't need a and b speaker selection buttons. Appearance is not a major factor. At my age I am usually listening at a much higher volume level than I did years ago. I really do appreciate the suggestions.
Frank
There's a lot of amps out there. For years I had several Carver power amps and recently picked up a pair of pro amps (two for the price of one of the B-stock ATIs I linked), Crown XLS1500s. I currently use them for my mains and the sound quality is excellent as were my Carvers as well is that amplification my avr provides. The looks of the Crowns...meh. They're well built, they're intended for use on the road for live performance. Very light too so easy to manage, a short profile so I stick them back on a lower rack shelf to help out with the aesthetic. Just a thought, altho I think they're priced more like $350 each now.

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post #20 of 22 Old 06-19-2014, 02:47 PM
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I would by a used Bryston with the 20 year warranty.
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post #21 of 22 Old 06-19-2014, 08:19 PM
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I would by a used Bryston with the 20 year warranty.
Wouldn't a 20 year warranty make it a new Bryston?

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post #22 of 22 Old 06-19-2014, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
Wouldn't a 20 year warranty make it a new Bryston?
You are correct.
I should have said buy a used Bryston and enjoy the remaining warranty for up to 20 years. I would look for SST/2 series.
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