How does the Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature get so much power from a pkg that size? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 07-26-2014, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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How does the Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature get so much power from a pkg that size?

I'm looking at the Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature amplifier. It's rated at 405 watts/channel into an 8 ohm load with all channels driven, can drive 4 ohm and even 2 ohm loads on a time limited basis which tells me it should be using some beefy power supplies, yet weighs only 38 pounds. 405 watts/channel X 5 channels seems like more power than a 120 volt, 15 amp amplifier should be able to produce.

How does it do it?
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-27-2014, 12:20 AM
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Sunfire uses Bob Carver's amp design which more or less runs directly off the 120V line without a transformer... It is very efficient but it was never that popular. The amp can have ground hum issues and the construction of the early models was pretty cheap.

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-27-2014, 04:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jon S View Post
Sunfire uses Bob Carver's amp design which more or less runs directly off the 120V line without a transformer... It is very efficient but it was never that popular. The amp can have ground hum issues and the construction of the early models was pretty cheap.
Thanks After posting the question I read up on it. In my research I've found a lot of fans, but mixed in were the comments about noise coming from the amp when at low volume. Probably at high volume too, but masked by the music.
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-27-2014, 10:26 AM
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Thanks After posting the question I read up on it. In my research I've found a lot of fans, but mixed in were the comments about noise coming from the amp when at low volume. Probably at high volume too, but masked by the music.
I have been running this amp along with the 600 watt per side two channel version in my 7.1 Home Theater for well over a decade (running Legacy focus/signature/silver screen/mists). Running balanced cables to my Denon AVPH1HDCI preamp it is dead silent and extremely dynamic.
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post #5 of 19 Old 07-27-2014, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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There are two items I'm monitoring on eBay; an auction for a 5 channel Brystron 9B-THX ending today. 120 watts/channel with over 7 years of warranty left. The other is the Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature; 5 channels at 405 watts/channel. The unit is about 8 or 9 years old and no warranty. Both seem to be at pretty attractive prices.
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-27-2014, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by orcrone View Post
There are two items I'm monitoring on eBay; an auction for a 5 channel Brystron 9B-THX ending today. 120 watts/channel with over 7 years of warranty left. The other is the Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature; 5 channels at 405 watts/channel. The unit is about 8 or 9 years old and no warranty. Both seem to be at pretty attractive prices.
I used to own a TGA-7401 for a couple of years, ran very cool,dead silent, very dynamic and never ran out of power. It's a class H design so it runs more efficient, I used it in a 5.1 set up based on some Legacy Focus 20/20 system I had at the time. All in all it was a great amp.
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-27-2014, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rjh65@verizon.ne View Post
I used to own a TGA-7401 for a couple of years, ran very cool,dead silent, very dynamic and never ran out of power. It's a class H design so it runs more efficient, I used it in a 5.1 set up based on some Legacy Focus 20/20 system I had at the time. All in all it was a great amp.
What I failed to mention is that while the Bryston auction ends in a couple of hours, the Sunfire auction doesn't end until Saturday. So I will probably bid on the Bryston. In that case the only way I will be bidding on the Sunfire is if I don't get the Bryston. Do you mind if I ask why you're no longer running the Sunfire?
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post #8 of 19 Old 07-27-2014, 07:48 PM
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What I failed to mention is that while the Bryston auction ends in a couple of hours, the Sunfire auction doesn't end until Saturday. So I will probably bid on the Bryston. In that case the only way I will be bidding on the Sunfire is if I don't get the Bryston. Do you mind if I ask why you're no longer running the Sunfire?
Only reason that i sold it is because I like to try new gear out so i tend to only keep things a couple of years or so before I sell and re-purchase. It was a great amp, i sold an Aragon 8008X5 to get the Sunfire as I got tired of the physical size of that amp as it wouldn't fit into normal sized cabinets, I have since tried Emotiva XPA-1 monos, ClassD audio and now Emotiva XPR-1 monos. I may sell the Emo's and give the D-Sonic monos a try. Truth be told and with good equipment and cables I don't hear a lot of difference between amps.
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-27-2014, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by orcrone View Post
I'm looking at the Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature amplifier. It's rated at 405 watts/channel into an 8 ohm load with all channels driven, can drive 4 ohm and even 2 ohm loads on a time limited basis which tells me it should be using some beefy power supplies, yet weighs only 38 pounds. 405 watts/channel X 5 channels seems like more power than a 120 volt, 15 amp amplifier should be able to produce.

How does it do it?
If you find the sunfire impressive check out a powersoft K20. Obviously not what your application requires (and probably out of the price range), but impressive nonetheless.
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post #10 of 19 Old 07-27-2014, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rjh65@verizon.ne View Post
Only reason that i sold it is because I like to try new gear out so i tend to only keep things a couple of years or so before I sell and re-purchase. It was a great amp, i sold an Aragon 8008X5 to get the Sunfire as I got tired of the physical size of that amp as it wouldn't fit into normal sized cabinets, I have since tried Emotiva XPA-1 monos, ClassD audio and now Emotiva XPR-1 monos. I may sell the Emo's and give the D-Sonic monos a try. Truth be told and with good equipment and cables I don't hear a lot of difference between amps.
You've definitely have auditioned your share of amps!
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post #11 of 19 Old 07-27-2014, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cmryan821 View Post
If you find the sunfire impressive check out a powersoft K20. Obviously not what your application requires (and probably out of the price range), but impressive nonetheless.
If my speakers saw that amp they'd blow themselves out.
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post #12 of 19 Old 07-28-2014, 04:14 AM
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If my speakers saw that amp they'd blow themselves out.
Yeah, I think that would be the case for most speakers.
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post #13 of 19 Old 07-28-2014, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjh65@verizon.ne View Post
Only reason that i sold it is because I like to try new gear out so i tend to only keep things a couple of years or so before I sell and re-purchase. It was a great amp, i sold an Aragon 8008X5 to get the Sunfire as I got tired of the physical size of that amp as it wouldn't fit into normal sized cabinets, I have since tried Emotiva XPA-1 monos, ClassD audio and now Emotiva XPR-1 monos. I may sell the Emo's and give the D-Sonic monos a try. Truth be told and with good equipment and cables I don't hear a lot of difference between amps.

I am quite surprised that you didn't mention Parasound, as one of your previous amplifiers.


I have had a Parasound Halo A52 for over a year now. I definitely hear an improvement versus my previous amps. The other two amps I had used previously were a Marantz MM9000 5x150 watt, and an Emotiva LPA-1, which was 125x7.
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post #14 of 19 Old 07-28-2014, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jrhooper1963 View Post
I am quite surprised that you didn't mention Parasound, as one of your previous amplifiers.


I have had a Parasound Halo A52 for over a year now. I definitely hear an improvement versus my previous amps. The other two amps I had used previously were a Marantz MM9000 5x150 watt, and an Emotiva LPA-1, which was 125x7.
Ye sir I have thought about Parasound for quite some time, I have almost pulled the trigger a number of times especially since I can get that line not to far from dealer cost.The only reason I believe I have held back is I have read the Parasound can lean towards sounding like you're seated in the front row and it throws of a ton of heat, my old Aragon 8008X5 sounded like that (plus the same heat issue also) and I prefer a little more further seating distance type of sound. At some point I probably will give them a go anyways just further down the line. It doesn't surprise me that with the previous amps you had you heard a definite difference with the A52, one ofthe most highly respected and best sounding amps available, great choice!
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post #15 of 19 Old 07-28-2014, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by orcrone View Post
You've definitely have auditioned your share of amps!
Have some older Rotels that I still have that i use in between amps after being sold had an Adcom GFA-5800 as well, both the Adcom and Rotel's were from the mid to late 90's. Once at a certain level however I couldn't hear to great a difference. I just finished demoing a Crown XLS2500 for a couple of weeks based on some feedback from a professional review and some great feedback from other AVS members, it was a little sterile sounding in my opinion. I was demoing a $3300 pair of speaker cables along with the Crown at the time.
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post #16 of 19 Old 07-28-2014, 08:29 PM
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I'd double check the math. 5 channels at 405 W each is 2025W.

A 110V 15A source only provides 1650W. And no amp is 100% efficient - so the most you can realistically get is 1500 W.

Perhaps it uses a 20A circuit, which would give it 2200W, or about 2000 W at the speaker terminals.

Or it uses 220V. Either way, you'll need an electrician to run a circuit just for the amp.
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post #17 of 19 Old 07-29-2014, 12:44 PM
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^may depend on the timeframe for the output and capacitance. Simple v,i,r calcs may not account for that.
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post #18 of 19 Old 07-29-2014, 08:41 PM
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405W all channels driven generally means more than a split second - maybe if it was say PMPO or something that could be believable, but there aren't many storage elements that can supply the missing 400W for any reasonable length of time.

And power is conserved. If you want to talk about imaginary power, that power is imaginary - the extra power you take, you do return, but you're also limited by the power handling capacity of the components in-between. As in you could be using 1000W at such a poor power factor that your 15 A circuit is fully loaded during part of the AC cycle, even though you're only paying for 1000W.
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post #19 of 19 Old 07-31-2014, 04:31 PM
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I don't disagree I think the grey area for me is the std of time for "program power". Running sine waves is not of much interest for me but some factor of time that correlates with program material for crest factor is very important.

I just added a dedicated 30amp line (120v service) for my LG10k which is in place for my mains (60-80hz and up). So by that calc it cannot put out 10k watts but we all know it can depending on the time frame. Once in a valley (exponentially less power needed) the payback you refer to is quickly reconciled.
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