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Need recommendations/opinions on monoblocks

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Greetings

I am looking to setup an audio only system and intend to use the following components:

A pair of Energy Reference Connoisseur RC-70 Tower Speakers
XDA-1 Differential Reference Balanced Digital-to-Analog Converter/Digital Preamplifier
various sources including a CD Transport (yet to finalize), Logitech squeezebox, a Technics turntable and an old tape deck.

I also have a Jolida SJ202A tube amp.

Most music will be played directly via CDs, through the squeezebox (touch) and the turntable. The tape deck will be utilized in very rare occasions.

What I am thinking (and this is where I need input) is:

1) Play the turntable via the Jolida amp (and maybe the tape deck)
2) Play all other sources via the XDA-1 into a pair of monoblocks.
- I thus need recs and opinions on good monoblocks to match this system (and any other components I may need). Since my budget is sub $1000, one pair of monoblocks I had researched was the Marantz MA-700.

I am looking for feedback if the above would 'fit in well' with what I already have or what others would 'fit in' better....

Secondly, If I use the above setup, I will have to share the Energy speakers between monoblocks and the Jolida amp. Are there any decent quality switchers to switch these amps to the speaker set ?

Any other comments, thoughts ?

Regards
post #2 of 10
You do realize?? I'm pretty sure those Marantz MA-700 monoblock amplifiers are no longer made? Correct me if I'm wrong.
post #3 of 10
You may want to check out Emotiva Audio's mono amp $999 (each I think), or save big and get their nearly comparable 2 ch amp for just $799. Both are heavy (75 lbs each). Also check out Wyred 4 Sound's fairly inexpensive Class D amps, selling for about the same per channel as the Emotiva.
post #4 of 10
The OP said he has $1000 for the pair of monoblocks. The XPA-1's are way over his budget. I don't think he needs that large of an amplifier anyway. The smaller version would be plenty. The UPA-1. They are $350 per monoblock. They are rated at 200watts RMS at 8ohms and 350watts RMS at 4ohms. That should be plenty of power and be under budget. The Outlaw 2200 would also be a monoblock to look at. It has almost the same specifications as the UPA-1. The price is currently the same for both amplifiers. The Outlaw is very compact which is an added bonus.
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post

The OP said he has $1000 for the pair of monoblocks. The XPA-1's are way over his budget. I don't think he needs that large of an amplifier anyway. The smaller version would be plenty. The UPA-1. They are $350 per monoblock. They are rated at 200watts RMS at 8ohms and 350watts RMS at 4ohms. That should be plenty of power and be under budget. The Outlaw 2200 would also be a monoblock to look at. It has almost the same specifications as the UPA-1. The price is currently the same for both amplifiers. The Outlaw is very compact which is an added bonus.

You are right - I forgot about their smaller monoblocs. And I completely forgot about Outlaw; theirs is probably an even better amp. I have not been in the market for a new amp for so long it is hard to keep up.
post #6 of 10
Yes. There is so much available and ever changing products. It's difficult to keep up.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post

The OP said he has $1000 for the pair of monoblocks. The XPA-1's are way over his budget. I don't think he needs that large of an amplifier anyway. The smaller version would be plenty. The UPA-1. They are $350 per monoblock. They are rated at 200watts RMS at 8ohms and 350watts RMS at 4ohms. That should be plenty of power and be under budget. The Outlaw 2200 would also be a monoblock to look at. It has almost the same specifications as the UPA-1. The price is currently the same for both amplifiers. The Outlaw is very compact which is an added bonus.

Since I will probably not get an opportunity to test and differentiate between the MA-700 (which I was planning to purchase used) and the Emotiva UPA-1s or the Outlaw 2200s.....can anyone who has comment on the comparisons ?

Also any feedback on a switcher to switch two amps between a speaker pair ?

Thanks!
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkopti View Post

Since I will probably not get an opportunity to test and differentiate between the MA-700 (which I was planning to purchase used) and the Emotiva UPA-1s or the Outlaw 2200s.....can anyone who has comment on the comparisons ?

Also any feedback on a switcher to switch two amps between a speaker pair ?

Thanks!

Why do we want to switch two amps? And what do you want in terms of "comparisons" between them?

Some other stuff to look at:

- Dayton audio makes a stereo/mono amplifier that can be run as a monoblock; I believe they're around $200/ea.

- AudioSource amplifiers can be run bridged (minimum 8 ohms), the AMP310 can deliver something like 400-500W in this configuration (it won't have the low impedance drive of the Emotiva, but it's still quite a lot of power).

I wouldn't bother using the Jolida in this configuration, unless it can be used as a pre-amp, it's just not needed.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by walbert View Post

Why do we want to switch two amps? And what do you want in terms of "comparisons" between them?

Some other stuff to look at:

- Dayton audio makes a stereo/mono amplifier that can be run as a monoblock; I believe they're around $200/ea.

- AudioSource amplifiers can be run bridged (minimum 8 ohms), the AMP310 can deliver something like 400-500W in this configuration (it won't have the low impedance drive of the Emotiva, but it's still quite a lot of power).

I wouldn't bother using the Jolida in this configuration, unless it can be used as a pre-amp, it's just not needed.

w.r.t comparisons, "dsmith901" mentioned above that the Outlaws were better than the Emotiva's .... what I want to understand is what differentiates monoblocks to make them better than others ? is it just shear o/p power ? frequency range ? THD ? or do different music played (jazz, opera, rock etc.) make each monoblock amp 'respond' differently ? or is it something different like good customer service, tech support, reliability etc that make the differences ?

Thanks
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkopti View Post

w.r.t comparisons, "dsmith901" mentioned above that the Outlaws were better than the Emotiva's .... what I want to understand is what differentiates monoblocks to make them better than others ? is it just shear o/p power ? frequency range ? THD ? or do different music played (jazz, opera, rock etc.) make each monoblock amp 'respond' differently ? or is it something different like good customer service, tech support, reliability etc that make the differences ?

Thanks

There should be no audible differences between any two amplifiers run within spec and level matched. I've heard/read nothing but positive things about Outlaw and Emotiva in terms of customer service, so I'm not really sure. Personal preference is a big deal though.

I would probably preference a new product over used, if your budget can support it, and I would probably preference a more traditional product over the Marantz unless you have a Marantz front-end that supports RC-5 and all that (that isn't to say they can't be used without a Marantz part, but I don't see the point in troubling yourself to find a pair of used parts if you aren't installing them in an RC-5 system).
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