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Five Channel Amp's- which is best for stereo and surround?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
Anyone have much experience with the Adcom GFA-7605 amp (125W X 5)?
Seems like a lot of amp for the prices I've seen advertised (ie. $1100.00). Is performance and quality good?

What are good examples of 5-channel amp's (125W per/chan-plus), that exhibit good 2-channel, and 5.1 surround capability?
post #2 of 51
That is a decent amp for both applications. Others equally as good in that price range would be Rotel and Parasound, There are others as well. I prefer the Parasound over the Adcom because of warranty and it's audio quality, though.

Speakers being used would also need to factor into the equation in whether the amp has enough reserve power and could handle say a 4ohm load. Also, some speakers prefer higher power amps to get the most out of them.
post #3 of 51
For $499, look at the Emotiva LPA-1 ... it is a really good amp.

link
post #4 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttowntony View Post

I prefer the Parasound over the Adcom because of warranty and it's audio quality, though.

Thanks for your input. I've read that the Parasound Halo series are especially good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ttowntony View Post

Speakers being used would also need to factor into the equation in whether the amp has enough reserve power and could handle say a 4ohm load. Also, some speakers prefer higher power amps to get the most out of them.

yeah, I'm using an Energy RC-Series (5.1) speaker-set, they have performed well with my NAD C272 amp (150W X 2), combined with Yamaha RX-V1600 as pre-pro (120W X 7). While I really like the NAD amp for my front channels, I'm ready to graduate to 5-channels of, high-effificient, "equal" amplification- between 125W - 200W per/chan (preferably 150W - 200W per\\chan).
post #5 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

look at the Emotiva LPA-1

wow!.........pretty impressive (especially for the price).
Thanks
post #6 of 51
#1 pick for a 7-channel amp - absolutely stunning. Amongst the most stable power supplies I've ever played around with.

More affordable 5-channel Class A/B option for the anti-Class-D crowd.
post #7 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundlovr View Post

rmb1077- absolutely stunning. Amongst the most stable power supplies I've ever played around with..

I've read about these, however, have yet to listen to a class-D type. Now I'm more curious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundlovr View Post

rmb1075, More affordable 5-channel Class A/B option for the anti-Class-D crowd.

I've listened to this one, I like it. It is on my list.
post #8 of 51
I will vouch for ICEpower ASP module based amps(class D). WCD, if we ever get together out your way, I will gladly bring for you to try with your speakers.
post #9 of 51
Although more powerful or more channels than you requested, the Cary Cinema 5 (5x200W) and Cinema 7B (7x100W) deserve mention if music SQ is really important to you:
http://www.caryaudio.com/products/cinema/cinema5.html
http://www.caryaudio.com/products/cinema/cinema7B.html

Also, with respect to ICE amps, not all are conviced they sound better than analog. You might read this thread at HTGuide--ClubRotel:
http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php4?t=23102
post #10 of 51
I'd recommend Gemstone Blue Diamond. I have rotated a lot of equipment from my audio rack in the last 6 months. Gemstone stays. It is a great multi-channel power amplifier. You can have it in 5-ch or 7-ch configuration.

If I were you, I would upgrade the L/R speakers too. I *used* to have Energy RC-70s for the front.
post #11 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vett93 View Post

I would upgrade the L/R speakers too. I *used* to have Energy RC-70s for the front.

which speaker brand/model did you upgrade to?
post #12 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

I will vouch for ICEpower ASP module based amps(class D).

are ICEpower-type amps a fairly new technology?
post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastD View Post

which speaker brand/model did you upgrade to?

Triangle Stratos Luna

http://www.triangle-fr.com/uk/stratos.php?modele=luna

Try to find a store who is willing to loan you a used pair. You'll be impressed.

David
post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastD View Post

Anyone have much experience with the Adcom GFA-7605 amp (125W X 5)?
Seems like a lot of amp for the prices I've seen advertised (ie. $1100.00). Is performance and quality good?

What are good examples of 5-channel amp's (125W per/chan-plus), that exhibit good 2-channel, and 5.1 surround capability?


Butler Audio TDB5150 http://butleraudio.com/tdb5150.php

can be had at hometheaterdoc.com for less than $2500 shipped. I have it and it's the one piece of my extensive hometheater system that will be the last to be replaced.
post #15 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggunnell View Post

Cary Cinema 5

I really like this amp.
post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by vett93 View Post

Triangle Stratos Luna

http://www.triangle-fr.com/uk/stratos.php?modele=luna

Try to find a store who is willing to loan you a used pair. You'll be impressed.

David

That magellan line is simply glorious looking... WOW
Magellan Line

Good luck on your setup...
I too was interested in Possibly using a 200 x 5 wattt amp...
post #17 of 51
These speakers, IMO, are the best kept secret. They are excellent for home applications. I especially like their front porting design. There are other great speakers around. But most of them have rear porting. They need to be further away from the wall for best presentation. This may be difficult to achieve in a lot of homes.

Without the reflection of rear wall, the bass is not particularly strong. But it reduces the one-note bass problem that is common. When I need to extend bass, I turn on my 15" sealed subwoofer. They work wonder together.

Sorry that I am stealing your thread. Back to stereo/surround amplifiers. My current thought is that for stereo listening, you want to have some tube amplification. You can do it in either a hybrid amp like Butler amps or a pure SS amp and a tube preamp. Tubes add some sweetness to the sound and reduce "metallic" sound found in some of all-SS amps.

Tube amps have advanced so much. The good ones have very high bandwidth, like from 10Hz to 300KHz. They give spacious and airy feelings to the highs and very fluid like in the mids. However, I would not use tube power amp as the only power amp. For certain music, all tube power amps seem to lack a sense of urgency. They work wonder with violin/cello types of music though.

YMMV.....
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastD View Post

are ICEpower-type amps a fairly new technology?

No...not really...it has been around for a few years I believe.

Do a google on "ICEpower"....a lot of info.
post #19 of 51
I have had 3 different MC amps in my HT system over the past 3 years. I started out with a Parasound 1206A, a very stout well-built amp. I then went to an all Cary set-up, Cinema 5 amp and Cinema 6 pre/pro. This was a major improvement (did the changes one at a time with the amp being first). The Cary Cinema 5 was definitely less SS-sounding than the Parasound, very dependable as I never had a problem with it for the 1 1/2 yrs. I owned it. I just purchased and received a Plinius Odeon amp. This is going to be staying for awhile. Finally, a somewhat tube-like sounding SS amp with about the best bass I have yet heard. Excellent soundstaging, mids and highs detailed yet not fatiguing. Has the same power rating as the Cary amp but has a more robust power supply so it never seems to run out of steam. Not cheap, but I got a great deal on one used.

Bill
post #20 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spectralman View Post

The Cary Cinema 5 was definitely less SS-sounding than the Parasound, very dependable as I never had a problem with it for the 1 1/2 yrs. I owned it.

Thanks for your input!............the more I read about these Cary amps the more I like. How is bass characteristics with this amp?

Also, I've seen prices like $5000.00 for the Cary Cinema 5, how would it compare (sound-quality wise) to, say, a Bryston 9B-SST (@140W X 5), for approx. same price? Or even a Krell Theater Amplifier Standard (200W X 5 balanced) @$7500.00? Or using Krell KAV-3250 (250W X 3) @$5000.00, combined with a KAV-2250 (250W X 2) @$4000.00?

Also, does fatigue typically occur after an amp, or system, has been running, or driving, speaker (loads) for a given period of time?

I know this is a loaded question...............
post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by spectralman View Post

.... I just purchased and received a Plinius Odeon amp. This is going to be staying for awhile. Finally, a somewhat tube-like sounding SS amp with about the best bass I have yet heard. Excellent soundstaging, mids and highs detailed yet not fatiguing. ...
Bill

This is exactly how I feel with my current setup: a Gemstone power amp with a BAT tube preamp. The combination has some sweetness to the sound and yet powerful bass. Both units have wide bandwidth and thus yield spacious, open, and airy sound.
post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastD View Post

Thanks for your input!............the more I read about these Cary amps the more I like. How is bass characteristics with this amp?

Also, I've seen prices like $5000.00 for the Cary Cinema 5, how would it compare (sound-quality wise) to, say, a Bryston 9B-SST (@140W X 5), for approx. same price? Or even a Krell Theater Amplifier Standard (200W X 5 balanced) @$7500.00? Or using Krell KAV-3250 (250W X 3) @$5000.00, combined with a KAV-2250 (250W X 2) @$4000.00?

Also, does fatigue typically occur after an amp, or system, has been running, or driving, speaker (loads) for a given period of time?

I know this is a loaded question...............

When people mention "fatigue" they're not referring to anything happening in the electronics or speakers -- it's something that happens to your ears. Ear fatigue typically occurs after your system has been driving your ears beyond safe (i.e., non-harmful) levels for a period of time.

Haven't heard any of the amps you asked about so can't comment...
post #23 of 51
I have had the following amps in my system over the past few years:
Rotel 1075
NuForce Reference 9 x 3 & Aragon 8008ST
Cary Cinema 5

The Cary Cinema 5 is my definite favorite as it mates with my AR ETL-1 turntable for superb 2 channel sound and has enough power overall to run my B&W speaker setup. The NuForce amps have great power and better lower end, but after many months of listening can be a bit sterile. And, if you are patient, you can find a Cary Cinema 5 on Audiogon for nearly 50% off of the msrp list price of $5K. There were a couple availalble last month, but none right now. And, IMO, amplifiers are one of the safest used buys one can make in the AV world.
post #24 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gostan View Post

The Cary Cinema 5 is my definite favorite as it mates with my AR ETL-1 turntable for superb 2 channel sound and has enough power overall to run my B&W speaker setup.

this is good to know, thanks for your input!
Which B&W's are you using?
post #25 of 51
Thread Starter 
Also, any one played around with these Krell units:
Theater Amplifier Standard (200W X 5 balanced) @$7500.00?
KAV-3250 (250W X 3) @$5000.00?
KAV-2250 (250W X 2) @$4000.00?
post #26 of 51
Can someone explain to me the difference between using my 135 watt per channel out of my Yamaha RX-V2600 and using a dedicated 125watt multichannel amp?
post #27 of 51
I'd add the Earthquake Cinenova Grande to the List as well as second the Bryston which is perhaps the best built of them all (20 year warranty).
post #28 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_Connelly View Post

Can someone explain to me the difference between using my 135 watt per channel out of my Yamaha RX-V2600 and using a dedicated 125watt multichannel amp?

Most good dedicated, or separate, multi-channel amplifiers are typically more efficient than most AV receiver amplifiers. Essentially, they drive a speaker (load) much more easy, or effortlessly, and cleaner. Moreover, their ratings are usually exactly what they state- "all channels driven". While many AV receiver ratings are based on fewer channels driven- ie. 2-channels, or 3-channels driven, etc.,...

However, the RX-V2600 is an exceptionally good AV receiver, with pretty efficient amplifiers (I'm using one myself). I read a review where they measured somewhere equivalent to 105W X 7 (all channels driven)- which is very good. So you can see how a decent separate amp (125W X 7) could work better. Or even using a good 2-channel, or 3-channel, amp would allow your Yamaha to function easier, or more efficiently, driving fewer channels (I'm using an NAD C272 for my front channels currently, it's very nice). Also, it depends on what type of speakers you're using (efficiency and impedance rating).

Bottom-line, your RX-V1600 will work very good for most popular speaker applications.
post #29 of 51
I am running Deftech 7002's up front, BPX2's in the rear and their $500 center channel, forget the number.

Those will be replaced with a high quality line array in the near future. I've heard Selah's RS Line Array in my house being driven by nothing other than the 2600 and was very impressed with it. My big hold up is the cabinet maker right now.

I'll do a matching large center(mini array), same for the rear.

I have a large room volume wise and listen to a lot of hi res multichannel music which is why my interest is going with large speakers all the way around.

This is my first go round with this stuff and if I knew last year what I knew today I would have taken a different approach, mostly to the speakers. I like my DefTech's but I can see now I could have built a superior speaker for the same money.

Thankfully I am blessed with a wife who believes in function over form

I am very happy with my 2600 but I know with the array's I can drive them a lot more. I planning on going to a 2700 with the new setup for the networking options but if I could find a good pre that had the same video features as the 2600 I'd look at that with a solid and larger amp.

The DSP modes are useless to me. I played with them for 10 minutes and thats it. I listen to everything on STRAIGHT or through the multichannel. The only thing I use is PL II for some CD's and my DVD player takes care of that and passes it via the multichannel.

Does a dedicated amp help with low volumes? I took a listen through my DVD-A's that I did not really care for on my first listen. NIN's Downward Spiral on DVD-A sounded very muddy to me but I listened to it with the wife so volumes were moderate. Tonight I pulled it out, while writing this post and cranked it up. It was far more defined at louder volumes than low volumes. Is this because I was putting more power to the speaker?

Would an amp help lower volume definition in heavy bass/layed music?
post #30 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_Connelly View Post

I have a large room volume wise and listen to a lot of hi res multichannel music I listen to everything on STRAIGHT or through the multichannel.

yeah, better speakers, combined with a five channel separate amp would definitely work nicer. I'm more of a music listener myself, I listen to a lot a SACD's, etc.,...I use "PURE" mode mostly, or "STRAIGHT" sometimes, depending on source. Standard DoblyDigital, or ProLogic, is just fine for most movies, unless it has a DTS track ("live" concert DVD's, for example).
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