Originally Posted by alan0354
This is a 5 channel amp, take away 3 of the channels and it's going to be empty. Look at how small those filter caps are for 5 channels, how small the power transformers are for 5 channels. As I said, I don't put down Anthem, I look at each amp as individual.
For example, I rave about the Parasound A21, but look at the Parasound A23, to me, it's no better than the Anthem integrated amp that was $3500.
BUT, the cost of the A23 is about $1300
, exactly how I would estimate the price base on how cheap it looks.
That's what I am talking about, it's all about the cost. If the Anthem were $2000, I would be raving about it that it's good for the money.
A few things here:
1) you probably won’t pay $3500 for an MCA525 unless you try to pay retail. In fact right now they’re marked down a fair amount on the website, no haggling necessary.
2) I think it’s a bit unbecoming to eyeball pictures on Google and make snap decisions.
If we seek facts, we will see that the MCA525 has 10 capacitors, 100v caps at 8200uF. The common dimensions for such a capacitor are 36mm diameter, 105mm tall. Ripple current ~10A.
The mentioned A23 has 4 capacitors, 10000uF each. The common dimensions for such a capacitor is 35mm diameter, 50mm tall. Ripple current ~6A.
Note that the caps in the MCA are actually more than double the size of the A23 caps, and there are more than twice as many. Despite each cap having slightly less capacitance the higher voltage rating requires a much larger package. As a bonus each cap also has more than double the ripple current. Hmm, I wonder why they need to use a higher voltage capacitor, I suppose the rails are beefier on this amp.
So we have ~20,000uF per channel on the A23, and ~16,400uF per channel on the MCA. A small but notable difference, though apparently the MCA has higher voltage rails, meaning it can deliver more power ohm for ohm. Add to that the far superior ripple current on the larger caps probably makes it more stable even dividing out for five channels.
If we bump up to the A23+ we get 6800uF caps, still 80v, but 8 of them. That’s pretty good but still lower voltage and ripple current.
3) I was unable to find the specific transformer on the MCA525, it is a custom Nortatel. However, according to Nortatel spec sheets it is roughly the same size as the 630W model listed http://www.noratel.com/fileadmin/con...en/General.pdf
. Two of these would be able to provide more than the continuous 225W x 5 channels advertised.
The A23 I guess has a “1kw” transformer, who knows why when it has lower voltage rails and isn’t rated to deliver even half that to the speaker. But it does and channel for channel that’s a perk.
All considered, I think we have proven that the power supply for the MCA525 is pretty good for its rating. Comparing cost per channel, retail on an MCA525 today is $559.90 per channel. If Anthem marks them back up it would be $699.90 per channel. A23 is discontinued, well I saw some on EBay for $700/channel. A23+ is $797 per channel retail.
None of this is to say that one is better than the other. I’m not interested in a debate like that. I was just trying to insert some truth into the claim of poor value proposition based on eyeballing perceived small caps on the MCA525.
As a side note, having designed some amps before, the layout and output transistors on the MCA525 are a thing of beauty. Each channel has very large TO-264s laid out in the center of a full 4U tall heat sink.