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As much as I would LOVE to able to afford a new Bryston or Sunfire 5 channel amplifier, my budget just won't allow it. But I wouldn't have any problem with purchasing a good USED amplifier at a fraction of the cost of a new one.


(75% home theater use. My current speakers are Paradigm Titans front and back, Paradigm CC-170 center channel.)


My budget for an amplifier is $600, plus-or-minus. I've seen the following 5-channel amps in various locations on-line (EBay, Audiogon, etc.) in my price range and would appreciate any comments on their sound and build quality:


B&K Video 5 105/ch

Carver AV-705x 125/ch THX

Carver AV-505 80/ch $350

Harman PA5800 80/ch

Harman Kardon Signature 2.1 100/ch

Marantz MM9000 150/ch THX

NEW Parasound HCA-855A 85/ch

Rotel RB-985 100/ch THX

Rotel RB-985 Mk II 110/ch THX

Sherwood AM9080 120/ch


This list is certainly not all-inclusive, just what I've been able to find in a couple of hours searching the net. PLEASE feel free to make any additional suggestions. And if you happen to have an amp similiar to those in the listing that you might be willing to part with, feel free to email me!


Many thanks!


KC
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I would go with the B&K. I have never seen a bigger bang for the buck then B&K. Plus great support, supurb build quality and sound that is 95% of amps in much higher classes. You just cant go wrong with B&K.
 

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From that list I would pick the Rotel or the Parasound. While not the most power, definitely the best sounding by a wide margin given the other choices. Really kind of hard to say without knowing your speakers.
 

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KC


While I am not parting with it until I make a move up for 5.1 I have a Rotel RB985. I absoluter love this thing!!!! When I do make the jump into a few more speakers I will either pair it with a 2 channel Rotel or go for a new 7 channel Rotel (pretty sure they just came out with it and a new pre/pro.


I have not had a chance to listen to many of the others but did audition the Sherwood AM9080 (bought the pre/pro didn't like the amp as well as the Rotel), Parasound sounded good but I liked the comfort of a few more watts behind my speakers, and the Marantz just didn't do it for me.


Of course nothing beats listening for yourself, but in the used market you kind of have to go from reviews or fiends with the same amp. If it's a local purchase I would push for an audition. May not get it but its worth asking for! Good luck!
 
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