Are there any advantages to using multiple amps to just one. For instance for 7.1 using four stereo amps like the Parasound 1500A to one five channel amp like the parasoud 2205AT and one stereo amp (parasound 1500A). Is there a difference, besides that using four stereo amps will leave you with an extra channel.
I've been searching the web for a nice amplifier. Actually I thought
I would end up with an Aragon 4004, or Bryston 3STB but I came across information regarding the Parasound 1500a and Proceed AMP2.
I know that in some ways I'm comparing apples and oranges here due to the price point, but in the end my goal is the same.
To build an expandable HT system, using two channel or 3 channel separates, with the "best buy" possible components. I've pretty much decided that the speaker for me is one of the Snell types D, E, K or a combination of them. Personally I find them to be the best sounding speaker at the price, used. So taking that as a constant, I'd like to know what amp would work best with these speakers.
From what I understand the order of importance of components should be as follows.
1: Speakers: Snell Type D,E,K
2: Source: CD - HTPC / Sony S500D , PreAmp - Lexicon DC-2,
3: AMP: ???
4: Wires: ? Kimber Kable
Question now is, how much of a difference exists between a Parasound 1500a vs. the Proceed AMP2? Is it worth the extra $$$ on the used market? Is there another amp I should consider? Keep in mind I haven't finalized on the Lexicon DC-2, maybe M Audio 1010?
For my purposes, the advantages of using the separate would be for:
1: Flexibility in the upgrade path. I don't have to go straight to 5.1 or 7.1 I could start with stereo and then move to 5.1 or 7.1 when I'm ready.
2: In general, I'm not saying this is always true, two channel amps will perform better than the 5 channel counterparts. That is, they try to squeeze the same components and in some cases have to make compromises with the design to fit the 5 channels in the one box. An example I would use is the proceed AMP 5 vs. the AMP 3 AMP 2. From what I've heard on the net, I haven't actually listened to them side by side, the AMP 2/3 combination is bettern than the AMP5 even though they should be equivalent in performance. Not to mention the price for an AMP 3 and AMP 2 combo is about the same as that for the AMP 5.
3: If one of the AMPS go out you still have the other one available.
The problems I see with separates are the Issue of having more wires and space requirments for the set up.
If you went with something like an EAD PM1000 ($2900), it does 200Wx5, but if you only use 2 channels, you will supposedly get 500Wx2. It splits its 1000W as you need it. So you don't really 'waste' the extra channels..
I think the best buy in amplifier is the Aragon 8002. I have found that, though I own an 8008,it is all the power I need to drive my PSB Golds. You can find them used for around 800.00 which is a true bargain but I rarely see them for sale. 5 Channel amps are some heavy beast which is why I prefer a couple of 2 channel amps with a 3 channel in my system. Parasound make good amps. I really ignored the brand until I accidentally heard the 3500 and was very impressed. Then a friend bought one and I continued to like the amp. Proceed is very good but you can do as well for less. If I were to by a 5 channel amp, I would be the Bryston 9B St or Aragon 8008X5 though it is a heavy beast as well. The Bryston is 70# and the Aragon is 100#s! Aragon amps are extremely well built, so buy a used one and save yourself some money. The 4004 is close in sound to the 8000 series but does not go as deep into the bass. The 8000 series is flat down to 5 hz while the 4000 series is only flat down to 20hz. Even at higer bass frequencies you can hear the difference but this is the only difference, though a substantial one, that I have heard between the two series.
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