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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,


I have a credit at Samash and I was thinking about grabbing a Power Amp., in order to get into the separates world, for a better sounding experience.


According to several reviews, my first choice is the BEHRINGER A-500, which seems to be the best bang-for-the-buck.


Problem is that Samash does not carry such model (only the 1500 & 2500).


Well, after googling thru their site, I've found the SAMSON SERVO SERIES, which seems to fit my bill and also my needs.


I'm now torn between the SERVO 300 ( 100w x2 @ 8 Ohm ) and the SERVO 600 (225 x 2 @ 8 Ohms).

The 300 costs $ 200, while the 600 is $ 279.


My AVR is a Denon 3806, so even the 300 model would suit my needs, but a bit more power sounds better, though. By the way, my speakers are all 8 Ohm rated.


As an additional info, I've never had a separate before, so my questions are:


Is the SAMSON a good option?

Isn't the SERVO 600 a bit overkill, if compared to the 3806 power rating?

What about their overall quality, if compared to the BEHRINGER A-500?


Well, I'd really appreciate for any further comments on such, in order to make up my mind and to decide what's thew best way to go.

To be honest, I'm not even sure that I'll have a sound improvement by adding a separate, although I truly believe I will...


Cheers / Avliner.
 

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They are generally OK, I find they all hiss when the volume control on the amp is set high and no signal is running. That is my only beef with the Samson amps I have had experience with, and they all seemed to do it.



Do they carry any pro end targeted amps that also have RCA input? If so that would be my choice over any pro amps that did not offer it.


These pro level amps want +4 line levels, home audio is generally -10 line level audio. Some complications can arise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
John,


thanks for your input. Most definetely it's something to be considered as a (-) on my comparison list, though.


Any others inputs would be appreciated.


Cheers / Avliner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNnDENVER /forum/post/0


Do they carry any pro end targeted amps that also have RCA input? If so that would be my choice over any pro amps that did not offer it.


These pro level amps want +4 line levels, home audio is generally -10 line level audio. Some complications can arise.

Sorry John,


I missed the last part of your comments.

Yeah, they do have RCA inputs (that's a must for me, as the pre outs on the AVR are all RCA as well).


Could you please elaborate on your last paragraph?


Cheers / Avliner.
 

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Pro amps, made for doing live concert sound support often only come with balanced XLR inputs and 1/4" balanced/unbalanced inputs.


These inputs are design to be fed +4 Professional line levels from a mixing console. Home audio is what is called - 10 level, which is way way down from +4 line levels. The problem that some find is they just can't get enough gain out of the amps. I hear there are devices that can rectify this available, but is something to consider when you run pro amps on your HT.


If the amp has RCA inputs, by default that is a -10 line level input and no problems will be encounted.
 

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I gotta say, if you have 8 ohm speakers and they are fairly effecient then the 3806 will drive to fairly extreme levels without any problems.

I am a former "amp slut" having gone thru literally 50~60 amps in an 10 year period. I had some Aerial speakers in the past that really really needed extra power as they were 4 ohms and ineffecient as hell. In that case external amplification was needed.

But what Ive found out ( eventially ) is that 8 ohm effecient speakers dont really benifit much...in most cases you couldnt even A/B the difference's in a blind test.

Not to say you shouldnt get an external amp ..but the "cost" of the upgrade may be better suited in another catagory of your home theater.

Secondly, imo upgrading from the internal amps of the 3806 to the Samson amp( for your main speakers anyway, sub is a different animal all together ) for effecicent speakers isnt an " upgrade" at all.

Plus what JohninDenver said is true about pro-amp without rca connections ...sure you can get an xlr to rca adapter ... but it always seems to introduce some added nosie to the system imo. I think the samson may have a 10db attenutor button so if this is the case you could calibrate the levels without a problem ( youd have enough tolerance in the level differecnes ).

Imo, if you really want an external amp Id get a consumer amp in your case, as it seems you dont really need quanity watts but rather quality watts..and you can get some great deals on consumer amps "used" over at audiogon. An amp is one thing I have no problem buying " used" as there is almost no risk involved ( not many parts to break in an amp )
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Brilliant explanation John!


Could never imagine that such an issue could occur, so as a rule of thumb one can consider that whenever a PA comes with RCA inputs, they're of for HT purposes, right?


Cheers / Avliner.
 

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Quote:
Could never imagine that such an issue could occur, so as a rule of thumb one can consider that whenever a PA comes with RCA inputs, they're of for HT purposes, right

Not to go against the flavor of the month here at avs ..but pro-amps ( even with rca's ) arent really made for the home theater environment. i know I know, some people here on the forum swear buy them ..but Freakin " used" amps are so cheap and there are many great ones to choose from ..i cant understand why anybody would go the pro-amp route UNLESS they have very ineffecient hard to drive speakers ..then maybe the extra brute watts would help ..

Whats your speakers ?
 

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Well you really can't assume that they are intedned for HT use, there is a whole slew of more project oriented products and mixing consoles / DJ consoles that actually use -10 line level RCA output.


It is becomming more and more common to find this on pro level amps because of these products so they can be used properly with these more semi-professional recording and sound products.. The fact the Samsung has -10 line level RCA input is a way way big plus going for it as far as HT use is concerned in my opinion. Even if it hissed, I'd be inclined to give one a shot myself. I always wanted that blamblastic super high powered center channel and one of these would surely fit that bill for me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by psujohny /forum/post/0


Not to go against the flavor of the month here at avs ..but pro-amps ( even with rca's ) arent really made for the home theater environment. i know I know, some people here on the forum swear buy them ..but Freakin " used" amps are so cheap and there are many great ones to choose from ..i cant understand why anybody would go the pro-amp route UNLESS they have very ineffecient hard to drive speakers ..then maybe the extra brute watts would help ..

Whats your speakers ?


In my case, it would be to make sure the center channel had ample and significantly more power amp head room over the other external amps in my system


600watts, one channel. Nice...



Can you suggest something similar in a consumer type amp?
 

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I have the Samson sx1800 or something like that, it is not one of the "servo" amps, and has fans as a result. It is 400 watts/channel, 2-channel, and I use it between my Denon 3805 and my Polk Rti12 fronts. I had some low buzz, and added a $45 "hum eliminator," you can find these at most music stores like samash and guitar city, etc. It eliminated the buzz, which i assume was a ground loop or caused by the balanced/unbalanced connector issue, or whatever.


Anyway- the sound- the performance of the speakers is greatly improved, most notably in dynamic passages of music or movies, over using the 3805 alone. Also, my rear and center speakers (still powered by the denon) also improved a bit in dynamic quality, I assume from removing the strain of the fronts. The improvement in the Denon-powered speakers was noticable, but not as obvious as in the fronts.


I have been using this for about a year, and am still very pleased. I don't detect the hiss that the other poster was referring to, unless my ear is literally 6-7 inches from the tweeter, and then it's very quiet.


It has been such an improvement that I listen to much more music than i used to, and usually in stero mode only, as it sounds so great to me now.


Additionally, I have been pleased enough that I have been considering a Samson "servo" amp to power my center channel, since the center gets so much content.


Fan noise is minimal, but it will depend on your set-up and tolerance for such things (if you got a fan version, but the servos have no fan, so you should be good).


I say try it and see if you like the difference. I did, and love it. I'll never NOT have an amp again if I can help it (depending on the speakers, of course, and if they benefit)
 

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It does seem these amps may be more ideal to run a subwoofer, but I got sub head room comming out my @%*& right now. But as stated, I actually think the center channel could greatly benefit from such amp head room. I'd suspect dialog volume issues would be nearly non-existant with such an amp over the other 200watt mono-blocks in my system on the other channels.



So these Samsung amps with the RCA inputs, do 600watt bridged 8 ohms right?
 

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Quote:
Can you suggest something similar in a consumer type amp?

Yes I can... As I mentioned previously I had an Aerial setup with the cc-5 as my center..Cant get any harder to drive then that. 4 ohms dipping lower then that, with an efficiency rating around 83. Weighed 110 lbs all by itseelf
..dam that was one impressive speaker. Anyhoo,

The EARTHQUAKE CINENOVA GRAND amp drove the hell out of it.

You can get a 3 channel version fairly cheap. It is rated at 300 watts @ 8ohms and doubled all the way down to 2 ohms ! without a problem. I even drove two svs subwoofers ran in parellel off of one amp channel ..thats a 2 ohm load @ 1000 watts and I couldnt get it to even start clipping no matter how I tried. 3 SEPERATE torodial transformers..One for each channel...I could go on and on...Its a great amp for an excellant price on the used market. Oh, also it ran cool as a cucumber.
 

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Quote:
In my case, it would be to make sure the center channel had ample and significantly more power amp head room over the other external amps in my system

Your right about the center channel ..Most people dont realize that the center channel in a HT system takes more power then the main channels !...I had a carver amp with a power meter on it for the front 3 channels (in the past)... The center channel would hit peaks of 250 watts while the main speakers wouldnt even be hitting the 100 watt mark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the several inputs guys.


Regarding to my speaker setup, I have a 7.1 system, all JBL (Northridge E Series):


L/R mains = E - 50

C = EC - 35

S / SB = E - 30

SW = SVS PB 10 - ISD ( no more JBL subs, though ).


These speakers are pretty easy to be driven, so as Psujohny said, there might not be a hell of difference. In other hand, Cneely8 said he's got a good sound improvement with the PA though.


Matter of fact, I'm not dead set on this particular brand, maybe I could get some other struff, but it's gotta be from Samash though. Let's say my budget could be stretched up to 300 bucks. My first option was the Behringer A-500 (as everybody's raving about it), but I know that Samson is a good brand as well.


Bottom line is this thread is getting more & more interesting.


Please keep chimin' in!


Cheers / Avliner.
 

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Quote:
Another suggestions? I would like a mono block, or a 2 channel bridgable amp.

John, can I ask what your driving ? and how much is too much



For cheap, the old soundstream mono ( also the parasound 1201 mono block) ..the soundstream and the parasound 1201 are both the EXACT same amp. But, there monos, bridgeable and cheap ..they do get hot though ( all parasounds get hot).


Tell me your budget and I can zero in a little better.
 

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I am driving a pair of JBL S38's for my center, one below the 84" pulldown screen and one on a shelf above the 84" screen.


My budget is low, real low. $300 on the highest of sides, I would prefer $200 or below. The low budget is what makes the pro amp an attractive product for me.
 

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Quote:
These speakers are pretty easy to be driven, so as Psujohny said, there might not be a hell of difference. In other hand, Cneely8 said he's got a good sound improvement with the PA

Maybe Cneely has hard to drive speakers ..or nothing personally, but maybe its the placebo effect ( cant ever rule that out )...

I cant speak to that, but if you want to put the time into it ( and be really honest with yourself ) ..you can go buy the amp ( make sure you have a return period ) ...and then get somebody to help you a/b them ( in a blind test fashion ) and hear for yourself if you can pinpoint the difference.. I bet with effiecient speakers that you cant
 
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