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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to be upgrading from a Sunfire Cinema Grand that is currently running my four M&K 2525 Tripole Surrounds to a better amp and want some opinions from the group. The price range is 5k and the main issue is detailed performance and not brute horsepower. I want an amp that is very articulate and fully capable of running 4 ohm loads for long periods of time. I have powered monitors on the LCR with power ratings in the 225 watt range and am looking for the same range into 4 ohms for the new surround amp. The Sunfire isn't detailed enough for my taste but does have more then enough power to play very loud when needed. I would prefer less power if the sound was more detailed and articulate. What are your thoughts on the TAG 100x5R, Theta Intrepid, or AMP 5? I currently have a TAG AV32R as a pre-amp and am leaning toward the 100x5R due to its interactive connectivity and power ratings -- it is also available in a 4 channel version if needed which means I wont be wasting a channel I don't need. My only reservation about going with it is a lack of XLR connectors on the back. Not that this matters now but in a few months I will be upgrading to the AV192R which has fully balanced outputs -- (Buzz, any thoughts on this). The Intrepid, while not capable of supporting the TAG communication buss does seems to be in the same power league and has XLR connectors. Tha AMP 5 is in the same league as the Intrepid. So, if any of you would like to give some advice or suggest looking at other amps I would greatly appreciate it. Remember, this is for surround channels only.


Thanks,


MIKE
 

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They are all good amps, probably make anyone happy as the main amps, and certainly as the surround amp.


Unless you're getting hum problems, the balanced option isn't going to make any difference.


The control aspect of the AV32R/100x is pretty impressive and would weight pretty heavily in staying within the brand. And as you point out, we can supply however many channels you need (and add another later if your needs change).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey Buzz,


A few questions:


How conservative is the power rating of the 100x5R? Does it double it power output when put into 4 ohms?


MIKE
 

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We're pretty conservative spec wise.


But don't take my word for it;:


" There was ample peak current capacity and a 4 ohm load raised 245W per channel mid-band while with 2 ohms it almost doubled again to 512W 21.1dbW. Output impedance was very low, while the peak current capacity exceeded +/-25A. Distortion was extremely low, approaching 100dB down overall at full power (0.001%), even down to 0.0007%, for 1kHz. A fairly ‘sweet' spread of harmonics was evident at a vanishingly small -112dB level.


"Good match to AV32R".


Hi-Fi News - March 2001
 

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Mike,


Regarding Theta, you may want to consider the Dreadnaught with 2 each of the stereo 100 wpc at 8 ohm modules (doubles on 4 ohm). You would have your 4 channels, without wasting a channel. The empty slots would allow 3 to 6 additional channels (depending on configuration) of amplification down the line, should you want additional amplification. The transformer on the Dreadnaught is twice that of the Intrepid.


Good luck,

Will
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Buzz,


I had demoed the Tag amp for a few days several months ago before I went with powered LCR monitors and had a slight hum in the system when it was installed -- the Sunfire was dead quiet when I reinstalled it. That's where my concern comes from for the XLR's. If I had a few more days with the Tag then I'm sure things would have worked themselves out. Things have changed in my electrical system since then but in the back of my mind I'd hate to get the same problem again. Don't get me wrong, I know it's built like a rock (as heavy as one for sure) and sounded really, really good, but XLR's seem like a safe bet. Can you refresh my memory on something: Does the 100x5R get hot in standby mode or only when it's switched on? I only ask this as the location I would be installing it in is not "ventilation friendly" and will probably need to be retooled.


Couple more questions:


Will the 250 watt version have the when that comes out? How many 250 watt channels will fit in the 100R chassis?


Thanks,


MIKE
 

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The 100x5R doesn't get warm when it's in standby, only a small transformer is used to keep the control circuitry active. There's heavy hints at the Tag site that a new poweramp will be announced next month, possibly a 250W x 3 amp.
 

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It does not get particularly warm even when running. It is a very conservative design, plus even the front panel is used as heat sink.


There have not been any official announcements on another amp, but as observed, hints point to a three channel in that chassis size. Nothing has been announced about balanced.

Keep in mind, time from announcement to delivery can be as long as a year too.

I suspect there will be more info in our December update (we usually make major announcement/changes on our web site the first of each month).
 

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There's no substitute for listening.


The new Theta amps with zero feedback are based on circuits developed by Charles Hansen of Ayre Acoustics. Theta does somethings differently, using a MOSFET class A driver with a bipolar output stage; Ayre uses an EF triple with an unusual compensation scheme for capacitive load stability in their new V-5 (stereo) and V-6 series. The Theta has a servo feedback loop for DC; this is largely required because of the thermal sensitivity of MOSFETs having changes in threshold voltage. It's not easy to perfectly match the N and P type devices for this circuit.


I'm principally a music lover, and I'm into hi rez digital format as well. However, I found the Ayre was a very superior amp compared to several competitors in a relatively midrange system, using a standard mid-hi end CD player. It was a clear cut difference, quickly audible on program material. Though the Ayre goes out to 200 kHz, it has a very smooth, detailed presentation, sounding much more like the best of tubes than a high end solid state unit.


I'd recommend giving the Ayre V-6 and the Theta a listen before buying anything else, if you listen to music on your system. Even for movies, you might be surprised. The V-6 can be purchased with any combination of channels from two and up. I'm not multi-channel yet, so I bought a V-5.


Regards,


Jon
 

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Well, I personally run Proceed power. I can't comment on the others. I have thoroughly enjoyed my HPA-2 and AMP5 7 channel configuration. Very detailed at the top, lots of punch down low, and sweet mids with my Sonus faber Concerto Grand Pianos. the Proceeds do double wattage from 8 to 4 ohms, and while not rated for 2 ohms, given it's "Levinson like" pedigree, I don't doubt at all that they are capable of handling 2 ohm loads. But certainly, don't take my advice on that. :)


Proceed represents their soundstage as a "holographic" presentation. I have to say, the accuracy is such that you do get a larger perceived soundstage, than may be possible with some other amps. YMMV.


the HPA-2 is actually a little to powerful for my mains. But as long as I don't cross over below 80 for high powered runs,all is ok. I can run full range as long as I don't drive my system toooo hard...


Lex
 
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