I have a denon 3802 I will be using as a pre amp and want to add more amps to the preouts for more power. I will be using system for both HT and stereo . is there any difference in performance and sound quality between using a 6 channel amp or using 3 separate 2 channel amps, all rated at 200watts per channel. Is there any difference in sound quality if using a 2 channel amp for music versus using the 6 channel amp in stereo 2 channel mods, again both are 200 watts per channel
Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications
On the surface, I'd say no, but there are some who argue crosstalk, feedback, etc could filter through the multi-channel amp. This of course assumes the 6-channel amp incorporates all the same design specs, only tripled. I'm not sure I buy that, if the amp is of the same quality, just "more" of it, it shouldn't matter.
There's probably a space savings with the big amp over 3 smaller ones, but you definitely have more flexibility if you buy 3 separate amps if you upgrade again in the future...not having to do "all at once".
Could be advantageous to buy a really good 2-channel amp for stereo, and supplement with more economical power amps for the surround channels. That's something like what I did.
In my "7.1" system, I have 2 Adcom GFA 535II's powering the mains, and center, an AudioSource powering the side surrounds (great little amp), and the receiver handling the two rear center channels. I honestly can't hear any variation between the amps/receiver sound profiles when all channels are playing on DVD's...the better amps handle the more important channels. In 2-channel listening (done rarely since I have another dedicated stereo system), the Adcom's are the better amps sound wise in my opinion. This has allowed me to buy piecemeal a bit more cost effective. There's some great budget power amp out there these days, and tons of good stuff on ebay and audiogon.