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  1. #1
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    Inexpensive "high current" amps

    Ok, since no one want to respond to my "amp suggestions for Carver Amazing Loudspeakers" I will try again. My research indicates that I need a high current amp to drive my Carver AL's. I do listen to my music rather loud. I would like to find an amp, preferably under $500 new or used. Any suggestions?

    Thank you to those who respond.

  2. #2
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    nearest thing I can think of is a parasound Halo a23, or a vincent sp-331 the latter one will maybe be able to take lower impedances...


    good luck,
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  3. #3
    nightflier
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    Have you considered a Carver amp? I don't know much about Carver, but I'm going to guess that Carver made their amps powerful enough for their own speakers.

  4. #4
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    You could do a lot worse

    Quote Originally Posted by ismael223
    Ok, since no one want to respond to my "amp suggestions for Carver Amazing Loudspeakers" I will try again. My research indicates that I need a high current amp to drive my Carver AL's. I do listen to my music rather loud. I would like to find an amp, preferably under $500 new or used. Any suggestions?

    Thank you to those who respond.
    I've owned an old Adcom 555II power amp -- 350 watt/ch at 4 ohms, no problem. Contrary to the bad wrap Adcom sometimes get, this amp is very pleasant sounding: quite warm and rather "earthy", not at all harsh or bright. Admittedly hasn't got quite the same resolution you can get if you're willing to pay twice as much. Look for them on eBay or Audiogon at about $400 - 450.

  5. #5
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basite
    nearest thing I can think of is a parasound Halo a23, or a vincent sp-331 the latter one will maybe be able to take lower impedances...


    good luck,
    Bert.
    Yeah, the Parasound Halo A23 can be had for about $500 used and can drive quite well, also check out Nightflier's suggestion with Carver.

  6. #6
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    Outlaw 755 Vs Rotel 1095 Which Is Best

  7. #7
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    First of all, some one liking loud music should have a different speaker than the Amazing Loudspeaker.

    I was going to also suggest the Adcom 5500 or 555. If you are patient or lucky, you can sometimes find an older Classe power amp for around $700.00, the money difference would be well spent. I'd think the Carver amps would have the power as well but they are not high current.

  8. #8
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    I might suggest a bit more research. The CAL's are 6-Ohm speakers that never dip below 4 Ohms at any frequency which means they're no more "high-current" than most HTIB setups. They're efficiency rating is 88dB/W/m which is fairly good. They'd be well-driven by just about anything. If current is really a concern and your limit is $500 then I'd be considering a Rotel Integrated.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckle
    I might suggest a bit more research. The CAL's are 6-Ohm speakers that never dip below 4 Ohms at any frequency which means they're no more "high-current" than most HTIB setups. They're efficiency rating is 88dB/W/m which is fairly good. They'd be well-driven by just about anything. If current is really a concern and your limit is $500 then I'd be considering a Rotel Integrated.
    You can't get a feel for how a speaker is going to react from specs, my experience with those speakers is that they will need some quality watts to drive and they are a far cry from HTIB or any typical speaker. As Carver sold these speakers they were a continual work in progress, so who really knows what version or specs match them anyway. The only amps I've personally heard drive the Amazings is Carver. They really never got what I'd call loud. Part of that could be the Infinite Baffle woofers not having the punch of a box speaker and being in a large room. If the poster keeps them, I'd recommend getting a sub down the road.

  10. #10
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    thanks for the suggestions

    First of all thanks to everyone for helping this newbie out. I have been looking for a carver m1.5 or tfm42 or higher to power my CAL's. I considered Adcom but I remember a friend of mine having a GFA555 with a pair of Apogee's and quite frankly I was not that impressed. The sound was ok but he had the volume almost to full and it wasnt as loud as I would expect. To respond to Canuckle, according to the owners manual, the impedance for my original CAL's (not platinum or silver) is 4 ohms and the sensitivity is a meager 85db.

    I think Mr Peabody hit the nail on the head about the CAL's not being the best speakers for someone who likes loud music. However, I always wanted a pair and they sound good to me. If I want loudness, my other system consists of a NAD 2200 with Athena AS-F2.1's and their 93db effiiciency. Too bad the NAD couldn't handle the CAL's demands.

    So, am I on the right track. Do I need watts or current? My research indicates that most of the high current amps are rather expensive. I do not think I will ever be able to afford a Krell, so maybe I should look for the "poor man's Krell" and find a good used Aragon or Parasound. What about Threshold products? I have a Soundstream car amp that was supposedly designed by Nelson Pas and its the best sounding car amp I have ever heard. I remember Audio magazine doing a comparison many years ago in which the Soundstream blew away the competition hooked up to home audio speakers. I believe they said "given good enough speakers, this amp sings".

    Sorry for being so wordy but I am really anxious and excited about getting the proper amp for my CAL's. Keep the suggestions coming. If I have to increase my budget a few hundred than so be it.

  11. #11
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    Keep your eye out on Audiogon, sometimes you can find a Krell kav-300i for right at $1k, or sometimes slightly below. This integrated is rated at 150x2 but it is a monster, the power seems almost limitless. You may be able to sell your preamp and re-coop some of the extra money spent. Which pre are you using?

    Threshold and Pass Labs are both good but there again you will have a cost factor. Classe is about the best value I've seen for used resale in a real quality power amp.

    Adcoms are decent but definitely not up to driving Apogees properly.

  12. #12
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    ismael223's dilema

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Keep your eye out on Audiogon, sometimes you can find a Krell kav-300i for right at $1k, or sometimes slightly below. This integrated is rated at 150x2 but it is a monster, the power seems almost limitless. You may be able to sell your preamp and re-coop some of the extra money spent. Which pre are you using?

    Threshold and Pass Labs are both good but there again you will have a cost factor. Classe is about the best value I've seen for used resale in a real quality power amp.

    Adcoms are decent but definitely not up to driving Apogees properly.
    You've pretty much said it all, Mr.P: ismael223 wants to spend < $500 but at the same time have an amp that drives Apogee to potential -- ain't going to happen.

    He also whats Carver Amazings to play "loud", I don't think that's going to happen either.

  13. #13
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ismael223
    Too bad the NAD couldn't handle the CAL's demands.
    If it's 4ohms and 85db, if the room isn't too big a NAD or Rotel could handle it without being too spendy. Outlaw, Emotiva or other monoblocks would be an option too.

  14. #14
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    Here You Go!

    www.spearitsound.com has a used Conrad Johnson solid state MOSFET power amp that sold new for $1495.00, used $529.00, the MF2100. At 100x2 it may not be all the power you desire but they would definitely be 100 quality watts.

  15. #15
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Could be as close as you'll get

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    www.spearitsound.com has a used Conrad Johnson solid state MOSFET power amp that sold new for $1495.00, used $529.00, the MF2100. At 100x2 it may not be all the power you desire but they would definitely be 100 quality watts.
    ismael223, nice suggestion from Mr.P. Used CJ stuff does appear from time to time at what certainly looks like bargain prices.

  16. #16
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    trying out a Carver amp first, then....?

    I just picked up a Carver M1.5t on Ebay. I will let you all know how it works out. If I am not happy with it, I will increase my budget and try a Parasound, Classe, or a Krell integrated. I passed on a Parasound HCA-1000 because it only had 200 watts into 4 ohms. Again, is the issue watts or current? I guess this is what the hobby is all about, trying a little of everything until you get the perfect combination.

  17. #17
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    It's current if you want the best driver control and an amp that will handle lower impedances. Watts will provide that extra SPL, especially with inefficient speakers.

    Carver amps are not high current and the reliability factor is low. In my opinion Conrad Johnson's solid state amps are on par with Classe and both of those are a step above Parasound.

  18. #18
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    thanks for the suggestions and education

    This is all getting so confusing. Its been a long time since my physics classes but I thought the formula for Power(watts) is directly related to current (amps). Either way, I agree that I need to hear the equipment together and disregard the spec. numbers.

    Now getting back to you suggestion about a Krell integrated. I never thought I could get into Krell gear (even used) for less than $1000. The used power amps and preamps still demand a good price. However, if I can get both pieces in one unit it ends up being much less expensive. Are integrated amps inferior in sound quality? If they can get all the circuitry of both into one relatively small case, why are the power amps so big. Is it like a bag of potato chips, were the package is larger than the substance?

    If the carver doesn't work out I might start looking at your CJ suggestions, although I would prefer the 200 watt model. In my research of Krell, I found some "poor man's Krell" products made by Aragon and Acurus. Any thoughts? Thanks

  19. #19
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    The Krell kav-300i which would be your least expensive integrated is an awesome buy at $1k, it is true balanced circuitry, Class A preamp and a Theater Through feature that would allow integration into a HT system. Using that feature would allow the 300i to act as a 2 channel power amp for front 2 channels. It may not have the resolution or drive of the bigger Krell amps but there is absolutely no skimping.

    The little amount of Aragon I heard left me indifferent, it didn't impress me but it wasn't horrible either.

    I would have to research before discussing the power formula anymore. Most high quality traditional designed amps are high current. Carver uses some type of design where the amp draws more power right from the wall during peak demands rather than relying on large power supplies. It's been awhile since I've read a Carver white paper, so I forgot the particulars. But, as some stated above, I'd too expect Bob would have designed the Amazings to mate with his amps. It has been years since I've heard a Carver, I remember them striking me as a nice sounding amp for the money.

  20. #20
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    I like my (secondhand) Musical Fidelity A300. Shouldn't think you'd have to spend much more than your budget if you see one on eBay.

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