• 03-23-2007, 05:22 AM
    stevef22
    Mono block V.S. power amp, What the big difference?
    Why do people use a mono block amplifier compared to a typical stereo power amp. I know the power amps are usually stereo and handle a pair of speakers or more...

    Why not just get 2 mono block amplifiers and use them as your power amps? Any reason someone cant do this?

    What are some of the advantages/disadvantages of this configuration?
  • 03-23-2007, 05:38 AM
    Luvin Da Blues
    Separate power supplies, signal isolation, usually better electronic components.......

    and it looks cool

    you need one mono block per channel. stereo = 2 mono blocks
  • 03-23-2007, 06:13 AM
    Dusty Chalk
    That's one more power outlet that I didn't have to spare.
  • 03-23-2007, 07:01 AM
    markw
    There are many excellent examples of each.
    A lot of it boils down to economics. Ever look at the prices of hefty power transformers and caps?

    Unless you're talking really, really high power, it can be much more economical to design one very good power supply for two channels on one chassis than to apply the same to two separate chassis.

    As for signal separation or crosstalk, that's one of those "can I really hear the difference?" situations. Unless you're coming from two separate preamplifier, it's pretty much a moot point.

    but, it does look kewl and impresses the heck out of the unknowing.
  • 03-23-2007, 08:47 AM
    caesar148
    Designing a power amplifier beyond a certain power level requires mono blocks because the larger caps, transformers and heat sink makes it difficult to squeeze into a stereo block. This is especially true for high power class A amplifiers which get terribly hot.

    This begs the questions: Do we need that much power? Does it have any sonic improvement? I believe this is subjective. I have heard low power 100 watt amps that sound better than 250 watt amps. However for some difficult to drive speakers, a high current amp will make a difference. Note that a high current amp need not be high power but is generally the case. Apogee and Thiel speakers are examples. The law of deminishing returns apply as the amps get more powerful. The cirteria that many people use to determine how big and powerful am amp they'll get is how fat their wallet is.

    Here is an example of power amps to the extreme. If you have money to burn, this is it: http://www.mcintoshlabs.com/mcprod/s...&product=MC2KW
  • 03-23-2007, 09:14 AM
    Dusty Chalk
    Uh, I think the correct link is this -- yours seem to have actual ellipses where there ought to be more URL.

    And you're right, that's pretty over the top -- separate power supplies for each half of a balanced monoblock channel? That's insane.
  • 03-23-2007, 09:41 AM
    caesar148
    [QUOTE=Dusty Chalk]Uh, I think the correct link is this -- yours seem to have actual ellipses where there ought to be more URL.

    Thanks for the update. It was my mistake. I should have checked the link before posting.
  • 03-23-2007, 11:38 AM
    mlsstl
    For the ordinary home user I would think the theoretical advantages of monoblocks (separate power supplies, channel isolation, etc.) are fairly moot. A monoblock can offer one advantage a stereo amp can't and that is the ability to be placed immediately adjacent to it's speaker. This allows for very short speaker wire runs. In most cases this is probably not that big a deal either.

    The main reason for a home user to buy a monoblock is they just happen to like the amp. Maybe they think it sounds better than the other items they've heard, maybe they just like the looks of it or perhaps they've just stumbled onto a great deal. Those are all valid reasons to choose a monoblock. However, my advice would be to not waste any time worrying about the theoretical differences.
  • 03-23-2007, 12:07 PM
    Carl Reid
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mlsstl
    For the ordinary home user I would think the theoretical advantages of monoblocks (separate power supplies, channel isolation, etc.) are fairly moot. A monoblock can offer one advantage a stereo amp can't and that is the ability to be placed immediately adjacent to it's speaker. This allows for very short speaker wire runs. In most cases this is probably not that big a deal either.

    The main reason for a home user to buy a monoblock is they just happen to like the amp. Maybe they think it sounds better than the other items they've heard, maybe they just like the looks of it or perhaps they've just stumbled onto a great deal. Those are all valid reasons to choose a monoblock. However, my advice would be to not waste any time worrying about the theoretical differences.

    I'll second that.

    I think Mono-blocks look cool... Nothing quite like a pair of those McIntosh Monsters seated next to each speaker...

    BUT in terms of real advantages... unless you really have difficult speakers, there are probably much better options for improving the sound of your setup....

    Hell, I went from an Integrated to a Seperate Pre/Power and now I'm looking to go back to an Integrated... I don't find the differences to be significant enough to warrant the extra expenditure... (though you might want to keep in mind that I have a relatively small listening room and I buy efficient speakers)...
  • 03-24-2007, 08:19 PM
    Dusty Chalk
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mlsstl
    The main reason for a home user to buy a monoblock is they just happen to like the amp.

    I think that's it in a nutshell. It's not that monoblock amps are inherently better amps, it's just that the people who own them prefer them as amps.
  • 03-24-2007, 11:26 PM
    PeruvianSkies
    Simplicity...
    Monoblocks simply have one function and one channel and when it comes to the high-end world it's all about having equipment that can perform minimal amount of functions and do them at incredibly excellent levels. This is why you typically find audiophiles buying 'separates' (pre-amp and amp) or monoblocks, typically a CD-only player, etc etc. In short it's about simplicity and doing that very well. You will typically find that equipment that has less on it's brain can perform much better than equipment that multitasks.
  • 03-25-2007, 08:30 AM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stevef22
    Why do people use a mono block amplifier compared to a typical stereo power amp.

    In my case it is for practical reasons. Each of the VTL MB-450s weighs about 80 lbs. If they were in a single chassis, then moving it would require two people (at least for me since I weigh less than that). Having a pair of mono amps allows for more placement flexibility as well.

    Naturally, there is zero crosstalk or any separation issues with mono amps as well.

    rw