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  1. #1
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Help finding 5 channel amp..

    I'm looking to add a good 5 channel amp to my system, it will drive only the center and surrounds.

    First off, I want something around $500. Since the amp is not a requirement, I can't justify a $1500 Anthem or Aragon (although I'd love to!)..so it's the used market for me, but there are SO many!

    I'd like to have one with signal sensing auto turn on also. I just need a good list of amps to start. I see B&K, Adcom, Parasound, Acurus, and others that meet the power and price requirements, but none seem to have the auto turn on. Is this not a common feature in standalone amps?

  2. #2
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    I like the Rotels, affordable, quality builds. For $500.00 you might be out of luck, but try ebay, audioreview.com or any of the other used component sites. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    NA:

    Any reason why you're after a 5 channel amp in particular? I think for $500 you could buy a better quality 2-channel and 3-channel amps in whatever combination you need. You'd also get a bit more flexibility, and these are easier to sell (thinking long term). Rotel and Adcom are quite plentiful on ebay/audiogon, and are probably the best bang-for-the-buck options...there's 5 channel Adcom that use to be very popular listed for under $300.
    I went against the 5 channel amp and decided to buy 4 2-channel amps. I only use 3 in my system and let the receiver power the center. I'm happy.

    The auto on/off thing is hit and miss...If you're building your room, the way to do it is to install a wall switch (if it's not too late) or get creative with power bars or something. I just walk by my rack and push a bunch of buttons when I enter and leave the room, it's not nearly as bad as it sounds. If anything it kinda personalizes you with the gear. I like to touch things.

  4. #4
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    I'm looking to add a good 5 channel amp to my system, it will drive only the center and surrounds.

    First off, I want something around $500. Since the amp is not a requirement, I can't justify a $1500 Anthem or Aragon (although I'd love to!)..so it's the used market for me, but there are SO many!

    I'd like to have one with signal sensing auto turn on also. I just need a good list of amps to start. I see B&K, Adcom, Parasound, Acurus, and others that meet the power and price requirements, but none seem to have the auto turn on. Is this not a common feature in standalone amps?
    I agree with the others...for $500 i'd look at Rotel and Adcom. You'll probably get more power for $500 with an Adcom. I would also consider what type of speakers you own. If the are 8ohm and high sensitivity then you don't need alot of power...say 100wpc is plenty. If your speakers are more difficult to drive i'd look at Adcom and get more power.

    I've owned Rotels and they always mated well to my system. I consider them on the warm-laid back side. Adcom, i can't comment, but they are solid and have a great rep. Plus, if you find a good deal...you can always unload it for the same price. (done this several times)

  5. #5
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Adcom is distinctively different than Rotel...To me Adcom has very good bass, but is a little bright at the top end...I consider it detailed and actually prefer this kind of sound, but I know many here feel that being warm and laid back is better. ( to each their own, I find it dull).
    I own 2 Adcom amps, a Rotel amp and integrated. The two Adcom's are stacked with the Rotel in my home theater. I can't tell a difference in surround duty. And my Yamaha's tonality isn't much different either...I certainly don't notice anything. I'd vouch for either brand. For surrounds, and center, I wouldn't worry too much about the amp tonalities, as neither of these brands are extreme in their presentations, just a bit off neutral one way.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular 46minaudio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    I'm looking to add a good 5 channel amp to my system, it will drive only the center and surrounds.

    First off, I want something around $500. Since the amp is not a requirement, I can't justify a $1500 Anthem or Aragon (although I'd love to!)..so it's the used market for me, but there are SO many!

    I'd like to have one with signal sensing auto turn on also. I just need a good list of amps to start. I see B&K, Adcom, Parasound, Acurus, and others that meet the power and price requirements, but none seem to have the auto turn on. Is this not a common feature in standalone amps?
    Give this amp a look.
    http://www.av123.com/products_produc...s&product=29.1

  7. #7
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    That amp at AV123 does look nice, I'll keep an eye on it for when it comes out. I've got time to get the amp, I just want to start shopping now

    This is exactly what I'm looking for:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=5784308156
    I didn't buy it because his description is cut & paste from another auction for the same amp, and he can't decide whether or not he takes Paypal so I don't trust the seller in this case!

    Kexodusc, here's the reason why I want a 5 channel:
    My front speakers are Paradigm Active 40's so they have their own amplifiers built in. Originally I was going to just add a 3 channel amp to power the center and surrounds, but then I figured I may as well wire up for 7.1 so I need the two extra channels. Eventually I'm going to make the move away from a receiver and to a preamp such as an Anthem or B&K. Personally, I've never felt that there is a HUGE difference in amplifiers once you get to a certain level. But to me, any standalone amp with a preamp is better than a receiver.

    The rest of my speakers are Paradigm Studio's, so they won't be particularly hard to drive. I would think a good true clean 100 wpc would be fine for the surrounds.

  8. #8
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    NA: 100 wpc should be more than enough for surrounds. I get by with 60 and 80 watts. The 5-channel amps are convenient in that they offer everything in one chassis. Be careful though, some of them take the same shortcut receivers do and can't deliver rated power to all channels simultaneously. I think any reputable brand is probably a safe bet, though to be honest I haven't looked at it in awhile.

    I agree, I don't find a huge difference in amps either. Maybe if I ever own $10 K speakers I'll hear it.
    I'm with you, my next electronic upgrade to my home theater will probably be an Anthem pre/pro. Maybe a Bryston. That's a few years away I think. Until then the Yammie works fine.

  9. #9
    nightflier
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    B&K auto-on non-existent

    NA,

    I'm a bit biassed towards B&K right now, but I should mention that these amps don't have auto-on sensing. Your preamp or receiver has to have a 12v trigger to power on the amp. Also, the B&K reference line uses an RCA connector for the 12v feed, while their non-reference line uses a 3.5mm connector, although I resolved that with a $1.50 adapter from RatShack.

    Another couple of makers I overlooked when I was shopping were Outlaw and Carver. You should be able to find one of these on Audiogon or eBay w/i your price range.

    P.S. I asked this before, but does everybody just leave their amps on all the time or do you turn each amp on & off individually?

  10. #10
    Tyler Acoustics Fan drseid's Avatar
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    Another vote for Rotel... The RB-985 mk II is frequently on Audiogon for $500 or less... I have had mine for 7 years (originally bought as a demo) and it is still going strong.

    I don't believe that the auto-on feature is too common at this price point... I keep all my amps on all the time regardless though.

    ---Dave
    Integra DHC-40.2 Pre/Pro
    Coda 2 X 200 Watt Amp
    Rotel RB-985 5 X 100 Watt Amp
    2 Tyler Acoustics 2 Piece Linbrook Signature System
    1 Tyler Linbrook Signature Center Channel
    3 Tyler Taylo Reference Monitors
    1 ACI Titan II Sub
    Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD
    Panasonic BDT-210 + 350 Blu-ray
    Consonance Droplet CDP-5.0
    Sony 55NX-810 1080p 3D-LED HDTV

    Office:
    Opera Audio Consonance CD-120
    Jolida 1301A 2 X 30 Watt Int. Amp (Sovtek Tubes)
    Opera Audio Consonance Eric-1 Speakers

  11. #11
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the suggestions guys! I'm finding it very odd that the auto turn on is such a rare feature...even the $49 subwoofer amps I see on Ebay have this 'no brainer' of a feature! A manual hard wired 12 volt turn on is how we did it in car audio back in the day

  12. #12
    AUTOBOT BRANDONH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    I'm looking to add a good 5 channel amp to my system, it will drive only the center and surrounds.

    First off, I want something around $500. Since the amp is not a requirement, I can't justify a $1500 Anthem or Aragon (although I'd love to!)..so it's the used market for me, but there are SO many!

    I'd like to have one with signal sensing auto turn on also. I just need a good list of amps to start. I see B&K, Adcom, Parasound, Acurus, and others that meet the power and price requirements, but none seem to have the auto turn on. Is this not a common feature in standalone amps?
    This one is 495.00 more than what your wanting to spend and it it does not have auto on.
    But what an Amp! especially at that price.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW
    auction ends:
    9 hours 44 mins
    10-day listing, Ends Jun-24-05 20:28:22 PDT
    Reviews:
    http://www.audioreview.com/cat/ampli...x.aspx#reviews
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by BRANDONH; 06-24-2005 at 11:16 AM. Reason: added stuff
    my system
    Technics SL-1210M5G
    OC9/MLII
    Marantz AV8003
    Oppo BD-83
    Yamaha C-70
    Crown MA-12000i
    Emotiva XPA-5

  13. #13
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, I love ATI amps! Now if only it were half the price

    If I needed an amp for my front channels, I'd consider something more high end like ATI but I'll just be running center & surrounds so I just can't justify that cost right now.

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