go for one. you'll win in better tonal balance, less distortions and less speaker load complexity.
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with what you're looking for, you may even consider going with the ca300 if you can, i've read that the sonics and low end are much better than the 100 or 200. it may be stretching your dollar, but it's a thought. looked into it quite a bit as i was consering these amps until i went to a tube amp. good luck!
Drubin, I think the previous posts are saying that a more powerful stereo amp is better sounding in certain respects, than bridging two smaller or equal amps, however, if you have a pair of amps already designed as monoblocks to begin with, such as what I own, then the story might be a little different.
What do you all think of Classe amps? I've never evaluated the stuff critically, but it has always seemed such an attractive value from a watts per dollar perspective, plus good apparent build quality and nice looks. How does it stack up sonically with something like the Pass X series amps, Levinson, etc? Is it in the same league?
Samski, I own two CA-150's that power Aerial 8's and have found the match to be very satisfying. The folks at Overtures Audio and a fellow from Texas ,Jeff Wiseman, made the suggestion and the results are that you never run out of power and the dynamics are great. The Aerial's love power but clean power and the best front end you can afford. Steve P.S. The cables are important as you are well aware. SAL
Drubin, I was alluding to the bridging of the amps, which IMHO degrades the sound. Amps designed as monoblocks sound better than stereo amps bridged. I did own a CA-200 for a year or so, and it was a very nice amp. Warm, rich tonal balance, with solid bass. I'm currently using a Threshold T400 amp, which has more detail in the upper midrange and high's without any glare. I wasn't really looking for another amp, I was happy with th CA-200, I just happened to have a friend selling the T400 and I tried it out and preffered it. He didn't want the hassle of selling and shipping, so he made a great offer, I took it. I am still using a Classe preamp (CP-60) and I believe Classe equipment represents a great value when considering $$$ vs. performance.
I would shoot for the CA-200 over the two CA-100's in terms of sonics. That is, unless power / spl capacity is more important to you than the overall sound.
My past experience with Classe' amps is that they start sounding better as you get to the 200 wpc model and above. Below that, i didn't really care for them for multiple reasons. At or above the 200 wpc models, i think that they sound markedly different and better than the models below that point. While i know that they say that their smaller amps are the same circuitry and are just reduced in terms of output capacity, the sound is NOT the same or as good. At least, that has been my experience. Since bridging typically degrades the sonics on most amps when put into that mode, using smaller Classe' amps and going that route may take you further away from what you seek sonically but give you the spl's that you desire. As others have mentioned, the CA-300 would probably be a better bet, but could be out of your price range. Sean
The basic circuitry is said to be identical but scaled to accomodate the various output levels. In other words, the 100 wpc amp has a power supply capable of X amount of amps with 8 output devices and the 200 wpc has a power supply capable of XX amount of amps with 16 output devices, etc... Same circuit design, just different capacities.
As someone else mentioned though and from what my ears tell me, there are either differences in circuit design, parts quality used or the bias levels are altered as the bigger models definitely sound "better" to me. Sean
I was curious about this too and reach out to Bryston -
How does two smaller amps vs one bigger amp compare? Specifically:
1) two 4b stereo's vs. one pair of 7b monos
2) one pair of 7b mono vs one 14b stereo
3) two 4b stereo's vs one 14b stereo
Research says separating the left/right and high/low channels will provide better separation - but what's the downside?
Since the combined power rating of each option is about the same - is one option louder, fuller, more relaxed?
Because the Bryston amps have totally independent channels (4B and 14B) the advantage of using separate amps for l/r and high/lows does not apply. So you can use 1 stereo amp per side and not have any crosstalk between channels.