5 channel amp for Paradigm Studio 100's

Hi guys,

Trying to decide between a Parasound 855 (5x85) and a Rotel 1075 (5x120) to hook up to a pair of Paradigm Studio 100's. Price is an issue since I am also looking to upgrade my Denon AVR3300 receiver to an Anthem AVM20 pre.

I am leaning towards the Parasound since I have heard that it's a great combination with the Paradigm's. I'm just worried about the 85 watts running the 100's Evantually I will make them sing with Odyssey monoblocks but for now since I really want the AVM20, will the 855 tide me over?

You didn't mention a budget, but since the two amps that you've mentioned are in the $1000 range, I'm assuming you're willing to spend at least $1000.

My recommendation is none of the above. Instead, try the Sherbourn 5/1500A (200W/ch into 8 ohms, 300W/Ch into 4 ohms). You can find it as low as $1400 new (try the Stereo Trading Outlet at www.tsto.com), or about $1100-$1200 used. It has five fully independent amplifiers inside (like Bryston), has both balanced and unbalanced inputs, and sounds amazingly good (especially for home theater). I also auditioned the Rotel RMB-1075 and thought I would actually buy the Rotel until I heard the Sherbourn. There is no comparison. It also has a 5-year warranty and they've cheerfully and quickly answered all of my questions thus far.

I am currently using the Sherbourn with PSB Alpha A/V's, and should work very well with your speakers.

If the Sherbourn is slightly above your price range, I'd recommend waiting a while until you can afford it. It's that good.

OK, I've said it many times before but if you want the best 5 channel amp in this price range (under$1K) then the EAD PM500 is by far the way to go. I don't think you would ever need to upgrade your amp again. The EAD is SERIOUS gear. They are rare but they are out there. EAD uses a power steering technique that gives more power to the channels that need it most. This is terrific for 2 channel listening where the amp is capable of over 350wpc in 2 channel listening. In 5 channel surround it is a very solid 100X5. GO FIND ONE....you will not regret it. GOOD LUCK!!!
I have to second Kgb's advice on the EAD PM500. I own one, and am very happy with it. I've owned ATI, Marantz mono-blocks 500 and 700, AudioSource Amp 3, and Sunfire solid state amps, and I like this the best of all those. I think it's a very tough thing to get a 5 channel amp under $1000 that pleases me for music listening, but the EAD seems to be pulling it off.
My 100v2's are pretty forgiving speakers and will do well, IMO, with many amps. I run my Paradigm 100v2 system with the Sunfire Cinema Grand and enjoy it for home theatre. It runs very cool so that could be an advantage in tight quarters or in a cabinet. While the Sunfire is very smooth and musical, I don't think it is quite detailed enough for me to use as an audio system, but it is very fine for cinema (find them used for about $1300-$1500). I've read very good reviews about the Outlaw amps which are very reasonably priced (New 755 at about $1300 -- outlawaudio.com). I've also owned Bryston ST amps which I believe would match very well with the Paradigms -- the 5B-ST runs around $1300 plus or minus used). The Brystons have plenty of detail and, I believe, PRaT, but can be a bit bright on some speakers (not the Paradigms though). The Brystons also carry a 20 year transferrable warranty.

The Sherbourns that Sufintanil recommend are available now in the classifieds for very reasonable prices (under $1000), but I cannot speak to their sound. Their build quality and approach seem very good though. Happy hunting!
All the amps named here are good choices. I'm partial to the Paradigm/Parasound combination but would suggest the 1205A (5x140) rather than the 855. $1199 list. The big Paradigms benefit from lots o' watts.