You might consider checking out the Emotiva XPA-3. A real bang-for-the-buck amp and very well-made, 5-year warranty and on sale now...
There is an XPA-3 on sale here for $500, a very good deal...
Rotel is sa respectable electronics brand. The Oppo uses a Rotel chip in their DAC, I believe. The Brand is not in the same league as the other amps you have been looking at. I will tell you that there is a devoted fan base. Bryston is well regarded in part because the have a transferable 20 year warranty. The Anthem may be the best bang for your buck among the amps you listed. You should always post some idea of the maximum you want to spend.
I would like to spend as little as possible. but i guess everyone would say that. when deciding on an amp for home theater... what specs should i look at in relation to the speakers it would be driving? watts, sensitivity, etc... ?
There's a 6-channel Bel Canto amp on A'gon right now for $1500. Ad says it can be bridged to 3-channels of 200WPC each. Seems like a good deal.
I have a pair of 804s and have driven them with Parasound amplification. Best bang for the buck, IMHO.
Especially if you can find the older HCA series amps. You can get two channel HCA 1500s for under $500 each, and you can also find the 5 channel and 6 channel versions for about the same money.
Most of these are THX certified so are compatible with home theater applications.
Another good amp which is also THX certified are the B&K 200.5 or 200.7 Reference amps which have plenty of power to drive those speakers and are very affordable
Used B&K's from $900 - $1200
This would be perfect and the right amount of juice for you and for sale from a reputable seller for $600 here on Audiogon
B&K Reference 4430 200 watts x 3 channels power amp
Thanks shakedown I am looking into the B&K... question...
I found a bryston amp that does about 125 watts a side, my pioneer elite dows 130 watts a side, I have the front 804 bi amped... Would I really notice the difference and would the Bryston be better than my current????
Any way you can audition any of these combinations? Many dealers carry B&W and Mc and Rotel.
I had B&W CM4 with Rotel RB1080 and liked them, then upgraded to 804S and hated it (100% music, though), then moved to Mc tubes. The 804S are too resolving for the RB1080 and let me hear the shortcomings in amplification.
Clearly you have different priorities in terms of HT. Can you appreaciate the difference in sound with a lesser amp? Only you can answer that.
I know for fact the Mc MC252 sounded a lot better than RB1080, as it should, considering price differences.
Yes, i'd seriously consider the B&k stuff.
I second the B&K amps and did own a 2-channel(EX4420) and a 3-channel (REF4430) and would say they are rock solid amps. The 5-channel(200.5 or 7250) may be a better choice because of the much larger power supply. Good bass, very sweet midrange, somewhat rolled off highs(tame the B&W's some) are my take on the B&K's overall signature.
A friend has B&W 804s driven by a pair of Classe' CT-M 600's, one of the best low buck system I've heard.
Classe low buck?? i thought they were expensive
Class a vs. class ab vs. class d.....i have heard so so so many different stories... thinking class d for home theater???? ideas???
Classe will be in the $2K range for the amount of power you need...they are also mostly a/b amperage...As you read about the different classes of amps the chatter is mostly for the music side and does not really benefit those who wish to run home theater setups due to the processing of the movie etc.... Finding yourself a good class a/b amp that has a minimum of 200wpc in the $700 to $1200 range will definitly benefit your system and provide you some happiness if you decided to listen to a little bit of music along the way...All the amps that have been suggested are definitly of good quality and sufficient for your needs...
I am having a difficult time with the whole separate amp thing for home theater use.
the current, watts, class a vs. class a/b vs. d....
i read all kinds of things people using 50 watts class a for a 250 watt speaker? the only difference between 150 watts amplification and 200 watts would only yield 1 db??? so then what's the point of higher amps? class a sound the best but are hot and expensive. class a/b runs in class a for 10 watts or so then switches to class b. class d are good for sourround but not 2 channel.
my pioneer elite puts out 130 watt.... so it is the current and power reserves of a stand alone amp that would benefit me???? could i even tell in home theater applications?
As explained before a secondary amp will relieve your Pioneer of power duties to your speakers...The a/b route will be your best choice which are most amplifiers in todays market and your budget. If you don't listen to your movies and music to loud then you will be fine and the Elite will not clip (shutdown). But once you start to increase the volume on the Elite you will notice that it too will begin to warm and heat up especially after the duration of a movie. The secondary amp will do the duty and give you the extra clean power and drive that your speakers deserve. As mentioned before it would be best to find an amp that will deliver 200wpc minimum.
I have a Threshold S500 Stasis amp I am considering listing.
250 watt @8 ohm 500 @4 0hm, unbeatable in performance and load handling capability. The amp is class A A/B.
Where you located? how many channels.