Sherbourn 5/5210 for 5 channel or 7/2100 for seven channel. I sold my aragon 8008bb and some other amps a few months ago and purchased a 7/2100. I'm happy with it. Give it some time to break in; sounds bright out of the box but after a few weeks it smooths out and sounds real nice.
There are a few for sale here on Agon that are just about new. I don't think people give them enough time to break in.
Hope that helps,
The sherbourn processor is based on an Eastek reference design. Yes, it is pretty much the same as about 6-12 other processors.
The Sherbourn amps are based on the same design as the outlaw audio M200 with the addition of XLR inputs. Actually, it's identical, except for packaging ie case) to the NHT A1 mono amps. I owned two NHT A1's. The advantage of going with the sherbourn as opposed to going with 5 or 7 monoblocks is that you don't have to worry about 7 power cords. I contiplated going with 7 mono's but when I added in the cost of 7 power cords it was cheaper to go with the Sherbourn. I bought my new 7/2100 here on Agon for under $1700 and that included shipping.
Thanks for all the suggestions...I will check out Sherbourn. One of the dealers I frequent has been raving about the Fosgate Audionics 1000.5 amp. It is a five channel modular amp. He doesn't have one in stock so I can't give it a listen. Does anyone here have any experience with this amp. I will have to go to Denver (about a 90 minute drive) to hear the Sherbourn amp. So I will plan accordingly.
Keep the suggestions coming...
I recently went the opposite direction: sold my 5 channel Rotel amp and bought a couple of 2 channel amps (to use with another stereo amp that I already had). For my objectives (yours may be different), I chose to put the most money into the 2-channel section, and have been very happy that I did. I havent heard any higher end multi-channel amps, so I may be making an incorrect assumption here, but it seems to me that a HT amp will never do as well with music as a stereo amp; based on, if nothing else, power supply alone. Isnt that the rational behind having separates instead of a receiver and why some choose to go to mono-amps?
Your concerns about blending the center with the fronts could be alleviated the same way you're currently doing it: have the same brand amp running the center; or go with Russ advice and run the center in phantom mode.
My first inclination was to get a better stereo amp for the front L&R speakers...and that is still an option...I will keep doing my research and try and get some amps to listen to in my system...The five channel would tidy my rack up...but that is a secondary consideration, as the quality of sound is my primary focus.
Thanks for the info...I still would like to hear from someone that has tried the Fosgate 1000.5 amp
You may be able to find a used Theta Intrepid near that price range. Although it is only rated at 100wpc (8 ohm), the 5-way Intrepid can push even difficult speakers like my Thiel CS3.6's with relative ease (note, I now use Enterprises on my Thiels, but the Intrepid did, indeed, drive them quite well for a time).
Yes, 5x100wpc. The Theta Dreadnaught is their step up from the Intrepid, and it is configurable from 1-10 channels. The single channel modules are 225wpc (8 ohm), and the two channel modules are 2x100wpc. The Intrepid is not configurable, and is 100 watts into 8 and 200 into 4 ohm. It really sounds like much more, and is commendably close to the sound of my much more expensive Theta Enterprise monoblocks. I picked up a new, demo unit for $2,300, so you may be able to find a used Intrepid for under $2,000. It really is a great amp for the money, IMHO. In two channel, I prefered it to the McCormack DNA-225, and I felt that it held its own against an Edge NL-10 (though not quite as dynamic as the super fast Edge).