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Mancub, for the best in helpful advice, it is essential to also list what speakers you will be driving, and the room size as well.
That said, if Emotiva has any faults, it would be that they can get bright/harsh sounding with some program material, depending on the speakers. The looks are also kind of plain.
Another option to put on the short list is the Vidar from Schiit Audio. If you employ two as monoblocks, they need XLR inputs. The RCA jacks are only for 2 channel mode. This amp was released last January and comes in silver or black.
In monoblock form, it has 400 watts on tap, and the price per amp is $699.
Be aware that stereo amps that can be run bridge/mono will usually not be able to support speakers with lower impedance. The Schiit Vidar can be bridged mono, but it is only safe with an 8 ohm speaker in this mode. For 6 or 4 ohm speakers, the amp will likely over-run and shut itself down.
@mancub - I don't know that you will get any more value from this thread versus your last thread. The Emotiva amps are great for the money, but use cheap components. If you got the XPA-1 Gen 2, I would put Isoclean fuses in them to take the edge off the bright/harsh character. However, the XPA-1 will be fine running down to 3-4 ohms.
Is Parasound A21 not in your consideration?
Those Odyssey Stratos monoblocks look very nice! They do not have a trigger input, so you'll have to manually turn them on/off for listening.
No, that is not true, auxinput. First of all, what you are describing is true of almost any 2 channel amp that is bridgeable. For instance, the A21 Parasound amp you recommended states that in monoblock operation, the A21 should only be connected to a speaker that is not less than 8 ohms. That's straight from the manual, and I owned the A21 for several years.
You need to read up some more on the Vidar. They’ve torture tested it in monoblock form recently with Magnepan speakers, which are 4 ohms. The amps never shut down. They are designed to be fine at higher temps, but do have a shutdown function should they get too hot. It's just another option, that's all.
Still, it would be good to know the room size and speakers being employed.
@213running - Yes, it is true of every 2 channel amp. When run in bridged mode, it is not specifically designed to be stable to when run at lower impedances. The following is specifically stated on Schiit's website if you click on the FAQ section of the Vidar:
I never recommended that the Parasound A21 should be run in bridged mode. I did state that the XPA-1 monoblock (and probably every other "true" monoblock) will be stable at lower impedances because the circuit and power supply rails are specifically designed to be stable at these impedances.
You seem to be contradicting yourself in stating that stereo amps should not be bridge, but then go on to state that the Vidar stereo amp is fine bridged. If you say they have tested the Vidar in bridged mode, then fine. This is not usually the case.
I only recommended the A21 because the OP is looking for either a monoblock or good stereo amp.
I just checked the specs on the emotiva XPA-1, and in the specifications section they state that 4 ohms is the minimum load recommended. I guess not all monoblocks are the same.
I wasn't suggesting that any stereo amps shouldn't be run in bridged mode, simply pointing out the A21's stated limitations.
And I tried to find the reference to running the Vidars in monoblock with the 4 ohms Magnepans, but can't find it. I'd suggest that one call Schiit and discuss this if that's the goal. But for sure it would be fine as a stereo amp, but then it's only 100 wpc.
Okay, here's another thought. Adcom. They've been introducing new 2 channel amps since 2011 or so, and the new amps are based on the award winning designs that put them on the map.
I'd suggest the GFA 565SE or the 575SE depending on how strong your back is. Only the 575SE has a 12 volt trigger for automatic turn on, for some reason.
I absolutely love my class D monoblocks. They put 500w into my 4 Ohm speakers and have no trouble moving the 12" woofers. They sound very clean, neutral and detailed. Mine are the ICEpower asp 500 boards. If I were searching now, I'd do some reading in the class D thread. There are many amps discussed that are class D and use newer modules. You could easily get a pair of decent monos for $3000 new, under $2000 used.
Thanks Guys! taking all this in and it really helps with the new ideas.I am using the Infinity Sigmas front, Sigmas rear and Tyler acoustics d2 for center, I have always wanted a Halo a51 ,31,or 21.Sometimes I just feel like getting a deal on the best set in a value package but again want a very nice clean detailed more expensive unit.So many choices. Thanks guys for helping.
If you are looking into the Class D amps, I would only look at the PS Audio Stellar M700 monoblocks or the Nord One Up SE model with Sparkos op amp option. Both of these Class D amps have discrete Class A input stages, which really help give richness to the clean/sterile character of Class D. It may be a good compromise if you want something faster/cleaner than the Parasound amps.
@auxinput - good point. I pair my class D monos with a tube pre. My sound is decidedly not sterile, but I've also never run the amps with a passive pre, so I can't speak to the sound of the amps on their own. But really, I need a source and speakers and cables no matter what.. so take what I say with a salty grain
I vote for Emotiva xpa 1 monos!I use a pair daily on a pair of Thiel 3.7’s,which can dip to 2 ohms!Amps don’t even get warm,sound good and are affordable.Sure you can spend more for marginal gains but I believe it’s not worth it !If they break,that’s another story.Someone once posted that I shouldn’t have such expensive speakers on Emo amps!Im getting great sound and I’m happy!I have heard more of a difference changing preamps than amps.Working on the source helped more that anything so far.Emotiva amps are always easy to sell if you don’t like them!I say get the best speakers you can.