I spent quite alot of time auditioning 3 chanel amps in that price range, and found Parasounds 2003 to be superior for three reasons. The power is there, it will drive any speaker. The finesse is there, musical passages like the opera scene in the 5th Element moved my soul. The build quality is second to none.
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I must agree with the above, I use and Acurus 200x3 and an A250 on the front for stereo, I picked both of them up on Audiogon for just over a grand and am very happy with them in my home theater. They aren't quite as powerful as my Aragon in the bedroom, but you won't get three channels from them in that price range, even used.
I think your decision here hinges somewhat on how much "audio cachet" you attach to your choice. Given your system, you could consider Krell's 3-channel amp, although I personally believe that is overkill for the center and surround speakers. There are a number of choices: Aragon makes an excellent 3-channel version of their 8008 amp, and its poorer relative, the Acurus, is also a good choice. Truthfully, for surround sound applications you won't go far wrong with any of the less expensive options, including Parasound, B&K, Rotel, or Adcom. I have an Adcom 5503 which I am very happy with. I am using it to run my Vandersteen center channel speaker and B&W rear surrounds. My front speakers, Vandersteen 3A Signatures, are driven by a Bryston 4B-ST. My home theater sounds as good as any I have heard at 3 times the price. By the way, if you aren't in a huge hurry, you can often find the Adcom 5503 on Audiogon - I bought mine for $600 plus shipping. You might also want to consider the Bryston 5B-ST, which is the 3-channel version of the 3B-ST which is a "Class B" recommended component by Stereophile. If you choose to look into the Bryston 5B-ST, check their Web site for reviews (www.bryston.ca). Bryston builds Lexicon, so they certainly have solid credentials. Should you decide to purchase the Bryston 5B-ST, I suggest you contact Danny Oovlin at "Bestofdeal". He offers excellent prices on Bryston gear and I have found him to be very professional. The easiest way to contact him is by E-mail: [email protected]