Finally taking the leap to Monoblocks

Thought I'd throw this one out there. In light of my 4B-ST being sick, I thought I would go ahead and start preparing for the next stage in my audio evolution. Upon its return from Bryston, I plan on moving the 4B-ST over to my home theater system and eventually pairing it with the new 6B-ST. Anyway, I'm looking for advice on some monoblocks to replace the 4B-ST in my audio system. I thought of the 7B-ST, which I can get a good deal on. I can also get a good deal on some used Aragon Palladium amps. I've auditioned the Palladiums, they are so nice. I've never listened to the 7B, but I know what the 4B can do. Anything else out there that I need to listen to? I need something that will outlast all my other components, including another speaker upgrade. I would like to spend less than $5000, but I'm willing to listen to anything.
You'll get a plethora of opinions re many monoblocks in this price range, and I'll defer to the experience/expertise of those who respond. I will say I'm VERY intrested/curious about monoblocks purported to be coming out around the fall designed by CTC for Parasound. This has signigicant potential, IMOP, given what Bob Crump, John Curl and Carl Thompson are capable of doing when they put their collective talents together, and all for around 5K if memory serves me correctly. This could prove to be a giant killer, I guess/hope we'll see.
You should take a listen to Jeff Rowland Model 7's. They last a lifetime & the sound is surperb. Power? 350 watts RMS into 8 ohms, 700 watts into 4 ohms. They are hard to find but in your price range. Try to find the ones with the latest updates.
i really like the pair of electrocompaniet aw60ftt stereo amps i'm using vertically biamped, to my monitors. this equates to 120wpc, 220 into 4 ohms. these amps retail for $2k ea; even less used/demo/closeout. if this isn't enuff yuice, ewe can look for the aw180 monoblocs - retail $7k, again less for used... and, if ya really need to go nuts :>) there's a pair of $17k (or is it $15k?) electrocompaniet nemo monoblocs adwertised here recently for $6k obo...

doug s.

Hi Argent; I'm in the process of going to McCormack DNA-2 bi-amps. I could have them converted to monos but those buggers put out an incredible 1200 wpc with the channels bridged.

BUT, both the DNA-0.5 and DNA-1's can be converted to monos by SMc Audio. If you found a pair of .5s they could be upgraded to level B or A and converted to monos. I'm looking into doing this with .5s (they put out 400 wpc bridged). Factory monos that I would consider are the Bryston 7Bs as you mention. And if I could afford it ($7K I think), I'd look hard at the new Classe' CAMs-- about 350 wpc. I like the looks of them, but haven't heard. Either STPH or TAS recently did a review of the Classe's. Good Hunting. Craig.
Just to throw a hornets' nest into the equation here, i have REAL problems with a big dollar SS monoblock that is rated for the same amount of power at 8 ohms that it is at 4 ohms. If i remember correctly, that's what the literature that i read about the big Bryston's stated. Please correct me if i'm wrong. Sean
Sean, I think you might be wrong about the Bryston. You are referring to the 7B right? I think from the Bryston homepage it says 500 watts at 2 or 8 ohms, and 800 watts at 1 or 4 ohms. I think on the 7B you can have the output stage operate in series or parallel. One of these settings helps you to drive insanely low ohm speakers without tearing up the amp. If this analysis is not correct someone please enlighten me.
According to "theory", a SS amp should "double down" as impedance is halved. To reverse this, as impedance is doubled, power output would be cut in half. In English, a 500 wpc amp @ 8 ohms SHOULD be a 1000 wpc amp @ 4 ohms and 2000 wpc @ 2 ohms, etc... As you know, the vast majority of power amps come nowhere close to doing stuff like this. It takes a MASSIVE power supply, very rugged output devices, a LOT of heatsinking, etc.... to achieve results like this. That is why the "big monsters" like Krell's, etc... that DO achieve results like this are both BIG and EXPENSIVE.

If what you say about the Bryston's is true, they are using some type of output transformer between the transistors and the speakers. While Mac has done things like this in the past, it is rather unorthodox with modern design technology. To my way of thinking, it would typically result in reduced bandwidth and a loss in overall sonic quality as compared to a similarly built "direct drive" amplifier. Then again, there are ways around just about anything if someone has the time and money to do the necessary research. Then again, maybe having an output transformer with various impedance taps ( like a tube amp ) actually GAVE them the sonics that they wanted. I guess it is something to check into. Sean
You just won't be able to get better sound for the money than buying a pair of BelCanto EVo 200.2 and mono blocking them (one button to push) Far more detail, resolution, timber, depth and extension than the Bryston's. You can find a pair NEW for less than 4K. 400 WPC mono. Killer value.
Sean, check Stereophile's review of the 7B. They liked it enough to give it a Class A rating. I think they give a pretty good technical breakdown of the amp, it might answer a few of your questions.
I'll have to dig that one up and take a look at it. Thanks for reminding me about that review. While i do have a hard time "buying" some of their ratings, i can at least try to decipher the test results for myself. Sean