I'm guessing that what you need to look for are integrated amps with A/B speaker outputs for two zone listening - then check to see if you can play both 'zones' at the same time.
One int amp I can think of right away that has A/B speaker outputs is the Marantz PM8004.
Your current Integra DTM-5.3 is a stereo receiver with A/B speaker capability, not actually four channel. So, a stereo integrated amp with A/B speaker will function exactly the same.
In addition to the Marantz, take a look at the Harman Kardon HK 990, and
the NAD C 375BEE with optional phono stage (PP375).
Go with a McIntosh Integrated,call Audio Classics in Vestal New York. Very nice people.
As Tls49 mentioned, your Onkyo is a two channel receiver. I believe that you have mistaken the fact that is has two sets of speaker terminals for each side to mean that it is a four channel amp.
The specs for your receiver, as published on Onkyo's website, indicate that your receiver is rated at 100wpc, but they also indicate that your receiver is neither 6 or 4 ohm capable.
From what I gather based on the specs, your current receiver doesn't have a very robust amp section.
What I'm saying is that if your current amp was driving your present speakers, all at once, and it wasn't over heating, then your speakers must not present too much of a load. Either that, or you didn't play them very loud.
Just about any quality two channel integrated should be able to, at the very least, match the performance of your current receiver.
I've been a long time fan of NAD equipment because I think it offers a very good bang for the buck in terms of sound quality and power.
It should drive two pairs of speakers, with a nominal impedance of 8 ohms without problems. It's also going to sound better. What ever you check out, just be sure that it is rated to supply power at the impedance load that your speakers are going to present.
If your speakers have a nominal 8 ohm rating, then running a pair in parallel is going to present a nominal 4 ohm load to the amplifier. I do believe that NAD equipment is rated to at least 4 ohms.
If you just have your heart set on spending the whole $2500, then shop around. There's lots of good stuff out there for the money that you can spend. I'd suggest checking out the classifieds here to see if anything sparks your interest.
For $2500, you could get yourself into something that retails for $4K or more.
Thanks Tony and everyone else who has responded. As you can tell I am very "green" and my terminology about four channels obviously being incorrect. Yes, I have an A/B speaker option, and can engage both at the same time. Again, I really like the four speaker sound surrounding me. :)
My speakers are a pair of Paradigm Monitor V 7.5 at 8 ohms, and a pair of Paradigm Titan Monitor V5 also at 8 ohms. Yes, I don't run them very loud, maybe at volume position 4 out of 10 at max.I find running them louder than that starts to bring on too much distortion.
Matt had mentioned Mac gear which interests me greatly, but from all the research I have done I have not seen an intergrated with A/B speaker selection. I WILL follow up on the other brands and models recommended. A good photo section is paramount, as again the vast majority of my listening is vinyl via a nice Pioneer PL-71 that I recently had recapped.
I have heard other stereo gear in Hi-Fi stores, so I know my current set up is "Mid-Fi" at best. I'm not looking to spend all $2,500, but simply have that as my current budget.
I would love to have four times that, and just by a preamp with two amplifiers. We all have to live within our means.
Again, tyvm for all the replies. I apologize for being so new, but the learning process is a lot of fun!!
Brad, the only newer Mac integrated that has the A/B speaker capability is a MA6500.
Brad, is an integrated what you need due to space or is it just what you're used to?
First of all, Paradigm Monitor speakers aren't bad at all. My first pair of speakers were Monitors. What I remember the most about them, though, is that they are the reason that I went from a receiver to a separate amp. They sounded MUCH better with a more robust amp with a good supply of power, which I believe your current amp is lacking. When I went from using the 100wpc internal amp of my Denon receiver to an 80wpc Harman Kardon dedicated amplifier, I remember thinking, "wow" I have bass now.
The point I'm trying to make is that you are searching for a unit to drive all four speakers and you may find that with a good amplifier, you might actually prefer a two speaker setup. I say this because with two speakers, you'll actually start to enjoy things like sound staging and depth, rather than sort of feeling like the sound is just coming from all around the way it does at a restaurant, rather than the way it might sound at a concert or live show.
In any case, just to give you an idea of what's possible, I also have a very modest system. I am now running a Marsh P2000 pre amp with an Aragon 2004 amplifier.
I recently got the Marsh as an upgrade to my former NAD C162 pre amp, and the step up definitely moved my little system into another league. I got the Marsh here on Agon for $400 and it retailed for around $1200 when new.
The Aragon 2004 is an old amp from the early 90s. Still, it is a very good sounding amp and is a beast of an amp, as far as 100 wpc amps go. It weighs over 40lbs. It's been able to drive any speaker I've thrown at it with detail, smoothness, authority and control. This particular amp is rated to 200wpc at 4 ohms and will drive a 2 ohm load. Mondial actually said (in an ad) that it will drive a dead short.
I feel that I've gotten myself into the lower end of hi fi for under $1K for the pre amp and amp.
Oh, if running four speakers is just your thing and it's what you want to do, keep in mind that you don't NEED A/B switching, if you're always going to be running four speakers. The switching is only handy if you want to be able to choose to run either A or B or both.
If you just want to run four speakers, you can connect a pair to each side using the single sets of binding posts. You just connect two wires to each post. The only trick is making sure that your amp can drive the load without over heating and cooking itself.
If you have a speaker that presents an 8 ohm load and you connect two of those speakers to the same set of binding posts (parallel connection), you are halving the impedance and the pair will present a 4 ohm load to the amp. With less impedance, your amp is going to want to put out more power and you have to have an amp with a power supply that can keep up.
This is necessary information and the reason why manufacturers of better equipment rate their amps into an 8 ohm load, a 4 ohm load and sometimes a 2 ohm load.
Generally speaking, an amplifiers ratings at differing impedances gives a pretty good representation of an amplifiers ability to provide juice as it is needed. Amplifiers with very healthy power sections will typically be able to double (or almost double) their watts per channel output as the impedance is halved.
Take a look in the classified here. Lots of good stuff there.
Why not get a nice Denon AV Receiver. I think they all have an option for 5-channel stereo (you just use 4). This way each speaker gets its own amp channel (less stress) and gives you flexibility to add a sub, route video through it, use as a HT centerpiece.
Tony - My thought process was to go with an integrated amp, as in the short term it may be cheaper than going with a preamp with amp combo. The disadvantage of course is you can't partially upgrade like you can with two separate units.
I took Matt's advice and called Audio Classics in N.Y. I must say, they were very polite, helpful and knowledgeable. According to them, McIntosh has never made an intergrated amp with A/B speaker selection with the ability to engage both at the same time. That's what they told me anyway.
They mentioned an intergrated amp that on paper seems to suit my needs perfectly. The problem is it would put me over budget, thus I would have to wait two or three months to purchase.
Considering my "four speaker desire" along with also needing a very good phono preamp, they highly recommend the Marantz PM-11S3. It list for $5K, and they offered me what I thought was a very respectable discount. (Even though I am new, I understand one should never publicily quote what a dealer will offer a customer. Very taboo and unfair).
I spent about an hour today researching this unit, and it may be worth the wait for me financially. It seems to have everything I want, and the consensus of reviews are very nice. Again it's more than I initially want to spend, but if there is one thing that I have learned at age 47 is that we ultimately get what we pay for the majority of the time.
I know Marantz is a very good line, with loyal customer following. Upon a purchase of the PM-11S3, I could see myself possibly getting next year one of their nice vintage FM tuners.
I don't mean to sound like I have made up my mind, just saying I am headed in that direction and seriously considering it. My question though is IF I were to decide to go with this unit, should I audition it locally (there are a few Marantz dealers in my area) just to buy from Audio Classics? I guess the common sense approach is to go with whomever is cheaper, but I just can't lay down thousands of dollars of cash without hearing it first.
Brad, I understand your situation with regard to who to buy it from.
I would whole heartedly recommend listening to the unit (and an in home audition if possible) before buying, because $5K is a lot of money.
I've never dealt with those guys in N.Y. so I can't comment; but I will say this. I have bought gear, mostly speakers, knowing that I was paying too much just to be able to give the business to the local guy that took the time to help me out, when it involved more than just a phone call.
As for the Marantz unit, I've never heard that one either, so again, can't comment. I'd just urge you to check out the classifieds here, before making a final decision.
Not that I'm arguing against the Marantz, I'd just like to see you get the biggest bang for the buck, especially since you are saving up to make the purchase. I sounds like you don't have lots of disposable income laying around.
A couple of things that I've come across lately really gives me pause when it comes to buying stuff new. The first was when I was researching Aragon 28K pre amps. I found that they were selling for over $1K new when they were mainstream, then were selling for around half price when they were discontinued.
Another example is the price at which Jaton was selling some of their equipment, in what I believe was an inventory reduction sale, again at half price.
I just think it kind of reflects how much mark up there is in the gear.