Help Please recommend a 5ch amp around $2000

Well, I making the plunge into surround. I've been a long purist of stereo material, but figure it's time to enjoy movies in surround. This amp will be paired with a newly purchased Cary Cinema 11. Any thoughts, used or new. Top notch 2ch quality is a priority.

This is what I've come up with so far, any opinions? Thanks so much.

Proceed Amp5 used
Krell Showcase 5 used
Sunfire Cinema Grand used
Adcom 7605 new
Rotel 1075 new
Cal Audio Labs MCA 2500.

You can pick up a Sunfire Signature Vesion II (425wpcX5)in your price range
I would agree with Sacman about the CAL MCA-2500. It is a great amp with more power than you will ever need, actually bench testing at 1,000+ wpc @ 2 channels driven.
That being said, Cal repair is spotty at best, but still available as I understand it. The biggest draw back to the Cal is the speaker connections. It only has nuetrik connections, which are a GREAT way to connect speaker cables, but you will have to modify any you purchase (which means cutting off the factory terminations and likely shaving some of the strands of wire inside) but if you do, you will be rewarded. Great amp for 2 channel and HT.

Two other top notch amps, which I feel are the best on the market sub $10,000 is the Theta Dreadnaught and Proceed AMP5.

There are alot of great multi-channel amps out there, but synergy with your system, gear and room are critical.

Way below your stated budget, but someone told me that the Panasonic SA-XR700 is quite good.
Try a Butler hybrid amp, 5 channels of tube sound with bass of a Solid State. Excellent product. 3295.00 retail.
ATI 2505, used, on Audiogon. Minimum 250W/channel/8 ohms, all driven. Dynamics & slam when needed, feather touch finesse and detail at the other extreme. Extremely well built and durable.

When they rarely come up for sale they go from $1500- $2000, depending on condition.
B&K Reference 200.5
I second the Butler TDB 5150...plenty of drive but with just a hint of tube sweetness. Cool blue glow at night, too...

I am in the same boat is you. I have been running a 7 channel with a sunfire for my main 5 and chiro for the two side surrounds. On your list the only other I tried was the rotel and was not crazy about it. The Sunfire I prefered over several cause its laid back sound and for home theater that was important to me.

Others I tried was the Theta which I could not stand. Its upper frequecies where a little to pronounced...hurt the ears. It did have a bit more air then the sunfire though.

I thought the anthem was a really nice amp for the money.

I am now looking to taking the sunfire and chiro out and get one 7 channel instead for room reasons. How about the earthquake guys?? Home theater had it as their #1 amp. It is suppose to be good in 2 channel. Thats one I am thinking of.

Dlstephenson, you really peaked my interest in this Butler Hybrid. Never heard of it but the tube sound caught my interest, which is why I like the sunfire.

Happy listening...

I forget to say that you should look into a 5 channel Chiro amp. I always thought it was one of those little unknown gems that can be had for only about $700.
Sherbourn 5/1500A used for well under $2000.

Forgot one amp that gets very few 'audio' folks talking about it, but is actually quite good - the Earthquake amplifiers. Check out all of the reviews and you will see most mags (for whatever this is worth) values the amps as well.

I have owned a couple and had great results. To boot, Earthquake is a GREAT, GREAT company with old fashioned customer service, and, for new, authorized buyers, a 10 year warranty. Like Bryston, they don't care too much about which # owner you are, they stand behind their products. KUDOS!!!

Thanks so much for all your suggestions. I'm looking into all of them.
The Cary Cinema 5 can be had for more than your 2k but not much more (used) - I replaced some very nice 2 channel products with the Cary and I honestly can not believe how good it is.
Brand new Odyssey HT-5 with cap upgrade. 20 year warranty, 30 day risk free trial.

What do you have to lose?
i've owned an earthquake cinenova for a little over a year now and love it, got it used here for 1700
Parker, what did you replace the Earthquake with? What are your thoughts on its it bright in the upper frequencies at all?
Jimmy, ideally I'd love a Cinema 5, but NEW, it's quite expensive. I haven't seen any USED available. Any thoughts on where to look? What kind of price range would I expect?
Get yourself 5 Adcom GFA535 amps from eBay or Audiogon. It will run you half that price.
"Way below your stated budget, but someone told me that the Panasonic SA-XR70 is quite good."

Talking to speaker builders at CES they said the digital pannys have issues handling speakers with strong impedence swings.
Depends on your speaker set up.

they do come up here periodically on Agon listed around 2800 or so - and I would imagine you might be able to get it for less. Even though they retail for 5k, and have received such great reviews, for some reason I have also seen some dealers selling demos for good prices too, around 3k. You might want to call around to some dealers - or even post a wanted ad here.
Thanks to all. I took the plunge and bought a Cary Cinema 5. Got a good deal. I get it early next week. Can't wait!
Butler Audio TDB-5150

Great sound, built like a tank and first rate service!
Hey casual73 how did the Cary Cinema 5 turn out,I am in the market for a five channel amp,and considering the same amp.It's going to be extreamely difficult going to Mono Classe amps to a all in one chassi amp.

Let's know your thoughts,speaker set up.


I use a Proceed Amp 2 and Amp 3; I assume the Amp 5 is esstentially the same, with each channel having its own power supply and large toroidal transformer. (The Amp 3 is really heavy, so the Amp 5 must be a monster to lift.) I have been very pleased with their excellent neutral sound, free of the distortion some call warmth. They drive a fairly efficient pair of biwired KEF R 104/2s, a 200 C, and a pair of R 102/2 for surrounds; louder than I care to listen is nowhere near clipping, given the amps power bandwidth.

In the past 15 years, these amps, used nearly daily and often for hours at a time, have been completely trouble free. Last year I bought a second Amp 2 for another system. I highly recommend them.