I know nothing : Budget Under $1k

I am looking to move my 3.1 downstairs and add in-wall surrounds. I have an Integra 50.5 and am assuming that with the surrounds that now is possibly time to explore an amplifier.

I have $1k or less for this. I will consider used as amplifiers do not seem to have the curse of being outdated by different codecs etc.

I know this is fairly cheap for amplifiers.. but that's what I have.

It looks like in range there is an outlaw audio, emotiva, slightly out of range there is a Marantz. Other recommendations put below. Used I have no idea... the local store wants me to budget 3k for this which I just don't have...

Comments welcomed

all paradigm

studio 100 v5
sensitivity 93db/90db
amplifier range 15-350watts
max input power 230watts

prestige 55c
sensitivity 94db/91db
amplifier range 14-260watts
max input power 190watts

ci elite
sensitivity 92db/88db
amplifier range 15-180
max input power 120
Going from the amp in your receiver to a good quality 2 channel power amp, should be a very big upgrade. With a budget of 1k, you can get something very nice. If you go to audioadvisor.com, they have some excellent choices. I like what Parasound has to offer. Either a Halo A23 for $1000, or a 2125 at $800. If it was my choice, I would get one of those.
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First, he's only moving downstairs. Second, do you have any idea how big of an upgrade a new amp will make, not only for power, but sound quality? This will be a major upgrade that can be heard immediately.
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"10-13-15: Bob_reynolds
do you have any idea how big of an upgrade a new amp will make, not only for power, but sound quality? This will be a major upgrade that can be heard immediately.
Nope. And neither do you. As you like to say, you're just guessing."

My name isn't Bob Reynolds. I don't get my listening skills from reading magazine reviews. I always talk from experience. I was a dealer for both of those brands. If you can't hear a difference going from a cheap mass market receiver to a much more powerful 2 channel amp with better sound quality, you need to find a new hobby. A dog would be able to hear a difference, it will be so large.

Regardless, your posts always defy logic. Lets have another look at your genius recommendation.

"Integra makes a fine product and there's no reason to assume that running a 7.1 speaker system with a high quality 7.1 receiver will cause a problem. Much wiser to wait, listen and then decide to make a change."

OK, so he takes the wise approach and listens for a while. Now what? He can listen to his current set up all he wants, but there's no way to tell what an upgrade will sound like until puts the amp in his system.
Hi there,
If you're looking for 2-ch with most bang for the buck we suggest getting the most Odyssey that you can afford. They are sold direct from the Indiana factory so there is no dealer markup. As a result they are like half the price you would expect for how good they sound (extremely) and how well they are built (tank). Their power amps are solid state. Their business model is that they use designs from a very high end German amp mfr. called Symphonic Sound.

We have their monoblocks in our system and have used them at stereo shows. No affiliation at all. Just respect.

You can find Odyssey power amps used on A'gon and Ebay as well. If you go new, you'll have the pleasure of dealing with the colorful owner, Klaus, and you should inquire about delivery time as they can get very busy.
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thanks for the comments. Unfortunately amps are hard to switch in and out of your system, without buying and reselling to see the impact and there is no easy formula I can find to give me a speaker threshold (correct me if I am wrong (and I did say easy way)).

most likely I will give it a go with the receiver first, but a purchase would be somewhat blind. I don't know how I would listen to the amps in a store without my save receiver and load from the speakers in my setup.

Again I know nothing about electronics so largely I am going on comments from others to possible impact/benefit of a separate component.
"You also make the assumption that a more powerful amp is needed and would sound better to the OP. You are just guessing."

Since you brought up reading comprehension, I think you skipped the part about me being a dealer for the brands were talking about here. So I'm not guessing. Just because you keep saying it, doesn't make it true. And lets not stop there. The OP is ASKING for amp recommendations up to a $1000. I gave him 2 amps to consider. How you could find fault with that is just beyond belief. I'm not allowed to answer the OP's question? Bob, you're getting to the point where I actually feel embarrassed for you.


Sorry about the conflict here. Bob hates me because I call him out for the fraud that he is. He makes some of the most ridiculous comments I've ever seen on this site. The only reason he entered this thread was to try and give me a hard time, even if its at your expense. He could care less about your system. If you'll notice, he didn't single out Backertlabs for making the exact type of recommendation I did.

Here's what I'll do. Since you're probably confused by now, buy one of the Parasound amps I mentioned above. If it doesn't sound like I say it does, I'll buy it from you.
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As always Bob, you make a point.


Given the confusion, I'll try to explain things one more time, just to be clear. Your current situation is that you have a mid level Onkyo/Integra HT receiver driving your HT speakers, of which the front mains are the Paradigm 100's. Your idea for an upgrade is to get a separate power amp for the 100's. As far as upgrades go, I think that's a good idea. It seems like your main concern is will it be worth the $1000 you've allotted to buy an amp. As long as you pick the right amp, I say yes. You don't need to spend $3000. You can if you want to, but its not necessary.

The main thing I would like to address is how much of a change you can expect for your money. As others have stated, there is no guarantee that you'll hear anything better than what you have now. Technically, that could happen. Nothing in life is 100%. But as far as upgrading your HT goes, getting a better sounding, more powerful amp to replace the internal amp in your receiver is just about a safe a bet as you can make. The chances of you being disappointed are extremely low. Were not talking about hearing the difference between the Furutech RCA connectors vs the WBT, or the differences between solid core and stranded copper. These are large changes that anyone, audiophile or not, can hear.

If your new room is bigger than your old one, will the new amp be an upgrade? Yes. If the new room is smaller, will the new amp be an upgrade? Yes. And just as big. Your speakers are capable of quite a bit of detail. Providing better, more clean power will reveal details in music and movies that you haven't yet heard on your system. Not only that, most speakers, including yours, will benefit from more power even in a smaller room. The new amp will be able to take control of the speakers in a way your current amp can't do. You'll hear a much better sense of timing, along with a lot more musical details in the bass frequencies than what you have now.

Other posters may say, "You can't guarantee this!! Blah, blah, blah....." Technically, I can't. Like I said before, nothing is 100%. But based on my extensive experience, with the equipment you have, and other similar gear, I'll say at lest 95%. I'll keep it low, just in case.

That's about all I can say. This is a very popular, cost effective upgrade, that people like you make every day. To get this much resistance to such a simple thing is not the norm. I think if you seek more opinions from knowledgeable people, I think you'll agree.
thanks everyone.. Bob. please no more comments even if your intentions are honorable in this thread.

I do have a 1000w sub, but really I would rather chop a finger off than take away from having the towers run full range.

I will take a look at the parasounds.
I agree with ZDs position on this, well explained. One additional benefit will be that the power supply in the receiver will only be driving 3 channels instead of 5. That can’t hurt either.