Inexpensive/solid 2-channel amp for rear speakers?


I am nearing completion of a system that will be used for HT and music, having purchased an upgraded-Anthem AVM-20, an Amthem MCA-50, a Velodyne DD-15 sub, and Paradigm signature S-4s for the front, C-3 for the centre, S-2s for ths side and likely the signature dipoles for the rear for a full 7.1

I need a 2-channel amp for the dipoles and since I have just spent a lot of money (though mostly used through Audiogon) I would like to keep the budget down for a 2-channel amp for the rear speakers, knowing that if I want to upgrade down the road I can get a killer 2-channel amp for the fronts and use the MCA-50 for the rest.

I don't want to spend more than $500 or $600 and would prefer to spend less. What amps should I consider?
jonsher
New Parasound 275. Old Parsound HCA-750. Modest price, built well, sound good.
You can get a used Anthem MCA20 for that price. Then, I would use that for
your front left and right and use the MCA50 for the other five channels.
No point in using a MCA20 for front left/right, as the MCA50 has two transformers, one for 3 channels and one for 2, so it's an MCA30 and an MCA20 in one chassis.
I did the same thing as Jonsher using the Anthem MCA5 as my main amp until more $ came along. I've been experimenting for a couple of years now, and currently have a Bryston 4BST driving ML SL-3's. Soon they'll be a Levinson 332 in it's place. The MCA5 has been there 5 years, and I don't see it going away any time soon.
Check out Acurus amps, good build quality, sound and the price is excellent in the use market.
I think he wants 7 channels total. The MCA50 is a five channel amp and he's looking for two more channels. The MCA20 is in his price range, will have the same sound as the MCA50 and will give him seven channels total.
Check E-Bay for an old Carver amp, you can usually get these pretty reasonable. I used one until I down sized from 7.1 to 5.1
"if I want to upgrade down the road I can get a killer 2-channel amp for the fronts and use the MCA-50 for the rest".
I don't regard the MCA series as "killer". Excellent value without doubt, but killer? - no. Save $ today to put towards your killer piece.
Sometimes the little Marantz monoblocks come up for $150 piece, and for ambient duty they should do just fine. You can always sell them for what you paid and put towards your killer piece.
>>I don't regard the MCA series as "killer". Excellent value
without doubt, but killer? - no.<<

He isn't looking for a "killer" two channel amp right now, he's
looking to spend $500 to $600 for a two channel amp so he can have seven
channels of amplification -- right now.

Later, when he gets more money, he will buy the "killer" two
channel amp to replace the one he gets now.

Thanks all for your suggestions.

Bignerd, Khm - I'll keep an eye out for the Parasounds and Acurus.

Jdodmead - any Carver's in particular? There are a lot of models.

Rsbeck - An MCA20 would be ideal for the reasons you stated. I hope I spot one soon.

Snofun - I hope to be where you are in a few years but in the meantime I think can get something inexpensive to drive the rears. I'm pleased to see the MCA50 has served you so well. As Rsbeck said I don't see the Anthem as a killer amp but as a very good value which I can use for the fronts, center and sides to start and then shift to the center, sides and rears when I buy a "killer amp" for the fronts down the road.
There was a used MCA20 on sale for $550 here on the 'gon, but now it is marked "SOLD." Maybe another one will come up, or maybe you can get one by posting a wanted ad.