New Parasound 275. Old Parsound HCA-750. Modest price, built well, sound good.
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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.
"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.