CHannel seperation for one. You would be limited now by the source. Great for imaging no question. If you even have the luxury of having 2 dedicated 20 amp circuits, that can also be a small sonic benefit for maximising juice per amplifier. If you have the money to spend, its a nice situation for extracting every last ounce of potential for your system. =)
monoblock offers you better control. you will have good quality bass. But this may be in the expense of good quality high and mid.
Shorter speaker cable runs too!
the myth of channel separation is just that...but they look way cool.
High power capability, that you can still pick up and carry.
Short speaker wires/long interconnects... probably a wash.
Separation (low crosstalk) is a myth unless your stereo amp is a clunker.
Staging will be a plus with mono-blocs. Separate electrical ground plane. And with the correct coupling platform under them an enhanced mechanical ground to earth. They will then react as two separate amplifiers tied together only thru the same ac outlet and the stereo source. Of course you could have several dedicated ac lines with isolated grounds. That set up makes all better. Tom
Parasound had an amp (HCA 3500 I think) which was so dual mono that it even had 2 power cords and switches. This thing tipped the scales at 85 pounds and begged to be mono blocks at about 44 pounds each. What were they thinking? In these days of everyone using dual transformers, I feel that any new stereo amp that is going to weigh more than 50 pounds or so should be redesigned as mono pairs. If you need to ship a 90 pound amp with a bad channel back to the manufacturer, you'll wish it was a 45 pound mono. Much easier to pack and ship to say nothing of much cheaper.
I own a Parasound HCA-3500.Hard to move around, but exceptional bass power and extension, goes to REALLY HIGH VOLUMES without compression or strain, and has great imaging and sounstaging.The bass is its biggest advantage in my situation.I use 2 dedicated 20 amp breakers and 2 seperate lines and outlets for each power cord!!
Don't underestimate shorter speaker cables and, in my case, extreme WAF! I was able to hang each mono off a basement joist just under each speaker, threading 8 foot cables up through the baseboards to each speaker. Look, Ellen, no Alephs! They run cooler down there (as well convecting better as there's no "floor" in the plastic milk crate each sits in, and the longish XLRs from upstairs are completely quiet. Using a mid-mounted stereo amp would have eliminated the laundry room, and y'know, ya gotta have clean clothes....
Subaruguru...We agree! (Something must be wrong here). All my power amps and electronic crossovers live in the cellar, and have done so for decades. Besides, that way you can hide from your audiophile buddies the fact that your amps don't carry high end nameplates.
Here's a twist: Is there an advantage of replacing your stereo amp with two monos rated at lower power? For example, let's say you went from push-pull KT-88 stereo amp and went to a pair of 300B SET amps rated at 8 watts per channel. Let's say that your loudspekers are pretty efficient (at least 90 db). Which set up, theoretically anyway, wins?
The Channel seperation of the SA-250 is superior to that of the SA-102 and it delivers more current, so you can enjoy both worlds: better seperation (close to what monoblocks will get you) and better soundstage.
Elgordo, the Parasound HCA-3500 which you mention is now available in a nicely improved monoblock version called the Halo JC-1. While the JC-1 is largely an HCA-3500 split in two, it also has twice the power supply, nearly twice the heat sink area, a couple more output devices, and a tightly optimized circuit layout. Additionally, parts are selected for the greatest sonic performance rather than being based upon cost. The results speak for themselves. (Disclaimer: I'm a dealer, so sprinkle my comments liberally with salt - but go listen for yourself to a broken-in pair.)
seperate power supplies ( this is a big one)
better dynaimics and imaging (another big one)
channel seperation ( big one )
i like my pse studio v monoblocs i just picked up another pair for my bi-wired alons. that a total of 4 monoblocs.
that will give me 220rms per channel of very, very clean power.
hope that helps !!
in reality alot depends on the design and efficency of your speakers.
i have heard alot of stereo amps that sound great and alot of crappy sounding monoblocs.
the advantage to a great sounding monobloc to a great sounding stereo amp is the monblocks will sound a little better because of the above ( all things being equal).
hope that helps!!
alot depends on the amp design and the efficency of your speakers.