Mixing amplifiers.

Mixing Amplifiers.

Is this a big mistake?

Say i have a good Adcom 5 channel reciever and decide to upgrade to 7.1 for my HT.
If i get say for example, a Bryston 2 channel amp and run the FR/FL with that, and the other 5 channels with the ADCOM. What could i expect?

Is it best to keep with all amplifiers in the same brand?
What about power ratings? should i follow those?

Example, if i had the following set up...
a couple Marantz THX 100w monoblocks for the rears, an 2ch Adcom 150w for the surrounds, a 2ch Bryston 300w for the fl/fr, and say a marantz THX 200W monoblock for the center.
If i turn up the volume knob, will the volume increase uniformly? or will the speaks with the higher power amps be blaring while the speaks with the lower power be just audible?

Should i aim for everything same power same brand?

My mains can take some punishment, i want at least 250W/ch on those anbd maybe on the center, the other 4 speaks are just effects.

If you are going to mix amps, your first example would be best. If your going to use the little Marantz mono's, use them everywere. Outlaw audio has some mono's at there site you may want to check out, these would be a good match with there bigger amps as well. The new Stereophile guide to hometheater had great things to say about their model 770 (7 channel amp) and model 950 pre/pro combo. The price is right on all there stuff on a bang for buck ratio.
I wouldn't worry about mixing amplifiers. You'll set the levels for each channel, and then the volume control will adjust them all uniformly. You may discover that, at different loudness levels, you prefer a slightly difference balance among all your channels, but that has nothing to do with the different amps.

Any of the set-ups you mention should work fine.
Staying with the same amps all the way around is ideal. The next best would be to stay with the same brand as most manufacturers use the same topologies and parts through the line. If you find the sound of the Bryston a step up for your two-channel rig over the Adcom, I like your thinking as a path to an all Bryston system. Later, you could swap out the Adcom for a multi-ch Bryston or other combo of their amps.

I have never compared Adcom vs. Bryston so I can't tell you how different they will sound. If you can tell the difference between the two amps on your 2ch system then that is the change you will hear as sound pans across your 3 front channels. If you have IDENTICAL speakers (no sideways center ch etc..) and amps it will be the most seamless presentation.

Different power ratings between amps won't affect the uniformity of the volume as you turn it up. More power does not necessarily mean it will sound better. Some of the best amps made only have a few watts of power. If your speakers are rated at 90db efficiency, that means it only takes 1 watt to play 90db at 1-meter distance. The amount of power you will need depends on the type of speakers you are using and how loud you like the volume. The demands of dynamics in home theater sound tracks require the power of larger amps. If all you care about is how much your pants flap when the Death Star blows then the more watts the better. Often times the lower powered amp in the same line is more musical, because it is simpler in design and uses fewer parts. Buy with your ears and not with the spec sheet.

Good Luck,