Your volume control position has no bearing on output power. You might clip your amp at 60%. Just so you'll know...
I personally love monoblocks. I feel that the most important part of an amplifier is its power supply. With monoblocks, you get double the power supply of the same stereo amp and that improves everything across the board.
Monoblocks also get you nearly-infinite channel separation which is not to be underestimated when it comes to image precision.
I too listen to trance and techno and can tell you that having extra headroom will make a very big difference. You basically can't have too much power for electronic music IMO.
I also prefer monoblocks for the same reasons as Aball. In addition, I prefer to place the amps on a floor stand near the speakers. The downside of monoblocks is they take more space. If you want to place your amp in a rack with the rest of your gear, the bulk may be problematic.
Monos are better.In addition to what's already been said, if you use monos you can use longer interconnects and shorter speaker cables.The end result is less degraded sound.
All factors being equal, monoblocks will outperform their stereo counterpart. As mentioned, separate power supplies can be very important.
However, would you rather own a CAT JL-2 stereo amp or Antique Sound Labs monoblocks?
Vishalonly, stereo power amp can be very good and undistinguishable from mono's. Some people are buying monoamps because they are mono's, but for the same money they actually can have a better stereo amp. This is a bit similar situation as to biwire or not to biwire (but using a better single wire speaker cable).
I agree that all things being equal, with the bigger power supply afforded by the increased room, as well as less modulation between channels, monoblocks will sound better. However, I have some Essence Emerald III monoblocks and an Emerald II stereo amp. The monos have a bigger power supply but the stereo has a much higher bandwidth. In my system the stereo sounds better IMO. So in this case the circuit design trumps the larger power supply.
For "trance/techno" music; no difference.
You will get slightly better channel seperation whether or not its audible is up to the listener. I would not let mono-bloc or stereo sway my decision to purchase.
It all depends on the amp there have been great stereo amplifiers and crappy monos and vice versa.
In theory a mono block will be better but it is not necessarily so!
As per Audio Feil's comment quite frankly my Hurricane's outperformed a $11,000.00 very famous American made Stereo amplifier which by all accounts should have wiped the floor with the ASL! So again get off the band wagon that just because something is a mono or is more expensive or is a stereo amp or a mono it is better or worse.
Personally I have heard the JL 2 and the build quality is amazing I just was never blown away with the sound! You can also overspend and over build!
As with anything else listen and let the sound be your guide.
I am confused.
I thought we were all clear that anything which takes up more space, generates more heat, weighs more, increases the number of cables, costs more and/or puzzles or offends spouses and laypeople is better.
Definitely go with the monoblocks.
As per Audio Feil's comment quite frankly my Hurricane's outperformed a $11,000.00 very famous American made Stereo amplifier which by all accounts should have wiped the floor with the ASL!
Without sharing the make and model of the amp that should have wiped the floor, and also not to specify the rest of the system, such a comment brings no value to the table.
There are many "very famous American" amplifiers that are quite costly that to my ears have sounded absolutely horrible. Were they improperly matched with the speakers? .... or were they only showing up flaws in a system that the other amp under evaluation covered up? .... or were they simply, horrible amps? Amps can not be judged alone as the amp/speaker interface is one of the most critical factors overlooked by many.
Personally I have heard the JL 2 and the build quality is amazing I just was never blown away with the sound!
Yet another comment without sharing the specifics of the speaker or rest of the system for which the amp is referenced. If you were expecting a classic lush tube sound here, this is not what the CAT amps are all about.
You can also overspend and over build!
Yes, and you can also overspend and under build! Put the JL-2 up against the ASL mono amps driving a pair of SoundLab speakers and you will immediately appreciate the "over build" of the CAT. For such an application, I would take the CAT any day as it would not even be close! The difference in dynamic contrasts alone would bring down the house. The robust power supply in the CAT amps is not simply there for decoration. And with a few hundred $$ to replace the stock small-signal input tubes on the CAT, it would take another huge leap in performance.
To Jafox, the $11,000.00 amplifier was a VAC PHI 110
the JL 2 was at Sound by Singer set up with Wilson Audio X1 a CAT preamplifier, Transparent Reference XL cables and the front end was a DCS Elgar stack.
As per your attack on the Hurricanes Harry Pearson has raved over these amplfiers as well, and Albert Salvatore has also raved over them.
Are the Hurricanes the best amplifiers in the world hardly, I would like to hear Bill Bakeers balls to the walls version, I bet those are really impressive.
I will stick to my guns Ken builds a great preamp and amplifiers which sound good to me but I wouldn't spend the money on.
To be honest with you the only high power expensive tube amplifier that comes unmodified I would probably buy today is the VTL S 400 great amp, great technology and great build quality.
Thanks AudioOracle for the detailed comments. That helps to put much into perspective.
I too have much respect for Mr. Salvatore; he and I had much communication earlier this year with many of his comments/suggestions ultimately getting incorporated here ... and with great results.
There's no way to know if we want to spend money on any given amp or preamp until we try it in our own system. I don't care for the CAT/CAT combination at all as I find it too analytical, in the context of MY own system. And then to throw in Wilson speakers, I'd be running out of the room covering my ears. The SBS setup was hardly what I would call a good demonstration of the CAT amp's capabilities.
Oh, and I did not attack the ASL amps. I simply stated that when put to the test to drive a nasty load like the SL speakers, the CAT would easily outperform the ASLs. From all that I have read from HP's reviews and comments, I do not recall him ever talking about SL speakers....he's too much into the Magnepans.
And concerning "stock" tubed amps or preamps, it just makes no sense to spend thousands of dollars for these products and then live with the limitations of Sovtek, Ei, EH, etc., tubes. This is true for CAT, Aestehtix, ARC, Einstein, to name just a few. And no doubt the CAT gear at SBS was all stock tubes........what a shame!
Owned both hurricanes and phi110. IMHO, phi110 is sig better than the ASL canes or cadenza. The canes are great performance for the price. It comes down to whether the speakers need 200W. I agree with Salvatore that the cadenza 1009-845 are better than the canes.
I had a very nice modded Musical Fidelity A300 integrated which had massive separate power supplies for the preamp and amp sections.
I now have Odyssey Mono Extremes monoblocks with the same speakers (ACI Jaguars which are a large rather power hungry monitor).
Huge difference. I listen to all kinds of music including house/triphop/electronica.
If you like the Odyssey sound- call Klaus and work a deal on a dual mono, regular monoblocks, or Mono extremes. Does take some time to get them, but worth the wait.