I had a Parasound A51 which I liked for a long time but decided to upgrade recently. I ended up getting 3 McCormack DNA.05 stereo amps and used the extra channel to bi amp my center channel. Couldn't be happier. I happen to like the Mc amps but if they aren't your cup of tea I think the concept of using stereo or mono rather than multi channel is going to give you better sound at any price point.
The Emotiva product line is finally on my radar screen. I am building a Home Theatre system and am going to give the "blue lights" a try. If the products live up to the hype it certainly will have me 'rethinking high-end audio/video'.
look at the theta dreadnaught I. killer for both ht and 2ch
I am also looking into Emotiva gear, the XPA-2 for my front speakers. The 300w intrigues me, and I've owned other Emo equipment, and I like their stuff.
Almost bought some Emotiva stuff.. not bad stuff for the $$.. I actually heard some of it at the RMAF.. good for the money.. doesn't sound as good as Parasound or Sunfire though.. just my .02.. but if you are just starting out.. decent for the money!!
There's also the Theta Intrepid. At around $1,500 new, it's a no-brainer
Maybe look at the Butler 5150 hybrid amp. I love my 2250.
Bryston 9Bsst2, Cary cinema series, or the new Moon multi-channel amps would all be upgrades from your Sunfire amp I would think
What is it that you don't like about your current amp? The amp is just one part of the entire system chain. If you can't identify what you like or don't like you'll have the upgrade itch forever. With any recommendations, you're just buying a brand name and not necessarily the right fit. For example, if you have Maggie's then you need both high current and stability into a 2ohm load. If you have more sensitive speakers then you don't need extreme power, etc. All electronics affect the sound. I don't feel as though you've given enough info to get the proper feedback and recommendations you are looking for.
Cinenova Earthquake, big clean effortless. I also went to this amp from the Sunfire and absolutely love it.
BAT VK-6200. It can be configured for 2,3,4,5 or 6 channels. 200W into 8 ohms or 400 watts into 4 ohms per channel, all channels driven simultaneously. Independent 700VA PS for each channel.
Makes the Theta and Krell MCH amps look like toys. It's only disadvantage - it weighs 180 lb.s for 5 channels and over 200 lb.s for 6 channels - you might need an engine hoist to move it.
I had the Classe 5 channel amp and I am now using the Butler 5150 which I like much better.
I had a Parasound HCA 2205AT power amp for my home theater system and at 220 x 5 it was very good. It was mated with an Onkyo 885 pre and speakers were a Paradigm S2(v3),C3(V3), ADP1(V2). My room is 14x20 and filled the room easily. You could find one for $950-$1100 used on the 'Gon. Great for movies and music.
I have an older Acurus 5-channel amp which I like very much. Now that the company has been re-born, so to speak, I think it might be worth the effort to try an audition a pair.
01-12-13: Finsup says:
"I have an older Acurus 5-channel amp which I like very much. Now that the company has been re-born, so to speak, I think it might be worth the effort to try an audition a pair."
If the new offerings from Acurus(Indy Audio Labs) are at least as good as the late 90's/early 2000's stuff, they may be worth considering. I have owned 7 Acurus amps over the last few years and currently own an A200(200x2) and A200FIVE(200x5). If I was not so satisfied with what I have, I would myself give the newer versions of these(A2002, A2005) a try.
By the way, I just sold a Sunfire Cinema Grand 5-channel amp a week or so ago. Though an incredible amp in it's own right, I like my Acurus amps better.
Have to ditto the above about Acurus amps. Have the ACT 5, older model now. If I had a need to change, I would give their line consideration. A lot out there, others I would consider, Anthem, Bryston, McIntosh, Marantz and Parasound. Happy hunting.
I second Baranowski's comment....I love my P5 as well....