ss multi-ch. amps vs multi seperate amps any adv.


Bulding a ss 5 ch. Surround sys. Is there any adv.to sep. Amps vs multi-ch amps? Ie like a parasound hca 1200 for front another for rear and one bridged for center vs something like a 1200a 5 ch ss amp.will be using a b&k referance 30 processor. Assuming all power is equal what's the diff?
stanman
Best to do mono blocks. Cleaner sound, more flexibility.
In general the multi channel amps I am familiar with are not to the same standard as 2 channel or mono ones. They are designed to a different market that is perceived to have different priorities; there is no inherent reason that this should be so but it is. You will find that amps with the same power rating can be very different in sound. The fact that you assume all similar rated ones sound the same shows why multi channel ones usually don't sound as good, in this segment of the market power output and features rule with sound quality not being emphasized.
Monoblocks are usually not the best answer in practical applications.

Unless you have a dedicated 20 or 30 amp circuit in your power box, you will short out your 15 amp breaker with 5-7 monoblocks + tv + etc etc.
While all the comments are accurate, we're talking HT here.

Unless you are going to be building the SOA $40k multichannel music sound system, there is no need to use all monoblocs.

Maybe to the L&R mains if you use must them for a 2channel music double duty system. Most good high quality multi-channel amps should give you what you need.
The advantages of monoblock amps are discussed in several threads. A disadvantage is the cost of the additional boxes and faceplates. If you don't mind the look, you can place Bryston Powerpac amps next to each speaker.
>09-03-10: Longhornguy
>Monoblocks are usually not the best answer in practical applications.
>
>Unless you have a dedicated 20 or 30 amp circuit in your power box, you will short out your 15 amp breaker with 5-7 monoblocks + tv + etc etc.

Only if you try to feed them test tones, have very small sub woofers with a lot of equalization, or the amps are biased for enough class-A output that they're doubling as a space heater in which case the extra air-conditioning will be a bigger problem.

For the last three years I had my home theater setup prior to moving I ran a half dozen amplifiers (7.1 with actively tri-amplified front speakers) placarded at 5760 Watts maximum off a single circuit along with 675W of recessed lighting.

It never popped a breaker because the amplifiers were generally loafing along at under 200W total (although reference level home theater can get loud, there's enormous dynamic range and the average isn't even a Watt).
To me, an important consideration is the question: What is the best use of your available funds? I suspect that investing in multiple amplifiers isn't.

Given the processor you are using, I would say that a good multichannel amplifier would be the better choice. I am familiar with multichannel amplifiers from Anthem and Parasound. Both make excellent products.

I agree with Summitav that, if you want to get the most out of music, you might consider purchasing a higher quality 2 channel amplifier for the FR and FL channels, and then a more affordable 3 channel amplifier for the center and surrounds. My own system has a version of this approach.

Good luck.
Bryoncunningham. I have a Parasound HCA 2205AT and want to upgrade. My parasound runs fairly hot(common for parasound).

I am looking into Wyred 4 Sound so I can get a mono modular amp. Say 3 dual monos + 1 mono, 3 channel and a 4 channel.etc. What are your thoughts on this brand and what else would you suggest?

I do think running seperate mono channels will have better seperation, dynamics, imaging and soundstage.

My pre processor is a Onkyo Pro SC885.

Regards Bacardi
Hi Bacardi - I have no direct experience with Wyred 4 Sound, so I can't offer you an opinion. Sorry.

I can certainly see the appeal in multiple mono amps. But I agree with Summitav's comment that...

Unless you are going to be building the SOA $40k multichannel music sound system, there is no need to use all monoblocs.

That is why I suggested a middle ground approach of 2 amplifiers: a higher quality one for the FR/FL, and a more affordable one for the center and surrounds.

I do think running seperate mono channels will have better seperation, dynamics, imaging and soundstage.

There is some truth to this, provided you are comparing amps of similar price/quality. Keep in mind, though, that some of the best amplifiers available at any price are stereo, not mono. In other words, amps that have channels sharing a single power supply and chassis are not always inferior to those that don't. It comes down to the particulars of the design.

With that in mind, I will reiterate that there are truly excellent multichannel amps available. Two that come to mind that I have direct experience with: The Anthem Statement P5 and the Parasound Halo A51. They are powerhouses with excellent sound quality. If they are out of your price range, you could consider the Anthem Statement A5 or Parasound Halo A52.

Three notable differences between these Anthem and Parasound amps that may be relevant to you, given your comments:

1. The Anthem Statement amps use multiple power supplies (2 power supplies in the A5; 5 power supplies in the P5). The Parasound Halo amps use a single power supply.

2. The Parasound Halo amps are class A for the first few watts. The Anthem Statement amps are not.

3. The Anthem Statement amps run much cooler (because of 2).

I have owned amps from both manufacturers and liked them both.
Bryoncunningham, I have a full Paradigm Signature S1 v2 system and an Anthem A5 or P5 would mate very well with the Paradigm's(same company). I had an Anthem D1 before and found it to be thin sounding. Friends told me if I didn't like the sound of the D1 I wouldn't like the Anthem amps. That's when I purchased my Parasound. Would a Parasound Halo A51 be a justifiable upgrade for the money??

The Wyred 4 Sounds as told will be better than my Parasound. Extremely dynamic, better 3d soundstage and imaging, and also run way cooler. What are your thoughts.

My investments in my home theater system are around 25-30g's.

Regards Bacardi
I had an Anthem D1 before and found it to be thin sounding. Friends told me if I didn't like the sound of the D1 I wouldn't like the Anthem amps.

Not sure I agree that, since you didn't like the D1, you wouldn't like the A5 or P5. The Anthem Statement amps do not sound "thin" to me. Nor do they sound warm. To my ears, they sound neutral.

Would a Parasound Halo A51 be a justifiable upgrade for the money??

This is a question that only you can answer. To me, the answer is yes, particularly if you can find an A51 used.

Again, I have no experience with Wyred 4 Sound, so I can't advise you about that.
Do the Parasound A51's or A21's run hot???

Regards Bacardi
Do the Parasound A51's or A21's run hot???

Yes, they do. They are class A for the first few watts, so it goes with the territory. But I wouldn't let that scare me off, if I were you, unless you truly have no way of providing adequate ventilation.
I have a classe cav-500 5 channel amp. Each channel is rated at 250 watts. I use 2 channels to my right main and 2 channels to my left main. I have b and w 802 nautilus speakers. Each speaker gets 250 watts to the woofers and another 250 watts to the mid and high. The 5th channel powers my center channel.I have an old proton 6-channel amp that I have bridged into 3 channels powering the rear speakers. I obviously only use 2 of the 3 available channels here. The sound for 2-channel cd playing is awesome.A multichannel amp used in this manner can give tremendous sound. When the surround sound is booted up the dynamics are just as impressive. I feel that I am getting the best possible sound out of the equipment I own. The Classe can run hot but it handles the load well.If I get carried away with the volume the Classe protection circuit will shut the amp down.That has only happened twice when I was testing to see how much the amp could handle.I would like to get seperate amps for every channel but I have neither the room or the cash.I bought the Classe-500 amp pre-owned and got a great deal.It is truely a beast and sounds awesome in all regards.Good luck making your decision.