What 5ch or 3/2 to match Aragon 8008bb?

Hi everyone, I'm hoping to solicit your advice; I'm having a hard time finding any answers to this question.

I'm picking up an 8008bb Aragon for my mains, but i'm running a 7.1 system, and need to get amplification that will match well with the 'bb'.

Any suggestions? I've heard the acurus a200x5 is voiced similarly; and I've thought an 8008x3 for the center and 2 side surrounds, with a cheap amp for the rear surrounds might work as well...

I'd like to keep it around $2k total if I can, but I'm not sure if that's possible.

Thanks for any advice you can give!

I've got an Acurus A200x5 and I've had zero complaints with it. Internally, it looks remarkably like its Aragon equivalent except that it only has RCA inputs. This isn't surprising since they were both made by Mondial Designs. Check out the Klipsch website for the current Aragon offerings since they bought Mondial Designs. Why not get the 7 channel amp that Aragon has out now?
I've read that the current Aragon.Klipsch offerings are not nearly what the Mondial made amps were; am I incorrect in that assumption?
Hi Kincade
I think you've answered half of your own question. My system, at one point, was the system you are considering. I used to run my mains with the 8008BB. (a great amp for the $$.) I am still using the 8008x3 for my center and rear channels. Those 2 amps DO match up extremely well. Deffinitely get yourself the 8008x3. They can be gotten for approx $1350 here on AgoN. . Your final 2 channels can be taken care of with an Acurus A250 ( I used this before I upgradded to the 8008BB) or an Acurus A200 either of these amps can be purchased on AgoN for $600 or less. Since they all come from the same family they will (do) all have similar sonic signatures. Your system will match extremely well, assuming that your speakers are all well matched to each other. On top of that, your amps will basically be"bullet proof". Hope this helps.
Sorry for butting in again. :) NO you are not incorrect in your assumption of the Klipsch/Aragon amps. The older Aragon/Acurus amps of the mid to late '90's is the way to go. Just my 2 cents.
Oh man, you're not butting in! I'm LOOKING for advice!

I actually purchased a Sherbourn 7.2100, and haven't even taken it out of the box yet. I just was thinking that I might as well try to get into a better amp if I'm able, so that I don't have to worry about this for a while yet.

So basically I can go with either this route:

8008BB for mains (8008st as an alternative) - $1150 ish
8008x3 for the center and 2 surrounds - $1350 ish
Acurus A250 or 200 for rear surrounds - $600 ish
Total cost of $3100

OR, go with an 8008BB for the mains - $1150ish
And 8008x5 for the other 5 - $2000 ish

Either way I'm in about $3k...

Is either preferable?

I keep reading about the 4004 series too, but I can't find much info about them.

On another note; how are these amps triggered? do the autosense the signal, have a 12v trigger, or do I have to manually turn them on? I can't find the info on the klipsch website anywhere.

Thanks for all the advice!
I don't know why many seem to think the new Aragon amps are not as good as the old. Internally, they're all still the same; only the outer cosmetics are different. Having owned both(still have an 8002 and 8008BB), the Acurus products don't have anywhere near the dynamics and lower noise floor of the Aragon products. I even bi-amped a pair of Paradigm Eclips/BP's with 2 Acurus A200 amps, then switched to the 8002- the 8002 was far superior in every way, all by itself.
Stick to the 8008x5.
Hi Kincade
To my knowledge the 4004 Doesn't get close to the 8008BB. Re: triggering - You do have to turn them on manually - when they're off - they're off. No stand by. I happen to like that.
I would go with the seperate amps. Two reasons. 1. Much better chanel seperation. Not to mention that you will have MUCH more actual current, available per channel. 2. IF by chance a channel goes bad somehow, you are not completely "out of business". Let me know how things go.

You have to manually turn them on. I had a 4004 markII and an 8008BB (pre-klipsch). I dumped them both and picked up a sherbourn 7/2100 and haven't looked back. Processor is an Anthem AVM20 and speakers have included B&W N805's and N805Sigs, VR4jr's and Soliloquy 5.3i's. Cables are cardas golden cross and sources are Xindak SACD2 and modded Philips 963SA.

Good luck,

Thanks; I wondered if there was a difference between the Acurus and Aragon, and if it was noticeable.


Thanks for the responses; Do you just leave the amps on all the time, or do you turn them on every time you listen?


So you're saying that there is NO difference between the Sherbourne 7/2100 (class A/G), and the Aragon 8008bb? Because if that's true, I can hang on to my brand new Sherbourne and save about $1200, which would go quite a ways towards other equipment. I just read more and more about the switching to class G, and I cant see how it WOULD be in the same league as the 8008. Please elaborate, I'm very interested in your opinion on this.

Your speakers are almost exactly what I will be getting (currently Dahlquist QX10's, but will be going w/ VR4jrs soon); and the pre-pro is an AVM-30. Sources are a Denon 2900 and Jolida JD-100 CDP.
Basically, I have similar setup:

-8008BB for mains.
-8008x3 for the center and 2 surrounds
-4004 markII for rear surrounds
-Vandy speakers through-out

I am very happy with my setup & have no plan to upgrade for a long time. Recently I added an Aragon 8008X3 to my system and I love it, it matches extremely well with the 8008BB. The system seemingly unlimited power, transparency and great dynamics. Also I'm considering an Aragon 8008X3 is one of the best buy (used $1350-1400).

Good luck.
Hi Kincade:

DO NOT leave your Aragon amps on all the time. I don't know if anyone else can attest to the same sort of experience, but I didn't pay much attention when I first had my 8002, so I left it on all the time. Aragon amps tend to be havily biased into class A, and I didn't realize my little 8002 drew 1000watts just sitting there doing nothing. My first $400 electric bill(for ONE month)
stopped me from doing that. Besides, they only need about 10-20 minutes to warm up and sound their best anyways.
By the way, all "Class A" amps switch to class A/B when putting out more than several watts(varies a bit). The reason the 8002 and 8008 pull so much idle current is because they are heavily biased into A, which is very inefficient, but switch to class A/B probably when output exceeds around 10-20 watts. I can explain more if you wish to be bored to tears sometime. Oh, and I have had a
Sherbourne 5/1500 connected to my JM Labs Electra 936 speakers a while back, and it was ok. Haven't heard the one you have, but the one I heard simply couldn't keep up with my 8002, let alone my 8008BB. Frequency extremes were where the Sherbourne seemed a little lacking. Still, if your only going to use it for non-critical listening, it would be good for a hometheater. I'm also a fussy pain-in-the-butt 2-channel snob, so take my advice with a grain of salt. Using the Sherbourne for the surrounds? Probably should stick with it and save some cash. $1200 buys a lot of movies! Whatever you decide, good luck, and ENJOY...

Hi Kincade
Shut them off when your done. no doubt. Saves elec. and saves the amp. seems like you're getting alot of thoughts now. that's always a good thing. best of luck.
Shayner and Oldpet,

Thanks for the power advice! I'd hate to hear the complaints when we got stuck with a $400 power bill, LOL.

Shayner; the 5/1500 was a full class A/B, but the new 7/2100 are A/G; they say they switch to G at higher loads, just like the others, but I don't know at what point... I think it's an OK amp, but I really hate to buy one and 6 months later wish that I had bought the Aragon. 'Course, some people say that the aragons are too bright... Maybe i'd hate both.

To date, i'm not happy with the bass and treble; I want good frequency extension (without being too analytical or bright), and low/tight/and controlled bass.

Keep the opinions coming! I sincerely appreciate all of it to date!

I was not able to do a direct comparison between the Sherbourn and The 8008BB, but I was able to compare the BB to a pair of NHT A1 monos that are basically identical to one channel of the Sherbourn. I'd say that the BB has more authority in the bass. I prefer the top on the Sherbourn. I've always thought that the Acurus stuff was really brittle and I've read here many times that the BB can get hard when pushed hard (top end) which I agree with. The Sherbourn will run out of steam before the BB; it doesn't get bright or clip it just won't go any louder. However, you can bridge two channels of the Sherbourn and compensate.
So, I liked the way the BB grabs a hold of the bass and manhandles it. It's a tough call for me - do I want the better bass with the very slightly forward top end or do I want slightly less bass and a better top end? I guess it comes down to personal preference.

At one time I had the BB doing the mains, the 4004MII on the center, and the NHT's and a SAR labs mos400 doing surrounds. And, I had a pair of palladiums in the system for a short time. It was a nightmare with all the expensive power cords and power conditioners. So, I sold everything (expect the palladiums - on loan from a friend) including most of the PC's, purchased the Sherbourn and put some money in my pocket. What I really like about the Sherbourn is the 12v trigger.

My system is used 80% for two channel music and 20% for movies/HD programming. Right now it sounds oh soooo seductive with the Xindak SACD2 and the Soliloquy 5.3I's. There is a direct correlation between how good my system sounds and the number of books/periodicals I read. For the last few years the coffee table had been devoid of reading material; lately it's been covered.

So, if money was not an issue, I would say use a BB on the mains and let the Sherbourn do the rest of the system. However, I'm quite happy letting the Sherbourn do all the duties.

Hope this helps,

PS - Music taste is pretty much anything but rap and Britney. And, I like my system to sound laid back. Also, I'm not a bass junkie.
So you think the top end is forward? I've always read that the Aragon 8008's are very neutral, but can sound bright with the wrong combination of speakers and equipment.

I've also heard that the 8008 can make bad recordings sound bad; which indicates to me that it is very neutral, and is not adding or taking anything away from the source; which I consider a good trait.

Either way i'm gonna have 2 cords; but the 12v trigger IS nice, as opposed to manually turning it on and off.

I don't understand your comment about the reading material... Perhaps I'm slow today!

My musical taste is very similar; from metal to indie, to country, to singer-songwriter. I HAVE to listen to music often, as it's part of my business. So i'd like it to be as enjoyable as possible.

What I ment by the reading material comment is that the more enjoyable I find the sound of my system, the more I look for excuses to hang out in the A/V room. So, I've moved my reading activities from the bathroom, bedroom, living room and kitchen to the A/V room. Also, I've found myself reading more novels and watching less TV.

I'm not saying the top end on the BB is bad. I'm refering to a little grain thats all; just being hyper-critical. Like I said in the previous post, if money was not an issue, I would go with the BB. Hell, I would go with a stack of BB's. The BB has about the same size toroidial transfers(2 1KV) as all 7 channels of the Sherbourn (7 300V) so it should have better control of the speaker. Also, the BB retails for about the same as the Sherbourn so again, it should sound better. The Sherbourn gives you about 95-96% of what the BB gives you; a trade off I can live with given the $$ difference and space/conviencne issue.

As far as the Sherbourn not playing as loud, I realized that the speakers I'm using now are about 2-3db less efficient.

Hope this helps,
I have a pair of 8008BBs and a pair of 4004s that power my 7.0 HT. (No subwoofer...yet)

This required running four 10-gauge power wires from four new circuit breakers into four new duplex outlets (the $3.00 kind, not the $50.00 kind.) Since I have plenty of open sockets in my breaker panel, easy access to the wall of the media room to string the power and install the outlets, and I did it myself WITHOUT killing me, small children, or setting the house on fire, this cost about $70 and a few hours.

The 8008BBs run significantly warmer than the 4004s. In 15 minutes, they are up to temp (I have a thermometer on one of them, was concerned about overheating--turned out that 105-120 degrees F is perfectly normal for them. My understanding (and I could be wrong) is that an 8008BB is class A up to 25(!!!) watts, and A/B after that. The 4004 is class A up to 15 or so watts. Krell may be Class A for total rated power (Which is why they are all heat sink, and a couple hundred pounds), but most amps are out of class A after a couple of watts.

The saner solution is to buy the 8008X5 that is currently listed on A-gon. Doesn't use much more current than one 8008BB/ST, but split among the 5 channels that probably won't be too demanding anyway. A good compromise.

Aaaah, i see; I didn't understand it reading the first time! ;-)

You think the amps are that close? If the sherbourn is 95% of the Aragon, it's a better deal than I thought it was!

Camino, thanks for the reply! You brought up something I hadn't thought about! Power.

Will the 8008bb and 8008x5 combo use more power than the 7/2100? Or would it be equivalent? It's 7 channels either way, but I'm not sure how the transformers play into it.
My mistake - The Sherbourn 7/2100A actually has 7 400 VA toroidal transformers.
So, If i'm reading it right; using a 8008bb + an 8008x3 or x5 will use more AC current than just the sherbourn 7/2100?

Thanks again.
Yes, the Aragon combo will draw more current.

Well, I decided to buy one of both; I got an 8008bb, and i've got the sherbourn sitting here waiting to be installed. I'll post my impressions later, when I've had time to listen to both.

Thanks for all the advice!

I wish I had seen this post sooner. I have an 8008BB running my mains with an 8008x5 for the rest of the system. All channels match perfectly - assuming well matched speakers.

I also have an Acurus A200x3 that I used to use for the center and rear surrounds, along with the 8008BB. The Acurus amp matches very closely to the 8008's, except that it has a slight grain to its sound, and its gain is slightly different. For all practical purposes though, they match very closely. If given a choice, I would choose the 8008x5 because it does match seamlessly.

The 8008's are extremely clean, neutral sounding amps, and they run class A up to 26W. I used to hear a slight edge to the sound, but after adding effective power conditioning it is virtually gone. What very little is still detectable I attribute to other sources in my system that still need to be upgraded. After all, it's difficult for an amp with a bandwidth in excess of 500kHz to not be clean in the audio range. There may still be issues with IM, but based upon extensive listening they must be very small.

All-in-all, I love these amps and have no plans to replace them in the forseeable future. And yes, I do shut them off when I'm not using them. :o)

thanks for the response! I was very curious how the Acurus matched up with the Aragon; I don't think the grain would be that noticeable in the rear surrounds, as they carry so little information...

How much heat do the 2 generate for you? Do you have them on a single 15A circuit?

Thanks again!

I agree - I don't think you will notice anything by using an Acurus amp for the rear surrounds - the difference is fairly subtle.

As far as heat is concerned, the 8008's and the Acurus are only warm to the touch after several hours of use driving 4 ohm Magnepan speakers, assuming they are given sufficient space for cooling - just follow the manufacturer's recommendations.

When I ran them together, they were on a single 15A circuit with no problems.

I hope this helps. :o)