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2-Channel AMP (Benefit) Question


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Please forgive me if this is redundant, but I do not remember a past thread that addressed this. I'm a 90% 2-channel music listener with a tinge for HT. Being that 2-channel is my concern, are there in musical benefits to using a 2-channel power amp solely for the fronts and a second 3-channel amp for the center and surrounds? Also, if I go with one 5-channel amp and I'm listening to 2-channel music, will there be any degradation to the music considering I'm only using two of the five channels?

A friend is considering selling me his older Yamaha MX-800 2-channel power amplifier. The reviews on it are really good considering its production date. I do not want to pass up on the opportunity to put those 200 watts per channel on my KLF 30s to see how they sound.

I just want to know the advantages and disadvantages of either alternative.



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My opinion is that a dedicated two channel power amp will sound better for two channel than using just two channels from a 5 channel amp.

Haven't you noticed how most two channel amps and 5 channel amps weigh practically the same? I used to look at the 'watts' spec. I now look at the 'amperage' spec.

There are exceptions to the rule however. B&K and Bryston come to mind.

You may be able to do better than the Yahmaha depending on what your friend is considering selling it for. Make sure to compare to what you might find on AudiogoN.



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Thanks Deang

This will be my first venture into the amp world, so I want to wade in the water versus plunging from the diving board. With the reviews of the amp and a <$200 price tag, if he sells it, I'll get it.

What is so different about the two other amps that you mentioned?

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First of all, most five channel amps try to do TOO much from one power supply. deang is right here in that 95% of the time, a quality dedicated two channel amp will beat out some piece made for surround sound. Indeed, I have hardly ever heard a surround sound amp I would even remotely consider for dedicated music listening. Obviously, there are some better 5 channel selections out there in the solid state realm, but most are quite expensive and even then, dont compare to a well designed two channel or monoblock approach.

Using wattage to judge amp quality is really the path down the wrong road, especially if in the high efficiency Klipsch category where quality beats watt hands down. Another problem is the more watts with the cheaper amp brings more harshness and a generally more coarse and unrefined sound.



Phono Linn LP-12 Vahalla / Linn Basic Plus / Sumiko Blue Point

CD Player Rega Planet

Preamp Cary Audio SLP-70 w/Phono Modified

Amplifier Welborne Labs 2A3 Moondog Monoblocks

Cable DIYCable Superlative / Twisted Cross Connect

Speaker 1977 Klipsch Cornwall I w/Alnico & Type B Crossover

system one online / alternate components / Asylum Listing f>s>

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For $200 buy your friends Yahmaha and be happy. Going with other offerings is pretty expensive.

Since you got the KLF-30's you really owe it to yourself to try tubes also. Check out the thread on the ASL Wave Monoblocks. You can also get these for $200. They won't shake the rafters and make your ears ring - but they will make you like your music better.

Just think - you can do both for $400 and have your cake and eat it too.



This message has been edited by deang on 03-02-2002 at 07:33 PM

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Have to agree with the previous comments about 2-channel amps being the way to go for music listening...

and Klipsch speakers (especially the older and hornier ones) seem to love good amps... my McCormack is solid state, but has been referred to as one of the next best things to tubes in sound quality.

I owned a 120 watt Carver ($450 retail) for years... fairly solid, neutral amp, but not much punch... the upgrade to the McCormack ($2400 retail, but I sure as hell didn't pay that for it) was a revelation... I have bought more music in the last year than I did for the previous two.

Any time my wife gets weary of the expense of some of this equipment, I remind her of the store in which the restaurant I work is located... the largest sporting goods store in the country, accenting fishing boats... some of those babies go for in excess of 20 grand; the equipment can run into the hundreds and thousands, as well... "See what I could be into instead of audio, honey?"


Klipsch Fortes, Oiled Oak

Klipsch KLF-C7 Center Channel

McCormack DNA-1 Power Amp

McCormack TLC Pre-Amp

Sony 5-disc changer

NHT SA3 Subwoofer Amp

Hsu TN1220 Subwoofer

Old Akai cassette Deck

Akai AAR22 used as tuner

Nordost Solar Wind interconnects

Kimber 4TC Speaker Cable

(Future upgrades to include):

Klipsch RS-3 Surrounds

Outlaw 1050 AV Receiver

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Read alot of threads concerning sep amp for front. My question is (I have a 25 year old Kenwood Power Amp) when you hook one of these up do you run volumns etc. from the surround amp. I would hate to have to keep getting up and adjusting controls because there were no remote jobbers back then. In general how does this work?

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