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luddite

McIntosh monoblocks for Belles?

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First time starting a new thread, from a relative newbie.  I have 2 McIntosh 2125 amps running 2 systems.  I am considering upgrading to a set of Belles as my primary 2 channel speakers.  The amps have a stereo/mono switch.  Is there any advantage in setting up the 2125 amps as monoblocks, and using one amp to drive one Belle?  The MC2125's are SS, rated at 120w stereo and 240w mono.  I know the speakers are quite efficient, but is a monoblock MC2125 powering a Belle overkill, dangerous, or just stupid?  

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Not stupid, maybe dangerous, however not needed.  I don't know what you would gain, but I do know for a fact that 100 watts of MC power is more than enough.

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Personally I think mono blocks sound better than stereo amps. If nothing else, try it out and see what you think. It really should not take too long to set up and I am sure any differences will show themselves over a day or so of listening.

 

 

Tim

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I am thinking of switching my amps to mono. Right now I am driving two amps in stereo 200 watts to mid range/tweeters and the other amp 300 watts to the bass speakers. Since I am already using 500 watts per channel the switch to 500 watts mono is not much different. You probably never will over drive speakers with too much power but if your amp doesn't have the power the signal can clip damaging amp and speakers. If I had two Macs I'd use the mono capabilities and your maximum volume rises just a tad. The difference in sound @ 1 watt and 100 watts is 3 decibels? I believe you will never challenge your speakers by listening that loud. What I didn't relate is that I never go over half way up on my volume knob, most listening is done at a quarter turn on the volume. Use your amps set to mono because you will never overdrive your speakers but at lower volume you should hear greater detail higher highs lower lows with the ability to use equalization to lift the music where needed?

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500 Watts on Klipsch Belle or any klipsch heritage speaker good grief... I currently have a 20 watt vintage amp that my wife says is too loud on my Belle's. Heck if you ask me not a single Klipsch speaker ever made would come even close to using a 3rd of that power. McIntosh probably still sounds great but way overkill!   

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I used to have one 252 powering  Jubs. Then I got a second and used them as mono blocks. I did notice a difference in sound quality. With a large band each instrument had its own space.

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I'm using an MC252 with a pair of Cornscala II's - Style A (almost) and I've dreamed of getting a pair of MC501 monos. But I will have to say, the last time I had a friend over to listen....Norah Jones was IN the room.

Edited by Mighty Favog
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I'm using an MC252 with a pair of Cornscala II's - Style A (almost) and I've dreamed of getting a pair of MC501 monos. But I will have to say, the last time I had a friend over to listen....Norah Jones was IN the room.

She can make any room look better :D

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In my opinion, based on experience, you certainly don't need to put that much wattage through 103dB Belles. I'd go with just a single amp.

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If it makes you feel any better, I once had La scala II's mated with McIntosh MC 1201 monoblocks.  1200 watts per channel. 

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I am running about 5 to 10 Watts of Class D power into my LaScalas and they get louder than I can stand. I dont think you need anywhere near that much power.

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Totally gorgeous, JW!

 

I'd be worried about accidentally pulling out an interconnect plug and sending an ungrounded impulse to one of those amps and blowing out a driver or two.  So, be careful!

 

My other concern would be too much preamp noise magnification by the huge gain in those amps at max output.  I assume you have level controls on them, so a happy medium between best sound (level controls have sweet spots) and acceptable hiss from your Belles might be in order, for me anyway -- 

Edited by LarryC
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You can power them with 500 watt mono or 1200 watts, that is not what you are using for normal or even loud listening.  The majority of that extra power is just sitting there unused.  Once you have enough power, the extra reserve power does not increase imaging or channel separation.  I love the look of MC and if you already have them, use them but, don't be fooled by the excess power.  I use 200 watt SS amps to drive the mains but, I know for sure they aren't getting 200 watts.  The other qualities of the amp can help with detail and imaging, separation, ect.

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It's similar to owning a 600 hp Ferrari, you'll probably never need all 600 ponies, but it's nice to know they're there :D

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Extra power is never a bad thing.

 

If i had 2 good matching amplifiers you could bet your *** there would be one amp used per channel.

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I'd be worried about accidentally pulling out an interconnect plug and sending an ungrounded impulse to one of those amps and blowing out a driver or two.

 

There would be nothing left but a crater.

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The biggest advantage of mono amps over most stereo amps is elimination of the crosstalk which occurs when the 2 channels share a common power supply rail.  Reducing, or eliminating, the crosstalk allows for a larger and deeper sound stage in many systems.  Belles sure don't need much power to blow you out of the room, so that's probably the least important consideration.

Maynard

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