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Two channel vs. Multichannel

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O.K., so this is gonna open up a can of Pandora's worms but.... What experience have you had in quality (sound) of a two-channel amp compared to a multi-channel. I am contemplating getting a multi channel amp to use for possibly expanding in the HT realm alot later on. But would I sacrifice sound quality in using a multi-channel amp (only two channels being used) versus a two-channel amp of similar quality? Would a good quality multi-channel amp have to have independent power supplies for each channel to have equal quality sound out put as a two-channel?

Food for thought..



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My 2 and 3-channel Parasound amps sound the same. I've noticed that some multi-channel amps don't put out rated power with all channels driven, indicating low capacity power supplies. It sounds like you want mono-blocks so you can add channels as you use them.


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The Parasound mono-blocks were a consideration. I did some reading on Audio Advisor and the opinions there was that build quality was really in the dumper. Seemed odd of a product coming from Parasound. Now those Carver Silver 9t Mono-Blocks on e-bay seem juicy but way more than I had in mind, would be fun though.

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Tom, I would look into a line like Adcom with a three or two channel amp so you can add a seperate amp later when you make the jump into HT. Think about this: a two channel now then add another two channel and a three channel, or a five channel down the road for a 7.1 surround system. You could go the three channel now and then add another three channel later for 6.1 HT. The possibilities are endless. I think you are better off going with the two chennel and then matching the rest later, just make sure the manufacturer makes models that match for later purchases. And definitely stick with amps that have seperate power supplies if you decide to go more than two channel.

Just my two cents worth.


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I like the older adcom stuff myself. Great bass,wide soundstage,some decent depth,alot of power and highly durable. Just my 2 cents

Good Luck!!!!!

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A lot of people here have favorite manufacturers. I don't take issue with that.

My thought is that an HT receiver would be a good investment for you. Then you're ready for the addition of a few more speakers.

I'm a big fan of center channel. It really is a big improvement for not a lot of money toward one additional speaker. But do consider that you'll want to make sure you can match speakers, so keep on eye on availablity.

I'd like to point out that Klipsch speakers are efficient. I have not seen people voicing complaints regarding lack of power from amps, even the HT's. So the virtures of monoblocks, big power supplies, etc., might be overstated in this application.

On the other hand, there have been ongoing complaints with low level noise from the HT receivers. I.e. hiss from the amp. It seems this comes from the digital processing circuits. It is not a power supply issue.

Therefore, in making a choice, do try to audition HT electronics for noise levels. That is more likely to be the bigger problem.

All things considered, my personal belief is that midrange HT receivers are a good value for the $100 or $200 over a two channel little brother. Naturally, you can throw all sorts of money at high end amps. But the money is better spent on speakers as long as you find an amp with low noise.



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mdeneen,my opinion exactly, except for the fact that I do not believe that the cost IS THAT prohibitive.If a person spends his money

wisely on high quality components and divides

that cost over the years of use, then the TOTAL cost becomes more affordable.Most high quality audio components will last for many years and are repairable, rather than disposible,and a person will enjoy better sound over the life of these components.I believe my current reciever has given me the many years of use that I have enjoyed simply because I use it basically as a preamp, with a separate power amplifier.Lay your hand on top of the current $1K-$3K five to seven channel recievers available now and guess how long they will last cooking on your

component rack.My intention is to buy a high quality receiver simply for the processing and a separate multi-channel amp for power.

Another thing,years ago I bought a boat and began fishing.At one time I figured the cost for the fish that I had for dinner,allowing for equipment and expenses,to be around $22.87 a pound.Now that I no longer fish for a hobby I figure that I am actually saving money because high quality sound only costs me about $14.12 a dB (my wife took the bait by the way).The only problem is that after I have an enjoyable music session I am still hungry.You OLD two channel dudes need ta get with it! biggrin.gif


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Keith, I'm in your camp ... I bought a Denon AVR-4800 which has ALL the processing a human being could want ... (it's taken me two months just to read the 70 page manual and understand its design logic) ... but I'm driving the fronts with a McIntosh MC-2105 off one of the Denon pre-outs. The Mc runs at just about room temperature, even when the music is loud (the efficient Cornwalls help smile.gif), so I think the whole rig should last for years (or until my 18 month old son destroys it).

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I use an Acurus ACT-3. Parasound has one, so does Proceed and Aragon. I THINK Marantz makes one. It looks like Denon, Sony and Sunfire makes them, from a quick web search. I have listened to the Proceed and ACT-3 both do a very good job with both music and HT.


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