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Good neutral sound external amp for HT?


jimmix93
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Hi guys, thinking to add an external amp to my HT system, driven by Denon X3400H, RP-280F (which I'm going to use them on the external amp). I just need a good stereo amp, by doing some researched I'm liking the Emotiva XPA amp, but then searching again on the net about this product I found someone saying that Emotiva is very bright, is this true? If so, could you please suggest me a good netrual amp? No need for tons of watts. Budget is around 1K.

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Easy.

 

Anthem, Acurus, ATI, Outlaw Audio

Even NAD which IMO is slightly on the warm side of neutral.

 

At a budget of $1000.00, plenty of quality ones on the used market.

 

This NAD is a good deal.

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis96112-nad-c-275-bee-solid-state

 

Very fine ATI 3-channel hear but a tad over your budget.

29 minutes ago, Ceptorman said:

 

I have owned 2 of these Acurus.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/AUDIOPHILE-ACURUS-A250-POWER-AMPLIFIER-TIGHT-BASS-LIQUID-MIDS-SWEET-TREBLE/232940976421?hash=item363c5d3925:rk:1:pf:0

 

Excellent Anthem here.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Anthem-MCA-20-2-Channel-Amplifier-225-per-channel/223181601629?hash=item33f6a8fb5d:g:tH4AAOSwZl1bu--7:rk:4:pf:0

 

Another Anthem but not a beefy as the MCA-20.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Anthem-PVA-2-Two-Channel-Power-Amplifier/183443420172?hash=item2ab614740c:g:Q4YAAOSw3YpbpOzf:rk:7:pf:0

 

Bill

 

 

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5 minutes ago, jimmix93 said:

Hi guys, thinking to add an external amp to my HT system, driven by Denon X3400H, RP-280F (which I'm going to use them on the external amp). I just need a good stereo amp, by doing some researched I'm liking the Emotiva XPA amp, but then searching again on the net about this product I found someone saying that Emotiva is very bright, is this true? If so, could you please suggest me a good netrual amp? No need for tons of watts. Budget is around 1K.

 

I think you are wise to be careful.  Klipsch speakers, as good as they are, have the rep of being bright, although this can usually be remedied by changing the balance by turning up the bass a bit, either with the gain control on the subwoofer (if you play at high volume, keep the AVR sub trim low -- below -3 or -5, to avoid clipping the line driver in the AVR) or a bass tone control, or both.  

 

It sounds like you are going to use a "stereo" power amp, i.e., 2 channels, to drive your Left Front and Right Front only.  Is that correct? 

There are 3, 5, 9, etc. channel power amps out there, but the more channels per dollar, the worse they may be.  

 

I have found NAD power amps to be neutral sounding, but the most recent one I have heard is from 2006.  It is the C272 Stereo (2 channel) power amp.  I have two of them; they seem to sound nearly identical.  One is used for my Left and Right Front channels, and the other powers my Center and one of the Surrounds.  See my signature, below, for the configuration.  They are 150 watts per channel, which is plenty for my Klipschorns and Belle center.  The remaining NAD channel does well on one Heresy II surround, better -- more neutral (!) and a wee bit less distorted -- than the Yamaha on the other surround.

 

Another neutral sounding amp brand I have had is Luxman, which seems a little on the warm side, and beautiful  -- but Luxman is pretty expensive.

 

I used to have some tube amps -- Dynaco and McIntosh -- which measured worse and sounded better.

 

Other tube amps I have had were not so good:  Eico, Heathkit, and Arkay.

 

Although I like the current solid state Marantz, and their tube ancestors made in the '50s and '60s by Saul Marantz are still some of the best amplifiers ever made, an interim Marantz of about 1977 was not good, and an 80 watt per channel solid state Marantz power amp of about 1972 was steely bright and harsh.

 

An old acquaintance 🎵 of mine is John Curl, who designs Parasound amplifiers.  I can say he is a brilliant guy, and the amps have a great rep, but I've never heard one.

 

In general, you can't go by brand.  Some good "brick and mortar" audio stores will let you take an amp home and try it on your speakers, in your room, for a few days.  Our local store would loan equipment from Saturday night to Monday morning.  Some stores might require a deposit or a contract, in case you drop it, short it out, or your house is burglarized.  My old insurance guy could arrange to have loaned equipment covered by our house replacement value insurance for a few days, for a few dollars.  The new guy said, "Surely you jest!"

 

 

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i run a McIntosh MC-752 in my two channel system, driving my Forte III's.  i find it to be a very clean, detailed, and neutral sounding amp.  no autoformers. 

 

there are two MC-754's up on that popular auction site currently.  essentially the same amp, but 2x100w and can be run as a monoblock.  these amps don't have blue meters, so they seem to not be in a lot of demand, but they each have great specs.

 

http://www.berners.ch/McIntosh/Downloads/MC752_dat.pdf

http://www.berners.ch/McIntosh/Downloads/MC754_dat.pdf

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On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 5:22 PM, jimmix93 said:

Hi guys, thinking to add an external amp to my HT system, driven by Denon X3400H, RP-280F (which I'm going to use them on the external amp). I just need a good stereo amp, by doing some researched I'm liking the Emotiva XPA amp, but then searching again on the net about this product I found someone saying that Emotiva is very bright, is this true? If so, could you please suggest me a good netrual amp? No need for tons of watts. Budget is around 1K.

I'm using an Emotiva XPA-2Gen 3 with my LaScala ll's and don't find it bright at all , in fact I usually up the treble a bit

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