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hi everyone..i was considering buying a new 2 ch stereo amp to drive my front speakers only in my surround system...can anyone tell me what your opinion is of the best sounding stereo amp to buy without spending much over $1000? right now i am using an adcom amp but would like to maybe upgrade it if there is a warmer sounding more powerful amp out there for reasonable money....i am using an adcom 545 model amp right now with my klipsch rf-3 speakers only....looking for something with maybe a lil more power but most importantly a sweeter warmer sound if possible...thankyou!!


my equipment:

klipsch rf-3 (main)

klipsch center ch speaker

boston acoustics (rear)

mirage ss-1500 subwoofer

yamaha 795 receiver driving center and rears

adcom 545 amp driving rf-3s

mirage subwoofer 1500 watts!

sony 650 dvd/cd player

sony minidisc/cd player combo

panasonic hifi vcr

waiting to see what new reference line will sound like in 2001!!

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There is, of course, no best amplifier. I doubt you need more power, either.

To get the sweeter, warmer sound you want look at MOSFET amps. The Parasound HCA-1500A is rated at 205 watts x 2. B&K Components makes all of their amps with MOSFETS; the ST2140 is 140w x 2 and MAY slide under $1000. B&K' ST60 is a 60 wpc stereo MOSFET amp that will be plenty of power for your RF-3s. Mondial Designs makes several good amps and some are tube/SS hybrids, you'll have to inquire about prices.

What I need is a good 20 watt Class A HT amp!


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don't overlook Rotel. I think they mate very well with Klipsch and certainly within your price range. To tell you the truth, Adcom make some fine stuff, so I kind of question why you are in a hurry to upgrade. A good HT preamp (DACs, etc) can make quite an impression.

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The new Adcoms are using MOSFETS too, and they are well within your price range even for the 250 watt/channel model.


Home Theater System:

Klipsch Quartets - mains for both systems

Klipsch KV3 - center

Klipsch KG.5's - rear surrounds

Klipsch KSW12 subwoofer

Denon AVR-1601

Music System:

Adcom GFA-555 Musical Concepts Modified

NAD 1600 Pre/Tuner

Sony C-67ES CD Player

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Sorry to say this, especially after I sunk plenty of $$ into a Denon AVR-1801 just five months ago, but the best transistor amp is one that can be securely wrapped with rope, and tossed overboard to keep the boat steady while fishing. You see, I just bought a Dynaco ST-70 off ebay for less than $400, and it flat sucks the headlights out of any SS amp ever made, and I haven't even begun to tweak and modify the amp, which I plan to do piecemeal this summer! I've been told that I will see an unbelievable improvement in the sound, which blows my mind, since this is considered "primitive" technology compared to all the bells and whistles they can jam into receiver boxes these days.

Don't get me wrong; SS amplifiers certainly have their place, just as the microwave oven has its place in the modern kitchen. It's all a matter of "taste." Microwaves are simple and fast, but have you ever tried to cook a steak in a microwave? After one hears a superior quality recording through a tube amplifier, it's very hard to go back to the Solid State, ESPECIALLY with Klipsch or any other high-efficiency horn speaker. My Denon is still used for HT and on the rare occasions when I listen to the radio. Yes, tube amps are high maintenance, but most of the time I'd rather dirty a few extra dishes and get a tasty meal, than choke down a microwaveable TV dinner so that my only cleanup is tossing the plastic container in the trash.

Sorry, just my two cents.

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  • 2 weeks later...

thank you all for your ideas and help!! i bought a parasound hca1500 205 wpc amp to drive my two front speakers which are klipsch rf3 speakers....this is a mammoth amp for the money and the build is absolutely solid!! super clean with plenty of high current available and the class A circuitry in the front end of the amp and mosfet output stage makes for a truly warm natural sounding experience...probably very very close to a great tube amp...thanks again..

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  • 10 years later...

Well the HCA1500 is a wonderful sounding amplifier but it is not a MOSFET power amplifier, the front-end is JFET and the driver stage is MOSFET but the output stage is BIPOLAR not MOSFET one other small matter with the 1500A is a bit slack in the HCC ability in other words if you drop below 4 ohms its good night. The HAFLER P230 is much more stable below 4 ohms and it has a much smoother and true tube like sound, the PARASOUND as they use just a wee bit to much negative feedback to achieve the bandwidth and damping factor they wanted but sacrificed some tonality to get the published specifications desired. The 1500A is a wonderful amplifier and not to be downplayed but the P230 is much more tube like and truly natural sounding and is 2 ohm stable but its 8 ohm rating does fall short of the PARASOUND but they are bridgeable at about 400 per channel into 8 ohms but you may need a fan too cool them down.

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It's so rewarding to see our Forum members assisting each other! Warms my heart!!! Left HugRight Hug

That's a gas bubble.

Oh, and by the way, back when this thread was written, people were still using microwave ovens! Now that replicators are under $100, I doubt the old nuke ovens would be good for much more than an end table.

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