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Question about 5 Channel HT Amps and processors...


Audible Nectar

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I'm looking at upgrading to 5 Channels of separate amplification in my system, in one of two configurations. One way would be to use my existing Harman/Kardon AVR 75 as a preamp, the other thought was to replace the preamp entirely, to get the most sound quality out of the upgrade.

I am curious if it is a problem using an amp that is five channels in one chassis in a system that only uses two of those channels full time (movies/surround features will only be used 25% to 35% of the time, for movies and other surround encoded material - but not for music only). It is more cost effective to buy five channels in one chassis, instead of buying a 3 and a 2 channel separately. I'm considering the Acurus A200X5 and the Outlaw 750 (both available for $1100). Any thoughts?

The choice of preamp/processor is more mind boggling. I need a unit for 5.1 Dolby Digital playback of DVD's, and occasional VHS and Broadcast TV playback. Otherwise, I want a clean, musical unit that plays music well in two channels. I don't envision going to additional surround channels over the five - two Cornwalls and three Heresys will take up enough room as it is. I'm looking at an Acurus ACT3 ABM (seems to be a great sounding unit, albeit somewhat limited in surround features) and the Harman/Kardon Signature 2.0. Both are available for $800 (closeouts on both). A third option is to wait for the new Outlaw to be released ($899).

Looking for a little direction here - Any advice/thoughts? Thanks in advance....

As you can see, my recent aquisition of my Cornwall II's has given me the upgrade bug

cwm27.gif

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hey dnd, what are u looking for that u don't already have w/ your avr75? DTS? more features? more power? all of the above?

u could look at getting just a 2 channel amp like an acurus A200X2 for more power for your predominant stereo cornwall listening. i mean u already have everything u mentioned w/ the avr75 no? u just want something new?

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This message has been edited by boa12 on 12-04-2001 at 03:16 AM

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quote:

Originally posted by boa12:

hey dnd, what are u looking for that u don't already have w/ your avr75? DTS? more features? more power? all of the above?


1) More power is the first consideration. I want lots in reserve, for all five channels. It seems the surround channel amps are never really enough in a/v receivers. Extra power is always good cwm17.gif

2) Once the power upgrade is finished, I'll be in a better position to evaluate the H/K as a pre/pro. The H/K does use the older surround processor chips (not the Crystal chips) and I will be curious how the H/K performs as a pre/pro. This can wait, and likely will, but I thought I would get some opinions on pre/pros while I am inquiring about amps, especially with the attractive closeout deals, and the impending release of the Outlaw. I will say, however, that I do want a first rate cinema performance (to the extent that the budget will allow), even though surround will only be used about a third of the time.

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From my cursory review, it seems that it is more cost effective to have all 5 channels of amplification in a single chassis (A200x5) versus two chassis (how do you spell the plural of chassis?) like a A200x3 and an A200. Savings comes from a single box, single power supply, etc... Also, do you have the rack real estate to have 2 amp boxes?

That said, I have a A200x3 for the front array, and when I get more space and upgrade the rears to full-range speakers (using SS-1s now), I'll add another amp for the rear. Gives some budget flexibility that way...

Doug

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dnd, taking the amps u mentioned kinda imply your budget, any of those are nice value units imo. & your course of action seems to make great sense.

i agree w/ doug that 5 channel amp is best way to go. marginal cost/benefit is usually much lower that way & hey only 1 power cord.

u may want to home demo some amps w/ your HK as a preamp 1st. your HK is a nice high current amp & the corns/heresys don't need much. it may not make as marked a dif w/ say a 200W amp as it seems. might want to try a B&K. they make great real high current amps for the $, though more expen than those u mentioned.

i went the route from marantz receiver to amp to pre/pro. it wasn't a striking dif w/ the acurus amp replacing the marantz receiver - 200W vs 105W. some though. the biggest dif in sound quality came for me when I added the B&K pre/pro.

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