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How important are identical amps on each channel?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by buns, Sep 18, 2002.

  1. buns

    buns
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    I know that the use of identical speakers is recommended, how about the use of amps? Is it worth having each channel the same speaker and the same type of amp? How much difference will it make? I presume it would be most benefitial with the front 3...... How about the rears? Would I be able to tell that the amp on the rears is the same as that driving the fronts or should i just stick to lower grade amplification?

    Basically, I have my hifi. Should I try and use the same power amps for the surround channels, or is this a bit over the top and i should use lesser amps?

    Thanks

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  2. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Where possible I would rekon to use the same amplification, but you may compromise on the rears if you have restrictions (in term of cost, space or whatever).
    That said there are dedicated units for add-on solutions like the Yamaha DSP-E800 or any AV amp/receiver with front pre-outs will do.

    Also Denon's older AVC-10SE may be suitable if you want to go 7.1 - it has only 5 amplifications stages but instead using the pre-outs of the surround backs you can re-route the front channel amplification to there and then use the front-pre outs with an external power or hifi amp for improved stereo performance.
     
  3. buns

    buns
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    Thanks Reiner,

    I am bit part upgrading, the processing is being done by a somwhat lower grade piece of kit.

    Perhaps and example would be good. If i was biamping my main stereo pair with tag 100p's. What should i do (in ideal terms) for the surrounds (which are all identical to the main pair)? Do I want to biamp all of them with 100p's? do i want to biamp the center and single wire the rears? do i want to single wire center and rears with 100p's? or do i just use a cheaper mutli channel Rotel because i wouldnt notice the differece?

    If the constraint of money were introduced, i presume my key aim would be to keek the front treo the same and do the rears later?

    thanks

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  4. buns

    buns
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    My posts never seem to get much notice! :p

    so is the lack of answer to suggest that surround channels should be driven by cheapy amps because it doesnt matter!?

    come on! someone help me before i spend my cash needlessly! :D

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  5. MikeK

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    But spending it is always nice.


    Personally I'd stick to similar amplification for the front 3 channels (assuming similar speakers as well that is) - don't think I'd be too bothered about the rears though, as long as the amp(s) were capable enough!

    It's very easy to get carried away (been there - done it :) ) with all this. You have some cash just aching to be spent :) :D


    All I can say is to just make sure that whatever you buy is actually a real improvement, and not just different, shiny and new!
     
  6. Lowrider

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    As long as the powers can handle the speakers, I don´t think it will make much difference if they are not the same for the surround speakers, not only they work a lot less, are, usually positioned worst, (close to wall, for instance), but powers don´t influence timbre much...

    Even for the center speakers, if it is not the same as the fronts, (also worst position, on the TV), it wont make that much difference, as long as it has enough clean power to drive it, the center gets a lot more info than the surrounds...
     
  7. buns

    buns
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    Thanks Guys!

    The spnding is undeniably nice, i do so love new boxes!

    My front 3 are identical (except for finish im afraid), and all on the same stands, same cables, from what i gather, same amplification isnt a bad idea. Then i will forget the rears and power them with a lesser power amp.

    My next task is going to be working out whether this is sonically correct! Im having me a mini supertest! kinda!

    3 power amps, 3 identical front speakers, 2 lower grade dipoles and a lesser power amps. Question will be, do i get superior sound biamping the front 3 and using the crappy amp for the rears, or do i get more from single amping everything....... anyone got predictions?

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  8. MikeK

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    Nobody can say!, not for sure anyway!


    Pre-power amp combos aren't always better, though they may be!

    IMO, It really depends on what you have now, what you feel is lacking, and how much you are willing to spend.


    There are many people who have spent good money, only to find that what they have upgraded to, isn't, in reality, any better than what they already had.
     
  9. buns

    buns
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    Im willing to bet that £2000 of power amp will mince meat the yamaha integrated for powering my center!

    That sounds like im judging on price doesnt it! It isnt meant that way because i know price means little.

    I certainly am of the opinion that pre powers will better an integrated of the same price. But then, as with all things, some people have different priorities!

    I will hopefully have this scary array up and belting in about 10 days. I will get back with info when i get it going!

    Thanks

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  10. Lowrider

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    I will always take a better cable over bi-wiring and a better power over bi-amping, see the reprint I posted with some reasons...

    Even a Rotel was a big improvement over a reasonable receiver, a friend has the top Denon, but uses Rotel powers all around...
     
  11. GaryG

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    I used to have Audiolab 8000MX monobloc amps, these were Audiolab's finest amps which Tag re-badged with some improvements when they bought Audiolab. My experience with bi-amping them was that the difference in sound quality didn't justify the extra cost of the additional amps. If you have enough amps lying around to bi-amp then it's a worthwhile improvement over just the single amp however, if you are thinking of going out and buying additional amps to do the bi-amping then you would be better off replacing your existing amps with more upmarket kit.
     
  12. buns

    buns
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    Well, they ar ordered now so i will soon have my own opinion.

    I will either end up with biamped front 3, or the whole lots will be single wired with the same amps.

    thanks

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  13. Couch Potato

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    Ad,

    Did I read this right? You're buying TAG 100P's? Welcome to the TAG club!!

    Steve
     
  14. buns

    buns
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    No!! I posed that hypothetically because i dont want to disclose exactly what i have bought! They are well above the Tag's! ;)

    I'll tell you all about it when it is all sorted!

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  15. GaryG

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    Korato Anniversary per chance?
     
  16. buns

    buns
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    Afraid not, cant afford it!

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  17. garmtz

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    A bit late, but anyhow... I have a 7-channel setup with one Parasound 5-ch and a Parasound 2-ch amp. When I shifted my 2-ch amp to drive my rears, instead of my sides, I noticed a very worthwhile improvement in the seamlessness of the soundstage from fronts to sides. This was very surprising to me, as both amps are from the same manufacturer and use very similar designs.

    Lately, I have been reviewing some 7-channel amps (like to Lexicon LX-7, Arcam P7 and Integra RDA-7) and every time I hear an improvement in homogenity of the soundstage compared with my 2 separate 2-ch and 5-ch amps.

    In short: YES, it does make a significant difference! And don't be tempted to use "lesser" amplifiers on the surround channels, because integration between fronts and surrounds will suffer more than you might think.
     
  18. buns

    buns
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    Glad to hear that! At least one person who agrees definitely with my theory! :D I always thought separate amps would be better than a 5 channel or 7, but many on here dont necessarily agree!

    Seeing as you do agree..... What would you think, do i biamp the front 3 and then use something less for the rears, or do i single wire the lot?

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  19. garmtz

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    Single- or bi-wire the lot! This will give you much more value for money than bi-amping and if all channels are fed by the same amplfiers, greatly improved integration between the speakers.

    It will also save you money and rack-space.

    A small note: I am not really saying that 5- or 7-channel amp are better than several stereo or mono amps, I am merely stating all amplifier channels should be the same, regardless of how many channels are used in the amplifier. The same goes of course with the speakers: try to match them as closely as possible.
     
  20. buns

    buns
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    Did I see that funny 'bi' wire thing! Wont be doing that! :p I suspect you are right about single amping all speakers, but i will find out soon enough!

    thanks

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  21. buns

    buns
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    excitement!!!!!!!!!

    I have a stack of half a cubic meter of power amps in my room as i type...... :D it is massive even beside my storm sub!

    cant wait to get testing at the weekend!

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