Question Stereo Power Amp recommendations

SOUNDSTYLE

Member
The mono amps I have at the moment (Roksan Caspian: 100 Watts per channel) don't have the power I'm after.

This Hifi system is in the main house.

I recently completed a Home Cinema room and I'm using a Nakamichi AVP1 Power amp, which for the small amount of money it cost me, I'm very impressed with.
When I play music through the Home Cinema system I find it has more control so I'm wondering if I should upgrade the Roksan mono amps in the main house with something that has more power.

I don't want to spend silly money (over £3000.00).

I've not looked into really powerful amplifiers before so don't know where to start.
I know there are some manufacturers who are not very well known but are worth having a demo.

Which hifi stores would stock these amplifiers if I decide to have a demo?

Is there a very good stereo power amplifier for similar money to the Nakamichi AVP1?

On another forum where I'm asking the same question, these amps have been recommended:

FMJ P49
Classe CA400
Parasound Halo A21
Crown XLS 1502

I live in Weston Super Mare, near Bristol.

Thanks
 

SOUNDSTYLE

Member
Vienna acoustics Beethoven Baby Grand
 

SOUNDSTYLE

Member
I've been thinking: I could spend up to £5000 if I had to as I would get some money for the Caspian mono blocks when sold.
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
I'm not suggesting based on hands on experience but have you looked at Bryston at all? At this sort of price level their standard 20 year warranty would be very comforting!
 

SOUNDSTYLE

Member
No, Bryston has not crossed my mind. Depends if a local store has them so I can have a demo.
 
How about one of the legendary musical fidelity KW amps. There's a JS audio KW550 on eBay at the moment for well within your budget!

Massive amounts of power and every time I've had the pleasure of listening to one I've been blown away!!

I guess anything from the big brands should do the trick really...

Krell
Bryston
Arcam
Musical Fidelity
Naim?
Classe
 

SOUNDSTYLE

Member
On the rear of my speakers it says 200 watts. It will be alright to use a lot more power than that?
 
The more power the better really. Speakers are damaged more easily by underpowering them (clipping).

Obviously you have the potential of blowing them if sticking a genuine 500w thorough each one but that comes down to the user being a fool with the volume control!
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
The more power the better really. Speakers are damaged more easily by underpowering them (clipping).

Obviously you have the potential of blowing them if sticking a genuine 500w thorough each one but that comes down to the user being a fool with the volume control!

... and first they'd need concrete poured into their ears to protect them.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
At this price range, I'd suggest looking at Accuphase, Bryston, Classe or Elektrocompaniet.

That said, and given your kit list, I rather wonder if your problem isn't somewhere else - specifically room interaction - rather than an amplification inadequacy.
 

SOUNDSTYLE

Member
At this price range, I'd suggest looking at Accuphase, Bryston, Classe or Elektrocompaniet.

That said, and given your kit list, I rather wonder if your problem isn't somewhere else - specifically room interaction - rather than an amplification inadequacy.
It could be my room which is the problem.
I will have a home demo of a few amps, and see if it makes any difference.
 

KWB1

Well-known Member
Parasound Halo A21 all day long - but if you have the cash go for the even bigger brothers - Parasound Halo JC1s - owned them both - incredible

Ken
 

SOUNDSTYLE

Member
Review of the Crown XLS1502 here. Question is whether the other expensive consumer grade amps are worth the money. This apparently sounds superb.

Digital amps used to be rubbish years ago when they first came out, but now there are some very good ones out there, but for a lot of money. It's not something I've really thought about. I want to get a top quality amp but perhaps I can get a digital amp for not much money, such as the Crown?
 

SOUNDSTYLE

Member
I don't want to mess this up, and I don't want to spend more money than I have to.
There's a lot to think about.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
The Crowns are universally praised mega clean power monsters. I doubt you'd do better.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
You have another thread running. I will say here what I said there -

How much money can you realistically spend?

How much power do you really need?


Under your original Budget is the Parasound Halo A21, 250w/ch to 8 ohms, priced at about £2600. (Stone Audio - UK). I can't see you doing better than that for the money.

Yes, Crown has a very high reputation in amps, but those are Class-D, Fan Cooled, PA Amps that cost under £400.

So, yes if money is tight, the Crown is a lot of amp at £400. But, you claim a potential budget range of £3000 to £5000. So, I'm not sure why you are slumming with PA Amps.

The Parasound Halo A21 is highly regarded and well reviewed, and it under your original budget, and certainly has plenty of solid power to back it up.

Model Halo A 21 « Parasound

Continuous power output:
250 watts RMS x 2, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 8 Ω, all channels driven
400 watts RMS x 2, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 4 Ω, all channels driven
750 watts RMS x 1, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 8 Ω, Mono-Bridge Mode

Current capacity:
60 amperes peak per channel


Sure Bryston are stellar amps, but they are TWICE the cost of the Parasound.

And, though just me, 250w/ch seems about right. Within the range of most speakers, but not excessive power to the level of danger to the speakers.

You are planning on spending a very considerable amount of money to ...more or less... fix your system - make sure you are fixing the right thing.

You existing 100w/ch amps should do a pretty fair job of it considering you can reach 100db with less than 16w of power.

Of course there is more to power than just volume.

But, if you current system is somehow not doing it for you, before you invest £3000 to £5000, I would make sure the amp is actually the problem. It could very well be - Speaker Placement, Room Acoustics, or the Size of the Room. Really, no point in putting another £3000 amp into a room with bad acoustics.

Steve/bluewizard
 

SOUNDSTYLE

Member
You have another thread running. I will say here what I said there -

How much money can you realistically spend?

How much power do you really need?


Under your original Budget is the Parasound Halo A21, 250w/ch to 8 ohms, priced at about £2600. (Stone Audio - UK). I can't see you doing better than that for the money.

Yes, Crown has a very high reputation in amps, but those are Class-D, Fan Cooled, PA Amps that cost under £400.

So, yes if money is tight, the Crown is a lot of amp at £400. But, you claim a potential budget range of £3000 to £5000. So, I'm not sure why you are slumming with PA Amps.

The Parasound Halo A21 is highly regarded and well reviewed, and it under your original budget, and certainly has plenty of solid power to back it up.

Model Halo A 21 « Parasound

Continuous power output:
250 watts RMS x 2, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 8 Ω, all channels driven
400 watts RMS x 2, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 4 Ω, all channels driven
750 watts RMS x 1, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 8 Ω, Mono-Bridge Mode

Current capacity:
60 amperes peak per channel


Sure Bryston are stellar amps, but they are TWICE the cost of the Parasound.

And, though just me, 250w/ch seems about right. Within the range of most speakers, but not excessive power to the level of danger to the speakers.

You are planning on spending a very considerable amount of money to ...more or less... fix your system - make sure you are fixing the right thing.

You existing 100w/ch amps should do a pretty fair job of it considering you can reach 100db with less than 16w of power.

Of course there is more to power than just volume.

But, if you current system is somehow not doing it for you, before you invest £3000 to £5000, I would make sure the amp is actually the problem. It could very well be - Speaker Placement, Room Acoustics, or the Size of the Room. Really, no point in putting another £3000 amp into a room with bad acoustics.

Steve/bluewizard

I have three amps I want to have a listen to, and hopefully will be able to try them at home aswell.
I will not spend the money if I don't hear a difference. Where would the sense be in that!
The three amps are:
Parasound A21
Arcam P49
Bryston 4B SST2

The Arcam will be interesting because the first 50 watts is class G.
 

SOUNDSTYLE

Member
I thought that amplifiers built by different manufacturers have different characteristics?
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I thought that amplifiers built by different manufacturers have different characteristics?
There are a group of people, a minority, that believe that all amps sound the same. Though oddly, those people almost never have the cheapest amp available, which would make sense if all amps sounded the same.

The most I will personally concede is that - all amps sound similar.

Steve/bluewizard
 

SOUNDSTYLE

Member
One issue I have with the A21, is that it uses 170 watts in standby. That sounds a lot to me. The arcam uses 0.5 watts!
How can there be such a big difference?
 

droidlike

Active Member
Parasound A21 seems to be a 20 year old design, or more, but always actual to these days.

Parasound Halo Integrated is more recent 2015 with stellar spec for standby/idle/max power.

CA 851W is a recent 2013 design but not considered here
it uses an XD Crossover Displacement tech
from world's audio guru Douglas Self...if this can mean something

hth
 
Last edited:

SOUNDSTYLE

Member
Parasound A21 seems to be a 20 year old design, or more, but always actual to these days.

Parasound Halo Integrated is more recent 2015 with stellar spec for standby/idle/max power.

CA 851W is a recent 2013 design but not considered here
it uses an XD Crossover Displacement tech
from world's audio guru Douglas Self...if this can mean something

hth
I'm going to have a look at the CA amp you mentioned.
Didn't think of them, even though I have one of their media players.
 

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