Stereo power amp with high current delivery?

crobo

Well-known Member
I could do with some input here folks because I am getting into dangerous territory. I have been using a Meridian 561 processor for both 5.1 and 2-channel duties and it sounds fine. An Arcam P1000 is driving Electa Amators fine too (bi-amping) and it all sounds wonderful.

Foolishly, I have just gone and picked up Sonus Faber Extremas and these are enormous, with a very power-hungry nature according to people I have talked too. I think 4 x 135W from the P1000 just isn't enough - they don't quite have the sound that they had in the demo, where the seller was using about £8k worth of Mark Levinson amplification.

I don't want to get into seriously expensive territory (yet) but one option is to lose the P1000 and get a serious 2-channel power amp for the Extremas plus a more moderate 3-channel amp for the other 3 speakers. Can anyone recommend a good stereo power amp that that will come in under £1k second hand? I thought of a Meridian 557 - the question is will one of these provide significantly more current delivery than bi-amping from the Arcam? Or do any other candidates spring to mind?

Any input appreciated
 

Peter Baker

Novice Member
I think you probably need an american muscle amp. Something like a Parasound, Bryston, Levinson, Krell, or even Proceed. From UK brands, I guess a bif Musical Fidelity would do the trick. All of these are available second hand, but might break your budget. I use a Proceed AMP5, which you could probably pick up for £1500-£2000 second hand. Only 5 x 125 watts, but immensely powerful nonetheless
 
C

CogPaul

Guest
HiFi Guy are showing a Krell KAV250a at £900 on their website- just what you need.

I used to own a Meridian 557- believe me it cannot compete with the Krell in terms of delivering high current!
 

Nimby

Distinguished Member
Is it worth discussing PA amps in this context?

The US chaps have been using pro gear for decades.

Getting a proper shop demo might be fun though. ;)

These things often have noisy cooling fans which may mean a fan swap or isolating the amp in another room.
They perform very light duties in domestic hifi compared with a live gig so can easily cope with a quieter fan.
More clean watts than you'll ever know what to do with for pocket money.

I'm using a Behringer EP2500 on my IB sub but can't speak for its peformance on fullrange speakers.
You could try hiring one if they won't lend you one at your local musical instrument shop.

http://www.behringer.com/EP2500/index.cfm?lang=ENG

Enjoy? :)
 

Helicon

Banned
I purchased a Krell once and it fell below my expectations regarding control and transient response. Maybe they just didn't suit my speakers. I found the Bryston amplifiers to be much better in this respect. Clean, effortless, and hugely powerful.
 

crobo

Well-known Member
CogPaul said:
HiFi Guy are showing a Krell KAV250a at £900 on their website- just what you need.

I used to own a Meridian 557- believe me it cannot compete with the Krell in terms of delivering high current!

I heard from someone that the Krell sound is on the bright side - would you say that this is the case? And can you compare the sound with the Meridian?
 

Helicon

Banned
crobo said:
I heard from someone that the Krell sound is on the bright side
I wouldn't say the Krell was bright, it was smoother than the Bryston, but lacked the sphericals, so to speak.
 
C

CogPaul

Guest
I am using a Krell KAV250a/3 into Celestion A3's- reknowned as a difficult load to drive- and the amp has no issues. At various times I have run meridian 565 and 568.2 processors in the system and was very happy. I would say that for stereo use the better the preamp the better these amps sound and switching to a Krc-3 reallly bought a smile to my face.Consider trying to pick up a cheaper stereo preamp with HT bypass if you do go down this route.

I have heard Krell/Sonus Faber pairings in the past- and they have always impressed- but I do like the Krell sound- and it is not to everyones taste.
 

joffy1780

Active Member

RustyZip

Novice Member
If your happy with the Arcam "sound", how about buying 2 second-hand P1's ??
Thats what i did, and later added a P35/3 3 channel amp...

I managed to buy my P1's for just under a grand for both of them...
 

Rich

Active Member
How about a Dussun V8I?
It comes within your budget( $1,049.00 and $375 delivery or even cheaper if you shop around) and are designed by Mark Levinson (Red Rose music)
It's an integrated/power amp. 2×250W (8Ω) 2×500W (4Ω)
I've got the Dussun D9 and it's easily the best value for money kit I've ever bought.
 

crobo

Well-known Member
Thanks a lot for these thoughts chaps; it gives me plenty to think about. Right now I have to consider whether big changes are in order since I only got the P1000 a month ago and I've been very happy with it and the EAIIs. But I don't think I could keep the Extremas without trying to do them justice. Ah, decisions, decisions, I love this game.
Cheers
 

crobo

Well-known Member
Actually another thought - does anyone know how a couple of Musical Fidelity M250 monoblocks would sound in this context? Eg compared to the Meridian 557 and Krell?
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
crobo said:
Actually another thought - does anyone know how a couple of Musical Fidelity M250 monoblocks would sound in this context? Eg compared to the Meridian 557 and Krell?
Generally,you could expect a warmer sound from the MF amps than from the Krells,although I personally have little experience of the Meridian you mention.

Many of the older Krells(KMA and KSA) were actually better than their later counterparts(the KSA-S series) before the FPB series amps arrived,and in terms of power delivery both the older ones,and the FPBs should be fine(mine certainly give me no problems).
The Brystons mentioned by Helicon are also an excellent choice.
 

lovegroova

Well-known Member
CogPaul said:
HiFi Guy are showing a Krell KAV250a at £900 on their website- just what you need.

I used to own a Meridian 557- believe me it cannot compete with the Krell in terms of delivering high current!
Thanks for pointing that out Paul, I picked it up this afternoon and now have a matching set of KAV250a and KAV250a/3 :thumbsup:

The forum proves its worth once again :clap:
 

crobo

Well-known Member
Thanks again for the inputs. I'm picking up some Musical fidelity M250 mono-blocs at the weekend. I'm buying three so if there's still not enough 'sphericals' :eek: I can always look for a fourth and bi-amp. Having had MF amps before, I think the sound will be suited to the SFs. At the very least it will be an interesting comparison with the Arcam P1000.
 

Peter Baker

Novice Member
Please let me know what you think. I have heard good and bad musical Fidelity amps over the years, perhaps because they release so many of them !!!
 

crobo

Well-known Member
Sure thing.
 
H

Hifi addict

Guest
you could also consider trying a Musical Fidelity A5cr or a Lyngdorf SDA2175. Both have plenty of power and control and should be a good match although bi-amping is not to bad as well.

It could be that your akoestics are very different from the place where you had the demo
 

crobo

Well-known Member
Fair point. I guess if I go for bi-amping I have two possibilities really: to look for another M250 (safest option) or link 2 M250s to e.g. an A3cr or A5cr poweramp. I will have to see how 2 M250s fare on their own first, although the more I read about the Extremas the hungrier they sound (I think I know where they get their name from now :) ). One guy was using four bridged Meridian 557s with them, for example. Still, they already sound good with the Arcam so it's worth the experimenting.
 
H

Hifi addict

Guest
sure, it's always fun to experiment :)

I really think you should try to listen to a A5cr. this poweramp has a peakpower of 200Amps. Really powerfull ! and very open, dynamic, detailed, smooth etc
 

crobo

Well-known Member
Hifi addict said:
sure, it's always fun to experiment :)

I really think you should try to listen to a A5cr. this poweramp has a peakpower of 200Amps. Really powerfull ! and very open, dynamic, detailed, smooth etc

I absolutely agree - I have heard wonderful things about this amp. It's just that another monobloc will bring the total cost of 4 M250s to about £1500, which is roughly what a new A5cr costs, so I will give them a try first.

Can you tell me - do you know whether the A5cr sounds a lot better than the A3cr? This too got good reviews.
 
H

Hifi addict

Guest
crobo said:
Can you tell me - do you know whether the A5cr sounds a lot better than the A3cr? This too got good reviews.
The A3cr is an old series and the new A3.5 series don't have a poweramp.
the cr stands for Choke Regulated and it's a poweramp, not an integrated amp.

I have had the A5 integrated and A5cr in my setup and the A5cr is a step up compared to almost everything I have had in my setup. It also was on pair with a Chord SPM1200B which costs about 3-4 times as much.

The new MF series are no longer as "to warm" or "slow" as the old series. At least, that was my experience.
 

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