What power amps to improve my DSP-A1?


Active Member
Hi all,

Here's my setup at present:
B&W FCM8 THX fronts &
B&W PCS8 THX passive subwoofers
I've only got some little Mordaunt Short rears at the moment so rear speakers are on the shopping list but I want to sort out my amplification first. I have:
Yamaha DSP-A1 with 5 x 110w
Marantz MA500 THX monoblock with 1x125w
Marantz MA700 THX monoblock with 1x200w
Rotel RB-981 with 2 x 130w
All power ratings are rms at 8 ohms.

Before I bought any of these amps, I was using a Yamaha RX-V595 which has pre-outs to run power amps. So I decided to use that initially as a processor and just buy power amps first. Somehow, I've ended up with the mishmash of Marantz and Rotel power amps above!:confused:

Then a lovely gold DSP-A1 came along and entered the scene as well. I plan to use the DSP-A1 as a processor and use 2 of it's channels to drive the rear speakers. If I do decide in the future to go for 7.1EX or whatever (and have enough rear speakers!) then I can use the spare channels of the DSP-A1 to power them.

That just leaves the front three and the two passive subs. My room is 3m x 5m and I have neighbours :)() so one sub would suffice. Also, the PCS8 are 8 ohms each and the manual says they should be a safe 4 ohm load when run in parallel. So, I'm looking for 4 or 5 channels of amplification. My options are:

1) Sell the RB-981 and buy another couple of Marantz MA500s and use the MA700 (300w at 4ohms!) to drive one or both subwoofers.

2) Sell the MA500 and MA700 and buy another Rotel RB-981 stereo power amp to give me four channels, 3 for the fronts and 1 for a sub.

3) Sell the MA500, MA700 and the RB-981 and buy a 5 channel power amp. Something like a Rotel RB-985 Mk II would be the most I could afford.

4) Any other ideas?

I'm leaning towards option 2. It seems the easiest and most cost effective route. There's a comment at the end of this thread by someone who said he preferred his RB-981s to a friends RB-985.

My system is currently all in boxes but I'm going to try and knock something up to see if I have any great preference between the Marantz and Rotel amps but, from memory, I think I thought they both sounded very acceptable.

Thanks for any advice!


Novice Member
I have the same speakers as you so i thought id say something.

I use one sub, i was never happy with the sound from 2, nigh on impossible to set up. When i tried 2, they ran fine in parrelel on one amp channel.

As for the amps, you could go for POOWWWERR http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=378214

I personaly wouldnt mix and match amplifiers. Another idea would be to sell up everything, including the a1 and get something more recent? not something id do but its a possibility. Or maybe even a pre/pro rather than use the dsp-a1, an older lexicon or something.



Active Member
EddThompson said:
I have the same speakers as you so i thought id say something.
Hurray, I'm not the only one! Thanks Edd. Your setup is very interesting as I'd never thought of wall mounting the L+R. How do they sound being right in the corners?
EddThompson said:
I use one sub, i was never happy with the sound from 2, nigh on impossible to set up. When i tried 2, they ran fine in parrelel on one amp channel.
That's good to know. Thanks.
EddThompson said:
As for the amps, you could go for POOWWWERR
You madman! :eek: Those Behringers look really good value. Total Music is selling them for under £200 delivered. Hmm, owning something with a warranty would be nice but I think I'd probably still go for s/h Rotels for the mains. Does the EP1500 run the sub well?
EddThompson said:
I personaly wouldnt mix and match amplifiers.
I aim to have the fronts end with matching amplification and, at least for the near future, I think I'll get away with the Yamaha running the rears.

Thanks for the reply. How do you like your system? Is it loud enough? :rotfl:


Novice Member
obviously its not ideal having them like that, but ive not realy noticed a problem with it, no boomyness, and the soundstage is still pretty good, obviously a moot point with 5,1 as the centre pulls that altogether much better.

i think i payed 170 each for my amps, they were on sale, i bought one, with the intention of buying 3 more much more expensive amps, perhaps crowns. but it sounded fine to me so bought 2 more. Im not sure if it runs the sub well, as i have no other reference, it has more than enough power thats for certain, and bass is punchy and dynamic, just how i like it.

I like rotel amps, i think thats the best way to go, you can always get another later for the rears after all :D

Is it loud enuff? :D i suppose so :D the next cinema im building for a friend, i am looking into pa/profesional speakers. then we will find out what loud is.



Active Member
My room is pretty narrow so I might consider wall mounting them if I struggle for space.

I'm sticking with the DSP-A1 for processing at the moment as I don't need anything more than basic DD and DTS just now. I may want HDMI, HDTV, 6.1EX, 7.1EX, DTP 24/96, audio delay, etc in the future but I'll wait until the dust clears and it gets more affordable.



Standard Member
Hi Jiffycom,

I just spotted your thread, have you sorted the amp situation out yet? If not I might be able to help.
I have 4x MA700 and 2x MA500 that now don't fit with my new 7.1 layout.
I would either like to sell my amps or buy yours, if that's possible?

Price. I would like £120 for each MA700 and £75 for each MA500 ono. I have a CityLink account so I could deal with shipping. I would much rather collect/drop off if possible. All have been owned by me from new, are in very good condition, and have their boxes.

What do you think of this offer? I'm based in Dorking, Surrey. What area are you in please?

Sorry I didn't spot this sooner!!
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