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Amp. sugestions for Aerius...

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kal_s

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I just got me a pair of ML Aerius speakers, which need min 60W rms, (max 200 W rms) driving a 4-ohm impedance load. Looking for a decent amp. to go with ...

The idea is not to have to upgrade my amp. when I gradually evolve towards a 5 channel surround HT system. Also, I hate paying retail for anything, so any unit I buy will have to come from online sources only, such as auctions here etc.
Given these constraints, some thoughts crossed my mind:

1. Rotel RB 985: 100W rms/ch x5 into a driving an 8-ohm impedance, retails for ~$1000

2. Carver Premiere AV-705x: 125 watts rms/ch driving an 8-ohm impedance, retails for ~$1200

3. Parasound HCA-120: 135 W rms/ch x 6 driving an 8-ohm impedance, retails for about ~$2000

4. Sunfire Cinema Grand: 200W rms/ch x5 driving an 8-ohm impedance, retails for ~$2500


The questions I have for you experts here are:

1. Which one of the above would be your top pick, from a sound quality/price perspective? (I also looked at the THD figures, but they were close enough that I didn't think too much about a decision based on that...). Any other amps. you can suggest in this wattage/price range would be cool!

2.At this point, I am not considering a pre-amp, given that my source material is all digital. I don't think a pre-amp is necessary: any comments on that?

3. Which one the above can be used with my Aerius in a bi-wired configuration? Any risks in doing so on an amp. with a lower wattage rating?

4. What would you recommend as a good source for online purchases of any of the above items? How much below MSRP can I hope to get them?

Thanks in advance,
---Kal.
 
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roberto

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kal_s said:
I just got me a pair of ML Aerius speakers, which need min 60W rms, (max 200 W rms) driving a 4-ohm impedance load. Looking for a decent amp. to go with ...

The idea is not to have to upgrade my amp. when I gradually evolve towards a 5 channel surround HT system. Also, I hate paying retail for anything, so any unit I buy will have to come from online sources only, such as auctions here etc.
Given these constraints, some thoughts crossed my mind:

1. Rotel RB 985: 100W rms/ch x5 into a driving an 8-ohm impedance, retails for ~$1000

2. Carver Premiere AV-705x: 125 watts rms/ch driving an 8-ohm impedance, retails for ~$1200

3. Parasound HCA-120: 135 W rms/ch x 6 driving an 8-ohm impedance, retails for about ~$2000

4. Sunfire Cinema Grand: 200W rms/ch x5 driving an 8-ohm impedance, retails for ~$2500


The questions I have for you experts here are:

1. Which one of the above would be your top pick, from a sound quality/price perspective? (I also looked at the THD figures, but they were close enough that I didn't think too much about a decision based on that...). Any other amps. you can suggest in this wattage/price range would be cool!

2.At this point, I am not considering a pre-amp, given that my source material is all digital. I don't think a pre-amp is necessary: any comments on that?

3. Which one the above can be used with my Aerius in a bi-wired configuration? Any risks in doing so on am amp. with a lower wattage rating?

4. What would you recommend as a good source for online purchases of any of the above items? How much below MSRP can I hope to get them?

Thanks in advance,
---Kal.
Hola Kal. Welcome to the club. All amps in now days are great. It depends a lot of your liking and taste. If I were you, I will chose the Sunfire Cinema Grand. It is a very good sounding amp and a monster. It has a lot of guts, and still good sounding amp. Go to www.audiogon.com There you will find a lot of good power amps and great prices...happy listening, and trust your ears!
Pura vida,
Roberto.
 

sleepysurf

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For the money, the Sunfire easily drives the Aerius, is easy to vertically bi-amp (that's the configuration I'm using), and sounds great. See reference link in this thread...
http://www.martinloganowners.com/~tdacquis/forum/showthread.php?t=1419'

With "all digital" sources, I agree a pre-amp may not be needed. However, others would advocate a tube pre-amp, for getting a little "warmer" sound out of digital material. For home theater, you can alternatively add a multi-channel receiver with the pre-outs going to your separate amp (driving mains), and receiver driving your center and surrounds. That is what I am doing, and it works well.
 

ml360

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I would take the Rotel,because of the companies reputation and their good products, that you can buy now and add onto them later....You can't lose with any Rotel!
 

kach22i

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All the amps on your list are the very best of mid-hifi. You have "bang for the bucks" products there, can't lose.

I lived with Rotel amps for a very long time - good stuff.

At the price of the Sunfire you better be hearing a clearly better sound than the Rotel. It's that whole diminishing returns thing again.
 
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attyonline

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What Kach said. If you are buying Sunfire, I would get it used. It takes a big depreciation hit compared to Rotel, which I own. I have the Aerius i and tried vertical biamping a couple of years ago and was not impressed. I now have a 200 wpc 1080 driving the the Aerius with great results.
 

sleepysurf

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Another important consideration is whether you are using an open audio rack, with good ventilation, vs. an enclosed space (like I was stuck with). The Sunfire amps run extremely cool, as do the new generation of switching amps. If ventilation is not an issue, you have a lot more viable choices.
 

SugarMedia

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• Stay away from Rotel.

• Check out Audiogon as Roberto suggested.

• (And try to audition as many as you can in your own home to see what you like best.)

• Be sure to pay attention to, "Current- Peak to Peak" and not just the number of Watts the amp is producing.

Have fun along the way...

some further reading: http://www.audioport.com/understanding_hifi.htm
 
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Spike

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For the money, the Sunfire easily drives the Aerius, is easy to vertically bi-amp (that's the configuration I'm using), and sounds great. See reference link in this thread...
http://www.martinloganowners.com/~tdacquis/forum/showthread.php?t=1419
Agreed, a pre-owned SunFire in bi-amp configuration is the best bang for the bucks.

With "all digital" sources, I agree a pre-amp may not be needed. However, others would advocate a tube pre-amp, for getting a little "warmer" sound out of digital material.
Be careful here. The concept of "Things should be kept as simple as possible but not any simpler!" applies here. Unless you have a GOOD digital source designed to drive the signals to amplifiers with proper impedance, you will need some kind of buffering between source and amplifier. Otherwise, the analogue stage of the digital source does not have enough oomph to drive the signal cleanly to the amplifier. This is where the pre-amp comes into play. Most digital sources on the market today skimmed on this (analogue) buffering functionality to drive the amplifier. Directly connecting these digital sources to the amplifier compromises on the dynamics of the music. You should check your digital source first to make sure that it's up to the task before declaring that the pre-amp is not needed. In my case, even with an APL-modded digital unit, a tubed preamp is needed and makes a big difference.

Spike
 

Craig

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4. Sunfire Cinema Grand: 200W rms/ch x5 driving an 8-ohm impedance, retails for ~$2500
By the way, if you are getting a new or late model Sunfire then it will be the Cinema Grand II version which is 220W at 8 ohms and 440W at 4 Ohms. They also run very cool. I'm currently using one for a home theater and it also performed very well as a biamped 2 channel for a while. I've had mine for 2 1/2 years now with now problems except the bulb for the lighted meter went out.

Anyone know what kind of bulb it takes and where to find one? Other than that little glitch it's a great amp.
 

kal_s

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How do I test my MLs...

Thanks to all you guys for your suggestions! I have a much more immediate issue right now: my ML Aerius just got delivered by UPS today! That's the good news; the bad news is I don't have an amp with serious current output enough to drive these puppies:( All I have is a Yamaha RX-V470 receiver, which was great with my Klipsch 40Ws. But looking at the specs., I fear I might smoke the Yamaha if I hook 'em up to the Aerius: they have a peak output of 60W per ch. into 8 ohms. No mention of current output in the manual :(

I would quickly like to test that my MLs are OK (i.e. not Dead-on-Arrival!). Any suggstions form the experts how I can do that?

Thanks a lot!
---Kal
 

DTB300

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kal_s said:
I would quickly like to test that my MLs are OK (i.e. not Dead-on-Arrival!). Any suggstions form the experts how I can do that?
You can use the Yamaha for testing to see if they are ok, but it just won't sound as good as what you may have heard at the store where you bought them. Everyone here has recommended better solutions for the future for you.

Dan
 

kal_s

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DTB300 said:
You can use the Yamaha for testing to see if they are ok, but it just won't sound as good as what you may have heard at the store where you bought them. Everyone here has recommended better solutions for the future for you.

Dan
Thanks Dan! But won't I run the risk of smoking the Yamaha receiver if I crank it way up? What do you mean "won't sound as good" : the loudness or the clarity?

---Kal
 

jjqiv

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kal_s said:
Thanks Dan! But won't I run the risk of smoking the Yamaha receiver if I crank it way up? What do you mean "won't sound as good" : the loudness or the clarity?

---Kal
You will fine testing with the Yamaha. Just don't crank it all the way up.
 

Spike

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kal_s said:
What do you mean "won't sound as good" : the loudness or the clarity?
You might hear rolled-off highs and loose bass just because the power-supplies of the Yamaha is not designed to accomodate for such a wide-range of impedance load. Especially the 1-ohm load at the top-end around 20Khz.

Spike
 

MarkNewbie

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kal_s said:
Thanks Dan! But won't I run the risk of smoking the Yamaha receiver if I crank it way up? What do you mean "won't sound as good" : the loudness or the clarity?

---Kal
Kal - You can completely trust Dan's advice. He is one of the audio gurus on this site. Actually, there are plenty of them on here and I have yet to see anyone steer anyone wrong. You're Yamaha is fine for testing those speakers out. But for long term listening and to really hear what they can do, you are going to have to make an investment in something better. :cool:
 

DTB300

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MarkNewbie said:
Kal - You can completely trust Dan's advice. He is one of the audio gurus on this site. Actually, there are plenty of them on here and I have yet to see anyone steer anyone wrong. You're Yamaha is fine for testing those speakers out. But for long term listening and to really hear what they can do, you are going to have to make an investment in something better. :cool:
I don't know about Guru...just been around the block a few times :D

Use the Yamaha for testing, but watch the volume levels. You will not be able to get much in the way of good SPL's without running out of steam on the Yamaha. This is where the Amp starts to clip and send bad signals to the speakers. So use it for some casual low level tunes (think of not waking up a sleeping baby in the next room) and you should be fine for now.

Now get out there, and spend some or a bunch of your hard earned money :D and get yourself a better amp to drive those new puppies with. In the meantime just use some caution no matter how much you are tempted, and enjoy being able to even listen to them. Once you get the new amp, you will realize what all of us are saying about the improvements you will hear.

Enjoy your new toys...
Dan
 

Jeff Zaret

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Kal,
Like everyone has said the Yamaha will be fine for testing and actually using. The limitations will be it may get hot after long use, I.E. hours at a time. If you try to drive the Yamaha real hard it will "thin out" on sound because of the current load the speakers are presenting to it. It is almost pure capacitance to the receiver/amp.
That being said, what you could do if money is an issue (which it is for me) is if possible, look for an amp with some decent power/current capabilities. If you can use your Yamaha as a pre-only then even better.


There are many solutions and you will get many suggestions. Do what you like. Do what you can afford. Do not try and keep up with anyone else here. When ever possible, do tests at home. Do ask a ton more questions. As a final criteria and probably one of the most important, just trust your own ears not anyone elses.

Jeff :cool:
 

MarkNewbie

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DTB300 said:
I don't know about Guru...just been around the block a few times :D
Dan - I was referring to your audio knowledge not your...how do I say it? prowess!

Jeff Zaret said:
There are many solutions and you will get many suggestions. Do what you like. Do what you can afford. Do not try and keep up with anyone else here. When ever possible, do tests at home. Do ask a ton more questions. As a final criteria and probably one of the most important, just trust your own ears not anyone elses.

Jeff :cool:
Some more good advice from another of this forum's gurus...
 
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