I need a cheap temporary power amp, any recommendations?

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Bartonfields

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As per the title, i am looking for a cheap amp to tide me over whilst my amp is being repaired as I’m likely to be without it for a couple of months or so. Don’t mind what brand/type, so long as it will be comfortable powering my ESL9s and under £600 or so, happy to look at something used too. Any suggestions Appreciated.
 

Bartonfields

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Thanks, I’d not considered one of those commercial type amps, looks like there is stock available here in the UK too. I’ll look in to it.
 

Lurch

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I have happily run my Summits on a 50wpc Arcam Alpha 8P, it's happy at 4 Ohms and I didn't detect any distortion as frequency increased/Ohms dropped.
Whereabouts in the UK are you? As you could have it as loaner if you wanted.
 

Bartonfields

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Thanks for the kind offer, I have a couple of old amps lying around including a quad 405-2 and a Cambridge a70, but I am always reading about how the impedance of the ESLs can drop as low as 1-2ohms and conventional lower powered amps can’t cope with the load and might end up damaging the amp and/or speakers. My amp that is repaired is a Conrad Johnson Premier 11a and is 70wpc and that’s at the lower-end if what’s usually recommended, so I’m going to be upgrading to a more powerful valve amp later this year. Hence why I’m looking for something temporary. Or am I worrying too much and so long as I’m sensible with listening levels I should be fine using the Quad amp perhaps?
 

Lurch

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Thanks for the kind offer, I have a couple of old amps lying around including a quad 405-2 and a Cambridge a70, but I am always reading about how the impedance of the ESLs can drop as low as 1-2ohms and conventional lower powered amps can’t cope with the load and might end up damaging the amp and/or speakers. My amp that is repaired is a Conrad Johnson Premier 11a and is 70wpc and that’s at the lower-end if what’s usually recommended, so I’m going to be upgrading to a more powerful valve amp later this year. Hence why I’m looking for something temporary. Or am I worrying too much and so long as I’m sensible with listening levels I should be fine using the Quad amp perhaps?
I wouldn't pay to much heed to recommended power figures, as I said the 8P at 50wpc sounded great, yes those extras you get with better quality amps (3D soundstage, separation etc) were missing but that's to be expected with a budget power amp, even so the SQ was 80%ish of my main amps. Definitely a level of SQ I could more than live with, if push came to shove.
The Quad 405-2 was originally designed for stats so shouldn't have any problems with your ESLs.
My regular amps for the Summits are either a pair of Icon Audio MB845SEs (90wpc) or a pair of Nord One UP SE NC500Ms (400/8, 700/4 & 550/2)
Give the amps a go you will know within the first minute or so whether they're happy or not (I did when I forget to change the Icons from the 8 to the 4 Ohm tap when I first got my MLs) the sound will just be very Meh!
It's not so much about the wpc as the available current to drive the stats when they briefly drop into the frequency range that leads to a <4 Ohm load.
 

SomeGeoffGuy

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I am running my Aerius off an old Yamaha receiver from the late 90's rated at 100 wpc. It even has a processor loop, so theoretically you could bypass the pre-amp section and just use it as a power amp. Plenty of power, too, for the Aerius at least. Hoping to upgrade, but it meets my needs right now, but they are plentiful and only about $100 here locally on Craigslist.

If you want a "Real" amp, look around for a used Parasound HCA-1500a - one just popped by me locally in your price range and they are rated 315 wpc into 4 ohms. Should be plenty of power!

Good luck!

-Geoff
 

Bartonfields

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Thanks for thee suggestions guys. I'll give the old Quad a go and keep an eye on ebay for alternatives.
 

Stefan_DR3

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I use a Yamaha RN803 (100W+) on Theos and it has plenty of juice.

It's not my main system though. For that I snagged a local deal on an Anthem MCA20. Used power amps don't lose value anymore.
 

Chippieboy

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For what it's worth... I stumbled across a Bryston 3B amp at a garage sale for $300 a few days after I sent my Sunfire Cinema Grand for a tune-up. I liked it, not the same punch when driven hard like the Sunfire but worked pretty well overall. I have the older ML's that some say are hard to drive. And they are. Sequel II's circa 1990 with new panels 2019 and I rebuilt the crossovers 2020. Hope that helps. Good thing I picked up the Bryston as the tune-up took 4 months. I started with a Soundcraftsmen that I purchased new in 1986. That worked OK, they do like zero to 1-ohm loads.
 

audioxcel

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A Tandberg 3016 amp would be nice if you can find one. I used one with my Sequels for many years before going to tube amps.
 

Chasfs

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I got a new Hypex NC502MP Which works really well with my Sequels
 

Lurch

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Thanks for thee suggestions guys. I'll give the old Quad a go and keep an eye on ebay for alternatives.
If your interested I'm considering moving on my Nord One UP SE NC500Ms (400wpc/8, 700/4 & 550/2) since I got my IA MB845SEs back from repair. Only selling as I can't justify have 2 pairs of monos that perform so well, keeping the Icon Audios as they are beautiful to look at aswell as listen to.
 

Furbyland

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I am in the same boat, although mine would not be temporary, at least that's the plan. I currently have 11a impressions (L/R) that have a Yamaha A3080 driving them. They are rated 165w into 8, but the manual clearly says you can run 8-6-4 ohm without issue. Ah, not sure that's the case with electro's since below 1 ohm is not unheard of. I can make a switch on the Yamaha to be in a 6 ohm speaker mode, but I have seen too many say it's not necessary and dont do it; leave at 8 ohm.

When I used in stereo mode and normal listening levels, say SPL 70 or under, I seem to have enough power wise 99% of the tme. I do notice a bit of straining or weakness when driving hard in theater mode with all 9 A3080 speakers in play.

I have looked at all kinds of amps both new and used. I picked up a used Adcom 555 v1 that has the power for sure, but I've read 2 negatives on it and reluctant to put in use. 1) it has the propensity to fail or leak DC to the speakers which could result in their failure; not somethng I'd like to risk, and 2) they have no speaker relay switches, so when you turn on you can get a thump (it's not loud), or when you turn off, it will keep playing until the power supply is drained. That sometime causes a weird static-y sound to be sent to the left speaker, but at a failry low level. I still dont like fuzzy noise/distortion sent to my speaker even at low volume. I've read all of this is expected for this amp since it contains no speaker iso relays.

To my point, I'd really like to get something else. A NEW Admcon, Anthen, Parasound, etc., that will supply 300-400 watts safely at 4 ohms and to 2. Parasound has a newer amp I think the 2250 v2 that has the specs and is about $1600. Far cheaper than the Halo 23+. I realize I've spent good money on the sepakers and should not cheap out on the amp, but I've thrown $60,000 for my Control4 home automation and I'm a bit tight on spare cash for a 5 star, ultra high end amp at the time. I've looked at crown amps, but they seem more fitting for PA systems than home use. Suggestions?
 
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