Monoblocks vs. 2(+) channel?

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Well-known member
Jan 11, 2005
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Tampa, FL
I need some advice here. I'm planning to upgrade my system... ML Aerius fronts, currently driven by Adcom 545II, via Yamaha RXV-1000 pre-out (I know, not ideal, but it works). My system is dual purpose 90% 2 channel audio, 10% home theater (using the Yamaha RXV-1000 to drive the B&W center and surrounds, and NHT SubTwo). Having a large (poorly ventilated) A/V cabinet, I need a COOL running amp, so I plan to go with one of the IcePower designs... looking at eAR 501 monoblocks. Henry Ho (H2O Audio), and others, also offer 2 channel IcePower based amps. I also plan to biwire the Aerius. I'm assuming that dual monoblocks, would be better than a single 2 channel amp, all other things being equal. Any other suggestions on how to maximize 2 channel sound in a (modest) home theater setup? I eventually plan to upgrade to a Fresco for center.
i know i have said this before...but the Sunfire amps run unbelievably cool and sound very very good. check them out..
Bel Canto

Hi there,

I've recommended these before, and I'll carry on recommending these things, they are amazing!

Audition the Bel Canto eVo2 Power if you want 2 channel power amplification. I've done back to back sessions with these and a Krell FPB, and to my ears the Bel Canto simply destroys the Krell, as well as costing a lot less.

Go audition one - you won't regret it.


From what I've read online, the IcePower based (Acoustic Reality, JJaz, H2O, others) bests the Tripath design (Bel Canto), and at a lower price point (eAR 501 monoblocks ~$1600 total, shipped). Unfortunately, Bel Canto only has a 2 yr warranty, and no local dealer in Tampa.

Sounds like the Sunfire amp is high on value, but scorned in higher end circles! I've read both good, and bad, about them, but can't find any reviews yet of the 300~Two. Sunfire has a 5 year TRANSFERABLE warranty, which is a plus.

I think I'll try the Sunfire, can always upgrade later, as the Class T/D designs mature.

Thanks all.
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I'm living in the ICEpower country Denmark and I'm testing a lot of these amplifiers - ASP 500 and ASP 1000. I have Nordost Valhalla and ML Ascent.
Forget about these ICEpower, they miss a lot of dynamic and open music. We have been trying a lot, but still the same not open and dynamic music.
If you want a dynamic and well playing Danish amplifier from the PWM technology, try to look at this address [COLOR=Blue][/COLOR] , these amplifiers play open and very well in at setup with Martin Logan. But I think you also have a lot of well playing products in you great country.
Lc audio also start to make and sell a very well playing PRE amplifier.

(I have no business with them), I only recommend the product because I play these amplifiers and I'm very satisfied with them, they are classes better than ICEpower.

Best regards
Jorgen Toftdahl
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I appreciate your candor re the IcePower designs.

After weeks of deliberation, I've just ordered a Sunfire Cinema Grand 200~five. Since I plan to upgrade to a Fresco Center soon, might as well get that extra capability now. Plus, I just found out ( if anybody else is interested), it's possible to functionally bi-Amp the front and rear channels, creating a three channel amp (if I want), in addition to bi-wiring.

I'll report back once all is set up.
Bryston 7b monos

In my previous listening room, I had a set of Bryston 7b monos, running my aerius, and they were in a small cabinet. The way I worked around this was to install a 5 inch cooling fan at the rear of the circulated plenty of air, probably more than even sitting them out in the open.

If space is a concern, I would buy whatever amp you like, and just cool them with a quiet computer fan....for like 20 bucks!
Just got the Sunfire Cinema Grand hooked up... and WOW! Smoother mids and highs, and much tighter bass than my old Adcom 545. And I have yet to vertically bi-amp and biwire, can't wait for those improvements. I've been perusing all the speaker wire discussions, think I'll go with a shotgun biwire design, now only question is which??
I just bought two of the Outlaw Audio 200M monoblocks. They sound great and run very cool - I beat the heck out of them for hours and they barely warmed up. You also cannot beat the price ($299).

A belated f/u. Ended up vertically bi-amping the Sunfire, and using independant runs of Blue Jeans Cable to the Woofers and Stats. Great soundstage and imaging, and with significant improvement over my old setup. Still waiting for info about the new Stages to come out, which I'm considering for center.

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