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  1. #1

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    Default What are good external amp brands?

    I'm thinking (just like in car audio) the brand of the amp will determin the quality of sound, actual power, and overall quality of amp. So what brand names should I stick with.

    Through the little bit of research i've done i'm hearing good things about Carver, Parasound, Sunfire, Adcom and Emotiva. Is there any brands I should add or subtract from that list? I'll be looking for a three channel amp for my fronts and center, and won't be ready to buy for a few months. But, i'm also looking for a good "quality to dollar" ratio. I don't need some super expensive amp...and i'm sure there is a point to where you are paying for a brand name and bragging rights over just a good performing amp.

    This will mainly be for home theater and games, in a 5.1 set-up...i'll power my surround speakers with my AVR (Onkyo 606).

    Also, is this a good thing to buy used? Will an external amp "wear out" over time, like a set of speakers would?

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2

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    In keeping with the spirit of your current list I would add B&K to it.

    And yes, I would buy used in a heartbeat
    Speakers: Polk LSi15
    Pre: Adcom GFP-750 with HT Bypass
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  3. #3

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    I only buy used! FYI, I believe the Onkyo 606 does NOT have preouts, so are you planning on upgrading?

    I've owned Carver and Parasound, and have loved every second.

    James
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pycroft View Post
    I only buy used! FYI, I believe the Onkyo 606 does NOT have preouts, so are you planning on upgrading?
    I have pre-outs on my AVR, they took them out on the 607 and 608.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by integ3 View Post
    I have pre-outs on my AVR, they took them out on the 607 and 608.


    Where?
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  6. #6

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    Interesting, I didn't think any of the 6 series had pre outs.

    Beat me too it Face....lots of in's...no outs.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Interesting, I didn't think any of the 6 series had pre outs.
    The 674 did.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  8. #8

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    Learn somethin' new every day around here. Thanks for the info.

    As far as amps wearing out like speakers, they don't wear anymore or less than your AVR,at least the solid state ones,tubes is a whole nutha story.

  9. #9

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    On the features tab for my AVR on Onkyo's web site it says " analog pre-outs...sub". I thought that's what the front, surr, center and surr back was there in the DVD section???

    http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=...s=Receiver&p=f

  10. #10

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    Yes, you have a sub out.

    The front, surr, etc... is a multi-channel input.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  11. #11

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    Ahhhh, never mind...that must mean I ONLY have analog pre-out(singular) for me subwoofer. Well I guess so much for getting an external amp...i'll just get a bigger AVR since i'd have buy a different one to get analog pre-outs anyway. CRAP!!

  12. #12

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    Thats a pre out for the subwoofer only. Whats in the dvd section is to hook up a dvd player with analog cables. You need front left and right,surrounds,center preouts which I don't see.

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    I'm getting a Parasound 2205AT 200wpc. I got the recommendation here in this forum...

    Other brands that were recommended here were: Rotel, NAD, Adcom, B&K, Sunfire, Emotiva.

    Some don't like the Emotiva though. But you could buy one new for less $$$...

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    if you just want two channel I guess you could always use the zone two but if you want all five channels you're going to have to step up the AVR for preouts....
    HT - game room
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolsax View Post
    if you just want two channel I guess you could always use the zone two but if you want all five channels you're going to have to step up the AVR for preouts....
    Could I use that "zone 2 out" for an external amp for my fronts...and the AVR's internal amps for the center, and surround channels? Or does it not work like that?

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by integ3 View Post
    I'm thinking (just like in car audio) the brand of the amp will determin the quality of sound, actual power, and overall quality of amp. So what brand names should I stick with.

    Through the little bit of research i've done i'm hearing good things about Carver, Parasound, Sunfire, Adcom and Emotiva. Is there any brands I should add or subtract from that list? I'll be looking for a three channel amp for my fronts and center, and won't be ready to buy for a few months. But, i'm also looking for a good "quality to dollar" ratio. I don't need some super expensive amp...and i'm sure there is a point to where you are paying for a brand name and bragging rights over just a good performing amp.

    This will mainly be for home theater and games, in a 5.1 set-up...i'll power my surround speakers with my AVR (Onkyo 606).

    Also, is this a good thing to buy used? Will an external amp "wear out" over time, like a set of speakers would?

    Thanks for any advice.
    In your original post you mentioned a 3 channel amp for the fronts and center. I looked for a Carver A-753X for quite a while, but had no luck. The only one I saw that looked fairly good sold on ebay for a lot more than I could see investing in it. I then decided rather than go that way, I'd get a 5 channel amp instead. I have ended up with a Sunfire which is of course IMHO the best bang for the buck. There are several 200X5 sunfire amps on Audiogon right now. Of course everything depends on your budget.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by integ3 View Post
    Could I use that "zone 2 out" for an external amp for my fronts...and the AVR's internal amps for the center, and surround channels? Or does it not work like that?
    Just get the beefier receiver for right now, you'll love yourself in the end. It doesn't have to be the most costly type, just one with preouts for those future upgrades should you go seperates.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherardp View Post
    Just get the beefier receiver for right now, you'll love yourself in the end. It doesn't have to be the most costly type, just one with preouts for those future upgrades should you go seperates.
    Yeah, I was thinking about it and that's probibly the best way to go. I'll try to get into a seven series Onkyo this year and mabye get the external amp next year.

  19. #19

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    I decided to get a seven series Onyko so now I have all the pre-outs i'll ever need. Down the road, mabye Christmas or tax return time i'll get a good used five channel amp.

    Now i'm just trying to decide how much power I should run with my set-up? I've got Polk RTi8 fronts, CSi5 center and OWM3 surrounds...in a 12'X11' room that opens up to a dining room of the same size. I don't have a large room to fill, but I want plenty of power to make my speakers operate to their full potential. Should I get something that's around 100w per channel?? Or get something that is closer to 200 watts by five channels? I know it's probibly better to have too much, then not enough...but I don't want to buy more amp then i'll need for my room set-up.

  20. #20

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    I'd just listen to the AVR for abit. An 11X12 room should be an easy load for it. If your going to be there for awhile, you could upgrade other things before an amp.

    If you do go the amp route, buy as much power as you can afford. You control it, and it is always better to have more than just enough.

    Gordon
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