So Iíve been lurking/learning on the forum for a little while now and have been convinced of the need for a separate amp. Iím currently running a 5.0 system consisting of Polk RTiA7 fronts, CSiA6 center, and A3 surrounds. No SW because of SWMBO (she who must be obeyed). Running it out of a Marantz SR5002 (90 wpc) with the A7ís bi-amped. Also have a mid-grade Sony SACD, lower end Sony BD and 50ĒSamsung plasma.
I like the sound of the set up with caveats. The Marantz sometimes goes into protect mode (shut down) during louder movie sequences. Iím assuming this has a lot to due with not having a SW as it doesnít happen with music which is 75% to 80% of my listening. So itís not the end of the world but frustrating none the less. With music, Iím even happier with the setup except that I like it LOUD. Like feel it going through you loud and I canít quite seem to get that power out of the Marantz.
So what to buy? Iím looking to buy used (ebay/audiogon) with a budget around $500. Could go a little more for the right reasons but really rather keep it under. Iím looking for something that would fit with my mostly music listening. A Sunfire would be my dream but they seem way out of my budget. Maybe a later upgrade. Iíve also seen a couple Marantz MM9000 that I thought would match well with my current Marantz. I know Marantz has a ďmusicalĒ reputation, but Iím not sure if 5X140 wpc is going to cut it. Also concerned about the honesty in that number as its total power consumption is 400 watts.
Outlaw and Emotiva are in my range and at 200 wpc seem to have the power but some have said theyíre a little harsh on the music side. But do I really need 200 wpc to drive the A7ís? I accept Iím not getting 180 wpc with my current bi-amped Marantz, but Iíve got to be getting 120-140 right? I see a lot of stuff in the 100 to 125 wpc range that fits my budget but Iím not sure that would be an upgrade. Am I right, am I wrong? Any advice and insights appreciated.
ps Also thinking that I want 5 channels as it would leave me with the option to bi-amp the A7's if necessary but would settle for a 3 channel if I was convinced it would do the job.