Free Shipping on All Orders 1-866-764-1801

Vist our Online Store
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1

    Member Sales Rating: (19)

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    8,170

    Default Monoblocks vs. Stereo Amps?

    I ran across this post on audioasylum re: the value of using monoblocks vs. stereo amps:

    1. Ability to physically locate amplifier close to speaker to minimize speaker lead length thereby reducing losses.

    2. Less noise interaction between stereo channels yields quieter operation and lower noise floor. Stereo amplifiers utilize shared component and circuit design.

    3. Vibrations of the amplifier stages themselves can interfere with other channels. Separating into monoblocks helps to eliminate this common noise source.

    4. There is less crosstalk (leakage) and greater stereo separation which yields enhanced stereo and fidelity effect.

    5. Monoblock isolated power supplies permit least possible electronic and mechanical interaction between channels and promotes maximum linearity and stability.

    6. Seperate power supplies do not rob power from the other channel under heavy loads.

    7. Greater heat dissipation of two independent chassis.


    Any thoughts, additions or corrections to these?

    I'm also interested in hearing comments from folks who have used monoblocks in their 2-channel systems. I realize it's low mid-fi, but I've used Outlaw monos but don't recall any particular differences. Just wondering if there are more distinct differences, in general, between using monoblocks or a stereo amp when moving up the quality chain.

    Thanks.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (7)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    lookin' for fava beans and a nice chianti
    Posts
    12,608

    Default

    I've used both, I've found the differences to be, generally, subtle.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

  3. #3
    Stronzo
    Member Sales Rating: (7)

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Over Yonder
    Posts
    7,885

    Default

    Well, we may have to mark this down as one of the occasions to where my experiences mirrior BDT's.

    In fact, the only time I've ever felt mono-blocks had a true *worthwhile* sonic edge is not from the design aspect, but more from the flexibility of placing the amp closer to your speakers for a shorter wire-run. Just run balanced to the amp, and maybe 2 feet *or less* of speaker wire, and the difference becomes more digestable given the added cost... otherwise.. I got nothin' over here.

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Chitown, IL
    Posts
    2,005

    Default

    I think one of the most important difference between a monoblock and a regular stereo (non-dual mono design) is the cross talk. Independent power supplies and torodials mean better separation.

    Add to this comparo a dual mono (stereo amp) and true monoblocks.... and really what's left is that with dual mono you get a single chassis (albeit separate inside) and with true monos, you get two chassis. The good thing about this is that you can use shorter speaker wire since, like EarlyB said, it is easier to position near the speakers and you get the subtleties that go with separate chassis; mainly isolated vibrations, heat.
    Joey's College Gear:
    Current Gear:
    SB3 -> PS Audio DAC III -> Cary Audio SLP-98Phono Tube PreAmp w/ Sylvania NOS 6sn7 tubes -> Plinius SA102 Class A amp -> Martin Logan SUMMIT/Strata Mini -> :D
    Old Gear:
    Martin Logan Vantage (4.75/5)-ML Mosaic (4.25/5)-Onix Ref1 (3.7/5)-Sonus Faber Concerto (3.5/5)-SF Concertino (3/5)-Axiom M22ti (2.75/5)-Polk LSi9 (3.75/5)-LSi7 (3.25/5)-HK AVR330-Rotel RC1070/RB1070/RB1090-SVS 25-31PC+ sub
    RUSH Med School 2008!!:D

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (7)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    lookin' for fava beans and a nice chianti
    Posts
    12,608

    Default

    While the crosstalk issue has some validity, IMHO, the noise level is so preposterously low in most cases as to be not worth mentioning.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

  6. #6

    Member Sales Rating: (16)

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    In A Van Down By The River
    Posts
    21,236

    Default

    8. effing cool when friends and family come over :D

    Actually my next amplifier is probably going to be a pair of Monarchy SM-70 pro's run in full balanced mono. To me it's just seperating the seperates even more. Space maybe an issue I'm not sure yet. A well designed dual mono amp will probably not show too much difference over the same amp done in mono-block. It's just that extra step and I believe there are sonic diiferences even if they are slight.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  7. #7

    Member Sales Rating: (16)

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    In A Van Down By The River
    Posts
    21,236

    Default

    I understand the whole shorter speaker cable runs.................but what about the longer pre to amp runs of IC's? Which is more detrimental? A 6-8 foot run of speaker cable or a 6-8 ft. run of IC's from the pre to each amp?

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  8. #8

    Member Sales Rating: (6)

    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    NC/AR
    Posts
    11,295

    Default

    ^^ Exactly my question. I would assume that the longer IC's would contribute a greater loss than would longer speaker cables.
    Quote Originally Posted by George Grand View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    Simple question. If you had a cool million bucks, what would you do with it?
    Wonder WTF happened to the rest of my money.
    My Saga
    Equipment Pictures

    [2CH]
    Rotel RCD-02
    Yamaha KX-W900U
    Sony ST-S500ES
    Denon DP-7F
    Parasound P/HP-850
    Parasound HCA-1000A
    Klipsch RF-35


    [In Storage]
    Yamaha CDR-HD1300
    ASL Wave 20 monoblocks
    Pro-Ject Phono Box MKII


    [Car System]
    Pioneer Premier DEH-P860MP
    Memphis 16-MCA3004
    Boston Acoustic RC520

  9. #9
    Stronzo
    Member Sales Rating: (7)

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Over Yonder
    Posts
    7,885

    Default

    hence; balanced. It's not just there for pretty looks..

  10. #10

    Member Sales Rating: (6)

    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    NC/AR
    Posts
    11,295

    Default

    So, what's the deal with balanced? Do preamps put out more voltage into a balanced connection and so there is less of a loss? Or is the balanced connection just more efficient?

    But now we're getting into costs. I'm not 100% for sure, but isn't it conceivable that a balanced connection 6-8 feet long would cost more than speaker cables 6-8 feet long? And I guess here I'm bringing in something that has no effect on the sound...just something the average hobbyist would have to deal with. I would love to have my ASL monoblocks sitting on top of a piece of glass on top of my Klipsch, but I can't imagine how much I would have to pay for interconnects to have my amps 8-10 feet away from my preamp!
    Quote Originally Posted by George Grand View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    Simple question. If you had a cool million bucks, what would you do with it?
    Wonder WTF happened to the rest of my money.
    My Saga
    Equipment Pictures

    [2CH]
    Rotel RCD-02
    Yamaha KX-W900U
    Sony ST-S500ES
    Denon DP-7F
    Parasound P/HP-850
    Parasound HCA-1000A
    Klipsch RF-35


    [In Storage]
    Yamaha CDR-HD1300
    ASL Wave 20 monoblocks
    Pro-Ject Phono Box MKII


    [Car System]
    Pioneer Premier DEH-P860MP
    Memphis 16-MCA3004
    Boston Acoustic RC520

  11. #11

    Member Sales Rating: (4)

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3,579

    Default

    balanced has a positive and negtive signal- they're the exact same, but opposite direction. any electronic noise will effect them the same, so when the signal is amplified/unblanced the noise gets canceled.

    In my experince the only real benefit of a monoblock vs a dual mono is the heat dissipation and the shorter runs.
    Gallo Ref 3.1 : Bryston 4b SST : Musical fidelity CD Pre : VPI HW-19
    Gallo Ref AV, Frankengallo Ref 3, LC60i : Bryston 9b SST : Meridian 565
    Jordan JX92s : MF X-T100 : Xray v8
    Backburner:Krell KAV-300i

  12. #12

    Member Sales Rating: (2)

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Pasadena Maryland
    Posts
    878

    Default

    I am on my 2nd pair of monoblocks. i dont have mine located on the floor ,instead mine are sitting in a welded steel audio rack that is modular and each shelf is isolated with spikes on the bottom of the legs and a top cap with a conical pocket to accept the spikes. i use 1M IC cables and 10 ft speaker cables. monoblocks add another degree of seperation just as with a seperate preamp and power amp. a seperate power supply for each channel means that the amplifier does not have to work as hard and seems to smooth things out a bit. thanks...WCW III
    JAS Audio Bravo 2.3 SE Single ended Class A Tube Integrated Amplifier Svetlana 6C33-B triodes @ 18 wpc-Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC W-LME49990 op amps w Siemens 12AU7 -Black Cat Morpheus cables -Silverline Audio Sonata III

  13. #13
    Stronzo
    Member Sales Rating: (7)

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Over Yonder
    Posts
    7,885

    Default

    AB,

    As Unc stated - the two are mostly one in the same sans the cancellation. You will find the professional industry uses balanced in most applications as the integrity of the signal seems to maintain itself better over longer distances, vice your standard rca.

    Expanding more, I've found the balanced circuit to be wonderful, especially when you can utilize it in an all balanced system (cd player, pre, amp). I had a chance to do that with some BAT and MARSH gear awhile ago... could switch between xlr and rca on the fly - the differences were not subtle. But then again, we are drifting away from the whole mono block question...

    I think we have reached a point to where a good integrated can sound pretty damned fine compared to seperates of the same caliber. Mono blocks have their purpose and benefits, but these days, its difficult to tell a difference between a dual mono stereo amp in one chasis, versus the same piece thats seperated. Honestly - I feel that if you have the cash, its worth it for COOL factor, alone..

  14. #14

    Member Sales Rating: (17)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    12,071

    Default

    It is my understanding there is more sound quality loss from longer speaker cables than from long interconnects. I have no opinion of my own at this point. I have had both stereo and mono-block amplifiers and there is no real way to compare as you will never have the same amp in both configurations. Logically, everything in EB's original post would be true. Balanced I/O would only be required if there is a lot of RFI in the area. Remember, balanced setups normally have an extra stage to convert from single ended to balanced and the fewer stages you have the better, as far as theories go.
    madmax
    Last edited by madmax; 03-04-2006 at 05:59 PM.
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  15. #15

    Member Sales Rating: (21)

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Deep Down the Rabbit Hole
    Posts
    9,610

    Default

    I am using the silver 9t mono, unbalanced 1-2m connects, with 8ft speaker cables in the Shed. They have a cool factor and have more current power than when I was using the NAD bridged mono. Prior to that I was using the NAD in stereo, not a fair comparison there. Anyway the Carvers drive the Amazings in the Woodshed with substantial power, control and dynamics for transient sounds with deep controlled bass. There GREAT like Tony the T says.

    I am very happy with the mono blocks but really would not hestiate to go with an integrated or single chassis design amp if I felt it would improve my rig.

    I generally agree here with everyone and Early's list, I am considering the MF Kw 500 as a power and pre integrated. However, you can hardly think of this piece in terms of "regular" integrated. Or possibly keep the Carver mono's and go with a pre upgrade, heck, the possibilties are wide open, with todays designs if you go with a solid company who does not compromise itself, any of the products they offer are all going to give you great performance. So how is that for sitting on the fence.:D

    RT1
    REEL TIME THEATRE
    Onkyo-TX-NR5007
    B&K 7270 amplifier
    Polk SWA-500 Subwoofer amplifier
    OppO BDP-83
    Pioneer Elite 50"
    Polk LCi-RTS-105;LCi-RTS-C;LCi-RTSFx;LCi80Fx
    Subs-Twin Polk CSW200
    HTS5000


    RABBIT HOLE RIG
    BAT VK-31SE
    VTL MB-450 Signature monoblock
    Wolcott Presence monoblock
    Musical Fidelity kW SACD
    Rega P25/RB600/Clearaudio Aurum Beta
    Acoustech Phono-Pre
    Sound Lab Millenium ELS
    BillyBags Rack
    MIT S1/3 cables
    Shunyata/PS Audio/Virtual Dynamics Power Cords


    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over

  16. #16

    Member Sales Rating: (4)

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3,579

    Default

    MF KW500 kinda takes a different view on things- it gets the power supplies into their own box... and judging by the result, this isn't a bad idea. On my shortlist, too.

    I guess the bottom line is that with proper design, any layout (seperates, intergrated, dual mono, monoblocks) can work. Take the adcom 565 monoblocks vs the 585 dual mono. Basically the same amp, but the 585 sucked. Compare against the bryston 7b and 14b... again same amp. one mono one dual mono- people seem to prefer the dual mono 14b.
    Gallo Ref 3.1 : Bryston 4b SST : Musical fidelity CD Pre : VPI HW-19
    Gallo Ref AV, Frankengallo Ref 3, LC60i : Bryston 9b SST : Meridian 565
    Jordan JX92s : MF X-T100 : Xray v8
    Backburner:Krell KAV-300i

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Similar Threads

  1. The nitty gritty of watts and amps
    By AsSiMiLaTeD in forum Electronics
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 06-03-2006, 11:06 AM
  2. High quality amps?
    By Peter J in forum Car Audio & Electronics
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-18-2005, 01:07 PM
  3. car stereo sounds distorted
    By tammyb510 in forum Troubleshooting
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-19-2003, 11:21 PM
  4. Bass Management with Stereo vs. Dolby PL II
    By mbtins in forum Subwoofer Hookup & Bass Management
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 10-17-2002, 08:06 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts