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 Post subject: Power Amp Advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:11 am
Posts: 42
Location: Stoney Creek, ON, CA
Hi

I’m looking to upgrade my system with a power amp.

I currently have a Linn Majik DSM driving a set of ML Ethos and Ohm Micro Walsh through a speaker splitter. I believe the Linn put out about 50 watts at 8 ohms. I have no problem driving both speakers and the sound is very good, but with more power, I’m told the ML Ethos would sound spectacular. So I’m looking for power amp with a minimum of 150 watts at 8 ohms.

The dilemma is determining which amp would pair effectively with my system. And there are so many power amps out there (Bryston, Anthem, Adcom, Wyred4Sound, etc …), all with excellent reviews, it is truly confusing which to select. As well I don’t know of many retailers that will allow you to demo the amps for a period of time to see what works best in my environment.

So I appeal to your advice, judgement and experience. Which power amps would you recommend, new or used. Also, should I consider Mono amps?

My budget is about $2M.

Thanks

John


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 Post subject: Re: Power Amp Advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:10 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:10 pm
Posts: 3022
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Wow!!! 2M $
Thats some budget

-- 10 Nov 2017 14:12 --

JohnnyG wrote:
Hi

I’m looking to upgrade my system with a power amp.

I currently have a Linn Majik DSM driving a set of ML Ethos and Ohm Micro Walsh through a speaker splitter. I believe the Linn put out about 50 watts at 8 ohms. I have no problem driving both speakers and the sound is very good, but with more power, I’m told the ML Ethos would sound spectacular. So I’m looking for power amp with a minimum of 150 watts at 8 ohms.

The dilemma is determining which amp would pair effectively with my system. And there are so many power amps out there (Bryston, Anthem, Adcom, Wyred4Sound, etc …), all with excellent reviews, it is truly confusing which to select. As well I don’t know of many retailers that will allow you to demo the amps for a period of time to see what works best in my environment.

So I appeal to your advice, judgement and experience. Which power amps would you recommend, new or used. Also, should I consider Mono amps?

My budget is about $2M.

Thanks

John

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 Post subject: Re: Power Amp Advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:13 am 
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Location: Port Ryerse, ON
With a $2M budget, I would look at Sansui or Sherwood.

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 Post subject: Re: Power Amp Advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:17 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Mod Beat wrote:
With a $2M budget, I would look at Sansui or Sherwood.

:lol:
But seriously...
I would look at Bryston

And a house to put it in.

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 Post subject: Re: Power Amp Advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:29 am 
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Location: Vernon, BC, CA
The Moon W5 is a nice match up with Ethos. If you ever decided to go a different direction the Wells Audio Majestic integrated is magic with the Ethos and Montis.


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 Post subject: Re: Power Amp Advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:36 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
First thing I'd do is get rid of that speaker splitter. But that's just me.

Remember that you have to double the power output of the amp for each 3 dB increase in SPL.

So increasing from 50 wpc to 150 wpc will get you about 4 dB more SPL capability. Of course you may also realize improvements in resolution, especially at lower frequencies.

I know this is audiophile heresy, but I think what you're looking for is BIG, EFFORTLESS power—500-1000 wpc—and the best price to performance ratio for that is pro audio gear.

My all-time recommendation for such an application is the venerable Yamaha P7000S power amp: 650 wpc @ 8 ohms, 950 wpc @ 4 ohms. Fan-cooled, yes, but the fans on mine have never actually come on—and, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I'm not shy about reproducing concert-level SPLs in my home.

The other great thing about the Yamaha P7000S is that they're cheap: typically $450-750 on the used market. (I have two, but neither are for sale.) Moreover, because so many were sold for sound reinforcement, they're usually not that hard to find; plus, if and when needed, repair shops don't have trouble getting parts.

I should add that it never would have occurred to me to even audition the P7000S—until a very particular listener, a friend who ordinarily prefers tube amplification, told me how impressed he was with this old PA amp. And when I actually got a chance to audition the amp in his system, I had to agree.

Anyway, I can't think of anything you could get for up to $2K used that would do a better job: that includes various older Brystons, with which I am very familiar.

If you already "know" that I am deluded, and would prefer to stick to well-regarded audiophile designs, Steve McCormack's old design, the DNA-1 Deluxe (180 wpc) remains a fine amp by any measure. However, DNA-1s are all 20+ years old now and often benefit from service and/or upgrades.

Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Power Amp Advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:40 am 
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Location: Montreal, QC, CA
Your challenge is to find a power amp that seriously betters the Linn for the amount of money available. But you knew that. The Linn is already very good, though.

I would want to hear Simaudio, Ayre, Blue Circle, Redgum and there are really quite a few other contenders. That's for solid state, but of course you might consider tubes too.

A dealer could help a lot with this, but don't shop at a dealer and then buy online. You could do a lot worse than walk in to a place and introduce yourself. Set out your situation clearly, including the budget. If the personnel seem friendly, knowledgeable and disposed to spending time with you, you're all set to learn a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: Power Amp Advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:58 am 
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Location: Burlington, ON, CA
Not to burst any bubbles but historically in the banking/finance world language 'M'was one thousand and 'MM' was one million.

Since your Linn is integral to the system and you can use it as a pre, I'm guessing that's what you intend to do. A Bryston 4B SST might fit your budget and get substantially more power.
But without looking into the Majik too deeply myself I'm wondering if there's a matching Linn amp you can bridge it with to double down? Or better still is there a way to configure that you can run one set of spekers with the integrated and the other with a separate power amp?

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 Post subject: Re: Power Amp Advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:52 pm
Posts: 86
Location: st-basile, QC, CA
i drive my logan with a McCormack dna1 deluxe sweet you can look at naim too


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 Post subject: Re: Power Amp Advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:31 am 
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Posts: 1230
Location: Guelph, ON, CA
The P7000S is a good choice for high power and low noise at reasonable used prices. There is a Mississauga Kijiji ad at the moment @$500/each. I use a P3500S which has less power but is a bit heavier in weight due to torroidal transformer. Just ordered another a couple days ago. The Yamahas have balanced inputs so you would need either RCA-XLR adapters or cables made up, or use a direct box. For compatibility, it might be better to use a preamp or preamp/DAC with balanced outputs. Or try a new Crown Drivecore Series 2 like the XLS2002 or XLS2502. You can get these new from a place with a decent return policy and they have adjustable input sensitivity and both RCA and XLR inputs.

A good buy right now for high power on the cheap (can't speak about the sound quality and they have hardly any left!) might be the Best Buy Ashly NE1600:
https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/as ... 56746.aspx?
However in addition to the balanced inputs thing the speaker connectors would also be different than what you would be using currently and it would need a fan mod or keep the amp in a separate room. But where else can you get Made In USA brand new 400wpc for $399 with free returns? (They are discontinued too but look how much they are in $US at Adorama: https://www.adorama.com/asne1600.html). Do they sound good? Who knows? I had one for about an hour but took it back to Best Buy because I was too lazy to do the fan mod.

IMHO, I wouldn't be going anywhere near $2000 unless I had an active preamp and can either return without penalty or resell it without loss if it doesn't make things better.


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 Post subject: Re: Power Amp Advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:49 am 
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Posts: 297
Location: Delta, BC, CA
You want a good power amp with good bloodlines? Try the Coda Continuum 3.2 that is for sale here on CAM..... the seller had some minor repairs done, but that amp has a lot to do with Pass Labs.... The owner, Doug, worked with Nelson Pass for sometime...


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 Post subject: Re: Power Amp Advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:03 pm 
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Location: Repentigny, QC, CA
http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/ ... lanced-in/

Supposed bl&&dy good
I have a 980bx and that is good!


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 Post subject: Re: Power Amp Advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:14 pm 
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Posts: 273
Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
Perhaps something by SAR Labs in Winnipeg? Walter's SS amps are in the 200W+ range.
You'll find commentary on his amps here: viewtopic.php?t=22971 and other places if you google.

If you want to buy new, you'll need to talk to Walter personally as he doesn't have a website: (204) 668-2472 I don't think he needs one. The few times I've visited his workshop the phone kept ringing with people wanting to talk to him about custom builds.

If you want used, I have a friend in Toronto that talked to me about downsizing and might want to part with his. PM me to continue that.

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 Post subject: Re: Power Amp Advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 4:58 pm
Posts: 126
Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
IMHO, you don't want more power, you want better power. My ML Source speakers are less efficient than your Ethos, and don't have powered woofers. A 25wpc First Watt F5 is more than enough power, and sound quality is to die for. Before you get caught up in the horsepower race, give consideration to a top-quality low-power amp.


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 Post subject: Re: Power Amp Advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:54 pm
Posts: 311
Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
What you want is this:

http://www.odysseyaudio.com/products-st ... tereo.html


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