Looking for a "used" 2 channel amp... - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 9 Old 10-24-07, 08:46 PM
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Looking for a "used" 2 channel amp...

I'm presently doing a lot of research on a good used amp for my 2 channel system. I've been looking at the Pass Labs x150 & x250, Classe' CA201, Rotel RB1090, Audio Research 300.2 & quite a few others. The amp will be mated with a CJ PV14LS2 tube preamp & powering a pair of AAD 2001 monitors (86db/8ohm in a 13x32 room) My budget is hovering around the 1.5-2.5K range +/- a few hundred if necessary. I'm all ears to your recommendations on other amps I should be taking a look at. First hand experiences would be great!
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-26-07, 02:09 PM
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Re: Looking for a "used" 2 channel amp...

I would certainly add Bryston and Parasound's Halo line to the mix of contenders. Good luck.
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-26-07, 03:22 PM
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Re: Looking for a "used" 2 channel amp...

I think you've got some fine choices listed already.

I think I'd be inclined to go with some of the more inexpensive amps in that section -- my opinion is that, with exceptions, there isn't that much difference among the various amps ability to reproduce sound. At least among your typical home audio amps from reputable brands. Will the Bryston sound better than the Rotel? Probably.. a little. But probably not enough to justify the extra cost. But then I'm professionally cheap (I'm a CPA after all).

All of the brands listed also have a good reputation (from what I know) for being built well, so you should be ok with any of those brands buying used.

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post #4 of 9 Old 10-28-07, 09:20 AM
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Re: Looking for a "used" 2 channel amp...

Don't forget to checkout the Outlaw 2200 Monoblock and the Emotiva RPA-1.
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-29-07, 11:46 PM
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Re: Looking for a "used" 2 channel amp...

I just checked the SoundStage! review (they always have some decent measurements as well) and it says they're rated to handle up to 300W. SPL calculator puts that at 105dB (reference level for movies) if you are sitting 6 feet away, with 300W/channel. If you're 9 feet away, you'll need 600W for reference level.

Since it's 8ohm nominal, and the impedance graph measured in the SoundStage! review shows it is fairly uniform, the speakers are an easy load. So I wouldn't say you need "expensive" amps that can double down or anything like that.
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-30-07, 01:39 AM
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Re: Looking for a "used" 2 channel amp...

Hello, With All Things Being Equal, Like A Amp Neither Adds Nor Should It Take Anything Away, I Would Look For A Amp With A Good Amount Of Power. 150 To 400wpc. I Am A Fan Of The Carver Amps Of Yesterday. I Have A Couple Of Tfm 55's. At One Point In My System I Had Them Bridged Mono On My Two Al-iii Ribbon Speakers With A Sonic Frontier Tube Hybrid Preamp. Wow. The Sound Was Nothing Short Of Spectacular. The Point I'm Trying To Make Is That The Tubes In The Pre-amp Gave The System All The Warmth With The Depth And Width To Make The Ribbons Shine. Soundstage Was So Real That The Speakers Were Lost In The Illusion Called Stereo. It Was 3-d. The Amps Made By Carver Are Modeled After The Silver 7 Amp Bob Carver Made At That Time, Without The Big Price Tag(tfm=transfer Function Modified). By Comparison At That Time, The Parasound Amp Had That Japan Sound That Was Not Quite As Inviteing To My Ears. It Lacked The Warmth With Presence The Carvers Had, It Sounded Transistor-ized(flat). (that Was Before I Had The Sonic Frontier Tube Pre-amp Hybrid.) At That Time We Used A Parasound Pre-amp As Well As Some Mid Priced Cone Style Speakers. Now 16 Years Later, I Still Have These Amps And Speakers And My Taste Has Went To A Home Theater. The Main Attraction Now Is The Dynamics I Get From Having So Many Watts On Tap. No Noticeable Distortion Watching Movies At Full Tilt. Meanwhile The System Is Barely Breaking A Sweat. I Would Look For The Deal. Whats That You Say? The Amp That Has A Good Build And That Is Gonna Match Your Speakers With At Least One And A Half Times More The Power That The Speakers Can Hold. Remember Distortion Kills Speakers Quicker That Clean Power. Keep The Prices Simular. Don't Buy A $2k Amp With $500 Speakers. Your System Is Only As Good As It's Weakest Link.buy Good Interconnects But Don't Be Fooled Into Thinking That The Pricey Ones Sound Better.(with The Exception Of The $400 Or So Monster Cable Rca's).many Years Ago Autosound 2000 Technotes Debunked Alot Of Cable's As Being Snake Oil. The Person That Pays $10,000 For A System Would Never Consider Using A $1.00 Cable, Yet It Will Problaly Sound As Good Or Better Than The $100.00 Ones. You Decide For Yourself On This Stuff. Do The Research Before Sinking A Lot Of Money On Cables. Anyway Hope This Shine A Little Light On The Subject Without Muddying The Waters.lol (just My Thoughts And Opinions) Have A Great Day!!!
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-01-07, 02:38 AM
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Re: Looking for a "used" 2 channel amp...

Given your budget you should listen to a McCormack DNA-225. I just purchased a McCormack DNA-125 and it's the best sounding amp I've ever owned. I'm driving a pair of PSB Platinum M2 monitors and it's the most musically satisfying combo I've ever had. The 125's 125w/8 Ohm-200w/4 Ohm rating is more than enough for me, the DNA 225 is 225/8 and 400/4 Ohms. I've owned many amps, McIntosh MC162, VTL 50/50, B&K M200 Sonata monos, and Anthem Amp 1 just to name a few and none have revealed the details, imaging, and sense of space in recordings like the McCormack. It has a huge soundstage, the speakers disappear and all that's left is a holographic image. I was so impressed by this amp that I sold my Mac pre-amp and purchased a McCormack RLD-1 pre-amp. Type McCormack into any forum's search engine and you'll find nothing but positive comments. I often buy used gear, in fact I was ready to spend up to 2k used but for $1600 I got a killer amp brand new with warranty. You can pick up a DNA-225 for around $2600, it's a lot of money but worth it. Put it this way, if I spent 2k for the DNA-125 I would have still thought it was a great deal and the best sound for the money.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-24-07, 11:36 PM
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Re: Looking for a "used" 2 channel amp...

Take a look at the BEL 1001. There is usually at least one on audogon. This Amp is really something special. I have the good fortune of having a really good friend who works at a rediculously high end audio store, and this is the amp they all swear by, and for good reason. It is only rated at 50x2, but is stable down to half an ohm. This thing will literaly run any speaker. Also I belive that anything from the MK2 model and later can be sent in to Dick Brown and upgraded to current specs. If you can, this is really something you should look into.
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-13-08, 04:32 PM
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Re: Looking for a "used" 2 channel amp...


Last edited by Regg; 06-14-09 at 01:19 PM.
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