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mcbrennan
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1000 wpc monoblocks

I am seeking massive wpc monoblock amplification for a new stereo system. To this point, three impressive amplifiers have been recommended to me. I have heard one.

McIntosh MC1.2KW
Boulder 2050
Pass Labs X1000

All three have received favorable reviews to different degrees. I would very much enjoy reading thoughts from any of you who own [or have owned at one time] one or more of these three monoblock monster amps.

Equipment paired with the amps?
Musical?

Thanks!

Welshsox
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

Strange post

What is the rest of your system ?

Why do you feel the need for 1000 watts ?

mcbrennan
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

Hi Welsh,

Actually, I am rebuilding from scratch. I am all but certain that I will build from a pair of Eggleston Savoy speakers. Previous experience has led me to seek as much wpc *peak* power as I can obtain w/o sacraficing musicality.

I agree, my initial post was odd now that I re-read it. I should have simply asked for experiences with high wpc amplification and read the replies to see if a common thread appeared [product wise and/or insight wise]. Hope this is clearer.

commsysman
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

The sensitivity of those speakers is given as 85 db/w/m.

Based on that sensitivity, it is very unlikely that you would need 1000 watts; Eggleston recommends 100W to 600W, depending on room size.

If you really have a very large room to drive, however, somewhere between 300W and 1000W IS what you would have to consider as adequate.

The Bryston 28B-SST Monoblocks are rated Class A at $16,000 per pair, and will give you the 1000 watts. You could hardly go wrong there. That would be my first choice, by far! You can read the Stereophile review on this website, of course.

The Ayre MXR monoblocks are rated for 300W at 8 ohms, but at the impedance of those speakers they should put out quite a bit more than that...500-600 watts; they would almost certainly deliver all of the power required for $19,000.

Those are the ones I am familiar with that deliver impeccable sound as well as good reliability. Another thing to consider is the reputation of the manufacturer and the warranty, of course.

Bryston gives a 20-YEAR transferable warranty, and has always been known for outstanding customer support and service; I personally value those things highly.

Curly
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

Hi 2-Cannel

I would think carefully about exceeding 600wpc with the Egglestons. That is a lot of power.

Mike

Jan Vigne
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

If you can't blow it up with 600 watts, you probably can't blow it up with 1,000 watts.

mcbrennan
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

Thanks everyone for your reply and suggestions. Lots to consider. I appreciate all of the help!

Welshsox
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

I used to think that power solved all problems, im not so sure now. It seem as if power does definetly provide scale and impact but it seems as if something is lost also, the music just doesnt seem as emotional.

Jan Vigne
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

ST has discussed this several times. His favorite amps, to my knowledge, are almost always those with a single pair of output devices or just one output device per channel. I have many times thought the smallest amp in any line has often been the best sounding in the line.

Extreme power is a trade off IMO if you do not require extreme power. If you've ever driven a high powered car, you remember the sensation. But for my own self, I can't remember the last time I drove faster than 70 MPH in city traffic and the quarter mile is just about the distance to the nearest 7-11 with four stop signs in between here and there.

Difficult to drive loudspeakers do require something other than just more watts.

ncdrawl
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

Dude, you are a dealer for Bryston, arent you? You sound like an effing commercial.

to the OP, you should be fine with around 5-600 watts, assumping that your room is not enormous. 1000 watts is excessive. Like Emporer Vigne said, it aint just about watts, friend.

why not ask Eggleston what they reccomend? after all they would know better than any of us hacks.


Quote:
The sensitivity of those speakers is given as 85 db/w/m.

Based on that sensitivity, it is very unlikely that you would need 1000 watts; Eggleston recommends 100W to 600W, depending on room size.

If you really have a very large room to drive, however, somewhere between 300W and 1000W IS what you would have to consider as adequate.

The Bryston 28B-SST Monoblocks are rated Class A at $16,000 per pair, and will give you the 1000 watts. You could hardly go wrong there. That would be my first choice, by far! You can read the Stereophile review on this website, of course.

The Ayre MXR monoblocks are rated for 300W at 8 ohms, but at the impedance of those speakers they should put out quite a bit more than that...500-600 watts; they would almost certainly deliver all of the power required for $19,000.

Those are the ones I am familiar with that deliver impeccable sound as well as good reliability. Another thing to consider is the reputation of the manufacturer and the warranty, of course.

Bryston gives a 20-YEAR transferable warranty, and has always been known for outstanding customer support and service; I personally value those things highly.

commsysman
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

LOL...I'm not a dealer for Ayre, either.

I picked the Ayre and Bryston amplifiers for three reasons; I have heard them...I know personally that they are really great-sounding amplifiers...and the fact that they are rated Class A by Stereophile indicates that I am not alone in my opinion.

The man asked for informed opinions on amplifiers that meet his requirements, and I tried my best to respond to his post. He said he wants lots of power, and I am not going to argue with him, especially since those are rather inefficient speakers; his choice.

Why don't you concentrate on honestly responding to the man, as I did, instead of trying to trash me?

Don't I have the right to give an honest opinion without you repeatedly kicking me in the butt?

Kindly address yourself to the post, and express your own opinion without trashing mine.

ncdrawl
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks


Quote:
LOL...I'm not a dealer for Ayre, either.

I picked the Ayre and Bryston amplifiers for three reasons; I have heard them...I know personally that they are really great-sounding amplifiers...and the fact that they are rated Class A by Stereophile indicates that I am not alone in my opinion.

The man asked for informed opinions on amplifiers that meet his requirements, and I tried my best to respond to his post. He said he wants lots of power, and I am not going to argue with him, especially since those are rather inefficient speakers; his choice.

Why don't you concentrate on honestly responding to the man, as I did, instead of trying to trash me?

Don't I have the right to give an honest opinion without you repeatedly kicking me in the butt?

Kindly address yourself to the post, and express your own opinion without trashing mine.

I was expressing my opinion. That you sound like a Bryston commercial.

Sort of like Rich and Emotiva.

(as a matter of record, I am looking for another SS Amp to go in our new mastering room, and I actually may be getting another bryston (or not).. as I am familiar with the sound of them.

KBK
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

I feel that everyone needs 1000 watts. They just don't know it.

mrlowry
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks


Quote:

Sort of like Rich and Emotiva.

ncdrawl-

I assume that this is just you pushing buttons and fooling around but just in case you are serious.

There are three VERY important differences:

1. Commsysman is a fairly long standing member of the forum. His post count may be low, but that's because he only speaks when he has opinions based on practical hands on experience.
2. He isn't raving about a product yet unheard.
3. He loves and raves about three completely separate brands; Audio Research, Ayre, and Bryston. I have heard products from all three companies and tend to share his enthusiasm to a greater or lesser degree with respect to all three.

ncdrawl
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

I am doing just grand at a puny 25, thanks.

Quote:
I feel that everyone needs 1000 watts. They just don't know it.

ncdrawl
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks


Quote:

ncdrawl-

I assume

Nope, no joking. His Bryston stance does have a commercial appearance.... past a certain point, all good comments start to sound like shilling...

SAS Audio
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks


Quote:

Quote:

ncdrawl-

I assume

Nope, no joking. His Bryston stance does have a commercial appearance.... past a certain point, all good comments start to sound like shilling...

One other point might be helpful. If 2-channel clips the amps at 600 watts, there may be a problem damaging the tweeter etc.
At 1kw, that would lessen the problem a little.

Hope this helps.

Mista Johnson
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

I went through the same analysis of 1000 watt (or more) amps.

My advice:

Listen to the Bryston 28B-SST2s. They are very impressive.

The 1.2KWs are great amps. I don't think you will find many full reviews of them (I didn't) but I listened to them extensively. I trust my ears without question, and I can tell you that they sound nothing at all like the 501s or any other amp in the line (I A/B'd them with some of the other amps). They are an entirely different beast. It never occurred to me that I might like McIntosh - and I still don't much like any other amp in their line (I know several have been well reviewed, but I've done my own listening) - but the 1.2KWs bowled me over.

They Ayres are great amps, but you don't get the same level of power. I won't argue with you or lecture you on how much power you "need." I, for one, believe that I get the best sound out of my system if the thousandth watt sounds good (not just the first watt).

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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks


Quote:
I feel that everyone needs 1000 watts. They just don't know it.

I agree.

My Jeff Rowland Design Group Continuum 500 puts out 1,000 watts potential into the 4-ohm load of my Vienna Acoustic speakers. The watts and damping capacity of the amplifier have a very noticeable impact on sound of the bass through many dynamic speakers. For example, the Dali 400 speakers ound wild and wooly with a 100-watt Primare, but get progressly tighter and cleaner sounding as you try different Rowland amps with increasing power.

I have not extended direct experience with the amps in question, but have heard Boulder side-by-side with Rowland. Both are great and I only suggest that you cosider Rowland in your comparison.

In the Forum at www.audiogon.com you'll see a lot more in-depth reviews of the amps in question.

Dave

linden518
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

I don't agree because it's such a case-by-case thing. For example, dcstep has VA loudspeakers that have a demanding load, so I don't doubt that he experiences the benefits of his Rowland. But have you heard really good high-efficiency speakers or horns with some fancy modern, high-wattage amp? NASTY. Of course, there are exceptions but as a rule, there's a reason why many prefer low-watt SET amplification when using with a great set of vintage 2-way or a fullrange. With the right speakers, the purity of few quality watts will trump 1000 watts IME. I just think it's futile to say that more watts = better sound without considering everything holistically.

Mista Johnson
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

I agree that it is a case by case thing, and I agree that one does not always "need" 1000 watts.

However, I do believe that the importance of power is often underrated nowadays (as it was overrated quite some time ago). In many systems and with many speakers, the amount of power that an amplifier has will have a significant effect on the type of sound that a system produces. I have seen lots of people driving speakers with half the power that is optimum, which means they end up with a very good, but not great, overall sound.

linden518
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks


Quote:
However, I do believe that the importance of power is often underrated nowadays (as it was overrated quite some time ago).


I think this trend is reversing its course, though, judging from the number of manufacturers churning out mega-watt amps in recent years. If I had a pair of speakers that demanded a lot of watts and current delivery, I'd also opt to err on the side of too much than too little, as well.

Duvet
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

I use 500 watts a channel in a pre/power mono configuration . Its got nothing to do with power or loudness. Its how your amps control those drivers. I've tried all sort of amps from relatively low Class A designs which do sound fantastic but ultimately just lacked that dynamic headroom in my set up. My speakers don't suggest they're hard to drive but manufacturers figures are not the last word as we all know and i believe mine have a nasty dip at some point . If you can home demo then do and don't rush . Try anything that takes your fancy . In hifi when we try to sprint to the finsh we mostly fail so little steps tend to be less expensive and less costly . Good Luck.

blackfly
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

2-channel: If you do not mind my 2 cents..... I own a Bryston 14B SST that I bought last year. I would HEARTEDLY recommend the 28B SST2 and should I upgrade it would be high up on the list. The 14B SST is the strongest 2 channel amp they make and I have NO regrets in the purchase. Sonically it is what you would expect with an understated appearance, albeit tasteful. The warranty should be enough to convince you but if the 1000 watts is really what you are after, the 28B SST is probably what you are after from someone who has probably the closest to it.

Welshsox
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Re: 1000 wpc monoblocks

Hi

Of course if you want real high quality power amps at high output power you could go with Crown amps. The CTS 3000 for around $2,000 will push out unlimited power, couple this in a biamp arrangement with a nice tube amp ( Rogue, Jolida etc. ) for the highs and for around $5k you could have unbelievable power and quality.

Of course if you want to pay the extra for the badge please feel free and go for it. As they always say " somebody has to pay retail "

Alan

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Money for nothing and your chicks for free

I hate to admit it but commercial PA power amps like Crown or QSC can actually perform quite well as long as you run balanced and hide their chassis so you can't hear the roar of cooling fan noise. I say this because I have operated and installed quite a few Krell, McIntosh, Bryston, Parasound and other amplifier products and now rely on $500 QSC 2400 amplifiers all around my mastering and tracking facilities.

Bear in mind that amplifiers have a habit of interacting with the perceived frequency response of a speaker to a rather large degree. Each different amp will change where the "voicing" of your speaker array winds up, from a linear perspective.

Once it has been determined that some brute force is actually needed you are usually informed that you must spend a fortune getting there. Horn speaker users usually don't need more than 25 watts whereas multiple crossover "box" speakers may insist on having 500 watts reserve power or they stay muddy sounding.

I have a pair of tiny LS3/5 monitors that would refuse to play clearly until they were whipped into shape with 500 RMS per channel. If you are using some extremely effecient easy to drive speakers you have not discovered why some of us are unafraid to use lots of watts. Good for you.

I do find that by shifting speaker placement around in the room and listening for modes and nodes I can get very linear, high end results from quite cheap amps, however. The key is that the speakers definitely have to be re-tuned to get back in the groove when you switch out from one amp to another. I say this after using spectrum analysis and investing in studio technigues in equipping the listening area to minimise first reflections and other nasties.

In addition, in the case of a commercial class A/B power amp you may find that balanced inputs and independent two channel volume controls can come in quite handy for those occasions where bi-amping is on your build list. For some reason balanced inputs and separate power knobs show up in even a cheap PA amp yet expensive amps from a lot of manufacturers simply don't offer them. Would somebody please tell me why McIntosh saw fit to take the volume controls off their wonderful old MC275?

The ability to control every parameter possible can elevate the result far beyond mere dollars and cents. It is in fact much more about how you build rather than how much you spend.
I believe in tuning every aspect of a system including individual power output to each driver array, and the amount of time necessary to get the speakers to sound perfect is an un avoidable labor that there are no short cuts around.

In addition, spending a lot of money on a power amp is something to be avoided in many cases as there are much more sensitive places in one's playback which need money lavished on them. DACs, preamps and speaker costs come to mind.

On the other hand a simply lovely sounding $50,000 500 watt class A power amp is lots of "fun" if you are loaded with money and trying to spend it just for giggles. But it may not actually perform a whole lot better than a $500 QSC.

OK don't believe me. It's your dough.

jackfish
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I think some blind testing of

those 1 kW offerings from Bryston, Pass Labs, Boulder, McIntosh and the Emotiva XPA-1 might reveal that the Emotiva XPA-1 is a steal at $2000/pair. Would seem kinda silly to pair them up (even four bi-amped) with $55,000 speakers though.

soulful.terrain
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Bel Canto ref1000 monoblocs

If you go the route of Boulder, be ready to hash out some serious coin. Phenominal engineering and bulletproof design, just extremely costly.

If 1000 watts is your goal, look at these real-world priced amps. 500W@8ohms, 1000W@4ohms.

Here's a pic of a Bel Canto ref1000 monobloc amp:
http://pic4.audiogon.com/i/c/f/1297628931.jpg

Here is a pair of Bel Canto ref1000 monos for $1,750.
http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?ampstran&1303850353&/Bel-Canto-Re...

Mark Evans

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