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wendelltate
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Seeking opinions on amplififation for Paradigm Monitor 7

Hi all, I used to really be into hi-fi, then got married, had kids, and life took over. I am slowly trying to rebuild a system that will satify my music only desire. I have Paradigm Monitor 7s in front which I use with a CC=370 and a Yamaha receiver for video. For the past few years this has also been my audio setup.
I am searching for a great, reasonable amp and preamp combo or an integrated to use for audio.
In my old system I had a pair of 60 watt Rotel amps that were bridged mono along with a MacCormack Micro line drive and a pair of Apogee Centaurs. The sound was airy, open, just wonderful as I remember it.
I want to head back in this direction. Any suggestions would be helpful.
Thanks.

Buddha
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Re: Seeking opinions on amplififation for Paradigm Monitor 7

Welcome back to the addiction, and welcome to here, as well!

The Paradigms should be easy to drive with any reasonable quality amp/integrated.

Post a budget range and we'll all chime with options!

As a fellow Apogee owner, I am sorry for your loss.

Take a look around at the Apogee Speaker site and the Apogee Users Group...

Start here:

http://www.apogeespeakers.com/

Just in case you are unaware of it, www.audiogon.com can be a great source of gear, with Apogees showing up now and again.

Anyway, please to meet you. Throw more info at us and we'll try to help!

wendelltate
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Re: Seeking opinions on amplififation for Paradigm Monitor 7

Thanks Buddha! It is good to be back and great to be joining in here in the forum. I wish that I could get back into the Apogees. Man I really miss those! I don't have the space at the moment.

Concerning the price point on the integrated, I would be interested in something up to $800 or so. I am not afraid of used either. I have been reading info on the usual suspects, Marantz, NAD, Rotel, HK, etc. I have also been reading about the mighty 15 watt $29 digital amp. I am going to get one of these even if it doesn't turn out to be the right amp for my needs. How can you go wrong for $29?

Thanks for any help that you might offer.

Monty
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Re: Seeking opinions on amplififation for Paradigm Monitor 7

The new Outlaw receiver that Mike Fremmer reviewed recently could be a nice match at around your price, though I doubt you need the power. I like Rotel, but haven't listened to their more recent offerings. The Rotel RA-03 has seen a lot of good press in Europe and has been praised for its system friendliness.

Your speakers have a high sensitivity rating and aren't difficult to drive so you are pretty open to just about any tube or solid state stuff.

The Jolida hybrid integrated is just under your budget and well worth the money...RC 1501, I believe.

WonkoTheSane
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Re: Seeking opinions on amplififation for Paradigm Monitor 7

I have been happily living with a pair of Paradigm 7se mk3s for about a decade now. I drive them with a Parasound amp, and depending on my mood, I use the input sensitivity pots on the back of the amp, or the output level on my cd player to control the volume. Parasound doesn't make the amp I use anymore, but I have heard their Halo stuff, and think it is quite nice for the money. I have also heard the Bryston B-60 integrated driving these speakers, and although it is above what you wanted to spend, a used one might really make your day. Marantz used to make monoblocks the size and shape of a toaster that sounded great with them ( I think they were a 125 watt model), and although the sound is a tad dry for me, a friend uses Aragon (sp?) two channel gear on his Paradigms.

I tend towards rock, jazz and full scale symphonic works in my listening, but I heard some smaller scale orchestral, string and jazz combo pieces through a set of Paradigms that were driven by a Bottlehead DIY tube amp, and I liked what it did in the mid range.

Lots of people bought Adcom gear to go with the same speakers, but I never liked the combo very much, still, they make good electronics at affordable prices, defiantly worth listening to before you make up your mind. My reisling may be your cabernet.

As in all things audio, let your ears and your tunes decide for you, people named "Wonko" that post on forums aren't usually the best way to decide how to spend your hard earned cash.

Buddha
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Re: Seeking opinions on amplififation for Paradigm Monitor 7

Killer good post, Wonko.

wendelltate
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Re: Seeking opinions on amplififation for Paradigm Monitor 7

I agree Wonko about letting your ears do the work. As do most audiophiles, I tend to listen to many things before I buy.
I guess to be more specific with my posts I should say that here in Columbia, SC there are only two or three hi-end stores so there isn't much variety. I can access Atlanta and Charlotte within a couple of hours. I just need to target some brands, do some research, and then track 'em down and listen.

BTW My first pair of higher end speakers were Paradigm 5s which I had for about a decade as well. I could never find anything to match them in the price range and slightly above. I only moved up when I found a killer deal on some Apogee Centaurs.

WonkoTheSane
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Re: Seeking opinions on amplififation for Paradigm Monitor 7

I feel you Wendell. I live where a Wal-Mart or an appliance store are the only places to listen, I usually make a list, check it twice and head out on a long road trip to listen.

I rarely post in the equipment sections for that very reason, I haven't heard most of the gear people are looking for advice on.

I have been following the reviews and forums very carefully as of late, trying to decide if it is time for the savings to be spent. I have however found the same problem you describe, I just can't find anything I like better than my Paradigms in the sub $1000 category. Or I should say, nothing I like ENOUGH better. That made me to consider the amplification / playback side of my stereo, which is why I was able to comment personally on several types of amps I have heard with my Paradigms.

I noticed you said that used didn't frighten you, and the amp I use is readily available on ebay. It's the Stereophile reviewed Parasound HCA-1000A. I'll also mention the Bryston B-60 again, as the sound I heard out of that combo was really, REALLY nice. I don't know how much luck you'll have finding someone who wants to get rid of one though.

The last time I threw a major party, a friend of mine and I combined our systems with the following results. His two Parasound HCA-1200 amps were run as monoblocks into my Paradigms low end, and my HCA-1000 ran stereo into the high end. We used two Velodyne ULD-12s for stereo sub-woofing, and his Audio Research pre and Rega Planet cd player. Before we kicked the party into noise complaint land, we did some serious listening. We were both shocked at what happens when there is literally no limit to the headroom those speakers can draw from. Although they do have a high sensitivity (as Monty pointed out) I still prefer them with serious power to draw from, it seems to kick them out of what I percieve as a tendancy to be a little dark when underpowered.

I know it blows your budget, I have also heard the Krell integrateds (both the 300 and the newer 400 models) with these speakers, and unless you want to save your sheckels for a while longer, I wouldn't listen to the combo if I were you. The only way I got out of that store with my credit rating intact had a lot to do with the fact that I'm still not sure if the Paradigms are going to continue as my main speakers.

Anyway, good hunting, and keep me posted on your decision.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Seeking opinions on amplififation for Paradigm Monitor 7

Has anyone heard of a review or comments on the affordable Marantz 7200 integrated? I would love to know how the first 25 watts in Class A sound. At $499 it may be a sleeper, but I have not heard a peep about it.

Monty
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Re: Seeking opinions on amplififation for Paradigm Monitor 7

If you put any stock in what "What Hi*Fi" thinks about it, it is a former 'Best Buy' back in 2003.

I pick up a copy of the magazine a few times a year to see what is happening across the pond. They are going goofy over the Cambridge Azur line at the moment.

Buddha
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Re: Seeking opinions on amplififation for Paradigm Monitor 7

Mr. Tavegia!

I use one in my computer based system with some Infinity Intermezzo 2.6's and I am quite pleased with it.

RGibran
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Re: Seeking opinions on amplififation for Paradigm Monitor 7


Quote:
Has anyone heard of a review or comments on the affordable Marantz 7200 integrated? I would love to know how the first 25 watts in Class A sound. At $499 it may be a sleeper, but I have not heard a peep about it.

I believe Buddha owns and uses the Marantz in a second system and recall him highly recommending it. Perhaps he can add a few more comments.

RG

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