I want to upgrade my amplifier. Here is a summary of my current set-up:
Speakers: Paradigm Studio 100 v.4
Subwoofer: Paradigm Studio Sub-12
Pre-amp: Anthem TLP-1
Amplifier(s): Two separate Anthem MCA 20’s (200 watts @ 8 ohms x 2 each)
DAC: Cambridge DAC Magic
Transport: M Audio Transit connected to my Sony Vaio computer
Cables: $20 Philips RCA cables/optical toslink – Generic 12-gauge Speaker wire with gold plated spade connectors
Music: Indie Rock and Electronica/Dance
I am generally pleased with the sound of my set-up, but I want better performance at very high volume levels (I like to listen to my music loud when my family is out of the house). I recently bought a second amplifier to run my speakers in bi-amp mode, but it sounds too bright bi-amplified. I actually prefer the sound with just one amplifier. When bi-amped, my Paradigms send all the upper binding post signals to my tweater and the lower binding post distributes signal to my mid-range and 3 woofers. It just seems way unbalanced to me bi-amped.
With one amplifier (200 watts x 2) I occasionally notice a little distortion at very high volumes levels and on two occasions I actually experienced clipping. Anyways, I think I might be ready for a bigger amp with more power. According to Paradigm, the suitable amplifier range my speakers is 15 – 350 watts, with maximum input power of 230 watts.
I want to keep my total budget under $3,000. Any recommendations for a nice powerful amp?
Also, should I save some of my budget for high-end RCA cables and speaker wires?