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akulrich
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Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: Feb 5 2011 - 11:27am
Upgrade my amplifier

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?

jackfish
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Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Evaluate a pair of Emotiva

Evaluate a pair of Emotiva XPA-1s for 30 days and if you don't like them send them back for a refund. I bet they really make those Paradigm Studio 100s sing.

http://www.emotiva.com/xpa1.shtm
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/power-amplifiers/520-a-secrets-power-ampl...
http://rmintz.blogspot.com/2009/06/emotiva-xpa-1-review.html

dumbo
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I would sign up for an

I would sign up for an account on Audiogon if you don't already have one and look there for starters. For $3k you can pick up a real nice amp to meet your needs. I got my PASS Labs X250 for less then that from there and it would surely fit the bill here

tmsorosk
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Joined: Dec 5 2010 - 12:34pm
Upgrade amplifier

Akuirich... You didn't say if your price was for new or used . For that price used , you could get into a Levinson , they work well with Paradigm and would suit your listening habits , don't be fooled by there power ratings , the power supply and current they deliver is more substantial than the ratings imply . dumbo's advice about Agon is sound .
I guess you have considered the old audiophile maxim , quality before quantity .

regards Tim

akulrich
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Joined: Feb 5 2011 - 11:27am
Thanks - I have bought used

Thanks - I have bought used equipment from my local retail shop, but I've been reluctant to buy online from someone I don't know. I think I will ask my local shop to keep an eye out for a used amp, meanwhile I will keep looking on Audiogon. Those Pass Labs and Levinsons look pretty sweet.

DenPureSound
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I Went w/ EMO's XPA-5

Went with EMO XPA-5, at 200W RMS per Channel - All Channels Continuously Driven (ACCD)

DenPureSound
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Emotiva XPA-1 and XPA-2
jackfish wrote:

Evaluate a pair of Emotiva XPA-1s for 30 days and if you don't like them send them back for a refund. I bet they really make those Paradigm Studio 100s sing.

http://www.emotiva.com/xpa1.shtm
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/power-amplifiers/520-a-secrets-power-ampl...
http://rmintz.blogspot.com/2009/06/emotiva-xpa-1-review.html[/quote]

Jackfish -- do you have two XPA-1's? They look nice for two of them at $2K total. If I went with the XPA-2, it's less power and money at $800 for both fronts... what would you buy?
Tks,
Dennis

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