The best, cheap 5 channel amplifier I can buy...

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by Bluesmoke, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Bluesmoke Audioholic Chief

    Bluesmoke
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    Hi guys, my equipment is listed in my sig. I want to pre-out the speakers to an amp so that it takes a load off my receiver. If possible, I'd like to have one amplifier do everything. So I'm looking for a 5 channel amp. Whether it's pro gear or HT gear doesn't matter. I don't have a set budget, but I'd prefer 120w per channel at 8ohms, and something under $500. Any help/pointers would be appreciated.
  2. Chopin_Guy Senior Audioholic

    Chopin_Guy
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    The best you can do is the Emotiva sale right now on the XPA-5 and that will run you $599 shipped....other than that, you are going to be pressed to find a 5 channel amp for $500. You can often find some good deals on what would be much more expensive amps on Audiogon, but even then you are talking more than $500 for a 5 channel...

    And even the route of pro-amps, I don't think you can squeeze in under $500 as most of those are stereo amps so you have to be running 3 of them for 5 channels...
  3. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    You would have no advantage over using your receiver amps. The whole point of external amplification is to increase current delivery into low impedance and reactive loads.

    I know of no such device, and frankly a 5 channel amp built for that price will be no advantage and a waste of money.
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  4. Bluesmoke Audioholic Chief

    Bluesmoke
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    Thanks guys. I've noticed that when I have all speakers running, the hiss from my speakers is louder than I wanted it to be, particularly during a quiet passage. I think I may be overdriving the amp section. That's why I was wondering if an amplifier would help.
  5. OttoMatic Senior Audioholic

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    If it's a quiet passage where you're hearing hiss, it won't necessarily be solved by getting a bigger amp. Actually, if it's a quiet passage, you're almost certainly not stressing your amp.

    Since you're hearing hiss, it's coming from one of a few possible sources (in general). It may be that you're simply amplifying hiss that simple exists in the source recording. The first time I heard CD and I heard hiss, I thought there was something wrong. I thought that there should be absolutely no noise or hiss. However, it was simply there on the recording, and no storage medium will fix that. So if your source recording has a little background noise, it's very likely that it will be noticable at high volumes during quiet passages.

    It's also possible that it could be that your preamp or amplifier section is a little noisy. However, with modern electronics, I find this rather unlikely. If you play no source, but turn the volume all the way up, how much noise floor do you get? (Be careful if when you have things turned up all the way) If I play no audio, but turn the volume to max, I have a slight audible hiss, but I have to have my ear right at the tweeter to hear it. If I move one or two feet from the speaker, I cannot hear the noise floor. I certainly cannot hear it from my seat.

    It could also be something a little more sneaky, like a cable picking up noise or a bad connection. Do you get the noise only in on one speaker? Are your cables a rat's nest of a mess? Does the noise floor get better or worse if you move cables around or jiggle things? If so, it might be a cable or cable noise issue.

    At this point, I think I'd gamble on #1 above. I think you're just amplifying the noise floor of the recording. Try different songs (especially different albums). Do they all sound the same during their quiet passages? If they're all different, and some are quiet while others are noisy, you're just hearing the recording.

    Good luck!
  6. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    One other possibility is that his speakers have a peak between 4 and 5 KHz, such as a driver break up mode not notched out. That would make any hiss more obvious.

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