Best AMP under $2000?

V

VMPS-TIII

Junior Audioholic
Hey Guys - What's the best 5 channel AMP with 200 watts per channel or more under $2000? I'm using a legacy Adcom GFA 7000 and wondering if a new 5 channel amp would take my VMPS Super Tower III's and "Tall Boy" sub to a new level? OR just sound the same? Thanks! ;)
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Is there something wrong with your current amp? I'd just find something more important to spend your money on as I wouldn't expect it to take anything to a different level....except maybe in terms of spl if you get a more powerful amp. You run your sub off the power amp?
 
Kvn_Walker

Kvn_Walker

Audioholic Chief
Get your Adcom recapped and serviced for a fraction of what a comparable amp would cost you, and you'll be able to enjoy it for many many years to come.

If you're just itching to burn money, the Outlaw 5000 wouldn't be a bad choice at $649. Outlaw Audio comes highly recommended.

Those old Adcoms were beasts. You really won't gain much from a new amp other than "new car smell."
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
I agree!
As long as your Adcom is working properly, there is no real advantage to buying a newer amp.
Power amp technology was pretty much mature well before the GFA7000 came out and Adcom is solid gear! (there have been innovations, but none of them threaten a good solid class AB amp like the Adcom for SQ).
Speaker technologies have improved since yours were made (I am not personally familiar with VPMS speakers).
A very good speaker from the 90's is still a very good speaker today, but the equivalent Sound Quality is generally available for less money in today's market (inflation adjusted).
The subwoofer is where a change would most likely yield improvements. A great sub from the 90's is still good, but where it really falls flat is in the ability to tune it to the constraints of your room. If you happen to have a great fit between your room and the sub (which could best be evaluated with measurements), then you are gold, but more likely there are opportunities for improved SQ (sound quality) if you add some tuning options.
If you just really like the idea of the brand-matched VPMS sub and speakers, adding another "Tall Boy" sub is a great option. Here is an article explaining the benefits of dual subwoofers (showing FR charts without getting too deep into the technical details - if you want technical details, let us know and we can give you more links!):
Understand that many of us have upgraded amps like you are proposing, and while on "the day of the wedding" we may have convinced ourselves that the new gear sounded better, a revisit of the old amp after the honeymoon was over revealed that there was no appreciable difference!
That is why I am suggesting you look at subwoofers (and, to a lesser extent, speakers). You will hear a difference and the difference will have staying power after the "honeymoon"!
 
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V

VMPS-TIII

Junior Audioholic
Thanks for the input. I'm using a Denon 4500H for the rest of the speakers but I moved the VMPS SuperTower III's fronts and the "tallboy" sub to the Adcom GFA 7000 using the preamp outs on the Denon. The bass from the sub is strong and it's set -6db. My wife thoughtfully mentioned the dining room table upstairs was vibrating while I was listening in the basement. She would not appreciate me adding a 2nd one. :D I watched the video by Gene about cool new amps and thought mine might need an upgrade. Thanks for your wisdom! Sometimes it's best to leave well enough alone. lol
 

Attachments

lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Was just reading about the "Tallboy", the VMPS Large(r?) sub stood on end apparently....always heard nice things about those subs.
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
Thanks for the input. I'm using a Denon 4500H for the rest of the speakers but I moved the VMPS SuperTower III's fronts and the "tallboy" sub to the Adcom GFA 7000 using the preamp outs on the Denon. The bass from the sub is strong and it's set -6db. My wife thoughtfully mentioned the dining room table upstairs was vibrating while I was listening in the basement. She would not appreciate me adding a 2nd one. :D I watched the video by Gene about cool new amps and thought mine might need an upgrade. Thanks for your wisdom! Sometimes it's best to leave well enough alone. lol
A second sub is not necessarily to add volume but to flatten the response of the room at the listening position and perhaps a bit lower frequency response though.
 
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KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
My wife thoughtfully mentioned the dining room table upstairs was vibrating while I was listening in the basement. She would not appreciate me adding a 2nd one. :D
As mentioned above, the idea behind adding a second subwoofer is not increased output (although you would gain some if you needed it), but to improve the smoothness of the FR by having two sources in your room.
If you read the link I provided, it demonstrates how the two subwoofers improved the in-room response. Here is the graph of the results with the green line being dual subs vs the red line for the single subwoofer:



But it does seem you have a good system and if you are not noticing any issues with your bass, you're golden!

PS - For those readers who are concerned about the absence of lower bass from the dual subs, this particular instance was a comparison of dual 8" sealed subs vs a singe 12" ported sub! Much of the dea behind this article was to explore the notion of using two smaller subs (which can more easily be hidden) instead of one larger one for "spouse approval factor"
 
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Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Thanks for the input. I'm using a Denon 4500H for the rest of the speakers but I moved the VMPS SuperTower III's fronts and the "tallboy" sub to the Adcom GFA 7000 using the preamp outs on the Denon. The bass from the sub is strong and it's set -6db. My wife thoughtfully mentioned the dining room table upstairs was vibrating while I was listening in the basement. She would not appreciate me adding a 2nd one. :D I watched the video by Gene about cool new amps and thought mine might need an upgrade. Thanks for your wisdom! Sometimes it's best to leave well enough alone. lol
A second sub is not necessarily to add volume but to flatten the response of the room at the listening position and perhaps a bit lower frequency response though.
Exactly.

You weren't thinking about buying an amp to make your system louder were you? You were looking for an overall sonic improvement and a second subwoofer will do that for you where a new amp won't. It's not about more bass (just like the thought of a new amp wasn't about more volume), it's about even, smooth quality bass. I truly believe you'd be surprised at how much better the overall sound quality is just from adding a 2nd sub, whereas upgrading amplification will likely have almost no noticeable impact.

Unbalanced bass has a way of sneaking distortion into your music that you don't realize is there until it's gone. Personal experience with that one.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Field Marshall
Unbalanced bass has a way of sneaking distortion into your music that you don't realize is there until it's gone. Personal experience with that one.
agreed, as is distortion capable of sneaking in with regards to worn caps. As suggested earlier, have it checked out, recapped and you should be good to go.
 
V

VMPS-TIII

Junior Audioholic
I originally installed Denon 4500H two months ago with all six speakers powered by the receiver. Didn't connect VMPS "tall boy" sub at all when I first installed Denon. The VMPS SuperTower III main front speakers spec -3dB at 14Hz. Each tower has a 15", 12" and two 10" plus 9 smaller drivers. Later, I powered the towers and the sub with the Adcom GFA 7000 and the sound had a touch more oomph, but not a major difference. The thing I noticed was the Denon was running a lot cooler in the new configuration and you could actively feel the sub with some tracks. While the Adcom is an older amp, it only has 30 hours on it. It looks and runs like new. This morning I was listening to "Punta Del Soul" on the Lee Ritenour, Rhythm Sessions CD. The Denon 4500H/Adcom GFA 7000 combo was kicking it!
VMPS-spkrs.png
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Let me get an opinion from someone who know more about electronics than I!
@PENG , this guy has an Adcom GFA-7000 with only 30 hours of use!
Is there a concern that such an amp, if it was never plugged in for maybe 10-15 years that the caps might be bad? In my limited lay-guy understanding, a cap is like a battery and I believe if you let a battery sit for many years it will lose charge!
True, or BS, or "it depends"?
 
M Code

M Code

Audioholic General
The internal component that tend to deteriorate over years in storage are the power supply electrolytic capacitors. These can dry out and sometime short, causing even more issues. So a lot depends on where/how the amplifier was stored, if in a moderate, temperature controlled spot rather than high humidity than things should look better... Also not a bad idea to bring up the AC line voltage slowing with a variac, while letting the unit warm up and stabilize..

Just my $0.02... ;)
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Thanks for the input. I'm using a Denon 4500H for the rest of the speakers but I moved the VMPS SuperTower III's fronts and the "tallboy" sub to the Adcom GFA 7000 using the preamp outs on the Denon. The bass from the sub is strong and it's set -6db. My wife thoughtfully mentioned the dining room table upstairs was vibrating while I was listening in the basement. She would not appreciate me adding a 2nd one. :D I watched the video by Gene about cool new amps and thought mine might need an upgrade. Thanks for your wisdom! Sometimes it's best to leave well enough alone. lol
Oh, so the Tall Boy sub is non-powered/passive and you’re using the Adcom amp to power the sub?

I am using my ATI AT2005 to power my RBH non-powered/passive subs.
 
V

VMPS-TIII

Junior Audioholic
Anyone using the Emotiva XPA-5 Gen3 Five channel amp? Is this brand worth consideration?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
agreed, as is distortion capable of sneaking in with regards to worn caps. As suggested earlier, have it checked out, recapped and you should be good to go.
I agree it is better to do it just in case and definitely do it if the amp is used close to it's limit (like 50% during peaks) and/or there is visible deterioration to the caps. In reality a lot of people probably should not expect an audible difference as it depends. In my experience, I hear no difference, and measured no difference before and after recapping my over 35 years old (at the time of recap) Marantz SM-7, and those are big caps too.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Let me get an opinion from someone who know more about electronics than I!
@PENG , this guy has an Adcom GFA-7000 with only 30 hours of use!
Is there a concern that such an amp, if it was never plugged in for maybe 10-15 years that the caps might be bad? In my limited lay-guy understanding, a cap is like a battery and I believe if you let a battery sit for many years it will lose charge!
True, or BS, or "it depends"?
Not recharge as such, but for large electrolytic caps, it would be a good idea to recondition them by using a variac so that the applied voltage can be increased gradually. In heavy industries, it is not unusual that people got surprised when their brand new replacement VFD (variable frequency drive) would blow up because of those large smoothing caps failed due to years of storage. For amps, I would think it depends on many factors such as ambient temperature, humidity, and mostly how they are used.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Anyone using the Emotiva XPA-5 Gen3 Five channel amp? Is this brand worth consideration?
Some people like Emo and some people won't touch Emo with a 10-ft pole.

One thing to consider - if anything happens after the warranty expires, Emo won't service their own products.

I think these days, for "budget" buys, many people would look at Monolith amps, which are made by ATI. Another choice would be Outlaw (many of their amps are also made by ATI).
 
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