Looking for thoughts on ATI amps

7

70sMac

Audioholic Intern
As per the title of this thread, we're looking for thoughts on ATI amplifiers and, specifically, ATI amps that provide three or more channels. Why? As stated in another (AVP) thread, we are long-time stereo people moving into a modest 5.1 setup. We have five speakers for this purpose, so we'll be needing a few more channels of quality amplification -- at least three -- to get the surround system in our heads on its feet.

The ATI brand has been mentioned not only in the thread I just referenced, but also on another audio forum that we, my wife and I, frequent...so we assume that there must be something there... Thanks very much for your time.

ADDENDUM

It occurred to me that some sort of an equipment "listing" might be helpful, so here's some of the items we hope to employ in our new [to us] surround system: (1) MX121 pre-pro, (1) MC300 stereo power amp, (2) B&W 802s, (2) B&W 805s and (1) B&W HTM3S (center)...and, as a "modern" source, (1) Sony X800M2 universal player.


 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
ATI makes good quality amps. They do it for their own brand as well as Monolith, Outlaw, Mark Levinson, Theta and B&K (and I think a few others). Great reputation.
 
7

70sMac

Audioholic Intern
Please forgive my ignorance, but do the other brands you mentioned get all of their amps from ATI?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Please forgive my ignorance, but do the other brands you mentioned get all of their amps from ATI?
Monolith only has the ATI built line I'm aware of. Outlaw's 2220 and 5000 and 7000 model lines are non ATI. Don't know if they're now the only builder for Levinson. B&K and Theta are ATI owned. ATI's owner also founded SAE (Morris Kessler). Pretty strong amplifier pedigree.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
You already have the stereo amp. What kind of processor do you have for 5.1 (AVR or separate prepro)? If you're only going to 5.1 and have a good AVR with preouts I think that's all you need. Put your main speakers on the Mac and let the AVR handle the rest.
 
7

70sMac

Audioholic Intern
Coming from an electrical background, I like the simple design concept I see on the rear of the Outlaw Model 7900 (7 x 300) power amp. Instead of making their customers sweat about the ampacity of the electrical circuits in their homes, they've simply split the difference by placing two separate 15A AC receptacles on the rear panel of this particular amp. Sometimes simple is best. ;)
 
7

70sMac

Audioholic Intern
You already have the stereo amp. What kind of processor do you have for 5.1 (AVR or separate prepro)? If you're only going to 5.1 and have a good AVR with preouts I think that's all you need. Put your main speakers on the Mac and let the AVR handle the rest.
The MX121 is a separate pre-pro. We're not really looking at AVRs for the 5.1 system we have in mind...but that is certainly one way to do it....but, yeah, we're probably going with separates...it's the old dog in us. ;)
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Coming from an electrical background, I like the simple design concept I see on the rear of the Outlaw Model 7900 (7 x 300) power amp. Instead of making their customers sweat about the ampacity of the electrical circuits in their homes, they've simply split the difference by placing two separate 15A AC receptacles on the rear panel of this particular amp. Sometimes simple is best. ;)
That's a good amp for sure.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Monolith only has the ATI built line I'm aware of. Outlaw's 2220 and 5000 and 7000 model lines are non ATI. Don't know if they're now the only builder for Levinson. B&K and Theta are ATI owned. ATI's owner also founded SAE (Morris Kessler). Pretty strong amplifier pedigree.
I'm almost positive the Outlaw 7900 is designed and built by ATI. It looks to me like a variation on the (now discontinued) AT3000 design.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Coming from an electrical background, I like the simple design concept I see on the rear of the Outlaw Model 7900 (7 x 300) power amp. Instead of making their customers sweat about the ampacity of the electrical circuits in their homes, they've simply split the difference by placing two separate 15A AC receptacles on the rear panel of this particular amp. Sometimes simple is best. ;)
Yeah, but you theoretically need two separate circuits, one for each power cord, to have this design make sense. The ATI 3000 series used a single 20 amp circuit, which IMO is probably a better choice for newer homes that often include a 20amp circuit to the HT system position. ATI also used the dual-15A power cord strategy for the Lexicon amp they did.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
I'm almost positive the Outlaw 7900 is designed and built by ATI. It looks to me like a variation on the (now discontinued) AT3000 design.
That isn't what I meant by the 7000 series, thanks for pointing that out. I meant rather the 7000/7000x (same for the 5000/5000x). The 7xxx amps otherwise I believe are all ATI built.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Yeah, but you theoretically need two separate circuits, one for each power cord, to have this design make sense. The ATI 3000 series used a single 20 amp circuit, which IMO is probably a better choice for newer homes that often include a 20amp circuit to the HT system position. ATI also used the dual-15A power cord strategy for the Lexicon amp they did.
It looks more like the newer AT6000. The AT3000 has the more conventional gains of 6 dB lower for XLR. The AT6000, like the Outlaw has 28 dB gain for both RCA and XLR. As confirmed by ADTG (he got it from ATI), ATI "normalized the input voltage in the newer models..." so that the gain can be the same for both unbalanced and balanced.
 
7

70sMac

Audioholic Intern
Yeah, but you theoretically need two separate circuits, one for each power cord, to have this design make sense. The ATI 3000 series used a single 20 amp circuit, which IMO is probably a better choice for newer homes that often include a 20amp circuit to the HT system position. ATI also used the dual-15A power cord strategy for the Lexicon amp they did.
You're right about newer homes. I wouldn't have wiring in a new home that can't stay cool up to 20 amps, but lots of older homes are lucky to safely support 15A circuits. Take a look at an older breaker or sub panel. They're usually packed with 15A breakers....ask me how I know. ;)

In the end, I'd rather have to find the split in the outlets in a given room then have to fish and pull new wiring into a room...but, then again, this house
did come with an abundance of AC outlets. Regardless, a properly-wired 20A circuit is a very cool luxury...and two separate 20A circuits in a given room is even better. :cool:
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
You're right about newer homes. I wouldn't have wiring in a new home that can't stay cool up to 20 amps, but lots of older homes are lucky to safely support 15A circuits. Take a look at an older breaker or sub panel. They're usually packed with 15A breakers....ask me how I know. ;)

In the end, I'd rather have to find the split in the outlets in a given room then have to fish and pull new wiring into a room...but, then again, this house did come with an abundance of AC outlets. Regardless, a properly-wired 20A circuit is a very cool luxury. :cool:
If you think you need that much power, your room must be quite big, I just hope it is big enough that it has two outlets from two different 15 A feeds. If not, I hope it is not too difficult to pull one in all the way from the panel, wherever it is, but likely won't be on the same floor, basement?
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
I have an ATI built Monolith 7 and it's performed flawlessly for me. They're very solid amps and should have more than enough power for your surround speakers all in one box. Of course you don't need the 7, but they have a 3 and 5 channel versions also. It reviewed very well here at Audioholics.

 
7

70sMac

Audioholic Intern
If you think you need that much power, your room must be quite big, I just hope it is big enough that it has two outlets from two different 15 A feeds. If not, I hope it is not too difficult to pull one in all the way from the panel, wherever it is, but likely won't be on the same floor, basement?
Yes, we're fortunate to have both a big room for our A/V and a huge basement underneath it. By the way, we have separate 15A circuits on each wall in that room. In fact, given enough space, most good electricians will give you this...but, nevertheless, 20A circuitry is purty sweet for all occasions. :)
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
It looks more like the newer AT6000. The AT3000 has the more conventional gains of 6 dB lower for XLR. The AT6000, like the Outlaw has 28 dB gain for both RCA and XLR. As confirmed by ADTG (he got it from ATI), ATI "normalized the input voltage in the newer models..." so that the gain can be the same for both unbalanced and balanced.
I didn't think the 6000 series was introduced until about 2014. The Outlaw was introduced in what, 2011? Before? Also, Outlaw advertises the 7900 as "fully balanced", which is the AT3000-series topology; the AT3000 are balanced bridged designs (the AT2000s too). With the 6000 series ATI went to a single-ended input stage, claiming it improved SNR. I have no idea which is really better.
 
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P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I didn't think the 6000 series wasn't introduced until about 2014. The Outlaw was introduced in what, 2011? Before? Also, Outlaw advertises the 7900 as "fully balanced", which is the AT3000-series topology; the AT3000 are balanced bridged designs (the AT2000s too). With the 6000 series ATI went to a single-ended input stage, claiming it improved SNR. I have no idea which is really better.
Oh then I missed that part, you are right Outlaw claimed fully balanced for the 7900. By the way, don't you find ATI (and by association, Outlaw too quite often) just don't seem to be clear about their input sensitivity/gain specs?

We both can calculate output from input voltage and gain:
For 1.6 volts input, and 28 dB gain, output from the XLRs will be about 202 W, not 250 W.
For 1.6 volts input, and 34 dB gain, output from the RCAs should be about 803 W, not 250 W either.

Now look at the table below, that I pasted from the manual, you can reconcile the gains for RCA, XLR input, the input sensitivity, and the rated output power at 8 ohms. Well one exception, it would work for the AT2000's 200 watts, based on 28 dB gain and 1.6 volts XLR input. It wouldn't work if the 1.6 volts is for the RCA input. Nothing works for the AT3000's 300 watts, input sensitivity 1.8 volts no matter how you cut it. I have never seen this kind of confusion on these same specs for any other power amps, only ATI's, and some Outlaws. Monolith's seems fine, now that I know about the new "normalized input voltage" feature.

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Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
ATI amps have excellent reputations – they are said to be first rate. They are one of the few amplifier manufacturers in the US.

Understand that ATI does manufacture amps for other companies under contract. For example, ATI builds amps for Monolith and Outlaw, built to their specifications, not ATI's. I once read that ATI can fabricate it's own steel chassis and wind their own transformers in their factory. So they can include those expensive parts in their contract builds instead of requiring that they be outsourced.

ATI now owns the B&K and Theta amp designs and company names. Those companies had gone out of business. It that true for Levinson as well?
 

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