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22 channel Soundstorm prepro to be installed what amps do you recommend?

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#1
I have a friend who is going hog wild installing a 22 channel home theater setup using 92dB sensitivity ML speakers all around. ML electrostatic panels for the bed speakers (700 watt peak rating/4ohm) and ML bookshelves for the surrounds.

He is buying a SoundStorm processor and it will be a 11.3.8 setup.

He’s evaluating amplifiers for his build.
What recommendations do you make for this type of setup. Noise floor will be important for this many amps/speakers so his room isn’t a hissing mess. Budget isn’t the main focus, but it isn’t a unlimited funds build either. He is willing to pay to the point of significant diminished returns. He is thinking of using Cherry amps for his front three, and perhaps the higher end well reviewed monoprice amps for all other channels.

What suggestions would you pass on? I’ll link him to this thread. He doesn’t have an account here yet, but I’ve mentioned this is a solid place to learn.
 

Ilkless

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#2
I have a friend who is going hog wild installing a 22 channel home theater setup using 92dB sensitivity ML speakers all around. ML electrostatic panels for the bed speakers (700 watt peak rating/4ohm) and ML bookshelves for the surrounds.

He is buying a SoundStorm processor and it will be a 11.3.8 setup.

He’s evaluating amplifiers for his build.
What recommendations do you make for this type of setup. Noise floor will be important for this many amps/speakers so his room isn’t a hissing mess. Budget isn’t the main focus, but it isn’t a unlimited funds build either. He is willing to pay to the point of significant diminished returns. He is thinking of using Cherry amps for his front three, and perhaps the higher end well reviewed monoprice amps for all other channels.

What suggestions would you pass on? I’ll link him to this thread. He doesn’t have an account here yet, but I’ve mentioned this is a solid place to learn.
I'd just go AHB2 for the front 3 tbh. Monoprice a good call - classic US-made muscle by ATI, if not state-of-the art. Also, very wary of boutique class D implementations with no documentation or testing done to it at all, when you have excellent modules from transparent engineering-led companies like Hypex and Purifi tested to hell and back.
 
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Thread Starter #3
We are discussing now simply using Behringer A800 amplifiers on every channel. We found a site that sells them for $266 each new/warranty. They seem like a capable little amp. No fan (passively cooled) and the LEDs can be turned off for light control.

Looks like they passed the test of transparent sound here, and $3K for 22 channels at verified 250 watts per channel sure beats some of the other options we've talked about price/performance. Yamaha's eleven channel amp x2 ($1600x2) (not my recommendation as I think this option would be underpowered) or Monoprice Monolith 7 channel amp x 3 ($1800x3) (a great choice, but almost twice as much at $5,400K and not much more power at 300 watts on the Monolith vs. 250 watts on the a800)

There are other Pro-Audio amps by Crest, and Crown, and QSC that could deliver 300-400 watts per channel for about $100 more per amplifier, but the may have a higher noise floor, would have loud fans - so no in room setup, and you'd not be able to easily control/disable LED lights. Hard to know without a direct A/B comparison from a independent site. I know all three of those brands are quite reputable, so no concern from that vantage.

92dB sensitivity = 1 watt
95dB = 2 watts
98dB = 4 watts
101dB = 8 watts
104dB = 16 watts
107dB = 32 watts
110dB = 64 watts
113dB = 128 watts
116dB = 256 watts = amp limits.

Lose 10dB for distance to speakers - just placeholder guess/average for a 10-12 foot listening distance.

Doesn't leave room for EQ at reference, but it'll get there native. To get 6dB of headroom for EQ at reference you'd need a 1000 watt amplifier at reference, and that's overpowering both the Electrostatic panels (700 watt rating) and certainly the bookshelves (250 watt rating).

Here's the Behringer A800 review.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...behringer-a800-stereo-amplifier-review.10499/
 
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Unclevanya

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#4
The a800 review stated this...

"Don't use it on sensitive speakers you may hear some hiss (although turning down the gain may help some)."
 
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Thread Starter #5
The a800 review stated this...

"Don't use it on sensitive speakers you may hear some hiss (although turning down the gain may help some)."
I don’t think 92dB sensitive speakers are considered sensitive.

We have decided to put the rubber to the road with testing using a quick A/B/C/D switching using simple DIY switching mechanism.
We are using the Benchmark AHB2 (rated highest on this site), a Crown 1502, a Behringer A800, and a Behringer NX3000D.
Maybe other amps too depending on who attends. The source will be a Marantz 8805 and also alternatively we can use a Matrix X Saber Pro MQA which is also rated top on this site for USB DACs.

If you live in the Kansas City area, and would like to participate please speak up. We will do our setup and testing this Sunday. My friend wanted to know for himself, for sure, as it applies to his equipment, so he bought the first three amps to compare and I am bringing over the inexpensive Behringer NX3000D to add to the comparison.

Here’s that link:
Post 8972
https://www.avsforum.com/threads/ka...e-night-events.1496367/page-449#post-60186603
 
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Unclevanya

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#6
@amirm in your review of the a800 you said, "Don't use it on sensitive speakers you may hear some hiss (although turning down the gain may help some)."

It isn't clear what you consider a "sensitive" speaker, is there a rough guide in efficiency rating that would be where you would worry this might start to be noticed?

@Archaea sounds as though you have a good plan to test. I'm sure you will find a suitable solution.

Not sure what covid-19 precautions you are taking, but an open invitation to all who want to attend seems like it could be an issue. This isn't the forum where I want to debate this, but I assume everyone is an adult and can determine their risk tolerance. I sincerely hope all goes well and you are able to enjoy this without any downstream negative events.
 
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JohnYang1997

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#7
@amirm in your review of the a800 you said, "Don't use it on sensitive speakers you may hear some hiss (although turning down the gain may help some)."

It isn't clear what you consider a "sensitive" speaker, is there a rough guide in efficiency rating that would be where you would worry this might start to be noticed?

@Archaea sounds as though you have a good plan to test. I'm sure you will find a suitable solution.
If my calculations are correct. The noise of the amp is 400uV which is substantially amount of noise. Normally we like to see less than 60uV or even 20uV.
But for 400uV, you would need about 100db/W for it to be audible. So practically not an issue.
 
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Thread Starter #9
So we did our quick and dirty blind amplifier testing this past Sunday. We had a Behringer A800, a Crown XLS 1502, an old Halfer amp, and a Benchmark AHB2.
My conclusion was, if I were the one putting together the system, I'd buy a stack of 10 or 11 Behringer A800 amps and be done with it. If the name Behringer makes you squirm uncomfortably (for historic reasons and I'd argue not currently founded), then pay the uptick to the Crown XLS 1502.
We could not tell the difference in any of the amps at normal listening volumes (and the primary auditoner who is trying to decide what amps to buy said he'd have no reason to go louder than what we heard) with a Marantz 8805 prepro as the source. My friend is still deciding what he's going to do, but the concern of missing potential performance by not having a high end amp is quelled considerably after our blind testing.

Results here:
https://www.avsforum.com/threads/ka...e-night-events.1496367/page-450#post-60198218
post 8989.
 
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