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Amplifier for arbitrary speakers?

chouca

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I'm building a surround system and have purchased an Anthem AVM70 processor, but haven't selected my speakers yet. I'd like to buy my first two channels of amplification and then start auditioning speakers (I'm considering the Magico S5, but who knows where I'll end up).

Since I don't know how well-behaved my speakers will be impedance-wise, I think I should avoid bridged configurations. I care about build quality, solid binding posts, low heat, and chassis cosmetics, and I'm a little concerned that some of these newer class D amplifier companies may go out of business. Of the well-reviewed amps here, I've narrowed it to NAD, Apollon, Vera, and Nord. I think I should rule out the Benchmark because at 100wpc I might need to bridge? I'm drawn to Purifi-based implementations because it's the newer technology and seems well-regarded, but maybe that's not entirely rational.

Based on these criteria, which amps are my best bet? I guess I'm leaning towards the NAD M23 or Apollon Purifi 1ET400A monoblocks but am open to any suggestions!
 

jae

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Wouldn't bother with any other option but Purifi if you don't want to run bridged Benchmark. It is also the best value for money apart from Hypex. Class-D companies going under is not even an argument anymore, I doubt that's happening, and even if it did the price savings over Class A/AB amps with similar performance is well worth it. Which manufacturer's chassis/build you decide on is almost almost entirely subjective at this point as long as the build is done properly, unless you need specific features. A Purifi 2ch setup is as cheap as $1100-1200 to DIY or from VTV and I would say much more than $1500-1600 and you are now paying for vanity and losing the value for money. Although spending more is still justified to a pointsince it is objectively better than almost anything else out there. If you are that concerned about long term, warranty, parts availability etc. NAD is the best option. I assume value for money isn't really a concern if you are considering speakers costing upwards of $40k.

Also consider active speakers too, D&D 8C, Genelec Ones +W371A, Kii Three etc.
 

jae

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Also, if you're really that worried about a Purifi amp amp failing in the future, nothing stopping you from stocking up on 1ET400A modules which you can buy directly on the Purifi website for $320 each :)
 
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chouca

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The boXem casework looks pretty nice, thank you.

I'm less worried about Purifi or Hypex going out of business and more worried about the product manufacturer disappearing if I have a warranty issue, which does sort of steer me towards NAD. Although I'm a EE by education, I'm a software guy by trade and not interested in DIY. I want my system to "just work" with no fiddling so I can enjoy it for many years!

And yes, cost isn't really an issue but value does matter somewhat. I've been into hi-fi for 30 years so big, heavy class AB amps with beautiful casework (Jeff Rowland, Krell, etc.) appeal to me emotionally, but based on what I've read here they seem to be obsolete technology. My only listening experience with class D was many years ago and it was very Disappointing (get it?), but I'm approaching this with an open mind and excited by the prospect of low heat.
 

Zuccinho

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If you're considering spending $40k on speakers alone then looking for an amp, I would second the shout for listening to demoing some Kii/Genelec/Neumann/Dutch and Dutch etc before you do that. I've had a pair Kii3s for 2 years now (just vanilla Kii3s no BXT) which I used for stereo and as front speakers in a 4.0 surround set up. My only regret is not buying them as soon as they came out instead of waiting several years and going through various other speaker/amp combos first. They just work fantastically both for music and films.
 

FrantzM

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If you're considering spending $40k on speakers alone then looking for an amp, I would second the shout for listening to demoing some Kii/Genelec/Neumann/Dutch and Dutch etc before you do that. I've had a pair Kii3s for 2 years now (just vanilla Kii3s no BXT) which I used for stereo and as front speakers in a 4.0 surround set up. My only regret is not buying them as soon as they came out instead of waiting several years and going through various other speaker/amp combos first. They just work fantastically both for music and films.
I second this recommendation...
 

phoenixdogfan

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Also, if you're really that worried about a Purifi amp amp failing in the future, nothing stopping you from stocking up on 1ET400A modules which you can buy directly on the Purifi website for $320 each :)
One of the great features of my Purifi Amp is how modular the entire thing is. There's the buffer board/interface, the two 1ET400A modules, and the HYPEX SMPS 1200A400 and that' it. If I can figure out what blew, I can just order the replacement, and screw it in, and Fixed!
 
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chouca

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If you're considering spending $40k on speakers alone then looking for an amp, I would second the shout for listening to demoing some Kii/Genelec/Neumann/Dutch and Dutch etc before you do that. I've had a pair Kii3s for 2 years now (just vanilla Kii3s no BXT) which I used for stereo and as front speakers in a 4.0 surround set up. My only regret is not buying them as soon as they came out instead of waiting several years and going through various other speaker/amp combos first. They just work fantastically both for music and films.

Thanks for the suggestion, @Zuccinho and @FrantzM; I need to research some of these active speakers. I want my front speakers to be floorstanders in the room, so they need to be beautiful as well as sound great. Genelecs look too utilitarian and studio monitor-esque for me, but maybe some of the others are prettier. If I was picking based on cosmetics alone I'd probably go with Sonus Faber (or maybe the B&W Nautilus for pure visual drama!).
 

Zuccinho

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Fair enough. I had Boenicke before this and have kept them for a similar reason. If you want floorstanders though the Kii&BXT will give you that and look (IMO) space-age good, as well as tremendously clean and powerful bass.
 

jae

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One of the great features of my Purifi Amp is how modular the entire thing is. There's the buffer board/interface, the two 1ET400A modules, and the HYPEX SMPS 1200A400 and that' it. If I can figure out what blew, I can just order the replacement, and screw it in, and Fixed!
This is something many people don't think about, depending on where you live, ordering the parts and replacing it oneself will almost always be faster than sending an amplifier back and waiting for service. In many cases cheaper too, especially if you are past a limited warrantly.
 
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chouca

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Seems like the 1ET7040SA based amps might be the ticket? Seemingly limitless power, but no test results so far?
 

Beershaun

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The popular wisdom is to pick your speakers first. Then choose the amp you need for them. For example if you end up with an active speaker, then problem solved!
 

Sal1950

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Seems like the 1ET7040SA based amps might be the ticket? Seemingly limitless power, but no test results so far?
Where are you located? That should be a big piece of the puzzle of who you purchase from.
 

JRS

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I'm in the market for a high powered MCh amp as well--it's a damn good time to be looking as there is no dearth of high quality, reasonably priced amps. The Purifi based are fine looking, but if we truly believe in numbers here, I see no reason to overlook Hypex based offerings. BuckEye is one supplier as is VTV for domestic consumption, though based on the threads here, there is really only one choice. If one is willing to consider AB topology, Monoprice has a 5 x 200W for 1500 and 7x200W for 1800. The YouTube reviews have been outstanding (FWIW). I am energy conscious so likely stick with class D, and save Monoprice for my AVP. That thing is a killer at 5K--or will be, it's taken some time to get the bugs worked out. Make of that what you will--I just see it as new territory for this up and coming company (37% growth/year over 5 years, so no fly by night outfit here).
 
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