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Amp suggestions?


Guest Brian_D

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Guest Brian_D

I have the need to increase the wattage being supplied to my AR9's and I was wondering what you all use on your AR's (larger ones)

I currently am powering them with a TEAC Reference home theater receiver (120 wpc at 4 ohms) and it's easily driven to clipping before my tastes are satisfied.

I have about $500ish to spend, and I was pondering... I love the old Soundcraftsman amplifiers. I had one in a DJ setup and it was like the old Yamaha stuff: heavy and CLEAN. But here's my conundrum: with that kind of dough, I could buy 4 Adcom 535's and make those suckers SING or I could go with two mid-wattage amps and biamp (latterally of course) or one honkin' mother and do the stereo thing.

Your thoughts? Anyone selling an amp? A Soundcrafstsmen 820 passed me by recently on Ebay, I kicked myself for not picking it up. There's a 2502 there now... might get that one...

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Hey Brian!

I've been happy with the higher end HK amplifiers and have driven my AR's since college with various Citation and Signature models. Currently I have a Signature 2.1 powering two pairs of AR303a's and the matching center channel. They can be driven very hard with no complaints from the amplifier .. actually, the Signature 2.0 processor I have on the next shelf generates much more heat than the amplifier! There is a previous thread where I mentioned Ken Kantor helped me indeed reach the fuse popping area using his equipment, but I've never been able to do that with the speakers.

If you call the HK outlet in Oxnard, CA they can probably get you one for @ $500 even though the online outlet is selling them for more. Last time I was there they had at least a few of them left.

Here's a link:

http://www.harmanaudio.com/search_browse/p...umber=SIG2.1S-Z

Mark

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Hello, Brian -

I think the biggest amplification factor in getting the most from the AR-9 is related to the power supply. Most of the guys who've posted on this issue have suggested amplifiers that combine adequate outout power with SUBSTANTIAL power supplies, like those found in the big Adcoms, H/K's, and McIntosh. I have personally used a pair of Adcom 555II amps which proved to be a very fine match. These have been recently replaced by a 200 watt/channel McIntosh amplifier - while the Adcoms had an edge in absolute power, the 9 really seems to like the Mac's 4-ohm output transformer tap, and sounds a bit less constricted overall (this is saying something, too - the 555II's really performed well!).

The key seems to be finding an amp that will easily handle the load that the 9 presents - it can be problematic with receivers and smaller power amplifiers that run hot or become unstable with loads below 4 ohms. Although the 535II is a solid design, you will probably find that a single 555II will be a better match than four 535's running in mono...and unless they come equipped with level controls, adjusting the output levels of four amps could be a real headache!

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Guest Barrydor

If you like building kits, Sound Valves was offering NOS kits for the David Hafler 500 and XL-600 amplifiers awhile ago. They apparently bought up all the inventory of the David Hafler company at one time.

These amplifiers offer more than adequate power and sound excellent with AR9s.

Barry

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Brian;

After just looking over Adcom listings on ebay;

I'd like to suggest:

A GFA-555 (or GFA-555 II), and later, when budget allows, a second one, with them in a vertical bi-amp configuration.

or

A pair of GFA-545 II, and use them in a vertical bi-amp configuration.

Nigel

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Guest Brian_D

I found a place on the net that has the AudioControl AMP 3 for $169(!) so I bought two of those. (One is already here! I'm ordering the other today) They're 400 watts bridged mono, so I'll either biamp the speakers vertically, or bridge the amps and give each speaker it's own.

I've had good luck with the AudioControl (AC) stuff, I have an EQ that I've had since high-school that is still going strong, and I had an AC AMP 1 for monitors in a DJ setup that I loved. Very good clipping characteristics. I'm hoping the 3 will perform as well.

Suggestions on that? Thoughts?

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Guest Barrydor

>I found a place on the net that has the AudioControl AMP 3

>for $169(!) so I bought two of those.

I think you mean Audiosource?

>bridge the

>amps and give each speaker it's own.

Not recommended. It is said that when you bridge two amps, each one sees half the load impedance. The AR9 is 4 Ohms with at least one dip into the 3 Ohm range. This can be very hard on a bridged amp as each one can see less than two Ohms.

The Audiosource Amp3 is rated for two Ohms minimum. With bridged AR9s, you can easily exceed this and shut down the amps (or worse). In my opinion, you would be better off with vertical biamp.

Barry

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Guest Brian_D

Oops, yeah. I meant AudioSource. Jeez. I was looking at preamps and saw that awsome AudioControl one and had that stuck in my brain.

Good point about bridging. I was saving the bridged configuration as a last resort. My listening room is a basement, with concrete on the floor and three walls. I'm a little concerned that my bass extension will be limited as a result.

I'm sure that 250 watts will be plenty, though. The room is only 14' x 18' x 8'.

I can't wait to hear this system... If only the 9's were in the house now...

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Guest Barrydor

>Oops, yeah. I meant AudioSource. Jeez. I was looking at

>preamps and saw that awsome AudioControl one and had that

>stuck in my brain.

Maybe they will send you one by mistake ;)

> I'm a

>little concerned that my bass extension will be limited as a

>result.

>

Why? If there is a bass extension problem, it is probably due more to placement than power

Just place the speakers close to the wall like the owners manual recommends. If anything, you may have some standing waves to deal with. Concrete does not absorb bass like sheetrock walls do

>I'm sure that 250 watts will be plenty, though. The room is

>only 14' x 18' x 8'.

I would think so, especially with the low ceiling

Barry

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Guest Brian_D

Nice discussion... I like it.

Anyway, I've been reading about speaker placement according to AR, and I've read that (for the 9's) placement distance to the back wall is pretty insignificant. That's perfect for me, because they're going to be as close to the wall as possible to allow for projection screen placement. (Don't want to waste any more room than I have to!)

I've also read that it's best to have the speakers placed asymetrically in the room to eliminate those standing waves you mentioned. Side to side I have no choice. It's going to be centered. But what I may be able to do is to stagger the ceiling or the back wall or both. I have to be conscious of my surrounds, though their placement isn't too critical, as long as they're far enough from your head so as not to cause time alignment problems.

I could also put in some architectural details (faux columns) in the room somewhere to break up the standing waves. That's what we used to do when we DJ'd and the chatter was too bad. (For those of you who havn't DJ'd before, often the setup is perfectly centered at the back of a long, cavernous room like a gym. Often the standing waves/reflections are so bad that a snare drum would "chatter" back and forth from the back wall to the speakers. We would put these big round columns in the middle of the floor about 10 yards from the speakers, right in line and it would kill the chatter.) Obviously these wouldn't need to be right in front of the speakers, but on the sides next to the walls. (Again, a last resort measure)

I'm putting carpet on the floor and the back wall too. Maybe that will be enough.

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Guest Barrydor

>Anyway, I've been reading about speaker placement according to

>AR, and I've read that (for the 9's) placement distance to the

>back wall is pretty insignificant.

AR recommends placing the AR9 as close to the rear wall as possible. The idea is that with the woofers so close to the wall, there is no frequency in their range where the wavelength is such that the first reflection would arrive at 180° out of phase, causing a cancellation or dip in the response.

>I've also read that it's best to have the speakers placed

>asymetrically in the room to eliminate those standing waves

>you mentioned.

This is correct and recommended by AR. In my experience, though, it sometimes takes a move of only a few inches from one side to the other to cancel a problem.

>Often the standing waves/reflections are so bad that a

>snare drum would "chatter" back and forth from the back wall

>to the speakers.

The frequency where this would occur sounds pretty close to the "slap echo" phenomena, where you clap your hands in a room to evaluate the acoustics.

>I'm putting carpet on the floor and the back wall too. Maybe

>that will be enough.

It should be. I assume also that the low ceiling is covered with acoustical tile. I doubt you will have serious problems with getting good sound in the room. Good luck!

Barry

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