Home Theatre Amps…

Hi All

Forgive me…I’m new here.

I am building up my first home theatre. I previously spent a few years as a 2 ch man and many years as a headphone guy, but have found MY passion in home theatre. Sadly, I cannot leave behind the life I knew as an audiophile and apply that to my theatre.

For those Interested:

LR: Martin Logan EFX (to be ESL X)
C: Martin Logan ESL C (to be Focus C18)
Rears: Martin Logan FX2
(Yes I have a 5.1 and like Martin Logan)
Sub: Velodyne DD+18
Pro: Marantz AV8805A
Power….:PS Audio PP12

Power amps……

Marantz MM7055….a stupid little 5 ch amp. Sure it works, sounds good. Changed the fuse and added dampening material

But I want my LCR to be powered by PS Audio Monoblocks.

BHK300 is out of question……


How will the M1200s compete to the M700s?

Are the tubes going to contribute any heat? I assume not since they are not power tubes. Will I have a problem leaving the amps on for 3-4 hours a stretch or trigger wiring them in? I know not to leave M1200s active all the time.

Will the doubled cost be worth it for the M1200s? All thoughts welcome. Thanks

I leave my M1200s on standby all the time. Did you just come across the recent what hifi article? I think that article deserves a response from PSA.

Finally, I have a McIntosh MC257 for HT. Pleased with it.

I’m probably the wrong guy to ask since I am a 2 channel person only. I owned a pair of M700s for 2 1/2 years. The M1200s came out and I listened to them. I traded the M700s on the M1200s with no regrets. My brother is a theater guy. There are some things that are mixed for 5.1 that sound great on his system and terrible on mine. 2 channel discs that sound great on my system sound terrible on his.

A personal opinion here: Theater seems to be about impact. Two channel, in my opinion, is much more subtle. I doubt if you would ever regret buying M1200s. I love mine. They are buried in the bottom of my rack. Those little tubes have never been a heat issue. Both amps deliver astounding performance for the dollar, in my opinion. Do M1200s sound twice as good as M700s? Of course they don’t. Do the sound better enough to justify a price tag of twice as much? In my opinion, in the right system, they do.

As far as longevity goes, I’ve had my M1200s for about 15, 16 months. The amps are in stand by mode, 24 - 7. I still have the original tubes in. I have a back up set but I hear no difference. My amps are probably on 2 to 3 hours a night, 3 to 4 nights a week.

I wish I had more theater experience. I don’t. In a two channel system, if the rest of the system is up to it, the M1200s will sing a song you won’t be able to walk away from. Hopefully, some theater people will chime in here.

I used to run 3x M700’s for the L, C, & R. A Stellar on the Surrounds. Great for both 2 Channel & 5.1 Channel Surround Music and Movies. You can find the Stellar Amps at Bargoon prices on the used market.

I had an “Egg Fryer” Marantz SR5011 and man I recorded 115deg F with a thermocouple mounted on the top side of the case !

I replaced an Anthem A5 with 3xM700s and an S300 a few years ago, I am very happy. I run in wall speakers and the difference in power and sound quality was well worth the price of the upgrade.

I have a Velodyne DD 15+ in a fairly large room and the system matches and sounds great.

Good to know and nice! But I think I want mono amps, though I may get a mc one day…you know the hobby

Can I ask what the m1200 did better on and on a scale of 1-10 how much better it was (like 1 barely better or 10 soooooo much better)

Nice! I’m definitely going to do that but not sure if I want M1200 front 3

That’s great to hear

You see I’m a little less confident I can hear a difference with home theatre

Because with music I’m focusing on the system, but for home theatre I’m watching the movie too lol

Those Velos…best thing money bought. My 18 is too big for my room but it will shake the whole house and I love every bit of it

So M700 for movie is great…more thoughts please….will the M1200 be worth it


Should I purchase the Martin Logan Focus, then the M1200 or buy the M1200 for my ESL C, then the focus


The M1200s do a lot of things better than the M700s. I think the most striking thing is the improved dynamic sound of the M1200s. They can go from soft to loud quicker than damn it! They have so much head room that they never sound strained in the least. There’s just an ease to the sound that you have to experience. I doubt I can put it into words. The bass it tighter and deeper. High end is smoother. Imaging and sound stage are better. It’s just a better amp. The obvious question is M700s, $3K, M1200s, $6K. Can I tell you they sound twice as good. No, I really can’t say that. I can say the improvements were worth the price to me.

I had my M700s for about 2 1/2 years. They replaced my Adcom GFA-555. The M700s bested the Adcom in every way. The M1200s best the M700s in every way. They have to or no one would buy them. I didn’t think I’d ever part with the M700s but with the 30 in home trial I figured I had nothing to lose. M1200s need a long time to burn in and sound their best but I knew within a couple hours I was keeping them. Only you can decide if they’re worth it to you.

I’ve reached the point where nearly everything in my system would be considered Stereophile class A. The things that aren’t, I’m not replacing until I can do so with equipment of that caliper. The more revealing a system becomes, the more easily you hear these changes. I wish you good luck. Let us know what you do.

The benefits of Class D amps in a Home Theater are the “punch” they have and the heat efficiency. As Davidapo says above, they are quick (punchy) which will match well with your MLs.

The MLs also benefit from power, which the M1200s have much more of. Not only are they a more powerful amp, but they are an evolution in quality with the tube stage and newer Class D module. In my experience you will never regret money spent on more power, just like there is rarely too much subwoofer.

If your Marantz did not cause you any heat problems, three M1200s should not either. My four PS Audio amps run cooler than the 5 channel Anthem Class A/B amp they replaced. Just in case the new amps do get a little hot there are multiple cooling fans devices that will solve any problems.

I am a low maintenance type person and for that reason I stay away from tubes. If you do not mind switching them out every year or two you will be fine.

The tubes are very easy to replace. I applaud PSA for making them user replaceable. I don’t consider $100 every two years bad at all. You can also role them if that’s your thing. I would think as dynamic as movie sound tracks are the M1200s would be excellent at it. I’m not a theater guy so I’m glad those who are are chiming in. I can say I’ve never played my system long enough or loud enough for the amps to become warm. Class Ds really run cool.

Thanks EVERYONE. Really this forum was great

Gonna buy 3 and enjoy some bliss. I can’t see why I won’t love them…but if not I could always return them. Doubt I will

So what first

Amps or new speaker?

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The 1200’s are much more than the M700 but I always said the M1200 would make a fantastic center channel amp! It would be great on the L and R also. I use them for L and R duties in my system.

I use bhk 300s to power my mains which I use for both ht and 2ch. These give off a lot more heat and also have tubes. I’ve never ran into an issue.

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Thanks Gents. Both excellent and helpful answers

Ok, from the cheap seats…

Home theater is a bit of a conundrum for audiophiles. When your brain is consuming visual information, the auditory side just is not that sharp… just a fact. You really don’t need super high-end audio. Now if you can afford it, sure, do it up… but really, it is not that important.

However, most home theater amps are not that good. A friend of mine and I purchased NAD amp/processors and were very very happy… for a while. They tout they value sound and they do. These are good sounding devices… until they break. Both of us are experiencing issues with these NAD products.

Good luck,

Bruce in Philly

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I’ve got several Rotel multichannel (e.g. 5) amps - never had a problem with them.

Ripped mine out and went back to two channel. For several reasons,I prefer older films so the HT thing was not a significant improvement, I prefer music to film in general, and I prefer to read versus viewing Block Busters.


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